This episode focuses on the many faces of Nina Dobrev. Dobrev has portrayed two of television’s most wildly different twinsies (or more realistically doppelgängsies). Elena Gilbert and everyone on the show has been dealing with the onslaught of Katherine Pierce’s schemes, tricks, and violence since Season 1. 100 episodes later it looks like Katherine Pierce is no more. As part of the anniversary episode festivities there are a ton of reappearances by characters that have come and gone.
Elena is still struggling with her break-up with Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). While Caroline (Candice Accola) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) try to console her, Matt (Zach Roering) and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) find Damon drinking the pain away. The gang gathers for one of the most mean-spirited drinking games as they compare, and recap for the audience, all of Katherine’s dirtiest deeds. It’s pretty shocking to realize that as one of the most major antagonists on the series, she is responsible for most of the major deaths on the show.
Elena gets a double whammy. She finds out that Stefan (Paul Wesley) slept with Katherine and that Nadia Petrova (Olga Fonda) has kidnapped Matt. Nadia needs a traveler to save Katherine’s life, and in true fashion, she betrays them to a whole mess of witches that want their blood. Elena and Stefan bond and flirt as they’re bled by the group of random Czech witches. Vampires make strange bedfellows. After the witches get a bucketful they let them go which is pretty anticlimactic. However, they probably will use their blood for something major later in the season.
Stefan plays the bigger man by convincing his brother to go back to Elena because she really is good for him. Bonnie’s anchor powers become a topic of discussion and Vicki Donovan (Kayla Ewell) and Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis) stop by to make their 100th episode appearance. Sadly, Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) didn’t stop by but she is one of Damon’s most vicious and gratuitously douchey murders.
Katherine is not only dying but plagued by visions that have haunted her for her entire life. Her daughter gets ripped from her arms and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) murders her entire family that’s probably enough to turn someone into a violent sociopath. Damon returns to his more evil ways by trying to kill her and settling for taunting her psychically. Damon has really been redeemed these past few episodes. He turned off his humanity after leaving his friend Enzo to endure the horrible experiments of the Augustine organization. That combined with being manipulated by Katherine for so long and those blue eyes really do make him more redeemable.
Katherine is haunted by her past mistakes and it only gets worse as Damon manipulates her mind. She revisits the first time she ever saw Stefan and realizes that the doppelganger connection might be truer than she thought. Damon uses Elena’s aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) and her biological dad/uncle John Gilbert (David Anders) to taunt Katherine until Nadia breaks his neck. She shows up with a traveler to teach Katherine how to swap bodies and offers up her own body but Katherine refuses.
Stefan uses his vampire dreamwalking to help Katherine deal with some of her more torturous memories and gives them a shiny makeover. He wants to give her some peace in her last days. She dies for a second but refuses to go and literally makes her own heart beat again. Elena is standing over her newly conscious body and gives Katherine her heartfelt and sweet forgiveness. Katherine convinces her, and the audience that she’s ready to die. Then grabs Elena and does the traveler spell to steal her body. The episode ends with a great callback to the season 1 finale with Katherine impersonating Elena.
The Originals Cameo
Klaus returns to Mystic Falls to remind everyone of the misguided Originals series. He teases Caroline and somehow convinces him to sleep with her. Rebekah (Claire Holt) rescues Matt gives him a wink and a smile. She also lets Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) return. Elijah pops up in on of Katherine’s visions.
Tyler is going to lose it when he finds out Caroline slept with Klaus.
Katherine isn’t going anywhere and will find a way to stay on the show. She may also use Elena’s body to get it on with Stefan.
The Travelers are going to be the big enemy this season and someone from the past will probably have been a traveler all along.
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.