Can you believe we’ve gone through 100 of these? I started reviewing The Vampire Diaries during the tail end of season two. Ah, season two. Good times. That was back when I, and everyone else, was trying to convince people that The Vampire Diaries is a show that is worth watching unironically. And it was. Characters’ actions were defined, the plot moved forward, and the mythology mostly made sense.
And now we’ve pushed through another 50 episodes, and well, I can’t believe how much time has gone by. For “500 Days of Solitude,” it appears the series can’t believe it either. As for the characters, they’re too busy blaming Katherine about everything that has gone wrong in their lives on the person dying upstairs. Weirdly, Katherine comes off as the most sympathetic character here. Yes, I’m sure that my bias is showing, but a character that doesn’t blame her actions on other people, who basically says, “Fuck it, I was trying to survive” gets points in my book against the characters that continuously say, “The buck stops… there.” I mean, some of their justifications are just laughable.
That’s kind of where we’ve gotten at this point in the Vampire Diaries‘ story. Everyone is just stuck in blaming someone else for their actions. So much so that Elena Gilbert finds it totally selfless to forgive Katherine on her deathbed. I’ve never understood the complete irrational hate for Elena — besides moments like these — but I do understand people bored by her passiveness. Most of the series is spent on other characters pushing the plot forward and being much more active. Katherine inhabiting Elena’s body just solidifies that Elena will be at her most passive yet, and I’m sure the show will continue operating just fine. Let’s be honest: we all guessed this plot twist. I guffawed when it happened, as I thought spending an entire episode redeeming Katherine to just not kill her off anyway was somewhat wasteful. But as I’ve said in the past, if Katherine is ever going to bite the dust, she’s going out in a blaze of glory. And her slowly decaying on a bed is just not that. If nothing else, this should be fun for a few episodes, but now that Elena literally can’t do anything, it’ll probably be a repeat of the Salvatore brothers coming to her rescue yet again.
Though it bears repeating that The Vampire Diaries has a mortality problem. The cameos by everyone on the show just reminded me of times when you really didn’t know who was going to be killed off next, when suspense worked because you truly believed someone would die. These days, there’s none of that on The Vampire Diaries. But I will say that this episode tricked me; I just really thought Katherine was done for by how they were setting it up. But then you think, can they really kill off their most dynamic character? I don’t think so.
Other important highlights of the episode: Klaus and Caroline get busy in the woods. I don’t understand what just happened, because to me it always seemed like the show was setting up for Caroline to move over to The Originals whenever Vampire Diaries ended or whenever the writers wanted to. (I also don’t understand them as a couple, which was even more evident this episode when everyone was like “Ugh Katherine is the worst” meanwhile Caroline slept with the psychopath that has actually caused them all a lot of pain and heartache.) If this was just total fan-pandering, then so be it. It was the 100th! Who cares? But Caroline’s face when Tyler walked in tells me this is going to have actual repercussions. I think we’re all over the seesawing. But Klaroline fans, tell me, did you like the scene? I would have liked some more interaction there. Ham it all the way up, Vampire Diaries!
And that’s about it for this episode, really. I understand the need to recap some of your greatest hits, so for a 100th episode, maybe that’s OK. But ultimately, I was underwhelmed. It’s unfair, perhaps, but I wanted something huge to happen. Something game-changing. A death to stick! I wanted “Founder’s Day” and what I got was “As I Lay Dying.”