The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Premiere Recap: Meet Its Most Terrifying Monster Yet

It's hard enough waking after 60 years of deep sleep, but imagine if upon opening your eyes someone handed you a stack of diaries and said, "Get reading." Thousands of pages of handwritten -- and I'm guessing poorly spelled -- passages detailing mass murders, bloodthirsty mythological creatures and countless tussles with ancient wizards. After page three you'll be demanding more coffee and by page 10 you'll be eyeing that casket again. In other words: Poor Elena! It's all I can think about anytime one of her friends scribbles in one of those journals on her behalf.

Well, this is it, friends. The eighth and final season of The Vampire Diaries. Not only does this season have to tell a fresh and exciting story about some new nightmare hell-monster, it has to tie up the entire series! I think we can expect to see plenty of familiar faces -- yes, even Elena's -- by season's end, but for now the season premiere focused on the latest immortal Big Bad to swing through Mystic Falls... A SIREN. And like every siren you've ever seen, she hangs out in a pool of bloody water and sucks the life essence out of bad men before emerging fully nude looking like an Eastern European supermodel. And do you know what else? She is terrifying.

The Season 8 premiere was a pretty wonderful episode, particularly if you enjoy when TVD goes full horror. Obviously this season will get to sentimental stuff later, but for now it's just plum scary as h*ck. I have an idea: Let's talk about "Hello, Brother"!

We began with an image longtime viewers know all too well...


The ol' vampire-in-the-road trick! See, a young couple on their way to the movies while lamenting genre trends ("I'm just glad the vampire craze is over!") made the mistake of driving on a deserted foggy highway. That's when they encountered a tag-team duo of murderous vampires.


Next thing we knew, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) were forcing the pair to decide which among them was a truly "bad" person. The more innocent lady received a painless death, while her shadier boyfriend was impaled on a hook and lowered into a bloody tank. Due to the hook emerging from the water empty but for a handful of dangling gristle, I'm guessing this guy's death was not a cute one.


At least we knew a little bit more about the boys' murder spree: They were targeting only "bad" people, and they were actually feeding the corpses to whatever had taken control of them back in the vault. It was unclear why the rafters were fully stocked with uneaten corpses though. Maybe the creature was picky? Also, Enzo seemed more troubled by his participation in these murders than Damon did, and that's probably because Damon had, once again, turned off his "humanity switch." Classic Damon move.


Back in Mystic Falls, our star couple were doing what they do best: Sensual romance. Yes, whatever had been keeping Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline (Candice King) apart last season (like, say her marriage to the father of her children) had now been cleared away and they were living in carnal bliss. Great job, guys.


Bonnie (Kat Graham), however, was not thriving quite as well. Here she was attempting to play guitar (and breaking its strings) while having fond flashbacks of being fully in love with Enzo. Poor gal.


I mean, Stefan and Caroline's relationship was so advanced they were now forehead-touching regularly. So lucky.


Because Caroline is a busy workin' woman (at the Mystic Falls local news station LOL) and Alaric (Matthew Davis) was now working full time at The Armory (where he sleeps in the backroom on a pile of rags), she had to hire a nanny! If you happened to watch The CW's Containment over the summer you'll recognize Kristen Gutoskie, the actress who played Seline, and she's a welcome addition to the show. And yes, as you might imagine, she and Alaric are for sure headed for a sexual romance. Which would make Caroline nervous if she could remove her forehead from Stefan's for even a second.


Speaking of Alaric, he and two other employees from The Armory discovered something very weird about that vault where the monster had been stored. For example, if one were to put on a blindfold and noise-blockers they could paw their way through a FAKE WALL.


I truly did not understand how this worked and I laughed out loud when the show pretended it was a reasonable thing. OK!


Inside the secret cave chamber they found, you guessed it, TREASURE. All of One-Eyed Willie's treasure was there, but also the treasure from National Treasure, and part if not all of the Addams Family treasure. It was a pretty cool find in my opinion. So cool that Alaric's co-worker let him know she was willing to drop trou right then and there.


