'The Vampire Diaries' recap: How Katherine met Klaus
With only a handful of episodes left to go this season, “The Vampire Diaries” has a lot of answers to dole out and a lot of mythology to get through. In this week's episode, simply titled “Klaus” — what else needs to be said, really? — the show managed to do a big info dump in highly entertaining and enlightening fashion. As usual, the surprises were aplenty, and I didn't see them coming. The biggest ones came from Elijah's (Daniel Gillies) twisty backstory of Klaus (Joseph Morgan). After pulling out the dagger, Elena (Nina Dobrev) gave Elijah her word that she'd tell him everything. He returned the favor, spilling the following reveals:
1. Elijah and Klaus are brothers. This is one that as soon as he said it, I kicked myself for not thinking of it sooner. “The Vampire Diaries” is very much about history repeating itself. At the center are two brothers who've twice been in love with the same girl. Of course Elijah and Klaus would be brothers also involved with the same girl, the very one who looks like the present-day version. But while Elijah seems like the Stefan (Paul Wesley) in this triangle, Klaus does not seem to care for Katherine (Dobrev) the way Damon (Ian Somerhalder) does for Elena.
2. The Sun and the Moon Curse is fake. The thing they've been fighting nearly all season? Not real, psych! Bold move, show. Klaus drew up the Aztec scrolls himself because nothing gets supernatural species looking for a doppelganger and a moonstone quicker than some ancient mumbo jumbo. Just as Elijah reveals this, Stefan calls Elena about Jenna (Sara Canning). She runs off to find her, but all I'm thinking is, “Screw Jenna! What do you mean it's not real?! And why does he still want the doppelganger and the moonstone?”
3. Klaus is half vampire/half werewolf! Elijah told Elena that he and Klaus are the oldest vampires on earth and all other vampires come from them. How this is possible with human parents, Elijah dismisses as a long story. Then Elijah dropped the bombshell that Klaus is from a different bloodline, a blood of werewolves! Their mother had an affair. So that makes Klaus what exactly? A “deadly hybrid,” Elijah tells her. So deadly that the witches sought to restore balance to nature by making his werewolf side dormant, which is the real curse. And he wants to lift the curse because...
4. Klaus wants to trigger his werewolf side and start his own hybrid race. The implications of this are enormous. We're talking species domination, possibly even wiping away the human race. Then there's the factions that will no doubt rise up of pure vampires and pure werewolves fighting against hybrids. The story becomes much bigger than just Elena and the residents of Mystic Falls with Klaus wanting to start a new race.
5. The dagger won't kill Klaus. Because werewolves heal from silver, the dagger is useless. Elijah tells Elena only a witch powerful enough can kill Klaus. It has to be done during his full moon transformation when he's in a weakened state. Elena's got just the person, but there's still the risk of Bonnie (Katerina Graham) killing herself in the process.
The episode did a nice job of sandwiching these reveals between scenes of Elijah and Elena, and Elijah, Klaus and Katherine in flashbacks, which were quite impressive for a CW show. In fact, I think they were the most authentic flashbacks the show has done so far. The costumes looked rich and the dialogue flowed much more believably. A lot of that also has to be credited to Gillies and Dobrev, who shared great chemistry in the present and the past, easily establishing a connection. At one point, I swear it looked like Elijah was happy to see Elena, who no doubt reminds him of Katherine. One of my favorite scenes of the episode was Elijah and Katherine talking about love. “True love is not real unless it is returned,” Katherine said of Trevor, but it could just as easily be applied to Elena and Damon. Elijah told her he didn't believe in love — the magnificent look on Gillies' face implies otherwise — to which she replied, “If we cease to believe in love, why would we want to live?”
Klaus does not share this view. “Love is a vampire's greatest weakness,” he says after finding out Elijah has gone through the trouble of finding a way to save the doppelganger. He does not care about sparing Katherine. He really shows his true colors when he finds out Katherine has escaped. He threatens to kill his own brother, proving he really does not feel, not even for his own family. Morgan, finally making his debut as Klaus, brought a great menacing quality to the character and a certain irreverence, all delivered with an impish grin. This show really has a knack for casting, especially when it comes to breathing life into the guest cast.
Meanwhile, the war over how to best protect Elena continued this week, and Andie somehow ended up getting caught in the middle. Damon said she kept him from going after what he really wants —Stefan's girlfriend. Stefan countered that he's glad that Damon's in love with Elena if it protects her, but he has something Damon never will — Elena's respect. That's going to be very hard for Damon to achieve if he keeps going against her wishes. Damon gets upset and takes it out on Andie, biting into her before compelling her to leave. I was thankful he made her leave because the Damon/Andie relationship was getting borderline creepy and disturbing for me. And honestly, Stefan and Damon's squabbles just aren't as interesting when you've got Elijah walking around town, spilling secrets. Can we please keep Elijah around for a good long while?
Other brief thoughts:
– Jenna found out the truth. And then we didn't see her the rest of the episode. I guess it takes time to recover from learning that all your niece's friends are either vampires, werewolves or witches.
– No Bonnie, Jeremy, Caroline, Matt or Tyler this week, but honestly, I didn't miss them. There was plenty to keep me interested.
– Damon gave Katherine vervain, so now she owes him. Interesting... Also, what is it with vampires liking to get drunk and dance around the house?
– Line of the night: “To retrieve me. So I can get out of this bad hairdo.” Greta, Klaus' witch pal, got the job done, introducing us to present day Klaus. I can't wait.
Showtrackers, what did you think of the Klaus and Elijah backstory? Were you shocked by the twists? Do you think Elena and the gang stand a chance now with Elijah on their side? And what did you think of Morgan as the infamous Klaus?
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— Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)
Photo: Katherine (Nina Dobrev) and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) in flashback. Credit: Bob Mahoney / The CW.