Recap: ‘The Vampire Diaries’: Elena rages and Klaus returns
Congratulations. You just became worth more to me alive than dead. – Klaus
After the much needed catharsis provided by last week’s episode, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ is back on track this week with “The Rager.”
I’m still grieving Alaric’s death (hell, I’m still grieving for Jenna), but there’s not much time to wallow in Mystic Falls. Connor’s still out there, and you know how those pesky vampire hunters are, they don’t slow down until they’ve killed or quipped you to death.
Now that Alaric’s … gone (RIP, buddy!) and Elena’s a newbie vampire, Damon’s decided that he can’t leave town after all, even if it means he and Stefan are more punchy punchy than huggy huggy at the moment. His first act of business is to take out the newest threat, which means turning the tables on Connor while Stefan continues his attempts to steer Elena on the path to vampire righteousness. She still can’t keep down any blood that isn’t directly from the vein and Matt’s become her personal blood bag. He still feels responsible for her death and sees this as some sort of penance for living while she died.
It’s too bad that Elena isn’t in the position to just feed from Connor. The episode opens with his third attempt at taking out Tyler, whose “recuperating” from his wounds in a hospital bed. Tyler’s expecting him though, and he catches him by surprise, if only for a minute. Connor’s pretty quick with a syringe and he injects Tyler with a paralytic so he can steal his werewolf venom. So I guess that answers my question from last week re: whether or not Connor realized there was more to Tyler than just fangs, poor school attendance and really good abs.
Speaking of school, somehow all of these teenagers are still going to school, even though I’m fairly certain they’d have failed out by now considering I can’t remember the last time they were actually at school. I mean, even Buffy had time to take the SATs (and score an 1100), but do you think Elena can find time to stop by to take a calculus test? Whatever. I’m sure they probably just compel the principal anyway. Must be nice when you don’t have to do all that book learnin’!
At school, Elena’s finding it difficult to control her hatred toward Rebekah, especially after the blonde one ruins her sweater by stabbing her with a pencil. When she goes to clean up, Rebekah follows her and tempts her with a fellow student whom she’s compelled and already fed from, leaving a trail of delicious (to Elena) looking blood dripping down her neck. Elena gains her composure, but it’s clear that in addition to her continuing problems with keeping blood down, she’s also going to face a long struggle with reigning in her emotions.
Connor’s also at school, because it’s convenient for the story, and he meets with Jeremy to explain that his tattoo is invisible to anyone but a fellow vampire hunter or someone with the potential to become a vampire hunter. Not to be a grouchy old lady, but seriously? I cannot deal with a potential storyline. I sat through an entire season of potentials on ‘Buffy,’ and as much as I love that show, even I can admit that season was one of the weakest. I understand that in addition to Jeremy being able to see ghosts, that he also comes from a founding family and a long line of vampire hunters. But if this season is all about Jeremy choosing his destiny, I might ralph.
Connor also confronts Pudding Pop before he leaves the school. He wants to know which one of his classmates is a vampire (and has been feeding from him). And since he can’t say all of them, he hands him the only vampire he doesn’t share a friendship with: Rebekah. Which makes sense, the bitch tried to kill him, like, a week ago.
Damon, meanwhile, is exploring Connor’s trailer in the woods, but it’s booby-trapped and he ends up with an arrow through his chest. An arrow that just so happens to be connected to a bomb. Since he’s still on rocky ground with Stefan after the whole blood-sharing incident with Elena, he calls the only other person he can think of: Meredith. She agrees to help him out, but she’s not exactly happy about it.
While Damon’s otherwise occupied, Stefan takes Elena to Rebekah’s anti-curfew party (is that like Logan’s Anti-Prom?) to help her blow off steam and to let loose and have fun. He knows that if she continues to channel all of her emotions into rage, that she’ll become like Ripper Stefan, and even though I love Ripper Stefan and Klaus loves Ripper Stefan, apparently no one else in Mystic Falls shares our fondness for the man. There Rebekah again taunts Elena and goes so far as to steal her daylight ring and throw it down the garbage disposal. Elena manages to get it out and put it back on, but she’s angry and decides the best way to deal with her problems is to do a keg stand (naturally).
