Credit: Blake Tyers and Tina Rowden/The CW © 2014 The CW Network    
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The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries Recap: Season 5, Episode 15 — Katherine Dies, Ripper Elena Is Born

Katherine Pierce said her final goodbyes on Season 5, Episode 15 (“Gone Girl”) of The Vampire Diaries — but is our survivor really gone for good?

There was something incomplete about Katherine’s death. Yet, seeing as she caused a whirlwind of pain and destruction wherever she went maybe her fleeting farewell was appropriate. In the end, Katherine met her end at Stefan’s hand, but when she went to go pass through Bonnie to the Other Side, she wasn’t allowed entry. Instead, she was swept away into the cold, dark night by another force. Does this mean doppelgangers can’t pass to the Other Side? Or did Katherine find herself being swept away into Hell. More importantly, does this mean Katherine is still around to wreak havoc on Elena?

As much as we would love to see Katherine rear her ugly head again, we’ll be the first to admit we need a break from the doppelganger. Don’t get us wrong: We love Katherine Pierce. But recently, we’ve started to think the writers have turned her into a lovesick teenager. If she had listened to Nadia in the first place and left town, she would still be alive. Heck, Nadia would be alive! (Oh yeah, Nadia also died — this episode featured a lot of death.) Then again, Katherine only ever looked out for herself, and what Katherine wants, she gets… except for Stefan. Sadly, it was Stefan who drove the Traveler knife right into her heart.

Credit: Blake Tyers and Tina Rowden/The CW © 2014 The CW Network    

But how did we get to this tragic ending? Let’s back up for a bit. Now that they know Katherine has been a passenger inside Elena’s body for the last few weeks, Stefan and Caroline come up with a plan to try and pry “Elena” out of hiding. Caroline’s plan? A surprise party for Bonnie! Katherine, on the other hand, is trying to figure out why all of Elena’s friends are being so needy. Needless to say, it doesn’t take long for her to figure out that Stefan and Co. know about her little secret. All it takes it one little call to Damon, who promptly invites “Elena” to the Salvatore mansion even though he tried to KILL her just 24 hours ago.

Katherine has no intention in humoring the Salvatores. She has a daughter to save. Poor Nadia is dying thanks to Tyler’s hybrid bite and she’s starting to hallucinate her centuries-long search for her mother. But Katherine has a plan. She called Dr. Wes to experiment on Nadia and create antidote for her hybrid bite. We have NO idea why Katherine would trust someone like Wes — he hates vampires. Maybe she was desperate?

Back at the Salvatore mansion, Damon and Stefan figure out that Katherine knows they know, which means the only way to find her is by using a locator spell. It’s a good thing Bonnie is a witch… oh wait, no, she’s not. So Bonnie and Jeremy enlists Liv’s help again, and it looks like she’s been practicing her spells. Also, she’s been rehearsing her sass. We’re really starting to like Liv. She’s kind of like a bohemian Caroline, and clearly, there’s a harrowing backstory brewing. She can stay.

Once they figure out where Katherine and Nadia have been hiding, Stefan goes to the church. Seeing only Nadia, he kidnaps her as leverage and brings her back to the mansion. As for Katherine, well, she went in search for Dr. Wes — and his miraculous cure. Unfortunately, she got there a little too late.

After baiting Tyler for a fight (it seems Damon had a lot to say about Forwood; in fact, we think he might ship Klaroline), Damon managed to break out of his confine at the Salvatore mansion. And he was on the hunt for revenge. It didn’t take long for Damon to find Dr. Wes’ new lab, and it also didn’t take long for Damon to flip the tables on Wes. When he took the scalpel to Dr. Wes’ eye, let’s just say things got bloody. So we weren’t entirely surprised when Katherine found Wes’ mangled, dead body at his lab. Oh, Wes, we hardly knew you — but what we did know about you made you seem like a giant dick. However, Damon did kill the only man who could make an antidote to the ripper vampire venom, so that probably wasn’t too smart of him.

Credit: Blake Tyers and Tina Rowden/The CW © 2014 The CW Network    

So now Katherine has two choices: she can either run away like she always does, or she can face her fate head on and go to Nadia. For the first time, Katherine thinks of someone other than herself; she thinks of her daughter. We were happy to see Katherine show up at Nadia’s death bed… and then we started crying when they shared the most perfect mother-daughter moment. Katherine told Nadia that she didn’t deserve a mother who wasn’t there, and so she showed her what her life should have looked like. Cue a heart-breaking “flashback” to Katherine and Nadia “perfect” day as mother and daughter. [All of the tears.]

Nadia dies knowing she had a mother who loved her, which made her passing all the more emotional. When she passes through Bonnie, it’s clear to see how much Nadia loved Katherine — and she never gave up on her.

And then there was only Katherine. She spends a few minutes telling everyone how she gave their lives “passion, purpose, and desire” — she even managed to take a few more digs at Damon (atta girl!) — and then she tells Stefan that she loves him. His response? A stab in the chest with the Traveler knife. And with that, Katherine Pierce is no more, and Elena Gilbert is back.

But she’s not the same Elena. You see, Katherine has always been one step ahead in this game. When she knew she was up against the wall, she did the only thing she could to make sure Elena’s life would be miserable. Katherine injected herself with the vampire ripper venom, meaning Elena is now a ripper! Honestly, we couldn't be more excited to see how this plays out. We love seeing Elena embrace her wild side.

Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fangirl for all things The Vampire Diaries. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!