My obsessive coverage of Teen Wolf continues.
. . . do you think I could list ‘TV Marathon Champion’ as some kind of marketable skill on a resume?
Here be SPOILERS.
Scott McCall and his friends — well, friends, quasi-friends, and vague allies, anyway — have to deal with both an entire pack of Alpha werewolves and a dark druid who’s sacrificing half the population of Beacon Hills.
1. The credits somehow managed to get even funnier. Why? Because Scott, the teenage werewolf, randomly levitates.
I mean, what? Man, I laughed my ASS off.
2. Equally hysterical — the introduction of our Evil Alpha Twins, Ethan and Aidan, who can combine bodies into One Giant Evil Werewolf. I about died, I laughed so hard. This show. Oh, this show.
3. Sadly, there are things about this show that drive me a little nuts sometimes. Like when characters make correct assumptions based on no evidence that I can see — Lydia, for instance, tells
the audience Stiles that the human sacrifices are probably about gaining enough power to take on the Alpha pack. Or, for that matter, when Lydia decides that Scott’s not healing his wounds because he feels guilty about Derek supposedly dying, like that’s ever been a thing on this show. (Also, Derek? So obviously not dead. Honestly, people. Come on.)
Oh, and when the product placement is so terrible that even I notice it . . . I mean, that’s bad. That’s really bad. I am weirdly oblivious to 99% of that shit, so if I see it, you are doing an egregiously terrible job at being subtle.
For the most part, I forgive these things because there’s so much about this show that I do like. I will say, though, that I struggled pretty hard with the flashback episode this season. Not because the flashbacks themselves were terrible, but because the timeline made no sense at all.
Like, okay. If your werewolves age differently than the rest of the general population, that’s fine. Lots of supernatural beings do. But you can’t just half-ass answer the question because you’re trying to wiggle your way out of retconning shit, especially when your main character is a werewolf and that kind of thing is probably going to become relevant. That’s called cheating, and God help me, I take a certain amount of issue with it. I’m still not entirely clear on how old Derek is, how old Peter is, how many years ago these flashbacks took place, or why these two look a decade to two decades younger while Chris and Gerard Argent look the exact same age. Confused. So confused about this.
4. It should be said that Derek has basically the most tragic love life in all of existence.
Let’s look at his dating resume, shall we?
Girlfriend A: Paige — Dead. Mercy-killed by Derek when her body rejected the werewolf bite. (Giving him blue eyes — the eyes of a KILLER.)
Girlfriend B: Kate — Dead. Hunter who lied to him, used him, and burned most of his family alive.
Girlfriend C: Jennifer — Dead. Dark druid who spends the majority of this season trying to kill half of Beacon Hills in ritual sacrifices.
So, basically, Derek shouldn’t date. Or, you know, meet people. Cause, really, his tragedy is not limited to his romances — he loses Erica (who dies off-screen and in between seasons, which disappointed me) and Boyd (when the Alphas use Derek’s own claws to impale him — that was depressing). Almost everyone in his family is dead except his evil uncle (who himself murdered one of Derek’s siblings) and his newly discovered younger sister (who’s kind of a brat . . . and, seriously, where has she been this whole time? They, like, never get into that). Derek also gets the shit kicked out of him repeatedly this season and even sacrifices his own Alpha status to save his younger, bratty, weirdly mysterious sister.
Fandom, you are right. Derek is the saddest werewolf.
5. I must sadly inform you that some of the things I had hoped for in Season 3A did not come to pass. For instance, they got rid of the hilarious werewolf running. (I can only assume it cost too much — this is clearly not a show with a hugely extensive budget.) Also, as far as female villains go . . . well, I liked Jennifer well enough, but Kali? Kali is SO ANNOYING.
It’s the bare feet thing. It just kills me. She’d be walking around the hospital with her nasty werewolf toes, and I’d be like, First, how come NOBODY notices this, and also, put on some damn shoes, you furry reject. I was very happy when Jennifer killed her.