What she doesn’t know is that Connor slipped Tyler’s werewolf venom into the keg, so any vampire (aside from an Original, I suppose) who drinks the beer from it will be dead before morning. After they leave the party, Elena and Stefan go for a motorcycle ride, during which Elena decides that since she is already dead, she might as well stand up on the seat. And yet, girl still wore her helmet. I guess she draws the line at temporary head trauma. I don’t know.
Sometime between the time when Elena was at school and this point in the episode, Damon, Meredith and Jeremy, who’s kind of desperate to be a badass (dude, don’t worry, I’ve seen your biceps, you’ll do fine in life), set up an elaborate scheme to remove Connor from the equation. And once Klaus finds out about the vampire hunter in town (he comes back to town with a pack of hybrids charged with protecting Tyler), he decides to join in the fun. But first he heals Elena, who’d been experiencing hallucinations because of the venom in her system (hallucinations that she was, in fact, making out with Damon – those are what I call daydreams, honey), by giving her his blood.
Meanwhile, Jeremy tells Connor that Meredith uses vampire blood to heal people, so Connor trails her at the hospital, which leads him to a supply closet where Damon is waiting for him. Before Damon and Klaus can kill him though, Klaus recognizes the symbols Connor’s carved on a stake and realizes that he’s one of the five. Sadly, I don’t think he means the Final Five, unless Klaus is secretly a big ‘Battlestar Galactica’ fan, in which case, he just got a lot cooler.
Connor, unwilling to let a vampire kill him, decides to take himself out via bomb, but Klaus saves him because as “one of the five,” he’s worth more to him alive than dead.
Some stray observations:
- This is the first episode in which Phoebe Tonkin (‘The Secret Circle’) appears as Hayley, one of the werewolves who helped Tyler through his transitions in the Appalachian mountains and who helped him break his sire bond to Klaus. He didn’t tell him where he went; she thought he was dead. But when one of her friends told her that he was headed to Mystic Falls to protect some rando named Tyler, she connected the dots and decided to show up herself. What her agenda is, I don’t know. But I really hope she doesn’t bite it soon. I really like Phoebe and I hope she sticks around for quite awhile. It appears that Hayley and Tyler share some history beyond the sire bond, and he never told Caroline about her. I predict a love rhombus involving Hayley, Tyler, Caroline and Klaus in the near future.
- Rebekah’s hallucinations were of Matt and they ended with her ripping out his heart. Fun!
- April also appears in this episode, but only for a short while. She talks to Elena for a bit at the party, and then stays to help clean up after the cops break it up. Rebekah offers to help her find out about the gas explosion at her farm. I could get behind this friendship. Because right now Rebekah doesn’t have any. And yes, that’s her fault, but I think everyone deserves to have at least one friend.
- Elena feeds on Matt again, but she’s unable to control herself and she almost drains him. And she probably would have if Damon hadn’t intervened. He compels Matt to forget about what happened and sends him home. He then tells her, “You’re a vampire now. You just have to learn the right way to be one. And I’m gonna teach you.” Elena doesn’t exactly say no, so ladies and gents, I do believe we just reentered love triangle territory.
- Stefan and Caroline, who share one of my favorite friendships on the entire show, shared a quite moment when Stefan confessed to her that he doesn’t know how to get Elena to channel her emotions and be free when he himself can’t let go for fear that Ripper Stefan will come out. Caroline promises that she’ll be there to help reign him in if anything should happen. Seriously. Have I mentioned how much I love these two?
- “Did I say that I was a germaphobe? Sorry. I meant vampire.”
- “Yeah, truth be told, I’m as evil as it gets.”
So what did you guys think? Is Connor growing on you yet? What do you think Hayley’s real purpose is in Mystic Falls? And did you notice that Bonnie didn’t appear once in the episode! Yay! Drinks all around! Also, I do believe next week Elijah returns. So double drinks!
Note: Photo courtesy of the CW.