The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 12 (“Prayer for the Dying”)
Throughout the series, The Vampire Diaries has slowly killed off everyone’s parents or had them leave in some way. The show started with the death of Elena’s adopted parents. Then she lost her biological parents as well as her aunt in the second season, all as part of Klaus’s schemes. Caroline’s dad died rather than turn into a vampire. Bonnie’s dad was killed by Silas and her mother turned into a vampire to save everyone else. Tyler’s dad was killed by the “device” in season 1 because he had the werewolf gene. His mom was later murdered by Klaus as revenge on Tyler for un-siring his hybrids. Both of Matt’s parents left a long time ago. Stefan murdered his and Damon’s father when he turned into a vampire and their mother died when they were children. The only parent that has remained human, alive, and present, throughout all of this is Liz Forbes.
So many of the vampires have lost their connections with the human world. For Caroline, her mom is pretty much the only thing she has that anchors her to her humanity. So she is willing to do whatever she has to to keep her. In the last episode Caroline fed a dying cancer patient her blood and it seemed to heal him. However, in this episode he shows up in Mystic Falls as a vampire. The blood sped up his cancer and so now he is in excruciating pain from the tumors but he can’t die either. Caroline is mad at herself for doing the same thing to her mom. She avoids having to face her mother by organizing her memorial service before she is even dead. Stefan did the same thing when his mom was dying because he didn’t want to see her like that, but now he regrets not spending those last days with her. Caroline will regret it too. So whatever happens, Caroline needs to just soak up the small amount of time she has left with her mother. They are able to fix the problem Caroline created by having Kai siphon the magic out of Liz. This returns her to just a human with cancer. It bought them some time, but she is still terminal. They may have been able to save the day this time but there is nothing they can do about the cancer.
Liz’s impending death is different from all of those other parents for two reasons. The first is that there is time to say goodbye. Whereas all of the others were sudden. The second is that it is a human death. There is no supernatural reason she is dying. She is just a human dying of a human problem. On TVD, death is almost never permanent. Since it has mostly concerned supernatural beings there is always some loophole or Hail Mary. But when it comes to humans, dead is just dead. For the first time in the show magic can’t save them. In fact it made things worse. For the most important and long lasting parents of the series, it is fitting that her death would be distinguished in this way. She isn’t murdered or a victim of some supernatural evil. Her death is entirely natural and human.
In order to save Liz, Kai had to be woken up which created a need to move up the twin merge. With Kai out he was going to force Jo to merge with him anyway so Papa Parker tries to force Liv and Luke to merge first. Tyler however, too afraid to potentially lose Liv, stops it. Luke gets away and convinces Kai to merge with him instead of Jo since he may actually be powerful enough to win against Kai. However, with the magic that Kai siphoned from Liz, he overtakes Luke and wins the merge. As sad as it is that Luke dies, it is the outcome that makes the most sense. Luke was definitely the most expendable of the Parkers. Kai is the villain of the season and won’t be gotten rid of that easily. It is only mid-season, he still has a lot of problems to cause. Jo and Liv are both love interests of major characters in the show so we are a bit more invested in them. Luke had the least character development and therefore is the first to die. Now that Kai has won though he is more powerful than ever and he is likely to want to kill the rest of his family and make himself leader.
This episode was mostly good for moving the plot along but it also had some real emotional moments. Everyone had very real reactions to the idea of Liz’s death. Caroline isn’t the only one who is going to feel this one. Elena has known Liz her whole life and since her parents death Liz has been kind of a parent figure to her too. Damon has always liked Liz and seen her as an actual friend which is pretty rare for Damon, especially for a human. Stefan always the level headed one is mostly focused on taking care of Caroline. This episode made it clear that there is no magic loophole to save Liz, but she still has a little more time. This storyline is heartbreaking but a nice way of balancing out the supernatural drama with a more emotional one. It has been a while since Caroline really had a story of her own and this will certainly affect her character for the rest of the season.
Episode Grade: 7/10
- Liz has already signed the house over to Caroline. But her being a vampire means that anyone can get in.
- Elena got a new daylight ring from Jo. In previous seasons it seemed like daylight rings were difficult to make and took a special witch, but now they are very commonplace and apparently easy to make.
- Elena is inspired by the near loss of Liz to not waste anymore time and finally just kisses Damon.
- I thought the twins’ birthday was on Thanksgiving? That is why they were making the video but then in this episode they say it is their birthday.
- If the twin merge doesn’t happen, the entire coven dies when the leader dies. So that stops them from being able to kill Kai now without killing everyone else too.
- The fact that Damon was willing to just force Luke and Liv to merge in order to save Liz is never really addressed. He literally did not care if they died as long as Jo and Liz were safe.
- Body Count: 2, Damon kills Colin-the-cancer-vamp (1) and Kai kills Luke (1).