The Vampire Diaries season 5 episode 15 review: Gone Girl

Is The Vampire Diaries spending too long focusing on boring love stories? Here's Caroline's review of the latest episode...

This review contains spoilers.

5.15 Gone Girl

Is Katherine really gone, or is this just another turn of events bound to come back and haunt Stefan and co. in the future? I’m leaning towards the latter simply because, if the writers had wanted to kill Katherine off for real, they would have done it back in the 100th episode. Even then, if they were really keen to do this doppelganger body-swap storyline first, surely this episode, Gone Girl, would have been her swan song?

Instead, despite Katherine’s spirit being expelled from Elena by the gypsy dagger the gang used to help Matt at the beginning of the season, her spirit lives on presumably in some hell dimension.

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This leaves the door open for her return (it’s not as if they need to sort the actress’s schedule out in order to bring her back) and, with every other character coming off more and more frustrating and unlikeable as the show progresses, that’s fine by me. This episode, for example, was a more than fitting send off in that it humanised Katherine more than ever while still allowing her to be the upfront, manipulative villain we’ve known her to be all of these years. It brought her journey with Nadia full circle at last, with mother and daughter finally finding peace just before dying, and even her relationships with Damon and Stefan were somewhat finished off.

The flashbacks of Nadia’s search for her mother were, as usual, pretty boring distractions from what was really going on, but the way they tied into her final goodbye to Katherine (and, less importantly, Matt) almost made them worth the screen time. Even if the show does yet another u-turn and brings both Nadia and Katherine back to life at a later date, the fact that this episode at least allowed Tyler’s werewolf bite to kill someone was kind of refreshing. When was the last time someone important actually, really, properly died on this show? The only problem is, with Katherine finally out of their lives, where do we go from here?

Because, as has been spoken about again and again by ardent fans and rapidly departing casual viewers alike, The Vampire Diaries really isn’t at its best right now. Katherine, despite being a relatively minor character for the show’s overall run, have been the sole element keeping things interesting and afloat and, through her presence, Stefan has also had something to do besides obsess over the tired central love triangle. Now that Elena has control over her body back and Damon has sworn to come clean, is all we have to look forward to yet more passive aggressive conversations about who’s better for who and who loves who more?

The show would not necessarily improve with new love interests or new twists on old relationships – such as with Stefan and Caroline or Jeremy with the new witch – and what it needs to do is establish some area of interest outside of the love lives of these characters. That’s why Katherine’s arc has been so endlessly compelling, because she was a complicated character with more on her plate than her love for the Salvatore brothers and, by taking it back to her regret surrounding Nadia and away from her life-long obsession with Stefan here, we were reminded of that. All shippers have been scorned too many times at this point, and trying to keep them all happy at once is just dumbing the show down.

Even the twist of having Katherine inject Elena’s body with super-strong Augustine serum before she departed was more about her relationship with Damon that anything else, and I can’t imagine her dangerous new bloodlust will make her any more interesting now that my least favourite Nina Dobrev character is back. How is this more dangerous than the serum that Damon’s currently grabbling with, and does it mean that they’ll still want to feed on each other or will their mutual affliction somehow cancel that out? Either way, I’ll reserve judgement on this until after the mini-hiatus, hoping and praying for some compelling new developments to invest in soon.

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, No Exit, here.

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