I wasn’t actually planning to do another Teen Wolf retrospective, but Mekaela asked me to write one up after watching Season 2, and, well, her birthday is coming up, so I was like fine.
This probably just means I’ll have to do one for every season now, whether anyone else is interested in reading them or not. Cause, yeah. I kind of love this show. Suck it, haters.
Sorry, guys. This one’s got SPOILERS throughout.
Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) is still a teenage werewolf in love with a girl from a family of werewolf hunters. But now her super evil grandfather has come into town looking for revenge, local alpha Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) is intent on making even more teenage werewolves, and, oh yeah, and there’s a giant lizard-thing killing people. Fun times in Beacon Hills!
1. Have I mentioned that this show knows its audience? Because it does.
This is how Season 2 begins, with a half-naked Abercrombie & Fitch model springing out of the water for absolutely no reason at all. (Okay. I guess it could be kind of an early misdirect, seeing how Jackson’s lizard form absolutely detests the water. But it’s totally not.)
Oh, Teen Wolf. Stay shameless, buddy. Stay shameless.
2. Stiles and his dad continue to have the best relationship ever.
Seriously, this is my favorite parent-kid dynamic on TV since Veronica and Keith Mars. I continue to love how anxious Stiles is about the only parent he has left, and I godamn adore the scene where the Sheriff reveals he lost his job because of the shit Stiles has pulled in the name of fighting evil. For one thing, actual consequences? Generally a good thing to have in your show. For another, this scene just doesn’t play out at all the way you might expect. Like, I would have assumed that there’d be a lot of yelling and grounding and talking about being disappointed — all of which would have been pretty justifiable, from the dad’s point of view — but instead the Sheriff just wears this quietly devastated expression on his face as he tries to reassure his son that they’re going to be okay and that he just doesn’t even have it in him right then to get angry, and it’s just . . . it is a really godamn good scene. So much love I have for Linden Ashby and Dylan O’Brien right now.
If either of their characters are EVER killed off, I will lead a godamn revolt.
3. Of course, most of my favorite scenes from this season include Stiles because — and say it with me now — Stiles is the best. I figured I might as well highlight a couple.
So, in fandom, the big Teen Wolf pairing is Stiles/Derek. (Or Sterek — which I refuse to call it because I only like combining names if they actually create some semblance of a real word, like Tony Stark and Pepper Potts being Pepperony.) I knew Stiles/Derek was everyone’s OTP before I watched the show, before I even knew who these characters were, but what I didn’t expect was that, in the actual show, these guys barely even tolerate each other.
Stiles spends basically all of first season hoping for Derek to die, and Derek — while not quite so actively wishing for Stiles’s death — does slam the kid’s head into his own steering wheel. (In Derek’s defense, Stiles did kind of deserve it.) They’re a little nicer to each other in the second season . . . which is to say, they each save the other person’s life, however reluctantly . . . but that’s about it. The idea of these two characters ever actually getting together (assuming they were even both bisexual) is pretty ridiculous, at least at this point. On the other hand, Dylan O’Brien and Tyler Hoechlin do actually have this weirdly good antagonistic chemistry onscreen, so I totally get where shippers are coming from. I really like watching scenes where they’re thrown together too, and they are thrown together a few times in the season, sometimes pretty literally. Because — as evidenced by Jackson’s aquatic opening scene — the showrunners know their audience, and they listen to their fandom.
Which means we get some total fan service when Stiles has to cling to a temporarily paralyzed Derek to keep him from drowning in a pool while a hydrophobic monster circles around them.
The only thing that could have made this scene more shameless was if Stiles had stripped out of his track suit before jumping in after Derek. (Sadly for Stiles fans, I think Dylan O’Brien is the only guy who hasn’t taken off his shirt for this show — although they did tease it in an earlier episode, where he was changing back out of his lacrosse clothes — only to entirely block his whole body with a locker door. It was pretty hilarious.)
Oh, show. Seriously, never change.
4. The other Stiles scene I want to highlight is a considerably more serious one, where in the aftermath of a hostage situation at the police station, Stiles is talking to the school’s guidance counselor who, naturally, knows more about this supernatural stuff than she’s letting on.
(The counselor is played by Bianca Lawson, who was Kendra in BTVS and Emily Bennett in The Vampire Diaries, so I think we all knew that she wasn’t just going to be another oblivious adult in this show.)
