Season 1 of Teen Wolf appealed to many because at its heart it was a high school dramedy full of normal issues of classes, relationships, parents, etc., there just happened to be werewolves involved. Season 2 looked to branch out even further, and after the season finale it’s safe to say the show might have bitten off more than it can chew.
The Master Plan
That was the master plan? …If I could fill the entire section with an unending ellipsis I would just to thoroughly express how anticlimactic that was. Granted, I might do that for my entire write-up just to symbolize the WTF mindset I’m rocking right now.
Throughout the season Gerard has been a puppet master of sorts in the sense that he has been pulling Scott’s strings and manipulating the world so that his plan will come to fruition; at least that’s what a few interactions with Scott have hinted at. Season 1 had a big bad that didn’t reveal himself towards the end as well, but from his first appearance we knew that Gerard was the nefarious planner and that he would have some connection to the major workings of the season when all was said and done, so might as well just put him right out in the open as often as possible. Unfortunately there must have been a point in the writer’s room in which they realized that not wanting to die was too simple. Just catch Derek, get the bite, all is well. So they pretended in the penultimate episode that Gerard just wanted revenge for Kate. Yet even that would hardly fill in a few episodes, so in comes the convolution.
The Mini Bosses
In video games there are almost always (depending on the genre) bosses that must be defeated before reaching the final boss, which is where Matt comes in. Granted the main boss doesn’t usually defeat them, but that’s beside the point. The point is that in order to fill in the episodes before getting to Gerard’s simple “I want to live!” ending, a mystery must do the work to keep the audience coming back.
First it was the Kanima, a lizard-like creature that refused to be as simple as the werewolves. There have been statements around the show that vampires will never show up in this town, but they never said anything about other shapeshifters, so let’s make them as crazy as we possibly can! And throw in Jackson while we’re at it. As a character that was pretty much a shallow love-to-hate character, I was excited towards the end that I was finally able to feel for him because his situation was pretty sad since he wasn’t in control of his life (and, oh I don't know, being forced to murder people), but his connection to it all was a little long winding and meandering. Let’s see: Jackson is an orphan whose parents may or may not have been murdered, so he has issues about not knowing who he is to such an extent that when he is bitten he becomes a creature that must search out a master to tell him what to do to in order to gain an identity, so why not find someone who needs to be avenged for almost, but not really, being murdered to form a psychological bond with. See? Long winded and meandering.
Whether you liked his story and connection to the Kanima or not, Matt could have been the big bad of the season. It did have the feeling of a single Buffy episode stretched across the course of ten episodes, which is why when it ended with two episodes left in the season (and with easily one of the best episodes of the season) the story arc seemed to be cut short. Not only that, but then Gerard’s plan had to be forced into the last two episodes (as well as Scott’s secret plan that came out right at the end even though flashbacks indicate it has been going on for a while. We saw one moment of Scott with the pillbox, but how did he get it two times? He would have had to steal it in order to see what the pill casings looked like, unless he just guessed and switched them out when Gerard dropped it in the police station. See? We need details!).
Growing Up Too Soon
Speaking of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there is just something about high school drama and supernatural issues that go so well together. The mythology can get dense, but the setting of school grounds these “out there” elements in a way that makes them more acceptable and accessible. Do you know what happened in Roswell after the first couple of seasons? Didn’t think so. This is one reason that the first season was so great, because all the while becoming a werewolf Scott had to deal with the pressures of high school. He was just a kid, and these issues caused him to grow up fast. Maybe too fast, because like many other shows that lose their base, it was almost as if Teen Wolf was trying too hard to up the stakes and creativity in the storytelling as the season progressed, something that doesn’t always work out in the end as it becomes too dense and drowns everything that made the show great. Remember the episode in which Scott, Stiles, Allison, and Lydia go ice-skating? Let’s bring it back to that in season three, though Allison breaking up with Scott is going to make this far more difficult (and I thought they barely had any cute/romantic moments together this season…).
