Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Catching up with Teen Wolf

Did you miss out on the first two seasons of Teen Wolf? Never fear! Guest-poster Annie is here to fill you in on all the happenings on this MTV series....which, based on her summary, sounds like it falls in the "so bad it's awesomely good" category. I think I may have to check this one out!

Here's the thing: many people will tell you that MTV's Teen Wolf, which is premiering its third season on Monday June 3, is about one teen, Scott McCall, who is turned into a werewolf and must deal with the new changes and secrets in his life.

It's not.

It's about Stiles Stilinski. I mean, sure, Stiles is technically the sidekick character, the goofy, human best friend that nobody takes seriously, the one who exists to provide comic relief amidst all the werewolf-y angst and violence. In reality, Stiles is the true hero of the show and it's just taking some time for creator Jeff Davis (not actually the reanimated corpse of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis) and the other writers to figure it out, but I have faith that they will, and when they do they will rename the show to Stiles Stilinski and his Werewolf Pals.

Okay, you know what? I do love me some Stiles but I think I'm making myself want to barf with my adoration. So, setting the fangirl goggles aside, here's what you need to know about seasons one and two of Teen Wolf before season three starts:  

Season one: It all starts when sweet but dumb Scott gets bitten by a werewolf. Well, technically it all starts when most of the Hale family gets burned alive by a crazy werewolf hunter several years previously, but we'll get back to that in a bit. So, Scott gets bitten, becomes a werewolf, furry angst yadda yadda yadda. He and his best friend Stiles, who is awesome, think Derek Hale, who is hot like burning but a complete failure at everything, ever, is 1) a werewolf, 2) the werewolf who bit Scott, and 3) killed a lady who was found ripped in half in the woods. Also, the Argent family moves to Beacon Hills, which is where all this action takes place, and Argent is French for silver so we all know where this is going, right?

Spoiler alert: they're werewolf hunters.

There's DILF Chris Argent, creepy mom Victoria Argent, and adorable teen Allison Argent, who Scott immediately falls in love with. Y'all, his computer login is "allison" and his password is "allison." This dude is besotted. Coming along a few weeks later is Kate Argent, Chris's younger sister, and she's pretty much clearly unhinged from the get-go although none of the characters notice this because they're dumb as a box of hair, especially Scott. Additional characters are popular jock dudebro Jackson, his girlfriend Lydia, who plays dumb for popularity but is a secret genius, and a bunch of other people who are varying degrees of likeable but frankly irrelevant to this quick and dirty summary.

Anyway, the season revolves around the mystery of who the dismembered lady is and who killed her. It turns out that she's Laura Hale, Derek's sister. They, along with their uncle Peter, were the only surviving members of the Hale family fire. Peter, however, was burned to a crisp and has been catatonic in a hospital ever since. OR HAS HE? Of course he hasn't. He's actually been slowly recovering physically while growing crazy mentally, and he's managed to sneak out of the hospital to murder his niece so he could steal her alpha powers. He's also the one who bit Scott.

Long story short, Peter is killed and so is Kate Argent, who was responsible for the Hale fire. She also banged Derek Hale when he was like 16 and she was in her 20s so she was a creepy pervert on top of being a creepy mass murderer. At season's end, Peter and Kate are dead, Derek is the alpha, Scott's still a werewolf, and Allison has figured out that her family's kind of nuts. Oh, and Lydia gets mauled and bitten by Peter but doesn't turn into a werewolf because she's immune, and at some point during the season Derek bit Jackson because Jackson wanted all the cool powers he noticed Scott had developed during lacrosse games. There's a lot of lacrosse on this show, y'all.  

Season two: Jackson turns into a lizard and kills a lot of people. No, seriously. But let me backtrack a bit. We pick up right at the end of season one. Scott is still having werewolf angst and he doesn't want to be in Derek's pack, so Derek decides to stalk and bite three vulnerable teenagers. I'm rather fond of Derek but he is pretty much a brooding, hairier version of Matthew McConaughey's character in Dazed and Confused. All I'm saying is, dude needs some friends his own age.

