This week on The Vampire Diaries, Stefan (Paul Wesley) tries desperately to protect Elena (Nina Dobrev), even after last week’s tearjerker of an ending between the two, as a new force threatens her safety. In a surprise act of kindness, Katherine (also Dobrev) seems to be sticking around, yet her motives are still unclear. While Elena is holding it together for now, her friendship with Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and his wicked tendencies may cause her to go over the edge.
Rebekah (Claire Holt) is back, but without a vengeance for Klaus (Joseph Morgan) as one might expect after being dead in a new sense for the last 90 years. Rebekah jumps right back on the Klaus bandwagon in his quest to make a hybrid army. The kink in the plan, might just be her feelings for Stefan, which seem like they were just yesterday.
While Klaus is trying to acclimate Rebekah with her new/old surroundings, Katherine decides it’s a good time to have a little chat with Stefan. She reaches out to him in an attempt to work together to defeat the originals and protect Elena, but Stefan refused he offer and maintains that he has it all under control.
The trio heads to Gloria to locate the missing necklace that is the key to solving the hybrid mystery. Gloria doesn’t have much luck with her locator spell until Rebekah offers up herself as a connection between the two: “I only wore it for a thousand years.” This does the trick, and an unaware Elena feels the pain of it.
Damon and Elena are spending some quality time cooking chili, an old family recipe, for a founder’s event at the Lockwood’s. Damon’s excuse when questioned by Alaric (Matt Davis), who is the closest thing to a parent Elena has, is that he’s sticking around to make sure Elena doesn’t fall apart. Even though Elena will never admit it, something tells me that Damon may be more of a reason than any that she’s still holding it together – one Salvatore might be as good as another in that regards.
Caroline (Candice Accola) shows up with a surprise, looking like she’s rebounded from her recent daddy issues. The surprise – Bonnie! Finally Bonnie (Kat Graham) has returned to Mystic Falls after a summer away with her “normal” side of the family, only to find that things haven’t been so quiet here at home. Elena is thrilled with the return of her bff, but not quite as much as Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen). The happy couple is reunited, but with all the new secrets that have been brewing since she left, how long will happiness reign?
While the girls are having a gab fest in the kitchen over an almost cooked pot of chili, something causes Elena’s necklace to burn her. The necklace, a gift from Stefan, is the same one that Rebekah once wore. The super powerful witch, Gloria (Charmin Lee) needs Stefan’s help to fill in the missing pieces and find the necklace. Stefan, starting to get nervous, ushers Klaus and Rebekah away from Gloria in an attempt to distract them.
Bonnie tries to figure out what magic is causing the necklace to react, when things go awry and Jeremy is forced to admit that he has been seeing his ex-girlfriends ever since she brought him back to life.
In Chicago, Stefan has found himself in a jam when Gloria tries to torture the information out of him. She uncovers that the doppelganger is very much alive and that he is very much still in love with her, and will do anything to protect her. Before Gloria is able to share this information with Klaus, Katherine comes to the rescue and kills her.
Damon is called to compel Caroline’s father, Bill, into forgetting his new-found knowledge of his daughter’s supernatural state. He is happy to oblige and continues on his path of “protector.” Bill tells Damon that the mind is a powerful tool and that he has trained his, but Damon works his voodoo anyway.
Everyone in Mystic Falls heads to the Lockwood’s for the potluck, but things start to get heated. Alaric confronts the Mayor and the Sheriff about the council, and informs them he will now be taking the place of the Gilbert’s as an acting member. Bill shows up and Caroline hides upstairs in Tyler’s room (Michael Trevino), which turns out to be a treat for both of them when Tyler comes home from practice. Damon finds Bill, realizing he still has his memories, makes a very Damon like move and attacks him. Caroline comes to her father’s rescue, only to be shot down once he heads out of town, still unable to accept her new lifestyle.
An angry Damon sets to distance himself from Elena, who ironically is just starting to admit to herself that she may have real feelings for him. Katherine shows up with perfect timing, snags the necklace from Bonnie who is trying to figure out what happened, and takes Damon on a little road trip.
Stefan makes a road trip of his own, in the back of a truck filled with coffins after his plan to trick the information about who is chasing the originals out of Rebekah fails. Klaus brings the crew back to Mystic Falls where Rebekah’s instincts tell him everything he needs to know is waiting.
At the end of season 2, it looked like Katherine was gone for good, but now it appears she has other plans. Was she telling the truth about her feelings for Stefan after all or has dredging up her past given her a new outlook on family? Either way, we won’t find out until she’s ready to tell us.