wow i'm actually really in my katherine pierce feels this ep, i didn't expect this lol
at first i was indifferent to her even tho she's the kind of character i like (murderous morally ambiguous/corrupt character who became selfish and paranoid and narcissistic due to traumatic events they experienced and because of survival/greed/a desire for power - in this case klaus is a gr8 example) because they were wasting so much of her on demon and steffie instead of exploring her fucked up "relationship" with klaus or elena (aka more interesting directions for her narrative)... but also the fact that she's human is a very good move on the writers' parts
for one thing katherine is vulnerable and messy now and for survival she's forced to care about other ppl and relies on them, something she never had to do before which is why she was always so merciless and comfortable screwing people over. and she's Imperfect now, because of her human state even though she takes pride in immaculate appearance (i mean i get how running for 500 years in high heels would give her a sense of power and self-satisfaction haha) so we're getting exposed to the cracks in the armor that she assumed making her a more relatable and humanized (literally and figureatively lmao) character
and also her and jeremy and matt's interactions were hilarious because it revealed that she doesn't want or particularly need to be ruthless and mean, it just depends on the ppl she's surrounded by (klaus for example - and because she got so used to being ruthless in order to outrun him, she treated elena the same way too, not because elena personally victimized her but out of jealousy and spite). her violence didn't really come out to play, even as she remained the Snarky Asshole we know and love, because of 1) her weakened state and 2) the fact that jeremy and matt showed her genuine kindness, jeremy more than matt really (probably out of some kind of pity and twisted sense of brotherly affection, because katherine literally looks like his sister lol, which is also another interesting aspect the writers could explore).
jeremy and matt didn't particularly like her, and had every reason to loathe her, but they're not sadistic like klaus. klaus murdered her entire family and had katherine stab herself in the thigh several times out of spite, because she inhibited his plans and was a variable he couldn't control, because she broke free of him. people have constantly been attacking katherine and doing so violently, and she grew accustomed to this type of violence from people who even mildly disliked her. but jeremy and matt are reasonable, and sweet teenage boys who are more predisposed to kindness and mercy even despite the fact that katherine put jeremy's death into motion. jeremy could have been a lot less nice to katherine (as he himself put it), but he didn’t because that’s not who jeremy is as a person.
and then jeremy did something very fuzzy and warm and tender and gave her a blanket because, of all things, katherine pierce was cold, and suffering from a sinus infection, and he didn't want to see the woman who looked like his sister and was so pitiably vulnerable and human suffer. and this singular act softened katherine, enough for her to abandon her 500 year foolproof strategy of never looking back and allowing other people to suffer for her own survival (aka her ”better you die than i” philosophy) just because jeremy did ONE (1) nice thing for her. jeremy altered her entire survival strategy just by being himself - a kind and generous person to the woman that murdered him and the woman whom he has more of a reason to loathe than klaus - and telling her that her selfishness was the reason why she was lonely and always On The Run and being hunted down like an animal (by silas, by klaus, by any and all of her enemies) and seen as an object to claim and be triumphant over rather than as a person with human needs, because until now she never cared about anyone else’s needs other than her own.
and like she’s not going to suddenly join the Good Guys or preach love and peace and non-violence but the fact that she went back for jeremy and matt at all - because yeah they were hostile but they were also humane in their treatment of her - is a significant improvement for her, and it reminds me of that one TGP quote about how people want and choose to be good because of the external love/support they receive, which katherine just proved. so yeah it’s a really fun new change for her character
and i like how a lot of katherine’s crafty, manipulative, and vindictive personality was because she was a vampire who was kind of a foil to klaus, helping us understand him and his role in this extremely dysfunctional relationship. klaus was literally her enemy and katherine’s primary goal was survival at all costs, even above others’ lives, and the easiest way to defeat an enemy was by essentially knowing them in and out, and being able to predict their next move, which is why kath and klaus’s relationship has a hidden layer of intimacy to it (and not in the typical enemies to lovers or even lovers to enemies fashion, because once again he literally slaughtered her entire family). because katherine understood him so well and she relied on being cruel and intelligent and vicious, she became like klaus - selfish, egotistical, paranoid - and that’s why she was able to predict that klaus would feel drawn to the chance of fatherly love hope offered him in s4, because she definitely had her own issues with her lost chance at parenthood and due to the fact that she had to become him so it would make sense that she sees herself in him as well. klaus doesn’t put the lives of others above his own motivations, so neither does katherine, and she doesn’t particularly have to because after such a long time of being this way she couldn’t understand people like elena or jeremy or matt.
but now that katherine no longer has klaus’s super strength in common, now that she’s mortal and human and weak, her survival is still her primary concern, but she feels empathy for jeremy and matt because she’s as vulnerable and human as they are, which is why she can come to understand their worldview because it’s now her worldview. (there’s also potential for this to mirror elena’s compassion and empathy that somehow simultaneously coexists with her ruthless streak, and a study on how morality isn’t black and white and just depends on perspective - katherine had to be a Bad Person to advance her own agenda, but so did elena).