While The Vampire Diaries Season 4 finale was full of jaw-dropping twists, some of our favorite moments were in between those. That’s why we’re bringing you our 10 favorite moments from Season 4, Episode 23, “Graduation.”

Kol rallies the troops.
You have to admit: The gang doesn’t always have the best scruples. Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) had a point when he raised a call to arms to the witches and hybrids killed by “the so-called hero protectors of Mystic Falls.” Hey, even we were ready to follow his command!

Graveyard picnic
Sniff. We know Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) said no tears, but when he, Elena (Nina Dobrev), and Alaric (Matt Davis) were having family time in the graveyard, we felt out eyes well up. We take back every snarky thing we ever said about Ric being a poor guardian.

Stefan and Lexi have a dance party
Never has Bon Jovi sounded so sweet. Stefan (Paul Wesley) and his dead bestie, Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) let down their hair extensions — well, she did anyway — and relived their glory days in the few precious hours they had together.

Matt and Rebekah kiss
This time last year, Rebekah (Claire Holt) tried to kill Matt (Zach Roerig) and nearly succeeded. Their relationship got a major upgrade when she kissed him, saved his life, and offered to show him the world.

Klaus beheads a witch
Wow. We did not see that coming. The witch killed by Caroline (Candice Accola) was delivering a magical migraine to our favorite vampires when Klaus (Joseph Morgan) took her head off with a graduation cap. It was one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen.

Klaus kisses Caroline
Yes, it was just a peck on the cheek. The girl is still dating Tyler (Michael Trevino), after all. But Klaus gave Caroline her boyfriend’s freedom and a declaration of love. “He's your first love,” Klaus told her. “I intend to be your last.” Quickly! To the fanfic forum!

Alaric saves the Grill
It was pretty awesome when Alaric (Matt Davis) saved Damon (Ian Somerhalder) from Vaughn by tossing the hunter over the waterfall and saying, “Oops.” The only thing the history teacher loves more than his vampire bestie? The Mystic Grill. When Connor (Todd Williams) threatened to blow Alaric’s home away from home to bits, the aggression would not stand. “This is my bar, pal. Nobody’s gonna blow it up.” With that, he whisked Connor out of the Grill, saving the patrons and his honorary barstool.

Damon and Elena make out
Sorry, Stelena fans. We know it probably broke your hearts, but Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Damon declaring their love for one another was pretty amazing, even if you don’t ‘ship the couple. The baby vamp owned her feelings and made a move, accepting Damon even if he thought “no apology in the world” could encompass the reasons he’s wrong for her.

Jeremy finds Bonnie
Because he couldn’t say goodbye to Elena in person (sob!) and because he just really wanted to spend his last few moments with Bonnie (Kat Graham) (aw), Jeremy went to find the witch as she performed a spell to put up the veil. Their reunion was bittersweet and short-lived.

Katherine and Elena fight
Do not mess with a doppelganger! Katherine (Nina Dobrev) and Elena finally went at it. Taking out all her frustrations on her double, the elder vampire came breathtakingly close to killing Elena. Then the baby vamp gave her a taste of her own medicine — by shoving the cure down her throat.

 

Credit: YouTube Photo: Vampire Diaries Season 4 Finale: Elena Loves Damon