Lily’s Redemption

The Vampire Diaries SEason 7, Episode 8 (“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”)
Annie Wersching, The Vampire Diaries

Last episode I discussed at length whether Lily was a victim, villain, or both. In this episode all of that is sort of put aside and she comes out as the hero. She has one of the first true redemption arcs of the show, though she will not be the last. She started as a villain then gained our sympathy as the abusive relationships she has suffered were revealed. Finally, in this episode she sacrifices herself in order to save both her sons and the Heretics from Julian. Of course when she is doing this she thinks that she and Julian are still linked to each other so her death would mean his as well. Unfortunately he had already broken the link meaning she killed herself for nothing. But the intent is all the same. She was willing to die in order to save her sons and her adoptive children, restoring her motherly affection towards them all.

Ever since Lily arrived towards the end of last season, she has had to choose between her sons and the Heretics, and she always chose the latter. However, in this episode she is finally able to choose both. She seems genuinely hopeful that she can be a mother to Stefan and Damon again. Despite her rough past, everything that happened was because of her love for her sons. She wanted to come back for them after she became a vampire but she didn’t know how to control herself, so she stayed away to protect them. She sent the Heretics to check in on them while they were still humans. If she had know about Valerie and Stefan’s child she would have returned to be in their life, but Julian stole that from her. Somewhere along the way she lost her humanity and killed thousands. After that she clung to the Heretics as the only way to keep her demons at bay. By the time she was reunited with her sons, she was a completely different person. She may have antagonized her sons but ultimately she wanted to repair their relationship. She is able to do that with Stefan, but Damon proves harder to convince.

Both of Stefan and Damon’s reactions to Lily’s redemption are very in character. Stefan is ready to forgive her completely and just wants a relationship with his mother. He even seeks advice from her on how to handle Caroline’s situation. Damon however is much less forgiving. As Stefan told Lily, it is likely that in time Damon would have come to forgive her, but unfortunately he did not get the chance. He is not someone who forgives easily, once burned he will hold onto that pain for a long time. But when he hurts someone else he holds onto that too. In this episode’s flash forwards Damon is hallucinating Lily while being chained up by the real bad guy. He tells her that he is sorry, remorseful that he blamed her for her own demise. Clearly his actions towards her on her death bed will stay with him for some time. But just like the last episode I feel like neither Stefan or Damon were wrong for how they felt. Lily has been cruel to Damon and it is fair that he doesn’t want to immediately forgive her because now she is feeling motherly. But if Stefan wants to that is understandable as well.

The Heretics are also faced with a choice in this episode, between Julian and Lily. Valerie hopes to win them all over by finally telling her story. Valerie hopes to win them all over by telling her story. Nora and Beau are immediately sympathetic and are ready to turn on Julian. Mary Louise however is hesitant. Though she initially sides with Valerie and Lily, probably because of pressure from Nora, she ultimately cannot accept the truth about Julian and helps him escape. However, Mary Louise will likely regret her choice as it cost her her relationship with Nora. The fact that Nora and Beau are so quick to turn on Julian shows that Lily is the true matriarch of this family. They may love Julian, but Lily is the one they are loyal to. With the death of the matriarch, will the family die as well?

This episode made me actually like Lily’s character and it was a fitting end for her. However with her gone, Julian remains as the big bad and I am not very excited about that. I have been up and down on Lily a lot but in the end her arc is well handled. It also introduces the concept of redemption on the show which will become a big part of the last couple of seasons of The Vampire Diaries, as well as being a very important part of The Originals. Are these characters capable of redemption? What does that look like for each of them? What is an appropriate ending for all of these old vampires that have caused death and violence for hundreds of years? We will be getting into all of that very soon and I am excited to attempt to answer.

Episode Grade: 7.5/10

Other Thoughts

  • It is Nora and Mary Louise’s 133-year anniversary and Julian throws them a party. Mary Louise proposes to Nora who accepts but then declines after Mary Louise sides with Julian.
  • Beau used to be an opera singer.
  • Damon would have been happy to kill both Lily and Julian from the beginning but refrains because he doesn’t want to upset Stefan. This will be an important point later.
  • Damon to his mother on her death bed: “You made your bed, have a nice nap”
  • Caroline tells Stefan about her pregnancy and he doesn’t know what to say. He just leaves because he has to go kill Julian. Though he does call her later to apologize and tells her he will be there to support her.
  • Matt kidnaps Enzo and locks him up in a van.
  • Three Years in the Future: We get are first half glimpse at the future villain. At first it is teased that Lily is the one they are running from but that is revealed to just be Damon hallucinating. The real villain is a woman but we don’t get a clear look at her face.
  • Body Count: 1, Lily kills herself.

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