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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Teen Wolf, "Visionary".

Previously on Teen Wolf: "Currents". 

This episode was so shitty that I considered not writing a review at all, because this is clearly not going to be a funny or entertaining post. But then I decided, hey! That would be a fitting commentary on the episode itself, which was not funny or entertaining either. As one of my friends put it on Twitter, "If this was a fanfic, I would've X-ed out ages ago."

Most of my problems with this episode boil down to two main issues: the fact that it was total nonsense, and the continuation of this season's ongoing effort to ruin Derek Hale for everyone. That second issue is pretty damn ironic, because the apparent aim of Derek's backstory is to make him seem more sympathetic and tragic, but instead he ended up looking like even more of an asshole than before. Which is, unfortunately, a microcosm of the failure of this season's "This Might Hurt" tagline.
At first, the whole "This Might Hurt" theme seemed like an excellent idea. Yes, I realise that the slogan was thought up by an MTV marketing team rather than the actual Teen Wolf writers, but it fits perfectly with Jeff Davis' love of torturing beloved characters. And we were looking forward to it! Teen Wolf thrives on angst and violence and doomed romance. HOWEVER. 90% of this season's angst, violence, and doomed romance has been focused on Derek, who does not need it. Like, his character has already MAXED OUT on trauma, what with his entire family being burned to death, and having been seduced by an evil hunter who presumably warped his view of sex and relationships for life. In TV Land, where every "dark" and "misunderstood" character has to be fueled by childhood trauma and dead-relative manpain, Derek Hale was already lightyears ahead of everyone else in Teen Wolf.

