The Vampire Diaries 4.03 "The Rager"

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill


This episode was curiously disjointed. There was way too much going on. It was definitely a "begin to get the season plot points in place" sort of affair, with lots of weird recombinations meant to show who all the players are and what they're up to now. Maybe I just can't deal with Klaus and Rebekah still being around and NOT being the Big Bads anymore. Klaus is more like a little rascal these days, pining away over Caroline and assuring everyone he could totally obliterate them if that's what he felt like doing, which it isn't right now because – shut up, Klaus.

Rebekah could never be the big bad because she's way too unorganized and reactive. Or, as Matt finally puts it tonight in one of her hallucinations (I'll get there), she's the saddest little girl ever, because in 1000 years she's never receive love because she's never given love. Or she did, but it was only to Klaus, and he didn't care. That may be the high point of the episode. If we have to keep putting up with Rebekah, it's about time for her to learn something. That she was essentially judging herself so harshly in this sequence gives me a modicum of hope.

The other high point is Elena doing a keg stand. Which is a sight to behold, even moreso as she does it just to get in Rebekah's face (it's Rebekah's party, a rich-girl protest against the new town curfew and thus the episode's title). The two of them actually spend the episode trying to kill each other, in the most petulant and "I hate that bitch!" mean girl ways possible. Rebekah hates Elena because she already has everything she wants, including compassion and love. Elena hates Rebekah because of all the murder attempts. They really need to kiss and make up, for though Rebekah may be an Original, all signs point to Elena becoming one of the Old Ones herself eventually.

That is, if she survives the werewolf venom placed in the beer she shouldn't have drunk by Connor, Mystic Falls' latest vampire hunter extraordinaire. It gives her, and every other vampire who drinks it, hallucinations. And it will kill all of them, except for Rebekah, who can't be permanently hurt by a wolf-bite.

In plot point news, Klaus and some hybrids have returned to town to protect Tyler, already targeted by Connor. And it's old-home week for Tyler, who also has an old girlfriend arrive, a fellow shape-changer whom Caroline doesn't know about. Tyler is busted, and Klaus knows it. Caroline, however, is busy comforting Stefan, who isn't doing so great helping Elena transition (nor keeping her from killing people, including almost Matt, who's week this is not, even though the various dangers have given actor Zach Roerig more to do than he had for most of last season already). When Connor tries to find out who's been drinking from him (Elena), Matt gives up Rebekah instead and still gets knocked unconscious.

At least his heart only gets ripped out in Rebekah's hallucination.

Meanwhile, Damon is hot on Connor's trail, even if he has to be reminded by Meredith that he loves his brother as much as he loves Elena, and despite all his protests, he's not going anywhere or doing anything that doesn't involve keeping them both safe. Meredith is very determined in her convictions, something I've always liked about her. She may not be stronger than most of her friends, but she's smarter than a lot of 'em.

So I guess, on the journey of Elena's vampire transformation, this was the episode where she almost lost it, and almost died. The question is, is it going to get worse before it gets better? Do we get a hint of an answer in the final scene, when April stays after the party to help Rebekah clean up her new house, and we see Rebekah consciously deciding not to kill her in gratitude? Two very different journeys those girls are on.

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at

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