The Vampire Diaries Review: “American Gothic” (Season 4, Episode 18)

The Vampire Diaires

There was something terribly unsettling about the events that took place in this episode of The Vampire Diaries. Besides being the first episode this season that we really reunited with Katherine (Nina Dobrev), it was also the first time vampire Elena (also Dobrev) encountered her – and for the first time ever, I think I might like Katherine better.

Elena and Katherine have always had their differences, but it’s hard to overlook their similarities. More now than ever, Katherine has forced Elena into becoming the worst version of herself. What did she really think was going to happen when Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) died? Correction, she inadvertently killed him. He was Elena’s brother and the last link to her family. It’s hard to imagine that she was really surprised by the realization that Elena had switched off her emotions. It’s exactly what Katherine did after she found her family murdered, isn’t it?

For someone who has spent the last 500 years running it seems like a giant oversight to not see the threat that Elena poses to her mission of freedom. Her plan to broker a deal with Klaus (Joseph Morgan) was as expected, but it hinged on Elijah (Daniel Gillies) as the mediator. Not expecting him to react poorly to the news that she was the reason behind Jeremy’s death doesn’t seem very Katherine-like. She always seems to consider all the possibilities and carefully weighs them out, even when she’s doing horrible things – which let’s face it, is most of the time. It appears that it’s all part of how her brain has become hard-wired from the constant attempts to remain one step ahead. Though somehow, something clouded her judgment.

Katherine made some very interesting choices in this episode of The Vampire Diaries. For one reason or another, she has chosen to settle down in a small Pennsylvania town. Chances are that it was out of convenience, however, I can’t help but hope that something about it reflected Katherine’s own desire to live a simple, normal life – not unlike Rebekah.

The news that she was romantically attached to Elijah didn’t exactly strike me as the surprise of the century, either. Judging from the way that Elijah has always reacted to Elena, and the history lesson we already learned, it makes sense that they would still fancy one another. In a way, it’s kind of fitting. Katherine is never going to change unless there is someone out there that she cares about more than herself.

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