The Vampire Diaries S07E08 “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on ITV2, Weds 11.45pm
Writer: Bret Matthews
Director: Leslie Libman
Essential plot points:
- This week’s flash forward at the start of the episode shows Damon chained up in the television studio and Lily is the hunter.
- In the present Stefan, Damon and Lily make a plan to win over the Heretics so they can unlink Lily and Julian’s life forces once they have some of Julian’s blood, and then kill him. Damon makes it clear he would rather just stake Julian now and doesn’t care if Lily dies.
- It’s Nora and Mary Louise’s 133rd anniversary, so Julian is throwing a party for them – this is where all of the compelled humans end up as Julian has been collecting them for the occasion.
- While Lily is searching for a present for Nora, Enzo tries to convince her to run away with him. During a very steamy moment they kiss, but Lily refuses to leave her sons and the Heretic family in the mess that she has created.
- Caroline tells Stefan the she is pregnant with Alaric’s babies. It’s awkward and he doesn’t handle it very well. On the upside Valerie seems to be on Caroline’s side now.
- Lily has to act normally around Julian so he doesn’t suspect anything while also trying to win over the Heretics. She has a moment of weakness while Julian is trying to persuade her to let loose and become a ripper again. Damon sees this and is disgusted.
- Valerie tells her story to the rest of the Heretics; they are won over to her and Lily’s side except for Mary Louise who Julian has taken special care to groom. It doesn’t help that Valerie interrupted Mary Louise proposing to Nora.
- Mending fences, Stefan asks Lily for some motherly advice about what to say to Caroline. She tells him to tell her he loves her. She asks for some advice on how to win back Damon in return. He answers “time”.
- Stefan takes Lily’s advice and tells Caroline that he loves her and will stand by her.
- Enzo is captured and taken away by a group of people clad in dark clothes with vervain guns. Possible vampire hunters? This appears to have been set up by Matt.
- Set free by Mary Louise and jealous of Lily’s lingering affection for her sons, Julian ties up Damon and Valerie and tells Lily she must choose between them. One must die. Lily chooses neither and stabs herself. Horrified, Julian tells Lily that he had already unlinked their life forces.
- Having fled to the Salvatore house and smashing up the rooms Julian breaks the news about Lily to Mary Louise.
- On her death bed Lily seeks to reconcile with Damon. Predictably Damon does not play ball and says, “You made your bed, now have a nice nap,” just as Lily takes her last breath.
- Flash forward three years again and Damon tells Lily that he feels regret for what he said. But it turns out that he is hallucinating and it is not Lily who has captured him. The woman says that his mother has been dead for years and that he has been poisoned by werewolf venom.
- This episode certainly keeps you guessing about who the hunter is. It was first revealed to be Lily, which would have made sense a couple of episodes ago when she was one of the likely suspects – if she was still in love with Julian and Stefan killed him, that is. Showing Lily alive three years in the future was a clever move because throughout the episode there is no sense of danger for her so it was a real shock when she died. And now it is back to square one with guessing who the hunter is. Let’s hope it’s worth the wait…
- Valerie once again comes across as a strong character even though she had a smaller part to play in this episode. She recognises that Caroline is in a tough spot and gets Damon out of the way so she can tell Stefan about the babies alone. She also doesn’t taunt Caroline once! She shows great maturity in sharing her deepest, darkest secret with her family for the greater good and forgives Lily for loving the monster that killed her baby. It’s as if sharing her burden has allowed her to cast off a lot of her demons, but it is subtle which is great writing.
- Julian’s jealously was another great thing in this episode. He tries to manipulate Lily into thinking that her sons don’t love her and that she is much better off with the Heretics. He tries to enforce this by making her into a ripper again. When this doesn’t work he makes her choose between killing Valerie or Damon, this makes her pick a side; the Heretics or the Salvatore’s? Though with this he pushes her too far and she tries to kill herself and him, but only succeeds in hilling herself.
- Stefan and Caroline’s relationship is still not convincing. Perhaps one of the issues is the knowledge that they definitely don’t last. Three years from now Caroline is with Alaric and does not even want to hear Stefan’s name.
- Nora and Mary Louise’s relationship is equally unconvincing but for different reasons. They are opposites in everything except being hateful. They are not likeable characters; they’re not even love-to-hate characters. They’re bland and annoying and hard to root for. It was a relief when Valerie interrupted their engagement moment. It’s almost as if the writers think that being a lesbians is a personality trait in itself so they don’t have to bother developing any other sides to their personalities. It seems they split at the end of this episode so hopefully the show can concentrate on them individually; anything is better than what they are doing at the moment.
• Annie Wersching (Lily) is now gone which is sad. She was a really good character and actress. Her being around gave good opportunities to find out more of Stefan and Damon’s upbringing. She will be sorely missed.
• No Bonnie or Alaric in this episode, and barely any Caroline! It seems old favourite characters are cut to give the heretics more screen time. There are definitely too many characters at the moment, and it looks like even more are about to be introduced…
- It didn’t take long for Matt to come back. During the last episode he went off to get help from Tyler and Jeremy but seems to be back maybe a day or two later. He can’t have gone very far. His animosity with Enzo comes to a head when he catches Enzo feeding on a young woman. Soon after this Enzo is captured and another mysterious group is entered into the mix.
- The poem that Lily gives to Nora is “The Nymph’s Reply To The Shepherd” by Sir Walter Raleigh. It was written as a response to a poem by Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd To His Love”. Marlowe’s poem is about a shepherd proposing to his beloved by describing their ideal future together; Raleigh’s reply is bleak as the Nymph does not believe the ideal future to be realistic because time changes and youth withers.
Review by Georgina Tyson