Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW Photo: Rebekah Looks Distressed in The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 8, “Ordinary People”

We love those moments on The Vampire Diaries that make us gasp, pause, and rewind — and Season 3, Episode 8, “Ordinary People” was chock full of them. Here are the six scenes that left our jaws agape.

6. The season of the witch

As Rebekah tells Elena her family history, we flash back to a simpler time, when Vikings and werewolves lived together peacefully in Mystic Falls — at least until Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah’s younger brother was killed by one of the lycanthropes. Then their father convinced Esther, the original witch/their mother, to cast a spell to protect the family from the beasts. “She called upon the sun for life and the ancient white oak tree, one of nature’s eternal objects, for immortality,” explains Rebekah. Then Mikael had his kids drink blood-laced wine before he killed them and made them drink from a human when they awoke. Welcome to The Vampire Diaries’ origin story.

5. Rebekah shops from home
Some things are just ridiculous. We count compelling a group of women to model dresses for you among those things. “All right girls, have at it,” Rebekah commands. On cue, six ladies march into the room wearing form-fitting party dresses. “Okay, now twirl, please.” They turned in unison like robots. Elena watches, appalled. “You compelled your own private runway show?” she asks. “I need a homecoming dress,” Rebekah replies. “So what do you think?” We think that’s just wrong. Very, very wrong. (And that she should’ve gone with the blue dress.)

4. Mikael touches Damon’s heart
Oh, and we mean that literally. Damon makes the mistake of dropping one of his snarky lines after the elder vamp tracks down the Salvatores in a bar in the middle of Nowheresville. And let’s just say Papa Original Vampire (P.O.V.) gets testy. Moving as if he were slicing warm butter, Mikael stabs a hole into Damon’s chest and grabs the younger bloodsucker’s heart. Next he threatens to kill Damon if Stefan doesn’t agree to help him find Klaus. Talk about an unfair bargaining tactic!

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3. Damon sets his brother free
“You know I’m not a big champion of this whole Lexi Recovery Plan,” Damon says as he walks into the dungeon where Lex and Elena entombed Stefan. The younger Salvatore sits, emaciated and sweating, chained to a chair. Apparently Damon can’t stand to see the defeated look on his baby bro’s face: Stefan has actually accepted being a Klaus minion. “You really have given up,” Damon says. “Actually,” Stefan replies, “This is my happy face.” That’s when Damon reaches out and breaks his brother’s chains with one hand. “Screw this Lexi plan,” he says. “We could both use a drink.” Blood or bourbon? Both, actually.

2. Elena breaks the news
What do you do when you learn that the brother you devoted centuries to murdered your mother and blamed your father for it? We feared Rebekah might drink the messenger when Elena bravely (or foolishly, we haven’t decided which yet) explains what really happened to the Esther. “This is the story of her death,” E says as she drops photos of the cave hieroglyphs onto the table in front of Bekah. “The hybrid killed the original witch. Not Mikael. Klaus.” Rebekah refuses to accept it, shouting. “These are stupid drawings done by stupid people who have no idea who my family was!” She snatches the photos and tosses them into the fire. Then she slams Elena up against a table, fangs bared. Just when we think she might open the doppelganger’s neck, the 1,000-year-old vamp cracks. Rebekah drops to her knees, crying. We almost felt sorry for her. Almost.

1. Elena realizes she’s not No. 1
Most of the time in Mystic Falls the world revolves around Elena. But ever since Klaus compelled him to flip off his humanity switch, Stefan has a new focus. The change hasn’t been easy on E. She tried repeatedly to make him fight for his freedom — fight for their love. But after her encounter with Rebekah, she learns an important truth: She is not Stefan’s everything. Oddly, Elena accepts the change graciously. ”You’re going to be the one to save him from himself,” she tells Damon. “It won’t be because he loves me. It will be because he loves you.”