Bob Mahoney/The CW
October 31, 2016 at 08:56 PM EDT

The Vampire Diaries couldn’t have a final season without Tyler Lockwood — Matt’s best friend, Caroline’s ex, and of course, the show’s introduction to werewolves (and hybrids). And in the third episode of the show’s final season, Tyler won’t only be back, but he’s bringing some important information with him. 

“Tyler’s return is pretty impactful because we’ve never really explored it on camera, but he’s been working for the Armory, as we learned when he took Elena’s body away,” TVD showrunner Julie Plec tells EW. “He’s the one that knew where Elena’s coffin was, he’s the one that brought Enzo into the fold against his will in the beginning. So he’s been off doing that.”

And because of Tyler’s involvement with the Armory, Plec says, “He’s remained firmly embedded in the supernatural universe, so he’s got information that our heroes don’t have, which is pretty key in the moment when it’s revealed. And there’s a great emotional component to his return that ties into all our characters as well.”

EW has the exclusive first look at Tyler’s return above, which not only involves Damon, but also, some new facial hair. 

The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
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