Okay, now that Teen Wolf season 3b is over, I figured I'd do a wrap up post about my thoughts.
For people who want to read my thoughts episode by episode. You can check out my tumblr under the tag "quick reaction".
First off, I like liking things, so I really liked this season!
I feel like I should put a disclaimer here. I'm suffering from a bit of fandom-fatigue. Especially when it comes to Teen Wolf. I kind of feel like a lot of what I want to say about Teen Wolf is actually just a response to other fan responses and not to the show itself. So, I'm going to try to avoid doing that and ONLY respond to the show, not other people's opinions of the show. But, in terms of how I'm feeling about fandom, here's a quick analogy:
I feel like I've gone to the zoo to see the penguins. And I walk into the penguin enclosure and there are all these other people there, holding toy penguins and talking about how much they love penguins and how they've come to the zoo to see the penguins. And I get really excited, right? Because penguins! And people who love penguins! And then we turn to look at the penguins and the penguins are penguining. But then this weird thing happens, because suddenly everyone around me starts wanting the penguins to fly. "Penguins don't fly," I say. "They are penguins." But no, the other penguin lovers insist, "it would be awesome if the penguins would fly! Flying penguins! Wouldn't that be neat." "Well, yes," I say, "that'd really be something, but penguins aren't going to start flying just because you want them to. They're just going to keep being penguins." But no, everyone around me just keeps wanting the penguins to fly... and they won't shut-up about it. "Why don't you go look at the birds that can fly?" I ask. "We want the penguins to fly." They repeat... and it never ever ends.
And I get it, there's something to be said for demanding a high standard from your entertainment - but if you really want entertainment that meets that high standard, maybe you should support programs that already do, and leave the low standard programming to people like me, who just wants to enjoy it for what it is. It's just... the penguins aren't ever going to fly, and some of us just want to stand there and watch them be penguins without having fifty people complaining about the lack of flight the whole time.
I think I just need to take a break.. and now that the season is over, that will be much easier to do.
ANYWAY... the actual show!
- I really liked the season. I feel like mostly every plot-line was wrapped up. Things tied together that I never thought would tie together. Things that I thought were continuity mistakes actually were done purposefully and were plot points (Stiles' bat)... it was really nicely summed up.
- I loved how they portrayed Stiles' inability to read at the beginning of the season. I learned to read very late in childhood, so I actually remember exactly what it's like to NOT be able to read - and they really captured that, I felt. In all the settings that it comes up - including the inability to read important instructions, which happened to me once when I was around 8 years old... thankfully, it wasn't the instructions on a bear trap. I thought it was really well done. It was also really refreshing to see a character who couldn't read and NOT have it be a comment on their intelligence (or have it be set in a historical context). I loved the fact that Lydia pointed out that Stiles didn't need to know how to read to disable the trap. He was intelligent enough to do it without the instructions. It's actually pretty hilarious, because so often not being able to read is used as a "they must be stupid" point, yet so many people try to do things without reading instructions and when they're successful they flaunt it like it's a sign of intelligent. I mean, I'm biased, but I figure that if you can get by in this world without being able to read, you're pretty damn smart.
- Of course, this whole season was basically a showcase of Dylan O'Brien's acting talent. And I have absolutely no complaints about that. They discovered that they had a gifted actor amongst them and wrote to it - and yeah, he was amazing. That kid is going places.
- Speaking of going places... Teen Wolf has the worst actor retention. Thankfully, Dylan isn't leaving, but Chrystal Reed decided to. Allison's death was heartbreaking. I knew it had to be because of the actress deciding to leave, because if I were a writer, the last thing I would want to do is kill off my female lead. I'm glad they found a way to write her off without making Chris Argent leave too. I've grown to quite like him, and I want him to stick around. I think it'd really neat that the werewolves have a hunter on their side... and despite Allison's deah, I hope Chris continues to carry out her work of protecting those that cannot protect themselves.
- I want Chris and Derek to be BFFs now and I want Chris to adopt Isaac.... mind you, the news was just released today that Isaac is leaving the show, perhaps only temporarily, but in anycase, he won't be around for S4... which sucks, again, worst actor retention of any show that I watch. I actually wondered, because the last scene we see of Isaac is him shouldering a bag and walking out with the nogitsune box.... and I thought "how far is he going?" Apparently the answer is - far away.
- Speaking of departures. I was really surprised they killed Aiden off. I loved the fact that they didn't just FORGET what the twins did in 3a, and that there were consequences to their actions and they WEREN'T suddenly forgiven and accepted. I liked that the whole season they were basically trying to prove themselves, and sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. It kind of drives me a bit nuts that Peter is still walking around scheming when HE KILLED LAURA. If my uncle killed my sister, I would not be able to be in the same room as him ever again - just saying.
