After eight dramatic seasons, The Vampire Diaries will smolder its final smolder this Friday (The CW, 9/8c). But to truly appreciate how far Mystic Falls’ finest have come, we need to go back to the very beginning.
Kicking off TVLine’s week-long countdown to the TVD series finale, we’re revisiting the episode that started it all — which, I’ll admit, I haven’t watched in years — in all its 2009 glory. (For those of you who still have Blackberry-related nightmares, consider this a trigger warning.)
Sure, parts of the pilot now feel like deluded fan fiction (Matt’s in love with Elena? Bonnie thinks Stefan is hot? And Damon can do what with fog?), but the truth is, it remains a beautiful introduction to some unforgettable characters with whom we’ve chosen to spend the past eight years of our lives.
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Browse our gallery of the best pilot moments — you can click here for direct access — then drop a comment below: Do you remember how you felt when you first watched the pilot? And which moments would you add to our list?