In the first two seasons, Derek Hale was a compelling character because every hint of backstory helped us make sense of his emotionally stunted personality. When you know that his family were all murdered by his first girlfriend (or, as we now know, not his first girlfriend), you have an immediate explanation for why he's terrible at interpersonal relationships and is suffering from a pretty clear case of PTSD. Basically, Derek's method of surviving his horrible life is just to react to everything without thinking it through, because his universe is a cruel and chaotic place, and he never got the chance to learn how to think things through. As a characterisation choice, this made perfect sense, and was also a really beautiful example of how to make an outwardly assholic character seem tragic and sympathetic -- without negating his many personal flaws.
source
Season 3 has gone out of its way to negate this by adding a bunch of angst subplots that either led nowhere (Cora) or seemed completely superfluous (Erica and Boyd). Boyd's death was particularly irritating, because it was almost pointless from a "This Might Hurt" standpoint (because Isaac would have been a more "hurtful" death, and because Boyd was generally underutilised as a character). Also, as I previously pointed out, Derek doesn't need any more manpain. And there was a direct corrolation between Boyd and Paige's deaths, because they both had this implausible attitude towards their impending demise: to reassure Derek that it was "worth it". Or in Paige's case, that she somehow ~knew all along~ that it was going to happen, and that she still loved him. I'm sorry, but this is bullshit. Yes, Paige and Derek were involved in an ~intense teen romance, but Paige was given BARELY any character development and was very obviously an accessory to Derek's manpain. And if anything, her bizarrely sanguine attitude towards being violently murdered was even less believable than Boyd's, because she was a fifteen-year-old girl, and had no previous exposure to violence. This was a by-the-book example of the fridged girlfriend trope:
  1. Female character is introduced as an object of desire, usually with some kind of ~quirky detail to fill in for the fact that there's no time to give her a personality or life of her own. In this case, it's playing the cello.
  2. Male hero immediately falls in love with her, because of reasons. 
  3. Montage of idyllic love scenes. (In this case located in an abandoned distillery, because Derek Fucking Hale.)
  4. Girlfriend is promptly murdered, giving the hero ample reason to either angst forever (because it's "his fault") or to go on a revenge-fuelled killing spree and/or bout of manly alcoholism.
Now, everyone go watch this multifandom fanvid about manpain and the fridged girlfriend trope, and try telling me that Paige Nolastname's life and death were even remotely meaningful. And don't even get me started on Young Derek Hale as a gross, douchey example of "romantic bullying" in young teen romances. HE DOESN'T EVEN ASK IF SHE WANTS THE BITE.
The introduction of another bad-idea romance into Derek's life at least partially undermined what we already knew about his relationship with Kate. The idea of inexperienced teen Derek being exploited by an older woman who then murdered his entire family is deeply, deeply tragic and is a perfect origin story for the emotionally paralyzed angstbucket we see today. However, the addition of "Derek Hale: douchey stalker who semi-murdered his first girlfriend" is not doing this characterisation any favours. There are ways for a character to kill someone they love and still have it be emotionally compelling, but this was not one of them. "This Might Hurt" would be a suitable tagline if Stiles accidentally shot his father while aiming at Deucalion. "This Might Hurt" would work if Peter Hale managed to persuade everyone that Deaton is secretly an evil druid. "This Might Hurt" would work if Isaac was killed by the Alpha Pack, and Scott was then arrested for his murder. Having Derek go through with this (quite frankly IDIOTIC) plan to have a 7-foot werewolf psycho bite his highschool girlfriend? NOT SO MUCH.
OK, so I definitely have a few more issues with the utter failure of Derek Hale as a boyfriend (WHAT A DOUCHE) and Derek Hale's backstory as a storytelling technique (GODAWFUL), but I feel it's time to move onto the other aspect of why this episode sucked: ie, the fact that it didn't make any fucking sense. Now, unreliable narrators can often make things interesting, but in this case I felt that Peter and Gerard's unreliable narration was a bizarre storytelling choice, because their lies only "work" if Scott and Stiles never have a conversation about what they just learned. Which would be pretty odd, firstly because they're best friends, secondly because they have no motivation not to share info with each other, and finally because Stiles is Scott's first port of call when Thinking needs to get done
The fact that Peter was always a total Voldemort (Tom Riddle?) would have been an interesting revelation were it not for the fact that it doesn't even make sense within this very episode. In Season 1, Derek says that before the fire, Peter was "different". Now, what we could take from this is that Peter was a psychopath all along, but he was just better at hiding it when Derek was a teenager. However, if Peter was the one to talk Derek into killing his girlfriend then I find it COMPLETELY implausible that Derek would continue to trust Peter after that, no matter how stupid Derek was at fifteen.
The most confusing piece of nonsense in this episode was the issue of the werewolf aging process. Now, it may just be that I'm a moron who just missed some sensible explanation for all this, but there was some weird shit going on with the ages in those flashbacks. Most noticeably, Peter Hale (now 35-40) appeared to be about 19 during the flashbacks, which were set, at most, about ten years ago. Meanwhile Derek (now aged ~25) was a Sophomore. However, the rest of the "older" characters (Sheriff Stilinski; both the Argent men; the Alphas) were played by the same actors. Now, the conversation between Peter, Stiles and Cora implied that there was something unusual about the werewolf aging process, BUT Cora and Derek both look exactly like their real ages. And there was no evidence that the flashbacks took place any longer than 10 years ago, which would make sense from a normal chronological perspective. So WHY THE HELL WAS PETER HALE PLAYED BY A YOUNGER ACTOR?
There were many elements of ridiculous idiocy in this episode that were perfectly acceptable from a Teen Wolf perspective. For example, the fact that Paige was miming cello very, very poorly: absolutely fine. The hilarious druid/Greek myth werewolf explanation that ignored centuries of well-known mythology and historical research: 100% normal, for supernatural teen media. Deucalion going blind (rather than dying) when Gerard stabbed him in the eyes with electrified arrows? Fine, I'll go with it. But entirety of Derek's backstory was so poorly handled that I just can't swallow it.

