A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×14 (That was a lot of 90’s references)

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SUMMARY

After Kai bargains his freedom from Cade using Elena, Cade sends Damon to retrieve the dagger from Kai. With Stefan’s help, they stop Kai but when Stefan reveals his plan to use the dagger on Cade, Damon intervenes to protect Elena. Meanwhile, Kai is held at the armory but his siphon power allows him to escape as he subdues Caroline and hunts for the Gemini twins. Stefan knocks out Damon and confronts Cade alone while Alaric uses the bell to incapacitate Cade. It almost works until Alaric is called back to the armory to stop Kai. Damon arrives and Cade forces him to choose between saving Stefan and Elena whose coffin is on fire. Damon chooses himself as Cade makes him stake himself. Afterward, Cade meets Damon in the afterlife but is found by Bonnie who attempts to stop Cade with her psychic powers. She struggles until Stefan successfully stabs Cade with the dagger, ending his immortal existence. Alaric and Kai fight in the caves until Caroline recovers and stops Kai. Damon later convinces Stefan to stay and atone with those he loves which causes Stefan to return to Caroline and propose to which she accepts. Kai is later seen in a new dimension created by Bonnie for his eternal torment. Before she leaves Kai informs her that he lost a bet in believing he’d be the next ruler of hell after Cade when in fact the new ruler is Katherine. Bonnie tells Damon and the two realize the vengeance they’re in for when she finds them.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I had been holding out hope that Katherine would make one final appearance ever since the scene when Georgie was pulled into hell occurred. The situation was too eerily similar and called for the theory outright. Now we know for sure that Nina will be once more both Katherine and Elena in the final episodes of TVD. As far as the climactic finale with Cade and Damon’s sacrifice, it was an awesome convergence of moments mostly there for Damon’s most prolific act as a sacrificial hero. Stefan got to deliver the killing blow to Cade and also swear featly to the great Caroline…er, I mean propose to the woman he loves. Our wedding episode is finally on the horizon and the promise of greater evil to arrive. All in all, it was not too shabby of an episode which included a few zingers from Kai and a new torturous hell for him and him alone.

 

THE GOOD

Damon’s reached the pinnacle of his character, he might have a few more drops of solace before he and Elena are reunited, but for now, I’d say he’s hit the peak of his development. When he’s the one passing the wisdom of atonement to Stefan, you know the world has gone crazy, but in the grand scheme of vampire experience, he’s right in every detail. If anyone believed for a second that Damon was going to be permanently killed this close to the finale, then they were tricked, because it wasn’t going to happen. I will say that his majestic reappearance was completely ridiculous, but this show can seriously do what it wants as there are only two episodes left. His body was staked, it shouldn’t have been healed regardless of Damon’s soul getting thrown back into it.

 

Kai embellished the nature of his evil and for that, he gives all his scenes more flavor than what we’re used to seeing and that really pompous villains with sarcastic quips. At least Kai is referential and amusing to a fault. His original death was sudden but adequate; however this new ending for him is much grander and returns him back to the mental anguish he had been condemned with since his first appearance. The scope of this punishment is much more deserving even though he thought he’d have the last laugh.

 

THE BAD

Cade should have thought forward enough to bring hell on earth. But that would have been too expensive and so the closest we got was the potential annihilation of Mystic Falls by way of 11 bell chimes. There should have been more with this wicked villain, but there wasn’t. He was nothing more than a very personalized bad guy who was more concerned about the solitary punishment he wanted to give rather than the global one. I promise had the situation called for a moment of Armageddon, Katherine could still make an impression through that fiery drama. Aw well. Cade served what little purpose he had in putting Stefan back on the right course. Now nobody is afraid of hell.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

There was a few that stood out, but you can’t deny the chilling atmosphere brought on by Damon’s calling of Katherine’s name as Bonnie peppered the act with her own warning on the subject. You couldn’t have asked for a more captivating segment, the kind fans need to really feed into that delicious moment when the most devious vampire makes her return to rattle the Salvatore’s one last time. Now we can theorize that Katherine will kill Caroline by the end. Unless this show wants all the happy endings.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Damon absolutely deserves it. In choosing himself, he relents on that happiness and confronts hell face forward, something he had been dreading the entire season. This culminated into act of staking himself, something we probably never thought we’d see. And he didn’t really think twice on the matter. Using a piece of Elena’s coffin has some poetry in it, but suffice it to say, he put his best vampire foot forward and stuck it where it counted instead of using some clever loophole or trick to stop Cade. Hat’s off to the man for staying true.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Those 90’s references include the following:

  • Kai sung the instrumental version of Guns N Roses “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” which was from the album “Use your Illusion II,” produced in 1991.
  • Kai said to Caroline “Hello Clarice” a reference to Hannibal’s line to Clarice Starling in the film “Silence of the Lambs” also in 1991.
  • Cade tells Stefan to “Go to hell” in which Stefan replies “You first”. Now this is a rather cliché line, but more importantly it’s the same lines used in the film “Lethal Weapon 3” when Riggs confronts and kills Travis in the finale. This film was released in 1992.
  • And finally…Kai’s song of choice in hell was “Two Princes” from “The Spin Doctors” off the album “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” which debuted in 1991.

If the bell had the ability to disrupt Cade, why didn’t he have someone dismantle it? Did he forget that it was still around after it brought him back? And come to think of it, why did it have any affect on him at all? Maybe this is why he never had it rung 12 times again by Matt or his father. Seems oddly convenient it could hurt him at all.

 

Alaric knows now that the armor needs to be emptied before of all that magical stuff before it becomes a school, right? Who technically owns that property now that everyone in that family was killed off?

 

I do hope they give enough of an explanation for Katherine’s return that she has both motivation and ability to wreck shop when she returns. Not that I would ever complain to have Katherine back I just think it could be a weak argument that she just happens to be “next in line” after Cade’s fall that would make it feasible for her to rule hell after his death.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Cade’s story is done and now we have a few more dimensions which includes one that Enzo is currently stuck in. If the romance fits, Bonnie will end there with him when she eventually passes which brings anyone’s guess as to how Elena will be brought back outside of that specific condition. Things could get very murky in the finale notwithstanding Katherine’s revenge which we’re all just happily waiting for. Tonight’s episode was a gift for Damon to face his fears and make choices that put him as one of the truer heroes on the show regardless of his historic and violent past. The Salvatore’s deserve peace in their own rights and soon they’ll either achieve it or die in the attempt. Now that Damon’s already done that, we’re ready to see if Stefan will follow, or live happily in matrimony with Caroline, who is absolutely ready to marry that guy. I expect a lot of subplot wrap-ups next week and plenty of good byes. Who knows, maybe we’ll get an extra cameo or two, and for the sheer will of it, I’m hoping Lexi is one of them. Thanks for reading. Two more to go.

 

 

No more words

 

 

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