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‘The Vampire Diaries’ Season 4 Episode 18 Recap: “American Gothic”



Replacing Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) 1967 Chevy Camaro with a Porsche that looks fresh off the assembly line, Elena (Nina Dobrev) decides to make a “pit stop” in a small town in Pennsylvania, which according to Stefan (Paul Wesley) is known as Willoughby. Anxious to keep focused on finding the cure, Rebekah (Claire Holt), urges Elena to keep going. It’s not until Elena decides to feed on a local she discovers one woman in particular who is “acquaintances” with Katherine. Because Elena is the doppelganger of Katarina and has the power to compel, the poor woman does not know the difference. In fact, Katherine was so clever she compelled the entire town. Photo: CW


Will the Real Caroline Please Stand Up

Back at mystic Falls Klaus (Joseph Morgan) struggles to aid himself with pieces of the white oak dagger that is still logged in his back. For the first time, we actually see Klaus weak and fragile. Moments later, Caroline (Candice Accola), enters. Klaus’ soon makes the mistake by confiding in her his aggravation since out of all people Caroline seems to be the only person he’d ever show weakness to.  


But to his surprise, Caroline is indeed Silas demanding he find the cure. Rebekah and Elena search around town for more clues leading to Katherine, but Katherine eventually finds them. The three “talk it out” at a local diner to get answers as to where Katherine hid the cure. Lucky for Rebekah being an original, and the sister of the only vampire Katherine would ever be afraid of, getting her to talk was less of a struggle


Still suffering, Klaus decides to call the real Caroline for help. Upset that he is interrupting her eventful day of prom planning, she still manages to come to his aid. Desperate, Klaus begs Caroline to remove the piece of oak from his back that he has attempted all day himself to remove with a pair of bloody sheers.  Damon and Stefan get closer to finding the two ladies while still at the diner interrogating Katherine. After fishing around Katherine’s cell for answers, the two come across a meeting she has with a friend by the name of “Em.” Elena decides to dress up like her evil twin to find out whom this Em person really is and if they are a connection to the cure. Damon and Stefan eventually catch up to the girls asking where Elena ran off to. At a Gazebo in the park, Elena’s friendly meeting becomes even friendlier when Elijah (Daniel Gillies) turns out to be the guest of honor. Greeting her with a romantic kiss Elijah asks “Katherine” if she has the cure. Failing to pull off a compelling performance Elijah grabs Elena asking where his real lover is.

What looks like a bad episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Caroline attempts to find the hidden pieces stuck in Klaus’ back. The more Caroline digs, the more pain he is in. Suddenly Caroline has had enough. She refuses to help him any further unless he promises that Tyler (Michael Trevino) can return home unharmed.

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After not taking long to realize Elena isn’t Katherine, Elena berates Elijah for falling for Katherine’s con that she has pulled on so many men through the centuries. Surprised to see an emotionless Elena, Elijah questions why she no longer holds the compassion he once commended her for. “My brother’s dead, your girlfriend killed him,” Elena informs him.


Later at Katherine’s house with a sense of décor that resembles the taste of an eighty year old, Damon and Rebekah force Katherine to show them where she hid the cure. Heading to a small safe in the bookshelf, Katherine looks frantic as she tells them the cure is missing. Not buying her performance, Damon tells Rebekah to search upstairs while he searches down. Thinking into the mind of a habitual liar, Damon tries to pinpoint where she would actually hide something as valuable as the cure. Looking into an empty fish tank, Damon notices a rather fancy treasure chest sitting inside. Impressed of his own wit, Damon reaches into the tank to pull the chest out, but does not assume that because Katherine immunes herself to vervain that she hasn’t laced the water inside the tank as well. Grabbing a net Katherine shoves Damon into the tank attempting to run off with the cure. Rebekah hearing the commotion downstairs blocks Katherine from escaping. Photo: CW


Not exactly enthralled in fighting an original Katherine throws the cure and flees the scene. Doe-eyed and shocked to have the cure finally at her fingertips, Rebekah instantly takes the dose. Temporarily paralyzed by the vervain, Damon and Stefan fall short of stopping Rebekah from taking the dose of blood which causes her to collapse to the ground seconds later.


Give Me a Reason

Still not budging to help Klaus, Caroline waits to hear Klaus give his word about Tyler. Back and forth in another quarrel, Klaus soon realizes there was nothing in his back to begin with. “Silas got inside my head” Klaus reveals to Caroline. Grateful that Caroline distracted him from agony, she wonders what other tricks Silas has up his sleeve if he can make even the most notorious vampire venerable.  Still with Elijah, Elena picks his brain as she questions why he is still in love with Katherine after knowing of the person she has become. Their heart to heart is cut short when Katherine snaps Elena’s neck after ditching Damon and Rebekah.


Happy to be alive after strong dose of what she thought was the cure turns out to be a false vile of blood laced with vervain. Deceived that Katherine could kill Elena’s brother Katherine tries to explain her motives as a means to survive. Unsure that her love for him is real, Elijah remains uncertain that she is telling the truth or swindling him “I’ve spent so much time running, and lying to survive. I’m starting to believe my own lies. I don’t even remember who I was when we first met and I want to find out” Katherine hands Elijah the cure so he can decide for himself if he wants to trust her or not.


After a long day of blood, guts, and sentiment. Klaus and Caroline come to an agreement to be friends. Damon and Stefan agree to try and talk some sense into Elena as to why it is prominent for her to take the cure. Ignoring their request, Elena demands they refrain from trying to fix her or their will be major consequences which she proves back at the diner killing one of the waitresses to make her point. It seems like switching her emotions back on are not going to be as easy as they thought.


Keli Hall is a journalism major and freelance writer in South Jersey. She currently has her own dating advice blog called As Told By Me

You can find Keli on Twitter at @Jerseystarlet

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Photos: CW