Miscellaneous
  • TALIA HALE. I've been waiting for a real wolf werewolf since this show began, and Talia was AWESOME. In fact, I'd say she was the best part of the flashback sequence... except for the final scene, where she was basically like, "You're still beautiful, Derek. I don't mind that you just thoughtlessly killed your girlfriend." TERRIBLE. TERRIBLE.
  • At least Stiles had his brain switched on. I admit I LOLed when he started explaining the concept of "unreliable narrator" to Cora. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE GO TO HIGH SCHOOL, CORA. So they can use handy analogies from English class to explain the story arcs of their own lives. 
  • Is there an explanation for why Peter Hale was randomly stalking his teenage nephew on school grounds? Or is that just a Beacon Hills tradition, like hanging out in the boy's locker room after dark?
  • Speaking of Beacon Hills traditions, I loved the reference to the town's "long line of animal attacks". THIS EPISODE IS COLD HARD PROOF THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DROPPING LIKE FLIES IN BEACON HILLS FOR DECADES, AND YET NO ONE HAS DONE ANYTHING ABOUT IT. What happened to the FBI taskforce who were supposedly called in like four episodes ago?
  • Young Peter Hale = Tom Marvolo Riddle, just like how Cora = Dawn Summers, and Chris Argent = Ser Jorah.
  • Gerard Argent is so obviously evil that I find it 100000% unbelievable that anyone except his son trusts him AT ALL, ABOUT ANYTHING. I'm sorry, but literally everything he says is the creepiest thing ever, and now he's actually EXCRETING BLACK SLIME FROM HIS FACIAL ORIFICES. He's practically Sauron. 
  • "An abandoned distillery? Is this proof that Derek can only get his bone on in abandoned buildings?" -- commentary from my brother.
  • "Is it possible for a show like Teen Wolf to jump the shark? And if so, how could we tell?" -- further commentary from my brother, and something for us to ponder while we wait for the next episode.
Previous Teen Wolf posts.

Find me on Twitter @hello_tailor, and Tumblr at hellotailor

43 comments:

  1. So I agree like 50000% with everything here.

    Why Marcus attacked Deucalion only makes sense if you look at the pack in terms of "Strongest is Alpha". Marcus saw Deucalion was blind, and decided "Blindness = Weakness" and went to murderface him so that the strongest was leader.

    IDEK anymore. But that's what I'm going with

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  2. There's also a really gross element to 3 dudes conspiring to have Paige violently injured because 'then she'll be with you 4eva!' and because 'then she'll understand what it's like to be you!'. In a world without supernatural elements that would've been a rape storyline. Hurt her bad but it's okay because you love her, right?


    And with that in mind it's pretty horrific that nobody called Derek/Peter/Anyone on it afterwards and that she got stuck dying passively. Like the message to take away is: 'if your boyfriend forces something on you without your consent you don't need to make a fuss, just die happy in his arms!' which is horrible. What happened to punching the dick in the face and calling the police, Teen Wolf?

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  3. kindaoffkilter23 July 2013 at 08:58

    I like your brother's commentary! I want to say that I enjoy your episode reviews because they are funny and fascinating and keep me informed about the major plot points of Teen Wolf, but also because they remind me of exactly why I do not actually watch the show even though the gifs on tumblr just look so pretty. I want to like this show so much but squirm just reading your reactions to it!

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  4. This episode only makes any sort of sense if you decide that this is actually Peter's tragic backstory, timeshifted a decade or two with Peter substituting Derek for himself and himself for his poor decision making and/or early sociopathic tendencies.

    It also helps just a little, if making it even more like bad fanfic, if you decide that Paige was either an Argent or a druid and knew what she was risking all along.

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  5. A + review. This entire episode was stupid and gross.

    That said, if the fan theory of Jennifer somehow being Paige/related to Paige and the Darach is true, it will be cathartic to see her exact at least a little bit of vengeance on Derek before she is inevitable fridged again.

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  6. I spent fifty percent of this episode wanting to punch baby Derek and freakishly baby Peter in the face, the rest spent wondering how no one realized what a psycho Grandpa Argent was and trying to figure out werewolf aging, so needless to say, I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU PUT HERE. I'm so irritated by Boyd and Tragic Dead Girlfriend being killed solely to make Derek have teh sads. This whole episode was shit, and that's okay, it's Teen Wolf, but it wasn't even entertaining shit. It was boring. The only bright spots were Mama Hale and Deucalion, and honestly, it might just be my huge fondness for Gideon Emery convincing me that he was a bright spot.


    Ugh.



    Also, is Mama Hale was a druid as well as a werewolf? I felt like that was supposed to be the feeling we got since she could change completely into a wolf (in which case, what if she's the crazy dark druid, that might be the only half-decent reason for this episode to exist. Not. There is no good reason.).

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  7. I think I'm relying on the whole "unreliable narrative" thing here when it comes to Peter's story. I don't necessarily know what Peter's motive would be in lying or in being the one to call for Paige's death other than being a Grade A Douchebag, but it helps a little when you assume that not everything he said was true. As it was evident that Peter was lying when he told Cora and Stiles that it was Derek's idea to turn Paige, I wouldn't be surprised if the writers were also lying to the audience.

