Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev) has had a lot of practice at pretending to be her doppelganger, Elena Gilbert, on The Vampire Diaries. So much so that we think she might be able to pull off this passenger thing for a while. How long with Katherine be able to fool everyone?

Nina Dobrev may very successfully craft two distinct personalities for Katherine and Elena, but that doesn’t mean the former doesn’t know how to downplay her sass (and hair) to pretend being the latter when the situation calls for it. When Katherine has played Elena before, it was generally in the service of one of her schemes. Now, it is to save her own life. If one of Elena’s loved ones realizes that Katherine is bumming a ride in Elena’s body, then you can bet they will try to get her out. Heck, Damon has tried to kill her for much less. We’re guessing these life-or-death stakes will seriously up Katherine’s pretending-to-be-Elena game.

It also helps that Elena is at a point of transition. She is just starting college, which traditionally is a time to experiment and change. Any deviations in “Elena”’s behavior can be chocked up to an 18-year-old trying to find herself… or something like that. Elena is also going through a period of transition when it comes to the men in her life. Though Damon was planning on getting back together with Elena at the end of the 100th episode, the two were technically on the outs, and Elena shared a moment with Stefan as the Travelers drained their blood. These circumstances will go a long way in excusing Katherine’s imminent pursuit of Stefan -- aka the Salvatore brother she is currently in love with.

The only potential snag in Katherine’s plan is Elena herself. Like Matt, Elena will presumably begin to notice missing time and unexplained interactions with her friends and family. For Katherine to keep her continued existence in Elena’s body a secret, she would have to limit her time spent controlling it, and Katherine has never been good at limiting herself, especially when it comes to living life to the fullest. (Coincidentally, one of the things we like best about her.) Elena is a smart girl, used to being used as a prop in supernatural shenanigans. We think she will be able to figure out what’s up fairly quickly, and Katherine will only be able to keep her quiet for so long.

In the mean time, however, we’re in for some awesomely dramatic and comedic moments as Katherine plays her interpretation of Elena, and, perhaps, finally gets the guy she’s always wanted -- but only because he thinks she’s someone else. Basically, we’re fine with Katherine ruling Elena’s body for a while. Especially if the alternative is no Katherine at all.

How long do you think it will take for the others to figure out what Katherine’s done? How long do you want it to take? Sound off in the comments below!

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!