I just got my hands on the dvd's for s3-s5 of Teen Wolf, so I figured, wouldn't it be fun to do a rewatch of the entire show. I'll be trying to write a review of each episode as I go, and hopefully others will enjoy it as much as I'm hoping I will :-)( Read more... )
One of the first things i notice in the first ep, is how the dynamic is made clear from the start. Scott wants to do normal kid things, go to school, join the sport team. (even if he has no chance of joining), he deals with asthma, and allows Stiles spooking him in the most stupid way possible without more than a mock protest. All through the first ten minutes, there’s several moments where Stiles puts down Scott’s intelligence, his dreams, hopes, ... And he does this without considering the impact of his words on Scott.
Stiles is obviously shown as the risk taker, who goes into situations without thinking. At this point he’s the leader of the two, with Scott following his guide, since Stiles is probably his best if not only friend, and he doesn’t want to let him down. But all through that first scene it’s obvious that Stiles hadn’t bothered to think through the situation beyond “wouldn't it be cool to see a dead body”. As Scott puts it: “It’s comforting to know that you’ve planned this out with your usual attention for detail.”
From the start of the ep, we’re shown Scott as the innocent one. The one who isn’t in control. He’s little red riding hood, heading into the forest to meet the wolf, not even realizing that’s what’s happening. Since from his pov, this is pretty much another one of Stiles stupid plans, and he’s not about to let Stiles deal with it on his own. Like any teenage kid, he’s probably a bit bored with highschool, and his low place on the totem pole, but overall, he’s shown as a good responsible kid.
When he meets the Alpha (Peter), it happens quick, with little warning, and I doubt that Peter really gave what happens any more thought than figuring he’d either get rid of a witness, or since the kid gets away, a beta, which’ll be useful, since having recently gained his Alpha abilities, he feels the need to build a pack to gain power, and Scott probably felt like he’d be easy to control. (Peter would soon be shown to be wrong about this of course, but then that’s what makes Scott the hero of the story)
Then of course there’s Scott’s first meeting with Allison, when he doesn’t even realize it’s her in the car.
At School we also meet Jackson, being his usual jerkish self. Being set up as your typical rich bully.
Scott talks to Stiles, who rather than really listening to his friend, instead instantly talks down to Scott, doubting Scott’s words, we find out about Stiles stalker like obsession with Lydia, and her total disinterest in him. At this point we’re still given no real reason as to why Scott should possibly even like Stiles.
I loved the scene where Scott first finds out about his powers, the way he accidentally listens in on Allison's phone conversation. It’s clear from their first interaction that the attraction is obviously mutual. Which is a nice subversion of the usual cliché, where it takes a couple seasons before they get together, and much more in tune with real life. Also no creepy nice guy, pretense at being her friend while really wanting to date her trope, all of which is very very refreshing.
Lydia is set up as the popular girl, dating the school jock. Thankfully we’ll get more exploration of her beyond that trope later on.
I felt so bad for Scott at the start of the scene with the Coach. The coach is obviously being an asshole here. He pretty much sets Scott up to be humiliated, all to make his team feel good about themselves. We’re also given an introduction to the disadvantages of werewolf hearing.
Only then then the scene is turned around on itself, and it becomes a moment of victory for Scott with just the right musical undertone as his werewolf abilities kick in. And of course it helps set up the further attraction between Scott and Allison. :-)
Afterwards though, Scott once again shows what a thoughtful kid he is. Sure, that moment was cool, and he’s able to do all these awesome things. But showing his intelligence (and as we later find out, much of this might come from working as Deaton’s assistant), he starts considering that maybe what’s happening to him, might not be a good thing. He could be sick, and this adrenaline rush he’s currently going through might be a symptom of bad things ahead. Stiles as the movie nerd brings up the whole werewolf thing, but see that’s the point, up to this moment, Scott has had no reason to believe in the supernatural. And as far as he knows, as far as Stiles even admits, Stiles is just mocking Scott’s very genuine fears about what’s happening to him. (and sure, Scott doesn’t know what lycanthropy is, but how many people who aren’t interested in fantasy/horror really would know that term?)
We also find out that Scott’s family has money trouble. So up to this point what we know about Scott is that he’s a good responsible kid, from a family with few funds, living in an area that possibly has wild animals living around it. A kid who’s suffered from asthma, is an outcast and nerd, not the fandom kind of nerd, more the spending more time in his schoolbooks. He’s not the kind of kid that’s picked on, or the class clown. He’s the average young boy who has never really stood out in his life, who is trying to prepare for the future, and who lets the bad influence of Stiles bring some excitement in his life. But never expected the weirdness that his life would become.
Scott (and Stiles) then run into Derek. As the scene is blocked, it’s quite obvious that Derek’s full attention is on Scott. He barely even notices Stiles. We get a moment that obviously meant to be from Derek’s pov, and though Stiles up to this point, has been the one who’s talking, trying to argue their way out of trouble, Derek’s obvious attention is only on Scott, blocking out the kid that’s with him.
Stiles might offer the exposition about Derek, but his knowledge is clearly from listening in on his father(a trait that was pointed out earlier in the ep), rather than any kind of personal interaction. (ignoring the writers mistakes, we can probably blame this on the plothole of the writers changing Derek’s age once they realize how much older Hoechlin looks compared to the other actors)
Next we get to see Scott’s horror when he realizes the animals are scared of him, animals that he’s probably been regularly taking care of for a while now, who now suddenly sense him as a predator. For an animal lover like Scott, that’s probably a pretty scary thing.
