Review by John
Leave it to The Vampire Diaries to celebrate 100 episodes by having an episode-long deathwatch for one character while the rest of the gang is toasting her death. Of course, when it’s Katherine, it’s easy enough to understand why Team Elena would be happily watching her suffer to the end. Katherine is as much fun to watch slink around because she’s willing to do anything to survive, and that means she’s accumulated a lot of bad karma.
The plot came dangerously close to the format of a “clip show”, given how many scenes were characters discussing things that were done to them earlier in the series. Having the character hash it out from their point of view, as opposed to showing the actual clips, is at least a bit more interesting. Add to that the special appearances by the Originals (the big three, anyway) and more departed friends and family than Bonnie and Jeremy should ever have to deal with on a regular basis, and it’s fairly clear what the main purpose was.
Of course, The Vampire Diaries can’t dispense with plot for long, because as much as this was everyone coming together to celebrate the demise of their least favorite adversary, the audience had to know better. At least, I kept waiting for the final shoe to drop, especially once Katherine refused to become a “passenger” in her daughter’s mind/body. As soon as Elena stepped up to be the last person to say farewell, it was just a matter of time before Katherine was taking residence.
It’s a plot twist that will be fun to see play out. Katherine got a lot of mileage out of pretending to be Elena over the years, but there was always the problem of the real Elena to get in the way. With Katherine now inhabiting Elena’s body, the potential for chaos is enormous. For one thing, I fully expect her to chase after Stefan, leaving Damon in a puddle of angst, and Elena has been wishy-washy enough to make this seem credible.
The potential for more sexy-fun Katherine scenes doesn’t blind me to the drawbacks, of course. If Katherine is only “alive” inside of Elena, and the dictates of the series demand that Elena be restored sooner or later (sooner, at the usual speed of plot for this show), then Katherine’s demise is just a matter of time. Unless, of course, they find another supernatural solution to keep her around, but unless they find someone who gives Katherine the same smoldering flair as Dobrev, it just wouldn’t be the same.
I’m also not a fan of what the writers have done regarding Caroline. They finally let her have some frolicking of her own, only to have it be uber-conditional frolicking! I suppose it was a nice way to sever the ties with The Originals a bit more, but why remind us of the lovely Matt/Rebekah bond and twist that knife at the same time? The worst news, however, is the return of Tyler, who is in a constant horserace with Bonnie for the title of Worst Character.
For all the faults of the CW Network, and their reputation for teen dramas of questionable quality, they seem to have found their niche with genre programming (admittedly skewed to the younger set). I have no idea if The Vampire Diaries will have the longevity of a Supernatural, but right now, they are certainly in a solid groove.
Previously Posted on Critical Myth.