Katherine’s selfishness proves to be her downfall

The Vampire Diaries Season 5, Episode 14 (“No Exit”)
Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries

As much fun as Katherine pretending to be Elena was, the ruse could not continue for very long. The show is generally pretty quick to have it’s characters figure out people’s schemes. Katherine has impersonated Elena a lot throughout the series but has never been able to keep it up. She has never really understood Elena and that was her downfall in this episode. In “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Katherine was concerned that showing a lack of concern for Jeremy would give her away, so she reluctantly helped. In this episode it was her lack of concern and decidedness about Damon that gave her away. Elena would never want Damon dead. She has also forgive him for a thousand things, including actually killing Jeremy, but randomly decided that this time was too far? Between that and help from Matt, Caroline and Stefan figure out exactly what happened by episode’s end.

Katherine’s other downfall is a lack of patience. If she really wanted to sell herself as Elena, and eventually win Stefan back, she should have realized it was going to take time. Her self-centeredness makes it impossible for her to truly understand anyone else. Not only does she not understand Elena, but she also underestimates Stefan’s bond with Damon. Stefan wouldn’t choose Elena over Damon. And he would do whatever it takes to save Damon. Stefan would have rather let Damon feed on him, and kill him, than be the one to drive a stake through Damon’s heart. And Elena would know that. Damon thinks it means Elena has given up on him, but Stefan realizes it’s because she’s not Elena.

Matt and Tyler continue to get some glory in this episode. Caroline and Tyler work together to figure out what exactly Nadia is up to. Matt hasn’t been compelled to forget yet, but Nadia is forcing him to keep it a secret. Matt shows some brain power in this episode and keeps up the ruse with Nadia, pretending he is going to play along with her scheme and that he enjoys spending time with her. But he is actually working a scheme all on his own and has a major assist in getting the Caroline-Stefan brain trust to figure out what Katherine is up to.

Enzo actually proves to be a good friend in this episode. He sticks by Damon when he gets the vampire-eating disease, making sure to keep him fed so that he doesn’t feed on Enzo. He also tries to help Damon stay calm and get his craving for vampires under control. Having spent 50 years being tortured, Enzo has learned that a positive outlook gets you much further than being anxious. He is actually the one who calls Stefan and Elena for help, knowing that they will come even after their interaction in the last episode. Stefan told Damon not to come back to Mystic Falls and Damon said he wouldn’t, but neither of them really meant it.

Enzo is an interesting character that, at least so far, has mostly been used as a test for Damon. Two episodes ago he was encouraging Damon to kill Aaron Whitmore, literally forcing him to make the choice between being the man Elena wants him to be versus his natural instincts. And he has helped Damon to go on the war path to find and kill all of the Augustine Society members, but it is hard to argue that he is in the wrong. Aaron Whitmore had nothing to do with it but those directly involved in the society have done some horrible things to both Enzo and Damon just because they are vampires. In this episode however, Enzo is the level-headed one and we see the side of him that was a good influence on Damon and helped him survive through 5 years of torture. It’ll be interesting to track the different ways this character is used from here, because minor spoiler, he isn’t going anywhere.

Now that they have all figured out that Elena is really Katherine her time is the villain is likely limited. The Travelers are helping Dr. Maxfield but we still don’t know what they want from him in return. I had not rewatched these last few episodes since I saw the show for the first time but I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I have enjoyed them this time around. I have made it no secret that season 5 is probably my least favorite (definitely of the seasons I have covered so far) but there are at least some bright spots.

Episode Grade: 8/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Katherine: “We all love Matt Donovan. Otherwise he would have been dead a long time ago”
  • Katherine is being so obvious with Stefan that I don’t know how he was so oblivious until the end. Elena would not have cared that much about changing her shirt because of some grease on it while they had more important things to deal with. She also wouldn’t have been so forward with Stefan in the hotel.
  • Also if Elena was wanting to rebound after Damon she wouldn’t have gone for Stefan.
  • Tyler and Caroline kind of make up. He apologizes for attacking her but says that he can’t get past her and Klaus.
  • Detox Cellar! Damon ends up there at the end of the episode.
  • Tyler bit Nadia and so now she is dying of a werewolf bite. Something tells me Klaus won’t be coming through for her. Did they get a stash of his blood at some point? That would have been smart.
  • Stefan says he stopped the kiss with “Elena” because he wouldn’t do that to Damon, but Damon definitely did that to him. But I feel that Stefan is over the love triangle drama and has no desire to enter into it again.
  • Body Count: 1, Damon kills the guy whose house they are in.

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