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The Vampire Diaries “The Rager” 

Photo Credit: Annette Brown/The CW

Once upon a time, in a not so faraway Mystic(al) land, a beautiful young girl accidentally became a vampire. And she was terrified to find her kindness and good will replaced by blood lust and hatred. She was ashamed that she had a hunger for human blood despite her vampire boyfriend’s best intentions to keep her out of the rabbit hole that had repeatedly felled him.

He led her out on the open road and away from anything related to rabbits. When she took one too many drinks from her dear BFF, her boyfriend’s brother (also a vampire) promised to teach her how to enjoy the rabbit hole now and again and still find her way back to the surface. The end.

That’s not exactly what’s happening in Mystic Falls this week, but it’s close.

First things first, Damon doesn’t eat Connor (boooooo!!!!). Second thing–Rebekah is back in play and trying to win friends and influence people via a curfew-flouting kegger and also taunt Elena into killing her. She very nearly succeeds at the latter until Stefan reminds a wild-eyed Elena that if Rebekah drops, so do thousands of her spawn/descendants.

Elena is taking Matt hits but not enough to thrive, so she’s loading up on bourbon and beer and hitting the open road and the sheets with Stefan to find some sort of vampy peace but nothing’s working. Stefan realizes he’s the problem and chats up Caroline, who promises she’ll always have his back if he gets too far gone.

Meanwhile, we meet Phoebe Tonkin’s new character, Hayley, a werewolf whom we’re led to believe helped Tyler break the blood curse and perhaps lose his clothes in the heat of the moment (oops), and when he finds her standing in his study, short shorts and “Ho Hey” on the soundtrack, well, can I get, a “ruh roh!” Double that with Klaus showing up, ostensibly to protect and taunt Tyler and Caroline skipping Rebekah’s party to see Tyler but he won’t let her past the door, and DRAMA.

Rebekah has a minor bonding moment with April (run!!!), who stays behind to help clean up Rebekah’s party, so there may be some sort of weird friendship brewing there (again, run!). Connor is saved because Damon gets himself arrowed inside Connor’s RV, is rescued by Dr. Fell and then ropes Klaus into a rematch. It turns out Connor is one of “the five,” who, I’m guessing, are a master race of hunters, so game on there as Klaus saves him (unbeknownst to Damon) and essentially offers him protection (boooo!!!)

Nina Dobrev has a ball channelling her inner vampire teenager as she rages against Rebekah, going so far as to get the white oak dagger from Damon (in a scene we don’t see=fail). Stefan instead entices her out for a motorcycle ride (in a line of dialogue that had me hearing “Raspberry Beret” in my head) where she Evel Knievels standing on the seat, completely untethered, while they motor down the highway. They then fall into bed and she hallucinates Damon. Not good. So, as far as we know, she’s not actually had vampire sex yet.

She and Rebekah fall ill when Connor spikes the beer with werewolf venom (after a gross assault of Tyler involving a needle to the gums) and Klaus saves Elena with some of his own blood and the tease that she might be useful after all, even as a vampire (something Connor-related, I presume).

Then Elena goes home and summons Matt takeout but she drinks too much and Damon thankfully arrives to break her off Matt’s arm. She’s horrified at herself and wailing at Matt that she’s sorry, so Damon compels Matt to forget and go home and then offers to help Elena learn the right way to be a vampire. She nods in agreement, realizing that what she’s been doing isn’t working for anyone.

On the Jeremy front, Connor tries to lure him to the dark side as a potential hunter  (because he can see the tattoos) but Jeremy instead sets him up with Damon and Klaus, so that ship has sailed.

And that’s pretty much how this week went in Mystic Falls.

I hope we don’t get more cage matches of Rebekah and Elena, and that they find something useful for Rebekah to do. The one interesting insight for her this week is that her hybrid hallucination has her confronted by Matt about the rotten state of the bed she’s made for herself, and she responds by ripping out his heart. Earlier, she tries to apologize to him about running him off the bridge (in the very least, she owes him new wheels) and he doesn’t say a word to her.

As for Connor, I’m not keen on keeping him but I guess we’re stuck with him, so we’ll see where it goes.

If you missed the episode, you can catch it online at the The next new episode airs on Thursday at 8 pm/7c on the CW.

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