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‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: Rising Kai

Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries is racing toward its series finale at an alarming pace.

And the closer we get to the end, the more questions the show seems to leave us with each week.

“The Lies Are Going to Catch Up with You” picked up where last week left off: Kai Parker’s back in the land of the living.

Or, almost back, as Kai discovered when he attempted to enjoy a meal at the Grill.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

It turned out Kai was trapped between our world and hell thanks to the bell.

Ric rightfully attempted to send him straight back to the fire, but Kai bought himself time when he offered to bring Elena back.

We all knew it wouldn’t be that simple. Kai can’t be trusted. He’s always out solely for himself. But Damon was desperate enough to go along with one crazy plan after the other because he wants Elena back.

Fair enough. Besides, it gave us the opportunity to watch Chris Wood do what he does best: basically, everything. Kai’s insane, but he’s also really into Twitter, and food, and drawing hearts on the window while he annoys Damon.

But, as fun as Kai’s antics were, the best moment came at the end of the episode. When Kai switched from playful to smart sociopath in the blink of an eye as he syphoned Damon to boost his magic.

This is why Kai will always be the best villain. He’s fun and he can be charming, but when push comes to shove, he doesn’t care about anyone other than himself. And that’s why he’s truly dangerous.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

Kai disappeared with Elena’s coffin, leaving a helpless Damon behind.

On the bright side, at least we get more Kai. On the other hand, poor Elena.

She can’t even get a moment of peace in her cursed state.

Bonnie’s not getting much peace either. Heartbroken over Enzo’s death, and unable to figure out why she still feels so connected to him, she turned to Cade for answers.

Obviously that idea had train wreck written all over it, but how can we fault Bonnie for being desperate? She lost everything. Again.

Unfortunately, this part of the story is a little too murky for my tastes. Remember Bonnie’s magic returning, which actually turned out to be not her magic, but a door to hell? Funny story. She somehow created a new world and sent Enzo’s soul there. Cade’s super pissed about it because he thought he was the only one who could do stuff like that.

I don’t understand what’s happening. Bonnie being psychic is a nice throwback to season one, but wasn’t the whole point of that story to lead her into the realization that she’s a witch? So how does she have this super psychic power now? Why doesn’t she have her regular magic? Will we get the answers in three episodes?

Bottom line: I loved seeing Bonnie and Enzo together again. I’m so happy her powers protected him. If he is in another world, she should be able to bring him back, right? Because Bonnie BAMF Bennett deserves her happy ending. Please make it happen, show.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

In the not so happy endings department, Stefan turning human means that everyone he’s ever compelled suddenly remembers what he did to them.

This is another of the show’s rules that makes my head hurt.

I get that the magic disappears with the vampirism, like when magic wasn’t allowed in Mystic Falls after the Travelers. But doesn’t compulsion end when the vampire dies? Like in Season 2 when Katherine was freed from the tomb after Elijah “died”. Stefan’s died a few times so shouldn’t the victims have been freed in season five?

Either way, Dorian realized Stefan killed his family. It happened during his Klaus-induced Ripper spree at the beginning of season three. Dorian wanted revenge so he shot Stefan. Then, he felt guilty about it, and tried to save him. He called Caroline and Matt for backup. They were at the police station where Caroline had been re-compelling the victims.

At one point, Stefan hovered between life and death. Cade arrived to try and entice him into hell. He taunted him with how much he was hurting Caroline and how she would be better off without him. But Stefan wasn’t ready to give up. He wanted to live.

Obviously the right choice, but don’t start cheering yet. Stefan’s still deep in self-loathing mode. Even after watching Caroline profess her love to him as he lay bleeding on the ground, he still told her that he thinks the best choice might be for him to leave town on his own. Needless to say, Caroline did not appreciate that sentiment after everything she’s done for him.

It hurts to watch Stefan and Caroline falling apart—especially when there are only three episodes left after this one. But here’s the thing. They need to think about what’s going to happen. Stefan’s human. Caroline’s not. He’s done a lot of terrible stuff that he’s always going to carry with him. She wants to help him. He wants her to have a better life without him.

Bob Mahoney/The CW

I want to knock their heads together.

That being said, this angst is good for them. If they are ever going to have that June wedding, they need to both commit for the right reasons.

We know they love each other. But they have to figure out what their lives are going to look like going forward. Caroline’s learning that she can’t rationalize every bad thing Stefan’s done.

Now Stefan just needs to learn that the only way to go on is to keep moving forward.

Of course a wedding in limbo is far from Caroline’s only problem at the moment. Ric brings the girls to see her. First, one of them syphons her when she gets mad, and then the other attempts to set her sister on fire as punishment for hurting Mommy. Ric tells Caroline they’ve been acting out for three days, and he doesn’t know what to do.

Could it be a consequence of hell’s bell? Or maybe it’s due to Uncle Kai’s return? Can the mini Gemini coven rescue Enzo? What’s it going to take for Kai to give Elena back?

So many questions and only three episodes left to give us answers.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.