TV Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 418 - 'American Gothic'



the vampire diariesThe Vampire Diaries Episode 418
“American Gothic”
Written By: Evan Bleiweiss & Jose Molina
Directed By: Kellie Cyrus
Original Airdate: 28 March 2013

In This Episode...

Rebekah and Elena take a break from hunting Katherine. After hitting three towns in two days, Elena is hungry. In a small town, she tries to eat a woman off the street. The woman recognizes her - as Katherine. Jackpot. It quickly becomes apparent that Katherine has compelled the whole town to bend to her will, and to pretend they don’t know Katherine unless it is Katherine talking to them. It’s good to be a doppelganger.  It doesn’t take long to locate Katherine, and Elena and Rebekah hold her hostage at a diner. Elena sees Katherine has a meeting with someone named “Em” at 2pm, so she dresses as Katherine and goes to keep the meeting while Rebekah keeps an eye on Katherine.

It turns out that “Em” is Elijah. He kisses Elena deeply before realizing this isn’t Katherine. It is at this point that Damon and Stefan roll into town. They meet Rebekah and Katherine at the diner and Stefan tries to arrange a meet with Elijah to swap girls. We learn that Elijah is in love with Katherine, and he thinks the feeling is mutual, but feels betrayed when Elena reveals that Katherine killed Jeremy. Even worse, Katherine is using Elijah to help her broker a deal with Klaus. Katherine will turn over the cure to Klaus (via Elijah) and he will stop trying to kill her. Stefan will go deal with Elijah while Katherine takes Damon and Rebekah to the cure.

Damon and Rebekah tease Katherine about her suburban decor while she searches the back of the bookcase for the cure. It’s gone. Naturally they don’t believe her. Rebekah searches upstairs while Damon considers the downstairs. He realizes the aquarium has no fish in it and goes for the treasure chest at the bottom. The tank is filled with vervain water, causing Damon to snap his hand back. Katherine, still immune to vervain, grabs it without a problem and shoves Damon’s face in the tank. Rebekah blocks her from leaving as Damon writhes on the floor with a blistered face. Katherine gives Rebekah a choice: the cure, or her. She tosses the cure into the air and runs from the house. Rebekah chooses the cure. Stefan comes in as she chugs the cure and Damon does nothing to stop her. Rebekah convulses and collapses. Stefan is pissed off at Damon for not trying to stop her. Rebekah wakes and says she feels full of life and vigor. Damon reminds her that she can now be killed. He throws a knife at her - and she catches it. The wound it leaves on her palm heals instantly. It was a fake cure.

Katherine has the cure hidden at her lackey’s house. She retrieves it, then goes to meet Elijah. She insists that she loves him, but he just can’t believe her or trust her anymore. In an attempt to regain his trust, she gives him the cure. He takes it, then is stopped by Rebekah, who lays out her reasons for wanting the cure. Elijah seems inclined to turn it over to her, but they are interrupted by a phone call from Klaus, and which point Elijah tells his brother that he is bringing the cure back to Mystic Falls.

Klaus has been at home, desperately trying to dig the chunk of stake out of his back. No matter how he dislocates his joints or what he uses to dig into his flesh, he cannot reach it. Caroline comes in and Klaus thinks she will help him - but it is Silas in Caroline-form, just there to taunt him. When the real Caroline finally shows up, after 50 texts and voice mails from Klaus, he doesn’t believe it is her (until she rambles on about prom). Against her better judgement, she agrees to dig out the stake. She is still mad at him, and does not seem to take any joy in causing him great pain as she uses a pair of gardening shears or something to dig around a huge hole in his back. She stops and decides she isn’t going to help him anymore unless he promises to let Tyler come back to town and not kill him. “He tried to kill me!” proclaims Klaus. “We’ve all tried to kill you!” she fires back. Their argument escalates and suddenly Klaus’s pain vanishes. He quickly realizes there is no stake in his back - Silas was just mindfucking him. The fight with Caroline distracted him long enough to break Silas’s hold over him. This frightens Caroline. If Silas can do that to Klaus, what can he do to the rest of them? Klaus genuinely thanks Caroline and wants to be friends. She wants him to promise not to kill Tyler. He won’t say that, exactly, but he does point out that he is “not exactly scouring the earth looking for him.”

Damon admits to Stefan that he could have stopped Rebekah from taking the “cure” but didn’t. After she gulped it down, he realized what a huge mistake that was. Stefan remarks that they have been making the same mistakes for 150 years, and he is done with it. He owes it to Elena to get her the cure, but after that, he is done, putting her out of his life for good. The boys meet Elena at the diner, at her request. She doesn’t want the cure and wants the Salvatores to accept that this is who she is now. If they don’t stop trying to force it down her gullet, there will be consequences. Stefan vows not to give up on her, just like she didn’t give up on him when his emotions were off. Elena looks touched, contemplative... then she snaps the neck of a waitress. “That’s one body you are responsible for,” she announces, and threatens two, ten, one hundred more. They’ve created a monster.

Dig It or Bury It?

This was a great episode. The show is finally back to where it used to be: lies, deception, and violence. So. Much. Violence. Not in the combat-way, but in the torture-way. Half the episode focused on Klaus practically being vivisected. Nothing was too touchy-feely in tonight’s episode. I worry that Elena and Katherine may potentially be swapping personalities (with Elena becoming the sociopathic bitch and Katherine - at the least - becoming an uneasy partner with the “good guys”) but as long as it is done carefully it won’t seem too cheesy.

Devilishly Charming

When Damon and Rebekah are at Katherine’s house with her, the two are teasing Katherine about her choice of “normal” decor. “Did it ever occur to you that I’m not who you think I am?” she demands. “Did it ever occur to you that you are not that deep?” Damon fires back.


We’ve got a couple down weeks, then we return - with prom. I cannot say this enough times: Stop having proms! Nothing good ever, ever, ever happens at prom.