This is a really well-acted and well-written scene that does a couple of things pretty awesomely: it manages to deliver some exposition in an actually interesting way, and it gets us pretty squarely into Stiles’s headspace, showing that, hey, maybe there might be some emotional and psychological fallout from all the entirely insane and violent shit that’s happening all the time. The drowning metaphor stuff is pretty great and eventually, when I’ve caught up on the whole series, you can bet your ass I’m writing a fic that deals with voluntary apnea.
5. The thing about this scene, though — it’s such a good look at Stiles’s frame of mind that it made me realize I’d like to see more of that from some other characters. I mean, don’t take away from my Stiles angst — I like to see my favorite characters in as much emotional pain as possible because I’m a terrible person — but some of the side characters, particularly Derek and his merry band of werewolves, could use a little more interiority, I think, and I’m hopeful we’ll get some of that in Season 3.
6. A positive character change in Season 2? Scott McCall becomes a hero.
Also, he cuts his floppy hair and gains additional muscle mass, which — admittedly — doesn’t hurt. But really, this is the season where Scott takes more of a ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ attitude to his whole werewolf abilities, and that’s a good thing, for both the character and the show. Cause character growth is pretty much always a decent idea, and it also means that Scott probably only spends 60% of his time thinking about Allison instead of 99.999999%. Great for those of us who aren’t really in it for the whole Romeo and Juliet romance BS.
Although. The boy still needs to learn how to answer his damn phone. Seriously.
7. One of the things I like about Teen Wolf is that it’s not always easy to predict where it’s going, not because the showrunners don’t have a plan, but because the characters don’t all break down into easy good guys versus bad guys. There are good guys and bad guys, but basically everyone has their own agenda, which means you get a lot of interesting character dynamics and shifting alliances that frequently change up the game. It’s kind of cool.
8. That being said, I did have some problems with how the season finale wrapped up.
This is Gerard (Michael Hogan — yes, from BSG), Allison’s evil grandfather, and for the most part, I found him pretty campy and enjoyable. But — his secret plan all along was to get bitten by an alpha? Really? Like, sure, he doesn’t want to die, and I’m all on board with that, but dude, this is a super overcomplicated plan just to have Derek attack him with his teeth. There’s got to be a simpler way to get bitten by a werewolf — I mean, Mrs. Argent managed it, and she wasn’t even trying.
Honestly, this doesn’t really bother me all that much — I find it too funny to be too horribly annoyed by it — but it is totally mock-worthy, and thus I must mock.
My other (and slightly more serious) problem is Lydia saving Jackson through the Power of Love.
Mostly because they totally weren’t in love. I mean, as a general rule, the Power of Love is not my favorite method of defeating evil, but it can, on occasion, be done well — assuming you buy the two characters involved are anywhere near love, which — HA. These two? Are you kidding me right now, show? There’s evidence to argue that Lydia cares about Jackson, sure, and I could be convinced that somewhere in Jackson’s tiny, shriveled, lizard heart he has a small amount of secret regard for Lydia — but certainly not the kind of everlasting bond that will cure him of being a monster, okay? I mean, come on. There is absolutely nothing in two seasons to suggest this kind of love between them, unless people think that being dumped by text message is a sign of true affection.
I feel like I should say — the actors aren’t at fault here. Holland Roden is enjoyable as Lydia, and Colton Haynes is very effective at playing a complete tool — to the point where I keep laughing when I see him on Arrow now — but this supposed actual luv of theirs? I know the actors try to sell it in that climactic scene, but I just couldn’t buy into it at all.
9. On the plus side, Teen Wolf did something I don’t normally like and made it work. What, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: they brought Peter (Ian Bohen) back to life. Peter, I assumed, was a one-season villain, and when I found out that he was going to be resurrected — because I’ve been spoiled for a good handful of things, as you will when you read fanfiction before you see the show — I kind of groaned. But Peter was just so damn snarky and delightful that I immediately started rooting for him despite myself.
10. Sadly, Mrs. Argent will probably not be returning to us next season.
I will miss your crazy intense face, Mrs. Argent. I can only hope that, in your absence — and also in Kate’s absence, who I deeply adored — we will continue to get awesome female villains in Season 3.
11. But, you know, maybe no more werewolf seduction scenes? Cause, like, okay. Derek makes three unpopular teenagers werewolves: Issac, Erica, and Boyd. But Erica’s the only one he comes onto — in a morgue — like a total skeevy fucker. Actually, that’s possibly not true — we didn’t see him bite Boyd, so who knows; maybe he did creepily hit on him as well – but I kind of doubt it. I know this scene is supposed to be sexy and all, but unfortunately, it’s just a little too sexist for me to get into it.
