The Vampire Diaries is currently in need of a new Big Bad. Sure, Dr. Wes is dastardly, but we don’t think he has what it takes to fill the rather large Chief Villain shoes left by Silas and Tessa. Kat Graham teased that it’s someone we’ve seen before. We’re pulling for a surprise return from Elena’s adopted father, Grayson Gilbert. Here are five reasons we think Papa Gilbert might be the next Big Bad.

The picture on Megan’s phone

Elena found a picture of her father on Megan’s (aka her murdered roomie) phone. This was strange on several levels, perhaps most of all because he has been dead for a few years and the picture seemed relatively recent. Since then, Grayson Gilbert has been popping up in conversation every so often, a spectre of the season waiting to be fully revealed. Could he have been the Augustine vampire that killed Megan? Either way, how did he know her? And was Megan’s placement as Elena and Caroline’s roomie coincidental or planned?

He was a vampire-hating doctor

Before Season 5, we didn’t know much about Grayson Gilbert apart from his role as Elena and Jeremy’s loving father, a local doctor, and member of the Founder’s Council. Which means, aside from his home life, his chief identity was basically “vampire-hating doctor.” Sound in theme with what’s been going down this season?

His connection to the Augustine Society

Grayson has been mentioned in connection with the Augustine Society, aka the local college’s vampire-hating secret society. When Elena first meets Dr. Wes, he is interested in talking to her because she is the daughter of Grayson Gilbert. Later, Katherine-posing-as-Elena gets into an Augustine Society recruiting mixer solely on the power of being Grayson’s daughter. It seems that Grayson was (is?) an integral part of the Society. And whomever takes up the Big Bad mantle, will most likely be the mastermind behind the Society and its nefarious vampire-based experiments.

The villains tend to have an emotional connection to our heroes

The best villains both on TVD and other shows are the ones who mean something to our heroes. For example, Katherine was effective as a villain because she is Elena’s doppelganger and Stefan and Damon’s former love. Klaus shared a bromantic past with Stefan that made him more than just the biggest, baddest vampire when he came to town. Revealing Elena and Jeremy’s presumed dead father as the Big Bad could launch some seriously compelling and emotional stories for both Elena and Jeremy. We could love to see that, and we think the TVD writers would love to write it.

“Fifty Shades of Grayson”

Our most pragmatic of clues comes in the form of an episode title. Season 5, Episode 10 is called “Fifty Shades of Grayson.” Sure, this could refer to an exploration into the story of a dead man’s life or, it could refer to the reveal of a nuanced, affecting new villain. We’re hoping for the latter because it would lead to fifty shades of questions: Where has he been? Has he been keeping tabs on his children? Does he know Elena is a vampire? This would be narrative gold!

Do you think Grayson Gilbert might be TVD’s next Big Bad? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW, followed by an all-new episode of Reign.