As Katherine lies dying, the rest of the Mystic Falls gang reminisces about her past, while Nadia prepares a body switch. Here is a recap and review of “500 Years of Solitude.”
Stefan, having brought Katherine home from the hospital to die, defends Katherine’s actions to survive and scolds everyone for toasting to all the horrible things she has done to them – quite the trip down memory lane. Then the secrets start flowing. Caroline forgot to tell Elena about that time Stefan and Katherine hooked up … or that Nadia was Katherine’s daughter. And Elena’s mind just exploded. Nadia interrupts, having found a way to save her mom and buried Matt in the safe as incentive.
As Caroline, Jeremy, and Bonnie search for Matt, Caroline gets bummed she’s the only one not having scandalous sex. Oh, the foreshadowing. Caroline splits off and finds Klaus lurking in the woods. He asks if she’d have given him the same choice she gave Tyler: revenge or her. Klaus insists he’ll leave and never return as long as she confesses her feelings for him. Then the foreshadowing plays out. Rebekah comes to Matt’s rescue, and both dawn the most adorable smiles ever.
Bulgaria, 1492. Katherine returns home to find her parents murdered and Damon admiring Klaus’ handiwork in this nightmare that Damon is controlling. Sheriff Forbes delivers sedatives, but Katherine’s less than thrilled about them making her weaker to resist Damon’s control. Mystic Falls, 1864. Katherine and Emily’s driver stops to help a handsome gentleman with his carriage troubles. It’s Stefan, and Katherine is immediately smitten. Awake again from her own dream, Katherine informs Damon she’s experienced the indescribable pull of the doppelgangers’ fate.
Having revealed her plan to have Katherine body jump, Nadia leads Stefan and Elena to a creepy abandoned house where chanting travelers surround them, overpower their daylight rings, and drain a bucket of blood from each doppelganger. Damon returns to torturing Katherine, conjuring up Aunt Jenna to stab her in the gut and Uncle John to chop off her fingers. Finally, Elijah orders it to end, but this is just one more trick in Damon’s book. Sneaking up behind him, Nadia snaps Damon’s neck and instructs Katherine on the spell.
Gathered around the fire, Matt asks about the anchor thing. Vikki’s there, and so is Alaric. Cheers, buddy. Stefan comes to Katherine’s bedside to say goodbye, giving her a dream where her murdered parents vanish from her sight and she holds her baby girl. Then, Elena, alone with Katherine, opts for a simple statement of forgiveness before Katherine grasps her head, recites a spell, and takes over her body. Over the phone, Nadia brings Katherine to the forefront, having planned this the whole time.
“500 Years of Solitude” reminded us all of many of the reasons we’ve screamed or gasped at our televisions during the past four and a half seasons of The Vampire Diaries and even gave us the chance to for new exclamations. While the 100th episode served more as a stroll down memory lane than a whole story in itself, it still managed to propel the series forward and set up an exciting challenge for the characters to face next.
It’s hard to argue that any character other than Katherine has been the most influential in this series, so it came as no surprise that this special episode revolved around much of her life’s struggles and her effect on nearly every other character. The woman who has fought so hard to survive looked like she was going out easy, but because of this season’s continual reminders that Katherine Pierce is a survivor, her life extension plan was only partially a surprise. Choosing to inhabit Elena, the one person whom everyone unconditionally protects, once again demonstrated just how smart and devious Katherine is.
Having these two strong-willed doppelgangers in the same body is sure to produce a slew of suspenseful and comedic moments. In addition, the need for Katherine to impersonate Elena (again) will hopefully measure up in quality to those scenes from season two. The ending moment in which Katherine does her best to introduce herself to the mirror as Elena made me the most excited I’ve been about this series in a while.
With the flashbacks to Nadia’s birth and the reminder of some notable events in Katherine’s life afterwards, I began to wonder more intensely about how Nadia found out about her roots and turned into a vampire herself. Because Katherine and Nadia have now formed a secret partnership, it looks as if Nadia won’t be leaving Mystic Falls any time soon, giving us the hope to explore her past. This episode contained a beautiful scene between Katherine and Nadia about forgiveness, which was the running theme of the night. The bubbling romance between Klaus and Caroline was bound to come to fruition at some point and worked well and believably under the circumstances.
Stefan’s personality in “500 Years of Solitude” resulted in my only grip about this otherwise exceptional episode. Granted his relationship status with Katherine recently grew a step beyond “it’s complicated,” his lofty attitude towards the others who were praising her demise was still slightly off-key. The fact that it was noticeable that Stefan was now so adamant about granting Katherine forgiveness made it seem too forced for the sake of presenting an opposing point to the other characters. Also on the Stefan front, he unexpectedly expressed his approval of Team Delena more than once and urged Damon to get her back, even at the risk of freaking out the universe. Sounds like the fate of the doppelgangers will be put to the test as new stories are forged.