I had to watch this episode at the gym, which left me wondering how long each of these actors must have to spend working out. Up first in this episode, we see Tyler (let’s just say he spends infinity time at the gym) lying in his hospital bed. Vampire hunter Connor Jordan pays him a visit. Connor takes out the literally one police officer guarding Tyler (really? We thought one police officer was going to stop the new guy?) and extracts venom from Tyler’s fangs.
Just to make sure Tyler doesn’t get attacked again, Klaus comes back and offers a few hybrid bodyguards to protect him.
Also back in Tyler’s life is Hayley, werewolf. I’m not super interested in this storyline if she in any way affects goddess Caroline’s happiness. Hayley does, however, give one of my favorite backstory lines ever. First off, she explains almost her entire backstory with Tyler in like 15 seconds and finishes “One of (Klaus’) hybrids was with a pack I ran with. He called me and told me that he was coming to protect a guy name Tyler and I thought ‘What are the chances?’’ I guess it’s not a stretch of the imagination that all the werewolves would know each other. It’s still funny to think that this powerful hybrid would call his friend and be like “got to go protect some dude name Tyler for the big guy!” Anyways Tyler and Hayley knew each (intimately, probably) from Tyler’s days in the Appalachians, she helped him break his sire bond with Klaus. Tyler didn’t tell Caroline about Hayley and there’s gonna be dramz. And that’s all I care to go in to that story.
At school, Rebekah, who has decided to stick around and throw parties, instantly taints Elena’s senior year by provoking her and throwing a pencil in her chest (to be fair, Elena started the pencil throwing). These past two episodes have had a lot of shots of Elena wiping blood off of her hands in a sink. Rebekah also sends in a poor girl with a bloody neck to seduce Elena into biting her. Nina Dobrev continues to do an amazing job of portraying Elena’s heightened state as she teeters on the edge of completely snapping.
In the parking, lot Elena and Stefan decide to cut the rest of the school day and have some fun. They also plan to go to Rebekah’s party later. Elena says she just has to go home and change. Everyone else gets really nervous when a character makes a point of breaking away from the group, right? Like, did everyone else think she was going to get attacked or something?
Meanwhile, Connor talks to Jeremy in a classroom about why he can see his tattoo. Apparently only other vampire hunters, or potential hunters, can see it. Cool, Jeremy deserves something awesome to do. At this point in my workout the woman on the elliptical next to me dropped the copy of “50 Shades of Grey” she was reading. I was going to judge her, but then I realized I was scribbling episodes notes frantically into a notebook while going about 3.0 miles per hour. So to each his own.
Damon, on his quest to kill Connor, goes searching through Connor’s trailer and sets off a genius trap. He grabs a notebook and two arrows connected to a bomb hit him. If he moves at all, it will go off. He calls Meredith to cut him out of it.
Back at school Connor confronts Matt. Matt’s been letting Elena feed on him and Connor sees through his weak excuses for having bite marks. When Connor holds Matt at knifepoint, Matt confesses that Rebekah is the vampire.
At Salvatore Mansion, Damon finds Elena rummaging through his stuff. She tells him she needs good bourbon to get through the party and Rebekah’s nonsense. What the what, you might ask? Indeed, she’s actually looking for the white oak stake to kill Rebekah. You’d think these people would be better at lying by now. But then they’d also probably have to get better at deciphering lies. What to do? Anyway, there’s a gratuitous shot of Ian Somerhalder’s torso (be still my beating heart) and also kind of intrigued, definitely not annoyed, looks from Elena. We’ll talk about this at the end, guys (I should just say “ladies” right, no guys are watching this show).
Jeremy goes to meet Connor. He tells Connor that he knows that Meredith has some kind of deal with the vampires. Connor says they’re going to the hospital, not Rebekah’s party to kill her, because “as long as people are drinking at that high school party, I’ve got it covered.” The beer is poisoned! Shot of people drinking ridiculously. The episode is called “The Rager” you guys! No one actually has these kinds of parties in high school!
At the party, Rebekah steals Elena’s ring, throws it in the garbage disposal, and leaves. Elena has now fully snapped and grabs the stake ready to go after Rebekah. Stefan stops her and convinces her that her regret would be too much if she killed Rebekah. Let’s have fun, he says, like someone who has only read about fun in books. Elena attempts to show off by doing a kegstand (To be fair, I have no idea what she does. Like I said parties like this don’t really happen) and walking out of the party.
Now here’s what upsets me about this whole next sequence of Elena being carefree riding and standing on Stefan’s motorcycle. Showrunner Julie Plec tweeted “New #TVD tonight, in which Elena actually has FUN….” But the thing is, even though Elena is having fun the viewer doesn’t really get to enjoy it. Because we all know that there’s something in that beer that she drank. So we still had the sense that the other shoe was going to drop like we always do with this show.
Jeremy leads Connor into a trap at the hospital (duh duh duh duh duh). Connor asks Damon “Is a hospital really the best place for a germaphobe?” Which, um, yes! Wouldn’t it be? But Damon’s reply is “Did I say that I was a germaphobe? Sorry. I meant vampire.” Which I sort of loved. Klaus and Damon get Connor in the same trap from earlier (arrows, bomb). Klaus checks out Connor’s special designed stakes and says that Connor is one of The Five, which literally means nothing to us but will eventually we can only hope. The bomb goes off. Damon assumes Connor is dead. But obvs he’s not. At the end of the episode you see that Klaus saves Connor. They have a super cryptic conversation and basically Connor is valuable to Klaus alive for some reason. I’m not going to speculate, because that’s what they want us to do. (Also, I’ve never successfully guessed any of the weird plotlines this show has lead us down before, so I don’t want to embarrass myself. Ogres? Leprechauns? Buffy? It’s really anyone’s guess.)
There’s a pretty sweet scene back at the party where Matt confronts Rebekah for being such a terrible person and she rips out his heart. Don’t worry it was just a fever dream. Towards the end of the episode April—who last we saw super bloody at the church—and Rebekah bond over being alone and talk about teaming up to investigate the fire that killed the Council. Does any one else want to grab April’s hand and say, “Get out now you wonderful innocent?”
After Elena’s motorcycle ride she and Stefan are getting hot and heavy. But oh no, she sees Damon instead of Stefan. The poison beer has got her imagining things. Klaus comes just in time—probably—to save her. He helps by letting her feed on him, because she’s also valuable (not gonna guess!)
Let’s talk about the Team Damon/Team Stefan thing. I’m still undecided. Elena feeds on Matt after this brush with death and feeds a little too hard, almost killing him. Damon stops her just in time and says he’ll help her. Earlier when she hallucinated Damon he told her that they are more similar now. So it sort of feels like the show is pushing us towards Team Damon.
Moreover, Stefan talks to Caroline after the Elena beer poisoning and reveals that he’s afraid to really explore Elena’s new vampire emotions with her because he doesn’t want to become a ripper again. Is a breakup imminent? One thing I definitely don’t want is a Caroline/Stefan relationship. I love that they can just exist as really good friends.
Also, I get that we’re conditioned to like the bad boy who only reveals his sensitiveness to you, but does Stefan really deserve the final heartbreak? I’m tired guys (ladies) what do you think?
Screencaps via the CW