However, I must say that I’m noticing a slightly disturbing trend here with our villains: the male ones get to live (Deucalion, Gerard Argent) or come back to life (Peter), while the female ones pretty much stay dead (Kate, Mrs. Argent, Jennifer, Kali). I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but I can’t believe Scott and Derek let Deucalion live at the end of this season. I mean, come on. What. The. Hell. (Deucalion also wasn’t super impressive. I mean, he was okay — he had the most villainous British accent I’ve ever heard in my whole life — but he was a little hard to take seriously, what with the whole “I AM THE DEMON WOLF!” thing.)
6. On the other hand, there’s a lot to enjoy in Season 3 too. Some of it actually is plot-related — I like that we’ve got two Big Bads who are basically squaring off against each other, and our good guys have to pick sides in sort of a ‘lesser of two evils’ scenario. But the majority of what I love about this show is character-based stuff because that’s kind of what I live for. I will forgive a lot if I buy into the actual characters and their relationships enough.
A few of the specific moments I loved:
A: Stiles talks Scott out of killing himself
Scott’s all hallucinating and suicidal in this one episode and he’s about to set himself on fire with a road flare and a shit ton of gasoline. When Allison, Lydia, and Stiles find him, Allison’s the one standing closest (and also his true wuv and whatnot, even if they aren’t currently together), so you’re thinking she’s going to be the one to talk him down. Which would have been okay, I guess, but it’s so much better when best friend Stiles steps up — or steps forward, I should say, into the pool of gasoline so that Scott can’t kill himself without killing Stiles too.
This is a good scene — the only problem with it is the music. Teen Wolf features a ton of popular and alternative music, which I mostly enjoy — but this is Melodramatic Moment Music that swells the instant Stiles steps into the gasoline. And it’s frustrating because the actors had this, you know? Trust your actors to bring the emotion, guys, cause even though I ultimately liked the scene, the music kind of cheapened the moment.
B: Stiles has a panic attack and Lydia fixes it with a kiss
So, Stiles hasn’t been in a great place, emotionally, since his dad was abducted by an evil supernatural being, but he’s holding on to the fact that Dark Druid Jennifer won’t sacrifice his dad until she gets her hands on Chris Argent. When that happens, Stiles has a panic attack in the middle of the hallway, which is excellent because a) angst! and b) it’s totally keeping in character, as Stiles is basically constantly in a state of anxiety over his dad’s safety, not to mention that he has history of panic attacks, brought up way the hell back in Season One. (Can we get a HELL YEAH for continuity?)
Lydia drags him to the locker room and tries to get him to slow his breathing. And here’s the thing — I was not a Stiles/Lydia shipper for the first two seasons. Stiles had this huge, lifelong crush on Lydia, who basically never so much as glanced at him, and I was really hoping this season would bring a new love interest or something for him. And while they didn’t exactly do that — well, they kind of did, only to kill her off five seconds later — Stiles and Lydia seemed to develop an actual friendship with all these moments where they had to lean on each other, and it was kind of awesome. So when she kisses him, I was like, You know, I don’t NEED these two to get together, but if they do . . . I would totally be okay with that. Which was kind of neat.
C. Basically any moment Allison’s being haunted by her dead mother.
Not just because I missed Mrs. Argent — although I did — but because I like how Allison’s grown over the past few seasons from this lovestruck and slightly whiny teenage girl into this pretty badass monster hunter. Thing is, she’s still a teenage girl, so when she does get understandably upset about something — like trying to sew her ex-boyfriend back up before he dies — the ghost of Mrs. Argent pops up as the pissed off voice of her subconscious, trying to get her to calm down, be strong, and do what needs to be done. Allison’s had a few moments like this in earlier seasons, but I think 3A is the first time I’ve really enjoyed her character consistently. (This is also possibly because she’s not dating Scott anymore, which kind of frees her up to be more than just a love interest.)
D. Melissa McCall is the most badass nurse on the planet.
And I know a fair number of nurses, so I can say that.
First off, Melissa’s all competent and awesome when she saves Danny’s life by herself. (I mean, this was a little ridiculous because I don’t think this show has any idea how many doctors are in-house at any given time, but whatever. I’ll let this go for now, mostly because Melissa is awesome, and it’s pretty adorable how impressed Scott is with her.) But if that wasn’t enough, THEN she saves her kid by knocking out the evil twins in their Ridiculous Giant Joined Werewolf Form with a defibrillator. And she doesn’t even have to do a “clear” joke.
