Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW ©2011 The CW Network, LLC Photo: Stefan and Damon in Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 14: “Dangerous Liaisons”

We love those moments on The Vampire Diaries that make us gasp, pause, and rewind — and the fourteenth episode of the third season, “Dangerous Liaisons,” was chock full of them. Here are the five scenes that left our jaws agape.

5. Rebekah tries to kill Elena
One thing’s for sure: Original vampires don’t make idle threats. Minutes after Rebekah woke up, she declared that the family should off the doppelganger. Hours later, she moved to make good on her word by vamping up behind Elena in the hospital parking lot. “Drive much?” the immortal asked the teen after Elena backed into her with the car. Fangs out, Rebekah shoved Elena up against the vehicle then dove in for the kill. Fortunately for our girl, Elijah was also on the prowl. Rebekah’s big brother stepped in just in time to keep Elena from meeting her maker.

4. Mama Original’s murderous plot
“I love my family Elena,” Esther said. “But they are an abomination… It’s my duty to kill them.” To correct the wrong she committed when she turned her kin into vampires, the original witch first mixed a drop of Elena’s blood into the party’s champagne. Next she made one mother of a toast. Then she sealed the deal by slicing her son Finn’s palm and allowing him to bleed out the family tree.

3. Damon says “I love you”
When Damon confronted Elena about the incident with Stefan, he seemed to be upset over more than the fact that his little brother broke his neck. “Now you’re mad at me for including Stefan?” Elena asked. “No, I’m mad at you because I love you,” Damon replied. Yes, the sexy Salvatore spoke the three words every girl would love to hear. Every girl except Elena. “Well, maybe that’s the problem,” she replied. Then there was the most awkward of pauses. Our hearts broke with Damon’s. “No, I got it Elena. I care too much,” he said at last. “I’m a liability. How ironic is that?” Very.

Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW ©2011 The CW Network, LLC Photo: Rebekah in Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 14: “Dangerous Liaisons”

2. Damon fraternizes with the enemy
We admit: “Fraternize” is putting things lightly. But we couldn’t bring ourselves to type “Damon does Rebekah” without feeling dirty, even though that’s precisely what the vampire did — up against the door, then the wall and eventually the bed.

1. Elena and Stefan almost kiss... almost
“How do you do that — act like you don’t care, like you don’t feel anything?” Elena asked Stefan. The disgruntled bloodsucker had just accompanied her home from the ball. After they share a fleeting moment, Elena followed him out onto the front porch, stopping Stefan in the same spot where she’d kissed Damon, and where Jeremy beheaded a hybrid. (Dang, Elena’s porch has seen a lot of action.) “I can’t do that. I feel. I feel everything,” Elena continued. Stefan asked her to stop. But she wouldn’t. Instead she stepped closer and pushed more. “Do you really think I want to be this person?” Stefan asked, exasperated. “I hurt you Elena. I bit you. I hate myself for what I did to you.”

“Then show it,” Elena replied. “Do something. Stefan, anything is better than trying to convince me that you don’t’ care.” Elena took his face in her hands. Stefan looked away. Then he moved in like he was going to kiss her. He glanced at her lips. Then her eyes. Then…he didn’t kiss her. “If I let myself care all I feel is pain,” he said. And he turned and walked away.