They say that phone numbers are seven digits because studies showed that the human brain can only remember seven things at a time. That is definitely true for me, but usually anywhere between 4 to 5 of the things I remember are candy-related. I occasionally remember items from the menu at Popeye's. But that only leaves one to two things that I can fit in my brain at any given time, so that means I forget A LOT of things. I especially have a goldfish memory when it comes to The Vampire Diaries, which I think we can all agree has ten episodes too many in each season. 22 episodes just seems like A LOT of episodes! It is crazy that ANY shows try to tell a 22-hour story anymore, let alone one like this, a complicated serial that borders on cable-level quality. Has anyone considered splitting these seasons into separate halves? I can think of another teen monster show I really love that just started doing that. The reason I bring this up is because this week TVD brought back some characters and plotlines from the Fall that I just plum FORGOT about. All that Whitmore college stuff, those new dudes, the Augustines. Who even were they? I definitely remembered something about Stefan being locked in a safe and Katherine being human, but the first half of Season 5 seems like a distant memory by now. I'm not sure what my point is here except to say that this Katherine-centric stuff makes these new episodes so much more fun for me. I thought college would be a good change of location for these characters, but I was maybe wrong about that. Let's just have Mystic Falls house parties from now on.
"The Devil Inside" was all about Katherine's schemes so I was happy about it from that angle. But I get the impression that people are very, very upset about what's going on with Damon and Elena's break-up? Guys, first of all, if you are one of those people whose passion for a particular relationship (or one specific Salvatore) ruins your enjoyment of a show or, worse, makes you hate the real humans who work on that show, then you're doing it wrong. ("It" meaning LIFE.) Especially when it comes to shows that have 22-episode seasons, the character dynamics NEED to constantly shift in order to continue wringing tension, upset, joy, and pay-off from every conceivable situation. So yeah, your favorite couple might break up. A good guy might turn bad. A bad guy might turn good. There will be constant, temporary setbacks and constant, fleeting victories. That's how this show has always been, that's how it will continue to be. Just be patient and watch as things continue shifting back into what you were hoping for. That's the writers' job: To change things and see how that makes us feel. Heck, just making us feel ANYTHING constitutes a victory on their part. They are doing their job and they're doing it well.
I liked "The Devil Inside." It felt weirdly perfunctory in that certain things needed to be capitalized on from the previous week, and it needed to set up future conflicts. Just a regular midseason episode basically. So nothing was super memorable about this thing, but it was very solid and riveting from minute to minute. That's my standard for success: I was not bored! Let's talk about it!
It all started in town square, which should have been the biggest red flag that this was not going to be a great situation for Matt. That thing should be renamed Murder Square, I'll explain later. But yeah, sure enough, Katherine/Elena popped out for a game of Highly Ironic Peek-A-Boo!
After some very aggressive questioning that tipped off anybody else that this was Katherine and not Elena, Matt watched as his vervain bracelet was swiped and Katherine started compelling him for details about Elena's life story!
And that's when we realized this was one of those dreaded FlashForward cold opens! Because then suddenly we were in a motel room "earlier that day" where Nadia was chaining Katherine up in case Elena popped out again.
I had been curious about this! And it was confirmed right away: At any moment Elena could regain control of her body, so they were nervous that would happen at an embarrassing time. But luckily that weird crimped-hair Traveler knew a DIY solution to make Katherine the permanent captain of S.S. Elena, and that solution required Katherine's corpse. So while Nadia went off and looked for it, Katherine had to stay chained to a bed even though vampires are super strong and can break furniture like it's warm butter so I don't know why they thought that would work but whatever.
Then Damon returned home from burying Katherine's corpse and he wiped his boots on the rug and Stefan frowned. Suddenly Nadia showed up and she wanted ANSWERS.
Quick question: Isn't Nadia several hundred years older than Damon? Why could she not overpower him? Anyway, Damon wouldn't tell her where her mom's corpse was so she kicked a pebble and walked away disappointed.
Meanwhile Tyler was in a pretty bad place and that bad place did NOT allow sleeves.
Tyler was still reeling from returning home during the previous night's ghost jamboree and realizing that Caroline didn't want him and also his whole trip to New Orleans had been an embarrassing failure after Rebekah snapped his neck in front of all the fellas and then kicked him out of town. Pretty basic existential stuff, really.
Meanwhile this guy who I am pretty sure has a name but I'm not positive he does, was looking for Elena to tell her that he'd cut off his hot legal guardian from doing more vampire torture and also that he was sorry for locking Elena up and almost murdering her boyfriend even though he kind of deserved it. But yes, just trying to clear the air! That's when he received an unexpected visitor!
