The Vampire Diaries‘ Season 3 premiere was Rated D…for Dayum! I’ve always been a big fan of The CW’s fangtastic (sorry) drama, but Thursday night’s hour was filled with so many jaw-dropping scenes and such all-purpose fabulousness that a suds-covered [SPOILERS AHEAD, so quit reading now if you haven't watched yet] Damon sauntering out of his clawfoot bathtub might not even make my personal Top 10. I’m not even going to attempt to give you a minute-by-minute recap — seriously, you need to watch for yourself; it’s 60 minutes very well spent — but instead give you a countdown of the five most shocking moments from an episode filled with hardcore scares (Stefan, how could you!), major-league sexiness (Caroline, what took you so long?), and punch-in-the-gut drama (yes, I cried during the final scene):
5) Klaus and Stefan spend a full day torturing werewolf Ray Sutton (David Gallagher) for the whereabouts of his lair, only to force-feed him Klaus’ blood and snap his neck at episode’s end. | I guess our Big Bad is serious about creating an army of vampire-werewolf hybrids, but now I’m a little worried he’s got a reverse process that could put a little (wolf) hair on Stefan’s chest, too. He doesn’t right? I mean, the Stefan-Elena romance is already complicated enough.
4) Stefan casually kills a pair of Memphis co-eds. | That opening scene (“Kill this one quickly. Make that one suffer.”) was so full of menace I practically chugged my cabernet as a reflex response. Oh, and Damon’s full fledged CSI dialogue only added to the horror: “There’s a reason they call [Stefan] ‘The Ripper.’ Feeds so hard he blacks out, rips ‘em apart. But when he’s done, he feels remorse. It’s the damndest thing: He puts the bodies back together.” Cue pretty, decomposing blonde head tumbling to the carpet. Yikes!
3) Caroline dances the horizontal mambo with Tyler — right before his mom guns her down with Vervain darts! | From the minute Tyler admitted that side-effects of Werewolfism included near-constant horniness, and Caroline revealed similar effects of Vampirism, you knew these two were about to put the quality of one of their headboards to the test. But dang the consummation was fast and furious — and pretty hot, too, if I’m being honest. But then as Caroline tried to do the walk of shame, Mrs. Lockwood went into vampire slayer mode, coated Caroline’s purse with Vervain, watched her son’s booty call flinch from its effects, then blasted several immobilizing darts into girlfriend’s back. I guess the woman really didn’t care for having to hear her son’s species-crossing sex through the walls of the upstairs bathroom, eh?
2) Stefan offs Damon’s newscaster girlfriend Andie! | We all kind of knew Andie was a disposable character (especially with Elena back on the market-ish), but I never thought we’d see her get dispatched by Stefan! The way he gleefully stalked her with a newsroom spotlight, compelled her to perch herself (terrified) on a ledge, then prevented Damon from saving her as she plunged to her death was a stunning and bone-chilling moment that punctuated just how far our former hero will go to alienate those he loves and protect them from Klaus.
1) THAT PHONE CALL! | You knew, I knew, and Klaus knew that deep down, Stefan was faking the joy of a cross-country killing spree. But watching him dial Elena — who knows it’s him, not Klaus, behind the trail of carnage — from an anonymous payphone, and begin to crumble as he silently listened to her words of encouragement, well, it left me shattered. Elena, take it away: “I love you, Stefan. Hold onto that. Never let that go.”
Like I said, Rated D for Dayum, right? And bonus points for whatever Steven R. McQueen did on his summer vacation, because Jeremy is looking particularly fit, eh?
What did you think of The Vampire Diaries‘ Season 3 premiere? Did I miss any of your favorite moments? Well, hit the comments and share! And for tons of scoop and spoilers on TVD’s upcoming season, follow TVLine on Twitter @TVLineNews!