The Vampire Diaries 100th Episode "500 Years of Solitude"
Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries S5/E11 Recap “500 Years of Solitude”

Finally, “The Vampire Diaries” is back! After a couple weeks off, our favorite supernatural show comes back and better than ever. This week’s episode marks the 100th episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” and in order to celebrate the writers gave us a great story and brought back many of our favorite past characters. The episode before the break left us wondering about Katherine’s fate as she appeared to have a heart attack and collapsed down a staircase. Also, Damon broke up with Elena after realizing he is not good enough for her and was tired of her always having to defend Damon’s actions, past and present, to their friends. Let’s get right into this week’s recap.

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The episode begins with a flashback to Bulgaria in1490. We find Katherine going into labor. Once she gives birth to a baby girl, she begs her mother to see the child. Katherine’s father interferes and tells Katherine she cannot see her child and that she has disgraced her family.

When we come back to modern day, Katherine is lying on a hospital bed while a doctor is trying to revive her. Nadia arrives in the hospital to check on her mother and finds Stefan in the waiting room. Stefan tells Nadia Katherine is dying and won’t make it. He compelled the hospital staff to allow him to take Katherine back to the Salvatore mansion so she can be more comfortable and die in peace. Nadia tells Stefan Katherine Pierce will not die from a heart attacks, and leaves.

In their dorm room at Whitmore College, Elena is lying in bed, depressed about her breakup and refuses to get up. Caroline and Bonnie bring a break-up breakfast to try and cheer Elena up. While eating, Caroline receives a phone call from Stefan. When Caroline tells him the girls do not want to talk, Stefan assures her that he has news they will want to hear.

Stefan also calls Damon to tell him about Katherine’s eminent death. With this news, Damon starts a drinking game with Jeremy and Matt. They take a shot whenever they recall a memory of the horrible things Katherine did to them in the past. Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie arrive at the Salvatore manion and join them in their drinking, despite the awkwardness between Elena and Damon. It seems Katherine’s death has more pull over the group then their relationship drama.

After trying to comfort Katherine, Stefan joins the group and drinks to Katherine. However, he points out that he is drinking to Katherine, the girl who lost everything from a young age and survived on her own for 500 years. Damon jokingly teases Stefan that he is only being nice to Katherine because Stefan slept with her. Damon did not realize the rest of the group did not know about Katherine and Stefan’s recent one night stand, and Elena appears shocked and upset.

Suddenly Nadia arrives and says she needs their help saving Katherine. The group brushes Nadia’s request off and question why she thinks they would help her save Katherine. Nadia explains they will help her because she buried Matt inside the safe Stefan was buried in, and she will let him die unless they help her save Katherine.

Elena and Stefan volunteer to help Nadia, and the three of them travel to the woods. Nadia explains she needs a traveler to train Katherine how to transfer her consciousness into a traveler’s body to save her life. Elena tells Nadia they will not help her take someone’s life so that Katherine can’t die, but Nadia explains she will let Katherine use her body to travel in. Nadia lures Stefan and Elena into a cabin and meets another vampire inside. Nadia tells Stefan and Elena the travelers wanted doppelganger blood in exchange for the ritual to save Katherine. She and the other vampire leave Stefan and Elena inside and suddenly a spell is cast preventing their daylight rings from working. Stefan and Elena are trapped inside the cabin as dozens of travelers emerge from the woods and approach the cabin.

Back in the mansion, Katherine begins to see more memories from her past. She flashes back to Bulgaria in 1492 when she comes into her home to find her family murdered by Klaus. Damon enters the memory and tells Katherine it was her fault her family was slaughtered; if she only allowed Klaus to complete his ritual spell, he would not have retaliated and killed her family.

Outside in the woods, Caroline is searching for Matt when she runs into Klaus. Caroline asks what he is doing in Mystic Falls, and he explains Damon told him Katherine was dying and he wanted to torture her one last time. Klaus also mentions he recently ran into Tyler and heard Tyler and Caroline broke up. Caroline explains that she made Tyler pick between his love for her or his revenge against Klaus, and Tyler picked revenge.

In another memory flashback, Katherine and Emily are arriving in Mystic Falls. When their carriage suddenly stops, Katherine looks outside to see what is happening. She sees Stefan for the first time and is instantly attracted to him. When Katherine comes out of this memory, Damon asks why she was thinking about that moment. Katherine explains she did not want to believe in the prophesy of the doppelgangers, but when she thinks back on the first time she saw Stefan, she knows things changed for her.

