The Originals is a show populated with morally grey — the darker side of grey — characters. So much so that, sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who are the heroes and who are the villains and, past that, which of those groups we’re even supposed to be rooting for. It makes for a somewhat disorienting, but thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. It also makes us ask the question, in this cast of troubled characters, who makes the best villain?

Klaus Mikaelson

Now: At the moment, Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) probably makes the best villain. Though you can see some of his motivations for his evil deeds (insecurity, desire for acceptance and love, paranoia, etc.), most everything he does is for himself. And, he doesn’t seem to care much about the collateral damage (or intentional damage), and the people it affects. Plus, Joseph Morgan has that gleeful unpredictability bit down perfectly — not to mention the broken-hearted, single tear move.

Later: Though Klaus makes an excellent villain right now, that role doesn’t leave anywhere for his character to go — and characters aren’t interesting unless they change. Sure, that can be a spiral into darkness, but Klaus is already there. Klaus’s character would be far more useful in a redemption arc. There’s plenty of room for growth in the heroic direction — not so much if he falls further into villainy.

Marcel Gerard

Now: When The Originals started, Marcel Gerard (Charles Michael Davis) was cast as the villain, a power-hungry vampire overlord who had subjugated the witch community and taken the empire Klaus had built. The more we learn about Marcel, however, the less villainous he seems. He has a tight watch on the witches because they plan to sacrifice a teenaged girl. He took Klaus’ empire only once Klaus had fled, and does a pretty good job of running it. Sure, there have been some questionable decisions along the way, but we’re pretty into exploring Marcel as a hero, or at least a character who makes the wrong decisions for the right reasons.

Later: We could see Marcel eventually turning villain, perhaps once Klaus has taken everything from him or done something so unforgivable that he starts trading in on his values of friendship and loyalty for quick results. Some sort of betrayal from Davina Claire (Danielle Campbell), which already seems in the works, could also send Marcel into a tailspin. Basically, this character is ripe for villainy or heroism — probably both.

Rebekah Mikaelson

Now: Rebekah, we love your sassy ways! Right now, Rebekah Mikaelson (Claire Holt) isn’t really evil (in the spectrum of the show). Sure, she’s a vamp who sometimes kills other people, but she usually does it in the name of family or love. Even her recent betrayal of Klaus was totally understandable. He has emotionally terrorized her for centuries, ensuring that she could only love him and not any of her many male suitors. We understand why Rebekah wanted to dagger him in the back (metaphorically-speaking) for once. Even if her plan was crap.

Later: We would totally watch a show in which Rebekah finally snapped and became full-on villain, taking the French Quarter for herself and turning her back on the men in her life (Klaus, Elijah Mikaelson (Daniel Gillies), and Marcel). If any one deserves to freak out, it’s this one, who has been continually neglected, betrayed, and ordered about when all she tries to do is love the people around her. Bring it on, show!

Sophie Devereaux

Now: Sophie Devereaux (Daniella Pineda) is a bit of a quasi-villain right now, even if we haven’t seen much of her in the last few episodes. She is trying to get her hands on Davina to sacrifice her for the Harvest, a ritual that will replenish the witch’s magic and, fingers crossed, bring the other teenage sacrifices back to life. If she were one of the Mikaelsons, maybe this agenda would seem justified, but she’s not. That makes her kinda evil! Extra points for totally lying to the Mikaelsons about all of this until it was forced out of her.

Later: We’re actually really confused about the direction of Sophie’s character, but we’re not particularly excited about her full-on embracing a role in villainy, mainly because she isn’t very good at it. We like our villains to be competent so they are an actual threat, and so far we haven’t gotten much competency from this gumbo-cooking witch. If she is going to be a Big Bad, then she needs to be better at it.

Davina Claire

Now: Right now, Davina isn’t so much a villain as a scared teenaged girl. She doesn’t want to die and she doesn’t know who to trust. She also holds untold power. This makes her dangerous and unpredictable, but not a villain. She’s going to need to up her evil agenda if she wants that to happen.

Later: Davina is perhaps the only character on this show who has any real chance at taking on an Original and winning. So, yeah, her turning villain would be kind of awesome. Though, it’s probably more likely that one of the Mikaelsons would be the villain in this scenario, painted in the role of anti-hero, and Davina would not so much be a villain as a nemesis. This is where the aforementioned moral ambiguity in who to root for comes in. But we love it!

Which character on The Originals do you think makes the best villain? Sound off in the comments below!

The Originals returns Tuesday, January 14, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!