Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder (Image: The CW)

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

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  • It’s almost unbelievable how much having Kai as a presence again has enlivened the show and the writers. Chris Wood is clearly having a great time and the writers are clearly having a great time writing Kai, and the result is dialogue and scenes that feel alive instead of obligatory marches toward an inevitable endgame. Plus, Kai doing drunk karaoke. Enough said.
  • Kai’s return does unfortunately accentuate how weak this season’s villains have been, especially when an evil Kai scene is immediately followed by an evil Cade scene. For the devil, Cade is honestly a bit dull. Even the choice Cade forces Damon to make—Stefan or Elena?—is something he admits is old and tired. At least Damon makes things interesting by pulling a Kelly Taylor and choosing himself instead.
  • Stefan killed Cade by using the magic dagger but I don’t quite understand how he did it? And somehow this resurrected Damon? The entire sequence with Bonnie that was set in that weird psychic hell place made no sense. Help.
  • The sudden resurrection of Ric and Caroline’s kids as major plot points isn’t a welcome one, honestly. With two episodes to the end spending time on magic children who aren’t actual characters feels like wasted time.
  • One thing I’m glad of as the show comes to a close is the return of actual meaningful moments between Damon and Stefan, even if Stefan seems determined to end the series making the most stubborn, frustrating choices possible, right before magically saving the day.
  • Katherine coming back to wreak havoc is literally everything I wanted from the final stretch of the show. No matter that I’m not certain it makes any actual sense (wasn’t she kind of accepting of her fate when she died and cool with everyone?) and I’m not certain that I understand any of the actual plot or story mechanics that are allowing this to happen, but it doesn’t matter. Katherine Pierce is coming back to mess with everyone, one last time. Bring. It. On.

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