The Vampire Diaries season 5 episode 12 review: The Devil Inside

With these body-swapping ship wars, The Vampire Diaries appears to have its mojo back. Here's Caroline's review of The Devil Inside...

This review contains spoilers.

5.12 The Devil Inside

It’s hard to really get excited about anything on The Vampire Diaries any more because, as long-time viewers know, every turn of events we’ve enjoyed in the past has been dropped after a maximum three episodes, but seeing Damon and Enzo team up for some evil shenanigans at the end of The Devil Inside gave the series a much-needed boost. Then again, it just brings to mind everything we’ve already dealt with this season – Bonnie’s ‘death’, Tyler’s exit, Matt’s gypsy passenger, Silas and Katsia, the Augustine vampires – and you start to wonder whether someone needs to sit down and have a serious think about structure for this show.

Because, despite the fact that Enzo is around, leading Damon astray after his break-up with Kelena (Katherine in Elena’s body, for future reference), the business with the doppelgangers and Whitmore college all seems like a big waste of time right now. Are the writers just throwing stuff out there at random and hoping something sticks? Something that fans have taken to their hearts is Katherine’s redemption and, now that she has apparently permanent residence inside Elena’s body, I worry that she’ll also be ushered out of the figurative door by episode fifteen.

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For now, though, the show seems to have gotten its mojo back as far as the Kelena stuff is concerned, and they are milking Nina Dobrev’s acting skills for all they’re worth. We thought it was impressive to see her play two characters in the same scene together, but how about two characters within the same body! Her ability to switch from one to the other was something this episode hinged on at pivotal moments, so applauding her again wouldn’t be amiss. And even though we know Elena’s departure from the series definitely isn’t going to be a permanent thing, right now we can wallow in all this Katerina goodness.

She even provided a way for the show to split Elena and Damon up without it doing too much damage to the emotional states of the shippers, as we all know that the repurposed Matt breakup speech wasn’t coming from the source. Damon, however, doesn’t have a clue and, if there was one thing that was going to bring old, murderous Damon back to the surface in this era of The Vampire Diaries, it was Elena abandoning him. Despite the fact that this exact team-up has happened before with Stefan and Klaus, it’s still something we haven’t seen played out in a while.

But how long before someone realises something’s wrong? Will it be Stefan while Katherine tries to win him back? Or maybe Jeremy or Matt, having known her the longest, will be the ones to smell a rat. With so many suspicious people around her, I can’t imagine Katherine’s plan is going to work out. But maybe everyone else will be so distracted by the Klaus/Caroline/Tyler fallout that they won’t have time to wonder why Elena is acting weird. That well-deserved punch to the face Stefan delivered to Tyler this week was pretty fabulous and cathartic for anti-Tyler fans to watch, and you can already see the seeds of a brand new triangle being sown.

Will Katherine’s plan to get Stefan back result in the strange, hybrid relationship, or will it just be an excuse to tear the character down from her current victory over her doppelganger? I can’t be the only one rooting for Katherine over Elena, but I also don’t think I’m the only one who thinks it’s time for the show to explore whatever Stefan and Caroline have going on between them. But, as much as we all like to argue about it, The Vampire Diaries isn’t only about who’s kissing and who’s not – it’s also about characters who, no matter how hard they try, can’t quite get redemption and heroism to stick.

Next week sees another black tie event hit Mystic Falls and, if the promos are anything to go by, Stefan doesn’t take Enzo’s influence over Damon very well. Basically, we’re back to the start of the series where these two are concerned but now, rather than pining after Katherine, Damon really has nothing to live for. See you next week for more body-snatching ship wars (aka what this show does best).

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, 500 Years Of Solitude, here.

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