Inside the cabin, the travelers corner Elena and Stefan in the cabin. One of the travelers approaches them and cuts their wrists. Elena and Stefan decide not to fight back because they cannot flee into the daylight. The cuts on their wrists do not heal right away, but when they do they leave the cabin.

While continuing her search for Matt, Klaus keeps following Caroline. He wants to know if Caroline will offer him the same choice she gave Tyler: either his revenge against Katherine or Caroline. Caroline gets frustrated with Klaus for distracting her while they search for Matt, and Klaus reassures Caroline Matt is safe and taken care of.

Matt wakes up and finds the safe is open. When he looks outside to see who freed him, he finds Rebekah waiting for him.

Back at the mansion, Jenna and Uncle John show up in Katherine’s visions and force Katherine to stab herself and cut off her fingers, just like she made them do before they died. Damon is forcing these thoughts into Katherine’s head to torture her. Katherine sees Elijah entering the room and immediately calms down and seems at peace, only to find that Elijah was really Damon continuing to play with her thoughts. Nadia enters the room and snaps Damon’s neck to make him stop. She explains the ritual is nearly complete and wants Katherine to repeat the spell needed to transfer her consciousness. Katherine refuses. She tells Nadia the biggest mistake she ever made was letting her father take Nadia away as a baby, and that she should have fought harder for her daughter, thus she spent 500 years fighting for everything. Katherine explains she wants to die, and Nadia leaves saying she supports Katherine’s decision but will not watch.

In the woods, Klaus continues to follow Caroline. He tells her he will not get his revenge on Katherine and leave Mystic Falls forever if she is honest with him about her feelings. Caroline tells Klaus she has plans in her life that do not involve him, but she wants to tell him the truth. She makes him swear he will never come back, and when he does, she kisses him. The two of the kiss passionately and tear their clothes off one another. Caroline seems to finally give in to the sexual tension between the two and give in to her true feelings for Klaus.

In Katherine’s room, Stefan visits to say goodbye. She closes her eyes and comes back to the memory of her family dying. She tells Stefan it was the worst day of her life and that Damon was right to say her family’s death was her fault. In the memory, Stefan makes her family disappear and the memory transitions to when she gave birth. Katherine hears Nadia crying and she goes to her baby.

The entire gang sits in the living room, waiting for Katherine to die. Bonnie explains she will likely feel Katherine pass, and Matt asks if she ever sees people he knows. Vicki shows up and tells Bonnie to tell Matt she loves him and always watches over him. Tyler arrives at the mansion and Caroline hesitantly greets him. Alarick arrives from the other side and Jeremy and Bonnie can both see him. Suddenly Katherine arrives and Bonnie freezes. Katherine looks around the room and knows she is dead. She screams that she is not ready to die, and back in her bed she comes back alive with Elena laying by her side. Elena tells Katherine she forgives her, and Katherine thanks her for her forgiveness. Katherine asks Elena to give her more drugs to ease the pain, and as Elena gives her the medicine, Katherine casts the spell Nadia taught her and transfers her consciousness into Elena’s body.

And so Katherine Pierce continues to live! For a split second, I thought Katherine was really going to die, but as soon as she asked Elena to give her the medicine I knew it was a trap. I’m glad Katherine will stay on the show because she is a great villain, but I’m also a little disappointed. She is a pretty one-sided character and, as this episode highlights, she has done enough damage to Elena and crew. Nevertheless, Katherine brings spunk and great tension to our favorite supernaturals, so I am not too disappointed she will continue to live.

So now the question remains, how will the group figure out that Elena is not really Elena anymore? How will they get Elena’s consciousness back? Now that Bonnie is the anchor, it seems she no longer has her powers. Will another witch come into Mystic Falls and help? Or will other travelers help Elena?

And last but not least, we finally see Caroline show her true feelings for Klaus! This tension has been budding up for nearly two seasons now, and we all knew Caroline had some attraction to Klaus. It is bittersweet as Klaus is now in New Orleans and we know the relationship may not get a lot of screen time, and since Klaus promised he would never come back to Mystic Falls, it does not seem he will be on this show anytime soon. So we can only hope Caroline will make some appearances on “The Originals”. It has to happen, right? I would hope the writers are not that cruel.

Tune in next week for another recap!

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Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW