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the vampire diaries kai smiling on legacies chris wood

One of the biggest joys of a spinoff series like Legacies is having familiar faces make big returns, and the show has already given fans some awesome throwback appearances from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals characters. Chris Wood's reprisal of the love-to-hate-him Kai Parker is on another level, though, since his mischievousness could take Legacies in all sorts of directions. Fans definitely don't have a problem with seeing him again, but the actor did take issue with one element of his return.

Specifically, Chris Wood was quizzical about the evolution of Kai's facial hair situation, considering he's a been-to-hell-and-back vampire and all. But it apparently wasn't just a toss-off idea. In the actor's words:

I was like, ‘Is the beard thing a problem? Can he grow facial hair?' And they were like, ‘Yes. We figured out you can.’ I was like, ‘I don’t really understand it, but I’m just going to go along with it.’ Honestly, I think beards in the prison world are the least of our worries.

While Kai's return episode might be completely derailed if the middle section was devoted solely to the scientific explanations behind the character's light beard and mustache, it would certainly be an interesting derailment. Perhaps our definitions for "interesting" differ...

Really, I'm interested to see if it gets explained in such a way that it justifies Kai having facial hair at all, as opposed to just having Chris Wood shave his face before filming. (Assuming, of course, that he didn't need to stay unshaven for a role in another project.) For instance, if he had to hide a tiny, hair-shaped tattoo on the underside of his chin. Or maybe the facial hair just means he's even MORE evil now. (Although I guess Star Trek used it to make Spock both evil and not-evil.)

In most cases, vampires retain the look they had when they were turned, which has rarely been an issue for the forever-youthful Vampire Diaries and Originals cast members. It technically hasn't been that long since fans last saw Kai, who made two appearances in The Vampire Diaries' final season in 2017. But that final appearance involved his attempt to murder nieces Lizzie and Josie, an act that will certainly be addressed on Legacies.

Fans can expect to see the bulk of Chris Wood's return in "Kai Parker Screwed Us" to be pretty Josie-heavy, with the actor mostly working with star Kaylee Bryant. And the way Wood put it to TVLine, Kai's feelings about Josie are slightly more advanced than they were in the past. In his words:

Uncle Kai would be proud of her craftiness. In fact, there are a couple of moments in the episode where you can see that, in spite of himself, he knows that some props are deserved. He has a twisted sense of pride in her.

Not that Kai's pride is something any decent human or vampire would wish to earn, family or not. But it will probably make things more fun to watch.

Chris Wood also teased that the Legacies episode will feature the "worst thing" he's ever had to do within his career. That alone should be enough to get fans glued to their TVs this week, be it with sympathy or hilarity.

Chris Wood's return to the franchise happens Thursday, February 6, when Legacies airs in its usual time slot on The CW at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other supernatural and monster-filled TV shows are on the way beyond Legacies' already confirmed third season, head to our Winter and Spring TV premiere schedule.

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