The Vampire Diaries Review: “The Cell” (Season 5, Episode 9)


Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev) has been both friend and foe to Elena (also Dobrev) and her merry band of supernatural and supernatural-friendly cohorts since she came into the picture back in season 1 of The Vampire Diaries. We’ve watched her plot, scheme, and conspire against just about every character on the show – if she skipped over anyone, her lack of interest can almost be considered an insult.

We’ve watched her champion ‘Team Katherine’ and run, which is essentially what she’s been doing for the last 500 years. But, we’ve also watched her inexplicably take the moral high ground and come through in moments where an assist was pretty much the only thing standing between our favorite characters and their demise.

Since Elena stuffed the cure down Katherine’s throat at the end of last season, she’s ridden the emotional roller-coaster more than a few times around the tracks. For a moment, it looked like Katherine would prove to be her own worst enemy and put everyone out of the misery of her company, but apparently The Vampire Diaries isn’t quite ready to let her go that easily. Luckily for us, she remains a mystery that still needs to be solved – and she even looks to have some redeeming qualities still in tact after her wild ride. Stefan (Paul Wesley) had it right when he proclaimed, “you’re Katherine Pierce. Suck it up.”

Stefan spent his entire summer suffering, and even though it was Tessa who ultimately freed him from his “prison,” it might very well be Katherine who frees him from himself. The doppelganger curse aside, Katherine has always maintained a level of affection for him that far outweighed any residual disdain for his many plots to end her life (read: screw her over) since her “resurrection” from the tomb under the church.

She’s never been very good at hiding the fact that she was, even if only slightly, still in love with him. It’s a fact that has served to his gross advantage over the years considering his propensity for ending up on the wrong side of bad situations, emotionally and otherwise. It must be quite the ego boost that a woman who guards her heart from stakes and emotions equally has managed to remain attached to him for, what is it, like a 175 years now?

Generally, Katherine has added a physical boost to the team’s dynamic acting as a decoy or body double, but there have been times she’s offered some insight – given her lengthy existence and knowledge base – that has saved the day. This is really the first time she’s shown us that despite her dripping sarcasm and biting personality, she can also come through in the emotion department.

It didn’t look like Stefan was going to be able to snap out of his PTSD alone, and Katherine had the right idea to call for reinforcements. I’ve never pictured Katherine as really a team player before, probably because her help always seems to come at a cost, but it’s not a horrible look on her. Caroline (Candice Accola) was obviously the right choice (even though it must have been an awkward call for her to receive) – plus, if things didn’t work out the way either of them hoped, Katherine (and at least a handful of other people) would get her wish and Stefan would kill her. It’s a win-win situation for everyone – except for Stefan, but there’s always a plan B, right?

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