Oh my God, I love you, Mrs. McCall.
E. Danny jokes about having sex with Stiles, and Stiles . . . might be okay if that wasn’t a joke.
One of the things I continue to love about this show is how they deal with the representation of gay teenagers. For instance, Danny continues to be this popular, athletic guy that everyone loves because no one gives a shit if he’s gay or not. Then he actually gets a main character boyfriend this season, Alpha-Twin Ethan. So we now have two gay characters on this show.
And then we get this scene where Stiles is freaking out that someone is killing off virgins, and when Danny jokingly offers to sex him up, Stiles does basically the opposite of having an “Oh my God, I’m not gay, are you actually hitting on me” comic meltdown — which, let’s be honest, is how 98% of all other TV shows would have played this scene. Instead, Stiles is like, hey, that’s kind of sweet, like he’s actually considering it, and then is all affronted and annoyed when he finds out that Danny’s kidding. Which could just be a nice moment, or could open up the door on the possibility of Stiles being bisexual — something that the creator Jeff Davis has spoken about and something I will be coming back to in my eventual Season 3B recap.
F. Stiles purposefully makes Jared throw up so that Coach will have no choice but to pull the bus over (which Stiles needs to happen so that he, Lydia, and Allison can save Scott’s life).
Because it’s funny and a little mean, and because that smile is so ridiculously demented. HEART YOU SO MUCH, STILES.
7. Finally — because I will never stop loving the relationships between these kids and their parents, or at least I hope not — I love that Scott, Stiles, and Allison all sacrifice themselves (at least temporarily) to save their respective parents.
It’s kind of awesome, and it sets up the next season really nicely, with that ‘how will this permanent heart of darkness thing’ manifest for our heroes. Oh, and Scott’s a TRUE ALPHA now, so we’ll have to see how that plays out too. (He’d kind of have to be better at it than Derek, right? I mean, I like Derek, but I’m not convinced that a leadership role is one that particularly suits him. Then again, Scott has issues with priorities himself. Issac’s been seriously wounded and there are evil werewolves running around, but by all means, Scott, let’s take the time to get that tattoo.)
Oh, and, AND the Sheriff finally finds out about werewolves! Excellent! This means he and Mrs. McCall can finally start dating, yes? Yes?
Stiles: “You okay?”
Scott: “It kind of burns.”
Stiles: “Yes. You just had your skin stabbed about a hundred thousand times by a needle.”
(about his very new — and now vanished — tattoo)
Scott: “It healed.”
Stiles: “Oh, thank God, I hated it . . . sorry.”
(Sheriff trying to get Stiles to stop researching deer-related car accidents and go to school)
Sheriff: “I’m not going to beg you.”
Stiles: “Good, I’m impervious to your influence anyway.”
Sheriff: “Would you consider a bribe?”
Stiles: “Couldn’t meet my price.”
Stiles: “You got nothing on me.”
Sheriff: “. . . yeah.”
(Sheriff physically drags Stiles’s chair away from the computer. Stiles, still trying to reach for it, eventually falls on his face.)
Sheriff: “Since the amnesiac in 215 can’t tell us anything, I need the girl with the modified military stun gun in 216 to answer a few questions.”
(Scott and Allison are pressed up together, facing one another, while hiding in a closet.)
Allison: “What are you doing?”
Allison: “Part of you is doing something.”
Scott: “Oh! Sorry.”
Scott: “I . . . kind of don’t have control over that.”
Allison: “Okay, I’ll turn around.”
Scott: “That’s worse.”
Danielle: “You know your first time is usually kind of gross and it hurts.”
Heather: “That’s fine with me.”
Danielle: “No romance, no love?”
Heather: “When I fall in love, I wanna be good at it.”
Stiles: “Hey, you remember when we were little kids, and we used to come down here all the time and –”
(Heather kisses him)
Stiles: “Yeah, we never did that.”
