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The Vampire Diaries Review: The Hunger Shames

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That marks two spectacular episodes of The Vampire Diaries in a row, as "The Rager" delivered an impressive mix of action, mystery and character development.

Oh, right, and Phoebe frickin Tonkin!

But while my heart may be aflutter over my favorite former witch, Hayley didn't play too significant of a role this week. Instead, we were treated to the next step in Elena's evolutionary process, while delving deeper (and darker) into the new hunter in town.

That guy is a real jerk.

Klaus and Damon

Let's start overall with the revealing character moments, because there were many.

Rebekah was at her bitchiest, lashing out after being disregarded by Klaus on the Vampire Diaries Season 4 premiere. Call me a sucker for this gorgeous blonde and/or her accent, but something about Claire Holt's portrayal keeps Rebekah's vulnerability intact, even as she's temping Elena to commit murder right in the middle of her school day. (QUESTION: Is that why women always go to the bathroom together?)

She's just lonely and now perhaps she's found a similar soul. Can't say I saw an April/Rebekah alliance coming, but at least someone is looking into that sketchy fire.

Then there was Meredith, reading Damon like she were a psychologist as opposed to an ER doctor. He's proud, he's stubborn, he may let his pride ruin his closest relationships. That sounds about right, doesn't it? This also represented the most unrealistic moment of the hour, however. Because, come on, what woman would not want to be Damon Salvatore's partner in vampire crime?!?

While Damon was scheming to take down Connor, Stefan was bonding with Caroline. These two don't share nearly enough moments together. It was like Stefan was reading the mind of every viewer out there when he ran down the changes in Caroline since she transitioned.

Simply put, she's "good at being a vampire" and we all know how true that is. It's hard to think of a character on any show that has come as far as Caroline Forbes. She's funny, she's confident, she thinks Stefan should be a guest on The View.

In short, she's everything Stefan wants Elena to grow into - but he's afraid. He's ashamed of what that hunger did to him way back in the day and he doesn't want to go all Ripper on his loved ones again. It's an understandable concern, but this is the one place where the episode lost me.

Between Stefan asking Caroline to keep him in check... and Elena seeing Damon during her werewolf bite-based hallucinations... and then Elena turning to Damon for blood sucking lessons, it all came across like another forced way to prolong the love triangle. Why wouldn't Elena be asking Stefan to work with her? She must be aware of how he helped Caroline accept her new state. The man has experience as a teacher of new vampires and, oh, right: he's your boyfriend!

Communication, people. It's the key to any healthy relationship.

But "The Rager" was about far more than characters interacting with each other and spilling their guts (or, in Elena's case, trying NOT to spill the guts of others). There was serious action, from the opening WTF moment of Connor taking Tyler's venom to the hospital storage closet blast to Elena almost sucking the life out of Matt.

And there was a major mystery, one that not even Connor himself is familiar with. He's one of The Five?!? Do I smell a flashback episode next Thursday? (NOTE: even if this TVD promo doesn't depict it, SPOILER ALERT, the answer is yes.)

Correction, Rebekah, something wicked this way has already come. A greater evil, some pastors might say. But from where did he come? That's the question we're about to find out.

There were still some holes the show didn't bother filling in. When did Jeremy tell Damon that Connor talked to him at school? When did Damon give Elena the white oak, considering we last saw him deny the request? Why were two vampire wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle?

But those aren't huge complaints.

The installment made solid use of Jeremy for a change (told you I could be a bad ass!), while grounding the action and suspense in the emotions of the characters experiencing those events. Unlike Klaus' face upon witnessing those arrow markings, none of this should come as a surprise to Vampire Diaries fans. It's what the show has excelled in from the outset.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (1535 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I want Stefan and Elena back together :/
Am I the only one? I wish that these heightened feelings towards Damon are only something similar to the sire bond!

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@Elfje
Rebekah didn't actually kill Matt, she was just allucinating from the werewolf poison in her system. You know, like Rose and Damon when they were bitten

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****SPOILER**** Why is nobody wondering how the hell Matt died (rebeka ript his heart out) and then moments later he shows up to feed elena...Am I missing something????

