Vampire Diaries: 500 Years of Solitude

“Wow, you really don't want to die, do you?”

The Vampire Diaries’s 100th episode not only provided a lovely retrospective of Katherine Pierce’s life, but also a moment of reflection for all the characters still in Mystic Falls to think about those that have come and gone over the past four and a half seasons.

The promos for this episode made me expect something like a clip show, in which each character detailed all the agony Katherine had caused them over the years. And while the I Hate Katherine drinking game was fun—despite Damon blaming Katherine for his murder of Vicki—the meatiest part of the episode came in the second half, as characters had important conversations about the social bonds that define their lives.

That makes sense. The whole doppelganger thingamabob didn’t begin with Katherine, but the Mystic Falls chapter of this fated love story (if that’s what it is) did start back in 1490 with the birth of Katherine’s daughter. Damon, Stefan, Elena, Caroline, Jeremy, and Bonnie—even Matt, I guess—have all been defined in one way or another by Katherine’s quest for survival.

Given Katherine’s tendency to survive against all cost, the big switcheroo at the end of the episode is not particularly surprising. I won’t claim I knew it was going to happen, but I did wonder if Katherine would once again survive (perhaps by drinking some of Klaus’s magical blood), or if the writers were going to take Elena off-stage for a while, as her plots tend to falter when they’re not about the love triangle.

The final switcheroo might be one of the only parts of this episode to really affect the arc of the second half of this season. After all, this episode saw nary a mention of Damon’s 1950s torture, and I assume the show will not just drop that thread (although if they do, I won’t complain). But a respite from the frantic pacing is welcome.

In fact, the highlight of the episode for me was the return, however momentary, of everyone from Jenna to Alaric to Vicki and even Sark! Bonnie may have been the only character to see those ghost of seasons past, but she communicated their presence effectively to the group. And, of course, those ghosts were really for our benefit: a moment for the fans to think about the characters we’ve loved and lost.

Also: Klaus. In an episode that included all the major players from past seasons, it makes sense for one of the most important still-living baddies to take a break from NOLA and daytrip to Mystic Falls. I’ve never understood the appeal Klaus has for Caroline. Especially given her recent emphasis on Damon’s dark past, Caroline’s decision to have sex with him seems especially confusing. However, I am happy Caroline got a chance to have scandalous sex, even if I’m less-than-happy about her choice of partner.

I know I’m supposed to feel horrified and sad that Katherine has taken over Elena’s body, but truthfully I’m so excited to see what sort of trouble she causes, and so impressed at her tricking Damon in revenge for his mind-walk of cruelty, that I’m happily anticipating upcoming episodes. We know Elena won’t die, so we can enjoy the aftermath of Katherine’s decision to take her over.

Bites and Pieces:

• The winner of this week’s Most Obvious Symbolism award is the ticking clock next to Elena’s bed.

• For a Traveler family, the Pierces sure had a lot of stuff back in 1490.

• I’ll bet Caroline is the only vampire in the world who wears a pink bra.

• Caroline: “[Katherine] did kill me. Although I’m weirdly better off.”

• Caroline: “How am I the only person on the planet not having scandalous sex?”

Three and a half out of four surprising returns.

Josie Kafka reviews The Vampire Diaries, True Detective, Game of Thrones, and various other things that take her fancy. She is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


TheShadowKnows said...

Irrelevant comment: watching the Caroline-Klaus makeout scene, I was again struck by how odd-looking Candice Accola is - for a beautiful woman - especially in profile. It's like her forehead is shaped exactly like her nose, which almost makes her look like she's wearing one of the "dog face" vampire prosthetics from Buffy. And yet she is, in fact, still a beautiful woman. It's a bit of a conundrum.

Other than my pointless thoughts about Caroline's forehead, a good episode.

Billie Doux said...

lol, TheShadowKnows. I swear I was thinking the same thing during that amusing Caroline-Klaus scene. Which I enjoyed very much. I've grown to like Klaus and his ambiguity, and I totally get Caroline's reluctant attraction to him.

This episode was a lot of fun, and not just because freaking everyone was in it. I was pretty sure that Nadia and the Travelers were up to something when they were bleeding the doppelgangers. And the way everyone chose to say farewell to Katherine by drinking to her villainy was very Vampire Diaries.

Now it's just a matter of how soon someone realizes that Elena isn't Elena. I am willing to bet a bunch of virtual lollipops right now that Damon will figure it out before Stefan. :)

Morgan India said...

Can I just say how great it was to see Sark once more, even if it was just for one second? Sometimes I think the TVD writers forget about him so it was a pleasant surprise.

LaureMack said...

I liked the reunion part of this episode, but not much else.

Stefan's attitude toward everyone really rubbed me the wrong way. I have a new life rule... if someone repeatedly tries to kill/torture all of your friends, then your friends are allowed to toast to her death.

I saw the Katherine-Elena-switch-a-roo coming since before she took the dive down the stairs. Of course she only wants to keep living if she has a face that Stefan can love. Blah blah blah fated to be together blah. Are we seriously never going to be done with this??

I thought Aunt Jenna might be hanging out with Alaric on the other side....

I really didn't like this episode.

Marianna said...

Any episode that Alaric makes an appearance in is a good episode in my book!

I think Klaus is someone who also seeks to control every aspect of his life to a fault. He's like Caroline but less girly and minus the incredible loyalty that is a huge part of who Caroline is. I'm guessing Klaus's control over his life (and the whole sexy artist thing) is what appeals to Caroline. Even though I usually frown upon the whole "let's have sex once to get it out of our system" idea, it sort of made sense in this case since he was leaving so it felt like closure. Also Caroline really does deserve some scandalous sex!

Jeremy could also see the ghosts of seasons past by the way.