Candice Accola, Michael Trevino Candice Accola, Michael Trevino

School's finally back in session on The Vampire Diaries.

"You're going to start seeing these characters back in the high school atmosphere and a little bit more in their age-bracket element," Candice Accola tells

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On Thursday's episode, "The Reckoning," Caroline (Accola) gathers Elena (Nina Dobrev), Bonnie (Kat Graham), Matt (Zach Roerig) and Tyler (Michael Trevino) for Senior Prank Night to kick off the Mystic Falls school year. Of course, there are some problems along the way. "Sometimes you intend on a prank going one way, but then the rug is pulled out from underneath you and goes completely the opposite," she hints.

Caroline just wants to have a bit of fun after all she's been through. Between turning into a vampire, helping her friend transition into a werewolf and trying to save another friend from the most evil Original vampire in the world, Accola says, "She feels a newfound responsibility to protect the people around her. That has been one of the qualities that have really grown within Caroline from her transition into becoming a vampire."

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Caroline has also found a handsome shoulder to lean on in friend turned friend-with-benefits Tyler Lockwood. "What I love about the Tyler-Caroline [relationship] is that it stems from a place of friendship and notion of, 'I have your back and you have mine.' They're teammates in a sense," she says, adding: "Even though they've had to emotionally evolve, they're still in high school, so who knows how long the relationship will last?" And perhaps the arrival of Klaus' sister Rebekah (Claire Holt) might also throw a wrench between the twosome. "[They] begin to interact and larger plans start to evolve and ... you might start to see characters have to be amicable with a possibility for friendship, but just as much a possibility that it's all a ruse and not for the greater good," Accola says.

And now that both Sheriff Forbes and Mayor Lockwood are aware that their kids are not only opposing supernatural species, but hooking up, will they try to stop them? "There's definite opportunity for The Council to spring up and the pot to be stirred from the parental perspective, yes, but have we explored that at this point? No," she says.

And speaking of parental figures, viewers recently met Caroline's disapproving father. Although some people wonder if his hatred for vampires stems from a relationship to the newly introduced vampire hunter (played by Sebastian Roche), Accola shoots down that theory. "That's reaching pretty far. You never know ... but at this point that's a pretty far reach," she says.

Still, last week's episode might not be the end of his arc. "We're going to see more of Caroline's father," she says. "When that's going to happen I have no idea, but I don't think that's the last of Daddy Forbes."

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.