Teen Wolf: Season 2 Review

It seems like only yesterday that I finished watching every episode of Supernatural for the millionth time (at least) and decided it was time to try something new. I knew that many of my Tumblr sisters were hooked on Teen Wolf but I was worried about getting into it. I wasn’t going to watch Twilight # 237687.987 but with werewolves this time. To my immense relief, not only was Teen Wolf not Twilight, but it might be one of the most enjoyable shows on TV right now. Before I knew it, I had watched both seasons on Netflix, looked up everything about the show, and forced MadameAce to watch so I would have someone to discuss things with.

Now we’re sharing the love, and trying to convince those of you who might be hesitant to give Teen Wolf a try. MadameAce already covered Teen Wolf season one, so now it’s time to talk about season two.

Warning: Spoilers that MadameAce tried to avoid for season one will probably pop up here, but I will try to keep spoilers for season two to a minimum. But still be warned: Spoilers!

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So season one ends with Derek becoming an alpha werewolf, by killing his evil Uncle Peter, as stated in the MadameAce’s review a werewolf needs a pack in order to be protected and at full strength. Derek tries to convince Scott to become a part of his pack by explaining that a lone wolf (called an Omega) is weak and more likely to be killed by hunters. Scott refuses because he still doesn’t trust Derek and fears that joining with Derek will cause a rift between him and Allison. So Derek is forced to offer the bite to other humans introducing us to several new characters. Derek creates three new wolves Isaac, Erica, and Boyd.

Isaac is the first to be turned. Isaac comes from a background of tragedy and abuse. His older brother, a solider, died in combat and presumably his grief stricken father takes his anger out on Isaac. Out of the three, Isaac is probably the most loyal to Derek, who basically takes care of him after his father is murdered by another monster called the Kanima. He has the most control over his wolf-powers and turns out to be invaluable asset.

Then there is Erica. She’s our first on-screen female werewolf and she is my favorite. Though Teen Wolf is great with female representation as far as actually having a female werewolf it isn’t so great. Laura, Derek’s sister, is dead before we even meet her so for all intents and purposes Erica is our first female werewolf. Before she was turned, Erica was an epileptic who, tired of feeling weak from being tormented by her classmates for her disease, takes the bite from Derek. She is the fiercest of the group and enjoys flaunting the fact that she is a werewolf, especially to Stiles and Scott. She is bad ass and there are many indications that the very fact that she is female makes her strong than the others. Derek mentions that Erica will actually have a hire tolerance for pain than the men in the pack. She doesn’t take any shit for the other Betas or anyone else for that matter. However not everything about female werewolves makes sense. In season one, Peter mentions that female werewolves actually lose control twice a month rather than once a month like the men. It’s never explained why or how and seems to be dropped in season two. We never see Erica transform more than once during the full moon nor does Derek ever mention this difference to her. Sadly, my love for Erica may be short lived as there are rumors that the actress will not be returning in season three. 

And finally we have Boyd. We know far less about Boyd then the other two, though rumors say his backstory will be more developed in season three. He is a loner and doesn’t seem to have any friends until after he joins Derek’s pack. He is the the most intelligent of the three and seems to catch onto things quicker than Isaac and Erica.

It turns out Derek is right to quickly try to get a pack together, because Allison’s hunter family have called in reinforcements. Chris Argent, Allison’s father, brings his own father into Beacon Hills. Allison’s grandfather, Gerard, is a ruthless old man hell-bent on getting revenge for his daughter Kate who was murdered last season by the previous alpha werewolf. With the exception of Chris Argent and Allison, none of the other hunters seem to care that it was actually Kate’s fault that Peter went crazy and killed everyone anyway. Not that that’s an excuse, but she literally burned Peter and his family to the ground. It’s revealed that Gerad’s training is what made Kate so ruthless, but it doesn’t make any sense that Chris isn’t that way then. In season one Chris mentions a code that hunters are supposed to follow. Like not hurting other humans that hang out with werewolves, not killing werewolves that aren’t adults unless they kill someone, and not killing or attacking adult werewolves unless they attacked or killed someone. Furthermore, to move against a werewolf they have to have proof that they actually did hurt anyone. So far, Derek seems totally right not to like or trust the hunters, because the only ones that seem to actually follow this code are Chris and Allison and even they break it sometime. 

