The Vampire Diaries has been a consistently awesome show since its start oh-so-long ago in Season 1. Though there have been plot twists that fell flat and love triangle angst that felt unnecessary, for the most part, TVD has been great. But, which season has been the best? Could it possibly be Season 5?

Season 5 vs. Season 1

There’s been a lot of talk about how Season 5 is a lot like Season 1. We get where that is coming from new beginnings, new Stefan, new human Nina Dobrev but Season 5 still feels a heck of a lot more mature than Season 1, and we’re kind of digging that. You know what’s more interesting than watching interesting people face crazy, supernatural problems? Watching interesting people you know, love, and have seen develop into different interesting people face crazy, supernatural problems. Did you follow that? Good, because that’s the kind of concentration it takes to appreciate all of the backstory layers at work on a good Season 5 episode of TVD making TVD fandom totally worth it.

Winner: Season 5

Season 5 vs. Season 2

Ah, Season 2. The season of Caroline getting turned into a vampire, the introduction of the Original family, and the faux sun and moon curse. How we love, thee! Without you, we wouldn’t have badass Caroline or the badass Mikaelsons. But, Season 5 has introduced several delightful new characters of its own, namely snarky, vengeful witch Tessa and ancient, traumatized Amara. We can’t wait to see if these characters give us the same kind of joy as their Season 2 counterparts.

Winner: Draw

Season 5 vs. Season 3

Season 5 and Season 3 have a lot in common because they both feature new versions of Stefan at the onset. For Season 2, it was bender Stefan, driven mad with blood lust. For Season 5, it was amnesiac Stefan. At this point, we’re going to have to give the edge to Season 3 if only because we recently watched the scene in which Ripper Stefan calls Elena on his birthday to not-wish her a happy birthday. And don’t even get us started on the entirety of Season 3, Episode 7 (“Ghost World”). Season 5 has yet to match that level of heartbreaking angst.

Winner: Season 3

Season 5 vs. Season 4

Season 4 started out and ended strong, but had some weak points in between anything involving that god forsaken island, really. Don’t get us wrong, we still enjoyed it, but a lot of it felt like convoluted plot twists to keep Delena apart. Needless to say, we’re enjoying the happy Delena we’ve gotten so far in Season 5.

Winner: Season 5

Conclusion

We can’t effectively judge Season 5 against its predecessors until we’ve seen it in its entirety, but we think it has a chance at becoming our favorite season yet. We’re intrigued by the introduction of Whitmore College and its secretive Augustine Society; by the doppelganger mythology and the return of Amara; and by the still affecting love triangle. (Seriously, after five years, we’re still not tired of Stelena and Delena angst!) Keep up the good work, Season 5, and you might just have a chance at unseating Season 3 as our all-time fave!

Winner: Season 3… for now!

Which season do you think is the best? Sound off in the comments below!

The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Credit: Celebified Photo: Vampire Diaries Producer And Director Julie Plec Talks Plot And New Characters For Season 5