The Vampire Diaries: A Fresh Start?

The Vampire Diaries is back and dumber than ever. (I don't care, as long as Ian Somerhalder is on a show, I will continue to watch it... but I won't pretend this is top notch quality television either.) In case you missed it, you can catch last night's episode, "500 Years of Solitude," here.

As you may already know, I had been recapping this terrible, wonderful show every week over at ESC TV. However, it's a new year with a fresh start. The Evil Slut Clique made the decision to put our blogs and our business to rest for 2014. So if you want to know what Damon and the doppelgangers have been up to lately, you'll have to check it out here from now on. Kicking off with the 100th episode...

The episode opens up showing various parallels... 

In Bulgaria, 1490, Katerina Petrova gives birth to a baby girl, who is promptly taken from her by her father.

Present Day. Katherine Pierce has suffered a heart attack and lies in a hospital bed and Stefan explains to Nadia, Katherine's long lost daughter, that Katherine is dying and may not live the rest of the day.

Matt and Jeremy find Damon, passed out at the bar at the Grille, he's upset about having broken up with Elena the night before (because he's "bad" for her).

Caroline and Bonnie wake up Elena in their dorm room, to present her with a "Breakup Breakfast" and celebrate. (Obviously Caroline is thrilled that Damon and Elena broke up.)

Both scenes are interrupted when Stefan calls everyone to let them know Katherine is going to die.

The boys follow Damon to Casa de Salvatore (so they're just blowing off work? why were they at the Grille to begin with?) and Damon invents the world's best drinking game.
Rule #1 Think of the worst thing Katherine Pierce has ever done to you.
Rule #2 Toast to the glory of her impending death
Rule #3 If you come across something that's worse, which you will... repeat rules 1 and 2.
I'm totally going to create my own version of this game some day (even if I may die of alcohol poisoning trying to play). The girls interrupt their drinking and there's a long awkward silence between Elena and Damon. Then Elena starts listing the terrible things Katherine has done to her as well. Bonnie and Caroline join in and they all drink together.

Upstairs, Katherine lies in bed talking to Stefan.
Stefan: You know, even on your death bed, you're vain.
Katherine: If a girl's gotta go, might as well be glamorous right?

Katherine: You're being too nice to me. Why?
Stefan: You're dying. I think I can muster up a little bit of compassion.
Matt goes to get more booze but Nadia shows up and knocks him out. Nadia joins the group and tells them she needs their help to save her mother. They don't want to help her, so she tells them that she buried Matt in the safe without his Gilbert ring. (Stefan's safe! What the hell did they just leave that laying around for?) It's incentive to make them help her. Poor Matt, he's literally just a prop on this show nowadays.

Elena and Stefan "volunteer" to help Nadia find a Traveler. Her plan is for Katherine to learn the spell to become a passenger in someone else's body. (Still, don't understand why Nadia's boyfriend Gregor never taught her this spell before he took over Matt's body. He did it right in front of her, she didn't pay attention?) Nadia plans to let Katherine become a passenger in her own body. Mother daughter bonding for eternity?

Dream sequence flashback to Katherine's past, the moment when she found her family brutally murdered by Klaus. Then Damon jumps into her dream for funsies.
Damon: What a mess. Okay I'll say it. I miss Klaus. I mean, the way this guy used to torture you. Sword in the daddy. Nice touch. 
Katherine: Get out of my head!
Sheriff Forbes show up just in time to stop Damon from smothering Katherine with a pillow, because, you know, it's murder and she'll have to arrest him and ugh, who wants to deal with all that paperwork? He tells her that every bad thing he's ever done is linked to Katherine. She taught him how to kill and how to enjoy it. She ruined him and he can't take it back.
Sheriff Forbes: Look at how much control she still has over you Damon. Prove her wrong.
Nadia traps Stefan and Elena in a dilapidated old house. Turns out the price for getting a Traveler to help her was two doppelgangers! (Speaking of which, seriously, when are we going to get a Damon doppelganger? Come on, writers, make it happen.) A gaggle of Travelers appear and start chanting. Their daylight rings aren't working, so they can't leave and relegated to standing in the center of a dark room as the Travelers move closer.  A traveler cuts them to get their blood and they wonder why they aren't healing as their blood slowly spills into a bucket. Yum.

