It's Christmas time in Mystic Falls and while Tyler Lockwood is planning is revolution to free the hybrids, he will realize that when you get in Klaus's way, there will be blood.
Though he was supposed to break his sire bond with Elena, things didn't turn out exactly as planned. While Elena is still sired to him, the two of them head over to the Gilbert log cabin to see how Jeremy is managing to control his urges to kill every vampire on sight. Elsewhere, Klaus shows Stefan that he has the hunter's sword and is still determined to find a cure. Unfortunately for Stefan, Tyler is planning on freeing the hybrids and killing Klaus. Stefan isn't willing to lose Elena's last chance at a cure but Tyler and his hybrids stand in the way. Later on when he and Caroline are being held by the hybrids, Professor Shane reveals that he knows the location of the cure. Once in motion, Tyler's plan seems to account for everything except a betrayal by one of his closest allies.
As a mid season finale, O Come, All Ye Faithful had its strengths but those were pushed into the background in favour of the Damon's conflicting feelings in his love for Elena and doing the right thing. This week's episode was the first in several weeks to have a true story and not just a rehash of the previous events. Tyler finally took his role as "alpha" of the hybrids, willing to lead them to freedom in his from Klaus's rule knowing that he would sacrifice himself. The final moments of the hybrids brought Klaus back as a brutal monster capable of killing them all without breaking a sweat or a second thought but his murder of Carol Lockwood erased any good will he previously made.
While the scenes between Elena and Damon weren't the highlight of the episode, the perspective on sire bonds gave some much needed weight. While Tyler and the hybrids see the sire bond to Klaus shackles that prevent them from being free. Elena's bond to Damon is much different since it's rooted in the feelings she already has for Damon. It's her heightened emotions and Damon's love for her that bring his inner conflict. Even though Damon loves her, how can he keep her against her will when she barely remembers how much she loved Stefan?
I wish I could say something about Jeremy's storyline being good but it was just as boring as ever. Besides the attempt to make him look like Ryan Reynolds chopping wood, bringing Jeremy back to the same childish boy he was before is laughable. The anger and rage towards vampires is what made Connor Jordan such a likeable character and taking that away from Jeremy almost puts him at square one. Steven R. McQueen still hasn't shown that can he can handle stronger material and although it seemed powerful when he was honest about his hunter feelings for Elena, I would attribute this more to the dialogue than the delivery.
The worst part of the episode (which I almost forgot) was when Stefan said that none of them were that different from Klaus and that he felt guilty for his part in Tyler's plan. That doesn't even make sense! Was Stefan somehow able to forget how Klaus wanted to keep Elena to himself as a blood donor to make hybrids, or that he compelled Stefan and tried to turn him back into the ripper? What about how Klaus and his family were ultimately the reason that Alaric was killed. This also accounts for Jenna's death and numerous other hybrids being forced into Klaus's control. That moment completely took me out of the show for second because it was that ridiculous.
O Come, All Ye Faithful planted the seeds for what is to come in the second half of the season but didn't bring the excitement that its finales have been known for. Maybe now that Klaus is back to full villain, Rebekah is set to return and Tyler is on the run things may be shaken up for the better when The Vampire Diaries returns January 17th.