He declined. Still, I liked this lady's moxie!


In what counts as a very mean prank, Damon pushed Enzo in the bloody tank and he had a very wet encounter with his monster boss!


Damon was too wrapped up in his new tome -- which I have never heard of -- to help in any way. What a rascal.


But don't worry, Enzo was fine. He was just irritated and moist. As for the monster, I suppose it just re-zapped Enzo's brain a little in order to get him to work harder. I think? Honestly the less we learned about this monster, the scarier it was. I've always wanted this show to go full creature feature, and this was the closest it's come yet. Love it.


In a surprise twist, one of the new characters was MURDERED. But again, it was a scene straight out of a Halloween film. A babysitter walking around a darkened house, doors swinging open, knives disappearing. Seline got her throat cut! So simple but so effective.


As it turned out, the killer was Virginia (Aisha Duran), Bonnie's friend from the mental ward. What was she doing here??


Fortunately Caroline rushed home and knocked Virginia the F out before she could get to Caroline's twins. But the twins seemed super chill just hiding in the closet like that. Had they done this before? Is there ANY possibility they won't grow up totally warped from their parents' constant run-ins with killers? Question is rhetorical. Poor girls.


On the plus side, Caroline was able to heal Seline's SLASHED THROAT via vampire blood. So this is one guest star who may appear in more than one episode. Congrats! (Anyone wanna place any bets about whether she'll become a vampire soon?)


As for Virginia, Caroline pressed her for answers about WTF was even going on, but before she could answer she chewed off her own tongue and spit it onto the carpet! That's obviously bad manners, but even worse, we still didn't know what the creature was or what Seline had been compelled to do or why. Duh, it was too early in the episodes for answers like that.


Bonnie and Stefan had been teaming up for a while to track down their respective loved ones. But after a summer full of leads that went nowhere, they finally caught a break. Authorities found the body of that one girl Enzo had murdered in the cold open! He'd tied her body to the hood of a car and left other weird little clues on her body, clearly to send Bonnie a signal about where he was hiding out. Eventually Bonnie and Stefan were able to piece together that Damon and Enzo were more than likely hiding out in a local abandoned slaughter house. Which, maybe they should have just automatically looked for abandoned slaughterhouses in the first place? Where else would they be?


Stefan showed up and attempted to talk some sense into Damon (via stabbing), but like I said, Damon had turned off his humanity switch and was NOT interested in turning it back on. Not while Elena was still asleep in her casket.


But once Damon took Bonnie hostage (which was heartbreaking as they are best friends forever), Stefan and Bonnie realized they needed to leave. But I loved Enzo's silent signal to Stefan that he's still on Stefan's side. Something tells me Enzo and Damon will be tussling soon.


I loved this quiet little scene between Bonnie and Stefan in which she told him that until this morning she had no hope of seeing Enzo again, but now she did have hope and it was thanks to Stefan. But Stefan had just lost hope that he'd ever see Damon as a non-dick again. Life certainly has its cruel ironies sometimes.


Another great scene happened when Damon and Enzo captured a local artist who'd been using human blood in his paintings. Clearly he qualified as a "bad" person fit to be consumed, but only after snaring him did Damon let Enzo know that he KNEW he'd been tipping off Bonnie, and he warned him to quit it because it would only jeopardize Bonnie's life. Which meant part of him, deep down, did still have care and concern for his friends. It was a nice moment. Also I just love hearing Damon talk about art like he knows anything about art. Sure, guy. We all know you wore a mullet for part of Season 4.


We were also treated to a flashback to the time Damon and Elena (Nina Dobrev) first met. It was a weird first meeting in that Damon had assumed she was Katherine, but the tortured love was there anyway. I liked this visual reminder that Elena exists, mostly because it makes me even more excited for her appearance later this season. (She IS gonna appear, right? Come on, Dobrev!)