Gerard is a decent villain, but for the most part is pretty boring. Yes, he’s smart and shows no mercy, but he isn’t much better than your normal mustache twirling villain. He isn’t the only villain this season, but that’s no excuse for him not being as well developed. He also has tendency to give long annoying dramatic speeches, and not in a fun way like some villains like Loki, but more in an annoying, “OMG shut up Gerard” kind of way. This is probably due either to writing or directing. There are some moments were his dramatic speeches come when he is simply talking to someone, which kind of makes sense, but there are other points were the action (fighting and killing etc.) is actually stopped for Gerad to make his dramatic speech.

Allison, meanwhile, begins training as a hunter, but is constantly torn between wanting toteenwolf-teen-wolf-32822640-400-300 be with Scott and wanting to be with her family. Allison and Scott have been forbidden to see each other, though they still manage to spend time together, and Allison is constantly struggling with the morality of what her family is doing. After learning what her Aunt Kate did in season one to Derek’s family, Allison begins to question how her family deals with werewolves. She still wants to learn hunter skills and steadily becomes more badass than before, but she often uses what she’s learned to help Scott and Stiles.

Scott has more on his plate than ever this season. He refuses to join Derek’s pack, but also must stay one step ahead of Allison’s family. Scott really grows as a character this season in many ways, showing his leadership capabilities. He is even told by Derek that he’s the alpha of his own pack consisting of Allison and Stiles, even though they aren’t werewolves. Scott has also become much more powerful as werewolf and seems to have accepted his abilities more than he did last season. Since he was not born a werewolf, but is not really human anymore, Scott is often in the unique and awkward position of trying to get both hunter and werewolf to work together, especially with a new creature around that threatens to kill them all.

Scott’s pack and Scott’s status as a werewolf is another confusing point of season two. Derek says that a lone wolf is weak and an omega, but Derek was alone last season after his sister died and he says he’s a beta. Maybe it’s because Derek’s uncle was still alive and Scott was bit by Peter so that means they are all in the same pack. That at least kind of makes sense, but in season two Scott refuses to be a part of Derek’s pack. Derek says Scott’s an Alpha, but he can’t be an alpha without other wolves or killing an alpha, and even Derek seems to think that Scott acts as an alpha, but is technically still a beta. Allison’s mother actually refers to Scott as an omega, because he has no pack. So basically, I have no idea how these pack dynamics work. I have read fanfiction that explains it better. But this could be due to the show being limited to only twelve episodes a season (though season 3 is getting twenty three episodes) and so there wasn’t enough time to explain things. I still feel things could have been clearer though. Especially since these pack dynamics seem to feature as key plot points and motivations on occasion.

The Kanima is in many ways the villain of season two. It’s a shapeshifter, like the werewolves, but it’s a reptilian creature that kills in the name of revenge. However, the Kanima has no control over his or herself or and no memory of being the creature. Instead, it is controlled by someone else to act as their way of taking revenge. Scott, Stiles, and Allison struggle to figure out who the Kanima is and who is controlling it and try to save them before either Derek or the hunters kill them.

Stiles still continues to be the best friend that ever existed, helping Scott against hunters, Derek, and the Kanima. His biggest problem this season, however, seems to be his father. In order to continue to hide the existence of werewolves, Stiles is constantly lying to his father and showing up at crime scenes to the point where his father begins to get suspicious. Furthermore, Stiles’s antics begin to affect his father’s job and Stiles becomes more and more nervous about how his actions will affect his only family. Stiles also may be developing some magic of his own. Scott’s boss, Deaton, who runs the veterinary clinic, is revealed in season one to be someone who wields certain magic. In season two it’s revealed he has some connection to the Derek’s family, but for the most part he acts as this neutral figure. In season one he uses something called mountain ash to stop Peter from entering his clinic and getting to Scott. In season two he teaches Stiles how to use the mountain ash that he used in season one, presumably only a human can use these magics. Neither Scott nor Derek are capable of doing any of things Deaton or Stiles does. This only happens once, but it could show potential for Stiles to begin using magic as many fans have speculated. I tend to like Stiles as the normal guy who survives by his wits alone, but even I have to admit that a magic-wielding Stiles would be cool.

Jackson’s desire to become a werewolf last season encounters some problems. Derek bites him, but as far as Jackson can tell nothing has happened to him. He blames this on Lydia. She was also bitten, by Derek’s evil Uncle Peter at the end of season one, but has remained immune to the bite (although she begins to have terrible visions and dreams, and weird things keep happening to her and she’s not quite sure why). Jackson theorizes that Lydia somehow passed her immunity on to him. Whether that is through sex or just kissing or something, somehow is never made clear. Mostly because Lydia didn’t really cause Jackson to become immune, but he is irrationally blame her for the whole thing. This leads to several scenes of Jackson treating Lydia horribly, and finally breaking up with her. The entirety of the second season of Teen Wolf is arguably about Jackson finally growing up and becoming a good person.

