The Vampire Diaries

Season 3 Episode 12

The Ties That Bind

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 19, 2012 on The CW

Episode Recap

Bonnie has a nightmare about the mystery casket in the middle of the woods. Klaus suddenly appears and she subsequently finds herself being buried alive in the casket. After she wakes up, she finally tells Elena about the bad dreams and the coffins. Elena is shocked that Bonnie kept it all from her for so long. Stefan lectures Bonnie on worrying Elena about the coffins, but Bonnie says Elena is the only one who can help her find her mother – the one person that will be able to unseal the coffins.

Elena feels bad that Bonnie has been dragged into the mess, but Bonnie insists it's a witch's duty to break the coffin spell. Bonnie and Elena enlist Damon's supernatural powers to help them find Bonnie's mom, Abby, but Elena forbids him from coming along on their trip to meet her.

After biting her, Tyler has Caroline's father, Bill, come over to her place to help him remove the compulsion Klaus has on him, but will Bill's fix work? Bill eventually concludes that the only way Tyler can release Klaus's hold on him is to turn full werewolf, much to Bill's dismay.

Ric continues his pursuit of Meredith and takes her to lunch at the Mystic Grill. Later he and Damon come to the conclusion that the only way an attractive and successful woman like her could be single is if the dead medical examiner is her ex.

Klaus pays a visit to Stefan and says he wants his family back, but Stefan still wants him to leave town.

On their road trip Elena and Bonnie commiserate about their situations. Bonnie opens up to Elena about her mom and Elena confides in Bonnie about her feelings for Damon. Klaus sends a hybrid to Abby's house before the girls arrive to mess things up. Once there, the girls meet Jamie, who is cute and the son of Abby's ex-boyfriend. When Bonnie and Abby finally reunite, Abby apologizes for the past. She explains that she left Bonnie to lure a vampire out of town. She succeeded but lost all of her powers in the process. While Bonnie and Abby process, Elena wanders out back and runs into Stefan and they argue.

Damon pays Meredith a visit at the hospital to see if he suss out if she's a murderer. She ends up stabbing him with a needle full of vervain and takes his blood. Ric doesn't take the news well.

Caroline can't stand to watch Tyler turn, so she leaves and Bill continues to prod Bill into turning by beating him with an axe while he's bound by chains. Eventually, Tyler rips the chains out and goes racing after Bill.

While Abby tells Bonnie that she never returned because she wanted to live a normal life, Jamie (compelled by the hybrid) breaks up Elena's argument with Stefan by shooting him in the chest. Abby rubs herbs on Bonnie's face to help her with the coffin unsealing. Then she makes Bonnie tell the hybrid where the coffins are so that Jamie won't kill himself, which doesn't make Bonnie feel like her mother's primary concern. Elena, meanwhile, knocks Jamie out with the butt of his gun and then tends to Stefan's chest wound.

Bonnie reveals the location of the coffins to the hybrid, and Klaus does indeed apprehend them, but Damon got to the house and managed to hide one.

While Elena plucks bits of wood from Stefan's chest, he remarks that she seems stronger. Elena admits she kissed Damon, and Stefan doesn't take it well. He just walks away.

Ric confronts Meredith at the hospital and she insists her motives were good. Soon Bill arrives shredded by Tyler. Meredith uses Damon's blood to save him, thus proving she's good.

Later Elena and Stefan talk things out. She apologizes for lying about the road trip. All he says about the kiss is that she's better than Damon, better than both of them, in fact.

Abby tells Bonnie she wants her to help get her powers back so that she can help Bonnie. Ric and Meredith open up more to each other, and he tells her about his ring. When Stefan gets home, he checks with Damon about the coffins and then punches him, because of the kiss, of course, but they don't talk about it.

At the end of the episode, Klaus talks with his hybrid near the coffins and then he rips the hybrid's heart out. Elijah can be seen standing behind him. He's back.