I am spinning right now, Hope. And I can't drag you or anyone else any further into this until I figure out what's going on, okay? So right now, I need you to be a kid keeping a dragon-sized secret today until I get some answers. Understood?
KEEPING SECRETS — As punishment for breaking the rules, Hope, Lizzie, Josie and MG are forced to participate in a community service project in the Mystic Fallstown square. Meanwhile, Landon and Rafael's attempt at a carefree life on the road takes a dangerous turn when they become unsuspecting targets. Finally, Alaric realizes that keeping secrets from his students may be causing more harm than good.
The episode opens with a flashback, 14th Century, France. Two men walk through a forest late at night towards an alter. On the altar lies the supernatural knife that Landon stole from the Salvatore School previously. Behind the altar stands a gargoyle holding a sword — the same gargoyle that stands on the Salvatore School’s estate. One of the men warns that they should leave, fearing the gargoyle, who goes by the alias “the Guardian”, will awaken. The other man dismisses him, citing that the Guardian is a fairy tail to scare children. As the two men approach the alter, they hear a sound behind them and notice that the gargoyle no longer stands where it once did. The gargoyle appears before them, killing both of them mercilessly.
Back in the present, Dorian teaches a spell casting class at the Salvatore School. Dorian questions why Penelope Park is not present at the class, and Lizzie takes this as an opportunity to mock her. Before Dorian can begin to teach, a note materialises, summoning Lizzie, Josie and Hope to Alaric’s office, leaving the trio confused and agitated. The trio join Alaric in the library, who reveals that they are being punished for starting a brawl at the football match the previous day. Lizzie does not understand why she is being punished and cites that she was provoked, but Alaric simply scoffs. Hope tries to get out of the punishment and asks if she can help Alaric translate information pertaining to the knife, however Alaric cites that Dorian has a master’s degree in library science and can more than likely handle the translation.
The Salvatore bus stops at Mystic Falls town-square, where it is revealed that the punishment is being on clean-up. Lizzie pokes Hope for information on what she is being punished for as Alaric never gets mad at her, but Hope refuses to reveal anything. Lizzie makes a big deal out of working with Josie to clean up the town, but Josie gestures that she would rather work with Hope instead of her sister. With this, MG is confused about who he should work with, Lizzie or Josie, but eventually ends up working with Lizzie to clean up some graffiti.
In the woods off Route 29, Landon and Rafael are seated around a self-made campfire roasting a rabbit. They joke about catching something better next time, when Landon thanks Rafael for sticking with him and leaving the school. Landon admits that he thinks the school was good for him, but Rafael remarks that the two stick together. Landon is worried about Hope’s feelings towards him and fears that she may hate him, and Rafael suggests that he just tell the truth about stealing the knife, but Landon admits that he can’t, despite having tried. Landon tells Rafael that he was attracted to the knife as though it wanted him to steal it.
Lizzie and MG are cleaning graffiti from a shop window that reads “Salvatore is 4 Loosers” when Lizzie rebukes MG for being so slow. He admits that he is doing the best he can without using his vampire abilities while Lizzie questions why Kaleb isn’t helping. Kaleb admits that he doesn’t think the punishment is fair as they won the game fair and square, but MG disagrees as he doesn’t think it’s fair for humans to be playing against the supernatural. Just as they are beginning to wipe off the graffiti, Connor and Dana arrive, with Connor sarcastically remarking that it would be a shame if someone redid the graffiti later that day. Dana tries to get MG’s attention, but Lizzie warns her off, MG takes a break nevertheless, leaves with Dana to make Lizzie jealous. Connor mocks Lizzie by throwing his milkshake over Lizzie and acting as though it was an accident, leaving Lizzie dripping in milkshake whilst the rest of the students around laugh at her.
Alaric sits in his office examining the knife when he is interrupted by Emma Tig, who questions why he has not been present at his counselling, remarking that it is meant to be mandatory for all students and staff. Alaric tries to dismiss her, citing that he is trying to figure out the supernatural knife as whoever wields it has the power to destroy the world. This prompts Emma to suggest that Alaric destroy the knife, however he admits that he has tried that but the knife is indestructible, even to explosives and hydrochloric acid. The two are interrupted by Lizzie who arrives screeching about the milkshake she has had thrown on her, she blames Alaric for the events as he missed the game in the first place. She insists that she will not go back to Mystic Falls and Alaric allows her to go help with the primary school students in the garden instead.
In the garden, Pedro tells Lizzie that the gargoyle statue behind her has moved, but she is hesitant to believe him, admitting that the sixth graders are learning illusion spells this semester. Pedro doesn’t believe this to be a trick and when he turns around the statue is right behind Lizzie, which shocks her when she turns around to see that the statue has actually moved. When she faces Pedro again, she sees that the gargoyle is moving towards him with a red glow in his eyes. Lizzie syphons some of Pedro’s magic before sending Pedro to find Alaric quickly. With Pedro safe, Lizzie raises her hands and casts a spell: “ Imperium monstrum” before the gargoyle spreads its wings, forcing Lizzie to shriek loudly and curl into a ball. Alaric arrives not long after and notices Lizzie on the floor, but she is unable to move or communicate. Pedro reveals that the statue has done something to her. Alaric gathers some of the students around Lizzie along with Emma to watch over her while he calls Dorian. He asks Dorian what he knows about gargoyles, specifically the “Legend of the Gargoyle Petrotho” as he believes that he has poisoned Lizzie. Dorian says he will call back when he has done research.
