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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
  • 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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So sick of this love triangle SL....I agree w the review Elena has Stefan but she goes to Damon.She needs to get slapped.Damn Woman you can't have them both.If she wants to be with Damon then be with him.She's making Stefan a tool.Stefan deserves better.

Ilkvomit

@Dorra Damm thats a hell of scripture lol,try and shorten your posts.

Ilkvomit

3 Episodes in and no one has pointed out the new intro haha.So yeah its nice to know that you 2 fellow tvfanatics arent on board with it... #thumbsup

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This review was disappointing.
God I can't believe all of you are going on and on about Stefan. He's changed a lot too. Just like Caroline.
Don't you guys remember the flashbacks? Emily said his greatest problem would be his compassion, his guilt. That's why he's a ripper. Fine it's stupid but it's who he is. He can't deal with the guilt so he turns his feelings off and when he does that he becomes the ripper. He keeps his guilt on 24x7 just so he doesn't kill people, cut him some slack okay?
And how dare you guys say he didn't help Caroline! He just tried to get her on the animal diet but he didn't force her. Just like he's not forcing Elena, he's trying to help her choose the alternative. He helped her a lot, when she killed that guy during the carnival he was there and when she bit matt he was there, then he helped her control herself.

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I want to add that the idea of Jeremy being a potential vampire hunter is really shocking and I hope that Tyler didn't cheat on Caroline that would be too bad. Plus what did mean Klaus when he said that Elena may be useful for him?

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And for sure Damon and Elena scenes together: 1/ Damon's bedroom scene (how she was trying to lie at him about trying to find his bourbon 'cause his is better than Stefan's and how he pretended to believe her at first then he made it clear to her that he can read her mind as an open book and then how she reacted the moment he start undressing in front of her: loved her face expression). 2/ Elena's hallucination (it was fun and delivering, it showed her her real feelings and believes that she kept hiding and ignoring.); 3/ How Damon stopped Elena from killing Matt and told her that he will teach her the right way to be a vampire. At this moment I knew that Damon wont leave MF 'cause he have another reason to stay beside from killing the hunter wich is making sure that Elena learns how to be a vampire.

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How Stefan opened up to Caroline: like others has mentioned before it has been a long time these two didn't have a conversation together plus this moment showed why Stefan can't be the right person to help Elena during her transiton and that they have two diffrent life stile that he can't keep up with 'cause he may loose controle over himself and turn back into a ripper. I'm enjoying watching the up and downs of Elena's transition I loved her scenes with Rebekah who didn't stop provoking her, that was intersting to to watch. Speaking of Rebekah, I loved her hallucination ( I lost words when I saw Matt's heart in her hands) but it showed that she's aware of her faults and that she needs to do something to deserve to be loved instead of keeping on hurting people.

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To be honest I'm enjoying every single episode (as I always did) but now it feels somehow more refreshing. I loved the entire episode.
It was fun to see Damon & Klaus teaming up ( I never thought I'd see these two enemies teaming up) as two bad vampire vs bad vampire hunter sure without forgetting about Jeremy's help and Meredith too.
l loved the scenes between Damon & Meredith: It was fun, truthful and I hope he would listen to her and don't let his stubbornness control him and make him loose the people that he love.

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Caroline is a very well-adjusted vampire, so maybe she has a point about Stefan being one of the best vampire teachers. The Caroline/Stefan moment was great. The Tyler/"Phoebe" sideplot was annoying. Matt brushing off Rebekah was awesome, as was Elena showing up Rebekah at her own party. And sorry @Ellen, after watching all of the past 3 seasons, I definitely think that Damon is incredibly selfish... Elena is his only motivation to do "good" and his willingness to sacrifice innocent people for Elena's sake only makes him worse. This show is notorious for trying to make the most dangerous and deadly characters into the most likable ones, and it seems to work with viewers (e.g. Klaus, Damon, Rebekah), whereas the ones who try to do the most good (e.g. Bonnie) are somehow perceived as hypocrites.

Fruit-salad

@Ilk-Vomit oh yes, me too. Sure, it's nice with something new, but "I live here." "And I!" "Yeah, me too." is just too cheesy. And LOL to Elena referring to vampire hunters as mean people out to kill nice vampires like her.