Credit: Annette Brown/The CW ©2012 The CW Network Photo: Stefan and Klaus in Season 3, Episode 21: “Before Sunset”

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

5. Tyler stands up to Klaus
When the Original vamp caught his first hybrid untying Elena and, thus, disobeying a direct order, he was amused. But Tyler was emboldened. “I’m not your little bitch anymore,” Ty said as he stood and faced Klaus. For a second we thought those might be his last words. But rather than kill Tyler Klaus smirked and asked how the teen broke his powerful sire-bond. “By breaking every bone in my body 100 times for the girl I love,” Ty said. “Maybe real love is stronger than fake loyalty.”

4. Elena apologizes to the Salvatores
It was the type of mea culpa every girl dreams of saying. After the Salvatore brothers escorted Elena home, they stood in her doorway looking into her face with puppy dog eyes. “I know it’s selfish,” Elena said as they turned to walk away. E then proceeded to apologize for not picking one brother over the other. Her excuse? Fear. “If I choose one of you then I lose the other,” she said. “And I’ve lost so many people. I can’t bear the thought of losing one of you.”

Credit: Annette Brown/The CW ©2012 The CW Network Photo: Klaus in Season 3, Episode 21: “Before Sunset”

3. Klaus dies — or should we say “dries”
The Original vampire didn’t see it coming. As Klaus pounced on Tyler and raised a claw, preparing to make his subject pay for disobedience, Damon and Stefan vamped into the room. The brothers grabbed the O.V. and Tyler threw a defensive move. The next thing you know Stefan had pierced the ancient bloodsucker’s chest with his fingertips. That contact was all Bonnie needed to enact the desiccation spell. Miles away, she held her hand over Jeremy’s chest and chanted. As his human heart slowed, so did the muscle in Klaus’s chest. The nearly 20,000-year-old vampire seemed confused. Then sad. Then frightened. Tears welled in his eyes as he looked around for the family that was not there to support him. Klaus exhaled as veins crept up his cheek and his skin went ashen. Finally, he collapsed into the arms of the man he’d just tried to kill.

2. Stefan and Damon have the talk (in the car)
These past few weeks Stefan and Damon have behaved as blood brothers should — like an invincible team. As they drove to the coast to dump Klaus into the Atlantic, it looked like their good bro times might come to an end. “What happens when Elena makes a decision?” Stefan asked. The youngest Salvatore took the high road and offered to leave town if Elena chose Damon. His brother replied with a joke about how he’d wait another 160 years then they could be brothers again. But in the end the elder Salvatore came around. “Fine. If she chooses you I’ll leave town too,” he said. 

1. Alaric outs Caroline and Tyler
Vampire ‘Ric did not mince words. “The Sheriff, the woman we elected to keep our families safe and town secure has a vampire for a daughter,” he said. “And our lovely mayor has a son who is half vampire and half werewolf.” Yikes. We know we should hate him for pulling this stunt. But we’ve got to admit that it was kind of genius. Outnumbered and temporarily outwitted by Elena and the gang, the history teacher called an emergency Council meeting and in less than a minute he recruited the muscle of Mystic Falls to his side. “These women are hypocrites,” he said. “They claim to spearhead our defense against the supernatural presence then cover up the violent attacks committed by their children.” 

 

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