Nobody knows how to break our hearts quite like Caroline Forbes. She's the glue that holds The Vampire Diaries together. But this week's holiday episode ("The Next Time I Hurt Somebody, It Could Be You") shows us a side of our favorite Vampire Barbie that we don't often see: a Caroline who gives zero fucks. Forget about the uptight blonde you thought you knew; Caroline can no longer be bothered to care.
With their June wedding effectively postponed thanks to Stefan's deal with the literal devil, Stefan and Caroline's future is pretty bleak right now. But at least they have 24 hours together before Stefan starts his new job as Cade's eternal lackey, right? Not quite. "In the world of Mystic Falls, even if you have the perfect plan, life doesn't really allow for that," actress Candice King told MTV News ahead of the episode, which airs Friday (December 9) on The CW.
Despite Stefan's best intentions to make their last 24 hours together special with an intimate Christmas dinner among friends, party crashers Damon and Sybil totally kill their vibe. While the unexpected arrival of two of her least favorite people would have sent the old Caroline into a rage spiral, this new, zero-fucks-giving Caroline just opens a bottle of wine and lets the hits keep coming.
"Usually, she's very focused," King said. "She's taking everything very seriously. She's either very strong, or she's vulnerable. This time she's kind of just over it. She's saying, 'Screw it!' She's going with the flow of the craziness of the evening, as opposed to trying to control it. Instead of Caroline trying to fix everything, at this point she's like, 'Well, it can't get any worse.' And she doesn't really fight it."
The episode also gives Caroline a chance to spend time with her daughters, Lizzie and Josie, before Alaric follows through on Caroline's plea to take the twins far away from the chaos of Mystic Falls. According to King, Alaric and Caroline's heartbreaking deal is still very much on the table, which means Caroline isn't only losing Stefan; she's losing her girls too.
"Caroline's at a point where she just wants what's best for the girls," King said. She wants them to be safe, and with the threat of Cade looming around, she doesn't want to risk their lives again. That was a really big moment for Caroline, and that's a really big part of parenthood, the self-sacrifice for your kids and doing what's best for them."
Cade's looming presence over Season 8 not only derailed Steroline's June wedding; it also has everyone else on edge. It's not that Caroline is giving up on Stefan by letting him go serve Cade for all eternity — there's a part of her that will never truly give up on him — it's that she has no idea how to stop him.
"This is a whole other level," King said. "She has no idea how to help Stefan. Cade is not just another bad guy. How do you help when it's the devil?"