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The Vampire Diaries – S6E17 – A Bird in a Gilded Cage

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, ‘The Downward Spiral’ 

The gang didn’t just lose Stefan when he turned his humanity switch off; they also lost their best chance at getting Caroline back. Once Elena learns Stefan’s mother is still alive however, she gets an idea. Knowing Lily would be an emotional trigger for Stefan, Elena convinces Damon to bring her home. Lily can save Stefan and Stefan can save Caroline. They just need Kai and Bonnie to get on board. Kai, who seems to have changed his tune completely from the last episode, is game, as long as Bonnie goes as well. Bonnie agrees to help, almost too easily, this should have been our first clue something was up.

When they arrive in the 1903 dimension, Damon and Elena head off in search of Lily while Bonnie and Kai look for another Ascendant to get them back home. Elena is excited to meet the mother of the two epic loves of her life, but Damon makes his contempt for Lily clear from the outset. This mission is all in the name of Stefan, not some sappy family reunion. When they finally meet face to face, Lily seems rather calm for a ripper-style vampire. She’s had to ration what was left of the blood in 1903 for decades now, so it’s possible she’s a changed woman. After explaining what happened to Stefan, Lily agrees to come home and help, but she wants to bring her friends along too.



Turns out, Lily wasn’t the only vampire banished to the prison world; she’s got six of her closest pals with her. When the blood supply ran low, the others forfeited their own rations to save her. Uh huh, yeah, sure they did. I don’t trust Lily one bit, especially when it looks like she’s been having some twisted tea parties in the attic with her desiccated vampire pals. Lily refuses to leave them behind because they’re her family, which is perhaps the wrong thing to say when your actual son is right in front of you. While Damon and Lily argue over who gets to come back, Elena notices the Ascendant and wonders why the locator spell didn’t bring Bonnie there.

Kai is trying to convince Bonnie that he’s turned over a new leaf, that his guilt keeps him up at night. She’s doing her best to ignore him, which causes him to momentarily snap back into his crazy self. He immediately regrets his actions but it’s enough to show Bonnie that no matter how much Kai thinks he’s changed, he’s still a psychopath underneath it all. Bonnie leads him on a wild goose chase for the Ascendant and once his back is turned, she attacks. She’s not the same woman from retro realm. Bonnie is prepared to kill Kai when, in an instant, he vanishes.

Bonnie & Kai


Lily attempts to revive her dried-up comrades with the small amount of blood she has left. She’s able to give one of them a small, but likely effective, taste before Damon can stop her. He drags her out to meet with Bonnie and Elena so they can be transported back home, leaving Kai stuck in 1903. The last we see of the Gemini Coven leader is when he stumbles across Lily’s “family” and is snatched up by the vampire who got that small taste of blood. If these thirsty vamps don’t devour him immediately, Kai may be able to convince them he’s their ticket out of the prison world. Kai and a pack of rampaging vampires could make for a seriously exciting end of season threat.

Back in the present day, Lily tells Damon she visited her children on the night she was turned. She wanted to say goodbye, but she could barely keep her fangs retracted so she fled and never returned. She knows Damon and Stefan must have felt emptiness when she died, but it was nothing compared to her own. Damon couldn’t care less.

For some reason, Elena is super turned on by seeing Damon interact with his mother. They start getting hot and heavy when Bonnie interrupts – no complaints here. Elena leaves to check in with Alaric, giving Bonnie the opportunity to give Damon a gift from retro realm: the cure. No, Bonnie, no! By bringing back the cure, she has effectively brought back one of the worst storylines this show has ever had. The cure itself is a neat concept, but watching everyone argue over who was going to take it, was pure agony. If one of the gang does decide to take it, watching them transition back to human could be interesting. Something tells me however, that it’s going to be used against a threat of some sort.




Caroline is sticking to her promise of living humanity-free without causing mass destruction. Stefan has other plans for her though. As payback for making him shut his emotions off, Stefan is going to force Caroline to truly live without boundaries. If he’s going to feel the guilt and regret when he’s back to normal, then so is she. He starts by ripping off the head of the school musical director, which blows Caroline’s chances of getting a part in the production. She’s pissed; it wasn’t easy to score an audition during spring break.

Keeping her cool, Caroline strikes back at Stefan by dismantling his motorcycle. Stefan points out  he can easily fix that problem, so Caroline punches a hole in the gas tank. She probably feels pretty proud of this, but judging by Stefan’s smirk, this is very likely the exact reaction he wanted from her.

Stefan and Caroline play this cat-and-mouse routine for the rest of the episode. When he attacks her with a vervain grenade, she stabs him with a piece of broken staircase. After Stefan launches a piece of wood into the stomach of a student, Caroline feeds the student her blood and compels her away. When Alaric and Enzo – yeah, it’s a strange pairing – try to capture them, Stefan throws another vervain grenade, but Caroline protects them from further harm. It’s not until Stefan feeds from the poor girl he’d earlier impaled, that Caroline finally gives in. Their bloodlust leads to sexual lust and the two of them get steamy. Something feels cheap about these two having sex for the first time like this. Yeah it was hot, but it doesn’t really count, does it?




Score | 8/10Meanwhile…

Sarah finds herself in the Whitmore hospital, where Jo tells her she got a little too drunk and passed out in the quad. She goes along with the story easily, it is spring break after all. That, and Elena has compelled her to forget the impromptu surgery she had the night before. When Enzo shows up later to “apologize” for bringing her into his mess, he uses her real full name. Leaving Sarah very confused.

I’m really not sure where they fit into this story anymore, but Jo and Alaric had some cute moments this episode while discussing baby names. They’ve been mostly absent these past few episodes and I’m wondering if that will be a continuing trend. Jo wasn’t happy Alaric was off chasing vampires while they have a baby on the way. Is it possible we’re going to lose Alaric, again?

About Jasmin George (185 Articles)
An avid reader of TV Guide in her youth, Jasmin has been a fan of all things television since she can remember. She’s very passionate about story, especially the kinds that use cameras and actors to convey them. When she doesn’t have her eyes glued to the tube, you can find her listening to podcasts or reading reviews about, well, TV. Yeah, Jasmin might have a slight addiction but she’s perfectly happy to coexist with it.
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