    The theory that Paige = Jennifer = the Darach didn't sit well with me at first, but it's starting to make a little more sense. In one of the previous episodes, Jennifer tells Derek that in books, characters fake their own deaths for good reasons or some shit like that, and it doesn't feel like a coincidence that in the same episode in which Derek's love interest dies, Stiles talks about unreliable narratives, which is something he learned from English class - from Jennifer. We also know that it was Peter who took the body "somewhere it can be found," and I don't trust Peter for a damn second, so there's still maybe a possibility that she lived. Also the actresses look eerily similar. Assuming that Paige = Jennifer, it wouldn't make sense for her to lie to Derek? What would be her reason for keeping away for a decade and then suddenly coming back to town when all this freaky shit starts happening? I can't think of one, unless she is purposefully fucking shit up.

    I just don't like this idea though because it just means a shitload of more pain for Derek, but there's also something else about it that's bothering me, I'm just unsure of what.

    Anyway, I sincerely hope Derek's history was misconstrued, and that Paige's character isn't left as just another unnecessary death to move the plot/increase character development for another seemingly more important character. (I'm also still holding out hope that Boyd and Erica will come back as some other supernatural beings be revealed as having done something extremely badass while they were alive.)

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  8. An additional point of terribleness: this was supposedly Jeff's favourite episode this season.

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  9. Ugh, really? That's really disappointing.

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  10. Yea, I'd like to go with the 'unreliable narrative' theory, too, maybe because I still have trouble digesting what I saw and I want to latch onto whatever hope I can.

    Peter said one thing in the present and did another in the flashback. Not sure if that was bad writing or ~*deliberate*~

    Honestly, sometimes I can't tell anymore.

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  11. cynicalsandwich23 July 2013 at 11:12

    I like the idea of this being all about Peter lying to them about what really happened. That would also explain the weird ages because if Peter is telling it of course he's going to make himself seem young, dashing, and helpful even if none of that makes sense. See Dragon Age II with Varic's narration. (Also I can't help making connections because Ducalion's actor also played Fenris which is the name of the ravenous wolf who sits chained at the base of the World Tree in Norse mythology whoops). Also as terrible as this episode is I liked seeing Talia transform into a wolf and I kinda want Derek to die more than ever. Oops.

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  12. Brilliant review!

    Also in the light of this episode the way Derek randomly turned Erica, Isaac and Boyd seems even more bizarre? And also him saying that the bite is a gift to Scott (because it worked so well when Peter said that to Derek???????) ?????? what is characterisation???

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  13. I find it unendingly tragically hilarious that Madison McLaughlin, who has the rare distinction of both being a fully empowered female character and escaping death/fridging not once but twice on SPN, shows up on Teen Wolf and is immediately and meaninglessly fridged. That seems so backwards.

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  14. One thing I will say is... everything they just disclosed may end up being false. And the purpose of this episode may be less about revealing things about Derek, and MORE about revealing agendas, past and present, of Peter and Gerard. Both by finding out what really happened and, and perhaps more importantly, the things they LIED about. What IS Peter's long game? The one playing him has compared Peter to Iago, this is very revealing. Iago pretended to be Othello's friend and adviser and specifically did so to betray him. What is Peter going for? And Gerard, while yes, pretty much Sauron, even Sauron had reasons for his evil, and things he wants to gain. So, what is Gerard's end game?

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  15. I'm pretty sure the point of the whole unreliable narrator narrative is that we can't trust what Peter says, considering the "flashback" directly contradicted what he told Stiles.

    Which is to say, are we 100% sure Derek was the one who got Ennis to bite her? I mean somehow, Ennis, Derek, Peter, and Paige were all there at the same time so someone did but the problem with the who unreliable narrator angle was that it was undermined by the fact that no one knew how the fuck Peter and Gerard knew about things happening outside of what they saw but okay. Also, it wasn't made CLEAR of Derek got Ennis to do it or Peter was the one who did and he just knew they were going to be there. Why else would bb!Peter be there witnessing the thing then?

    Not that the episode wasn't horrifically gross and terrible if he didn't and it was Peter, and it's very likely that's what he did, but I'm kind of clinging to any sort of hope I can to like Derek still. UGH I JUST HATE THIS SEASON SO MUCH.