Enzo! Hey Enzo, what's up? Cool scarf. The thing about vampires who have to sit out of society for decades at a time is how quickly they figure out the latest trends and hairstyles. Enzo just made a quick stop at H&M and now he was back in action.
Meanwhile Stefan called up Caroline to ask where Elena was and she got super worried that he'd found out about her shirtless hugs with Klaus. That's why she was suddenly super helpful when he asked if she'd help get Damon and Elena back together. I guess the whole 'sleeping with the world's greatest villain' had humbled her a little bit about judging others.
Oh and then YUP. Elena popped back into her own body!
It was especially amusing how she immediately knew what had happened and was SO annoyed at herself for falling for Katherine's schemes. By the way, that would be my nightmare, to wake up in my own body with tons of unaccounted for time and the knowledge that someone else had been in control. That is legit frightening to me. But now I have tons of questions... It's clear that Elena was not experiencing Katherine's perceptions, so does that mean her soul went to The Other Side temporarily? Or was she just buried in some kind of dreamless sleep at the back of her own brain? If any of you is a award-winning scientist, please explain this to me in the comments? Thanks.
But yeah, obviously Elena broke out of her chains in 3 seconds. They were attached to an Ikea bed frame, first of all, and everybody knows they are made of sawdust and Swedish whispers. Unfortunately just as Elena threw off her shackles Nadia showed up and re-summoned Katherine.
Close but no cigar! (Cigars are disgusting, why would anybody want to be close to one?)
So then Damon came home and there was an uninvited guest just chilling in his living room drinking all his brown fluids!
Enzo had brought Aaron (I had to look up his name, sorry, it's been so long) and told him to just go ahead and kill the final Whitmore for old time's sake. But Damon had already decided he needed to get back together with Elena and killing Aaron would probably not make her super happy.
So he snapped Enzo's neck instead!
And in the second bracelet-ripping of the day, Damon de-vervained Aaron and told him to go to Canada basically. Aaron been touched by an angel, girl. (I don't know.)
Meanwhile Matt threw a house party to cheer up Tyler. But of course the party was in Tyler's house which seems like a big hassle for Tyler to have to deal with, but maybe he was sad and lonely and needed human contact. Anyway, a party was going on and there were kegs and the vampires needed to be invited in individually. So Katherine decided to show up and impersonate Elena in order to finally track down her own body. But first she had a run-in with Stefan to test the waters with him and see if he was sad about her supposed death.
But HAHA no, he wasn't super sad. I mean he was pretty fair about it... He respected her and all that, but come on. Death is nothing to a vampire anymore. Why would he care? Death is just another thang. Katherine looked so sad though! Then to cheer herself up she took out the garbage.
Her excuse was that she was just doing what Elena would do at a party (which was hilarious) and then followed that up by saying she felt bad for how pathetic Elena's life seemed. Haha brutal! But if you ask me maybe Katherine was just all schemed out and she wanted some quiet time to herself by the dumpsters. We've all been there.
Anyway, then Nadia told her to get her butt back inside the party and find that corpse. That's when Caroline gave Katherine a major hint that Damon had put the corpse back in that one tomb from Season 1. But then Caroline started confessing all her sexiest secrets!
And at first Katherine seemed startled and maybe even empathetic about Caroline's Klaus drama, but then she saw an opportunity for a diversion and made the business public to any monsters within earshot.
Dang! That was Tyler's hurt/outraged/slut-shamin face and Caroline was NOT happy to see it. That is a very tough situation in my opinion and Katherine was very rude for having done that. But on the other hand, beat it Tyler! Remember when he straight-up dumped her? Or that one time he let werewolves shoot Caroline in the head and throw her in a cage? Yes, she slept with the guy who drowned his mother at a spring Christmas party, but by now everybody has done legit terrible things on this show and at some point they just have to let things like that slide. I don't know, I'm not a monster therapist. (I've been disbarred.)
So then Katherine and Nadia and the Crimped Gypsy went to the old tomb and started the ceremony to make Katherine permanent and it involved both cutting Katherine's palm and also totally jacking up her dead body in general!
Unfortunately right during the ceremony Elena popped back out!
And once again, to her credit, she immediately knew what was happening and played it cool. THEN she pushed the Crimped Gypsy to the ground and stabbed Nadia with a pole or whatever!
But instead of permanently halting that ceremony by murdering everybody, Elena ran out into the woods! Oh her problems were probably definitely over, don't worry. The End. J/K J/K
Then Tyler yelled at Caroline a bunch.
