'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Katherine tells a tale
How fitting that this info-packed episode took us to what was basically a vampire cyber cafe, complete with double tinted windows to keep the sunlight out. Rose's (Lauren Cohan) friend Slater (Trevor Peterson), who has oodles of knowledge thanks to his 18 degrees, three masters and four PhDs and countless years as a vampire, gave Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Rose the 411 on Klaus and the Curse of the Sun and the Moon. We also got quite the info dump as Katherine (Nina Dobrev) shared her Lifetime-gets-horrific life story with Elena (Dobrev). Entombed Katherine kind of looked like a zombie extra who got rejected from “The Walking Dead” because she didn't look decayed enough. But her hoarse voice and limping stride were still plenty creepy. Even a slightly slower Katherine kept her wits about her, not to mention her perfect eye makeup, as she dished to Elena. Here's what we learned:
1. Katerina Petrova, who shall be known as Katherine from here on out, had a daughter.And now we also know that Elena and Katherine are related through that blood line. In 1490, Katherine gave birth to a girl, who was taken from her by her own father and given away. Dobrev really sold the crushing emotions of having one's child ripped away from them. Pretty impressive for such a young actress. But then again, she had practice playing a teenage mom on “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”
2. In 1492, Katherine was banished from her native Bulgaria.Having a child out of wedlock was a big no-no, so when Katherine was disowned, she fled to England and adopted a British accent. I hope Dobrev got paid overtime for all the extra accent work she did in this episode, not to mention having to play three characters essentially. It was in England that Katherine caught the eye of a nobleman named Klaus, but then she realized what Klaus wanted to do with her and ran away. Lovesick Trevor (Trent Ford) -- the guy who got beheaded last week –- helped her escape to Rose's cottage.
4. Katherine basically turned herself into a vampire to save her own ass. After Rose discovered that Katherine had stolen the moonstone from Klaus, she told Katherine she was going to turn her over to Klaus rather than risk her and Trevor's lives. She fed Katherine her blood to heal her wounds. Then when Rose left the room, Katherine hanged herself and became a vampire. “Better you die than I,” she replied when Rose accused her of using herself and Trevor to escape Klaus. Looks like that charming personality got its start before Katherine became a vamp.
5. Katherine came back to Mystic Falls to gather the ingredients to break the spell. She hoped that by giving Elena to Klaus –- only a human doppelganger will do –- he would stop trying to get revenge on her for running away. Klaus even killed her entire family back in 1492, so that baby really is the only blood line left. And Caroline (Candice Accola), Tyler (Michael Trevino) and Bonnie (Katerina Graham) were part of Katherine's plan. You also need a vampire and werewolf for the spell and a witch to perform it. “Better you die than I,” she told Elena. That should really be on her headstone. If she ever dies.
6. It really is just a two-way race now to see who will get to the spell first.Slater told Damon and Rose the only way he knew to find Klaus was through a Craigslist personal ad. Seriously? But that would eventually lead to a dead end. Meanwhile, undead Elijah (Daniel Gillies) was eavesdropping outside the cyber cafe. He gathered a handful of coins and flung them at the cafe's windows, shattering all the glass. As all the vampires inside withered in pain under the sun, I couldn't help thinking that this felt like the vampire version of a terrorist attack. And between this and the powerful beheading by swatting last week, I'm starting to think Elijah is Klaus. Elijah compelled Slater to tell Rose they needed the moonstone to destroy the curse and that a witch would know what to do with it. Then he made Slater stab himself. Bummer. I really liked the guy and his oddly nerdy thirst for knowledge and “what is the point of being a vampire?” attitude. He also looked like he could have been Misha Collins' (“Supernatural”) younger brother.
7. Katherine doesn't want out of the tomb. Even though she's got the moonstone, she's not planning to exchange it for her freedom. When Klaus comes to town to kill them all, “I'll be the safest psychotic bitch in town,” she told Stefan (Paul Wesley).
8. Bonnie's got two suitors and one of them may be up to no good. After quite a dry spell –- no pun intended –- Bonnie's now caught the eye of Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and new guy Luka (Bryton James), whose dad asked Bonnie if she's related to any Bennetts in Salem. It seemed like Bonnie felt something less than great when she touched Luka's shoulder. Then Luka won Bonnie over by revealing that he's a warlock. But Bonnie may not want to trust him because Luka's dad and Elijah are working together. Looks like Bonnie's being set up to get caught up in the middle of all this spell breaking messiness.
Oh, yes, and Damon had sex with Rose. It was too short to really make an impression, although I do think the characters play off each other well. When Rose told Damon, “You can trust me,” I scoffed. The boy has some pretty big trust issues thanks to a certain dark-haired vampire. I scoffed even more so when Rose told him he needs to turn off his emotions to stay safe and then jumped him. Desire and lust are some of the most powerful emotions.
I actually loved the sweet little exchanges between Stefan and Caroline more. Their blossoming friendship has been a highlight this season. When Stefan told her she reminded him of his best friend Lexi –- RIP –- I smiled. Here's hoping Caroline's fate is not the same as Lexi's.
Readers, what did you think of Katherine's backstory? Was she selfish or smart? Or is it just sad? Do you think Luka is bad news? Did Rose manage to get your mind off Damon and Elena? And what do you think of my "Elijah is Klaus" theory?
-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)
'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'It's Elena.' Again.
'The Vampire Diaries' recap: The killing time
Complete "The Vampire Diaries" coverage on Show Tracker
Photo: Damon (Ian Somerhalder) goes to a vampire cyber cafe. Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert / The CW.