Alaric felt plenty guilty for being absent while a knife-wielding madwoman invaded Caroline's home, so he suggested that he move into her house in order to protect the twins better. She was unsure if that was the best call, but then he encouraged her to move in with Stefan and she took him up on THAT idea. Something about sharing a bed with her hot Italian boyf truly won her over. But the true winner in all this was Alaric, who had just conned his way into a free mortgage. Well done, you brilliant schemer!


So yeah, Caroline and Stefan were now going to cohabitate in the darkest, most hardwood-y mansion east of the Mississipp'. Maybe she'll start replacing all the broken light bulbs?


At this point, Bonnie started piecing together all the clues Enzo had left for her, which involved remembering all the hundreds of times he'd casually mentioned mythological Sirens to her in the past. The monster that had been controlling Enzo was a SIREN.


And in the final scene the boys realized that this siren wasn't just a wet ghoul with crone hands -- it had consumed enough human flesh to realize its final form.


A HOT LADY. Didn't see THAT coming. Just kidding. Still, it was a very Hellraiser moment and I appreciated that. But what kind of villain will she be? And will she continue to be extremely terrifying? Crone fingers-crossed!

"Hello, Brother" was a smart, simple and terrifying start to the season. There's still a lot of ground to cover in the next 15 episodes, but it's a relief to see the writers are still capable of new ideas and well-executed scares. Personally, I'd still rather pull an Elena and sleep through the next 60 years, but if I HAVE TO be awake I'm glad I have this show to keep me entertained.

OK BYE

QUESTIONS

-- What do you think of the Siren so far?

-- Who will escape her clutches first, Enzo or Damon?

-- Will Seline become a vampire babysitter?

-- What familiar face would you like to see return in this final season? Anyone other than "Jeremy" is incorrect.


This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

Comments (49)
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Dec 20, 2016
I'm finally catching up. So glad you're still doing these reviews, Price! I know there's major upheaval going around this site, but it is good to know that you'll be here with us for this final season!

This episode was lots of fun. I totally think Alaric should get with "actress from Warehouse 13" aka Miss Moxey. Not interested in the babysitter. I liked her getting her throat cut.
I'm kind of annoyed with Damon's doom and gloom attitude, though of course he needs to be an ass this final season. . . it's his thing. (Still, the best of Damon was with Bonnie in the 90s, can't top that. . .) Speaking of Bonnie, I'm glad that at least Enzo hasn't flipped his switch and is still on "our" side. I totally dig him and Bonnie together, now.
I would like to see Jeremy, and his neck and arms, perhaps when Elena rises from the grave/magical coma. Also, maybe he will need to chop wood shirtless for some reason?
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Oct 30, 2016
1) I think the Siren is a straight ripoff of Lillith from True Blood.
2) Enzo seems first in line, despite more people pulling for Damon.
3) I don't think she'll be vamped, but I do think she'll be Alaric's endgame.
4) If "everyone's" claim that Steven R. McQueen is leading man material is true, then he better come back and claim Bonnie, then defeat the big bad, now that he no longer resides in Chicago.
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Oct 25, 2016
Yay, Price!! You, your sass and your screencaps are back yay! And guess what so am I, I just couldn't miss a season where Kevin Williamson comes back to sort of fix things out. And after watching this episode, I think it's fair to say, his influence is already felt because man, that episode was better than most of season 7.
The plot was good, every character served a purpose and all of that led up to the grand revelation about who or rather what this new villain was. Well done show, after this mess of a season 7, I didn't think you could pull that off.

The only thing or rather character that bothered me was Damon. He used to be one my favorite characters but now, I just can't. I think I have to thank season 7, season 5 and sometimes season 4 for that!
It's not really the character's fault per se, it's the fact that the show focused on him so much and continued to show us his same destructive patterns that now that he's doing it again, I can't bring myself to care, sorry. The humanity switch SL has been used to the point of exhaustion, so has the Defan's conflict of sorts. Been there, done that, basically.

