“The Vampire Diaries” celebrates Mary Louise and Nora’s anniversary – they’ve been together 133 years, who else can say that? – with a murder party, a ring, a heartbreaking choice and a glimpse at a future that isn’t what it seems to be in the Thursday, Dec. 3 episode, “Hold, Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.” What else would you expect – balloons and cake?
If there’s one thing that “The Vampire Diaries” is, it’s consistent when it comes to party. Blood will be spilled. Conflict will be had. Plans will go awry. And at least one relationship will most likely be changed by the end. While Julian organizes a party to celebrate Nora and Mary Louise’s anniversary, Stefan, Damon, Valerie and Lily plan to use it to their advantage. First things first, they have to convince Mary Louise, Nora and Beau that Julian is a horrible, horrible person, and so Valerie’s just going to tell them the truth. At the party packed full of people who have been collected for the occasion and compelled to see to their every desire, Lily has no choice but to go along with Julian, to tell the others to feed as they’d like, to even drink from a human herself, and of course, that’s just when Damon walks in and sees.
Lily tries to explain that she had to, that she had to convince Julian she’s on his side, but he thinks that just sounds like something out of Rippers Anonymous. (Could you imagine those meetings?) He wants to postpone their plan, but she refuses to wait any longer. When he still refuses to express any inkling that he cares if she lives or dies, she slaps him for his cavalier attitude regarding her life, but as he puts it, she’s already dead to him.
As for the party’s guests of honor, Mary Louise takes Julian aside to show him the ring she plans to use to propose, but he points out it’s too small for someone as vain as Nora to wear. Though there are limited options in Mystic Falls, he just so happens to have a giant diamond ring on his pinky finger to offer to her. And so Mary Louise does propose to Nora with it, and Nora accepts. It’s while they’re celebrating what Mary Louise calls the greatest moment in her life that Valerie interrupts to fill them in on the worst moment in hers.
While Stefan and Damon find Julian inside the party, Valerie tells Mary Louise, Nora and Beau what Julian did to her. Lily backs her up, explaining that she never would have gone with Julian if she had known about her grandchild and that once she heard the truth, she saw him for who he is. Beau and Nora pretty much immediately step forward to hug Valerie after that, but Mary Louise hesitates until Nora reminds her they’re family. And then they can only watch as Lily braces herself for the pain her sons inflict on Julian to subdue him before tying him up.
With the prospect of Julian being gone from their lives for good in a matter of minutes, Stefan tells Lily she can start over, but she doesn’t think it will be that easy, especially when it comes to Damon. She saw it in his eyes, how he wishes her dead, but Stefan assures her that he practiced that look on him for over 100 years. Just give it time. Unfortunately, time is not something they have because Mary Louise joins Damon and Valerie in the room where they have Julian tied up. Since Valerie has lied to them before, killed her own brother, how can she believe her after all this time? She sides with Julian, and so when Lily walks into the room, Julian has Damon and Valerie chained up and tells her she has to make a choice. She can either be a Salvatore or one of them, but she can no longer be both, and that means one of them has to die.
Lily takes a moment with each of them, telling Valerie that she’s sorry she didn’t see how strong she is sooner and asking Damon to forgive her before turning back to Julian and revealing that she can choose both of them – by staking herself. The only problem? Julian has already unlinked them. He runs out, and when Mary Louise, upset after Nora took off the ring because it represents Julian’s manipulations, finds him, he tells her what happened, that Lily didn’t realize that she’d unlinked them, that he had thought that doing so would protect her.
As for the others, all they can do is say goodbye because Nora can’t get the splinters out of her heart. Nora, Beau, Stefan and Valerie have their own touching goodbyes with Lily, but when it comes time for Damon’s, he just leans in and tells her, “You made your bed. Have a nice nap.” As Lily dies, he walks out of the room.
Meanwhile, Caroline tells three people about her pregnancy (and Stefan tells one): Elena via her diary, Matt as she hopes that Stefan is “totally supportive” and wants to make sure she’s okay and Stefan himself moments before he heads off to kill Julian. It’s not the best timing, which also serves as an excuse for him to bail when he can’t come up with the right words to say.
While they have some downtime in the middle of planning to kill Julian, Stefan turns to Lily for advice, admitting he didn’t handle things the right way. Tell her he loves her, Lily says, never forget what she’s going through and one day, be prepared for her to sacrifice everything for them. (Perhaps foreshadowing why Caroline is with Alaric in the future and never wants to hear Stefan’s name again?) Stefan takes his mother’s advice and calls Caroline, saying just the right things, apologizing for how he reacted earlier and promising he won’t run. He loves her. No matter how weird it gets, he’s there for her and they’ll get through it together.
Elsewhere, Matt finds Enzo feeding from a stray human (where did she come from?) after he leaves Lily with a kiss and wishes her luck when she tells him she can’t run away with him. Matt throws it in his face that Damon didn’t want him, Lily didn’t, the town never did, and Enzo then retorts that while the murder party is going on, he’s just stopping his buzz. He’s overmatched, the vampire tells him. He’s brought a knife to a gunfight, and it will be the death of him. (Considering Matt has yet to be seen in a flashforward, anyone else worried?) But then Matt does do something, capturing Enzo and apparently handing him over to some people who want him.
As for the three years from now flashforwards that bookend the hour, Damon is chained up in the news station, ready to see just who caught him. But he wasn’t the fly “she” was willing to catch, and at first, it looks like the “she” is Lily, but there has to be more to it, right? “It’s been a long time,” Damon greets his mother. And then the rest of the episode happens, which confirms that nothing is what it seems. “She” is not actually Lily, and he has been poisoned with werewolf toxin. “I’m so sorry,” the poor poisoned vampire says, still seeing his mother (and it’s all the more heartbreaking considering his goodbye at her deathbed). When the haze clears enough for him to see a fleeting glimpse of his captor, she kicks him in the face.
“The Vampire Diaries” season 7 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 8 “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”?