the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 7.8, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me: The Nuclear Option

Three years from now: Damon has been chained to a chair at Caroline’s news station by a woman who says she’d hoped someone else would step into her trap. She steps closer and he can see that she’s Lily.

Present: Lily tries to act like everything’s normal with Julian while Damon, Stefan, and Enzo plot his death. They need to make sure he doesn’t find out that Lily has turned on him. Enzo doesn’t like the idea of Lily being their inside woman, and Damon doesn’t think Stefan’s plan is great, but it’s what they’re going with. They need to get some of Julian’s blood so a Heretic can use it to unlink him from Lily, allowing them to kill him without hurting her. Enzo’s skeptical that they’ll be able to get a Heretic to work with them.

While Julian, Nora, Mary Louise, and Beau have a great morning, cooking breakfast together, Enzo tells Damon and Stefan that Julian and the Heretics have a father/child relationship, so they’ll never turn on him. Damon suggests that they just go for the classic stake-to-the-heart method. Stefan says they’ll have to use “the nuclear option.” That involves Valerie winning the Heretics over to Team Salvatore by telling them the truth.

The Heretics remind Lily that today is Nora and Mary Louise’s 133rd anniversary. What’s the traditional present for that? The bones of a former president? Blood from a celebrity? Maybe just a trip to Hawaii. Lily seems to have forgotten, but Julian covers for her, saying she wants to throw them a party. Nora and Mary Louise tease that she won’t plan anything they’ll be interested in. Julian promises that the couple is in for a surprise. Lily agrees, thinking about another surprise she has in store.

Dear Elena, Caroline is pregnant and she’s writing about it in a journal entry to you before telling Stefan or the gang. She isn’t sure how she feels yet – she’s happy for Alaric but doesn’t know what it means for her. Matt calls to tell her that all the people they found compelled in Mystic Falls have disappeared. He invites her to come investigate with him, but she says she can’t. She announces that Valerie was right and she’s pregnant. She’s going to give Stefan the news today.

Enzo finds Lily in a bookstore, where he claims he’s come to get a book to help him get over the feelings he’s developed for someone with terrible taste. She’s looking for a book of poetry that includes a poem Nora used to read Mary Louise when they were in the prison world. Enzo recognizes it as “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” by Sir Walter Raleigh. He finds a book of Raleigh’s poetry but wonders if it’ll be enough to get the Heretics to side with Lily over Julian.

She says she doesn’t have a choice. Enzo disagrees – she can run away with him and let Damon and Stefan handle the plan. Lily won’t go, since she’s the reason they’re in this situation. He asks her again to come with him, and though she still says she can’t, she implies that she would if she could. They kiss and it’s weird. Then he wishes her good luck and leaves.

Julian takes Nora and Mary Louise to a surprise anniversary party at an empty mansion (maybe an inn?). The question of where all the compelled people in Mystic Falls went gets answered – they’re all guests. Julian says he’s been “collecting” them just for this. He tries to talk Nora and Mary Louise into feeding on them, even though Lily wouldn’t want them to. She arrives just as Julian bites into a guest. He tells her to enjoy herself, making himself look like the fun parent to Lily’s disciplinarian figure. Lily gives in and says they can feed on humans because it’s a special occasion.

As Stefan, Damon, and Valerie are about to head over to crash the party, Caroline shows up at Lockwood Landing to give Stefan her big news. Valerie senses that Caroline needs some time alone with him and gets Damon to leave with her. After Caroline tells Stefan about her pregnancy (off-screen), he doesn’t know what to say. He also doesn’t have time to figure it out right now. Caroline understands but is also taken aback by his lack of reaction to her huge announcement.

Mary Louise pulls Julian away from the party to show him the engagement ring she got for Nora. Julian is sure she’ll say yes, since she’s wanted to marry Mary Louise for 130+ years. However, he doesn’t think the ring is to Nora’s liking. Mary Louise complains that Lily won’t let them leave Mystic Falls; all she could find was something she calls “coal-miner chic.” Julian gives her a ring he’s wearing on his pinkie, which he claims belonged to a French princess. (She was beheaded, but it’s not clear if he did the beheading. It’s Julian, so…probably.) Mary Louise says it’s perfect.

Meanwhile, Lily gives Nora the book of poems so she can always remember the time they spent together as a family. Julian interrupts and asks Lily to dance with him back at the party. Beau looks wistful as an opera piece comes on. It’s one he used to sing, before he lost his ability to speak. Julian says that after all they’ve gone through as a family, they’re finally all together. Well, except for Malcolm. And Oscar. And Valerie. But other than that, everything’s great!

Julian notes that Lily hasn’t had any refreshments, at least not the human variety. She says she’s fine with blood bags. He thinks she’s afraid of really rejoining the family. She’s holding on to the hope that her sons will love her again and they’ll all be one big, happy family. That’s causing friction with the Heretics. Lily has all the love she needs with them – she just needs to accept it. A compelled human approaches as Julian urges Lily to let go and be the woman he fought through Hell to get home to. Eager to keep up appearances, Lily takes a bite.

