This was an extraordinary episode and just further proof that The Vampire Diaries has revitalized itself after a shaky first half of its fifth season. Ever since the awesome 100th episode, and largely thanks to the increased presence of Katherine, the show has mostly gone from strength to strength. With "Gone Girl"'s perfect combination of sadness, humor, despair, hope, and questions raised about the meaning of love and redemption, I think it's the best Season 5 episode yet.
While "500 Years of Solitude" was the episode where Katherine was supposed to die, and where the characters (including Katherine herself) were meant to feel closure about that, it never really happened. Katherine's insatiable trickery made that episode's denouement much more about survival and deceit than truth and amends. Yet while she evaded the natural end of her tragicomically crazy life by leaping into Elena's body, the ultimate runner could not run forever. So finally, in "Gone Girl," we got a Katherine-centric episode that was about truth and consequences.
I'm going to be supplementing my review with some lyrics from The Sound of Arrows song "Nova," as the words reflect the emotional journey felt by Nadia, and to some extent Katherine, as the mother and daughter faced their darkest hour and finally came closer together than ever before.
"It is about time to face it
Surrender and then start again
I don't know if I could make it
But there has gotta come an end
If I stay in this place every hour is another day
Let the walls come falling down and fear washes away"*
Last week, poor Nadia was bitten by the ever-bitey Tyler (seriously, he needs to chill with the munching. There are other ways to neutralize a foe during battle), leaving her on her deathbed. Katherine immediately dismissed the one chance of saving her daughter, Klaus' blood, since it would mean risking the exposure of her true identity...and also, she reasoned, why would Klaus ever help Katherine's daughter? I agree that it would have been a hail Mary at best, though perhaps if Klaus had actually bought Katherine's Elena act, he might have been eager for an excuse to come back to Mystic Falls despite his promise never to do so. A long shot, but just barely feasible, especially since helping Elena might (in Klaus' mind) please Caroline.
When Nadia expressed sarcastic chagrin that it took dying to get her mother's attention away from Stefan, Katherine replied, "If you're trying to make me feel guilty...it's almost working." Classic Katherine!
Another fantastically quintessential bit of Katherine-ness occurred when she told Bonnie on the phone, "you're the anchor now. That must be...exhausting," while shrugging and making a face of annoyed, couldn't-care-less attitude to Nadia. I'm going to miss these moments if Katherine's away for long!
I think Katherine's inability to take the chance on Klaus had more to do with her focus on self-preservation than anything else. Of all her faults, this is the one she clutches to with the most voraciousness. Sadly for Nadia, Katherine's only other idea was to get Wes (!!) to concoct a cure by letting him take some werewolf venom from the fading vamp. This threatened to be a lost cause immediately, because all Wes will ever care about is his own agenda. Why would Katherine think otherwise? Because it would've been a more convenient solution to her problem? I don't think she was prepared for the devastation she felt when this plan proved fruitless. All in all, her words going into the title card, "I'm going to be a better mother. I'm going to save you," were clearly doomed.
And may the wind be at my back
All of this will soon be over
I don't think I'll be coming back
Though I fear what is to come I'm a soldier running, try to see
At the end of the world someone holds out for me"*
Looking for your love so cool
To something better
I'll never stop following you"*