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In the third season premiere, on the morning of Elena’s 18th birthday, Caroline Forbes (series star CANDICE ACCOLA) is busy planning a party, but Elena is focused on searching for any clues that might help her discover where Stefan is. Damon is also searching for Stefan, while trying to protect Elena and keep her from doing anything that would draw Klaus’s attention. Meanwhile, Klaus and Stefan are busy trailing a werewolf named Ray Sutton (recurring guest star DAVID GALLAGHER – Super 8, 7th Heaven). Now working at the Mystic Grill along with Matt Donovan (series star ZACH ROERIG), Jeremy Gilbert (series star STEVEN R. MCQUEEN) is struggling to understand why he keeps seeing the ghosts of Vicki (recurring guest star KAYLA EWELL) and Anna (recurring guest star MALESE JOW) since he was brought back to life by Bonnie Bennett’s (series star KAT GRAHAM) magic.
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 9/15/2011
Klaus puts a plan in motion that will give him even more power, but even with the unwilling participation of werewolf Ray Sutton (recurring guest star DAVID GALLAGHER), things don’t go exactly as Klaus had planned. Damon and Alaric reluctantly go along with Elena’s new strategy to find Stefan, leading Damon into a dangerous fight with an unexpected enemy. Jeremy turns to Matt for help as he continues to try to understand what the ghosts from his past want from him. Unaware that Caroline is in need of his help, Tyler faces an emotional confrontation with his mother (recurring guest star SUSAN WALTERS – One Tree Hill, Melrose Place).
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 9/22/2011
Klaus and Stefan arrive in Chicago, where Stefan is reunited with a vampire (recurring guest star CLAIRE HOLT – Pretty Little Liars, H20: Just Add Water), who hasn’t really moved on from her interest in him decades earlier. In a flashback to Chicago in the 1920s, Stefan comes face to face with a shocking chapter from his wild past. After Damon gets a tip on Stefan and Klaus’ whereabouts from an unexpected source, he and Elena follow their trail. Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls, Tyler is concerned about Caroline and turns to Sheriff Forbes (recurring guest star MARGUERITE MacINTYRE) for help.
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 9/29/2011
Still in Chicago, Klaus uses Gloria (guest star CHARMIN LEE – Girlfriends, Supernatural), a witch he knew long ago, to help him track down missing information that will explain why his plan isn’t working. Gloria’s spells reveal intriguing glimpses of the truth, but she soon realizes she needs Stefan’s knowledge to complete the puzzle. When Stefan suddenly finds himself in danger, help comes from a surprising ally. Back in Mystic Falls, a frustrating new enemy pushes Damon over the brink and he lashes out in a way that will have lasting consequences. Caroline struggles with her own emotional issues, even as she tries to help Elena face her feelings. Jeremy makes a brief but disturbing breakthrough with one of his ghostly visitors, leaving him more confused than ever. Finally, Bonnie has a strange encounter that will affect everyone.
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 10/6/2011
Despite all that has happened, Caroline is determined to see that Elena, Bonnie, Matt and Tyler all enjoy a traditional Senior Prank Night before the school year begins at Mystic Falls High School. However, when uninvited guests show up, it doesn’t take long for the evening to take a deadly turn. Damon convinces Jeremy that he can use his new connection to the other side to help find a way to defeat Klaus. Finally, Klaus deepens his hold on Stefan and uses him for increasingly violent and dangerous purposes.
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 10/13/2011
On the first day of their senior year, Elena, Caroline, Bonnie and Matt are still reeling from recent events, while Tyler seems to be enjoying everything a little too much. Damon is annoyed by a new houseguest, and everyone is surprised by the arrival of a new student in Alaric’s history class. Matt asks Bonnie for help when he realizes he made a serious mistake. Meanwhile, Stefan continues to carry out his latest assignment from Klaus.
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 10/20/2011
As Mystic Falls prepares to celebrate the traditional Illumination Night, the town is invaded by spirits of the dead. After a particularly violent encounter with an angry spirit, Damon asks Bonnie to find the reason behind the ghosts’ surprising power. Elena convinces Jeremy to use his connection to the other side to help her find a new way to reach Stefan, leading Jeremy to a terrible choice. Finally, Alaric discovers a long-hidden clue to the past.
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 10/27/2011
With help from Elena and Bonnie, Alaric tries to decipher the meaning behind his recent discovery. Elena and Rebekah (recurring guest star CLAIRE HOLT) engage in a mean-girl power struggle, until Rebekah finally reveals some of her family’s ancient secrets and the violent past she shares with Klaus and Elijah (recurring guest star DANIEL GILLIES). Damon tries a reckless new approach to make a breakthrough with Stefan, and they’re both surprised by an unlikely ally.
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 11/3/2011
On the night of the Homecoming dance, Rebekah (recurring guest star CLAIRE HOLT) opens up to Elena about why the evening is so important to her, leaving Elena with conflicting emotions. Caroline and Matt are both shocked at Tyler’s behavior throughout the evening. The night takes a surreal turn when Klaus puts his latest plan into action. Determined to outsmart Klaus, Damon enters into a dangerous partnership, leading to a terrifying turn of events. The band MY MORNING JACKET performs in the party scenes.
Runtime: 60 minutes Rating: Original Air Date: 11/10/2011
Stefan has hidden the coffins containing the bodies of Klaus’ family, and Klaus quickly turns to violence to convince Damon and Elena that no one will be safe until he finds Stefan and gets his family back. Tyler continues to make the most of his new abilities as a hybrid, but he has to face the disturbing consequences of his actions as well. After a terrifying incident, Elena and Alaric grow increasingly concerned about Jeremy’s attitude and, ultimately, his safety. Alaric meets the beautiful Dr. Fell (recurring guest star TORREY DeVITTO – Pretty Little Liars), who is intrigued with his amazing ability to heal. While trying to strike a deal with Klaus, Elena delivers news that truly shocks him. Also in the episode, Internet personality JUSTINE EZARIK appears as a bartender.
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