Damon enters just then, walking right back out when he sees her feeding. She follows him outside and tells him she had to play along to make the Heretics think she was still with them. “Sounds like something straight out of Rippers Anonymous,” he snarks. He tells her the plan is on hold. Lily insists that they proceed, sure that Valerie will get through to the Heretics. She can’t bear spending another moment with Julian. Damon agrees, but if Lily’s still linked to Julian when they kill him, he won’t care. Lily’s like, “Yeah, I got that when you tried to kill him yesterday.”

Damon tells her he won’t apologize for that. He’s only there because Stefan is a Mama’s boy and Damon doesn’t want to be on the outs with him. Lily slaps him and asks how he can be so dismissive about her life. “Because you’re already dead to me, Lily,” he replies. He got over her “death” when he was 17. If he could do this all over again, he would leave her in the prison world so he’d never have to see her face again.

Nora and Mary Louise meet up on a pier overlooking some water, and Nora reads part of the poem she loves. Mary Louise cuts her off by pulling out the engagement ring. She says 133 years together isn’t enough – she wants them to spend eternity together. Nora happily accepts her proposal.

Valerie approaches, and Mary Louise isn’t happy to have the happiest moment of her life interrupted. Valerie says they need to talk about the worse moment of her life. At the Grill, Matt catches Enzo drowning his Lily-related sorrows – not by drinking but by feeding on someone. Well, he’s also had a few drinks. He taunts that Matt isn’t good at saving lives, and Matt taunts back that no one wants Enzo, including Damon and Lily. Why is he still in town?

Enzo has the same question for Matt. The Heretics are throwing a “murder party” but Matt has only been able to stop Enzo from drinking. “You’ve brought a knife to a gun fight, and it’s gonna be the death of you,” Enzo says. He goes out back to an alley, where he’s soon hit by vervain darts, courtesy of a roof sniper. An armored truck pulls up and some guys with weapons load him inside.

Valerie has gathered Nora, Mary Louise, and Beau in a greenhouse so she and Lily can talk to them. Meanwhile, Stefan and Damon corner Julian in the mansion. Valerie tells the Heretics about her pregnancy and what Julian did to her. She clarifies that he acted manipulatively, not on a whim. Mary Louise asks what Julian would have gained from that. Lily says it was her – she wouldn’t have gone to Europe with him if she’d known that Valerie was pregnant with her grandchild.

Valerie continues that she killed herself and became the first Heretic. Julian saw her power and wanted more like her. The Heretics are his army, not his family. Nora asks Lily for confirmation, and Lily says she believes Valerie. When she heard the story the first time, “it was as if all the lights in the room went on.” She was finally able to see Julian for who he really is. She’s leaving him, but she needs the Heretics’ help.

Valerie asks who they believe. Nora and Mary Louise both look at Beau to see what he thinks. He steps up to Valerie, first looking furious, then sad. He embraces her and she cries with relief that he’s on her side. Nora follows, but Mary Louise hasn’t made up her mind yet. Nora reminds her that they’re family and need to stick together. Mary Louise tentatively joins them on Valerie’s side.

Lily texts Stefan, then sits down and asks Beau to give her his hand. Valerie explains that she’s bracing herself. Stefan nods at Damon, who’s playing darts. He spins and throws a dart into Julian’s neck. Lily feels the strike and waits for things to get worse. Julian tackles Damon, about to put a dart through his eye, but Stefan stakes him through the stomach with something wooden. While he’s out, the brothers tie him up.

Stefan takes some of Julian’s blood to Lily and tells her that Caroline’s pregnant. “Do I even want to know how this happened?” Lily asks. Heh. Stefan keeps the explanation short, just saying it involves the Geminis and twins (not his). She guesses that he’s overwhelmed. He doesn’t like how he handled the announcement and asks if Lily has any advice. She says he should tell Caroline that he loves her. He needs to remember what she must be going through. And he should be prepared for her to one day sacrifice everything for the twins.

Lily acknowledges that she’s not the right person to give relationship advice – she chose Julian, after all. Stefan points out that once he’s dead, she can start over without him. Lily thinks it’s too late. She’s already lost too much. “You haven’t lost me,” he assures her. He thinks maybe the “willingness to forgive the unforgivable” is in his genes. Lily laments that Damon didn’t get those genes.

Stefan points out that Lily was the first woman to break Damon’s heart. He put up a wall after that but he can take it down. She disagrees, saying she saw in his eyes that he wishes she were dead. Stefan replies that he’s seen that same look – Damon’s been practicing it on him for 150 years. Lily asks for advice on how to get him back. Stefan just says it’ll take time.

Damon plays pinball while Julian questions why he’s helping Lily, the woman who came up with the idea to keep Elena from him for decades. Valerie comes in and says that Julian’s trying to provoke Damon to kill him now so he’ll have to spend eternity as a guy who killed his own mother. Julian comments that Valerie’s smart, and her baby probably would have been, too. She spits on him and tells him to rot in Hell.