- Back to the twins though... I realized last night that Ethan, at the end, was telling Danny that he couldn't stay in town. So, does this mean that BOTH twins are now gone? Aiden dead and Ethan off to wander around as an Omega because being in Beacon Hills is now definitely too painful for him... and proven to be too dangerous?
- Danny... Danny knowing already. Danny knowing for an INDETERMINATE length of time. Has he always known? Did Jackson tell him? Did he watch the recovered footage after all and figure it out? Did he hack Stiles' computer? Is he already tied to the Supernatural himself and has known since before the Hale fire? S4 better have an episode about Danny - because he is suddenly the most interesting person on the show to me.
- McCall family... so, the big secret was that Agent McCall, while drunk, accidentally hurt Scott... and Melissa kicked him out of the house, and he felt so bad about it that he kicked HIMSELF out of Scott's entire life, thus making the problem ten times worse. Agent McCall is not a smart man. Actually, I'm going to go ahead and blame everything stupid that Scott ever does on the fact that he's got Agent McCall as a gene donor. Seriously...
- The Stilinkski family. It's actually pretty heartbreaking to learn that Stiles' mom died of dementia. It lends a whole new twist on the "mom would have believed me" line of 3a, because that's not necessarily selling his argument... that's just twisting the knife that Stiles grew up with a mother who at some point couldn't tell dreams from reality. When it looked like Stiles' might have the same thing... oh man, my heart. I'm glad it was a trick by the nogitsune, because that was a terrifying prospect.
- Same with the threat that they might have to make Stiles a werewolf. I like Stiles being human, and I was sure that the showrunners and actors were all on the same page as me, but this being Teen Wolf, I started to wonder if they would really do it.
- I have to say that Tyler Posey has really grown as an actor since the show started. He had some amazing scenes in this episode. My favourite, I think, might be all his scenes with Stiles (whether on the phone or in person) during the episode Riddled.
- Derek. I think Derek really shines as a beta. I think it's obvious that, although Alpha Derek was awesome, Derek is actually happier with someone else in charge. I feel like Derek of S1-3a was trying really hard to be something he wasn't - he was trying to be someone who wasn't horribly traumatized and was capable of leading and being intimidating and scary... but it was really just all an act to cover up the fact that he was basically terrified the whole time. I think Derek's been terrified since Laura died, or possibly even since his mother died - and I think there's a comfort in having someone else in charge, someone who Derek knows will do everything in his power to protect him. Derek was a very supportive role this season... and I liked the contrast between him and the twins, because the twins vowed their support to Scott in order to get protection, but Derek just supported Scott because he already knew that Scott would protect him whether he was in Scott's pack or not - if that makes any sense.
- Oh! Which reminds me - I loved all the little pack moments... the howling! I loved that Scott could hear Isaac's pained howl when he stepped in the trap. I loved that Scott recognized Derek's howl when he woke up after the oni attack. I loved that Scott used his howl to get through to Stiles in Stiles' mind, even though Stiles is human. I loved Lydia's proud smile every time Scott howled. I loved Derek telling Aiden that Lydia wasn't staying in town for Stiles, but for Scott, who is Lydia's alpha, just as though Lydia were a wolf.
- I did love the growing Stiles/Lydia friendship. I love that their relationship is growing on an actual foundation of friendship and understanding, rather than awarding a fantasy. I like it because you can clearly see that Stiles and Lydia DRIVE EACH OTHER CRAZY. Like, there is no one that gets more annoyed at Stiles than Lydia does, and there is no one that gets more annoyed at Lydia than Stiles... and they make the best "I am so done with you" faces at each other, but then they CLING to each other when shit goes down, and they are always looking out for each other... and yeah, it's just, kind of awesome. I WANT Stiles to have a relationship with Malia, because I think he needs that in order to get to a place where he might be ready to date Lydia, who has had far more experience and is more sexually confident than he is. And I think Stiles needs to have that fumbly-first relationship with someone equally fumbly and inexperienced, before he can have a romantic relationship with Lydia. Not that they need to have a romantic relationship, of course... I'd be happy if they just stayed friends, because they are awesome as friends... but I just happen to think that Stiles/Lydia is end game for the series.
- Speaking of, I love the fact that they left Stiles' sexuality open... or rather, they left the possibility that he is bisexual open. I know Dylan O'Brien just did an interview where he says that Stiles' is straight and not gay and that was just a funny moment... BUT, newsflash, actors don't own their characters... also, I think Dylan actually still confirmed that Stiles' COULD be bisexual, because he said that Stiles isn't "gay", but he also said that it's about the person, not their gender. So, there... personally, I really love bisexual characters - and I don't really care what the actors think, or if we ever see them with a member of the same sex. Stiles could only date women for the rest of the series, and I will still think he is bisexual. I still think Dean Winchester is bisexual. The bisexual headcanon is strong with this one.
