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?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (1536 Votes)

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


People who trying to defend what show doing with Elena are clearly missing the point while Stefan sucks at controlling himself he seems better at teaching other self control for example Caroline. Damon on the other hand has not, in fact Damon is very much to blame for Stefan going on a binge in the first place and I can see Damon's way of doing things coming bite Elena in the ass particularly after recent spoilers. I also this wouldn't be forced if they weren't making Elena into some snowflake vampire because her doppleganger status (cause again Katherine drunk from blood bags so why can't Elena). I just think there was better ways of trying to prolong the triangle than this sloppy blood bullshit.


I think it's very clear why Elena would go to Damon. She's obviously rejected Stefan's way of doing things since she's meeting Matt in dark corners to feed. She wants to give into those impulses and honestly, why shouldn't she? Stefan had his chance to get it all out of his system, as did most other vamps. What she needs to do is just take a little vampire vacay, suck down a few gallons of blood, glamour a few cuties and come back, in control, good as new, and a little bad assier.


What's up with what they're doing with Jeremy? Does he see dead people cause he's a vampire hunter or is it (as we previously assumed) something that happened to him when he was revived after dying? Being a vampire hunter certainly is a conflict of interest in his family, isn't it?


@ Matt
I actually agree with you last time Damon mentor a new vamp, that vamp got staked. However the writers don't like to bring up Damon and Vickie involvement and just because Damon can control his bloodlust (you know when he not throwing temper tantrum every two seconds but there is more evidence to show he no help for helping others be vampires).
However I digress, the writers stop using logic and realistic storytelling a long time ago. Which btw how are you having DE crash Bonnie's trip and not show Bonnie. SMDH.

Matt richenthal

@BlairShipper: A very reasonable point. I may be a bit off in calling it "forced," but it's still valid that he helped Caroline transition so well, so he should be the top choice for Elena as well.


Why won't Elena ask Stefan for help? Simple: she's going against his vampire philosophy. Stefan wants Elena to be controlled, to keep her nature "in check", and transition to animal blood. As it's becoming more and more clear, that is clearly not the path vampire!Elena can take. Her body rejects the "unnatural" way of living and strives to do what comes natural to her: FEED. She's turning to Damon because he:
1) Actually knows how to control himself and feed without killing his victims.
2) Has been there for her for the past season. He's become her "go-to" person, and that bond isn't going to go away simply because Stefan is back and she picked him.
3) Like Elena herself said last week, she feels Damon can understand her and won't judge her. That is one very important reason she keeps turning to him. I really don't see this as forced interaction. I was very happy to finally see some Stefan/Caroline interaction! Their friendship has been non-existent for the last season and a half - so good on you TVD writers!


Although I'm sort of biased because I like DE way better than SE, I felt like Elena should have chosen Damon just because it'd make for a better storyline now. Elena learning to be a vampire with Damon's help would be a lot more interesting than Stefan holding her back (in a way). Even Caroline teaching Elena would be better than Stefan. Why should Elena have to learn in secret behind Stefan's back? I mean if he wants the best for her and Damon's "method" works, he needs to put his feelings aside and be okay with it.


I have absolutely no interest in Rebekah, Klaus or Hayley, but if Rebekah had to be with someone, I'd pick Damon since they're both spoilt, selfish brats who feel justified in hurting people when they don't get their own way. I'd love to see Stefan with someone other than Elena and I'd love to see Bonnie with someone who was actually featured on the show, or at least someone who didn't dump her for a ghost. I'm still a Caroline/Tyler fan, even though we don't see enough of Tyler.


Actually, scratch that- KLAUS with Caroline :)


I would love to see Stefan with Caroline, Tyler with Hayley, Matt with Rebekah and Damon with Elena :)

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The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 3 Quotes

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


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