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  16. My biggest problem with 'Derek got Peter to tell Ennis to bite her' doesn't even rely on thinking Derek is good or smart (he was 15, they do STUPID things all the time), but his MOTHER. Peter specifically said that Momma Hale was on board. Which makes NO sense. 1. If Momma Hale was on board with turning Paige, with or without her consent, you'd think Momma Hale would DO it. That'd make Paige part of her (and by extension, Derek's) pack. 2. If she didn't want to (dunno, maybe it'd make it werewolf incest or something? Whatever), then picking ENNIS? After that whole meeting with Mr. Anger Management Ennis doing the vengeance path she objected to, and what happened to his betas in the past?


    That just makes no sense, honestly.

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  17. No mention of how this was the most 'educational' episode yet? Take a drink every time someone starts a sentence with "Did you know..." or "It is said..." or "Have you heard of..." Seriously, when someone is wielding a mace, it's maybe not the time to talk about the anthropological history of said mace.

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  18. It also would fit, because we _never_ see Derek with any of his family until the very end. And when we do, Paige's body isn't there when Talia comes to see him. So, say Peter is Talia's little brother? Augh, this would be so cool if this were fact, but I don't know that Teen Wolf is this capable of layers of flashbacks.

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  19. I agree with everything you said. One other thing that was puzzling to me about this episode is that these flashback characters (Derek, Paige, friends) were supposed to be high school sophomores I believe. I don't know the actual ages of the actors and actresses but they LOOKED age appropriate to me; they looked like actual high school students. Which contrasts directly to the present day Beacon Hills high school students who all look AT LEAST mid twenties.


    I can't figure out if "de-aging" the flashback characters was intentional or not. I suppose the idea could have been that the audience would have felt more sympathetic to a baby-faced, clearly young Derek Hale as opposed to adult-looking high school student? In reality I doubt this was intentional and instead was just another weird teen wolf casting thing.

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  20. im_not_a_lizard23 July 2013 at 15:04

    I'm really torn by this episode because I kind of feel for Derek's character cos yeah, teenager/stupid/logicfail/WTF/manipulated BUT at the same time Derek's mother, an ALPHA, has not taught her son how to respect women OR how to roll out informed consent when it comes to werewolfing-time?

    I am still pissed about Boyd (BOYD) so no, Jeff Davis, I am not feeling this at all.



    Someone on tumblr made a fabulous graph about character arc and manpain which perfectly illustrated how utter bullshit I feel this shit-on-Derek-moar-and-moar-but-still-love-him storyline is.


    I just...Gods, I am so pissed that I can't even be coherent in my rage.

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  21. thank u so much just i love this and all the comments basically

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  22. Did you get the Peter Hale = Tom Marvolo Riddle thing from me, or did we manage to independently come to the exact same conclusion? XD

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  23. This episode lost me at Derek having friends, let alone all this utter, utter bull. That boy is full-up on manpain, and his relationship with Kate was actually compelling. Why dilute it? Why do this? If it's to make Paige an evil druid hellbent on destroying the Hales, it is still not okay. BOO. BOO!

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  24. Alas, I am 99% sure that they're not, but it's nice to dream. It would help mesh in the Motel California timeline, too, or else why the hell was Deucalion biting random Argents in the mid-70s?

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  25. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't remember Derek having blue eyes before he became an alpha. I also don't remember Peter having blue eyes after he lost his alpha status. The only werewolf I remember having blue eyes in the entire series was Jackson after he transformed from kanima to werewolf.

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  26. Reasons why I agree this could be Peter's story, told as if it was Derek's for some nefarious reason.:

    #1 No way was Ducalion biting Argents in the 70's, and then trying to make peace with Gerard in the 80's.

    #2 This flashback/story takes place a scant year or two before the Hale fire, and in Hale fire flashbacks, Peter was portrayed by the same actor that plays him now, but in this flashback he's younger... a lot younger.

    #3 Peter mentions in a previous episode that in his highschool days they played basketball, not lacrosse. The first scene with young Derek, he's playing with a basketball.

    #4 To our knowledge, Allison hasn't lived in beacon hills before, and yet she would have been at least 6 or 7 in this episode and would have remembered the town.
    We do know that Kate used to live there... around the time this flashback was happening, so it seems like Allison might have mentioned that she lived there the same time her aunt did.

