The Vampire Diaries: Season 3 (2011 - 2012)

SEASON:

Season 3
The Vampire Diaries

Critics Consensus

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88%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 8

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 316
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Episodes

1
Air date: Sep 15, 2011
2
Air date: Sep 22, 2011
3
Air date: Sep 29, 2011
4
Air date: Oct 6, 2011
5
Air date: Oct 13, 2011
6
Air date: Oct 20, 2011
7
Air date: Oct 27, 2011
8
Air date: Nov 3, 2011
9
Air date: Nov 10, 2011
10
Air date: Jan 5, 2012
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The Vampire Diaries: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

The CW's number-one series continues for another season of epic romance, suspense and a bloody good thrill ride. Based on the best-selling book series, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is the story of two vampire brothers, obsessed with the same gorgeous girl, who are battling to control the fate of an entire town. Last season, the appearance of the vengeful Katherine Pierce threw a wrench into the love triangle between Stefan, Elena and Damon, and the other residents of Mystic Falls were forced to choose sides as they fell victim to a new breed of danger. Stefan and Damon were later met with their greatest challenge yet -- the arrivals of Elijah and Klaus, two of the Original vampires. As Klaus went head to head with Damon and took a special interest in Stefan, he also seemingly focused on breaking the "Sun and Moon" curse by sacrificing Elena; never swaying from his mission, no matter the action the brothers took, he proved to be the most powerful vampire in existence. Season three opens the door to learn more about Klaus and the Original Family as his motives for wanting Stefan on his side are finally revealed. As Stefan sinks deeper into the dark side, Damon and Elena struggle with the guilt of their growing bond, even as they work together to bring Stefan back from the edge. Plus, the ghosts from Jeremy's past have a powerful message they're trying to deliver to him, not to mention the impact they're having on his relationship with Bonnie. And, as Caroline and Tyler grow closer, a war erupts between their families.

Critic Reviews for The Vampire Diaries Season 3

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

It wouldn't be a "Vampire Diaries" season finale without twists aplenty-and several heartbreaking deaths.

Nov 16, 2017 | Full Review…

The season three premiere took those character beats developed last season and not only executed them perfectly but also built upon that foundation.

Sep 15, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

Overall, nothing too shocking. But still major game changers in the series. Hopefully it gets better next season because I started to lose interest this season.

Nov 16, 2017 | Full Review…

Stefan's always been interesting in his extremely passive-aggressive need to be liked, and now he's let the beast roam free, it'll be an interesting watch.

Nov 16, 2017 | Full Review…

[There were a lot of] shocking moments leaving me wanting a lot more Mystic Falls. Is it September yet?

Sep 16, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Overall a great episode and good season opener.

Sep 21, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Pretty much everything has been turned on its head since we last visited Mystic Falls, Virginia, but it's a testament to The Vampire Diaries' consistently strong writing and acting that it already feels so normal.

Sep 15, 2011 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

If anyone was worried that The Vampire Diaries had lost their touch with cliffhangers, the attack on Caroline should put those fears to rest. That scene was well executed to catch the audience off guard by turning quickly from light comedy to suspense.

Sep 16, 2011 | Rating: 8.5/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Vampire Diaries: Season 3

