The Vampire Diaries Review: “A Bird In A Gilded Cage” (Season 6, Episode 17)


For seasons, yes, plural, the writers of The Vampire Diaries relied heavily on the idea of the mysterious ‘other side.’ They used it as a stomping ground for characters who had come and gone, a way to bridge the gap between the living and dead. It was just as easy to bring someone back to “life” when the story needed a little help, as it was to temporarily kill someone off. With the collapse of the other side in the season five finale, it seemed like the potential to catch up with supernaturals from the past via anything but flashbacks was gone – but it turned out that wasn’t entirely the case.

The writers are still sticking to their guns and keeping those sucked into oblivion with the annihilation of their former supernatural purgatory firmly tucked away, but they have come up with a creative alternative. Although fan favorites that were lost along with the other side probably won’t be making an appearance anytime soon in the storyline, barring any suspension of the current TVD reality, the writers have still managed to pull a couple of characters out of space and time.

The first one we met a while ago during Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) unfortunate stay in 1994. I think we can all agree at this point that while reliving the same day over and over again would suck, at least they survived the other side’s version of Armageddon (and, there were pancakes!). Their unwelcome introduction to Kai (Chris Woods), the intended victim of that particular prison world, set in motion the events that led to our second, even further removed from the present, character – Lily Salvatore (Annie Wersching).

That’s right folks, Damon and Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) mother, presumed to be dead since the mid-1800s, has been trapped in her own prison world for over a century. This realization also came with an equally disturbing history lesson. Not only was Momma Salvatore not dead – err, she’s a vampire, so not completely dead – she’s also of the Ripper variety.

Fans of The Vampire Diaries won’t easily forget Stefan’s tenacity for dismantling his victims when he loses touch with his reality. Something that viewers saw for themselves when his character took a similar turn for the worse a few seasons back at the insistence of Klaus (Joseph Morgan). Well, apparently that strong pull toward mutilation is in his genes.