- Let's switch gears and talk about the ending.... I'm not sure how I feel about Kate coming back, to be honest. Why do none of the bad guys stay dead on this show? It also doesn't sit right, because to me, not only is Kate a mass murderer... she's also a rapist. Granted, I'm highly sensitive as to what constitutes sexual abuse - given that I have to deal with it a lot at work. But to me, what Kate did qualifies, because she seduced an underage Derek.. (I don't care how much Davis retcons the timeline - the line "this one grew up in all the right places" pretty much spells out the fact that the last time Kate saw Derek, he was not 'grown up' and not only that, but Kate seduced him in order to kill his family - even if he had been 18 at the time, that's going to mess a person up so badly.)
- All that aside? Did she crawl her way out of the grave three days after she died? How did that work? Why do people in South America/Mexico/Wherever know about her?
- I'm interested to see where Malia's character goes. I can't really get a read on her on whether she's an agent of good or an agent of evil... not to mention, that I'm sure she'll soon have Peter trying to manipulate her into surviving his own ends. Again, I am NOT going to talk about fandoms reaction to her, because I want to just talk about how I reacted to the show and not how other people did. I'm interested in Malia, and I like what I've seen so far of her, and I'm eager to get a better grip on her personality. I definitely think she'll probably have only benefited from growing up away from all the sexist bullshit that would have been thrown at her between the ages of 8 and 16.
- I like the fact that Stiles' chest board WAS showing Derek the end game. I liked the incorporation of the game Go. I sent the screen shot to my brother, and he says that at the time of the screen shot, Stiles' was winning - but that Go is very unpredictable, and Stiles could have easily still lost if he made any mistakes.
- I loved the fact that they introduced non-"Western" monsters. I would have been even more thrilled if they were Japanese monsters in a non-Japanese family, but I guess you can't have everything. But I like the idea that it's not just European shapeshifters in the world. Also, completely separate from what I just said - I'm ALWAYS happy when I see Asian people on my TV, especially non-stereotyped Asian-Americans. I really like Kira, and I think she's gorgeous and adorable, and I want her to stay and I want to know more about what her powers are. I also want to know if there is any consequence to her mother losing all her "tails."
- Melissa McCall is also awesome. I just thought I should mention that again since I was talking about mothers. I loved her "be your own anchor" speech.
- Deputy Parrish! What is he? He "felt drawn" to Beacon Hills... Beacon Hills draws the supernatural... I half expected him to wolf-out or reveal himself as something during the Oni attack at the station... but nope. Is he a banshee like Lydia? What is he?! (Besides cute.)
- Okay, I've been writing for like two hours.... but I also thought I should mention that Tyler Hoechlin was awesome in the scene where Derek is possessed and goes after Chris. I LOVED seeing that side of Derek. I loved how completely different it was to the regular repressed Derek we see. I loved the fact that he did the whole scene while wearing an extremely adorable sweater with THUMB HOLES. Did I mention I want him and Chris to be BFFs?
Things I didn't like:
1) Scott throwing Isaac into walls. Listen, I don't claim to know anything about victims of child abuse, but my common sense tells me that it's probably not a good idea to REINFORCE the idea that they deserve physical punishment for their misdeeds. I think if Scott were really a "true Alpha", then he should be able to recognize how to be a GOOD alpha - and if a pack is like a family, then Scott's now the father... and yeah. I think it annoys me because Scott started off so well with Isaac back in S2, when he was really the first person to tell Isaac that he didn't want Isaac to be hurt - implying that Isaac didn't DESERVE to be hurt. I mean, poor Isaac, he gets turned, ostensibly so that he can stand-up to or survive his abusive father - and in return he gets his arm broken by Derek TO TEACH HIM, then Derek uses his former abuse in order to drive him away from the loft (seemingly for his own protection, but MAN, totally wrong way to go about it), and then when he switches alliances to the one dude whose always been nice to him, he gets thrown into walls for developing a crush.
2)The depiction of the mental institution. Yes, I know it's a beloved horror trope. And I know I'm looking at penguins... but... really? Do we have to go there in such an completely cliched way? It was just a little hard to bear. There's really enough stigma for mental illness already in the world.
Things never answered:
1) Why was Allison's phone turned off when Stiles went missing?
Things I wish we had seen more of:
1)The conversation between Derek and his mother.
Okay, i guess that's it in terms of my "quick reaction". Again, if you want it episode by episode, head on over to my tumblr.
As usual, let me know your thoughts in comments... but please keep in mind that I like liking things and I currently have complainy-fandom-fatigue.
(I mean, feel free to tell me what you didn't like, but try to balance it out with also telling me stuff that you did like - if you're going to complain, you also have to give me the reason you are still watching the show. It's the new rule while I'm suffering from fandom-fatigue.)
I'll see you guys later for some SPN Quick Reaction! Yay!