And he was so mad he wolfed out and screamed in her face! But then Stefan ran in and punched Tyler like A BOSS.
That was great. This was a great episode for Stefan. He was way more in chill-hero mode and that's the Stefan I like best. At this point he didn't even care about the actual drama going on between Tyler and Caroline, NOBODY screams at Caroline and gets away with it. And yeah I won't deny it, it's kind of fun seeing Tyler get punched in the face full-force. He'd been pretty lame lately! Remember when he roughed up a pregnant lady by a swamp?
It probably won't shock you to learn that the Crimped Gypsy woke up and immediately continued doing her spell. What MIGHT surprise you is that it appeared to involve literally putting salt in a wound?
And that's when Elena stopped scrambling through the woods long enough to have all of Katherine's memories suddenly FLOOD into her consciousness!
She "remembered" tons of things that Katherine had done. Violent things. Sexy things.
Even the time she bit Jeremy's perfect neck!
It was all very traumatic for Elena. Obviously the violence against her friends and family was not her favorite thing to suddenly absorb as her own memories, but also it was probably a rude reminder of just how much more awesome Katherine was, sorry.
Anyway, then Damon heard her cries of anguish and they ran toward each other across Tyler's lawn!
But WHOOPS! It was too late! Just as they reached each other the spell was finalized and Katherine took "permanent" control. She immediately went into her Elena impression and proceeded to break Damon's heart BIG TIME.
First she just looked very wary of going with the flow, but then she got all righteous about it and proceeded to tear Damon a new one for how mean he'd been to Katherine on her death bed!
And that was it! Just when it looked like Elena and Damon were bound to reconcile, Katherine pulled a classic Katherine move and split them up BUT GOOD.
Gosh, that walk-away smirk she did. Brutal. Let it be known that Katherine was a rascal this day.
After the party Tyler was still all frowned-up.
Aw but Matt was there to help him out! Hopefully when he's done cheering Tyler up, Tyler can suggest that Matt find a way less ugly shirt to wear because holy moly.
Then back in the tomb this happened:
Haha classic Katherine! She murdered the Crimped Gypsy because she was a loose end! I wonder if messing with the Travelers is a good idea? I just simply wonder. Oh well.
Anyway, Nadia wanted to hit the road ASAP, but Katherine made the executive decision that she wanted to stay in Mystic Falls and live a care-free life that hopefully had 100% more Salvatore boners in it. That's right, she more or less stated outright that her main goal now was to win Stefan back. I have to say, this was a hilariously evil thing for the writers to do to 100% of all the shippers. Breaking up Delena so that Impostor!Stelena could happen? Brutal. Just kidding I don't actually care either way and all ship-stans are menaces to society in my opinion, but still: Let it be known that this show WILL get crazy like that.
Oh, but honestly? It's pretty clear that Stefan and Caroline are falling for each other right? This was maybe the best scene in the episode:
Caroline was pouting by the fire about her bad reputation and Stefan teased her and reminded her that she's very awesome and that's why Klaus pursued her, etc. Their friendship has grown really rich over the years but the effortless chemistry they had here made me think that this is a thing that is happening. I don't know we'll seeeeeee.
And then? Poor Aaron.
Just when it looked like he'd been compelled away to Canada, he fell for the old vampire-in-the-road trick! But the twist this time is that he was double-teamed!
WOWOWOW. Damon had taken the break-up hard and decided to finalize things by EATING AARON and leaving him in a pool of blood in the road (Is he fully dead? He's not fully dead right?). But yeah, Damon no longer cared what Elena thought of him, and it looks like he's maybe heading into ripper mode now? Plus he has an accomplice in Enzo who will probably be a very bad influence on him. So I think we can see where the rest of this season will be headed: Villain Damon is back!
Look everybody, I realize everybody is all mad and upset about whatever is going on with their ships or whatever Salvatore for whom they stan (I hate using these terms but they are appropriately juvenile), but as an AWARD-WINNING TV CRITIC (I have won no awards) I will say that this was a solid, surprising episode! It wasn't 100% awesome mostly because it served to continue the twists set forth last week. This definitely felt like an episode of a show that has 22 episodes a season. Just more action and things were advanced but nothing super memorable. I'm glad Katherine's plan was successful? Yeah I'm glad about that. I like when she's successful because it usually messes EVERYTHING up for everybody in an interesting and entertaining way. We'll see what happens!
... How you feelin'?
... What is going on with Caroline and Stefan?
... Will Tyler ever get his life back together?
... Remember Jeremy?
AIRED ON 5/13/2016
Season 7 : Episode 22