Heather: “Stiles, I just turned seventeen today. You know what I want for my birthday?”
Stiles: “A bike?”
Heather: “To not be a seventeen year old virgin . . . have you never done it before either?”
Stiles: “Turned seventeen? No, not yet, no.”
Stiles: “Yeah, maybe that other thing too.”
Heather: “Do you want to? I mean, would you be okay with that?”
Stiles: “Would I be okay with that? I believe so, yeah.”
Lydia: “What do you think you’re doing?”
Aidan: “What do you mean?”
Lydia: “I mean, your hands.”
Aidan: “They’re on your waist.”
Lydia: “I know. What am I, a nun? Put them somewhere useful.”
Issac: “I still don’t like him.”
Derek: “Nobody likes him.”
Peter: “Boys, FYI: coming back from the dead has left my abilities somewhat impaired, but the hearing still works. So I hope you’re comfortable saying whatever it is you’re feeling straight to my face.”
Derek: “We don’t like you.”
Issac: “It’s safe, though, right?”
Deaton: “Do you want me to answer honestly?”
Issac: “No. No, not really.”
Stiles: “Is this whole like ‘remain optimistic in the face of complete and utter disaster’ thing a part of the ‘Be a Better Scott McCall’ program?”
Derek: “So I’m just supposed to let them die?”
Peter: “One of them’s already dead.”
Derek: “We don’t know that.”
Peter: “Do I have to remind you what we’re up against here? A pack of Alphas, all of them killers. And if that’s not enough to scare your testicles back into your stomach, try to remember that two of them combine to form one giant Alpha. I’m sure Erica and Boyd were sweet kids. They’re going to be missed.”
Stiles: “Can someone kill him again, please?”
Stiles: “You called the police before you called me?”
Lydia: “I’m supposed to call you first when I find a dead body?”
Scott: “Just curious . . . is there a reason the gun is still pointed at me?”
Lydia: “Sweetheart, we’re not in the mood for funny.”
Stiles: “Was he like, could he have been a virgin, maybe? Did he look like a virgin? Was he, you know, virginal?”
Scott: “No. Definitely not. Deaton makes me have sex with all of his clients. It’s a new policy.”
Stiles: “Missing and presumed dead, Scott, because he was probably a virgin. You know who else is a virgin? Me. I’m a virgin, okay? You know what that means? It means my lack of sexual experience is literally a threat to my life, okay? I need to have sex. Like right now. Someone needs to have sex with me today. Like someone needs to sex me right now.”
(Locker door closes and reveals Danny standing behind him.)
Danny: “All right, I’ll do it.”
Stiles: “Whoa! What?”
Danny: “Come over to my place at 9pm. Plan on staying the night. I like to cuddle.”
Stiles: “That was so sweet. Are you kidding?”
Danny: “Yes. I’m kidding.”
Stiles: “You don’t toy with a guy’s emotions like that, Danny. It’s not attractive, all right?”
Coach: “May I remind you that cross-country is not optional for lacrosse players. I don’t need you turning into a bunch of fat asses during the off season.” (looks around at Issac and Danny, who are both shirtless and ridiculously ripped) “So . . . work on that.”
Scott: “Seriously, dude, human sacrifices?”
Stiles: “Scott, your eyes turn into yellow glow sticks, okay? Hair literally grows from your cheeks and then will immediately disappear, and if I were to stab you right now, it would just magically heal. But you’re telling me that you’re having trouble grasping human sacrifices?”
Allison: “It’d make me really happy if you didn’t.”
Issac: “Yeah, well, your being happy isn’t really a big priority of mine since you stabbed me twenty times with knives.”
Allison: “They were actually Chinese ring daggers.”
Stiles: “You know that there’s a temple in Calcutta where they used to a sacrifice a child every day? That’s every day a dead baby day, Lydia, every day. You know what today is? It’s Dead Baby Day. Oh, no, wait, that’s every day because every day is dead baby day, yay!”
Scott: “There’s safety in numbers.”
Stiles: “Well, there’s also death in numbers. It’s called a massacre. Or a bloodbath. Carnage, slaughter, butchery . . .”
