I’m going to be honest. I have mixed feelings about this whole Hell thing. On the one hand, as much as I love Stefan and Damon and want them to find happiness, I love the idea of them having to answer for all of the bad they’ve done. It’s not that I actually want them to go to Hell, but if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, that story at least makes sense. You can’t spend your life killing people and expect no consequences. And at the very least, the idea of Hell makes Stefan and Damon take a long hard look in the mirror. Or it will once Damon flips his humanity back on.
But on the other side of things, I’m not sure how I feel about Hell and “the devil” making its way onto the show. Sure, they put their own twist on it, which I appreciate, but it’s on the verge of feeling like too big a concept. Either way, I’m willing to see how it plays out. Now, let’s talk about the hour, starting with this week’s throwback title.
“An Eternity of Misery”: This one’s a classic. It’s a phrase first uttered by Damon in the pilot of the series, and later explained as a promise Damon made his brother just after they became vampires. See, after Stefan and Damon were killed with Katherine’s blood in their system, Damon had made the decision to let himself die. But after Stefan transitioned, he couldn’t imagine a world without his brother, so he selfishly forced Damon to join him. So join him, he did, but as soon as Damon tasted human blood, he promised his brother that he would dedicate his life to giving Stefan what he deserved — an eternity of misery. And how that plays into tonight’s episode is actually quite perfect.
In the beginning, we’re introduced to two young girls. Living in 750 B.C., one girl tells the other the story of Arcadius, a man with psychic powers who was stoned and burned alive by his people. Why is that relevant? Stay tuned.
In present day, Caroline heads back from spending the night at Bonnie’s just as Stefan wakes up at the Armory, where he slept. It seems he and Ric have big plans to hang out with Sybil today. Stefan brings along the handy tuning fork to get her to talk, which leads to this wonderful exchange:
Stefan: “The all-powerful siren, imprisoned by a fork.”
Sybil: “Says the man who can be killed with a stick.”
She’s not wrong. She is, however, sick of Stefan asking about Damon, who’s still off serving her, by the way. Instead, Sybil would rather talk about herself, and that means telling Stefan and Ric the story of a young girl who lived in a Mediterranean village until she was discovered to have physic abilities, after which her people exiled her to an island.
But she wasn’t alone on the island. There was another girl with psychic abilities there, and together, they survived. The real kicker? That other girl, well, she’s still alive, and she’ll do anything to save her sister. So yeah, there’s a siren on the loose.
Speaking of the other siren, Georgie breaks into Ric’s house to steal a journal when Seline catches her. At this point, one of them is obviously the siren, but is it the one with the “very siren-y” name, as Sybil puts it? Actually, all signs are pointing to Georgie when she shows up at the Armory and locks Ric in the vault.
As for Stefan, he gets to hear the rest of Sybil’s story. Stranded on the island, the girls grew hungry, so they would call out to ships, which would then crash upon the rocks so that the girls could steal their provisions. Yet, the poor village girl didn’t realize that calling out to a ship meant dooming the sailors to death. You see, this is the familiar tale of one good sibling, determined to live like a monk, and one selfishly evil sibling willing to murder to satiate their hunger. As Sybil puts it, “The parallels are too good.” So she asks Stefan, “Which girl are you?”
Stefan doesn’t want to play along, so Sybil continues the story. It turns out, there were never provisions on the ships. Only sailors. The island girl was lying to her sister, tricking her into eating the sailors and forcing her to adopt her lifestyle. Again she asks Stefan, “Which girl are you?”
Just as Stefan tells Sybil that Damon will always be his brother, Sybil’s sister shows up. Well, sort of. Georgie knocks Stefan out, which allows Sybil to get inside Stefan’s head. She takes him inside her own memory, back to the island, to finish the story. Apparently she has no interest in taking control of Stefan’s mind, because “the boss has other plans for you” and said boss thinks Stefan is worthy of hearing the whole story.
Sybil finishes her story, showing Stefan the moment when the village girl realized what the island had done. And that’s when Stefan realizes that Sybil is the village girl who tried so hard to be good while her sister forced this existence on her. Furthermore, that sister’s not Georgie. It’s Seline.
By the time Stefan wakes up, Sybil has stripped Seline’s identity from his memory, but he remembers the rest. And Sybil still wants an answer to her question: Which girl is Stefan? The victim or the monster who sealed his brother’s fate the day he forced Damon to turn into a vampire, dooming him to an eternity of misery? “Who are you,” she asks, before Stefan responds, “I’m both.”
NEXT: Tyler’s fate is revealed