Although I’d totally forgive it if there was a deleted scene with Derek doing some equal opportunity seducing of Boyd in some dark and totally inappropriate place. (Or, possibly, just in the ice rink, with his back up against the zamboni. Seriously, all the fanfiction ideas right now.)
12. In the list of things to keep or not keep for Season Three? Two words: werewolf running. It drives me INSANE that I can’t seem to find a video or a gif of this, but when the werewolves run on all fours around the forest, it’s just . . . it’s the most ridiculous looking thing EVER. So, obviously, keep. Keep keep keep. I love to laugh.
13. Finally, I almost forgot to mention — Season Two comes with opening credits, and they are hilarious.
Seriously, seriously, show. NEVER EVER CHANGE.
QUOTES. LIKE, LOTS OF QUOTES:
Scott: “She ate the liver?”
Stiles: “No, I didn’t say she ate it. I just said it was missing. And you know what? Even if she did, so what? It’s the most nutritious part of the body.”
Scott: “I never ate anyone’s liver.”
Stiles: “Yeah, right, cause when it comes to werewolves, you’re a real model of self control.”
Principal: “You can’t fire me.”
Mrs. Argent: “True. But we can torture you.”
Stiles: “This newfound heroism is making me very attracted to you.”
Coach: “McCall, I don’t know why, but your pain gives me a special kind of joy.”
Scott: “Dude, everyone in here is a dude. I think we’re in a gay club.”
(Stiles is surrounded by a group of drag queens, some of whom are petting him.)
Stiles: “Man, nothing gets past those keen werewolf senses, huh, Scott?”
(Danny has been temporarily paralyzed, along with some other people at the club.)
Scott: “Are you okay?”
Danny: “Did it happen to my ex too?”
Danny: “Then I’m great.”
Scott: “What did you tell her?”
Allison: “That we were part of an online gaming community that battled mythical creatures.”
Stiles: “I am part of an online gaming community that battles mythical creatures.”
Matt: “Photographers call them candids.”
Allison: “Well, police officers call it stalking.”
Scott: “Why should I apologize?”
Stiles: “Because you’re the guy. It’s, like, what we do.”
Peter: “Quite the situation you’ve got yourself in here, Derek. I mean, I’m out of commission for a few weeks, and suddenly there’s lizard people and geriatric psychopaths, and you’re cooking up werewolves out of every self-esteem deprived adolescent in town.”
Danny: “I’m supposed to watch you in bed? You remember all the times I told you you’re not my type?”
Jackson: “Just do it. Oh, and FYI? I’m everyone’s type.”
Scott: “He thinks the Argents have some record of all the creatures they’ve hunted, like a book.”
Stiles: “He probably means a bestiary.”
Scott: “A what?”
Stiles: “A bestiary.”
Scott (laughing): “I think you mean bestiality.”
Stiles: “Nope. Pretty sure I don’t.”
Allison: “I think you mean –”
Stiles: “No, I mean bestiary. And the two of you, I don’t wanna know what’s going on in your heads.”
Derek: “Can you get me out of here before I drown?”
Stiles: “You’re worried about drowning? Did you notice the thing out there with multiple rows of teeth?”
Derek: “Did you notice that I’m paralyzed from the neck down in eight feet of water?”
Derek: “They say he’s in some kind of transparent casing made from the venom that’s coming out of his claws.”
Peter: “That sounds sufficiently terrifying.”
Derek: “They also say he’s starting to move.”
Peter: “Okay, I found something. Looks like what we’ve seen from Jackson is just the kanima’s beta shape.”
Derek: “What, it can turn into something bigger?”
(Peter finds picture of the kanima’s alpha shape)
Peter: “Bigger and badder.”
Derek: “He’s turning into that? That . . . has wings.”
Peter: “I can see them.”
Peter: “Look, someone actually made an animation of it. Maybe it’s less frightening if we — nope, not at all.”
(Stiles is running messages — literally — between Scott and Allison, who aren’t supposed to be seeing each other)
Stiles: “You know, drug dealers have been using disposable cellphones pretty successfully for years.”
(In the locker room, before a big lacrosse game)
Coach: “Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will be joining others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.”
Melissa McCall: “What?”
Coach: “Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today –”
Melissa McCall: “What the hell is he talking about?”
Stiles: “He does this every year.”
Melissa McCall: “Seriously?”
Coach: “We are fighting for our right to live –”
Melissa McCall: “Wait. Is this –”
Stiles: “Yeah, it’s the speech from Independence Day.”
Coach: “But as the day when the world declared in one voice –”
Stiles: “It’s Coach’s favorite movie.”
Coach: “We will not go quietly into the night!”
