Tonight was a sad, dark day in the world of The Vampire Diaries. After 500 years of running and five seasons of TVD awesomeness, Katherine Pierce has finally (seemingly) died. In "Gone Girl," everyone in Mystic Falls figures out Katherine's big secret (that she took over Elena's body) and gangs up to trap her. When they finally succeed, it's thanks to the dirtiest of tricks (but one Katherine wouldn't have hesitated to pull herself). In honor of her (hopefully not really) passing, here are six reasons Katherine Pierce is the best ever.
1. She's a survivor.
You can't possibly forget that Katherine Pierce is a survivor. She says it. Everyone around her says it. It's her defining characteristic. Above all else, she's willing to do what she needs to do to survive. Even tonight, she didn't die because she had to; she died because she finally chose to. It's important that the show let her go out on her own terms, because it's utterly unbelievable that a girl who eluded Klaus and courted death for more than half a century would be outsmarted by Caroline and Bonnie.
2. She's capable of love.
Too many TV villains are comically bad. Katherine was never purely evil; she was selfish and ruthless, sure, but not evil for the sake of being evil. This season really illustrated Katherine's capacity to love. She sacrificed the chance to run and start a new life in Elena's skin to win her one true love, Stefan, back and she gave up her chance at a last-minuet getaway tonight to spend her dying daughter's last few moments with her. Nadia was bitten by Tyler last week and dying of the bite. Katherine could have made it away from Mystic Falls, but the crew took her daughter and she wasn't going to leave her to die alone, proving that Katherine Pierce really did have a heart after all. And upping her complexity to boot.
3. She's ruthless.
Katherine Pierce is not a woman to be crossed. When she made the decision to die by her daughter's side tonight, she made sure to squeeze in one more act of rebellion: She injected Elena with an uber dose of the illness that makes vampires lust for vampire blood. Elena woke up making puppy dog eyes at Damon, but she'll be craving his and Stefan's blood in no time.
4. Girl knows how to monologue.
Katherine is brilliant and she loves to explain just how brilliant she is to enemies, especially when it seems like all is lost. Before she crosses to the other side, she explains her final deed to Bonnie. Then, instead of going to the other side as normal, she's dragged backwards, presumably into a kind of hell.
5. She's brilliant.
She figures out every scheme. She sees every angle. She's shrewd in a way that Elena never is.
6. She's impossible to kill.
Every time you think that Katherine Piece seems to be down for the count, she rises from the ashes, often stronger than ever. Here's hoping that history repeats itself.
Image: The CW