QUESTIONS
-- What do you think of the Siren so far?
I'm conflicted. On the one hand, I'm all hyped up because I do think the show desperately needed to enrich its lore and stopping with the dead vamps and witches or vitches (I think someone came up with that nickname in regards to the heretics, but I don't remember who, sorry!) thingy, is, in my opinion a good way to do so, on the other hand, I know I have to stay cautious because after the originals, almost every villain appearing turned out to be a letdown.
I can't help being excited though, even if that excitement might be short-lived. Hopefully, she won't ONLY be there to create angst for the shippers but also because she has a bigger agenda.

-- Who will escape her clutches first, Enzo or Damon?
I don't know. I'm hoping Enzo will get away from her sooner but my guess is, it probably will be Damon, because since Elena's departure, he's been this show's special snowflake. Or maybe, because of that he'll be the one who'll be bound to suffer more? That wouldn't be the first time. But whatevs, as long as whatever happens turns out to be good TV, I'll be happy.

-- Will Seline become a vampire babysitter?
Obviously.

-- What familiar face would you like to see return in this final season? Anyone other than "Jeremy" is incorrect.
Sorry to disappoint you Price, but I was never a Jeremy fan. The only acceptable person returning in my book would be Katherine and we all know that's impossible. But since the girl is in hell and the Siren is a demon from hell or whatever, maybe she's heard of our first fashionista villain extraodinaire and we'll hear of her maybe? Yeah I'm dreaming!!!!!
More+
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Oct 25, 2016
4. What familiar face would you like to see return?

I want to see Julian and his biker friends
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Oct 24, 2016
1. What do you think of the Siren so far?
Predictable.

2. Who will escape her clutches first?
Damon. Lack of emotions has to help, not that he lacks them entirely.

3. Will Seline become a vampire babysitter?
No. She will stay human.

4. What familiar face would you like to see return?
Jeremy! Did I get it right?

Here are some other questions: What exactly does Alaric do for the Armory? Is this a paying job? What does the Armory do, anyway? I can't remember, aside from keeping prisoners.

They're all back in Mystic Falls, right? I didn't think the Armory was there, or nearby, but geography means absolutely nothing in TVD. The Armory could be in China and Alaric could still easily commute to and from Virginia every day.




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Oct 30, 2016
I thought The Amory was in TX, but I can see how it could be in VA, if Matt had 1st contact. I assume that Alaric either regained his position at Whitmore or he is operating The Armory as an extension to TMU--lots of research universities have that capability. I once conducted research at an archeological site in Turkey, run by professors at University College London. Georgie et al are most likely grad and undergrad student research assistants.
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Oct 24, 2016
Yay, the screen caps are back!
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TQB
Oct 24, 2016
So is every new character going to be a raven haired, olive-skinned Elena-ringer or what? Seline, horny researcher, and now siren? I dig the siren thing but when they showed me the THIRD dark haired lady from behind my mind immediately went OMG IT TOOK THE FORM OF ELENA TO F WITH DAMON BECAUSE HAHA HE WAS JUST BLUFFING ABOUT THE SWITCH!

Thus, I was letdown.

Glad your back Price but imma gonna need captioned photos next time, amiright?
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TQB
Oct 24, 2016
Photos are back! And they were worth the re-visit!
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Oct 24, 2016
The first thing that needs to be said is, "YAY, Price is back!!!". The next thing that needs to be said, "Hey Price, WTF happened to the captioned stills? Those were awesome!"

As for the show...

- Nice to see Stephan and Caroline finally make a run of it. Those two kids deserve a break
- Bonnie, seriously...Enzo? Ugh! I'm still not buying this coupling
- Enzo, you're still a tool
- When the Syren came of her pool, under all the blood and guts I thought, "Holy crap! Have we got a Black girl on Vampire Diaries that isn't a witch? Talk about progress!". Turns out Nathalie Kelley is Peruvian/Argentinian...close enough? Probably not, but I will add her to the list of almond eyed brunettes that look an awful lot like Nina Dobrev
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Oct 23, 2016
You could make an effort and post this manually at least? Ah, ok, you aim at getting the young girls at tv guide. Fine. Suit yourselves.

