'The Vampire Diaries' Season 5, episode 15 recap: Um ... where did Katherine go?!

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Uhhhhh ... guys? Where did Katherine just go?!

Instead of going gentle into that good night (which she didn't plan on doing anyway), the 500-year-old vampire was sucked into some dark vortex on Thursday (March 6) night's episode of "The Vampire Diaries." Yeah, not only is Katherine -- the best character on "TVD," hands freakin' down -- dead, she's gone permanently. There is no second chance, no plan B, no loophole, no coming back from the dead or playing Passenger in someone's mind. Katherine is gone, ripped from this world, and sent ... not to The Other Side, but some kind of hell, according to executive producer Caroline Dries.

The introduction of this darker Other Side -- let's call it The Dark Side, for consistency's sake -- is interesting to say the least. It opens the door to so many new questions. First of all, why is Katherine the first person we've seen to be sent to The Dark Side? She's obviously not the first person ever to go there, since Bonnie clearly knew what was about to happen when Kat couldn't pass through her. She had a look of pity on her face for Kat. She knew, and she couldn't stop it. Bonnie said she couldn't control it, so who did? Who judges who goes to The Other Side and who goes to The Dark Side? These are some deep questions, man. Scary territory. 

But seriously, why Kat? She's certainly not the biggest supernatural villain our Mystic Falls crew has faced and dispatched. What was it about Kat's life that deemed her unworthy of moving on? Why is she the one to be punished for all of eternity? That just hardly seems fair, especially after Kat really tried her best to be a loving mother to her dying daughter. How amazing was it seeing Kat as a caring, devoted, doting mother? That's a side we've never seen before and it added another layer to the already extremely complex character that we'll never see again. Sob.

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That final scene between Kat and Nadia, where Kat gave her daughter the perfect memory as she died? Just brutally, absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. Katherine knew Nadia's perfect day would be playing outside in the woods and telling her mother all about it as she was tucked in for the night, trading mother/daughter "I love yous." 

And then, you realize: This wasn't just Nadia's perfect day ... it was Katherine's, as well. The life they both should have had, but tragically would never get, not even in the afterlife, since Nadia was allowed to pass on while Kat was ripped away to The Dark Side. RIP mother and daughter. And the tears start flowing and never stop. Ugh, Julie Plec and Caroline Dries. How do you keep doing this? You magnificent, brilliant geniuses.

And you know what's even crazier? That huge twist only encompasses about three minutes of the entire episode of "Gone Girl." Yeah, a lot of other insanity went down, and we've only just scratched the surface. Before Katherine was sucked away, she was trying to save Nadia from Tyler's werewolf bite. No, that doesn't mean we got another "The Originals" crossover with Klaus (BOOOOO). Kat enlisted the help of dastardly, duplicitous Dr. Wes to study werewolf venom to create an antidote in record time. Yeah, if that sounds like a long shot that's because it is.

Maxfield never even tried to find an antidote, that snake. He just used the sample of venom-laced blood he took from Nadia to enhance his Augustine vampire virus, making it lethal to whichever vampire he injected it into. Lovely. And guess where that new, extra-strong virus was injected? 

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Straight into Elena's gut, by Katherine. She knew Nadia was going to die, and Stefan and Co. kidnapped Nadia to lure Kat back to Mystic Falls so she could say goodbye to her daughter one last time. She also knew Stefan and Co. had the Traveler-killing knife. So she knew she was heading to her doom, and went anyway. That's why she left Elena with a parting gift as an extra "screw you" -- the enhanced Augustine virus coursing through her veins. Uh oh.

Now we've got two ripper cannibal vampires on our hands. At least they've got the feeding schedule down to a science ... or, math, more accurately. Thanks to Caroline's brain calculator, they know they have to feed Damon four ounces of vampire blood three times a day to keep his cravings at bay. Will that math be the same for Elena? Interestingly enough, hybrid blood seems to have more potency, as Damon was sated for a while after attacking Tyler.

How intense was that, by the way? It was obvious what Damon was doing, baiting Tyler into coming close so Damon could chomp on the hybrid's neck. But Tyler was still so angry about Caroline and Klaus that he let Damon manipulate him. Damon did bring up some good points about how Tyler has nothing left for him in Mystic Falls. Why is he still there?

That's why, after getting attacked by Damon, Tyler and Caroline finally confronted the giant Original elephant in the room: Klaus. Their conversation was extremely meta, and totally awesome. Caroline can't understand why everyone won't let up about her hooking up with Klaus when just a few moments earlier, Tyler's bite killed Nadia. Tyler says that people just expect more from Caroline but she's sick of it; she's allowed to make mistakes, too. She finally just yells, "Get over it!" And everybody cheers (oh sorry, that was just me? Go Caroline!).

Speaking of Tyler's bite killing Nadia, let's give a cheer to the ultimate gentleman, Matty Blue Eyes. He tried to give Nadia peace before she died, going along with her hallucination and pretending to be Gregor. He, as Gregor, forgave Nadia for causing his death. It was so incredibly sweet. And after Nadia passed on, Matt wouldn't let anyone just dig her a shallow grave out in the woods. He said that she deserved better, and went to give her a proper burial. He is literally the best. Also: Twist! We got to see a flashback to his three-way with Nadia and Rebekah, and it turns out he wasn't on vervain for his entire summer. He trusted Rebekah that much! Seriously, Matty Blue, so sweet.

But the deaths didn't stop at just two ... oh no. Dr. Wes finally got what he deserved. That's right: With one quick phone call to Enzo (who had just completed his mysterious task for Wes ... what was it?), Damon found Wes' new lab, and just straight up tortures the sadistic jerk until he dies. Damon finally got his revenge for the five years of torture the Augustine society put him through, and for what Wes injected him with. RIP Wes. You were a slimy, horrible, cruel villain, but you certainly gave us a lot to remember you by.

"Gone Girl" was one incredibly strong episode. It had powerful emotional moments, meta commentary, a proper and delicious goodbye to one of the series' best characters (Katherine's goodbye speeches? Spot. Freaking. On.), and a big WTF ending reminiscent of old-school "TVD" episodes. Plus, did anyone else get a "Supernatural"-esque flash of Dean getting dragged into Hell by invisible hellhounds? Eerily similar, knowing nothing could be done to help either Dean or Kat to save them from their fate.

So goodbye, Katherine Pierce. You said it best: "This has truly been the role of a lifetime."

What did you think of "The Vampire Diaries" this week?

Photo/Video credit: The CW