    #5 There is no way Derek went Bite-Happy after becoming an Alpha if this is his major trauma.

    #5b Derek already has a major trauma. I think getting your entire family killed trumps getting your girlfriend killed, so why would Peter choose this story to tell? Jeff Davis has confirmed that Peter knows about Kate. And I hardly think Derek would trustingly jump into a relationship with an older woman and hide it from his family after this fiasco.

    #5c If Derek had witnessed someone rejecting the bite before, he wouldn't have been so damned confused when it started happening to Jackson.

    #6 This entire episode is about our "nature." We've seen from Derek that he's an ass, and a bit of a bully, but his main drive is to protect those he considers "his." Even Stiles has come under that mantle, and Derek protects Scott almost obsessively. I really can't see Derek offering up his beloved girlfriend to a brute like Ennis. He's also made a point of full disclosure and consent on the whole biting front.

    #6a, who doesn't make a habit of asking permission? Peter! Peter bit both Scott and Lydia without their consent, he was also aware that people can die of the bite. This whole story suits his personality down to a T. he's exactly the sort of creeper that would arrange to have his girlfriend bitten without even telling her about werewolves. While he waits in another hall listening to her scream,,,

    #7 Derek has no visible vendetta towards Ennis. And yeah, he'd remember the guy who bit his girlfriend I think. But Peter... Peter has stayed FAR away from the Alpha pack. Also, Ducalion doesn't seem to have met Derek, and vice-versa. I'll bet if they were hanging out in Beacon hills when Derek was in highschool, they would at least recognize one another.

    #8 Peter insists he knows all of this because Derek told him, but we see in the flashback, that isn't true, he's apparently spying on Derek (or is it narrating from outside of himself?). SO how did he know how they met? About the triangle?

    #9 And my most important reason. Derek has ironclad control He stood and listened to Chris Argent mock him for not having a family, and did nothing. Alternately, when he wants to, he takes on fights he has no hope of winning, and refuses to back down. Derek is difficult to frighten or goad. But... in season one, it takes Kate about 30 seconds to get him to lose control And then he RUNS away from her. Kate is his major hangup. Kate and what she did to his family. Not this random Paige chick.


    I really have to hope that we're going to find out in a future episode that this is Peter's story and not Derek's, because otherwise, this had really destroyed his character,

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  27. Derek had blue eyes. That's for sure. Because I always waited for an explanation. And Peter never showed his werwolf form since he came back. Well, until in yesterdays episode. So that's one of the few (!) things which were done right.

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  28. I hope you're right, but if not... oh my god... they are really destroying everything.

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  29. Nobody talks about the music? Miserere... I thought I would be sitting in a church...If the whole thing wouldn't be tragic enough... The overuse of dramatic music in Season 3 is really annoying.

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  30. Yeah, um, was Deuc already blind when he was biting random Argents in the mid-'70s? How could the guy that we saw that wanted PEACE and stuff be randomly biting hunters?



    THIS ENTIRE SEASON IS ALL UNRELIABLE NARRATORS BEING ASSHOLES.

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  31. #7 is amazingpants.

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  32. firecracker45224 July 2013 at 06:22

    What I really don't get is why the writers used THIS particular plot device to set in motion the train wreck that is Derek Hale's life. When they revealed they were going to delve into Derek's past, I thought they were going to show:


    #A. the Hale family dynamics (which had to be messed up if Derek thought breaking people's arms to jumpstart healing and bolting someone's head to deal with the full moon was normal).
    #B. Kate Argent weaseling her way into Derek's heart.
    These two things would help move along the plot and give us more insight into Derek's character while being consistent to what's already been shown, which makes for a compelling character backstory.


    Instead of that we got this mess with Paige, which makes what's already been established implausible. Take Kate for example. There's no way Derek would have allowed her to get close to him after what happened to Paige (a year or less) earlier. It just doesn't make sense for him to do that.


    It looks like they threw in this despicable story to try explain why Derek was vulnerable enough for Kate's charms. Well, they could have done that in a much easier, logical way: by simply portraying Derek as an awkward, insecure teen who wasn't comfortable yet in his growing body. We've got schools filled with teens like this. And it's very common that these teens get preyed on by 'desirable' adults with an agenda.


