The Vampire Diaries

Season 3 Episode 1

The Birthday

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 15, 2011 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
417 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Elena's celebrating her 18th birthday, but she and Damon are focused on looking for clues to help discover where Stefan went. Klaus and Stefan follow the trail of a werewolf, and Jeremy can't understand why he keeps seeing the ghosts of Vicki and Anna. Caroline and Tyler face an unexpected challenge.


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  • Just Loved it!

    One of the best episodes of this season! <3
  • Note to self: Never ask Stefan if he would be up for a game of darts.

    What a friggin' awesome way to kick-start a new season of The Vampire Diaries; a show that is only now just starting its third season, even though it feels like its sixth. Generally speaking, for most TV series, the third season is when everything just clicks; the writers find their groove and the actors are nice and snug in their characters' skin. If this episode is any indication of what to expect, it's gonna be a hell of a senior year.

    And, ya know what, I can't believe I'm typing this, but the best character this week, hands down, was Stefan. Stefan! Evil looks really, really good on him, and I was extremely (and pleasantly) surprised by how brutal his attacks were, cos there aint no going back from completely eviscerating folk and then sticking them back together like human lego. And then there's his game of darts. Kinda genius, wouldn't you say? AND hilarious. I buy into his badassery way easier than I did Damon's (pre-silly head of hair).

    Side-note: the final scene between Stefan and Elena on the phone was pretty effective, but, really, Elena, are we meant to believe that you'll take him back once he's done on his murderous rampage? Just like that?! Hold on to her love you leave a trail of body-parts behind you. What a classy girlfriend.

    A lot of characters, we're told, are officially in on the uptake, as far as our supernaturally inclined hotties are concerned. Apparently Matt has had many a blank filled in since his (practically) non-existence during season two, and all it took was for Mayor Lockwood to stumble upon a floozy vamp to take charge of the situation Sheriff Forbes had nowhere near under control. I like that everyone knows about everyone now, and hopefully it will allow more organic storylines, though I'm not holding my breath on that one. When the plot calls for Matt to be totally clueless and ''normal'', I'm sure they'll just plop him right in the middle of some story that doesn't need him.


    How amazeballs was Caroline this week? Drinking like a sailor, I laughed quite a bit (A Vampire Diaries first, me thinks) when she lifted a fellow party-goer right out of her way with one hand. It was priceless! I'd love for the show to have more cheeky fun like that. Although I think Caroline reached her quota on cheeky fun and finished off the episode (as well as Tyler, heh) with a quick vamp/wolf romp in the sack. I hope they used protection, otherwise Klaus will have a rival hybrid on his hands.

    There were plenty of visuals of the nasty kind here, with Damon's penchant for burning people's bodies popping up once again. The new flirty dynamic between Elena and Damon is refreshing, and it very much humanises his character. Which I like. The complete personality swap between the two brothers suits me down to a tee.

    Overall, this was just bundles of fun. Sure, Jeremy still grates but his subplot gives me back Anna (kinda) so I'll allow it. And a Bonnie-less episode is a-okay with me too. The cliff-hanger is a doozy, I wonder what Mrs. Lockwood has in store for our lovable vamp? I bet it will sting.moreless
  • The Vampire Diaries is back and better than ever this season premiere was the best premiere in the series till now.

    There are many reasons why this episode was so amazing. First of all the Stefan and Klaus story line, Stefan was so boring in these 2 seasons and in this episode he is fun and so good in what he does which is killing and torturing people andwerewolfs and the way he killed Damon's GF was so evil as if he has no soul but in the last scene he was in he called Elena and that is where we know that he still is the old Stefan but was doing all this for his brother and Elena, and Klaus revealed what he is planning which is building an army of Hybrids. Second the Elena and Damon story line as all of you who saw this episode felt that Elena has feelings for Damon and its not going away its only going to be stronger while Stefan is gone and they are both searching for Stefan on their own but Elena thought that all the victims she was following were Klaus's victims and didn't know that is was Stefan's victims until Damon told her that. Also there was some bonding between Jeremy and Matt, but one of the best thing was the Caroline and Tyler love story. The last scene with Mayor Lockwood and Caroline was so good of a cliffhanger i cant wait for more.moreless
  • Going to be a great season!!!!!!!!