When Allison comes in with the wounded dog, he instantly tries to comfort both her and the dog. He limits himself to giving immediate care to the dog, things he has had enough knowledge in how to do , before the actual vet gets there, instead of leaving the poor dog in pain.
I love how he reacts to Allison talking about how she behaved like a girl, pointing out that she ‘is’ a girl, and there’s nothing wrong, or shameful with that, while still respecting her feelings, and admitting his own emotions, opening up about his need to cry in situations. Becoming an instant place of comfort for her.
So by the point he asks her out, they’ve already had some time together, and it’s quite understandable why she likes him back. All in all it’s a sweet moment.
Instantly followed up of course, by the horror of waking up in the woods, half naked, with no idea of how he got there. Once again pursued by something out of sight, a horror he barely gets away from. That sense of horror is constantly there in everything Scott does and says, how he acts afterwards, and his fears of what’s happening to him.
I loved the scene where Jackson tries to confront him about possible steroid use, and Scott’s all ‘what the hell is he talking about’, and that moment of relief when he realizes that Jackson is talking about something as silly as steroids, while Scott’s entire body is betraying him, and freaking him out. It’s one of the few moments in the show where Scott is genuinely allowed to voice his frustrations, and it shows how terrified Scott is, that he even does so, based on what we see from him post s1.
We then get another lacrosse session, that becomes more interesting when you compare it to a similar scene in s4, where the roles have turned around.
Jackson has to deal with the fact that rather than an easily forgettable weakling, that suddenly Scott might be on his own level, that he might actually be a rival. It’s partly Jackson’s own insecurities talking, but as a result he gets harsher against Scott, which gets Scott to give in more to his wolf side in response.
But Scott doesn’t want to think about that. After all his fear, things are finally falling in line, this curse that terrified him is starting to look like it might be something good. And there Stiles comes, Stiles who before mocked his fears, mocked Scott’s bodyhorror, suddenly starts going on about this ridiculous thing, that he’d been mocking only a day earlier. And he expects Scott to just fall in line and give up on that one thing that is finally making things right again, that is giving him some hope that maybe just maybe this is a good thing, instead of a curse.
Scott can feel it, that sense of losing control of himself. But he’s hanging on to that hope. That maybe, somehow this is something good, that he doesn’t have to be scared, that maybe his life is getting better. Refusing to give in to his fear.
Only once he’s at the party, he can no longer remain in denial. The horror comes back. Derek wants to help him, but the way he does it, only makes things worse.
Remember, they’ve only met once, and even then Derek was ostensibly behaving like this total creeper. When Derek offers Allison a ride, the scene is blocked in a way that is supposed to be suspicious.
The horror heaps up on Scott, as his body starts changing, and he becomes what he sees as a monster, filled with adrenaline and a change he can’t handle. Combined with Derek’s sudden obsession with Scott, and Derek’s lack of an explanation, and refusal to tell Scott what’s going on, it’s no shock that Scott jumps to conclusion and assumes that the creeper following him is the guy he should be scared of, that Derek must have been the one who bit him, and must be the werewolf. He’d be stupid not to think that.
Even when Scott full out accuses him of being the one who bit him, instead of denying it, Derek instead tries to get Scott to embrace the bite as a gift, as something he should be grateful for. (it’s also noticeable that Scott ends up trying to use Derek’s technique when dealing with Liam later on. It’s a mistake, but what other example of introducing someone to life as a werewolf, does Scott even have?)
Derek of course isn’t the one who bit Scott, but based on the information Scott has at this point, and the emotional turmoil he’s in, his beliefs and behavior make perfect sense. Especially since Derek then attacks him immediately. (understandable since unlike Scott, Derek knows that hunters are around, and is trying to get Scott out of sight, but still, once again, Derek doesn’t bother to explain and instead makes himself the threat, rather than someone Scott should be able to trust. (it’s things like these that are probably a big reason why Deaton considers Derek a bad Alpha, because Derek did have a better example, and instead he’s screwing it up every step of the way. And unlike Scott, who changes his behavior as soon as he’s realizing he’s making a mistake, Derek keeps acting like this, until he has no other choice.))
The episode ends with two scenes, one between Scott and Stiles, where Stiles is still misreading Scott, not even bothering to realize Scott’s fear and trying to act as if tthis horrible thing that happened to Scott, from Scott's pov, is somehow a good thing. Or if he does get it, he’s ignoring that fear and being sarcastic when what Scott needs the most, is comfort. Stiles also completely dismisses Scott’s feelings for Allison, mocking it, partly because of his ongoing jealousy towards anyone knew in Scott’s life, and partly because though in his mind he’s allowed to go on and on about Lydia, but God forbid if Scott has an interest outside of Stiles.
The second scene is one between Scott and Allison.
Scott knows he’s screwed up, that he has no real explanation for why he abandoned her, but he doesn’t want to lie to her either. He even admits that he’ll probably disappoint her again in the future. But somehow his open eyed honestly impresses her enough to give him another chance. And just when you think everything’s fine with the world, we get a look at Allison’s father’s face..
And it’s the same hunter that put an arrow through Scott the night before
I think that as a pilot, this episode did a lot of things right. It sets up a believable relationship between Scott and Allison, it shows us who the main characters are and how they relate to one another, giving them at least some foothold in the story.
There are some people who feel like they should have become major supporting chars, but who end up fading from the next ep on, and others who aren’t introduced yet. But the basics is there and the game is on.
Sure Scallison is based on one of the oldest tropes in the book, Romeo and Julia, but it works, especially since the show doesn’t drag out the relationship.
We don’t spend weeks wondering when Allison is finally going to notice Scott, instead they go with the reality of a highschool relationship, which can come quick, and feel like the world depends on it...