We’re still crying about Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) death in the last episode of The Vampire Diaries. Who doesn’t love the handsome, broody character so quick to set aside his own feelings if it means the happiness of his brother and former love of his life? We already miss his hero-haired presence on a show whose moral spectrum skews apathetic on a good day. That being said, here are three reasons we think TVD needs to resist bringing him back from the dead. Here are three reasons why Stefan Salvatore needs to stay dead.

This show needs consequences. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: for a dramatic TV show like TVD to stay compelling, it has to keep the stakes high and, right now, we don’t really believe that anything terrible will happen to these characters (and stick). It’s cried (were)wolf too many times. Gone are the days when this show truly shocked us, and we miss those days. Killing Stefan off for keeps? That would shock us, and make us well and truly frightened for the rest of these characters — something we haven’t been for a while. Stefan’s permanent death wouldn’t just be a permanent consequence for him, but a reality his loved ones would be forced to deal with, too.

It would force the show in a new direction. There’s nothing like killing of a main, main character to send a TV show in a new direction. Let’s face it: TVD has struggled to come up with fresh stories in Season 5. The love triangle is losing its edge. We need a change, and Stefan’s permanent death would send narrative shockwaves rippling through Season 6 and beyond.

It would make these characters more relatable. When TVD started, there was plenty we could relate to. A coming-of-age tale focused on one particular girl’s attempts to deal with tragedy while also crushing on the hot guys who just happened to move to town. There’s lots in there a non-vampire could relate to. These days, it’s one supernatural shenanigan after another. TVD has stopped even pretending that these characters go to class or that anyone else currently living in Mystic Falls has any bearing on our main characters’ existences. Death is universal. People don’t come back from it. Watching our TVDers deal with that reality rather than find a way around it would be a sure-fire way to bring relatability back to the show.

Do you think Stefan should stay dead? Why or why not? Share your thoughts 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+!