Friday, 24 January 2014

S5x11 - The Vampire Diaries: 500 Years of Solitude - ODE TO KATHERINE PIERCE

Aired 23/01/14 on The CW

So this was TVD's 100th episode... And you know what? It wasn't that bad. Considering season five has been a complete bust so far, the first episode after the mid-season break was probably the best one of the season. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't without it's flaws but the good parts outweighed the bad parts for a change. 

You'll probably recall in the mid-season finale that Katherine Pierce had a heart attack and fell down the stairs. Finally, she was on death's doorstep for real - a moment I have been dreading since I learned that she was dying. Katherine has been the best thing about this season, actually scratch that, she has been the best thing about this show. Even at her most evil, she has been so enjoyable to watch. Props to Nina Dobrev, who acts so unbelievably well that she can make me love one of her characters and detest the other (I'm looking at you Elena Gilbert). I was extremely worried about how they would deal with Katherine's death because quite frankly, a show without Katherine just doesn't appeal to me at all. Thankfully, the writers have spared her - Katherine Pierce lives to fight another day. Her method of survival actually turned out to be very predictable, but having said that I did worry that the writers really would let her pop her clogs. But do you know what, I can live with predictable writing if it means my favourite character is still on the show.  

Katherine spent the entire episode on her death bed while everyone around her either drank all of the Salvatore's bourbon supplies or tried to keep her alive - okay, so it was basically only Nadia who was fighting to keep her alive. Damon reverted back to his former self in the good old days, moping about his break-up with Elena and then took to celebrating the demise of Katherine - whom he decided was the cause for all of his misery and suffering over the years. Suck it up Damon *rolls eyes*. Elena took a leaf out of her ex-boyfriend's book and also decided to celebrate her arch-nemesis' death with a lot of drinking. In fact, pretty much everyone had taken to drinking a shot to represent every bad thing Katherine had done to them. Okay so fair enough, she did a lot of horrible things and I guess in the end she didn't deserve that much love, but this was way too much judgement coming from a group of very imperfect, occasionally evil and totally selfish people. Damon has killed a lot of people, Stefan became a ripper, Elena even turned her humanity switch off (granted Katherine did kill her bro so maybe I'll let that one go, but she also broke Stefan's heart so mehhhh Elena). This is a group of people who's moral compass is so screwed up that they once killed some original vampires and let a whole bloodline of vampires die in order to save themselves - it was basically vampire genocide, and did they spare a thought for any of the good vamps out there who fell victim to their plan? Ummm no. This has always been the most selfish group of people ever - they'll do anything to keep their group of loved ones safe no matter who else gets caught in the crossfire - and if you think about it they're more similar to Katherine then they realise, because her one true love remains herself and she'd do anything to keep herself safe. As Stefan said, her most admirable quality was her strong survival instinct after a very tough upbringing. Really they're not so very different. Pot. Kettle. Black. Hmph!

Anyway, the only person who showed any real compassion was Stefan. He decided to take the high road and comfort Katherine in her dying moments, which any decent person should do - gloating when someone is dying really isn't very nice. As Katherine slept we were given access to some of her darkest memories which included having her daughter taken away from her after child-birth and discovering her entire family slaughtered. These scenes were brilliant additions to the episode, really grounding Katherine's humanity and allowing us to see how Katherine became the way she did. Of course Damon was on hand to ruin those memories and made her hallucinate Aunt Jenna and Uncle John torturing her. While Jenna stabbed her and John cut off her fingers, the most horrific moment for me was when he pretended to be Elijah - Elijah was even wearing the suit *sighs*. Finally the sweetest, saddest moment came when Stefan inserted himself into the memory of her slaughtered family, cleansed it of all the blood and horror and allowed Katherine to see her baby and her face GLOWED - now that's when I cried a bit because I thought she really was going to die for real.

HOWEVER... She wasn't ready to go just yet. Her heart stopped briefly and Bonnie, with her "I SEE DEAD PEOPLE" eyes even saw her, but Katherine screamed and yelled and said she wasn't ready, then she woke up to find Elena sitting on her bed. Elena said she forgave her and yadayadayada nobody really cares what you think Elena, and Katherine asked her to plunge the final syringe full of sedatives into her and let her die, but *GASP!* at the last moment, Katherine performed the "passenger" curse, which she had learned from Nadia and the travellers. Originally, the plan appeared to be that Nadia wanted to let Katherine become a passenger in her body, but Katherine said no. Of course really, if Katherine was going to be a passenger - a possibility explored a few episodes before - it was going to be in Elena's body, because guess what? THEY'RE IDENTICAL. So basically, Katherine is now firmly planted inside of Elena's body. Yes it was predictable. Yes it probably undermined all of the really human aspects of Katherine's character that had been explored during the episode, but I DON'T CARE because Elena has taken a back seat and Katherine IS STILL ALIVE. Now I'd definitely drink to that! Katherine's body died as Elena's body stood in front of the mirror - Katherine smiled, mimicked Elena's voice and mannerisms and then flicked back to Katherine. It was seriously awesome. How long it will last I don't know... and what happens to Katherine once Elena finally resurfaces I don't know, but for now I'm just going to enjoy the ride. I've seen people criticise the plot idea already, saying that Katherine should have finally died on a good note, but if she had accepted death like that I think it would have betrayed her character. Katherine is a fighter and a survivor and for her to accept death would have been soooo wrong. She fought even when her heart stopped; you really have got to love her for that. 

Finally, I should probably mention the other things that happened in the episode that didn't revolve around Katherine (my bias towards her is becoming painstakingly obvious but I don't even care). Two words: ORIGINAL VAMPIRES. This episode saw the return of Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah. Elijah was a hallucination, Rebekah saved Matt, who'd once again found himself in mortal peril when he was buried alive, while Klaus took the time to catch up with Caroline - now this reunion was the one that scored big points. After a couple of seasons of romantic/sexual tension, Caroline finally gave in to the temptation and they had HOT, WOODLAND, VAMPIRE SEX. Klaroline shippers everywhere were rejoicing throughout the land. However, when Caroline returned from her tryst in the woods, her happy mood was dampened when TYLER LOCKWOOD returned. UGH. Talk about awkward. Nobody likes that guy. Someone just kill him already. 

Now, a 100th episode can't be complete without a glimpse at some TVD old timers; Vicky Donovan - who let's be honest, nobody really cared about anyway - and ALARIC! He had a fond dig at Damon and my heart melted. I seriously wish they'd find a way to bring him back for good. It's such a damn shame that we have annoying characters like Elena, Tyler and Nadia running around but we can't have Alaric full-time. SO UNFAIR. 

And on that note, I'll stop right there. We're going to be having a break from Elena and Katherine is going to be throwing an evil spanner in the works - now this is better than any Silas/Doppelganger/Cure plot line if you ask me. Bring it on!