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?)
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