I found the episode was good except for the beginning with the repeated story of car assault by two vampires. Look forward to see what this last season has in store.
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Oct 23, 2016
Am I a total loser b/c I want to see Anna again?

I know S1 was mediocre at best, but I actually really liked her. I suppose Jeremy is too old for her now, though.
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TQB
Oct 24, 2016
Anna was (and continues, on The Flash) to be adorable. But now that we've "time hopped," I guess Jer must be, what, 20? Meh, they've asked us to overlook more substantial plot issues. Let's just go with it.
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Oct 23, 2016
"I flipped de switch" he said, I just rewatched Season two where Rose said to Damon "cut the bullshit you know there is no switch right? after a hundred years there is no switch anymore" and he was like "yeah you got me" fucking TVD stories now he can use fog again, watch it he will resurrect his fucking crow from Season 1 and it will be a vampire zombie crow singing siren songs and shitting on Mystic Falls clock tower
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Oct 23, 2016
She didn't actually specify 100 years, she just said when you get old. At the time she was around 500 so she still has at least a couple hundred years on the Salvatore brothers, Of course, if the switch had been flipped, he wouldn't have dreams about Elena, but TVD does use that humanity switch in whatever way they see fit.

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Oct 23, 2016
I think a "Photo Recap" by DEFINITION requires photos. Or is that not a thing anymore!? First, the reviews of the CW superhero shows are disappearing under MYSTERIOUS circumstances and now PRICE has been compromised!! Truly these are the end times!!
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Oct 23, 2016
You can read it on Tvguide.com but the comment sitch on that site is pretty sad. You have to use your facebook name and they never load...Some writers only read comments on Tv Guide, some writers read both, I'm not sure about Price b/c, as you may have noticed, he has not written a review of anything since June.
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Oct 23, 2016
i just started watching this show and its great but cant believe estefan and caroline get together.... come on writers please please please end the series with elena and estefan back together...just how it started....not with damen, back with estefan, damen can find his humanity with caroline.... cant imagine the show would have been the same without them....

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Oct 24, 2016
Can't believe you think like this and still watching - it's been a number of seasons now, right? Not going to happen. I think they only question marks here are who's going to die for good before series end.
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Oct 24, 2016
Yeah I'm watching it because there is other characters to watch, Delena is not the center of universe lel, heretics was fun remember Julian and his biker friends? that was epic, plus Nora and Mary Lou had really cool hips.
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Oct 23, 2016
There will be no Delena for sure, since actors hate each other, bye Delena never liked that shit since season 4 when everything has gone to shit because of it, and because they killed Katherine. Dumb fucking writers, still remember when Julie Plec said "we can kill off anybody and smiled" and show died what a bunch of bad writers, 5 year old can write better than that.
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Oct 24, 2016
what a shame, was looking forward to see the series, but delena?????/ why why why would they do that...sad when the writers screw up the show...then the rating goes down and all goes to hell... should bring elena back to estefan, cant imagine any chemistry between estefan and caroline... and why did they kill all the member of her family???????WTF?????? i hope the make it right now thats the last season...

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Oct 24, 2016
I'm hoping there will be something interesting for Matt Donovan, I mean this guy is like Coral from Walking Dead everybody making jokes about him and he's the only human on dis show who still alive since season 1 and still against vampires. Everytime I see his interview he's like "who's Matt? wtf I'm doing here" lmao even actor is tired of this bs.
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Oct 30, 2016
poor matt, hes such a nice guy, yeah i hope theres something great in store for him, but knowing the direction these writers r going doubt it...

