The Vampire Diaries 5.12 “The Devil Inside” Reviewby Emma Fraser / January 31, 2014
Saying goodbye to Katherine was never going to be easy as we discovered last week on The Vampire Diaries and she’s not going to give up a perfectly good vampire body that happens to look like her without a fight. It’s another excellent turn by Nina Dobrev as she plays Katherine playing Elena with an air of contempt for the person she is impersonating.
There’s also this idea of wish fulfillment as she mentions that half the town would sacrifice themselves for Elena and this is something Katherine hasn’t really experienced – well without compulsion at least – as she’s normally running from people rather than being protected by them. Katherine might despise Elena, but she envies her and now she gets to have all of this.
Elena is currently somewhere else after the spell to banish her from her body worked; Elena bought herself a few extra minutes by knocking out the traveler performing the incantation but thanks to a nifty new phone pin and getting to Damon a smidge too late she didn’t get to reveal the diabolical plan. Now Katherine is ‘permanently’ in Elena’s body – I’m sure Elena will be back and killing that traveler was probably a mistake – the fun is going to begin as she’s determined to win Stefan’s heart. Even after Stefan has been a bit shoulder shrug about Katherine’s death and considering how many people close to Stefan have died, it’s not actually that surprising. Katherine’s attempt to not get too incredulous was all kinds of hilarious though.
The reset button is hit in “The Devil Inside” as Katherine as Elena rejects Damon’s attempts at reconciliation and for Katherine this is the ultimate payback; she even spells it out to him mentioning his actions towards the dying Katherine last week. In fact this is the one time that Katherine really nails Elena’s compassionate voice even if she is doing so because Damon did these things to her. While the Damon/Elena breakup still feels contrived in origin, the impact of this is huge as Damon effectively returns to the person we met back in the pilot. He’s even playing the same playing dead in the road game and now he has a willing accomplice in Enzo and it’s pretty brutal what happens to Aaron in the final scene. Is he dead?
As with the breakup, the retconning of Damon’s backstory has been one of the weakest parts of this season and it’s taken a lot of work to get where we are. Now that Katherine is Elena and there’s no chance they will get back together for the time being I’m intrigued to see how far they’re going to take this Damon being bad story. Stefan seems fine with the idea of Elena and Damon as a couple as he thinks Elena brings out the best in Damon, but how will he respond when she starts showing him affection? It’s going to get messy.
For Caroline her romantic entanglements are already all over the place after she slept with Klaus and thanks to Katherine, Tyler also got to hear about this and he reacted in the way you would expect; as he points out Klaus did kill his mother. This coupled with the recent humiliation in New Orleans and Tyler’s 7.42 a.m. drinking isn’t all that shocking. He even poses the question that I did last week about what is next for him and he doesn’t have the answer yet.
Stress cleaning is where Caroline starts the episode and by the Salvatore fire is where she ends it as she ponders whether she is a horrible person. Stefan asks her “When you found out about me and Katherine what was your first thought?” Her response is “ew” but as Jeremy so astutely pointed out in the previous episode, they’ve all pretty much slept with people they probably shouldn’t have. Stefan deals with Caroline’s self-loathing by lightly jesting with her and this scene demonstrates why these two characters work as close friends and nothing more, though I feel like there was some mild suggestion that this might change. This comes from the previous scene when Nadia said she doesn’t want to be the person who gets in the way of Katherine’s Stefan quest and then it cuts to a shot of Caroline, please don’t go there show.
– Where is Elena? As the anchor surely Bonnie would know about these shenanigans, good job for Katherine that she’s taken a trip to see her mother with Jeremy to get her out of the way.
– Not a good day for vervain accessories and shows that bracelets and watches aren’t the best form of protection.
– “Cold, manipulative and good hair” Katherine knows how to lavish praise on her daughter.
– Thankfully Katherine wants rid of Elena’s no humanity pink streak, me too.
– Matt knows what kind of boots Elena would and wouldn’t wear.
– Stefan is a man of many faces “I’m not giving you the pouty face; this is my ‘you’re being a dick’ face.”