The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 13 – TV Review
I don’t care if he is futile and largely sidelined. Kai is the breath of fresh, mischievous air that TVD has been in dire need of ever since his death.
Even the season with the lesbian vampires wasn’t any fun. What the fuck was up with that?
Thank god our king/queen is back.
TL;DR Kai and Damon strike a deal that puts Elena’s revival on the table, but it doesn’t go to plan; Stefan is almost murdered by Other Intern because of reasons; Caroline and Stefan finally fail to overcome his bloated martyrdom; Bonnie finds out that, like Cade, her trauma also created a psychic dimension.
If it turns out to be a Heaven equivalent, I’ll vomit.
So we’ll start with Kai, because duh. He originally proposes to help Damon and Alaric kill Cade in exchange for making his return to life permanent (he’s actually kind of only half there and half still in Hell or something). Alaric gives that a hard pass, but Damon takes it up when Kai offers to sweeten the pot and undo Elena’s Sleeping Beauty spell. Damon petitions Bonnie, who is planning to meet with Cade for answers on how to save Enzo’s soul, for aid, but she, like Alaric, isn’t so thrilled about bringing Kai back to life. So Damon tries tricking Kai into reviving Elena as a bid to earn his forgiveness and absolve his way out of Hell. But Kai’s too slick for that, and fucks Damon off, stealing Elena on the way. Like a fucking queen. Meanwhile, Bonnie’s meeting with Cade reveals that her moment of trauma didn’t bring her magic back, but it did create a new psychic dimension for dead souls, and Enzo is currently its only resident. Cade wants dat soul doe, but Bonnie vows not to let him steal her man. Meanwhile, Stefan’s kidnapper turns out to be Other Intern, whose family was murdered by Stefan during his Season 3 road trip of carnage with Klaus, and now Stefan’s human his compulsion has worn off. Other Intern does shoot Stefan, but wusses out from letting him actually die. Meanwhile, Matt and Caroline work to fend off other people who are reporting crimes committed by Stefan now that their compulsions are evaporating. This is the straw to break the camel’s back of their relationship, as Stefan self-flagellates about not wanting her to have to keep enduring the sins of his past, while she has also realised, with Stefan now human, that she can’t see a future for them, anymore. Oh, and Alaric’s twins are struggling to control their magic following the ringing of the Hell Bell.
Just put them down, Alaric. It would be better for everyone.
So yeah, it’s a little bit tragic that Kai’s triumphant return is reduced to a buddy routine with Damon. But goddamn, for a moment, it was like the grim trudge of the past season and a half didn’t happen.
And, joyously, it looks like Kai will be sticking around for at least one more episode. So there’s still a chance for him to antagonise Bonnie.
Everything’s coming up Kai!
Why I hate this episode:
Sadly, it appears Kai’s half-escape from Hell was an outlier, as no other souls come roaming. Which means my hopes for Katherine have been put back on ice. Seriously, TVD. I can’t handle the stress of not knowing.
And I feel like I haven’t complained about it for a while, so I’ll bring it up again: all this Hell talk is tedious. The knowledge of Hell only came about this season, but now it’s all anyone can talk about. I don’t remember the Other Side being such a continual topic of conversation. And sure, the Other Side wasn’t a torture mill. But it was an eternity of isolation (and witch oppression, if the spirits didn’t like you). I suspect the concern with the afterlife is supposed to be some hokey thematic tie-in for this, the final season. But Jesus Christ, shut up about it, people.
I wasn’t kidding about vomiting if Bonnie’s version of a psychic dimension becomes a Heaven stand-in. Because that would make Bonnie literally God. And Bonnie’s done such a good job of working her way out of being a deus ex machina magic nuke. Don’t do this to her, now. Religious allegories didn’t do Battlestar Galactica’s final season any favours.
I respect Caroline’s reassessment of her relationship with Stefan, but her reasoning is flawed. So she won’t be able to stand a mortal Stefan’s relentless martyrdom haunting her, but she was apparently down with an immortal Stefan’s martyrdom harping on her for all eternity? Huh?
The twins came back. No, thank you.
Other Intern’s big secret was disappointing. Although, the callback to the rampage with Klaus was cute.
Oh, and speaking of Klaus, Cade is falling into similar villain pitfalls that Klaus did in his TVD days. Namely, he cares way too much about these characters. Why does Cade give a shit if he gets Enzo’s, or Stefan’s, souls for Hell? There are billions of people on this planet, dude. Someone just as horrible will die soon enough. Get over it. At least Klaus had some personal history with Stefan, which is perhaps why he never took my advice to murder everyone but Elena and just leave. But Cade doesn’t know these people. Just set them on fire and fuck off.
But it’s not all bad:
Again, nice callback to Stefan and Klaus’ time together in Season 3. I’m losing hope that the Originals will be turning up this season, given that their own show is still (for the moment) still on, so it was cool for that little continuity nod.
But I still refuse to give up hope for Katherine. This show owes her way too much to leave her out, particularly when Nina will already be on set and filming. We deserve this. TVD deserves this. Katherine deserves this. If Gossip Girl can rope fucking Taylor Momsen back in for its finale, TVD can certainly give us a last hurrah from Katherine.
But, much like in Season 6, Kai is a fair replacement for her. Yes, he’s stranded in C Plot territory with Damon, but every moment is divine. He is still the wild ball of irreverent humour, viciousness, and inner self-loathing that singlehandedly saved Season 6. Would it be too much to ask for Kai to shunt Cade aside and ascend to Big Bad status at the last minute? With Katherine on his arm? No?
Kai, obviously, gets the episode’s best line in his first scene, with an epic, walked-right-into-it setup from Alaric:
Alaric: “You murdered my wife!”
Kai: “Fiancè. It was mid-ceremony.”
And the cloak-and-steal of Elena’s coffin was the best way the episode could have ended. See, Damon? Your love for Elena has only ever made you an incompetent failure. Let her go.
I’ll commend TVD for using Stefan’s lapsing compulsions as a plot point. Sure, Caroline and Matt cleaned that shit up quick, but it was a cheeky little ride while it lasted.
Caroline also makes Matt suck her dick for running to her for vampire help after he had his recent whinge about vampires being oh so terrible.
If Bonnie can’t have her magic back, I suppose being a psychic who can create alternate dimensions and intrigue the Devil will have to do.
Oh, and for the second episode in a row, Stefan is stricken through the gut and barely survives. I don’t think the poor dear is going to live out the season at this rate.