Credit: The CW

Last night’s memorial service for Bonnie had us flashing back to another painful Vampire Diaries goodbye ceremony: the one for Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis). In fact, with all of the craziness going down in Season 5, we’ve been thinking about good old Ric a lot lately. Here are five reasons why we think he needs to return to TVD.

To take on Dr. Wes Maxfield

We’re not sure what Dr. Maxfield is up to exactly, but we sure wish we had a supernatural academic to help figure it out. Ric may not have been as up-to-date on the finer points of supernatural history as his ex-wife Isobel, but he probably would have some theories on the secret society happening at Whitmore. Heck, we wouldn’t be surprised if in his pre-Mystic Falls days he was a member himself!

To give Matt possession advice

Matt is seriously freaking out right now and, for myriad reasons, his dilemma is slipping through the cracks of the fang gang’s problem-solving brain trust. You know who could give Matt some advice about how to work through possession issues? Alaric. Not only did he lose time to the serial vamp-killing, Gilbert ring-induced side of himself, but he was also possessed by Klaus for a time. Basically, he’s Mystic Falls resident possession expert.

To help Damon be the token parent

More and more this season, it seems like the duty of being the responsible adult who solves problems and looks after the rest of the group has fallen on Damon. He is the “safe” brother trying to save Stefan. The one Jer goes to when he needs to tell Bonnie’s secret. Everything is falling on Damon to take care, and we think he could use a little help from Alaric or, if nothing else, a drinking buddy with whom to commiserate. After all, Alaric was the token parental figure in the group before he died.

To teach high school history

With Jeremy the only TVDer still in high school, we don’t have much reason to spend any time there narratively and that’s kind of sad. After all, this show started as a high school drama, and even though the main characters never seemed to spend much time in class we still dug the setting. With Alaric back and Jer returned from his suspension, we’d have more reason to keep that town high school connection. Otherwise, there’s only so many times Elena and Stefan can reenact their high school hallway meeting.

To see more Matt Davis

We miss seeing Matt Davis’ handsome mug grace our television screens every week. And don’t even get us started on his charming sarcasm. Maybe it’s his All-American good looks, but this man manages to pull off both black humor with affable flair. It was a nice counterpoint to Ian Somerhalder’s more caustic charm. Yes, we’re comparing their degrees of sarcasm. It’s a subtle art form!

Do you think Alaric should return to TVD? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below!

The Vampire Diaries airs at 8 p.m. Thursday nights on The CW.