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Oct 23, 2016
What happened to the screencaps ? I saw em 13 hours ago
It must be Siren took Price's mind under control...
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Oct 23, 2016
I can't see any screencaps, but a video with an ad started automaticly playing :(
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Oct 23, 2016
Same here, super annoying.
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Oct 23, 2016
I like seeing Price, but he must really need the money to still be associated with this POS site.
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Oct 23, 2016
what's wrong with dis site?
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Oct 23, 2016
Read about it here.
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Oct 23, 2016
tnx!
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Oct 22, 2016
I LOVE LOVE LOVED this episode, what a fantastic start. Simple and dark that's what I like. I'm so glad they went with something so fresh as a siren it will be interesting to get into the mythology of her I'm sure there's some books in the armory to help with that. Can I just say hello Allison Scagliotti (warehouse 13) I hope she sticks around all season she just brings this effetless cool and sass to any character she plays and it's perfect. So Enzo is growing on me finally but god he's stupid listen to Damon the siren can see your thoughts about who you love if you turn off your humanity it can't see who you love because you have no feelings therefore your loved ones can't get eaten. I do love this carefree but eerily calm Damon let's hope he sticks around for a few episodes just no more putting him up against Bonnie or maybe getting him to hurt Bonnie might just be what snaps him out of it. I can't wait until next week.
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Oct 22, 2016
/sigh the TVGuide thing really kills this place :(




As for the episode, well... Let's see:

1) They keep saying the Siren can look into their minds... Well, why doesn't it? What does it have to lose by it? Why doesn't it keep Enzo in check considering he CLEARLY disobeys it? Heck, he even complain to Damon about how very little self will he has?
2) I love how Alaric just runs the armory now. Because...?
3) The creature is a siren and that's the creature that Bonnie and Enzo talked about? Convenient!
4) They find a lead because a dead body was found? No other murderers or vampires exist in this town? Convenient!
5) Why didn't Caroline compel Seline?
6) So Claudia from Warehouse 13 has to have a bigger role, right?
I'm going on a wild guess, Alaric will be with her by the end of the season (not the babysitter).
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Oct 22, 2016
Glad these are still going..Tv com has been empty of late.
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Oct 22, 2016
Did the screencaps load for you?
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Oct 23, 2016
No! Not on my computer. Although on my tablet they did.
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Oct 22, 2016
Are there screen caps? I don't see any images in the source of the page.


And considering most writers of this site clearly are shortening their articles (probably because TVGuide doesn't pay as much) I just assumed Price had cut them out entirely since he (rightfully) won't put out as much time on equal work with less pay.
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Oct 23, 2016
The screencaps are on the TVGuide page, but evidently didn't survive the port. Symbolic of the quality of this site.
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Oct 23, 2016
Oh wow... Didn't even think to check that.
/sigh
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Oct 22, 2016
Is anyone else having trouble in loading the screencaps?
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Oct 22, 2016
I'm also having trouble. I can't see any screencaps.
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Oct 22, 2016
Stefan showed up and attempted to talk some sense into Damon (via stabbing),

Haha. Glad you are back, Price! And glad TVD is back. Less glad to see the flipped switch return although I suppose it makes sense. Isn't that bloody, naked hot woman Lilith or something from True Blood? We all knew last season the monster would turn out to be great-looking but that's okay.
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Oct 22, 2016
QUESTIONS
-- What do you think of the Siren so far?

She's not vegetarian evil chick I was wondering she would be, but she's hot!
-- Who will escape her clutches first, Enzo or Damon?
that would be Enzo of course Damon seems to have a crush on dat ass
-- Will Seline become a vampire babysitter?
She don't have much time it's TVD's end so no
-- What familiar face would you like to see return in this final season?
I have one question tho where is Little Miss Katherine???!!!




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Oct 23, 2016
Katherine died. She went to hell
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Oct 23, 2016
oh we'll see about that in this season ha ha ha ha ha ha
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