Meanwhile Caroline, Bonnie and Jeremy search the woods looking for Matt. Instead Caroline finds Klaus. Hm, what was The Originals spin-off not getting the ratings they needed so they wanted to remind TVD viewers to tune in?
Caroline: Sorry Matt's buried alive. No time to chat.
(She whooshes away but he follows.)
Klaus: You're not even the least bit curious as to why I'm here?
Caroline: I literally just whooshed at the sight of your face, so no.
Klaus tells Caroline that he knows Katherine is dying, thanks to Damon, but she doesn't want to hear what he has to say. He mentions Tyler, trying to pique her interest. Caroline tells him that the reason they broke up was because she gave him the choice between her or revenge against Klaus and he chose revenge. Klaus admits that he did show up looking for revenge, but Klaus sent him off with just a bruised ego.) She isn't interested in why Klaus is here, so she whooshes away again but he continues to follow. Of course, he hasn't mentioned that Hayley is back home having his hybrid baby.
Klaus: Would you give me the same choice? Were I to abandon my revenge against Katerina would you offer me the same choice as Tyler?
What now? Klaus tells Caroline not to worry about Matt because someone has already gone to rescue him. (It's Rebekah! Okay then.) I'm sorry, I don't watch The Originals, but as far as I know there's some serious shit happening over in New Orleans at the moment. Is it really a good idea for Klaus and Beks to just take a little road trip in the middle of everything so he can mock Katherine and flirt with Caroline?

Back in Katherine's dreamspace, she remembers seeing Stefan Salvatore for the first time. She admits to Damon that while she doesn't really believe in the whole doppelgangers-meant-to-be-together thing her first meeting with Stefan did seem like fate.

She continues to slip in and out of hallucinations (thanks to Damon and injections of drugs). First she sees Jenna trying to stab her, then John Gilbert trying to chop off her fingers. This is some heavy karma shit. (I have ato wonder what David Anders said when the writers told him they needed him to come back for a two second cameo. I guess since Once Upon a Time isn't returning until March, he had a few seconds of free time.)

Katherine then sees Elijah and is so happy to see him, until, oops it's just Damon again! That one was a real teaser for the audience as well because unlike Jenna and John, Elijah is still alive (probably?) and we already had surprise visits from his Original siblings Klaus and Rebekah. But no, it's just Damon being a dick.
Damon: I'm so sorry, did you think that was real? Nope. No one's coming to say goodbye Katherine because no one cares.
Nadia: I do.
Damon gets knocked out. Talk about immediate comeuppance. Nadia and her Traveler are ready to teach Katherine the passenger spell.
Katherine: Nadia, letting my father rip you out of my arms... it was the biggest regret of my life. I should've fought harder to keep you but I didn't I spent the last 500 years making sure that I never made that mistake again. I fought for everything and in the process, I had a long, full life and I got to know my beautiful daughter. And you spent the last centuries searching for me. Don't waste another minute on me. It's your turn to live.
She tells her that she's made selfish decisions all her life, and Nadia has to let her do the right thing for once. Nadia refuses to sit by her side and watch her die, so she leaves. Damon wakes up just in time to hear this exchange and watch Nadia walk out. Katherine injects herself again and falls unconscious.

Back in creepyville, the bucket of blood has been filled, Elena and Stefan start to heal again and their daylight rings have begun working again. The Travelers let them leave just like that. (What the heck are they planning to do with all that doppelganger blood?) Matt is presumably safe with Rebekah and Klaus is still hassling Caroline.

Klaus tells her will leave without gloating over Katherine's death in exchange for a confession from Caroline.
Klaus: As soon as we're done here,  I'm gonna walk away and I'm never coming back. You'll never again have to look me in the eye and cover our connection with hostility and revulsion. You'll never have to loathe the darkest parts of your self that care for me in spite of all I've done. I will be gone and you will be free. I just... want you to be honest with me.
Caroline replies that yes, she does cover their connection with hostility. She is building a life for herself and she has plans and a future, none of which involve him. But if he promises to walk away and never come back, she will be honest with him. She kisses him and then they have sex up against a tree or something.(Wonder if he really will leave and never come back. I find it hard to believe.)

Stefan returns to casa de Salvatore to find Katherine in and out of consciousness in bed and Damon with a boo boo head and sad face.
Stefan: What happened to you?
Damon: In a shocking twist, Katehrine's daughter's a psychopath.
He's done messing with her head though, so Stefan takes a moment to say goodbye. Katherine closes her eyes and goes back to the memory of the day she lost her parents.
Stefan: This is the memory you came back to. A little dark, no?
Katherine: Damon already had his fun with this one. This was the worst day of my life. He said it was my fault, that I deserved everything bad that's ever happened to me. He's right. He was right, Stefan. I don't deserve to be loved.
Stefan:  Open your mind me to me. Look at your father.
Katherine: He's gone. What are you doing?
Stefan: You deserve to feel peace.
Stefan erases the bad memories because she was just a 17-year-old girl and it wasn't her fault. She hears a baby crying and turns to find her daughter there. Stefan gave her back the chance to hold her baby girl before she dies. Aw. A moment of peace before her death.

Stefan and Damon drink at the roof of casa de Salvatore.
Stefan: I was in a dark place, Damon.
Damon: And Katherine pulled you out of it. Irony abounds.
Stefan: You know whatever's going on with you and Elena you need to fix it. She's the best thing that ever happened to you.
Damon: What, you don't think I know that? I can't live without her. But when you think about it, I'm no better than Katherine. Elena will be happier without me. What, I'm being selfless, don't give me that look.
Stefan: I'm not giving you a look
Damon: Katherine frickin Pierce has a selfless moment, I'm not allowed to? Fine. Fine, when I get Elena back and the whole universe freaks out because the fated doppelgangers were torn apart, just remember you, you're the one who talked me out of doing the right thing for the universe and all mankind.
Stefan: I will keep that in mind.
Of course, the song playing at this moment is perfect. "Let her go" by Passenger. It's sweet and sad but also hopeful.