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Lots more action in this episode.From the episode guides I thought I was going to hate it, but Rebekah's 'war on Elena' lasted two seconds and it was back to business as usual.The way she stalks Elena though is actually quite creepy and disturbing, she just seems to follow her around everywhere.
Im actually disappointed with Rebekah, it would have been better to have her more like Elijah than Klaus.
I actually like April, even though she does not know whats going on, we learn more about Elena pre her parents' death. Why is Rebekah suffering hallucinations, we know why Elena is. I can't wait to see Elena slowly lose her mind, if only to give a new dimension to her character .Of course everyone will run round to try and help Elena, and Rebekah will be left to suffer. Klaus is a tiny bit more appealing as he teams up with Damon to get information rather than whine on about himself all the time. Rebekah does that now.It would also be nice to see Elijah or Kol back in town,just for a change.
I was also quite disappointed in Stefan's holier than thou attitude towards Rebekah attacking Elena in the kitchen, he should have confronted Rebekah rather than lectured Elena. I hope the Five do not turn out to be a disappointment, and if Connor needs Elena for something isn't trying to kill her with werewolf blood a little silly. As for werewolves, poor Tyler, having a syringe shoved into your gums, OUCH!

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Jeremy as a bad ass? Really? I love TVD, but something is seriously not right there. He will always be that weedy younger brother that no one really cares about, and this episode did nothing to change that.

Amygirl

Also in agreement with the new intro. It's beyond cheesy and annoying.

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TVFanatic, you asked "When did Jeremy tell Damon that Connor talked to him at school?" - when Elena talked to Damon in his bedroom he said that he had talked to him.

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@Jenna i completely agree with u about Damon, he is taking advantage of Elena when she's vulnerable but i think its just another way for the writers to drag out the love triangle. If they want Elena with Damon then get them together but don't make her choose Stefan then carry on with dragging Damon into their relationship, i guess we'll see where this goes. I like the new friendship between Stefan and Caroline but i hope it doesn't turn into anything more, I am still hoping for Caroline to get with Klaus at some point. Overall, great episode...looking forward to knowing more about the Five that Klaus mentioned.

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@Lovesrtuck And just why CAN'T Elena have both Stefan and Damon? I've never understood this either/or crap that love triangles always devolve into. As long as Elena truly loves them both and they return that, then there's nothing wrong with having them both. As for this episode, I liked the fact that they had a lot more action than they usually do, VD has always filled up the time with a bunch of irrelevant crap that never ends up actually going anywhere and I'm glad to see they kept that to a minimum.

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I don't understand why people keep complaining about Elena going to Damon instead of Stefan to help with her Vampire issues. It's been established that Elena HAS TO drink from the vein. Stefan is the absolute worst Vampire when it comes to drinking from living humans. It would be like hey Mr. Alchoholic can you take me out drinking at the bar!? Not a good move. Damon on the other hand might actually be the best. I don't think he has ever lost control to his hunger since the show started. Yes he would get upset and lash out but even that had nothing to do with the hunger, he was just getting mad (IE. When he kills Matt/Alaric X2 he doesn't even drink from them just kills them). I really hope they do something with Stefan's character soon though because he really hasn't done anything exciting/interesting/entertaining in quite a while. I also think they need to repair Stelena's relationship ASAP with something a little more compelling than a cheesy motorcycle ride. Even though I am a Delena fan and don't want there scenes to ever end haha, I feel Damon on the outside of the relationship is a much more intense situation then broody Stefan. I don't think his character would play as the third wheel role. He seems like he would try and get as far away from the other two as opposed to Damon's get inbetween the two method haha. Although it does open the door for another Ripper meltdown which I always find better then the alternative option.

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 3 Quotes

You used my body as an escape hatch and kissed my girlfriend. So we're even.

Tyler

Good day for a mid-life crisis. 164 years, I'd say you're due.

Damon
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