It’s so easy to forget that (most of) the Mystic Falls gang is still in high school, but The Rager reminded us of that with its mean girl battle, keg party, and…a super-strong vampire hunter on the loose.
Stefan is on the same mission as last week: help Elena enjoy her transition — without guilt or regret or murder — but he’s up against Rebekah’s attempts to make Elena lose her mind. And hat’s off to Rebekah: she knows how to play this game. (And loved seeing the return of #2 pencil as vampire weapon!) When Rebekah watched Elena and Stefan say their would-be goodbyes in Pastor Young’s barn/vampire-holding cells, it almost seemed like she had changed her mind about them — but seeing how earnestly they felt for each other didn’t soften her towards Elena, it only made her own isolation sting even more. In The Rager, characters face the choice between getting even or burying the hatchet. Rebekah tries to unhinge Elena — taunting her about Alaric’s death and about her past romance with Stefan, smearing blood on her face when there’s a hunter down the hall, and making her sizzle by snatching away her daylight ring — while Elena goes so far as to become murderous. Klaus sees an opportunity to get back at Tyler, and closer to Caroline, when hybrid-helper Haley waltzes into town. And even good-tempered Matt Donovan decides to out Rebekah to vampire-hunter Connor.
On the flip side of all that eye-for-an-eye behavior is Damon. He says he’ll hold to his promise to Stefan — to leave town, since Elena chose his bro — but he’s determined to leave Mystic Falls in relative safety by killing Connor. And with Elena and Stefan otherwise occupied (joyrides on motorcycles, etc.), Damon turns to a bevy of others: he enlists Meredith for help twice, calls on Tyler to join in on the hunter hunt, buddies up with his nemesis Klaus, and works alongside wannabe bad-ass Jeremy. When did Damon get so many allies? He’s developed relationships — maybe not friendships — outside of the Stefan-Elena leadership duo, people who will step up and fight alongside him and trust. Despite the fact that he’s still doing everything Damon-style — a little bit unnecessarily dangerous, and maybe not as effective in the end as he hoped. (Like, did he even look for Connor remnants post-explosion, or what?) But as Meredith says, he’s being a good brother, and by the end of the episode decides he can’t leave Elena behind in his brother’s care. Elena and Stefan individually recognize the limitations of Stefan-as-vampire-tutor: Stefan can’t take any pleasure in his vampirism for fear of unleashing the ripper, and Elena sees in Damon a greater vampire kinship than with Stefan. Nothing like werewolf-venom hallucinations to reveal a girl’s secret feelings! Like Rebekah’s hallucination expressing her fear that she’s undeserving of love, Elena’s flashes of Damon (besides being so very reminiscent of the Friday Night Bites makeout hallucination) reveal her desire to turn to him for guidance. And with her attack on Matt, and his timely rescue, it seems like her wish is coming true.
What I loved about this episode most was the pairings of characters — Caroline and Stefan’s friendship back in the game, Damon trying to buddy up with no-nonsense Meredith, Rebekah seeing herself in lonely orphan April, and Klaus — for reasons yet to be revealed — deciding to protect Connor the vampire hunter, one of the mysterious Five. More than anything, The Rager felt like a set-up for what’s to follow: a new branch in the TVD mythology and a new instructor for Elena in how to be a vampire.
Compelling Moment: As much as the Rebekah-Elena showdown was entertaining, I have to go with the other Original pairing: Klaus and Damon’s brief moment of being on the same side against the hunter was magical. They have the banter down.
The Rules: Connor explains that only a hunter or potential hunter can see his otherwise invisible tattoo. As in the last episode, Connor is faster/stronger than the average hunter. Klaus ID’s Connor as “one of the Five” — tune in next week to find out what the heck that means! Rebekah is affected by the werewolf venom (getting all veiny, and hallucinating) but she’s not in mortal peril (immortal peril?). She can only be killed by the white oak stake (which looked comically large to me when Elena was holding it).
Foggy moments: Why didn’t Connor kill Tyler after extracting his werewolf venom? Would Stefan (or Caroline or Elena herself) really let Elena feed on Matt unsupervised? It so obviously and easily could go wrong: new hungry vampire with willing human blood bag.
Questions & thoughts before The Five (EP404):
- How did Connor figure out that Tyler was part werewolf? What sort if paralytic did he use on him?
- Just what happened between Haley and Tyler in the mountains? Seems like Klaus had it pretty bang on.
- Caroline will be thrilled to hear that while she was losing her father, Tyler was bonding with Haley in just the way Caroline and Tyler first become close. Will Haley be sticking around Mystic Falls? (Please do!)
- Point of curiosity: what, if anything, does werewolf venom do to an average human beer-guzzling high schooler?
- Excellent form on the keg stand, Elena! It’s like she’s a former gymnast/yoga superstar.
- Is there more to April than meets the eye?
- So many questions about the Five: who or what are they? Why doesn’t Connor know “his own history”? Who trained Connor? How could Elena be useful to Klaus in connection to the Five? Why is Klaus interested in protecting a vampire hunter? What does the symbol, which Connor carved on the stakes and into the bullets, mean?
Everyone is subject to these rules and guidelines, whether they read them or not.
If you have problems with any of the comments posted, flag them to bring them to our attention. You can do this by hovering your mouse over the comment so the 'flag' link appears. You're also welcome to contact us to let us know about any problems.
Do not flag comments you just disagree with - it wastes moderator time. The flagging system is not there to give a post a thumbs down, it's there for genuine problems.
Be excellent to each other.