Ethan (to Scott): “I don’t know what happened last night, but I’m pretty sure you saved my life.”
Stiles: “Actually, I saved your life, but . . . not that it matters that much, it’s a . . . minor detail . . .”
Lydia: “I’m not a psychic.”
Stiles: “You’re something, okay?”
Melissa: “You’re supposed to be dead.”
Peter: “I get that a lot, actually.”
Melissa: “You’re him, aren’t you?”
Melissa: “The bad guy.”
Stiles: “You know, you’re a lot easier to talk to when you’re completely unconscious.”
Stiles: “You know, the next time I put my lips to your mouth, you better be awake.”
Issac: “Not to bring up uncomfortable memories, but wasn’t the last time you saw them the time you killed Kate and they burned you alive?”
Melissa: “Is she actually going to come down here and slash all our throats?”
Sheriff: “Nah. She’ll come down, strangle us with a garrote, and then slash our throats.”
Scott: “What if it’s someone else from school? Remember Matt? We didn’t know he was killing people.”
Stiles: “Excuse me? Sorry, what? I — yes, we did, I called that from day one, actually.”
Scott: “Yeah, but we never really seriously thought that it was Matt.”
Stiles: “I was serious. I was quite serious, actually, deadly serious. No one listened to me.”
Scott: “Remember that whole thing we talked about where I wasn’t accusing you of being there, and if you were there that you shouldn’t be? Thanks for not listening.”
Scott: “They’re trying to help.”
Derek: “These two? This one, who used me to resurrect my psychotic uncle. Thank you. And this one who shot about thirty arrows into me and my pack.”
Stiles: “Where do you live?”
Peter: “In an underground network of caves hidden deep in the woods.”
Stiles: “Whoa, really?”
Peter: “No, you idiot. In an apartment downtown.”
Stiles: “Lydia, you’re supposed to call us after you find the dead body.”
Lydia: “Oh, no, I’m not doing that again. You find the dead body from now on.”
Stiles: “How are we supposed to find the dead body? You’re always the one finding the dead body.”
Scott: “Guys. I found the dead body.”
Agent McCall: “A Stilinski at the center of this mess, what a shocker. Think you can answer some questions without the usual level of sarcasm?”
Stiles: “If you can ask the questions without the usual level of stupid.”
Agent McCall: “Where’s your dad, and why has no one been able to contact him?”
Stiles: “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in hours.”
Agent McCall “Is he drinking again?”
Stiles: “What do you mean, again? He never had to stop.”
Agent McCall: “But he did have to slow down. Is he drinking like he used to?”
Stiles: “All right, how about this? Next time I see him, I’ll give him a field sobriety test, okay? We’ll do the alphabet, start with ‘F’ end with ‘U’.
Stiles: “Why do I care? Let’s see . . . because over the last few weeks, my best friend has tried to kill himself. His boss nearly got ritually sacrificed. A girl I’ve known since I was three was ritually sacrificed. Boyd was killed by the Alphas. I . . . do you want me to keep going? Cause I can, all right? For like an hour.”
Danny: “What are you doing?”
Stiles: “I’m not doing anything, Danny. This is just a dream you’re having.”
Danny: “Why are you going through my stuff?”
Stiles: “Right, but only in the dream, remember. Dream. Dreaming.”
Danny: “Why would I dream about you going through my stuff?”
Stiles: “I don’t know that, Danny, okay? It’s your dream. Take responsibility for it.”
Issac: “So, we’re going to trust him? The guy who calls himself Death, Destroyer of Worlds? We’re going to trust that guy?”
Issac: “So, your sister . . .”
(Derek stares at him)
Issac: “Yeah, it’s bad timing, I’m sorry.”
(Derek looks away.)
Issac: “I’ll ask later, it’s fine.”
(Derek raises his eyebrows and stares at him again.)
Issac: “Or never. Yeah, yeah, I’m good with never.”
Some plot conveniences and retcon-y shit that kind of drove me nuts . . . but still an awful lot of damn fun with great character moments, witty dialogue, and good representation.
When the bad guys are after you and they all know where you live, by all means, continue to keep hanging out there. For Christ’s sake, Derek.