Family secrets are revealed at Thanksgiving

The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 8 (“Fade Into You”)
Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and Matt Davis, The Vampire Diaries

Thanksgiving is famous for being a strained holiday for many. Getting all of your family and friends together for a single meal often results in arguments. In The Vampire Diaries‘ only second holiday episode in six seasons, they use the power of Thanksgiving to spill family secrets. It was mostly used to drive the plot forward but there were still a lot of holiday tropes thrown in as well to really make it feel like Thanksgiving. Caroline wants to have a nice dinner but everyone is too distracted to care about all of her planning. They can’t stop talking about the dysfunctional Gemini coven in front of Liam so they have to keep compelling him to forget what he heard. And Caroline’s anger at Stefan makes him the only one not invited to dinner.

The gears of this season have been grinding pretty slowly so far but in this episode all of the pieces are finally coming into place. We previously learned that Jo and Kai were siblings but here we learn more about their family history and their connection with Luke and Liv. The Gemini coven calls itself that because they use the power of twin merging to determine their leaders. The Parker family has been the leaders of the coven for generations and they keep that going by having twins and then making them merge with each other on their 22nd birthday. The merge means that the stronger twin absorbs the power of the weaker and the weaker dies. This presents pretty much a no win scenario for their family. Luke and Liv have just turned 22 and are expected to do the merge soon. But if they do one of them dies and the other has to live with having killed them. If Kai gets out and tries to merge with Jo like they were supposed to do, Kai will likely win because Jo hasn’t practiced magic in 20 years.

This dilemma also puts the Bonnie rescue mission directly at odds with the Parker family. Alaric, Stefan, and Damon go to Portland to find the ascendant that they can hopefully use to get her out but instead they meet Papa Parker. He is kind of the villain here because he believes in doing what is best for the coven over what is best for his family. He sees doing the merge as their family’s duty and believes it to be more important than the bond the twins share. He also absolutely does not want Kai to get out and even threatens to kill Jo if they attempt it. Of course no one, other than Damon, is willing to risk Kai getting out. If he does he won’t just come after his family. He is a sociopath who enjoys killing. It is not in anyone’s best interest to let him out. However, Damon has never been great at seeing the big picture over what he wants in the moment. Their concern though may not even matter because in the 1994 world, Kai tricks Bonnie into spending Thanksgiving with him and then takes everything he needs to get out and leave her behind.

This also marks the end of Elena’s attempts to be a somewhat normal vampire and dating Liam. She contemplates telling him the truth but when she tries to she realizes that it is pointless. She has mostly stayed out of supernatural drama this season but this episode pulled her back in. This is her life and there is never going to be a place for Liam in it. Which was made very obvious by how much he stuck out at Thanksgiving dinner. He was the only non-supernatural being there and it only complicated things. She needs to focus on getting Bonnie back and is going to team up with Damon to do it.

This episode made me wish the show did more holiday episodes. Other than I think a Halloween episode in like season 1, this is only the second true holiday episode the show has done. The first was the Christmas episode in season 4 where Klaus kills all of his hybrids, which is one of my favorite scenes in the series. I believe there are more in these later seasons. After season 4, the show switches to the one season, one year pace which allows for them to line up with the time of year it is airing which they couldn’t do when two seasons would cover only one year. This episode set up so much of what is going to be important in the coming episodes, especially Kai’s potential escape. As much as I have loved the 1994 world, I am ready for the two worlds to collide so we can get more of Kai’s amazing villainy.

Episode Grade: 9/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Caroline has assigned seats for Thanksgiving dinner. You are also not allowed to have your cellphone on (which I like).
  • Jo: “Shut up Liam!”
  • 90s References
    • Kai and Bonnie are listening to Counting Crows while he makes dinner.
    • He is also still very attached to his pager.
    • “Fade into You” is a song by Mazzy Star?
  • I loved all of the crap that Damon and Alaric gave Stefan for his situation with Caroline. They think he should date her. According to them her positive qualities include being hot, putting up with Stefan, and her great organizational skills.
  • Damon compels Alaric to get the ascendant from Jo. How is Alaric not back on vervain now that he is human?? Literally everyone he hangs out with is a vampire.
  • Body Count: None!

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