Mary Louise joins the group and asks how she can be sure that Valerie was pregnant with Stefan’s child. She lied to Lily about her fling with Stefan and kept the truth about Oscar’s death from the group, so why should Mary Louise believe her now? “Let the adults handle this,” Damon tells her. She knocks him out with a magic migraine and snaps Valerie’s neck. A thrilled Julian says she’s always been his favorite.

Stefan calls Caroline and apologizes for bailing on their conversation earlier. She gets that there isn’t really a right thing to say when you find out your girlfriend is magically pregnant with another man’s babies. She appreciates how he supported her after Liz’s death, and she understands if he can’t stick around for this. Stefan promises that he’s not going anywhere – he loves her. “I guess there is a right thing to say after all,” Caroline replies. He offers his support no matter how weird things get. They’re in this together. Grateful, Caroline tells him she loves him, too.

Nora catches Mary Louise fleeing after freeing Julian. Lily finds Julian restraining Damon and Valerie and tells him to let them go. He says he can’t, because this “bloody cycle” will continue. He loves Lily and their family too much for that to happen. She needs to choose between Damon and Valerie – one will live and one will die. She’s spent too long trying to have it all. “You’re either a Salvatore or you’re one of us,” Julian tells her. He hands her a stake.

Mary Louise insists to Nora that Valerie is lying once again. Nora says this is different. She can’t believe that Mary Louise would side with Julian after he took Valerie’s child from her. In turn, Mary Louise can’t believe that Nora would side with Valerie after she killed Oscar. Nora takes off her engagement ring, saying it doesn’t represent their love – it represents Julian’s ability to manipulate them. She doesn’t want any part of this.

Lily tries to reason with Julian, saying he’s acting like this because of his time in the phoenix stone. Valerie notes that Hell didn’t make him evil. He was born this way. Damon’s annoyed by his vervained restraints and the Heretics’ family drama, so he’d like Lily to just kill him already. She’s always chosen the Heretics over her sons, so why should now be any different?

Lily apologizes to Valerie for not knowing sooner what happened. She asks Damon to forgive her. He urges her to kill him, but instead Lily approaches Julian. She tells him she didn’t have the courage before to tell him this, but she does now: She can choose both of her families. Instead of killing Damon or Valerie, she stakes herself. It’s a nuclear option in itself, an attempt to take out Julian by killing herself, but there’s one thing Lily didn’t realize: Julian has already unlinked them.

Enzo wakes up in the back of the armored truck, full of vervain. Matt tells him he’s right that Matt can’t protect Mystic Falls on his own. That’s why Matt made some friends who can help. Those friends want to introduce themselves, so Matt won’t ruin things by telling Enzo who they are. “Someone wanted you after all,” he taunts.

Nora desperately tries to get the stake’s splinters out of Lily’s heart, but there’s nothing she can do. Stefan advises her to say goodbye before it’s too late. Nora tells Lily that they won’t be a family without her. Beau just gives Lily a nod, as if to say that he admires her. Lily asks Stefan to use his time to the fullest. Damon declines to say or hear any last words.

For all his many, many faults and the fact that he’s a horrible person, Julian really does love Lily, judging by the magnitude of the tantrum he throws at Vamp Villa. Mary Louise comes home and tells him the engagement’s off. She doesn’t know about Lily, so she hears the news from Julian, who had Mary Louise unlink them. He thought he was protecting Lily in case Damon and Stefan killed him. Wow, the one time he tried to do something good, he royally screwed it up.

Valerie forgives Lily for loving Julian, then urges Damon to make the most of the few moments his mother has left. As desiccation starts to overtake her, Lily tells Damon that she’s sorry. “You made your bed,” he replies. “Have a nice nap.” He leaves before she dies with only Stefan by her side.

Three years from now: The woman Damon thinks is Lily tells him she can’t save him. He’s been poisoned with werewolf venom and will die without the cure. He says something he’s wanted to say for a long time: He’s sorry. The woman laughs and comments that he must be hallucinating. His mother has been dead for years.

Etc.: Since Bonnie isn’t in this episode, I hope she got to spend Thanksgiving with Abby.

I can only assume that Valerie couldn’t do the spell unlinking Lily and Julian because she wasn’t involved in the spell that linked them. Otherwise the plan would have gone a lot more smoothly.

Again, the Lily/Enzo stuff is weird. I want it compelled out of my brain.

I bet if circumstances were different, Caroline and Valerie would be friends. Now that they’ve determined that they’re on the same side, they don’t have much to keep them from bonding.

Call me crazy but I don’t want an engagement ring that once belonged to a beheaded French royal.

Jaiden Kaine, who plays Beau, gets overlooked because he doesn’t do much, but his nonverbal acting is really fantastic. When he hears what Julian did to Valerie, you can tell how heartbroken he is.


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