Can we be straight with you? No one ever stays dead on The Vampire Diaries. This is a show that laughs in fictional mortality’s face — which is why we’ve been tossing around the theory that Elena’s father, aka Grayson Gilbert, is not as dead as we previously assumed. Here are five reasons why we think Grayson is still alive and kicking (vampire butt):

“Fifty Shades of Grayson”

Perhaps you’ve already stumbled upon the title for Season 5, Episode 10? The ep is called “Fifty Shades of Grayson,” and — as punny and pop culture relevant as the TVD Powers That Be tend to be — we doubt they’d throw out a title like that without a major role from Grayson himself. Sure, it could be a flashback, but where’s the fun in that?

Theme alert: Family reunion

Because of the pace at which TVD moves, it can be hard for the show to commit to themes over the course of the season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t try! We couldn’t help but notice how Grayson Gilbert’s return from the dead would provide a nice parallel to the Nadia Petrova return from the dead. Two Petrova doppelgangers — Elena and Katherine — both dealing with a disappointed family member they thought long gone, but who they never stopped thinking about. Tell us that wouldn’t be thematic! We dare you.

The unleashing of a secret weapon

The synopsis for Episode 10 tells us that “Dr. Wes unleashes his secret weapon, forcing Damon to deal with a part of his past he thought was gone forever, as well as the consequences of his decades-long plan for revenge.” TVD is especially good at keeping their synopses vague, but we’re wondering if this “secret weapon” isn’t a person and if that person isn’t Grayson Gilbert. Throw in our speculation that it was Damon who ran Elena’s family’s car off of the Wickery Bridge that night in an attempt to get back at the Augustine Society and Grayson for torturing him, and you’ve got yourself some seriously far-reaching “consequences."

It ties the story to Whitmore College

When a high school show enters its college years, it can be difficult to make the new setting seem relevant or even interesting. So far, TVD has done a pretty great job making Whitmore College seem like a compelling place to hang, but they haven’t completely sold us yet — the show still seems split between two settings: Whitmore and Mystic Falls. The return of Grayson Gilbert would go a long way to tying the two together in a very real way.

Because it would be awesome, duh

Would this not be a potentially awesome storyline? Family is so important to Elena, and the guilt associated with the death of her parents has been a defining force in the last few years of her life. How heartbreaking would it be to see Elena have to deal with the judgment of her adoptive father, whose passion was eliminating vamps? It would be tricky to do this in a way that doesn’t mimic the Caroline/Caroline’s father storyline too closely, but we think it’s worth trying. Also, Jeremy.

Do you think Grayson Gilbert is alive? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below!

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