The Vampire Diaries Review: “Prayer For The Dying” (Season 6, Episode 12)



There’s something ironic about a vampire uttering the phrase, “Life’s too short,” but if it means that the Delena hiatus is over, then that’s a reason in itself to celebrate. And, it’s a good thing too since The Vampire Diaries is about to get a lot more convoluted before anyone gets a glimpse of happily ever after again.

Even when Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) intentions are noble, and that’s a good majority of the time lately, his flaw is always in the execution. Simply put, he has no finesse. For a vampire who’s been alive for somewhere in the ballpark of a century and a half, you would think he would have learned just a little more about the art of subtlety. Yet, impossible as it seems, he has very little self-restraint – and once again, it’s come back to bite him in the behind.

Instead of leaving well enough alone and letting the Gemini Coven handle their own mess, Damon has gone and mucked everything up, and all for the sake of what? Was Kai (Chris Wood) stewing in his induced coma hurting anyone? Not really. Did Jo (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) still have time to train and possibly win the freaky twin merge? Sure. Unlikely, but at least it would have bought everyone time to come up with an actual plan. Now, Luke is dead and Kai is the all-powerful leader of the Gemini Coven. So, just to recap, fans of The Vampire Diaries are pretty much guaranteed a multi-episode story arc where everyone shakes their fists at Damon, Kai wreaks more havoc on the unsuspecting, and there’s a lot of scatterbrained ideas about how to clean up Damon’s mess/stop Kai being thrown around before anything actually sticks.

The only plus side about Kai merging with Luke (Chris Brochu), and I had to dig really deep to find even a singular one, is that we’re only going to have to deal with him for a limited number of episodes. Unlike the Klaus storyline, the Kai tangent has little chance of making it past the season finale – thankfully. Although he really is a decent antagonist (it’s hard not to hate him, right?), the entire scenario requires a pretty big leap of the imagination. And, now that he essentially murdered Luke, which albeit predictable was completely farfetched, all the other characters are going to be that much more adamant about removing him from his newly stolen seat at the top of the Gemini food chain.

You know it’s bad when the current leader of an ancient coven suggests running as not only an available option, but the only option. What makes this entire situation worse is the way that the merging scene was shot. Luke’s confidence was palpable when he challenged Kai. It was hard not to silently cheer for his character, especially since I would have much rather seen Jo exit the show. Nothing against Alaric’s (Matt Davis) taste in women, but Luke actually stood a chance. He had a firm grasp of magic and it seems like a matter of practicality keeping him around. Jo, on the other hand, is a doctor with rusty magic. She has her uses, but she’s also a liability.

On the more unusual side of things, “Prayer for the Dying” didn’t revolve around Elena (Nina Dobrev). She was occupied along with Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline (Candice Accola), but even with the severity of the situation, she didn’t garner much attention. It was a nice change for The Vampire Diaries which has had some heavy Elena baggage this season already, as per usual. But, it’s possible that her lack of center stage had more to do with the fact that not a whole lot happened in this episode than anything else – the sheriff is still dying of cancer and Kai is still on the psycho power-tripping revenge war path.

The Vampire Diaries did a much better job of trimming the fat on this episode, but they still have a lot to clean up before the end of the season.

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