You could tell Legacies was excited about Kai Parker's debut when it named his February 6 arrival episode "Kai Parker Screwed Us." It's what he does! Malachai "Kai" Parker (Chris Wood) earned love-to-hate status on The Vampire Diaries, and Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore) recently said Kai was the best villain Vampire Diaries ever had. Now he's poised to be the best villain the spinoff Legacies ever had.
We knew Kai Parker would "wreak havoc" when he arrived on Legacies, and it makes sense that Josie Saltzman will take the most heat. The January 23rd episode showed Alaric, Lizzie, and Josie Saltzman all stuck in a prison world with Sebastian. Alyssa put them there, and that's how Kai will enter the picture.
As Legacies showrunner Julie Plec told EW, Kai's return is tied to consequences of Dark Josie dabbling in black magic. Meeting Kai will "rattle" both twins, Plec said, but especially Josie. Why? Because she sees him as "a mirror of what could be if she's not careful."
Dark Josie has one of the most interesting new storylines on Legacies. It's also understandable that Josie would be rattled by Kai thanks to Kai twisting the proverbial knife. After all, Josie was named after and resembles Josette "Jo" Parker Laughlin. Jo is the biological mother to Josie and Lizzie; the twins got to meet their mother in Season 1's "Mombie Dearest" episode when Jo came back from the dead. Jo was dead because -- surprise! -- her own twin brother Kai Parker killed her on her own wedding day to Alaric Saltzman.
So if Josie isn't rattled by seeing Kai again, Ric sure might be.
I can totally see Kai getting in Josie's head to try and manipulate her or at least throw her off her game. After all, even with that sexy new scruff, Kai is still Kai. As Julie Plec warned/reassured Vampire Diaries fans, Kai is not about to be redeemed:
He’s forever an irredeemable asshole… but he’s one of our favorites.
Yep. Legacies set up Kai's return in the Season 1 finale, when Josie and Lizzie found an Ascendant but only had a vague memory of it from when they were very young. They didn't recall helping "Aunt" Bonnie Bennett use it to put Kai in his current Prison World in The Vampire Diaries Season 8. Kai knows that, though. He also knows the twins are his nieces in the Gemini Coven, since he tried to kill them for it, and knows the twins will have to face each other in The Merge when they turn 22, unless Mama Caroline can come up with a plan to stop it.
Julie Plec joked that it was rude of her to put so much pressure on actor Chris Wood with that Legacies Season 1 finale Ascendant appearance. It had everyone expecting Kai to return. But Chris Wood did agree to return and apparently it will be for more than one episode here in Season 2.
Whatever happens from here, it must be thrilling for Josie Saltzman actress Kaylee Bryant. Not only does she get to go toe-to-toe with Chris Wood's Kai Parker, she told CinemaBlend in 2018 that Kai was the #1 Vampire Diaries character she wanted to see on Legacies:
The amount of times that I say in live streams, on social media, in the writers room that I want Kai to come on to the show -- I think that the writers might kill me, because they're so over me talking about it. But I think that having Kai on the show would be so amazing to see, with the twins and everything, and I'm just obsessed with the actor that plays him. I think it would be fun to have that evil storyline to tell in reference to the twins and the Gemini Coven and all of that.
Wish granted! I wonder if my wish to see Bonnie again will ever be granted. Sounds like that's up to Kat Graham; at least Michael Malarkey said he'd return as Enzo. Speaking of Bonnie, catch up on Kai's Prison World history in this clip from The Vampire Diaries Season 8:
Legacies Season 2 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on the CW. "Kai Parker Screwed Us" will start Chris Wood's arc on February 6. Will he return for Season 3, which was already renewed? Fingers crossed for him to appear, along with these other characters.