The Vampire Diaries 5.11 Review “500 Years of Solitude”

by Emma Fraser / January 24, 2014

The Vampire DiariesHappy 100th episode The Vampire Diaries! It’s a good return to form and one that focused on everything that makes this such a fun show to watch and write about. That’s right there was no Whitmore College mystery or experiments this week. Instead they go old school and feature pretty much every important character from the first four seasons focusing on the life and times of Katherine Pierce as she lies on her death bed.

The notion that Katherine is a survivor is repeated throughout and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Katherine cheats death once again. By now I should be able to read this show, but nope I really thought she was a goner for real this time and I’m so glad TVD still has the ability after 100 episodes to surprise me. So Katherine wasn’t born evil and the initial thing that happened to her was far from her fault – really Damon should be laying all the blame at the feet of Klaus as he’s the one who made Katherine this way – she was 17 and since then she has been doing everything in her power to survive (cue Destiny’s Child).

Stefan is the one blowing the trumpet of let Katherine find some peace; could this be a side effect of their doppelganger bond? After all Elena also takes the moment to forgive Katherine. Neither might feel this way when they realize what Katherine has done, but hey Stefan did give Katherine the perfect excuse card by offering an excuse for her actions.

The general reaction to Katherine’s demise is shoulder shrug who cares and the scene where everyone drinks to all the nefarious things that Katherine has done to them pretty much sinks two bottles of bourbon straight away. The list is long but includes killing Jeremy, killing Caroline, trying to kill Elena, not being in the tomb that killed Grams and inadvertently being the reason why Damon killed Vicki. This group has a good reason to celebrate Katherine’s imminent passing but there are those that care; her daughter and Stefan who has this unshakable bond.

Ah yes their bond and Damon drops into conversation the recent hot sex the pair have engaged in, something that Caroline forgot to tell Elena about. Elena is pissed of course, rightly or wrongly but it’s ok as the pair get to hash it out while their blood is being drained in a traveler ritual. Elena realizes that Katherine is the one who has helped Stefan get over his summer in a safe, but it’s cool if she still hates her. The love triangle still lingers, though I’m happy to see the Damon/Elena breakup doesn’t eat up too much of the episode and Stefan even pushes his brother towards a reconciliation.

Damon blames everything bad that he has done on Katherine and he spends the episode messing with her memories as a form of retribution. The one memory that she keeps going back to is the discovery of her massacred family; Damon taunts and blames her, whereas Stefan gives her the peace he thinks she longs for. The other memory that stands out is how Katherine came to be in Mystic Falls and how the doppelganger prophecy played a part; she changed her plans after seeing Stefan for the first time.

A milestone moment like this requires references to everything that has come before it and while many characters have died on this show there are methods to bring them back whether through hallucinations like Damon making Katherine see Jenna, Uncle John and Elijah or Bonnie’s anchor status so we get to see Alaric and Vicki. Others come back because they are still alive and for a moment I thought Elijah was real, as both Klaus and Rebekah turn up. Klaus got hot and heavy with Caroline in the woods and Rebekah saved Matt. Tyler returned by the end of the episode after his failed New Orleans mission and yep things are probably going to be awkward with Caroline now. I like Tyler but it’s hard to fathom what his role is going to be moving forward.

Katherine is pure antagonist and it’s one reason why I’m glad she’s not quite dead yet, there’s no way of course that Elena and Katherine can share one body so this is only a temporary solution. Nina Dobrev shows once again how great she is at inhabiting these different characters and it’s a testament that I still forget that it is one actress playing both parts. The chemistry that she has with Stefan is different depending on which character Dobrev is playing and this alone blows my mind. This is a show that will never be acknowledged by any of the major awards and it’s a shame because Dobrev is doing some incredible things as both of these characters.

Other Thoughts

– I know Caroline’s super judgmental behavior is meant to be a reflection of her own feelings towards Klaus but I really hope she doesn’t spend the rest of the season harping on about how bad Damon is. Can she get a story that doesn’t involve pining for Tyler now that he is back please?

– The screen was pretty blurry for the last 10 minutes, pretty much from Stefan changing Katherine’s murdered family memory to the body swap moment. Good work show.

– Matt’s smile upon seeing Rebekah is so darn adorable that I wish their romance wasn’t so short lived.

– Jeremy says it like he sees it “Does it matter? We’ve all slept with our fair share of bad choices.” Don’t worry he’s not referring to Bonnie and this also lets their dating status out of the bag.

– Four bottles of bourbon is the final alcohol tally, not including the two that Matt dropped on the floor. Someone needs to go on a booze run.

– Caroline realizing she is actually probably better off as a vampire is something the entire audience agrees with.

To watch a promo for the next episode of The Vampire Diaries “The Devil Inside” head here.




Emma has a passion for both ends of the pop culture spectrum and you are just as likely to find her watching HBO as you are The CW. All that matters is a great story or if that fails some amazing fashion. Emma would most like to hang out at the offices of Olivia Pope & Associates or Apartment 4D. Follow her at @frazbelina or over at