Melissa McCall: “He doesn’t know any sports speeches?”
Stiles: “Yeah, I don’t think he cares.”
Derek: “Why would I want help from a total psycho?”
Peter: “First of all, I’m not a total psycho. And by the way, you’re the one who slashed my throat wide open, but we’re all works in progress, right, so.”
Sheriff: “Why would this kid want most of the 2006 swim team and its coach dead?”
Stiles: “Isn’t it obvious? . . . our swim team sucks! They haven’t won in like six years — okay, we don’t have a motive yet.”
(Stiles is trying to convince his father that the person on the video camera is Matt)
Stiles: How many people do you know wear a black leather jacket?”
Sheriff: “Millions. Literally.”
Deaton: “Don’t worry. You’re still an alpha, but as usual, not a particularly competent one.”
Matt: “Werewolves, hunters, kanimas. It’s like a fricking Halloween party every full moon. Except you, Stiles. What do you turn into?”
Stiles: “Abominable Snowman. But it’s more of, like, a wintertime thing. You know, seasonal.”
Stiles: “Hey, what if it’s Matt? I mean, this whole thing comes back to the video, right?”
Scott: “Well, Danny said that he’s the one who found the two hours of footage missing.”
Stiles: “Exactly! He’s trying to throw suspicion off himself.”
Scott: “So he makes Jackson kill Issac’s dad, one of Argent’s hunters, and a mechanic working on your jeep?”
Stiles: “Because . . . he’s evil.”
Scott: “You just don’t like him.”
Stiles: “The guy bugs me. I don’t know what it is. Just look at his face.”
Miss Morell: “Think about what Winston Churchill said: if you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Scott: “You saw the lacrosse thing today?”
Scott: “Did it look that bad?”
Sheriff: “What are you doing here?”
Stiles: “What do you mean, what am I doing here? What? It’s a club. It’s a club, we were clubbing, you know? At the club.”
Sheriff: “Not exactly your type of club.”
Stiles: “Uh . . . well, Dad, there’s a conversation that we –”
Sheriff: “You’re not gay.”
Stiles: “I could be!”
Sheriff: “Not dressed like that.”
(Stiles looks down at his clothes, offended)
Stiles: “Oh my God, oh my God. Could this get any worse?”
(Jackson, mostly unconscious in the back of the car, starts to moan.)
Stiles: “That was rhetorical!”
Jackson: “Let me out, now!”
Stiles: “You know, I put those pants on you. All right, buddy? One leg at a time. Being all up close and personal with your junk wasn’t exactly a highlight of my day, so don’t think this is fun for me, either.”
Stiles: “You know we’re actually doing you a favor.”
Jackson: “This is doing me a favor?”
Stiles: “Yes. You’re killing people. To death.”
Issac: “Who is he?”
Scott: “That’s Peter, Derek’s uncle. Little while back, he tried to kill us all, so we set him on fire and Derek and slashed his throat.”
Issac: “It’s good to know.”
Sheriff: “I’m not sharing confidential police work with a teenager.”
Stiles: “Is that it on the board behind you?”
Sheriff: “Don’t look at that.”
Boyd: “I just wanna not eat lunch alone everyday.”
Scott: “If you’re looking for friends, you can do a lot better than Derek.”
Derek: “That really hurts, Scott.”
Melissa McCall: “It’s not just this. Although a restraining order is a new low that I didn’t think you would reach quite this soon. It’s everything on top of it, the completely bizarre behavior, the late nights coming home. Having to beg Mr. Harris for you to make up that chemistry test you missed.”
Scott: “I missed a chemistry test?”
Melissa McCall: “Really, Scott? Really?”
Stiles: “Sounds like the beginning of a heartfelt story, but I’m gonna pass.”
Coach: “What the hell is wrong with your friend?”
Stiles: “Well, he’s failing two classes, he’s a little socially awkward, and if you look closely, his jawline is a little uneven.”
Deaton: “This part is for you, Stiles. Only you.”
Stiles: “Uh, that sounds like a lot of pressure. Can we maybe find a slightly less pressure filled task for me?”
Totally enjoyable. Despite some wrap-up problems — particularly with Jackson and Lydia — I liked this season better than last season. And I am ALL about the Stilinski Family Feels.
Dylan O’Brien. I feel like that might continue to be a pretty consistent thing, although it should be said my second choice this season would have been Linden Ashby, who was just as good; he just has a lot less screen time.
Love will cure you of being a giant lizard. It will not save your relationship when your boyfriend’s kinda-ally is indirectly responsible for your mom’s death, though.