The season finale goes for the fake out twice tonight, both times with Jackson. The first time he “died” probably fooled no one (and thank goodness he did not come out of that goopy cocoon as a butterfly/lizard hybrid as Peter’s animation suggests), but the second time actually had me getting a little sniffly following the emergence of a side of Jackson that wasn’t made of stone in what seemed to be his final moments. You can’t tell me you didn’t feel for the guy when he looked at Derek as if to give permission to kill him. Yet to rectify the ridiculous double stab ending at the hands of Derek and Peter, he once again rises from the dead, this time finally becoming a werewolf because Lydia gave him his key back. That’s right, all he needed to make himself whole was the security of knowing that Lydia couldn’t come into his house whenever she wanted. Ok, not really, but I am still not done mocking this easy cure that only took seconds to fix the psychological issues he’s been struggling with all his life. No matter how cool that slow motion, silhouette shot was. With that said I am excited to see where his story goes from here considering all he has been through.
The reason I am so willing to forgive a “villainous” character after hating him for so long is the same reason that I can forgive Peter. Simply put, his character is just far too entertaining now than he ever was last season (ex- that jab at Derek in concern to what century he is living in when he asks if the laptop Peter pulls out of the steps is a book) and I cannot wait to see what both Jackson and Peter bring to season three. Maybe they’ll even tell us what Peter’s plan is considering I doubt he really wanted to come back to help stop the Kanima and Gerard.
With the immortality trick used by Peter already in the show, I really hope that Gerard doesn’t stay around much longer after pulling a Sylar (think the finale of Heroes Season 1, another series that shows what happens when you try to make things too complicated. Hint: people stop caring and watching). My best guess is the mountain ash in his system forced an evacuation of his blood when the werewolf bite came into play, and a man that is fighting cancer and turns into a blood volcano shouldn’t be a threat for much longer if this show is sticking to any semblance of reality as it moves forward. Granted they brought Peter back through much more confusing storytelling (Lydia is bitten, somehow connecting Peter’s mind to hers because he was somehow capable of surviving being burnt to a crisp and having his throat slashed wide open, all the while not eating or drinking or moving in the meantime), so there’s no stopping them again. Let’s just hope that if they allow Gerard to live still it will go much better than Peter’s journey back, which was so confusing in fact that when Scott asks how Peter is still alive Derek responds that the short version is he knows how to stop Jackson. Aka avoiding the question because no one else, both character and writer, knows the answer.
Where We Go From Here
With a shaky season under their belt, the only place to go is up at this point. They actually already made one step in this direction as Argent steps away from his family loyalties to help team werewolf (granted he is doing this for Allison so he is still technically loyal to his family), which might form a pretty great alliance considering what is ahead. According to the three-pronged swastika, a symbol that obviously cannot mean anything good, a pack of Alphas is heading this way. They’ve already gotten to Erica and Boyd in an encounter that didn’t look like it was going to end well for our two newbie werewolves (I guess Argent let them go in yet another poorly executed scene that didn’t really show if he did help them or not at the moment considering electricity was still flowing around them), so who knows what they have in store for the rest of the pack(s).
That and it looks like we’re going to see a whole new side of the vet, as well as finally learn who the counselor really is and what she and the vet do.
I may have just bashed heavily on this finale and past season of Teen Wolf in this write-up, but that’s mostly because I am just disappointed in how far the show has moved away from the first season in my eyes as it comes to an end. Let’s get back to the roots of what made this show so great: less outlandish plotlines that don’t really get fleshed out to an extent that makes them acceptable and/or understandable, more character driven bits that blend what it’s like to be in high school back in. Luckily, the final scene between Scott and Stiles seems to hint at just that.
Because I’ve put enough sarcasm in the body of the write-up I’m going to avoid my usual random end questions and just simply ask for your thoughts on the finale and season overall. So what did you think?