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The Vampire Diaries - The Lies Are Going to Catch Up with You - Review

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I find I must refer to this episode as a bit of a mixed bag.  On the one hand, we had Kai, which automatically elevated the entire endeavor as much as we expected.  He's a one-man hurricane of hilarity, darkness, and plot twistery that reminds one how fantastic the show can be when the plot is driven by a really effective villain.  And I also loved everything with Bonnie in this episode: she started to discover newly redeveloped psychic powers so intense that even Cade was surprised and confused by her abilities at first.  We got to see Enzo again and learned that he isn't suffering in Hell: that was a major relief.  So, A+ to all of that, and to Damon and Kai's antagonistic teamwork!

As for the section of the episode actually referred to by the episode title?  Meh.  The analysis of Stefan's ability, or lack thereof, to find redemption really didn't ring my bell, so to  speak.  Let's review and discuss, shall we?

Stefan the former ripper and the domino effect.  Once Stefan turned human, everyone he compelled remembered him and the awful deeds he did in their presence.  He's upended families galore, including that of Dorian, the so-so supporting character of Season 8 whose every long, generous scene makes me quite resentful that we lost Georgie so early on when she was by far the more intriguing intern.  It seems that years back, while on his Ripper nostalgia tour with Klaus, Stefan killed Dorian's family, burned the house down, and compelled Dorian to forget.  

Now that he remembered, Dorian took Stefan to a secluded woodsy spot to dig his own grave, planning to avenge himself on the ex-vamp who had murdered his loved ones.  Stefan understood Dorian's feelings and made little attempt to argue except for some good, firm doses of common sense that the intern was not hearing...until he actually did shoot Stefan (not fatally).  Faced with the reality of having a death on his hands (and so soon after Stefan reminded him what happens to those who kill...Cade gets their souls), Dorian leaped into that open grave to save Stefan.  

Meanwhile, throughout the episode, Caroline and Matt had been working on covering up all of Stefan's crimes that had been newly uncovered.  One by one, they had to manipulate, trick, and re-compel (thank you, Caroline) all of the witnesses to Stefan's crimes.  While no one appreciates Matt's constant whining about how vampires have ruined Mystic Falls, seeing the aftereffects that just one vampire can have on a community was enough to put Caroline in a bad mood (though I did appreciate that she also called Matt out for his accusation to her last week about being "part of the darkness that's ruining" the town).  

Alerted by Dorian to Stefan's predicament, Caroline and a slower Matt rushed to help, but Cade was there to speak to Stefan's soul as it lingered in temporary limbo between life and death.  Why bother continuing to live, striving for an impossible redemption?, Cade asked Stefan.  Death would be so much easier, and would release Caroline from an also-impossible human/vampire love, reasoned the extremely annoying and smug devil.  But Stefan needed to keep living.  He wasn't ready to let go.  That is why the following scene with Caroline bugged me.

If Stefan is so determined to live and find redemption with the time he has, throwing aside his relationship with Caroline yet a-freaking-gain seems pretty foolish.  He owes a lot to Caroline, who has stood by him through so much.  But instead, we get another Steroline break-up scene?  I'm with Caroline on this one: it's all too simplistic, dismissive, reductive, and disappointing.  The focus on Stefan's redemption overall just didn't have the complexity to it that I expected and hoped for.  There's still time for the show to tackle this deep and important theme much more effectively, and I do anticipate that being highly likely in the episodes we have left.  But, aside from Stefan's grim and chilling admission to Dorian that he always remembers his victims' names, nothing about this part of the episode held my interest all that much.
"CobraKai1972 just started tweeting again."  Okay, let's flip the coin and talk about the amazing, awesome, and otherwise unstoppable half of the hour: Kai is back!  Well, it seems that when Matt rang the bell a while back, Kai managed to slip out of Hell and end up as a semi-spirit in the world of the living.  He can still siphon, but he's weak overall.  Also, he can't taste food, still loves social media, isn't too sure how to get out of a car, and he's got a plan, ladies and gentlemen!  What a delight to see Kai's sparkling charisma back on TVD.  His scenes with Alaric and Damon were terrific, with Kai exhibiting the merest, faked regret for his horrific crimes.  Kai had a plan all teed up for Damon to help him return fully to life, and in exchange, for him to bring Elena back.  Ric demanded that Damon find a way to use Kai for all he's worth, but do it far away from poor Lizzie and Josie.  I could have done with more Dalaric in this episode after that promising end scene last week, by the way!

"Did it sound like she missed me?" Kai asked (making us all long for a BonKai reunion!) as Damon put in a call to Bonnie to see if she had any ideas about returning a soul in limbo to life.  In the middle of exploring her psychic abilities and trying to communicate with Enzo, an irritated Bonnie quickly realized that Kai was back and became even more irritated.  

Side note: I'm missing that Bamon feeling after that beautiful letter reading scene we got a couple of episodes ago.  I hope they have more positive interactions soon, even though their quippy arguments are fun, too.

Working together, all Damon and Kai could figure was that feeding on evil souls would help fuel the latter to stay kinda-alive for now and do the spell to bring Elena back.  But even though Damon broke his code of not killing to help Kai feed, there was no way Kai was going to actually keep his promise.  Instead, Kai drained Damon's magical energy and stole Elena's coffin, disappearing!  Eep!  

I like that this cliffhanger implies we'll see more of Kai.  Even if, like the somewhat repetitive Stefan part of the hour, it returned to an idea we've seen before in Season 8 (Damon seemingly "dying," desiccating, etc.), the Kai segment was simply too much snappy fun for me to care.
Bonnie v.s. Cade: the prologue.  At least, I hope that's what this was, because if there's one character I'd most like to see take down Cade, it's Bon Bon!  Pretending to suddenly care about helping Bonnie tap into her abilities, Cade attempted to fool her into revealing Enzo's location.  Fabulously, it seems that when Bonnie's powers ignited at the moment of Enzo's death, she created a new Hell World just for him, where he's been safely hanging out ever since.  That is so great and a welcome unexpected twist!  Warned by Enzo, in another richly romantic Bonenzo scene, of Cade's plan to find him and send him to Hell, Bonnie returned with no intention of allowing any such thing.  Cade thinks he's so big and bad and scary, but I don't think he has a chance against Bonnie Bennett!

Elsewhere in the episode, we learned that Josie and Lizzie's magical abilities are intensifying and manifesting in ways neither Ric nor the girls can control.  I'm glad Caroline reunited with her daughters, and it will be interesting to see what role the twins' powers may play in the episodes to come.  I also really like that the two little girls are portrayed acting as children actually do: adorable, but occasionally irritable and impatient, unlike the constantly angelic child characters so often seen on t.v.

What did you think of this episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to catch an all-new The Vampire Diaries, Friday at 8/7c on the CW!

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries for Spoiler TV. Fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and romance are her favorite genres, especially when they collide! Some of her favorite current shows aside from TVD include The Originals, The 100, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, Blindspot, Quantico, Doctor Who, Killjoys, and Dark Matter.

You can find her blog, a night to remember, at and her Twitter handle is @VMaeFontana
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