Bring out the tissues and brace yourself for another powerful episode of ‘The Vampire Diaries’. Take a group of grieving friends, add a few brotherly disagreements, a few murder attempts by an over-zealous vampire hunter, a new face, and a visit from an old friend … yip, powerful.
Elena’s having several adjustment issues, unable to keep down animal or human bag blood. In an attempt to introduce Elena to the animal diet, Stefan takes her into the woods to teach her how to hunt. An emotional first kill. A hot and heavy kiss scene follows, quickly squashed by Elena dashing off to spill her guts. Apparently, animal blood doesn’t bode well with this girl vamp. Hoping to lighten the mood and celebrate Elena’s first feed, Stefan brings out the champagne when they return home. An odd celebration but at least we see a glimpse of Elena’s smile – something we haven’t seen in a while.
“She can’t learn to control the blood lust if she’s never actually experienced the blood lust.” ~ Damon
Stefan and Damon are at loggerheads over Elena’s choice of diet. Stefan’s pushing the bunny diet, convinced that hurting another human would destroy Elena or force her to switch off her humanity. Damon’s … well, Damon, with his “rip off the band aid” attitude and insists that Elena needs to feed on a human in order to gain control of the blood lust.
There’s a new vampire hunter in town and he’s not holding back. His name is Connor and he sports an invisible tattoo on his arm that only Jeremy can see. With an impressive fearlessness, he arrives in town to pick a few bones with the vampires – and has a bag of lethal weapons to back him up. He investigates the explosion at Pastor Young’s house and discovers a letter addressed to the pastor’s daughter, April – a letter warning her of a greater evil about to hit town.
Connor barges his way into Mayor Lockwood’s house, calling her out on the fact that the explosion had been covered up. Hearing the heated argument, Tyler interrupts. With a casual smile, Connor offers a gloved hand soaked in vervain that immediately burns Tyler. Without hesitation, Connor pulls out a gun and fires several hits at Tyler. In lightening speed, an injured Tyler makes his escape and heads to the Salvatore’s for nursing.
“Seriously, stop looking at me like that, Liz. If I were going to kill twelve people, I wouldn’t blow them up. I’d have a dinner party.” ~ Damon
With the death of several council members from the explosion on the Young farm, Sheriff Forbes is looking for the suspect – and it seems like Damon’s the obvious culprit. A morbid Damon, nursing his alcohol at the bar and missing his girl, denies all involvement in the explosion. One sorry looking vamp. Elena approaches him, asking for help, telling him that she can’t stomach the animal blood. He hauls her to the bathroom and offers her a vein – a personal act between vampires.
At the church for the memorial service, Elena dashes to the bathroom and spews blood everywhere. Huge mess. She’s quick to call Damon for a change of clothes and becomes desperate when Connor starts knocking on the bathroom door. Damon arrives, ever the hero, hands Elena the clothes and keeps Connor at bay.
Taking Elena outside, he gives her a blood bag but she struggles to stomach the meal. Thanks to her doppelganger blood, her body’s rejecting the transition. Elena’s a mess but Damon calms her down. Stefan sees them and confronts Damon about giving Elena human blood. Not holding back, Damon delivers the news that Elena’s been lying to him and hasn’t been able to keep any blood down. Stefan’s not a happy vamp when he’s told that Elena drank Damon’s blood. Jealousy rearing its weary head.
During the memorial service, Connor quietly stabs April and ties her up at the back of the church. With April bleeding and hurt, the vampires are quick to pick up the scent of blood and instantly realize that Connor is up to no good. Love the way they all communicate with each other across the room, silently, but all able to hear each other thanks to their super heightened hearing. Elena freaks out from the smell of the blood while Stefan tries to calm her. Matt intervenes, offering a vein disguised as a grieving hug. Sweet Matt. Embracing him, Elena feeds. When Tyler steps up to say a few words about Pastor Young, Connor moves in for the kill from his perch at the back of the church and shoots Tyler with a wooden stake. A man on a mission who makes a quick getaway, leaving Tyler hurt but alive.
Elena goes to help April, instead, she loses control and tries to feed on her but Caroline stops her. She talks some sense into Elena, coaching her to compel April to forget her attack. A small victory for a struggling vampire.
Stefan confronts Elena about lying to him and feeding on Damon. Apparently, this is a big deal for Stefan – and for Damon. Tears and apologies turn to a sad anger as a grieving Elena curses all she’s lost. In an attempt to lessen her pain and honor the ones that have died, Stefan gathers their friends in a small memorial ceremony. Lanterns are lit and released into the sky in memory of their loved ones. A tearful and touching moment, a curt reminder of all the loved ones they’ve lost. Damon rejects the moment and leaves. With his bottle of Bourbon in hand, he visits Alaric’s grave, nursing his own grief, in his own way, whilst Alaric silently watches on. A powerful moment between two friends and a reminder that beneath the anger and strong façade, Damon is grieving like everyone else.
Watch the new episode of The Vampire Diaries, “The Rager”, on Thursday 8.7c on the CW.