Ever since Legacies debuted in 2018, the series has struggled to explain the lack of Caroline Forbes, also known as mother to Lizzie and Josie Saltzman.
The common excuse has been that Caroline is in Europe to find a way to prevent the merge between her daughters.
While that's a decent justification, recent events in Mystic Falls make it seem like her daughters have been abandoned entirely.
But even before that, when Kai escaped from the prison world, her daughters and even her ex-lover were stuck there for a small period of time.
Yet, Caroline still remained out of the picture.
This is not consistent with the Caroline we knew and loved on The Vampire Diaries. Even though she was self-centered when that beloved show began, she grew to be more mindful of the feelings of others.
But these are her kids we're talking about. If anyone understands the severity of recent events, it's Caroline, and with the merge completed, the show is going to face an uphill battle to give answers.
The lack of Caroline stems from King not wanting to be a part of the series at the moment. Hell, she played the character for eight years and became a household name as a result.
She even reprised the role on The Originals Season 5 for multiple episodes, so we can understand that King wants to put the character to bed to give her a rest.
If the actress never plans on appearing, then the character needs to be killed off. I've been a fan of the franchise since The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Episode 1, but the way Caroline is being written makes her seem like the worst mother out there.
Caroline would move mountains for her children and even for Alaric. Just look at the way she tried to help Klaus before his death.
She's a loving woman, but the fault here lies with the creative forces behind Legacies. Julie Plec has been open about wanting King to reprise her role, but it seems like the actress is over it.
That's why we, the viewers, need some progression. There's only so many times we'll stand for the half-baked tidbits of information about her whereabouts.
Even if there was important stuff for Caroline to tend to, she would find the time to return to her old stomping grounds instead of viewers learning that the twins spent the summer with her in Europe or something.
The franchise has already used a sleeping curse, so that won't fly unless the majority of the Legacies fanbase has not watched the two shows that came before, which, come to think of it, might very well be the case.
Killing Caroline would open a lot of doors, story-wise, and it would make the set-up of the series a little bit more believable.
Now, I could be surprised, and King could agree to appear on Legacies Season 3, but at this stage, it seems unlikely.
Many thought Chris Wood would never return as Kai, and we got two episodes with him. That was fun, until Kai's demise.
It's also possible that the merge that was completed was not legit, and the twins are in for a nasty shock.
That would give another silly reason to keep Caroline in Europe, but even if Legacies travels that direction, staying away from her kids as they inch closer to a potential demise is not good.
What if, God forbid, the twins are forced to merge all over again and one of them dies?
Recent events in Mystic Falls should be enough to make her stop and think about what she's doing on another continent so far from her family.
Most of the time, when former characters have appeared on Legacies, I've been unimpressed, but Caroline helped make the school what it is today, so she needs to arrive at some point.
A recast or a Dynasty-like catastrophe would not go down well with fans, not in the slightest. At least not for this fan! And for those saying it would be the next best thing, it really wouldn't be.
There's a reason why Caroline is such a fan-favorite -- it's that Candice King delivers a flawless performance when she takes on the role.
A theory I've seen a lot online is that King would look older than the role she's playing.
Caroline was turned into a vampire while she was still a teenager, but King appeared on The Originals less than two years ago. This is TV, and actors have played much younger roles since the dawn of the small screen.
Anyway, I'm not sure I'm going to be satisfied with whatever direction they take this storyline, but I want to hear from you!
What do you think of the excuses for the lack of Caroline Forbes?
Are you ready for her to return?
Did you watch The Vampire Diaries, or are you new to the franchise?
Hit the comments below.
Legacies is currently on a Coronavirus pandemic-induced hiatus.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.