Happy 100th episode of “The Vampire Diaries!” Episode 11, “500 Years of Solitude,” (and the highly anticipated midseason premiere) aired on Thursday and brought with it some mind-blowing drama – all thanks to the one and only Katherine.
The midseason premiere kicked off with a flashback to Bulgaria in 1490, when a pregnant Katerina gave birth to her daughter out of wedlock. Her pregnancy shamed her family and resulted in her baby being taken away from her before she could even hold her.
Cut to modern day, where Katherine is flat-lining in the hospital and by some miracle manages to pull through – but the doctors warn that her organs are failing and that she won’t survive the day. While Damon and Elena are trying to deal with their breakup, Katherine’s impending demise reunites the whole gang at the Salvatore mansion, where they drink to their horrible memories of her. But their shots of bourbon are put on hold when Nadia enters with a big twist – she’s found a way to save Katherine but needs their help. Needless to say, no one volunteers (partly because Damon threatens their lives if they do). But Nadia planned for no volunteers and came up with a way to get them involved … kidnap Matt and bury him alive in Stefan’s locker (without his Gilbert ring).
With Matt’s life in danger, Elena and Stefan volunteer to help Nadia with her plan. Katherine’s daughter drives them out to a house in the middle of nowhere and explains that they need a traveler to teach Katherine how to become a passenger in a body. But whose body does Nadia plan on shoving her mother into? Her own!
Unfortunately, Nadia has another twist up her sleeves. In order to get a traveler to help her, she needed to provide them with doppelgangers. When she gets Elena and Stefan into the building, the two former lovers find themselves surrounded by travelers … and they want their blood.
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As Stefan and Elena become doppelganger blood donors to the gypsies, Katherine is having some altered flashbacks back at the Salvatore mansion, all thanks to Damon. Her scorned lover wants to be sure that Katherine suffers for all her wrongdoing and does so by messing with her mind to make Aunt Jenna, Uncle John and Elijah appear before her. But Katherine has one unaltered flashback – the moment she first saw Stefan.
It was 1864 in Mystic Falls, and Katherine and Emily Bennett were in a carriage on their way to the Lockwood plantation. Their carriage was forced to stop because another Mystic Falls resident was having carriage trouble, and that person turned out to be Stefan. “Who’s that?” Katherine asked Emily at the time. “He’s so handsome. Think that gentleman’s family would take in a poor orphan girl from Atlanta?” It’s later on that Katherine realized that their meeting on that roadway must have been due to the doppelganger fate.
Meanwhile Caroline, Jeremy and Bonnie are in the woods searching for Matt when talk about secret sex (Bonnie and Jeremy, you naughty things!) leads the trio to split up. It’s when Jeremy and Bonnie go their separate ways that Caroline finds a new search and rescue partner – Klaus!
Telling Caroline that he’s already sent someone to rescue Matt (welcome back, Rebekah!), Klaus reveals that he returned to town to gloat over Katherine’s corpse … and because he heard that she broke up with Tyler. Caroline explains that she gave Tyler a choice to choose her or choose his revenge for Klaus. And Klaus asks Caroline if she’d make him the same offer if he promised to abandon his revenge for Katherine. Laughing off Klaus’ offer, the Original hybrid comes back with another option – he’ll walk away from Mystic Falls and never come back if Caroline confesses that she cares for him.
“I will be gone and you will be free,” he tells her. “I just want you to be honest with me.”
“’I’m in college,” Caroline replies. “I’m building a life for myself. ... And none of those things involve you.”
And while it appears as if Caroline won’t cave into Klaus’ request, she does something very surprising. “Yes, I cover our connection with hostility,” she continued. “Yes, I will be honest with you. I will be honest with you about what I want.”
“I will walk away and I will never come back, I promise,” Klaus says when Caroline stops talking. “Good,” she replied before moving in for a kiss. But things didn’t stop with a kiss. “Vampire Diaries” fans on Team Klaroline got everything they were hoping for when Klaus proceeded to rip of Caroline’s clothes for a steamy roll in the woods.
As Caroline gets some action, Elena and Stefan are put in an awkward situation with the travelers. While the travelers collect a bucket of their blood, Stefan tells his ex that Damon’s only pushing her away because he hates himself and that she shouldn’t give up on him. Even stranger than Stefan giving Elena advice about Damon, the travelers let the pair walk out of the building once they get the blood they want.
Unfortunately, Nadia is not getting what she wants. Katherine refuses to be a passenger in her daughter’s body, telling her that it’s her turn to live and to let her do the right thing for once. Angry with her mother for giving up, Nadia stalks away and leaves Stefan alone with Katherine. The pair have a beautiful heart-to-heart moment with Stefan telling his former lover that she deserves to feel peace and that none of the terrible things that happened to her family were her fault. And Stefan’s not done with his pep talks. He then moves on to Damon, who reveals to his brother that he can’t live without Elena.
While the gang waits for Katherine to pass away, “Vampire Diaries” fans are treated to a few deceased fan favorites like Vicki and Alaric. And even though those two only pop up for a stroll down memory lane, viewers do get the permanent return of one long-lost character – Tyler!
Everyone’s reunion is cut short when Bonnie’s ability as an anchor allows her to see Katherine in the doorway. But Katherine’s not ready to die yet and somehow manages to jump-start her heart one more time to find Elena standing over her body.
Telling her doppelganger that she had a whole speech she wanted to read to her, Elena cuts to the chase and tells Katherine that she forgives her.
“You weren’t born evil,” Elena explains. “Your life made you that way. You lost everyone you cared about way too young and you didn’t have a family to look after you. Sound familiar?”
Thanking Elena for her forgiveness, Katherine asks for one last favor – for Elena to inject her with the final sedative. But as Elena grabs the needle, Katherine uses her last burst of energy to grab Elena’s head and perform the traveler spell she wouldn’t use on Nadia.
Knocking both of them unconscious, Elena wakes up to a phone ringing. “Of course it worked,” Elena as Katherine tells Nadia on the phone. “I’m Katherine Pierce. I survive. I’ll see you soon.”
What was your favorite part of episode 11, the midseason premiere? Let us know in the comments section.