The Vampire Diaries does love its twists, doesn't it? It zigs when you think it's going to zag. We've seen it happen so many times that now I feel like Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) deciding which goblet contains the poison in The Princess Bride's battle of wits. "I know that they know that I know they're going to do the unexpected. So in some cases, the expected becomes the unexpected... But you knew I knew that."
Here's something I genuinely did not expect: For Katherine to have actually returned to Mystic Falls for Stefan. Of course, she never answered his question about what she was running from in 1864 when she struck a deal with werewolf George Lockwood to burn/entomb her 26 friends (and thereby fake her own death), so she could turn out to have another motive. But I do believe that she genuinely loved him, whatever "love" means to her. Yes, she's a manipulative, psychotic killer, but you can't totally hate her now. It reminds me of something Ian Somerhalder told us shortly after Vampire Diaries first premiered, when fans wanted to know if Damon would be pure evil. "It would not be on the heels of someone like Kevin Williamson to write a one-dimensional character," he said. "I guarantee you he’s not gonna be a one-trick pony." Neither will Katherine.
So, let's get into it. I'm assuming we all guessed before Stefan did that it was Katherine laying next to him in bed and not Elena, because we saw the makeup, the hair, the clothing, and the earrings. Loved that fakeout, which was even more of a tease if you, like me, are advocating for another Stefan-Elena sex scene. What I didn't know was that Katherine could somehow affect Stefan's dreams. Is that a power that comes with age, like increased strength? ("We both know I could rip you to shreds and do my nails at the same time," she told Stefan when he tried to get her to leave.) She had Stefan dream about the night of the 1864 Founder's Ball at the Lockwood Mansion, when Katherine chose Stefan to be her escort over Damon. (I think it was because of Damon's hair.) I figured out that was a dream and not a real flashback pretty quickly -- right around the time Katherine said Damon needed to concede that his younger brother was the better dancer. Stefan was good at the sock hop last season, but Damon knows how to shake it, shirt open, on a balcony. The rest of you may have been clued-in when Elena suddenly appeared next to Damon and we shifted to modern-day. Damon kissed Elena while they played pool at the Grill (anyone else ready for another Mystic Falls set to be built?) and Katherine, still wearing her hoop skirt, was there to tell Stefan that now he knows how she feels watching him with Elena. "I love you, Stefan," she said. "We’ll be together again. I promise." That's not the last time we'd hear that line...
NEXT: Yes, folks, references to 24 and The Bachelor.