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'The Vampire Diaries' 'The Devil Inside' recap: The survivor and the monster

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Katherine Pierce is a survivor. That was really the only thing you needed to know going into Thursday, Jan. 30's "The Vampire Diaries" episode, 512, "The Devil Inside."

Before we get into the specifics of this "TVD" episode, can we just say how good Nina Dobrev is that we can instantly tell when she's supposed to be Katherine, Elena, or Katherine-in-Elena's body without the black eyes signaling a switch in "The Devil Inside"? Now for what happened in the episode:

Maintaining control In order for Katherine to have Elena's body hers for good, they needed her body, but there was one slight problem: Damon had fun burying it somewhere, and all he would say was that it was where it was meant to be. Fortunately for Katherine, she knew what that meant later on. But at first, that meant Nadia had to keep Katherine-in-Elena's body cuffed to a bedframe in case Elena regained control, which she did several times, but Nadia was there to bring Katherine back.

They turned to Matt for help with Elena Gilbert Trivia 101 (after compulsion, of course), including her fashion sense (no to the dress, yes to the shoes), all while Stefan, Damon and even Caroline were trying to put together a plan to get Damon and Elena back together because Damon was a much better person with her. Katherine posed as Elena at the party to try to find out where her body was, and thanks to the conversation with Stefan, during which she even tried suggesting they hold a funeral for Katherine (and clearly wanted to hear Stefan say he was something other than "fine" about her being dead), she realized she was in the tomb.

After being, well, Katherine and making things horrible for Caroline, she joined Nadia and Mia at her body. "I was pretending to care," she explained. "Very time consuming." To seal Katherine in Elena's body, they needed blood – and to cut open and burn Katherine's body. Elena regained control and pretended to be Katherine long enough to throw Mia back and stab Nadia and escape, but Mia was able to continue chanting. Elena ran in the woods, having flashes of Katherine's life, and she just reached Damon when Mia finished the spell and her eyes flashed back.

Damon said that he had screwed up and had been convinced he had ruined her, but he gave himself too much credit, thinking he could change her. She was the best influence on him, and he needed her, especially with all the darkness in him. However, she said she couldn't worry about what would happen the next time they fought, bringing up how he tortured Katherine while she was dying, and told him he was right to let her go. "We're over," Katherine said before walking away, smiling.

Yes, Katherine was here to stay. "Cold, manipulative, good hair. You really are my daughter," she commented upon rejoining Nadia, and they were going to be getting in mother-daughter bonding time in Mystic Falls. Katherine wanted it all: her daughter, immortality, and her one true love, Stefan. Did all that really just happen?!

Consequences to scandalous sex Just like Klaus' good time in Mystic Falls was mentioned in "The Originals," they didn't just forget that he had been in last week's episode. Caroline turned to stress-cleaning, so their dorm room (including the fireplace – we'll never get over the fireplace in their freshman dorm room) was spotless, and worry that everyone knew what happened, and unfortunately for her, she didn't realize that Katherine was in control of Elena's body when she told her she had sex with Klaus. Katherine being Katherine, she used that to her advantage and made sure Tyler overheard while eavesdropping (pesky supernatural hearing, even at a loud party, forget about having secrets).

Caroline tried to talk to Tyler, but he wasn't in the mood to hear why she has sex with someone who had killed thousands, a pack of hybrids, Elena's aunt, friends, and Tyler's mother, and sorry wasn't going to cut it this time. Stefan had to intervene to hold Tyler back, and despite what happened, Stefan and Caroline's friendship was still going strong by episode's end as he teased her, commenting that he didn't know what Klaus saw in her.

A not so happy return Just because he was back in Mystic falls didn't mean life was so grand for Tyler, who subscribed to the "it's 5 p.m. somewhere" with a shot for breakfast. Matt decided to throw him a Welcome Back Party to celebrate his fresh start, but considering his fresh start really was about getting Caroline back and at the party, he found out about her and Klaus, that didn't go so well. So he may have had a really big house, but his parents were dead, the girl he loved slept with his enemy, and he had no plans for his future. Matt suggested they go somewhere else to escape for a while, but all he could really do was comfort his friend after Tyler remarked that he hadn't thought Klaus could do anything worse than what he had done to him in New Orleans. Poor Tyler!

The Damon Salvatore we all know and love Elsewhere, Aaron was trying to do the right thing, which included making sure there were no more vampire experiments. However, Enzo decided to be that old friend who dropped by with a present you may or may not want, and he showed up at Damon's with Aaron in a body bag, still alive, for him to finish off. For them, it was a semi-sweet gesture.

However, Damon instead chose to let Aaron go and compelled him to leave town and never look back. But after "Elena" told him they were over, Damon and Enzo tracked down Aaron. Elena thought he was a monster, and she was right, Damon explained before biting him. "Now that's the Damon Salvatore I remember," Enzo said, rejoicing in having him back.

"The Vampire Diaries" season 5 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 12 "The Devil Inside"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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