Entertainment Magazine

Review #3767: The Vampire Diaries 4.3: “The Rager”

Posted on the 26 October 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

Written by Brian Young
Directed by Lance Anderson

Because Elena’s struggle with her new status as a vampire just cannot be easy on any level, Rebekah decides to take this particular moment to launch some payback her way. Framed around the mundane elements of the typical high school social atmosphere, it gives the episode a solid air of absurdity. Besides Elena, who actually should be finishing up her education because she hasn’t had it yet, the others know that they are just playing a role.

Review #3767: The Vampire Diaries 4.3: “The Rager”

I’m willing to wait to see how Elena manages to get control over her enhanced emotions, because if it unleashes her wicked side a bit (ala Katherine), it would be a good way to jumpstart the character again. As it is, her current vulnerability just makes everyone around her want to manipulate her all the more. Stefan was rather annoying about it in the previous episode, with his experimentation with animal blood, which made Damon look logical in comparison.

Rebekah, however, seems to like the idea of inciting Elena into murder while causing her physical and psychological pain. And Stefan isn’t in a position to do much to help Elena, because his recent backslide into Ripper territory has exposed his self-control limitations. Damon is the natural back-up in this case, but he has his own issues.

The writers must have been reading my mind, because the conversation between Stefan and Caroline brought to the forefront exactly what I was thinking during the previous episode. Isn’t Caroline precisely the kind of assured, confident, and moral vampire that Stefan would love Elena to be? So why not get Caroline more involved in Elena’s development? Caroline knows what she wants and how to get it, and it’s time for Elena to gain that same presence.

What it comes down to is the reactive nature of the characters; they just haven’t gotten to the point where they can routinely get ahead of things. Stefan is afraid to tutor Elena, but why can’t he do it by proxy with Caroline? All the hand-wringing that Stefan is all too practiced at is leading Elena right to Damon, who may let his endlessly wounded pride get the better of him. I want Elena to be more like Katherine, but perhaps a bit less murdery.

Because the writers don’t waste time with the plot elements, Connor continues making trouble in this episode, only to discover (thanks to having plenty of characters with extremely long and colorful histories) that he is one of “The Five”. And Klaus, the only one who seems to know about them, is rather worried over the thought that they might be coming to town. Is this the “greater evil” that has been hinted at lately? It’s probably more complicated than that, but it’s going to be fun to find out!

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 2/4

Final Score: 8/10

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