The group explores the restored Fell’s Church, but they are still sad that Damon has died. Elena is reunited with her family, which has hired Caleb Smallwood to work on their yard. He says that he’s Tyler’s cousin and that he’s been staying with Tyler’s parents since Tyler “ran away.”
As the friends leave to pick up Alaric and his friend, Dr. Celia Connor, at the train station, a rose that had appeared at Elena’s doorstep cuts Bonnie. The blood pouring out of it spells “Celia” on her arm.
At the train station, Celia is almost killed when her scarf gets caught in the train door, but Stefan saves her by ripping the scarf. The shreds spell “Meredith.” Meanwhile, on the Dark Moon, Damon crawls out of the mountains of liquified ash. Sage finds him, helps Damon remember who he is, and lets him use the Mystical Elevator to return to Fell’s Church. Up to this point, Damon has appeared to Elena in dreams. Elena sees him in her room one night, and he tells her that the energy from Inari’s Star Ball gave him life.
Elena goes to the cemetery to visit her parents and sees Caleb, who has also lost his parents. Stefan shows up and throws Caleb against a tombstone out of jealousy that he might like Elena. He says that he discovered evidence that Caleb is evil. Later, Bonnie knocks down Mrs. Flowers’ knitting, which spells “Bonnie” on the ground. She tries to do a spell to contact Damon, but ends up in a coma after being overcome by darkness. Now Elena knows that Damon is alive. When Elena tells Damon, he investigates by letting the darkness take him. His consciousness ends up on the Dark Moon.
Stefan takes Elena to the Smallwoods’ shed, and they see that Caleb had collected many photos and newspapers about them. They detail both realities – of the events that actually happened and everyone’s fabricated memories. Stefan and Elena conclude that the Guardians just changed these, but Caleb can see some of them for what they really are because he is supernatural. He is descended from werewolves and possesses some witchcraft abilities.
Stefan and Elena go shopping, but Elena sees people from high school and becomes jealous that they have normal lives. Darkness overtakes her, and she passes out after Stefan notices a shopkeeper’s hair flowing in the shape of the name “Matt.” Stefan takes Meredith and Matt to the Smallwoods’ house to confront Caleb. Matt passes out after he thinks about Tyler’s popularity.
Caleb says that he deduced that the group of friends was behind his contradicting memories and gave Elena the rose, hoping to get closer to her so that he could find out where Tyler went. At the boarding house, Mrs. Flowers says she believes that a phantom that is feeding off of jealousy may be the culprit. They perform a spell to summon the phantom. Meanwhile, Elena meets Bonnie in the land of the flowers that can hold special spells.
Matt also arrives, and Elena tells them to look for the way out, which they find. They see Sage in the nexus room and run to the Dark Moon, where Damon is battling a misty blue figure. They all start fighting it, and suddenly they end up in the garage of the boarding house. Damon says that the creature is one of the original phantoms, which is much more powerful than an ordinary phantom. The original phantoms were trapped on the Dark Moon by the guardians, but Elena destroyed their prison, and the phantom of jealousy followed them to Fell’s Church.
The phantom tells everyone why they should be jealous of others, pitting Stefan and Damon against each other in a brutal fight. As the rest of the group admits their jealousies and casts them away, weakening the phantom, Elena makes the brothers reconcile. Damon throws a candle at the phantom, setting it on fire, and Elena reaches into the creature’s core and pulls out the rose inside, destroying the phantom. Damon gives Elena his blood to heal her burns as the fire department arrives to put out the fire. Everyone then looks forward to the future.