'The Vampire Diaries': The Best Moments of Season 3

Television Without Pity

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Another season filled with jaw-dropping twists that had us desperately anticipating the next episode. Cliffhangers are really what "The Vampire Diaries" does best, but there were also plenty of other thrilling moments, as well as a few things that may have brought some tears to our eyes.

News to Us
Not that we ever really wanted Damon and Andie to have a long-term relationship, but the newscaster was an entertaining little sex toy for him, with a feisty personality. So Stefan's compelling her to jump to her own death was twisted even by his inhuman standards.

Let's Talk About Sex
When Carol Lockwood discovered that Caroline was actually a vampire, she shot her with some vervain darts in the back. And it was only moments after our favorite blond vamp had gotten her sexy on with Tyler. That's a slight overreaction to hating your son's new girlfriend.

I'd Rather Be Dead
Caroline's dad (played by TWoP fave Jack Coleman) hated vampires with a passion, and tried to force the vampire instinct out of his daughter by tying her up and torturing her. But things got interesting when he himself was saved by a transfusion of vamp blood, got stabbed, and ended up transitioning into a vampire. But instead of becoming the thing he hated most, he opted to die, leaving his daughter an emotional wreck and us a little misty. It made a far greater impact than when nearly the same thing happened to Bonnie's estranged witch mom later in the season.

The Roaring '20s
We loved the flashback to fun Stefan and Klaus living it up in the 1920s in Chicago, but the best part of the episode was set in the modern day in Klaus's old apartment, when Stefan spotted Elena hiding in the closet. Instead of going full Ripper and ratting her out, he left her hiding with his old diaries so Klaus wouldn't find out. It was a well-played moment that gave us a glimpse of the formerly sweet Stefan hiding behind the bloodthirsty facade.

See "Diaries" producer Julie Plec talk about the Roaring '20s flashback episode here:

Say Uncle
We weren't big fans of all the hauntings, but when it meant that a ghostly Mason Lockwood could come back, we were a little more forgiving. Especially when sexy ghost Mason decided to beat the crap out of Damon.

Very Original
We finally get the backstory on how the original vampires became the Originals, with lots of flashbacks to Mama Original... who is also a witch. And they all turned into werewolves, who got turned into vampires, as well, so they weren't vulnerable to attacks from the townsfolk who hated them. Lots of blood-drinking and stabbing and parental issues to explain how Klaus got so screwed up.

Gone Baby Gone
After all the Michael/Vampire Daddy stuff ended, Klaus went to get the precious coffins that housed his family... only to find out they were gone. And Stefan was responsible. The standoff between a rebellious Stefan who threatened to hold the Originals hostage if Klaus killed any of Stefan's loved one was delicious. We love Stefan when he's a bad Ripper.

Just Go Away
Jeremy has had a rough go of it, what with everyone he knows either being dead or a monster or a bastard, or some combination of all three. So Damon and Elena (along with Alaric) decided to compel him to get the hell out of Dodge and enjoy being a teenager out west. It was a sweet (though short-lived) farewell to the character, and while we object to the concept of mind-wiping, it did lead to an overdue Elena/Damon smooch.

[Video: Get a Sneak Peek at Season 2 of MTV's 'Teen Wolf']

Happy UnBirthday
It was technically Caroline's 18th birthday, but since she's a vampire, she's stuck at 17 forever, which left the party queen feeling quite down in the dumps about the whole thing. So her friends threw her a funeral, in a crypt, with booze, and it was adorable and perfect and just how we'd want our birthday to go if we were a teenage creature of the night.

Not All Bad?
We wanted to unconditionally hate Klaus -- easier that way -- but when Caroline was bit by Tyler (accidentally, of course), Tyler's sire gave her some of his magical hybrid blood to save her, which showed he had a heart (metaphorically). And then gave her a very pretty bracelet for her birthday. It made us actually want to see the two of them together ... for a little bit, anyway.

Mom of the Year
Esther had a party with a plan to kill off her entire bloodline. Yes, she's a mother who would like to tie all her children together in a blood-and-Champagne ritual, all so she can off them permanently. Why? Because she thinks her vampire children are all abominations. It didn't work, naturally, but a psycho-killer mom is a pretty fantastic twist.

No-Tell Motel
Can Elena and Damon go on more road trips? Particularly if they have scorching kisses in the hallways of motels during them? Even though this show is generally full of sex and romance, that was the hottest thing we'd seen all season.

Alaric the Vampire Slayer
Alaric's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde storyline got a bit muddled with so many other things, but seeing the good guy get turned into a temporary Original in order to take down the entire vampire population was worth it. Ric's more fun when he's a bad dude, and having Bonnie be the one who cast the spell to transition him (since he wanted to go the way of Bill Forbes) made the payoff even better.

Get a sneak peek at this week's "Vampire Diaries" season finale right here:

The season finale of "The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursday, 5/10 at 8 PM on The CW.

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