It’s a seemingly necessary fact of The Vampire Diaries, that characters who are not a point on the epic love triangle do not get as much storyline. We’re usually relatively OK with this, but find it hard to swallow when it comes to Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola), aka one of the most dynamic, sympathetic, and complex characters on the show. We’ll speak plainly: TVD needs more Caroline.

As much as we love the central love triangle, it’s starting to drag this show down with the way the creators seem to think it needs to stay front-and-center. Keep it present, of course! But don’t miss the opportunity of exploring characters like Caroline to do so. Though previous seasons may have worked with Care hanging in the background as a secondary tier of series regular, for a show that is nearing the end of its fifth season, it’s time to bring to the forefront characters who still compel. For us (and we suspect many other viewers), that character is Caroline. Unlike most of the characters on this show, Caroline has managed to continuously retain her empathy and humanity as a vampire in a way that arguably every other vampire main character on this show has not. That’s cool!

There’s also the question of Caroline’s agency to consider. Vampire gets stuff done. She makes mistakes. She gives second chances. She yells at ex-boyfriends for slut-shaming her. All things that are cool and somewhat refreshing to see on TV. As much as we love Elena and Damon’s epic story of co-dependency, we’d be totally OK with giving some of their storyline time to Caroline if it meant exploring a character who is openly embracing the chance at growth and pushing herself to new limits. Pretty much the opposite of what is currently happening with Delena. Heck, it would even make for good thematic counterpoint!

The reason this theme of trying and failing and trying again that seems to be one of Caroline’s chief characteristics makes so much sense now is because this show is trying to do the same thing: it’s trying to make a successful jump from a show about high school vampires to a show about college vampires, and it has arguably only been somewhat successful in making that jump. It should take a page from Caroline’s book and let go of the past. Giving more of a focus to Caroline is a cool way to not only parallel that theme by trading in on an already-established through-line of one of its characters, but in making the show feel fresh after almost five full seasons of Elena/Damon/Stefan-focused storyline. Not an easy task, but one that seems tangible whenever Caroline is on the screen.

Another reason TVD needs to capitalize on Caroline’s presence is because, whenever Care is off the screen, there is this niggling voice whispering: she could be on The Originals right now. (We can’t be the only ones who hear this voice, right?) We agree with executive producer Julie Plec in her insistence that Caroline is an integral part of TVDbut only when the show lets her be. She could just as easily be an integral part of The Originals, especially now that Rebekah is no longer a main character. That show has a huge opening for a strong, female character the audience (and Klaus) already have an emotional connection to. Caroline could be that character. We just want to make the most out of this awesomely compelling role, and we’re not super picky over which show that would be. But, if TVD isn’t going to utilize Caroline to her full extent, then they should send her in the direction of New Orleans.

Do you think there should be more Caroline in Season 5 of TVD? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below!

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights 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+!