    This would not only make Derek relatable, it would also explain his closed off behavior later on. Look at the guy. His muscles are literally the armor he built around himself, his distrustful, antisocial attitude the fort around his mind.


    For two seasons, Derek's characterisation has been consistent. This season started out pretty well, with Derek mellowing after his failure as an alpha in season 2. He cares about these kids even if he doesn't care about himself, so his self sacrificing nature seemed pretty in character. Then Jennifer happened. It was weird, but I was willing to give it a shot if they were going to explain things later. Now this happened. And instead of making me think: the writers thought this all out, they have a plan and it'll make sense later on, it just makes me wonder if they have any idea what they're doing. Because this is terrible.
    Anyway, sorry for the ramble. Great review and I agree with it all.

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  33. firecracker45224 July 2013 at 06:24

    Yes he did. You can clearly see it in season one, in that scene where he's lurking around his broken home, behind the glass. They zoom in and his eyes flash blue. There are lots of tumblr gifs (but of course I can't find them now I'm specifically looking for it...ugh).

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  34. Of course, we're also taking Gerard's word for it that it was Deucalion in the first place. Gerard isn't so much an unreliable narrator as an actively evil one.

    Jeff, I disapprove of your timeline shenanigans.


    (Sorry if you got any weird notifications. Disqus doesn't like my phone.)

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  35. I watched it this morning and was left feeling.... Good on the whole. Really felt it was one of the best episodes to date from an acting POV at least! I was left with questions like, why did Jackson have Blue eyes then and why does Grampa constantly manipulate situations so there is always a gulf between the wolves and the hunters in town.



    Now I have a whooooole new set of thoughts. Thanks I guess ;-)

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  36. OurHousePlantsTeam24 July 2013 at 11:22

    It does seem messy when laid out like this. I do think Jeff is an excellent storyteller on the whole, but when he was on Twitter I always got the feeling he was really, really stressed writing and having to come up with new ideas.

    This season was always going to be tough because with the increasing budget and new sets came the need to freshen everything up. Instead of them choosing to keep things in the family (which would have been better), he massively expanded outwards with many new characters. Seasons 1 and 2 were packed to the hilt with plots and stories as it was, each episode was so huge that at times major plots had to be completely shifted out to accommodate that episodes central story (Season 2, Episode 8 "Raving" for example).


    This season there is just too much going on. In my opinion Jeff should have spanned the "unique" story he has for the first 12 episodes over the entire 24. Taking time to have entertaining filler episodes for example.



    Many TV shows fail because they are not accessible to the "drop" in viewer, and Teen Wolf is harder even for the the regulars to follow... If the next 4 episodes don't tidy things up, I really hope they change direction for the following 12.

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  37. I don't think being a wolf = druid since they talk to Deacon. Also, Laura's corpse looked like a wolf in season 1. I'm thinking it's a female alpha thing? Like female alphas can turn into wolves while male alphas turn into wolf monsters like Peter in season 1.

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  38. I think Jackson had blue eyes because he killed a lot of people as a kanima. So even if he was being controlled, he still killed innocent people.

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  39. The thing with Teen Wolf that I taught myself is that it's kind of in a universe of it's own. It's great that there's a world with no racism, homophobia, or misogyny, but it's also apparently a world where people ignore glaring personality traits that could harm other people. For example: Peter being a sociopath that ages strangely (he's almost younger than Derek, but ten years later, HE'S NOW OLDER), or Gerard being a psychopath that has gotten away with his anti-social behaivour without any consequences.

    That scene with his Mother, though, left me warring with horror and confusion. Like, did she know and didn't want to warp his sense of self (something that, whether you're a wolf a not, you're susceptible to as a teenager), or was she unaware of what happened, and if so, to what extent? It's terrible in the long run, because you're essentially telling a 15-year-old boy it was OK to turn and kill a girl, irregardless of the circumstances; it's so callous of the writers, too, considering how Stiles' disposition on those very topics have been brought up throughout the series. If I were his Mother and in that situation, I don't know what I'd do, but telling him he's different probably wouldn't be the first thing out of my mouth.

