‘Vampire Diaries’ Recap: ‘American Gothic’

by Cassie Title

Sometimes, when you’re looking for a 500-year-old vampire who can hide and scheme like nobody’s business, you find her, fairly easily, in a town not dissimilar from “Pretty Little Liars”’ Rosewood. (It looked almost exactly the same! Same set, mayhaps?) That’s pretty much what happened when Elena and Rebekah went searching for the “The Legend That Is” Katherine Pierce. They checked a bunch of towns, found nothing, and then Elena had what I’m going to chalk up to some weird doppelganger telekinesis thing, not unlike twin telepathy, in what Damon later called “Hicktown, PA,” and while Rebekah wanted to get on the road, Elena insisted on stopping for a snack.

And when she did, she found that a random towns-person knew her. And by her, we mean Katherine. “Conniving little bitch compelled the whole town!” Rebekah exclaimed. And it was true. Katherine was holing up in Rosewood, or Lot 62, or whatever it’s really called, and she was drinking from everybody, and she compelled everyone to forget about her unless she was directly talking to them. Pretty smart, eh? Except this chick wasn’t talking to Katherine, she was talking to Elena! And obviously they are the same person in real life, but don’t you kind of wish compulsion didn’t work in a facial recognition kind of way? Like, just the fact that Elena was not Katherine would somehow affect Katherine’s compulsion? Yeah, would probably get too confusing for plot points and showrunning and such.

Now, it’s true that the show has been losing me lately. There were just so many plot inconsistencies and not enough character development. But, this episode was so good I wanted to scream! It probably had something to do with the fact that KATHERINE AND ELIJAH were in it! I mean, I knew Elijah was going to be on this episode, but it’s a testament to the showrunners that I was still UTTERLY SHOCKED when “M,” the mysterious person Katherine was supposed to meet at the gazebo turned out to be ELIJAH! And then! And then! Oh man was I shocked at this next part. And then, when Elena went as Katherine and Elijah saw her and she covered her momentary shock, he KISSED HER! HE FREAKING KISSED ELENA AS KATHERINE! WHICH MEANS HE’S BEEN KISSING KATHERINE! Which means that somehow reality has altered and Katherine and Elijah are on what I can only assume is sleeping together terms. #Mindblown

Another thing I really enjoyed was the Katherine/Rebekah interaction. I think of them as fairly similar people, but it’s interesting to see how Rebekah has developed into a girl who’s never been successful romantically, while Katherine’s got the menfolk worshiping at her feet. I mean, to ensnare Elijah? Damn, girl; you still have it! Honestly, I thought Rebekah had to have been like this at some point, too, but all of the relationships we’ve seen have dealt with attractive men using her, while Katherine’s always the user. So I loved when Rebekah psychoanalyzed Katherine: When they forced Kat to give Elena her accessories to pass for Kat, Elena attempted to imitate Katherine’s speech. And Rebekah was all: “Just the right level of contempt and hidden insecurity.” I also remember hearing about how much Rebekah hates Katherine for “wedging herself in between her brothers” (um, don’t you think she should hate Kat’s predecessor, Tatia, more for that? Katherine wedged herself between the brothers, but Klaus never loved her.) Yet, Rebekah was absent for that little old “Katerina” episode. I so love when inconsistencies come back to haunt producers!

And, speaking of haunting (what a corny transition!), Silas was using his apparent power of mind control to convince Klaus that he was dying. It’s fun how Klaus was the baddest badass of all time, and now that Silas is one-upping him, he’s using the same tricks. Well, sort of. He took on the form of Shane, he took on the form of Caroline (kudos to Candice Accola; her portrayal of Silas was sick), and it’s all so Klaus-is-in-Alaric’s-freaking-body again!

Eventually, Klaus realized that he wasn’t actually in pain, and that Silas was controlling his mind. The real Caroline was helping him to get the white oak stake out of his body (wait, was that not really there either? I think it was. I’m all confused…), and Klaus realized that having a really hot fight that almost turned into a kiss (am I right?) got his mind off the fake pain. Add Caroline Forbes’ Tough Luck Friendship Tutorial, an excellent quote that really shows her priorities (“I’m supposed to be running three different prom committees and you keep phone stalking me!”) and her keen analytical skills (“If Silas can make you of all people think you’re dying [to Klaus], what can he do to the rest of us?”), and I’m thinking 1,000 points for Caroline.

And then the point system goes down 1,000 for Elena, who, back in Pennsylvania, didn’t wear nearly enough eye makeup to pass for Katherine. Elijah figured it out, Stefan and Damon found Rebekah and Katherine at a diner booth, and Stefan used Katherine’s phone to call Elijah. Elijah threatened to hurt Elena if Katherine didn’t come to him safe. So, Damon, Rebekah, and Katherine went to get the cure. They went to what was apparently Katherine’s house, where Damon mercilessly mocked her old lady taste. Since he learned everything he knows about being a vampire from Katherine, he figured out exactly where she hid the cure: in a vervain aquarium, with no fish. Except, it’s exactly what Katherine was banking on. She dunked his head in the vervain (why has he not learned from Katherine and drank vervain every day to build a tolerance?!), Rebekah appeared, and Katherine basically gave the cure up to Rebekah. Who proceeded to drink it. And then promptly realized that it was not the cure, but vervain.

After running out, Katherine picked up the real cure, snapped Elena’s neck, and started to talk to Elijah. Apparently, homeboy’s no better than a Salvatore; he’s stayed in love with Katerina all these years. Except, Katerina’s not really there, behind the Katherine façade. OR IS SHE? He realized she lied to him and used him when Elena told him Kat killed Jeremy. Elijah decided he wouldn’t help her broker a deal with Klaus for her freedom. But then she told him he was right, gave him the cure and told him he didn’t owe her anything. She wants to change, and has real feelings for him. I think I believe her!

Before everyone (sans Katherine) headed back to Mystic Falls, Elena called a Salvatore meeting at the same diner. She told them, point blank, that she never wants the cure and doesn’t want to talk about it again, or there would be consequences. Of course, Stefan tried to explain that he’s doing for her what she did for him: When he turned it off, she wouldn’t let him stay like that. And Damon’s on Team Cure, too. And that’s when Elena flashed so fast at the waitress I thought it was Katherine. And Elena did the unthinkable: She killed the waitress in cold blood, said that she would kill until they left her alone and managed to out-Katherine Katherine. It almost pains me to say this, but I’m thinking that Elena > Katherine? OK, fine maybe just equal to.

And now we can wait until April 18 for the prom.

Did you like the acknowledgement of the leather-worshipping vampire element, when Elena said she smelled like leather? How awesome was Damon’s line about Rebekah: “Sorry, I didn’t have a pony to distract her!” Is Katherine really changing? Were you shocked about her and Elijah? What’s going to happen with the cure? Are you as annoyed as I am about the previews with Elena telling Damon she feels nothing for him and cozying up to Stefan? Do Bonnie and Matt still exist? Is Tyler gonna come back for prom? It’s conversation time! Tweet your thoughts, and write some comments. Like, comments galore. I want to see so many ideas that I won’t even be able to keep track. Except, I will. And personally address all of your concerns.