The news that Claire Holt (Rebekah Mikaelson) will no longer be a series regular on The Originals is shockingly devastating. We’re torn between being impressed with Claire and the show for keeping this secret for four months (or since the show’s inception, really) and indulging in a good, old-fashioned sulk. We don’t blame Claire for not wanting to stay in Atlanta to do the show, but we’re still really sad that Rebekah will no longer be an integral part of The Originals. Here are five reasons why we hope Claire will return.

Because this show needs a female lead.

Don’t get us wrong, we love Davina, Cami, and Hayley. They all have their moments, but none of them can compete with Rebekah as an equal to Klaus and Elijah on this show (at least while this show is still in its infancy and carries such echoes from its source material). This is true both supernaturally, as Rebekah is also an immortal Original vampire, and emotionally, as Rebekah was another main character brought over from The Vampire Diaries. Though Hayley had her start on TVD, her character was given nowhere nearly as much time or story arc. Besides, this show is called The Originals, not The Originals & Friends. It makes us sad that those title characters are now all male. It’s beginning to feel very bro-y on this show.

Because now it feels a lot more like The Vampire Diaries.

The Originals has done a good job of quickly distinguishing itself as a show separate from TVD with different stories to tell and themes to explore. This show is now about two Originals — one trying his damndest to force the other’s redemption — with a woman torn between them. Granted, Hayley is not Elena, and her connection to Klaus is somewhat different from the one Elena has with Damon — for now. But, thinking back to the beginning of TVD, when Elena feared and disliked Damon, we can’t help but see similarities. Without Rebekah around to make this a show about a more complex sibling group, we’re worried The Originals will fall into a similar pattern.

Because Marbekah was supposed to be the next MerDer.

Just last week, Charles Michael Davis (Marcel) gave an interview with Zap2it, saying: "I hope [Marcel/Rebekah] ranks up there with all the great ones — from McSteamy and Doctor Grey to Lois Lane  and Clark Kent.” And we were totally on board with that. We’ve watched their relationship develop from a seeming apathy for one another to a sexual connection to an all-out epic romance. Don’t tell us that steamy kiss Marcel gave Rebekah when she was leaving town was their last. We want to see these two crazy kids work things out, then mess it up again, etc. for seasons to come.

Because Klaus’ redemption won’t be complete without Rebekah.

In all of the years Klaus has been alive and terrorizing others, Rebekah has arguably been his chief victim (Katherine might also have a chance at the title). He emotionally manipulated, terrorized, and abused her while she continued to stay by his side, forgive, and love him. If this show does, as it has foreshadowed, follow Klaus’ long, slow path to redemption, Rebekah needs to be a part of it. One could argue that, in letting her go, Klaus has already made in a step in the right direction, and that is definitely true. His decision in this past episode was watching Klaus break a cycle centuries-old in practice, and that is huge. But, this can’t be how things end. We want to see Klaus learn how to be good to his sister when they aren’t thousands of miles apart, living incredibly different lives. We want to watch this family become functional — if that’s even possible — and that can’t be done without Rebekah.

Because Rebekah was the best character on this show.

There. We said it. Don’t get us wrong — we love conflicted Klaus and proper Elijah and fierce Davina and charismatic Marcel — but they’re no Rebekah. Rebekah isn’t a character that comes along very often. She is an example of a badass, vulnerable, quippy, damaged, self-reflexive, strong female who doesn’t just want one thing. She made us cry and laugh on TVD, and she only became a stronger character in its spin-off. We could argue that Rebekah is the true hero of the Mikaelson family. She has the same power as her brothers, but she doesn’t seek more or abuse it like Klaus, nor does she stay so focused on her family that she can’t see the rest of the world like Elijah. She doesn’t kill without reason and empathizes with those around her. Despite the number of times she’s been hurt, she continues to seek out love. Basically, in her vampirism, she has lost the least of her humanity, and that is pretty darn impressive in our book.

How do you feel about Claire’s departure? Share your thoughts, tears, and fears in the comments below!

The Originals airs Tuesday nights 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+!