    As for the episode on a whole, someone (several people?) pointed out Jeff is a good storyteller, and I agree wholeheartedly, but he has some glaring flaws that takes away from and makes it hard to enjoy his work. I thought Season 2 was good overall, but instead of learning from what didn't work -- say, shoving a bunch of shit at the audience and expecting us to either a) get clued in or b) get all of it at once -- he's instead practising it again.

    A part of me wants to believe this episode is representation of something bigger, or that it's something to do with one or more of the key characters of the story, but that will never take away how sloppy the episode was, both in writing and execution. There are so many ways to show what they wanted to without sacrificing the things they did with this episode, and I think that upsets me the most.

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  40. I thought I was the only one feeling let down by season 3. I feel as though, since Colton left the show, they had to scramble to restructure the story line, and basically said f*ck it, let's go with this.

    Characters with the most potential:

    Scott: I am loving Scott this season. The control, the fierceness, the drive to become a better individual; it's sexy and motivational! Teen girls will want a BF like him, and teen boys will follow him as an example (hopefully). Scott's definitely the main man this season.

    Lydia: My interest in Lyd's is probably just curiosity as to what the hell is going on with her. However, that's probably it, but it's enough fumes to keep me interested in where her story goes.

    Mysterious girl who saved Issac in Ep. 1: Basically, she was the best thing in this show... Until Deucalion slashed her throat with his I AM THE DEMON WOLF claws. With every episode I watch, and witness all of these quite frankly, pointless story-lines, I can't help but feel like they did her character a major injustice. She was everything this show needed. Mystery, power, intelligence, the justice vibe, awesome fighting skills lol. She was awesome. I miss her dearly, and I hope they find some way to bring her back. PLEASE!

    Characters I don't get:

    The whole damn Alpha pack, minus I AM THE DEMON WOLF: I simply don't see their relevance. Maybe it will be revealed, but I feel like they could have done without the twin and Enniss. And Kali. Which is pretty much the pack. Oh well. I'm just not feeling and logic or substance behind their aggression. What drives them to go against their Alpha nature, and join this weirdo pack; what's their point to prove? Maybe it's to be revealed (hoping). If not, another waste of screen time.

    Cora: Why is she here? How did she survive the fire? Why hasn't anyone in the story-line asked these questions? What was she doing for all those bloody years between the fire? Is she a secretly brainwashed spy for Deucalion? How is she adding substance to the show? Again, why is she here? Just why?

    Jennifer, the teacher that shacked up with Derek, even though he was oozing nasty looking goopy stuff: I... just... can't... *sigh*... Literally, the most awkward and unnatural love interest story, that should never have been. Even though I believe in Sterek (yes yes), I understood that they probably won't want to go down that road, which is completely acceptable, as it is their show. But damnit, develop a story man. I can hardly imagine relationship building like this: who are you and why are you freaking me out in the storage rooml; what are you and why do your guts want to fall out, while covered in goop; oh let's have sex. Derek just ain't that sexy.

    This last episode installment shows that the series isn't fluent; none of the episodes really connect, and it feels like they're forcing them together. We jump from Boyd's death, to a tormented younger Derek, which is suppose to somehow show us why he feels bad? Happy child hood or not, anyone would feel awful in light with what happened with Boyd.



    I really hope they turn it around, and fast. Maybe they should have stuck with the 13 episode format.

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  41. I agree. I think it was contradictory to Derek previous cause of angst, meaning the house fire. My opinion was this episode was simply a fluffer for the series.

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  42. I totally agree with everything that is being said in this article. (Although I'm assuming the only reason they brought back young-Peter-Hale-from-season-2 is because the audience thought he was hot and we shouldn't go looking for more reasons than that?)


    Anyway. As for me, and my fanfic writing, Paige never existed. In my head canon, Derek is as Winchester-proportioned emotionally fucked up today because he fell in love with a manipulative bitch and it caused his entire family to die. Almost.
    Also, it's possible that I've imagined Peter having lost lover and kids in the fire, which would also make him more tragic and prone to a 'psychotic break' because it seems like that's how they explained post-fire/pre-death!Peter.


    The TWO good things about this episode:
    - Cora/Stiles pigtail pulling. I'm guessing that's Jeff Davis' version of 'careful what you wish for'. We wanted Stiles to hook up with a Hale. Well...
    - Teen Derek stole Stiles' wardrobe. Yup.

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