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missin' home
Only know you love her when you let her go

Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast

Not only is everyone 'letting go' of someone or something in this episode, but the group is called Passenger. If that's not telling, then I don't know what is.

Back inside casa de Salvatore, Caroline returns to find Bonnie, Jeremy and Matt. The whole group (minus Elena and Katherine) joins together. Matt asks Bonnie if she will be able to feel Katherine's death, as the anchor. She says she probably will (because even though she's human, she's also a doppelganger and a Traveler apparently). He wants to know who else she sees over there. Cue the dead people reunion!

Bonnie admits she sees Matt's sister Vicki sometimes but she doesn't talk about it. Vicki appears to say she loves him (and to tell him to stop knocking around with that blonde Original chick). Then Tyler comes in! He's not dead, he's just back, again. Rebekah said he should be her parting gift. He says hi to Caroline and there's weirdness, I mean she did just sleep with the bad dude who made him so angry that he left her to get his revenge. (Wonder how he would feel now if he knew that?)

Then Alaric shows up to tell everyone they drink too much.
Alaric: Do you honestly think I'd leave Damon in charge and never look back?
Damon: He's talking about me isn't he?
Jeremy: He says you're a dick.
Damon: Cheers buddy.
Bonnie: Katherine!
Damon: Ding-Dong! Does that mean the witch is dead?
Katherine: No. Uh uh. It's too soon. I can't!
Then she wakes up again in her body. Elena is sitting at her bedside.
Elena: Wow, you really don't want to die, do you? I swear I just heard your heart stop.
Katherine: Where am I?
Elena: Still alive. Sadly.
Katherine: I thougth I was a goner there for a second. But I still have unfinished business.
Elena: So do I.
Elena tells Katherine that she was prepared to give her a speech...
Katherine: Let me guess. Hate. Loathe. Screw you. Die bitch. Et cetera.
Elena: Yes. Plus one more thing. I forgive you.
Elena tells Katherine that she wasn't born evil, her life made her that way because she lost everyone she cared about way too young. Sound familiar? It's funny how similar Katherine and Elena's live have really been... wonder if that's a doppelganger thing?
Katherine: Is this the 'we're not so different, you and I' doppelgangers speech? Cause I'd be happy to skip it.
Elena: I'll save it for the funeral that we probably won't have for you.
Katherine: Perfect.
Elena: I just wanted to get the forgiveness part out. It's part of me I never want to lose.
Katherine asks Elena to give her one last injection, for symmetry. She thanks her for her forgiveness, but just as she gives her the final syringe, she grabs her by the head and does the Traveler spell. Elena falls to the ground. She is awoken by a phone call and it's the Traveler and Nadia on the other line. The Traveler calls Katherine forward and now Katherine is a passenger in Elena's body.
Nadia: Did it work?
Elena/Katherine: Of course it worked. I'm Katherine Pierce. I survive. 
This was the plan all along!? Oh sneaky double triple cross there baby. Of course, there are a lot of loose ends here that I just don't buy.

For one, if this was the plan all along why did Katherine keep injecting herself with drugs? What if she died for real while she was knocked out and didn't get a chance to enter Elena's body. If this wasn't the plan from the start (and was more of a spur of the moment, last ditch effort to live) then how did Nadia know to call her? And either way, how did she know to call her at that exact moment? The timing was too perfect... what if she had called too soon and screwed the whole thing up? And finally, if all those nice words about being selfless was just a ploy, why would they bother to have that conversation while Damon was supposedly passed out on the floor. He awoke in time to hear the tail end of the convo, but they didn't know he would.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have a reason to keep Katherine Pierce around a little bit longer. (The only thing I would like more than double the Dobrev would be a Damon Doppelganger.) But this just seems a little too perfect. And isn't Bonnie going to suspect something is up when Katherine's body is dead and her spirit never officially passes through her to go to the Other Side?

Regardless, I am definitely looking forward to watching Nina Dobrev in next week's episode.... as Katherine playing Elena. It's almost too meta for me to handle but I love it.

Final Tallies
  • Deathcount: 0 - Katherine's body may have passed on, but her spirit is still living (inside Elena). 
  • People of Color: 1 - Just Bonnie (as usual). 
  • Surprise Guests: Klaus, Rebekah, Elijah, Jenna, John, Vicki, Alaric ... and Tyler's back! 
  • Forgotten Storylines: Dr. Wes, Aaron and Enzo were all nowhere to be seen this episode. While they're all so busy worrying about Katherine, did they forget that there are at least three people who probably want Damon dead?
Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video. Catch up on this season here.

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