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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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Allison-berry-barbieri

Loved it, but I had a few logic fail moments:
Why were they wearing helmets?
Matt hangs out with a bunch of vampires but wears nothing with Vervain...Damon can just compel him? Otherwise, awesome episode. This season is DELIVERING. I loved it. Though, Phoebe Tonkin NEEDS to work on her American accent!

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Good episode well done but can't believe Tyler cheated on Caroline like that's messed up

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I'm just writing in to say that I'm glad it's not just me that has noticed how much better the show has been these two weeks. I'm loving it more than ever.

Miranda-wicker

Such a good episode. Season 4 is bringing it! To your point about Elena turning to Damon for help instead of Stefan, she can't turn to Stefan. Stefan can't teach her how to enjoy being a vampire because human blood does bad things to him and Elena can't survive, apparently, without drinking straight from the tap. Caroline can't teach her because Caroline drinks from blood bags. Rebekah's a bitch, and Klaus can't be trusted. So yes, her turning to Damon is a way to prolong the triangle, but it also makes sense in the context of what's been written so far. He's the only vampire we've got right now who is able to control himself when it comes to blood.

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Mrs alex o'loughlin
I wasn't talking about Hayley being the fourth part in the Stefan-Elena-Damon- Triangle. Hayley, as so many others have already pointed out, causes more trouble for Tyler and Caroline, who are already in a love triangle with Klaus (remember the pictures).

Sarah-silva

I too agree that the reason Elena could not go to Stefan is that she craves Matt's blood and she is having a hard time not killing people and Stefan does not want to revert back the Ripper Stefan and he wants her to survive on Animal blood. So she can not go to Stefan at this point for help.

Sarah-silva

San: Where did you read that Hayley will be a romantic inerest for Damon to make the love Square? She is supposed to cause friction with Tyler and Caroline! Not Damon, Stefan and Elena!

Sarah-silva

I love this show and have never been dissapointed but I do agree the last 2 episodes have been really really good!
I said the same thing myself that Rebkah was at her bitchest! That girl needs to chill out!
I too hate Connor! I guess the whoe 1 of 5 will be he main storyline this season. My guess it is something along the lines of the 5 greates Vampire Hunters around and Jeremy is supposed to be one too some day.
However that does not make sense as to why Klaus wants him around but we will find out why soon enough. I like the Stefan and Caroline friendship BUT I do not want them to ever get together as a couple.
As usual Damon had tons of funny lines! Ian really is on top of his game this year. I am loving that we get more of Matt this year too!
I am looking forward to next week

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I liked Klaus and Damon together, that was quite fun. They should team up in the future, THAT would be an interesting bromance ;-) And I hope Matt and Rebekah somehow get along with each other again (yes, she almost killed him - but he killed her brother and helped trying to kill the other one). Elena and Stefan can whine and suffer together happy ever after. But somewhere else than Mystic Falls, please. And they can take Hayley with them. Personally, I don't need a "love square"...

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Stefan and Caroline would be nearly impossible to bring about. I think that would take seasons to accomplish. Of course Elena hooked up with his brother and that is some how ok with people...so maybe Caroline and Stefan wouldn't be too hard to imagine.
I just wish they would bring someone new in for Elena. Like Elijah!