In the town square, Josie enquiries about what happened when they went to find Landon, as Landon and Rafael never returned and Alaric was visibly shaken. Not wanting to reveal much, Hope tells her that nothing happened, but makes a comment about Lizzie which annoys Josie. Josie asks why Hope always picks fights, but Hope insists that she doesn’t. In order to try and get out of the conversation, Hope stabs herself in the foot “accidently” with the litter picker, asking for Josie’s help to remove it so she can heal.
In a downtown area, Landon and Rafael have gathered a crowd of people to watch Rafael jump from building to building in a sport called “Parkour”. The crowd does not believe that Rafael could possibly make the jump, however he surprises them when he uses his werewolf agility and is able to make the rather large jump. This is revealed to be how Landon and Rafael are making enough money to survive as they take bets on the situation. A man in the crowd witnesses the situation unfolding before him and sends a text message to an unknown number reading “They’re here”.
Back at the school, Alaric orders that the school is on lockdown and everyone is to return to their rooms, with the younger students going with Emma and the older students using the buddy system. Alaric rushes to his office, unlocking his draw and pulling out the supernatural knife. When he leaves his office, he comes face to face with the gargoyle in the halls. Alaric attempts to stab the gargoyle with the knife, but the gargoyle is able to sense this and grabs his arm, sneering at him.
In the town square, Josie feels nauseous when she notices Dana and MG making out by a nearby tree. Hope makes a joke that she can’t judge given her last crush, but Josie laughs admitting that her last crush was Rafael, but Lizzie has called dibs. This shocks Hope, who asks why Lizzie always gets to call dibs and when it will be Josie’s turn, but Josie admits that it just works that way. Feeling a friendship kindling between them, Hope reveals that Alaric knows she used dark magic and that is why she is in trouble, but reassures Josie that she didn’t tell Alaric that she helped. Josie thanks her, admitting that their mother goes on long missions and Lizzie sometimes gets testy as she misses her. Hope admits that she knows the feeling and Josie tells Hope that she remembers when her mother would visit and how beautiful they thought she was. The two wonder what Landon and Rafael are doing, and Hope admits that she knows a spell that will allow them to see where they are, but isn’t taught at school so will have to be a secret.
Landon counts the money they have made but notices a $5 bill in the stack that has a message scrawled in bright red ink—“RUN, WOLF, OR DIE.” Alarmed, Landon begins to look around to see if anyone has followed them into the woods. Rafael, now eating curly fries, notices his worried look and frowns. Landon doesn’t want to worry Rafael and admits that everything is fine, but notices Hope standing in the distance in what seems to be an astral projection. He exclaims her name, but she disappears and we are brought back to Mystic Falls, where Hope questions why Josie stopped the spell. Josie admits that she has a twin pain which usually means that Lizzie is in trouble. Hope and Josie try to leave back to the school, but Dorian refuses to let them go, citing that Alaric is with Lizzie and everything is under control, much to Hope’s dismay who believes things to be different. Meanwhile, MG compells Dana to forget what has happened between the two.
Back in the woods, Rafael is sure he has found a place for them to camp, but Landon tells them that they should keep moving. Before Rafael is able to say anything otherwise, the two are shot in the neck by tranquiliser darts and fall unconscious. When they awake, they are greeted by Jeremy Gilbert, who promises the two that they have nothing to fear from him and he is their new best friend.
When the gargoyle realizes that he cannot leave the school grounds — thanks to Lizzie’s spell — he returns to the school. He approaches the room in which Emma is hiding Lizzie and the children, causing Emma to cast a cloaking spell on them, making herself and the children invisible. The gargoyle moves on believing the room to be empty. Hope and Josie return to the school as night falls, much to Alaric's dismay. Hope reveals that they took the protection barrier down to enter the school so the monster can leave, and Alaric admits that the gargoyle attacked him and took the knife. They decide that they must find the monster before he leaves the school grounds.
Jeremy reveals to Landon and Rafael that he is a hunter who works for Alaric sometimes. He rebukes the fact that Rafael believes he has the upper hand because he is supernatural, but he doesn’t. Jeremy tells Rafael that he will take him back to the school shortly, and Landon tells him to go and leave him behind. Rafael declines, but Landon is able to convince him as he believes the school is good for him.
Back at the school, Josie, Alaric and Hope confront the gargoyle. Hope asks Josie to help her with a spell and the two are eventually able to kill it. In Alaric’s office, he reveals to Hope that the gargoyle used to protect a village of people who possessed a powerful relic, the supernatural knife. He believes that the gargoyle loved humanity and vowed never to harm them but fight evil on their behalf and saw Alaric as a human he needed to protect.
"If you'd asked me a week ago, I would have told you there's a difference between myth and fact. I would have told you that supernaturals were limited to the species under this roof. I would have said that folklore and fairy tales were just stories. But I can no longer say that any of that is true… 'Cause just a few days ago, we were confronted by the existence of a dragon."
—Alaric addresses the school
Alaric gathers the school in the hall, announcing that they are being confronted with demons and creatures that they never thought possible, but vows to find out their origins and protect the students of the school. In a flash forward he hands the knife to Dorian to dispose of and when the scene returns to the hall, he asks that the students of the school look out for each other in times of need.