  • Jan 06, 2019
    Elena lives, Klaus can't know so Stefan go's with him to protect Elena. Stefan turns off his humanity and Elena loves the ghost of her boyfriend and clings to his memory while finding herself more drawn to Damon who has sacrificed his selfishness for his love of his brother and Elena. A must watch for fans of Seasons 1 and 2.
  • Apr 10, 2017
    the third season picks up once more where season two left off and the creators make it the most grueling so far, Klause is fully restored and intends to bring the rest of his family back together again, keep in mind if you haven’t caught up at this point you’re going to be very lost the old stories apply to this particular mythology plus they give more of an explanation of why certain things work in this show Stefan and Klause wreak havoc in Memphis, Stefan has become a ripper once more because of the deal he made to save Damon and Klause’s ultimate goal is that wants to create more hybrids like himself Elena refuses to give up on Stefan and a whole year has passed since they met but has Stefan gone over the edge? How can he conquer the darkness within him? He’s much more malicious this time around, at one point Stefan feels that if he cares he’ll feel too much pain We also see flashbacks in 1920 showing that he and Stefan were like brethren, Klause’s sister Rebekah met him, too Klause compelled Stefan to forget, Rebekah’s necklace is the same one Elena wears, Michael and Katherine were at the same bar in Chicago, Rebekah returns, Klause shuts off Damon’s humanity, Elena’s blood is the key to make more hybrids, Elena feels stuck this time around and due to the growing love triangle if Elena chooses between Stefan and Damon she’ll end up hurting someone in the end or possibly losing them both, she is also concerned for Jeremy considering everything he has had to face at such a young age Flashbacks of the Vikings show the origin of the Originals and why Mikael hunts down everyone: Mikael was hard pressed on Klause, the Mikealson’s were neighbors with the werewolves but after their youngest, Henrik was killed the peace was shattered, Ayanna a witch put the spell on the Mikaelson’s and Elena’s necklace is the same one she made, their mother Ester supposedly died at Mikael’s hands, at the halfway point of the season we see a pretty damn cool reunion with Elijah returning along with Rebekah, Finn, and Cole to take down Klause, it’s even more shocking seeing someone return from the other side for 1000 years to settle an old score with the Mikaelson children, Rebekah is on an ever going search for love and a life of her own but it proves difficult thanks to her family’s scarred history, it’s also believed that if the Originals die then every vampire in the bloodline will too, in the end Klause meets a grim fate that has long been overdue, for the Mikaelsons nothing is stronger than the bond of family even if they are not in sync with one another Bonnie and Jeremy date although Bonnie is having visions of her mother in connection to a coffin that can’t be opened, Mikael also met Bonnie’s mother when he was looking for the doppelganger, Esther had help from an ancestor Bennet witch , Bonnie finally meets her mother, Abby who goes through a change that isn’t in her control, Jeremy at the end of Season 2 is still having visions of Anna and Vicki, Vicki says she can be brought back to life but Anna warns against it, Vicky even talks to Matt for help, there always has to be a balance though and that means deadly consequences Damon has a distraction with the town news anchorwoman yet he still may have his affection for Elena, is it Damon’s fault is that he cares too much, that he is a liability?, Rebekah hates Elena for betraying her, at certain points Damon may look like he has the upper hand but still does terrible things for and to his friends, it may mean why he can’t let others see he’s good otherwise he’d have to live up to their expectations, Damon and Elena unintentionally have a very strong moment of weakness that may also cause a rift between them and Stefan Tyler and Caroline officially date, Caroline ends up facing torture because of what she is and her father, Bill returns, he faces a tough choice between life and death, Tyler then reveals himself to his mother, Klause changes him into something else which makes him feel proud and more confident but as a result is sired (follows Klause) so it’s almost like he has no free will of his own, Mason’s spirit is also after Damon along with other ghosts when the Other Side is opened, funny enough despite Klause’s self-centeredness and immoral nature he tries to woo Caroline every now and then, could he possibly have a heart after all? Alaric takes a new step in joining the council to keep humans safe, he and Damon have a rocky friendship, they find cave drawings it turns out that depict the history of the Originals, unfortunately Alaric’s ring is starting to falter which causes him to black out and open a darker side of him that’s intent on killing all vampires, he and a Dr. Fell (a founder of the council) start dating, unfortunately a town murderer has Alaric put in jail and Damon flashes back to 1912 due to a similar incident, its revealed that those who wear the Gilbert ring go on a murderous rampage and don’t know it, another journal reveals Samantha Gilbert was committed for her losing her mind, the constant dying and coming back to life has affected Alaric’s psyche, Alaric is then changed into a very deadly version of the monsters he believes has plague Mystic Falls, can he be saved? Do we need revenge or redemption? Is there peace we can find after we’re gone? Are we truly left alone? Humanity is a vampire’s greatest weakness, no matter what it keeps coming back. Is it Mystic Falls that’s ruining these people’s lives? There’s nothing wrong with free will until you lose it. Maybe love is more powerful than loyalty. You should love the person that makes you feel alive. It’s the most brutal of the series so far given that almost nothing can stop Klause and almost all hope seems lost when one of the sweetest supporting players makes a horrific change. And the cliffhanger has the creators make the most daring move they’ve ever done. Everyone is connected in so many different ways. Everything changes in Season 4.
  • May 10, 2016
    unbelievably awesome
  • Jan 07, 2016
    This show is an example of a show gone bad after the first two seasons. If I had to sum this show up in three words it would be: Partner Exchange Game.
  • Jun 07, 2015
    Loved it. Still 100%
  • Dec 14, 2013
    Continuing on a hot streak, this season introduced the highly-anticipated Original family and did not disappoint. The characters were a perfect addition to the show and the season finale provided one of the best cliffhangers ever!

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