A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×12 (Headless Kai is…not so headless)

tvd-8x12

 

SUMMARY

Now human, Stefan flees after killing Enzo but is later pulled over and arrested under suspicion of murder. Caroline finds him at a precinct and compels the police to release him as they search for the wounded woman Stefan used to switch deeds on the house. Meanwhile, Damon is told by Cade to retrieve Matt’s ancestor’s journal or lose Stefan at midnight. Damon arrives at the armory where Alaric and Dorian help Matt reach into the past through hypnosis and the Donavon necklace that links him to his ancestor. Within that hypnosis, Matt discovers are the sirens were trapped after his ancestor and a Bennett witch helped keep Mystic Falls from being destroyed by the bell that Cade manipulated for his own dark purpose. Damon steals the book and returns it to Cade as Stefan and Caroline save the woman. Bonnie reunites with her estranged mother and discovers she may have a connection to Enzo still, but her mother burns Enzo’s body believing Bonnie was suffering a horrific spell. Later at night, Damon returns to Alaric and shows him in the caves that a dagger forged from Cade’s ashes is what will destroy the devil. Kai suddenly appears relaying a different set of plans. Stefan goes to Bonnie’s house to apologize about Enzo, but is subdued by a hooded figure.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Human Stefan and actually dead Enzo, who would have thought they’d stick with their plan after one episode? This may be a long con considering the finality of the situation, but suffice it to say, tonight’s episode slightly repaired some bridges while keeping the core of loss intact. Bonnie’s grief is overshadowed by a sense that she can still reach Enzo in the afterlife, but right not it’s playing very much on the backend to Stefan’s newfound humanity and Matt’s elevated importance with the key to killing Cade. TVD is properly escalating the sense of dread and continues to throw in key surprises in the name of old villains and heroes, this time from the crazy witch-man himself, headless Kai. We have zero information on his resurgence, but one can fathom it has to do with the afterlife and its ever-shifting temporal mechanics and dimensional weirdness. Not a bad turn out tonight, better than average, but quite less impacting than last week.

 

THE GOOD

If some of Elena’s blood can cure one vampire, imagine what a whole 10 pints could do to the remaining cast. Stefan is the example with how becoming human prior to the ending climax will work for the main cast, a prelude to the idea that everyone should be human by this series end. Their vampire stories have always had tragedy embedded into their hearts and I can’t think of one reason any of them would remain bloodsuckers if each human love had an expiration date. After Cade’s fall and Elena’s rise, we’ll hopefully be seeing everyone make some tough choices and return to that human world with marriage and togetherness intact, leaving the Originals to wrap up the supernatural world with their final season. This fits and there’s no real reason to unfit it.

 

Matt’s ancestral backstory continues to intrigue and enlighten which includes a reveal on how Sybil ended up trapped and Ethan as well. I’m fuzzy on how Seline found her way out, but I’m sure that’s loose thread that isn’t quite as necessary to tie up at the moment after all, Kai is back! The charismatic villain returns but more than likely on the side of good. If anything is to be trusted by next week’s promo, he’ll be a big key into returning Nina back on the show.

 

THE BAD

Bonnie’s situation is still very much a confusing one, and tonight’s key moments with her really didn’t help shed any light with what happened, where Enzo actually is, and what she did when she ignited during the final scene last week. Her mother didn’t help matters by burning his body, but at least we got clarification that Enzo won’t be returning in any physical means. They teased us with Stefan going to her only to be denied by someone tazering Stefan, someone who either knows he’s human or doesn’t and wants him captured anyway. If we’re going with the hooded figure then I can only guess whoever attacked him is related to someone he recently killed. If it’s someone we know from his past, then it better be a good twist on that, otherwise, they’re wasting our time.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Even though it felt kind of rushed, I did like the flashback that solidified past events and brought closure to the creation of the help and its transformation into Cade’s use of it. Most all things have come full circle and this is likely one of the last flashbacks we’re getting on this show ever unless more is to be revealed about Cade or another event that can lead to his demise. At the end of the day, someone should cut a definitive history flashback including all of the Original footage as well. There’s some good stuff in there.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Matt’s going to get it tonight due to his dual performance and his heartfelt moment with Bonnie, who, more than anyone, understands the human aspect of loss and what it’s like to be powerless against it. It’s almost ironic that everyone is crying for Bonnie over her loss but not for Enzo himself who hadn’t really connected with anyone else on the show except Damon back in the day. Still, Matt understands and is trying his best to be there for her even when he’s gone through some crazy scenarios as of late.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Damon’s hand-me-the-literal-answer-to-destroying-Cade was entirely a “gimmie” moment that must have been frustrating to write because he had to have a loophole in knowing how to kill Cade even after the book was destroyed. Because we can’t have Cade still worrying about what can destroy him otherwise he’ll keep sending Damon on the hunt threatening to kill Stefan every day until everyone loses their minds on the show. This will essentially give us a slight reprieve from Cade until he decides to up the stakes and try and destroy Mystic Falls again.

 

There’s no telling where Enzo is, but one can fashion that Bonnie did something similar to Cade and unknowingly created some pocket dimension where Enzo’s spirit resides and perhaps only she has access to it which is why he can speak to her. Otherwise I’m not certain what they’re pulling here since the actual veil was annihilated last I checked.

 

At this point, I’m kind of surprised that Caroline didn’t automatically offer up the solution to become human using Elena’s blood. I can’t imagine the dose Bonnie gave Stefan was the only time it could be done. It’s a good moment for Caroline to face because up until now she’s been pretty satisfied with the idea of staying a vampire until the end of days at this rate. She needs more catharsis outside of missing her mother and returning human should help with that.

 

With Kai returned, will the Gemini twins play any more part to this interesting development? Where Kai goes, witch trouble always follows and Alaric will probably do his best not to mention the twins to Kai, who may or may not have dark agendas of his own. After all, if Cade brought him back to find the dagger, maybe it’s all a ruse and he doesn’t plan on helping them.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Stefan is still human and Enzo is still dead. I honestly expected one of those situations was going to be retconned or rectified, but so far, they’re sticking with these major shockers and I applaud the effort. The episode also held a decent backstory and a small win for Stefan, who was all but in defeatist mode until he and Caroline saved the mother. There’s still a lot of forgiveness to go around, but I doubt any more vampires will be losing their humanity from here on out. Kai’s reappearance is likely a result of Damon’s question to Cade about anyone earning their way out from hell, but the cameos keep coming and with it, more opportunities to fill the remaining season with some awesome moments. Keep them coming and thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

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