The Vampire Diaries has been picking up some steam in recent episodes, but we think Season 5 has a ways to go if it hopes to reach the narrative peaks of seasons past. Here are five ways the supernatural series just might be able to do that…

Respect Damon’s Character

The biggest issue with Season 5 right now is Damon’s recent turn to villainy. We don’t have a problem with him going bad, it’s how the show handled the storyline — i.e. throwing out four seasons of character development to do so. We just don’t believe that getting dumped by Elena would send Damon into such a drastic tail spin. Sure, it would affect him, but hasn’t his progressions in morality been about more than just his relationship with Elena? By treating his character like this, the show is disregarding the relationships Damon has with Stefan, Jeremy, etc. These are people he has forged bonds with. Watching him show absolutely no regard for Jer’s life in the last episode was nigh unwatchable. Please, TVD. Make this character motivation logical and then we can talk.

Amp Up the Big Bads

Speaking of villainy, we’re starting to fear the nefarious forces at work against our TVDers, but they still need to up their game. Right now, we don’t feel like our heroes are in danger. They haven’t had any building obstacles to conquer. We’ll have to see how Damon’s transition to cannibal villain plays out, but right now, the only nefarious plot that seems to be moving forward with any consistency is Katherine’s plan to seduce Stefan. Bring on the Travelers!


Show Us More College Life

How excited were we to see Bonnie make a college friend in last week’s episode? OK, so she didn’t befriend her so much as coerce her into doing a spell to save Jeremy, but we have high hopes for this plot line — if only because we think it could lead to Bonnie actually getting involved at Whitmore, which is more than we can say about any of these other supposed college students. We’re all for Bonnie starting some sort of Witches Anonymous group to train witches a la Dumbledore’s Army. Also in last week’s episode, we saw Caroline dive into campus life with a trip to the Bitter Ball. Looks like this show might actually start taking their new setting seriously. At least, we can hope!

Let Katherine Hang With Other Characters

Katherine-pretending-to-be-Elena is narrative gold — we just wish we got to see her doing things besides seduce Stefan. Don’t get us wrong, we’re loving any scene Katherine is in and we understand that she has a seduction mission here, but we’d love to see more everyday moments of her trying to figure out how to be Elena. We haven’t seen her hang with Jeremy much (besides to give him CPR), nor have we been given much Caroline/Bonnie/Elena friendship time. Bring on the comedy — before Katherine’s scheme is discovered for good.


Bring Aaron Back as a Vampire

Are we the only ones who were expecting Aaron to pop back up as a vampire in the last episode? He seems pretty dead, but we’re still kind of hoping the show takes the undead route with this character. Sure, he was never particularly compelling, but having Aaron return as a vamp would give Dr. Wes an interesting personal dilemma. Though their relationship was never fleshed out as much as we’d wanted, we think Dr. Wes really cared for Aaron. Would seeing his former ward as a vampire give him any pause about his vampire experimentation?

How do you think TVD could improve its Season 5? Share your suggestions in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, February 27 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+!