While Caroline should be awarded points for trying, her attempt to maintain normalcy in her new world of emotion-free college was shattered by evil Stefan’s age-old mantra “Stop caring about anything for any reason.” Pranks and stabbings ensue until she finally succumbs, more or less to Stefan’s way of thinking and they share in the blood and lust of true vampire freedom. In the worst ways, their relationship has plummeted into a pool of guiltless anarchy and the only solution to returning them back lies in Stefan’s mother, Lily, who may or may not be entirely up for the challenge.
Tonight’s episode “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” brings Damon in touch with his vampire mother in the second dimensional prison, with the help of Bonnie and Kai. Elena accompanies them where in a snowy 1903, they encounter Lily and a group of desicated vampires who apparently taught Lily to manage her bloodlust. The trip has a dual purpose as Bonnie injures and leaves Kai stranded in the prison, left to deal with the desicated group, one of which had been reawakened. Damon’s mother is calm, respectful and appears to have mended her evil ways. There’s a lot to question, but at the same time her attitude toward reuniting with her children versus saving the ones she called family leaves her nature to be rather dubious. She’s grown to take in others as her family and if she finds out Damon has no intention of returning tot he prison, she may be forced to refuse help to Stefan.
I’m also convinced that Stefan won’t be very swayed by Lily’s appearance. His relentless acts in turning Caroline completely against humanity all but succeeded and I don’t see a spark of humanity igniting if Lily’s heart just isn’t in it. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Stefan may move on from Caroline now that he’s won her over to the real dark side. I originally thought the blood and mayhem would be immediate, but Caroline still wants to keep a low profile, and that’s completely alien to Stefan. There’s no telling how the two will react next, but you can rest assured their body count will only increase as time goes on.
In one of the more disimpassioned sub-plots, Enzo comes to realize that without a humane Stefan running around, there’s no game in forcing Sara to play at wanting to become a vampire. Don’t mistake his sentimental attitude toward the end, he’d snatch up the call in a heartbeat if he knew Stefan was capable of suffering again, but as it stands, Enzo’s revealed to Sara her lineage, albeit in name only. Where will that lead this unexciting pair? Not sure. There was never a grand Stefan versus Enzo climax, or at least it’s been delayed for the time being. This wasn’t a catchy part of the plot, and for Enzo’s sake, he better step up his gameplan or he’ll be completely left out in the dust of Noone-cares-about-you-land.
I would expect Kai to become food for the desicated group left behind. Whether he survives or not may depend on his magical abilities and the group’s rationing of the only human left in that world. And unless Damon is forced to return with Lily, there won’t be much reason to venture this story any longer. It will happen and it does raise plenty of open-ended questions about who they are, how powerful are they. Are they in fact good or evil characters and why teach Lily to control her bloodlust?
I’d almost forgotten about Alaric and Jo. She makes a compelling argument to Alaric about staying out of harm’s way until their child moves away, and that’s pretty much it. Alaric got in some random danger when Enzo tried for two seconds to find Stefan and Caroline to capture them. Once interest was lost, Jo nursed his wounds and chastised him for doing what he did. It’s a fair argument and also a way to write Alaric out of the show if need be. I don’t believe the show would do something so cruel as kill Jo, so I imagine the pair will find a way to weave themselves out of the big vampire plots unless the invisible Gemini coven require Jo for some reason.
The episode ends on a similar thread from a while ago. Bonnie found the vampire cure from her prison and returns it to Damon, presumably as a means to cure Elena. Damon predictably voiced his concern that he may not want her to have it and Bonnie shrugs it off as it’s his choice regardless. There’s an easy decision to be made here and that’s Elena won’t become human again. To return her to that state would erase a lot of character development and risk returning her into a fragile state that Damon won’t be able to love forever. No, someone else is going to get it. Damon’s mother perhaps? Certainly not the Salvatore brothers and likely not Enzo. Caroline is a possibility. I think the answers may with whomever can’t be returned to their humanity. The cure would easily solve that dilemma.
The last scene. Nothing about Damon meeting his mother impressed me since they decided she wasn’t going to be stark raving mad and ravenous. At first, the idea of returning the cure plot to the show seemed ill-thought out, but it does have an uncanny ability to keep everyone on their toes with who’s going to get it. Katherine had hers, now it’s time for someone else.
I think I’m giving it to Stefan this time. It’s been a while since he’s shown the evil side and there’s an interesting dynamic to play with now that Caroline’s fallen through that way as well. Stefan finds ways to prove a point whether good or bad as he convinces Caroline to give up the act of staying humane.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
If Caroline can get annoyed/angry with Stefan for ruining her chance at keeping a low profile, shouldn’t it be possible that negative emotions still be a key to finding that spark of humanity? Does it only have to be love and caring that solves the case every time?
With humanity now available to Lily for consumption, will she maintain her strict diet or go full furious ripper again without the aid of her desicated family? Will this prompt Damon to return and save them for the sake of helping his mother?
Now that Bonnie’s played her part and vanquished Kai, for lack of a better word, what are her plans now? She’s not senile and her voicemail to Jeremy really doesn’t hold up now that she seems back to normal. Maybe a road trip is in order, an off screen road trip to her ex-boyfriend and handle matters the way they should be.
I guess it’s a good thing Lily’s vampire tree didn’t lead back to Finn or Kol from The Originals or else she would have never survived. Or maybe being in a dimensional prison negates that as an issue.
Since Kai is stuck in another prison and his life is very much in jeopardy, how will this affect the Gemini Coven as their leader is not on their plane? Does he need to be? Will they survive without him?
6 out of 10. At time, this episode flirted with a few fun moments between Caroline and Stefan. It didn’t capsulate Damon’s reunion with Lily in a way that felt memorable or unique. Her attitude was very run of the mill until she confessed about needing the group to help her. It wasn’t a disappointing episode, but there wasn’t enough to keep me interested the whole way. Enzo’s showing a lack of enthusiasm with his plan making anything he does from here on out likely very bland. The set up at the end adds a new element of intrigue, but like all cliffhangers, they project awesome things to come and not a strong resolution of what actually transpired.
No more words