Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW Photo: Caroline Is Pensive in The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 9, “Homecoming”

We love those moments on The Vampire Diaries that make us gasp, pause, and rewind — and Season 3, Episode 9, “Homecoming” was chock full of them. Here are the five scenes that left our jaws agape.

5. Mikael wakes up and doesn’t kill Rebekah.
My, how the tables have turned. After spending a millennium on the lam, Rebekah sat by her father’s side, painting her toenails while she waited for him to wake. “Finally. It took you long enough,” she said as he sucked in his first breath after being daggered by Elena. For a sec we thought it was a suicidal moment. Who wouldn’t be ready to just give in after running for a thousand years? But then the vibe turned. “Whatever fatherly rubbish you’re thinking, save it,” Bekah said. “Nothing you say matters to me.” To our surprise, the vampire-slaying vamp did not off his daughter. “You were never the one I was after,” he said. Really? We bet Bekah wishes he’d mentioned that, oh, 500 years ago.

4. Elena backstabs Rebekah
The O.V. was having a vulnerable moment. Dressed to the nines for her first high school dance, Rebekah was nervous and still reeling from the revelation that her brother killed her mother. “How do I look?” she asked Elena. “You look amazing,” Elena replied. “But you’re missing one thing.” In what seemed like the nicest move ever, E pulled out the necklace Stefan had given her. “You should wear it tonight,” Elena said. She placed the talisman that had once belonged to the original witch around Rebekah’s neck. Then, as the vamp admired the family heirloom, Elena stabbed her in the back with an ash-dipped dagger.

3. Tyler turns on Caroline
When Blondie told Ty that even if she did know something about the plan Elena and co. had for his Klaus, she wouldn’t tell him, he stabbed her in the neck with a syringe full of vervain. But he did it for love — to keep her from getting involved in the plot against his maker. “This is the only way to keep her safe,” he told Matt.

2. Ish hits the front porch
It was the most action-packed two minutes of the night — totally worthy of a play-by-play. When Mikael told Klaus, “Nobody cares about you anymore, boy,” the O.V. shed a tear. Then he dared Mikael to kill Elena. Papa Original took that bet, stabbing our girl in the back. She fell. But the second her body hit the ground, Damon vamped in and stabbed Klaus — only he missed the heart. So they tussled. Then the woman we thought was Elena stood up and tossed two wolfsbane grenades at Klaus’s hybrid army. “Katherine,” Mikael hissed. “Ba-boom,” Elena’s doppelganger replied.
As the bombs exploded, Stefan entered the scene and — get this — attacked Damon. This bought Klaus enough time to grab the ash wood dagger and stab Mikael with it. Papa O.V. burst into flames on the Lockwood porch. And Damon hollered, “What the hell did you just do?” Our sentiments exactly.

1 Stefan kidnaps the coffins
Revenge is best served cold, but Stefan struck while the iron was hot. Before leaving town with Katherine, the newly freed bloodsucker made a pit stop where Klaus stored his daggered relatives and took a few mementos — namely, their corpses. When Klaus discovered Stefan’s deed, the O.V. was livid. Stef on the other hand remained calm. “I wonder, Klaus,” Stefan said, “as someone who’s been one step ahead for a thousand years, were you prepared for this?” The answer, not that we need to say it, was a startling no. Guess it’s true what they say about payback. It’s an evil blood slut! (Love ya, Bex.)

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