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"I always think coming back will be like going back to school, with a whole new year of students and a whole new experience, but it is not," Christa B. Allen, who plays Charlotte, the troubled daughter of the dysfunctional Grayson family, tells PEOPLE of returning to work on ABC's soapy drama. "We are all so close and we've remained so close it is like no time had passed. We just stepped right back into those roles and those characters and it felt natural." What can fans expect when season 3 kicks off Sept. 29? Click through for a preview, straight from the show's stars.
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VanCamp's character, Emily Thorne, didn't make her way to the Hamptons to relax – she's hell-bent on avenging her father's death. "As you can see in the [previous] group shot, there are chandeliers shattered everywhere," Allen says. "I thought that was a great allusion to how Emily's goal is to shatter the lives of these characters. In prior seasons, sure, she's killed some people, but in terms of direct correlation to the Graysons, it has been quite passive aggressive. This season, she really digs in and gets quite personal."
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"It has been a super, super satisfying season to shoot so far," Mann, who plays quirky tech billionaire Nolan Ross, tells PEOPLE. "It is just kind of delicious so far. It just sort of is dark but in a really fun way." Referring to last season as the "gothic Revenge season with dark shadows and drawing rooms," Mann assures that this time around "is super bright. It sort of pops – candy colors and cocktails."
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Stowe's conniving socialite Victoria Grayson reunited with her long-lost son last season and, Mann says, "The addition of this new piece of the puzzle is certainly not going to make things easier."
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Now that corrupt patriarch Conrad Grayson (Czerny) has been elected governor of New York, the other characters are fearful of what he might do with his position of power. "It is a frightening prospect in and of itself," says Mann.
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Someone's got a new gig! Grayson Global heir Daniel Grayson – as well as his mother and sister – will enter the world of the employed this season. "We've seen these people enjoying their leisurely lifestyle, but ... it's very interesting to see them go to work," Allen says.
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CHRISTA B. ALLEN
Back from Europe, Charlotte "has been strongly influenced by the fashion and the lifestyle there," Allen says. "[She] really comes into season 3 being able to deal with her problems in a much more adult way. She has really grown up. She went from a girl dealing with high school to someone who has [gone through loss]."
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"He has lost everyone close to him," Allen says of Wechsler's kind-hearted bar owner Jack Porter. "It becomes this really sweet situation where Charlotte reaches out and gives him a helping hand and starts to define what it means to be family even though her own is so messed up."
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What happened to Emily's ally Aiden (Sloane) last season and will he be back? That is the question, says Mann. "Is it going to be an Aiden flashback season or is he front and center? And if so, how does he fit into this already really tangled web with Jack and Daniel at this point?" he asks. "That is something we address very, very quickly in the first couple of episodes."
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