The Vampire Diaries aired its fifth midseason finale last night and it was fantastic from start to finish. This show knows how to pull out all the stops like no other and it doesn’t matter how good or bad the season has been so far or how much of the story was predictable, there’s always that underlying pulse that starts beating faster and faster as the hour closes until the audience is left cursing the hiatus that will follow the closing credits.
Let’s talk about “Fifty Shades of Grayson” and why it was awesome. When we last left off, Elena was face to face to Enzo and Wes was about to experiment on her, Damon was trapped in his cell and Stefan and Katherine were making out by everyone’s favorite fireplace. The action picks up the next morning with Damon breaking himself out of the cell and Katherine waking up to big clumps of her hair falling out. She wanted to get out of bed before Stefan noticed and she ran into Damon as she was leaving, stopping to make sure he understood just what she and his brother had been up to for the night.
Meanwhile, Elena is still trapped, but Wes has moved her from the lab so Damon can’t find them. I can’t say that the Augustine storyline was any more interesting this week than it was last week, but we got to learn more about Elena’s dad and how he wanted to use the vampire blood to help people. That’s how he knew Megan. When she was a little girl, she had a heart defect and would have died, but the vampire blood saved her. So Elena realized there was more to her dad and the experiments than she thought, but she definitely wasn’t out of the woods yet because Wes was determined to turn her into a vampire-eating vampire like Jesse. Uh-oh…
But as I said, this was the least interesting part of the story. Let’s get to the good parts:
5. Katherine wants Nadia to help her live
Rekindling things with Stefan gave Katherine something to live for. She called Matt and asked him to be her personal trainer, but her body continued to give out on her. That was when Nadia showed up with Plan B: since Katherine is a traveler by blood, they can work the spell and put her spirit into someone else’s body. Katherine wasn’t having it because she wanted to keep her own body (totally understandable). But then mother-daughter bonding time took a nosedive when Nadia realized that Katherine only wanted to save herself because of Stefan and not to get to know her (awkward).
This was sad, but at the same time, it’s who Katherine is. She’s selfish. There’s no doubt that she loved her baby, who was ripped from her arms, but then she spent the next 500+ years running for her life and doing everything she could to stay alive. Stefan is the one person that Katherine seems to love almost as much as herself. I do feel bad for Nadia, but she’s got to accept that her mother is not the nurturing type.
4. Damon and Enzo reconnect
Once Wes learned that Damon was free from the cell and wanted to rescue Elena, he sent Enzo to finish him off. The reunion wasn’t exactly a happy one as Enzo filled Aaron in on how Damon left him to die. Enzo wanted to kill Damon, but he wasn’t at full strength because Wes was poisoning him so he could keep controlling him and Damon was easily able to beat him and then Enzo started to desiccate. But he didn’t die because Damon took him back to the lab and gave him the antidote.
Enzo was kind of suspicious, which is understandable and then he broke down and said Damon was the only person he cared about and it really hurt when he left him and Damon explained that he turned off his humanity…for a moment, it seemed like they were going to make out. I don’t know, guys. Maybe it’s my loyalty to the best bromance to ever happen on television (Damon and Alaric, obvs), but I’m just not feeling this Damon/Enzo thing at all. I’m guessing it’s going to be a new way to reintroduce Damon’s bad boy side and sure, that might be fun, but I’m not here for the new guy.
3. Elena and Damon broke up?
No, that question mark is not a mistake. I’m still trying to process the scene. After Elena is freed from the lab, she’s telling Damon about her dad and how she’s kind of impressed with what he did. Damon is not amused and reminds her about the tortured vampires and then he starts talking about how he’s the bad guy and she has to make excuses for him and Elena says she doesn’t. She simply loves him, even if she doesn’t agree with everything he does. I’ve been really hard on Elena lately, but I loved her in this moment. She admitted that she’s done bad things too and she loves him and wants to be with him and that’s that.
But it’s not because Damon tells her that he doesn’t want to destroy her and he’s going to walk away. Um…what? This totally threw me for a loop and judging by Elena’s face, it threw her for one too. Damon spent all this time trying to win her and he loves her and she loves him and now he’s ending things because of his past? And this is after she accepted it! I don’t even know what to say except that there’s no way this is the end of these two and I’m really impressed that they’re handling their first big fight maturely. It shows how much they’ve grown.
2. Stefan and Katherine talk forgiveness
I loved all the Stefan and Katherine scenes, but too much happened in the episode to give them each their own number. The best was definitely the last one when Katherine showed him how fragile she is, physically and emotionally. She wanted a chance, she wanted to know if he could ever really forgive her, but even as they were having the conversation, she already had her answer. Katherine knew that he was never going to look at her the way he looks at Elena.
This version of Katherine is breaking my heart. She’s not being snide or vindictive, she’s just being open and honest because she doesn’t have any shields left. But she’s right. Stefan loves Elena and that’s not going to change even though she chose Damon and even though there’s a part of him that feels something for Katherine. When he took her hand and told her that he was sorry she was dying (and meant it!), my emotions were all over the place. And so were Katherine’s, which is why the next thing she did was call Nadia and tell her that she’d changed her mind about the traveler thing. She wanted to live. Unfortunately, her body foiled her once again and Katherine fell down the stairs and ended up unconscious in the foyer after presumably having a heart attack.
1. Team Salvatore, FTW
Stefan and Damon sharing scenes will always be my favorite part of any episode. It’s just a fact. The show might be built around a love triangle, but for me, it’s a show about two brothers who have been through hell and back more times than they can count and they still remain by each other’s sides and I love it. This week, Damon told Stefan that Elena was in danger and Aaron was the key to getting her back so the two of them casually went and took him hostage.
Not only were these scenes great for the Salvatore brothers, they finally gave Aaron a personality other than mopey, male Elena (as in everyone he loves dies). I think my favorite part was when Aaron started to tell Stefan about the horrible things Damon had done and Stefan reminded him that he didn’t tell him that it was okay to talk. Or maybe it was the part where Damon pointed out that Stefan had a psychotic break because he’d slept with Katherine…I can’t decide. My only complaint is that the scenes didn’t last longer because I would happily watch an entire hour of these two.
So let’s recap where things stand: Katherine is dying (not okay), but she might jump into someone else’s body (could be interesting). Damon broke up with Elena, but she was okay with his bad deeds. Aaron ended up taking the drug from the lab (why?) and Wes was left crumpled on the floor, but we know we’ll be seeing more of him (unfortunately). Stefan still loves Elena, but he also cares about Katherine. Oh, and the next episode? It’s the series 100th. That’s pretty awesome too.
What did you guys think? Did you love the episode as much as I did or were you expecting more? Did the breakup take you by surprise? How soon do you think they’ll be back on? Will Katherine really die or will she take up residence in someone else? If so, who? Hit the comments and share your thoughts and theories with us!