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The Vampire Diaries “American Gothic” 

Photo Credit: Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW
Photo Credit: Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Elijah is back!!!!! But apparently he’s developed a case of the stupids. In other news, Klaus has to call Caroline in his time of need and she actually comes. And Nina Dobrev does double duty as an automaton this week. No Matt (still!!), April, Liz, Bonnie, or Tyler.

So, Rebekah and Elena roll into small town USA driving a stolen Porsche Cayenne (of course) and when Elena stops to feed the first passerby, the gal a) calls her Katherine and b) is a willing feed, so the girls realize they’ve hit the jackpot. They quickly throw down with Katherine outside the post office and then segue to a diner to have a chat.

They take turns outsnitting Katherine, after acknowledging it was pretty ingenious for her to compel an entire town, before they get down to business about finding the cure. Rebekah stakes Katherine to the table with a fork, and she oddly leaves it there while they chat. Katherine teases and stalls and then Elena takes her phone and goes in her stead to meet “EM” posing as Katherine. Sidebar: PR and cast list totally spoil this but let’s play along.

So, Elena stands in a gazebo, dressed in her clothes layered with Katherine’s accessories and shoes when our favorite Mikaelson voice sounds out and Elena turns to see Elijah. He leans in to kiss her, which Elena didn’t expect, but she goes along with it and it takes him about 10 seconds to realize who she is. He asks her why she’s turned off her emotions and she tells him Katherine killed Jeremy and that hits him hard as he realizes he’s been played.

Around this time, the brothers Salvatore descend on the diner and find Katherine and Rebekah. Katherine confirms that she and Elijah are together which hilarious gets an “Ugh” around the entire table. They confront her that she’s playing Elijah to be her negotiator  and take the cure to Klaus in exchange for her freedom from him. She doesn’t disagree.

She finally takes them home, which reeks of being suspiciously domestic and makes a big faux show of getting the cure out of a safe only to find it stolen, and then Damon realizes it’s in the empty aquarium. They tussle, Rebekah goes for the cure, and Katherine gets away. Rebekah pops the top and drinks it over Damon’s mild protest and then promptly blacks out. Stefan arrives to see the tail end of this.

Elena and Elijah argue about old Elena and her compassion when Katherine pops up and snaps her neck and then she and Elijah have a chat about just how conniving Katherine really is and he says he’s done. Back at the house, Rebekah wakes up, Damon flings a knife at her, which she catches and then her hand heals, so she realizes the cure was a fake. Stefan suggests it was a power vervain cocktail.

Katherine fetches the real cure from one of her compelled townies and then hands it off to Elijah, declaring that she loves him and that’s real and his fate is in her hands. Then she walks away and Elijah crosses the street to find a pleading Rebekah sitting on his car. She makes her case and then Klaus calls for a status check and she hands the phone to Elijah. Klaus tells him to come home and then Elijah and Rebekah get in the car and off they go.

The Salvatores argue over Damon not stopping Rebekah from taking the faux cure and Damon concedes that as soon as he’d done it, he regretted it and he’s on board with Stefan now because this Elena is a “stone cold bitch.” They catch up with her in the diner and she tells them that under no certain terms does she want the cure, and if the cross her, there will be consequences. The boys look at each other and say nothing. The waitress approaches the table to fill Elena’s coffee and Elena jumps up and snaps her neck. As she drops, Elena tells them that’s on them.

Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls, Klaus is reeling from his stake encounter with Silas and writhing (shirtless!) all over his parlor when Caroline arrives and is entirely too gentle and Klaus twigs that she’s Silas. He rails at Silas to show him his true face and Silas says no and then he’s gone. Then another Caroline arrives and Klaus tells her to go and she mouths off enough that he realizes it’s truly her.

He asks for help getting the splinters from his back and she drags it out a bit trying to elicit a promise of safety for Tyler. She digs in his back for a while with pliers but comes up with nothing. They continue to argue and Klaus gets so worked up that he realizes there never was a splinter in his back and the whole thing was a Silas mindf-ck. This rattles Caroline as she realizes if Silas can get in Klaus’s head they’re all pretty much screwed.

She takes her leave and asks him again about Tyler and he won’t lift the death threat but he does tell Caroline she may have noticed he’s not exactly scouring the earth for him. So there’s that. She’s a scoche relieved and trots back off to prom planning.

And we’re off for three weeks and then back with the senior prom!

I was glad to see Elijah back (after almost a year away), but I think it was a bit of a retcon to have him fall into bed with Katherine. Maybe that was some sort of side tangent to his affection for Elena? Who knows. I did like that the realization that she had killed Jeremy, and caused Elena to make a massive decision, affected him as much as it did and made him wake up. I was surprised that he didn’t have anything to say to Rebekah about Elena becoming a vampire because of her antics on the bridge (and that he already knew).

As for Klaus and Caroline, I don’t think we turned any significant corner in their loggerhead situation but I still enjoy them going toe to toe.

Nina Dobrev busted her butt this week as Katherine and Elena. I was curious about how that would play out with Elena being “off,” and Dobrev was able to still shade the performances in such a way that you knew who was who. We’re still in brat phase with Elena, though.

The Vampire Diaries returns on April 20th with a straight run of five episodes through to the season finale.  If you want to catch “American Gothic” again, it’s online now at

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