So Derek brings Isaac, Erica, and Boyd into his pack. You think they'd have important roles and developed characters but no, they really just take time away from the season one characters. There's also Matt, a kid at school who is a stereotypical Nice Guy with a crush on Allison. Meanwhile, Scott and Allison are pretending to be broken up but secretly dating behind Allison's parents' backs, Lydia is having weird dreams and wandering around town naked, Jackson is turning into a lizard, and Stiles is still awesome. To kick things into gear, Allison's grandpa moves to Beacon Hills and he's played by the dude who was Saul Tigh in Battlestar Galactica, so you know he's up to no good. He wants revenge for Kate's death, even though her own brother Chris is like, "Um, dad, Kate was kind of batshit crazy and murdered a bunch of innocent people, including babies." But Saul Tigh doesn't give a fuck because he's also batshit crazy.

As it turns out, Jackson is a lizard because Nice Guy Matt was nearly drowned in a pool by a bunch of jocks and somehow Matt magically created the lizard thing as a manifestation of his rage and it overrode the bite Derek gave Jackson and made Jackson turn into a lizard. It's actually called a kanima but, whatever, he's a giant lizard thing. And to be honest I don't even know if it's exactly how it went down because I don't care about Matt or Jackson. Also, somehow Saul Tigh found out about the magical rage lizard and wanted it for himself. At the end, all the good guys set aside their differences and band together to remove the lizard from Jackson's body, then stop Matt and Saul Tigh. Matt most definitely ends up dead and Saul Tigh is probably dead but we don't see a corpse so he'll probably come back because he's Saul Tigh.

And speaking of coming back, Peter's alive! His spirit possessed Lydia or something, explaining the crazy dreams and naked wandering, and he was able to use her psyche to come back to life. Or something. This show seriously makes no sense and it's not like the writing is complex. But Peter's back and he's possibly not murderous anymore but he's definitely sassy and possibly still crazy.

Speaking of Lydia, she has the worst luck. First Peter hijacks her mind to pull a Jesus Christ, then her boyfriend becomes a rage lizard, and then after her love saves him (seriously), her boyfriend becomes a werewolf. But she won't have to worry about that in season three, because Jackson's portrayer, Colton Haynes, quit Teen Wolf to go be on Arrow. However, I'm sure the writers will find many new ways to torture Lydia in season three.

Finally, after the bad guys are defeated, Scott once again tells Derek that he doesn't want to be in his pack. Also, Scott and Allison break up because Allison went briefly crazy and started torturing werewolves after her dad killed her mom because she was going to turn into a werewolf. See, Allison's mom kidnapped Scott and was bitten by Derek when Derek came to Scott's rescue. The only sane one in the Argent family is Chris Argent. And did I mention what a DILF he is? At the very end, Derek slinks home, which is his half-burned, condemned childhood house because he is a weirdo, and discovers that there's an alpha pack in town. Dun-dun-DUUUNNNNN! And now you know all you need to know before season three starts! In conclusion: STILES.


Cheryl said...

I see the previews all the time during Awkward and it never appealed to me, but now I may have to watch.

Tim May said...

a) Yes. Stiles is the star.

b) Quick recap of the mechanics of the kanimo thing:

Turning into a werewolf is, in part, a psychological war between the human you were and the lycanthrope you will be. Apparently, in extremely rare cases, a person with a bad enough identity crisis will turn into this lizard monster, a spirit of vengeance. The way a wolf seeks a pack, the kanimo will seek a master. Someone whose heart also cries out for vengeance; someone who has a murder to find justice for. That was Matt; his own murderers were walking free. According to Derek, the kanimo would have happened with or without Matt, because that's just who Jackson was. Hence Papa Argent being able to take it over (he needed vengeance for his daughter's death).

Lydia was able to fix Jackson, by resolving his inherent identity crisis. She convinced him that even though he had no idea where he came from, she was his anchor now, and that it was enough. Crisis resolved, the magic completed its original job, and turned him into a normal old werewolf.