Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW Photo: Klaus Close-Talks to Stefan in Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 12, “The Ties That Bind”

We love those moments on The Vampire Diaries that make us gasp, pause, and rewind — and Season 3, Episode 12, “The Ties That Bind,” was chock full of them. Here are the six scenes that left our jaws agape.


6. Bonnie meets her brother
Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) drove to Monroe, North Carolina looking for the woman who abandoned her daughter 15 years ago. She was hoping to find a witch who would help her kill Klaus (Joseph Morgan). What she found was a green-eyed dreamboat with driving issues. “I’m sorry but you look so familiar,” Jamie told Bonnie when he found her and Elena waiting on his doorstep. “Abby’s my mom,” Bon-Bon replied. Then there was the most awkward of pauses. “Oh, I’m Jamie,” he said at last. “You guys want to come inside?” You betcha.

5. Meredith takes down Damon
It seems almost impossible to sneak up on a vampire. Yet Dr. Meredith Fell (Torrey DeVitto) easily got the drop on Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Cocky as he tends to be, Sir Salvatore had come to the hospital to accuse Meredith of killing her ex-boyfriend. And she let him do it. She even kept a straight face when he called her a high maintenance psychopath. But the minute the vampire turned his back, Mer was on him, sticking a needle full of vervain in his neck. Incapacitated, D slumped to the floor. Calmly, methodically, Dr. Fell kneeled down and took a vial of his blood. Then, knowing full well that he would remember what she did, she stood up and walked away. The Hippocratic oath says do no harm. But, apparently, it doesn’t apply to bloodsuckers.

4. Tyler makes the change
Could you voluntarily break every bone in your body? That’s what Bill Forbes told Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) to do if he had any hopes of severing his ties to Klaus. “To break the sire bond you’ve got to make yourself turn,” he said. “Own your pain then you’ll owe Klaus nothing and you’ll be free.” Oh, is that all? It took a few nips from an ax but, eventually, the hybrid jock did as he was told. Channeling his inner rage, Tyler knelt on all fours and grimaced in pain as he transitioned from man to wolf. “These chains aren’t strong enough. You need to leave,” he warned his girlfriend’s father. The beast kicked in. Unfortunately, Daddy Forbes did not move fast enough.

3. Jamie shoots Stefan
When Jamie tried to stop Stefan (Paul Wesley) from fighting with Elena or breaking any more of his property, the vampire took offense. Stefan grabbed Jamie by the neck and compelled him to step off. “Get back upstairs before I tear your damn throat out,” he snarled. “Do you understand me?” He dropped Jamie. The hottie dutifully marched off. A second later Jamie returned — locked and loaded with a shotgun. “You’re not supposed to be here,” he said. Ignoring Elena’s protests, he fired. Filling the misbehaving vamp with wooden buckshot, the shot knocked Stefan 10 feet back to the ground.

2. Elena tells Stefan about the kiss
You’ve gotta admit, her timing wasn’t the best. Stefan was down on the ground, writhing in pain. Elena kneeled beside him, pulling wood fragments out of her chest with her bare hands. “There’s something I have to tell you. And it’s not because I feel guilty that it happened,” she said as she played nurse. “It’s because I feel guilty that you don’t know.” Elena yanked one more piece of wood out of her ex-boyfriend. “I kissed Damon,” she confessed, refusing to blame his brother for the deed. Then there was scary silence. Stefan looked away. Elena patted his chest. “There, all done,” she said. The vampire stood — shard-free but still wounded and walked away.

1. Elijah undaggered

He’s been moldering in his coffin for months, so when Klaus showed up to reclaim his family, little did he know his brother Elijah (Daniel Gillies) was about to wake up. The Original’s first glimpse of his reanimated bro was when his hybrid pal fell to the ground, his heart still in Elijah’s hand. It’s good to have him back!

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