    I waited so patiently for this season to start... and I wasn't disappointed with this episode. First of all, I think EVERYONE wants to see Elena and Damon get together, or at least try it... It will happen... Just not yet... I love that Caroline and Tyler spent the summer together and formed a stronger friendship... I'm also glad that we got to see it become something more... Until his Momma comes along... I am happy that Matt didn't didn't lose his mind with the overload of supernatural information he got last season and I think that the friendship he is forming with Jeremy is good for both of them. I don't really know what to make of Jeremy's ghost problem yet... I will wait until that unfolds a little more to really worry about it. Poor Alaric... he is helping Damon track down Stefan, but he is clearly a mess after losing Jenna. I mean everyone had finally let her in the loop and she accepted everything Alaric did... Then she died. I am actually totally FOR Stefan being the bad guy he is now: Evil/Mega Sexy and hating it. He has always been the good brother and it is really hot to see him transform into this monster. Then seeing what it does to him... Mmmm, why are damaged boys so enticing? I love that when he called Elena, she knew it was him without him saying a word... and she said what he needed to hear. But, what he did to his brother? Not cool! Poor Andie. Damon may have not been in love with her like is with Miss Elena, but he definitely cared for her. Who's the softy now???I want Klaus to make more and more of his army... Makes for good entertainment!!! I like the new addition too, old 7th Heaven boy... My last thought... Where is Bonnie???? I mean we know "where" she is... But huh? When is she coming back...? I love Bonnie... Must have had to clear her head for a bit after last season... This is just a television show right? I have to keep reminding myself... (JK)...moreless
  • The Birthday

    The Birthday was a perfect episode and season three opener of The Vampire Diaries. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it was better than expected from the pictures and previews I had seen. With high expectations this episode amazed me with how dark things got and the fact that the whole episode didn't focus on the birthday party, it was just the background. Klaus is on a new mission and Stefan taps into his darker side. I like where all the story lines are going. Caroline and Tyler were both basically in mating mode and made it happen. The ending of this episode was shocking and I can't wait to find out what happens next on the Vampire Diaries!!!!!!!!!moreless
Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper


Guest Star

Lilly Roberson

Lilly Roberson


Guest Star

Diany Rodriguez

Diany Rodriguez


Guest Star

Susan Walters

Susan Walters

Carol Lockwood

Recurring Role

Dawn Olivieri

Dawn Olivieri

Andie Star

Recurring Role

Malese Jow

Malese Jow


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Elena: (on the phone, with Stefan silent on the other end) Hello? Hello? Stefan? Stefan, if this is you, you'll be okay. I love you, Stefan. Hold on to that. Never let that go. (Stefan cries)

    • Caroline: (to Tyler) Just because I tell you things doesn't mean you're allowed to know them!

    • Damon: Andie wants me to pick her up.
      Alaric: Your fake, compelled girlfriend wants you to be a chivalrous boyfriend?
      Damon: Well, it's a complicated dynamic. Hold the fort down, will you?
      Alaric: You mean the fort full of my drunk history students?
      Damon: Drink more. It'll feel less weird.

    • Elena: (concerned) Jeremy's smoking again.
      Damon: Is his stash any good?
      Elena: You're an ass.

    • Alaric: (to Damon) I am every parent's worst nightmare. I'm the chaperone teacher from hell.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Featured Music:
      "Are We There Yet" by Ingrid Michaelson
      "What You Know" by Two Door Cinema Club
      "Barton Hollow" by The Civil Wars
      "Means To An End" by Trent Dabbs
      "Make It Without You" by Andrew Belle
      "Hello" by Martin Solveig and Dragonette
      "Shooting The Moon" by Mona
      "Hawk Eyes" by The Kicks
      "Anna Sun" by Walk The Moon
      "Starpusher" by Location Location
      "You Make Me Feel" by Cobra Starship
      "A Drop In The Ocean" by Ron Pope

    • Joseph Morgan (Klaus) is now credited as a series regular.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: Thursday, September 15, 2011 on CTV 2
      United Kingdom: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 on ITV2/ITV2 HD
      Sweden: Friday, November 18, 2011 on TV6
      Norway: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 on FEM
      Turkey: Sunday, June 16, 2013 on CNBC-e