The Vampire Diaries Episode 511
“500 Years of Solitude”
Written By: Julie Plec and Caroline Dries
Directed By: Chris Grismer
Original Airdate: 23 January 2014
In This Episode…
Katherine is dying. After her heart attack, she was stabilized at the hospital, then Stefan compelled the doctors to let him take her home so she can die in peace. He suspects she will be dead by the end of the day. Damon and Elena are both wallowing over their breakup separately, but agree to come say their goodbyes. They end up spending most of the afternoon drinking and competing over who Katherine was most horrible to. Nadia shows up with a plan on how to save Katherine. No one is particularly interested in helping until Nadia reveals that she has kidnapped Matt, locked him in the safe that once imprisoned Stefan, and buried him somewhere on the massive Salvatore property. Oh, and she took his magic ring, so if he dies, he dies for good.
Stefan and Elena go with Nadia into the woods, to an abandoned and shuttered house. Since Katherine was born of a traveler bloodline, she can hitch a ride with someone else - she just needs to learn how to. She has a traveler, Mia, who will show her how to do it, but Mia comes with a price. Stefan and Elena are locked in the house, and dozens of travelers start moving towards them, chanting. Whatever chanting they are doing negates the magic of their daylight rings, so they huddle in a shadowy corner as the travelers close in on them. One steps forward and slits Stefan and Elena’s wrists, and bleeds them into a bucket. The same magic won’t allow them to heal. After the travelers have what they want, their healing returns, their rings work, and the two are allowed to just walk out. That’s it.
Meanwhile, Jeremy, Bonnie, and Caroline are searching the grounds for Matt (just in case) and they split up. Caroline is surprised by Klaus, who was stalking her through the forest. He was there to mete out revenge on Katherine before it is too late. After some flirty teasing (which annoys the hell out of Caroline) he promises that reinforcements have already found Matt. (That reinforcement, we learn, is Rebekah. Matt is mighty pleased to see her.) Klaus makes Caroline a promise: He will abandon his revenge against Katherine and leave Mystic Falls, never to return, but she must admit that all her hostility towards him was covering up the connection she feels to him. It is almost physically painful for Caroline to admit that Klaus is right, but it leads to kissing which leads to sex on the forest floor.
While the others are out, Damon has been tasked with keeping an eye on Katherine. He is not happy about this - he simply cannot forgive - and uses this opportunity to fuck with Katherine. In her weakened state, Katherine dreams / hallucinates about her life. Much of it we know; some we don’t. For example, we see Katherine go into labor, her mother deliver her baby, and her father take the child before Katherine can even see her. Two years later, Katherine returns home after fleeing Klaus’ clutches, only to find he brutally slaughtered her entire family. This is where Damon inserts himself into her mind, telling her that it was all her fault. She wakes and thinks it is Elijah with her. She also, at various times, hallucinates Jenna and Uncle John stabbing her in the stomach and cutting off her fingers. When her hallucination reverts to Damon, she is startled. Nadia comes in and snaps Damon’s neck for taunting her mother. She tells Katherine about her plan to live in another, but Katherine doesn't want to “hitch a ride.” She tells Nadia that letting her father take her away was her biggest regret - she wished she fought harder, and since that day, has spent every day of her life fighting. She got to know her beautiful daughter, but now wants her to live. “Don’t waste any more time on me. It’s your turn to live. I made selfish decisions my whole life. I want to do the right thing for once.” Nadia won’t watch her mother die, and she storms out. Damon, slowly waking, hears all of this. Katherine gives herself another shot of heavy sedative, which Liz brought over earlier, just in case.
Stefan comes in to say his goodbyes to Katherine. He makes her close her eyes and takes her back to the scene of her family slaughtered. Except this time, Stefan erases the bodies and the bloodstains. “You were a 17 year old girl. None of this is your fault.” Back in the here and now, Stefan kisses her forehead and says goodbye. Elena comes to say her own goodbyes. She’s not dead yet, but with these drugs, Stefan doesn’t believe she will wake up again.
Everyone else is downstairs, chatting and drinking. Stefan informs Damon he needs to fix whatever happened between him and Elena. Damon knows that - he can’t live without her - but she is better off without him. “Katherine had a selfless moment - I’m not allowed to?” Caroline returns home, claiming to have gotten lost in the woods. While they wait for Katherine to die, Matt asks Bonnie about being the anchor. She admits that she sees Vicki and, of course, Vicki shows shows up and tells Bonnie to pass her love on to Matt. Alaric makes a brief appearance to toast, and Tyler shows up, a “parting gift from Rebekah.” The boys are all happy to see him, but Caroline says nothing. Bonnie gets another vision: Katherine. Then she is gone.
Because Katherine woke up with a start upstairs. “No, it’s too soon!” “Wow, you really don’t want to die,” Elena remarks. She had a whole speech prepared, which Katherine sums up: hate, loathe, etc. But there is one more thing: Elena forgives her. “You weren’t born evil. You lost everyone way too young and didn’t have a family to look after you. Sound familiar?” Elena wanted to get out that “I forgive you” part before Katherine actually died so she didn’t lose that part of herself. Katherine wants Elena to give her the final sedative injection - “If anyone is going to inject me, it should be you.” She also does something very uncharacteristic: she thanks Elena for her forgiveness. But this is Katherine we are talking about, so as Elena injects her, she grabs her and says the traveler’s incantation. Both girls close their eyes, and “Elena” wakes to a phone ringing. Mia is on the other end, and she says some key word to activate Katherine. Nadia comes on the line and checks that it is Katherine. “Of course I am Katherine. I survive.”
Dig It or Bury It?
This was a very touching episode. It was definitely there for the emotional ride because if you stop to think about it, there is plenty that doesn’t make sense, or was glossed over. Why did Nadia need blood from Elena and Stefan? Was it a doppelganger thing? I still don’t understand how Nadia remained young all these years. (I have to assume it is some traveler magic.) The whole Nadia / Katherine relationship feels like it was jammed in to the first half of the season. For such a troubled relationship, I would have rather seen it unfold a little better. I loved seeing the whole cast return, even though some of them felt a little unnatural and shoehorned in (Tyler and Elijah mostly). Speaking of Elijah, we are never going to get the whole story behind that very brief love affair between him and Katherine, are we?
Anyway, it was still a delightful episode that was heartfelt and genuine without being sappy or inane.
A whole bunch of secrets were revealed that I didn’t even realize were secrets. Apparently Elena didn’t know that Katherine and Stefan slept together, or that Nadia was Katherine’s daughter. And Caroline only just figured out that Bonnie and Jeremy were sleeping together - I didn’t realize that was a secret. Of course, all of this gets Caroline riled up because she isn’t having scandalous sex. Then of course Klaus shows up and Caroline gets to be one of the cool kids.
Mia has one final spell to do, and then Katherine will get to keep Elena’s body forever.