The Vampire Diaries 5.12 "The Devil Inside”

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

The fun this week involves seeing Nina Dobrev playing Katherine possessing Elena, while trying simultaneously to fool all Elena's friends (of which she still has several, post-vamp or not) while screwing things up for them as much as possible (because Katherine is just that way). Katherine, even inside Elena's body, is still as jealous as ever of all Elena has (or throws away).

Elena flutters to the surface a few times and tries to get her body back, but forces are stacked against her (or villainesses, anyway: Nadia, Katherine's spirit, and Traveler Mia are a formidable trio of body snatchers, unfortunately). Especially poignant is the moment when she realizes Katherine has changed the password on her cellphone, so she can't even call for help.

Katherine lures "Matty" to a park, so she can pick his brain about how to be the best most perfect Elena. She has to break his vervain bracelet to take control, but if anybody should know what to do with Elena's vampire powers, it's Katherine. She's the 1.0 model after all.

Bonnie and Jeremy are away visiting Bonnie's mom (isn't that the lie she told everyone all summer when she was dead?), which is too bad, but it does allow us time with Matt and Tyler, who's still hurting from his ultimate beatdown by the Originals in New Orleans. Matt's solution, loyal Mystic Falls resident that he is: let's throw a party in their giant mansion, thus providing an extra-filled scene of potential mayhem.

It's of a quieter sort this week, mostly revolving around most of the vamps not being able to get in the door (as owner, Matt has to invite them in), and Katherine doing what she can to sabotage things for those she finds especially boring. For example, she makes sure Tyler hears Caroline confess about sleeping with Klaus, because she knows they'll be too distracted by their own drama to figure out her ruse.

Even more cruelly, when Damon finally finds her (who seconds before was actually the Elena he was looking for) the spell completes and Katherine takes over for good. Her first words crush his tentative steps to the light side. Which leads to a whole thing with Aaron and Enzo (I hate Enzo already, he's so one note) that Damon is going to regret later, unless Aaron had vampire blood in his system I'm guessing.

Katherine clears the decks with Damon (and her smirk as she walks away is something to see) so she can get back to toying with Stefan, which is going to be all kinds of weird since Stefan has been urging Damon to reconcile with her all episode. It seems that Nadia's plan has worked by episode's end, but I can't believe Elena is gone, or that Katherine will fool anyone for very long.

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Somehow that led to him writing the Harvey Kurtzman entry for Icons of the American Comic Book: from Captain America to Wonder Woman (2013). He also writes for Art New England and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), an NGO of UNESCO.

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