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The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.12: “The Devil Inside” adds new complications to the group

The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.12: “The Devil Inside” adds new complications to the group
Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 12: “The Devil Inside”
Written by Brett Matthews and Sonny Postiglione
Directed by Kellie Cyrus
Airs Thursdays at 8pm (ET) on The CW

Despite Katherine seemingly at death’s door for most of last week’s episode, her last minute transition into Elena’s body proved that the doppelganger still had some tricks up her sleeve. With her daughter and the Travelers in on her plan, it was clear that Mystic Falls wasn’t going to be rid of their nemesis quite as soon as they thought. This week’s episode once again focuses on Katherine’s attempt at survival, in a compelling outing that re-introduces some absent characters.

Having Katherine permanently inhabit Elena’s body and take over her consciousness is an intriguing development. As she points out herself, this is the first time Katherine is completely free and clear, and her decision to stick around in Mystic Falls holds a lot of storytelling potential. With Katherine not needing to look out for herself anymore, her actions can have one of two effects. If she grows to empathize with the Mystic Falls group, her work earlier this season with Augustine proves that she possesses a level of cunning that is unmatched in the group, and she could help with any problems in the future in a way that nobody else can. However, if her past personality is a measure of who she really is, which is in line with what we’ve seen of Katherine to date, she could end up being an insidious cause of unrest amongst the characters that could have far-reaching implications. With her daughter also staying in town, whichever path Katherine chooses to take, she is bound to have an ally, and it will be fascinating to see how far she can go, and how much she can affect things, before her deceit is discovered.

Michael Malarkey, Ian Somerhalder

Michael Malarkey, Ian Somerhalder

The return of Enzo is also a promising storyline. While Damon has indulged in his psychopathic tendencies before, he has almost always acted alone, with notable exceptions such as a humanity-less Elena only working to keep up with him, instead of the other way around. With Enzo, however, the elder Salvatore has someone pushing him forward to counteract all the voices berating his behaviour. It will be interesting to explore the dynamic between the two vampires, particularly as both of them feel like they have no ties. How Enzo reacts to his newfound freedom, with Augustine and Whitmore now firmly behind him, also has the potential to be fascinating. His decades-long captivity and his status as an unwilling test subject are both understandable causes for his anger, as is any desire to experience life to the fullest. However, as this episode shows, both these issues manifest themselves in a desire to commit violence, and with Damon also feeling low, the two are apt to do some serious damage. It will be interesting to see which one of the vampires breaks first; while Enzo is likely to goad Damon into going further, whether or not Damon has an internal awakening to his actions will be very telling in how far the character has really come since his return to Mystic Falls.

Overall, this is a solid episode with some interesting setup for the season. It’s good to see Tyler make a return that seems more permanent this time, and it should be fascinating to see how he reintegrates himself into the Mystic Falls group, as he hasn’t been part of the team in a long time. Seeing Tyler lay out some of Klaus’ atrocities since his arrival is also a refreshing reminder of the evil depths the latter has gone to. Stefan and Caroline’s friendship continues to be a bright spot on this show, and their interaction this week is a nice reminder of that. The story of Aaron Whitmore, however, unfortunately stays as a dud, with his death this week having no real impact, as his character remained undeveloped, with only the faintest of character traits. The cancellation of Augustine is also somewhat of a damp ending for a society that held a lot of promise, and hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of them, particularly as it leaves a number of questions. Where Tyler goes from here, as well as what part Matt and Jeremy play in his story, what consequences Damon’s resurgent psychopathic nature has, and how Katherine’s presence affects things in Mystic Falls are all stories worth keeping an eye on as the season continues.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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