(Warning major spoilers for season two skip this paragraph if you don’t want spoilers!)

Turns out that Jackson does not turn into a werewolf, because his own personal issues prevent him from doing so. Jackson acts like a horrible person, because of his feelings of abandonment, because he’s an orphan. Furthermore, he has trust issues; Jackson didn’t know he was adopted, but in season one when his parents reveal this too him he starts acting out, because of it. Jackson’s anger, lack of identity, and lack of ties to anyone cause him to transform into the Kanima. Much of the plot of season two revolves around helping Jackson overcome these issues before he’s kill or before he kills someone else as the Kanima. He is eventually saved by Lydia (who finally kind of learns about all the werewolves and things around her) and finally transforms into a werewolf.

(End of spoilers)

All that may have been useless, though, because Colton Haynes, the actor who plays Jackson, is leaving Teen Wolf due to contract issues, and will now be spending his time on the CW’s Arrow as Roy Harper. Which is awesome and all, but kind of makes everything that happened to Jackson’s character in season two pretty pointless. I can’t wait to see how they explain Jackson not being around anymore.

That’s season two! There were some minor plot holes between this one and season two, but it was overall excellent. If there was one complaint I have for Teen Wolf, it would be the music. I mean seriously, the show is on MTV; can’t they afford to get the rights to some other songs? Maybe I’m just spoiled by shows like Supernatural that have an awesome soundtrack, but I just don’t get why almost every song on Teen Wolf is either dubstep or some slow sappy song.

But other than the music, the show is really enjoyable and actually has some pretty good messages embedded in the show. Join MadameAce and I tomorrow when we will look more in depth look into Teen Wolf and feminist themes.

 

5 thoughts on “Teen Wolf: Season 2 Review

  1. i read the first two paragraphs and stopped after i realized you enjoyed teen wolf. i watched teen wolf, almost done season 2. i started watching because a friend of mines said it was worth a try. this show is basically plot holes with moments of what could have been good scenes just trying to keep you entertained long enough for you not to figure out that the show’s writers have no idea what the hell they’re doing. i’m still going to finish season 2 because i don’t leave anything unfinished but it is torture for me. the characters are all over the place. the plotlines seem like they threw darts at pieces of papers with ideas on them and whatever stuck was what they went with. unfortunately all the ideas were just plain bad. i mean im probably just being rash because i just finished watching an episode which was horrible.

  2. I was so hesitant about watching this show. i love the original movie in all it’s 80’s campiness, so was worried about how they would change it up, then add to that as well that I HATE Twilight and i was afraid it would be another Twilight.
    When I was sick with the flu I finally watched it and loved it. I immediately started season 1 over again after finishing season 2, then went on-line to find out when season 3 was starting. There are problems of course – what show doesn’t have some? If I expected a show to be perfect there wouldn’t be anything to watch, or to write fanfics about fixing the episodes or the characters or even the entire endings of shows (looking at you Queer as Folk!). But I have no complaints about the characters, which is what interests me in shows. Sure, I want a good story/plot, but I must be drawn to the characters, I have to want to know more about them, I have to be able to connect with them and in Teen Wolf I did. (Same is true of ARROW, I think that show has more holes and problems than the Titanic, but I find the characters utterly compelling, esp Diggle and Felicity, so it is must see TV for me.)
    The first article earlier today summed up everything I love about Teen Wolf. Several times in the first season this show has made me actually think “omg, they aren’t going to go there are they? yes they are!!” and then I squeed like the happy little fan girl I am. I loved the fact that the show set itself up as the pinnacle of cliches/stereotypes then set about dismantling them. Lydia’s story for that is my favorite.
    I am sorry Jackson left the show, I loved how unrepentedly selfish he was, and I am wondering how they are going to write him out in a believable way. This is a show where I really don’t have a favorite character my enjoyment comes from all of their interactions as a whole, so I am worried about the influx of all these new characters. Young Justice did that this last season and for me it just muddied the waters and took screen time away from the original characters, who were the ones I was there to see. I don’t want to lose any of the focus on the original group in Teen Wolf, and I want Danny to have a bigger role. My first thought is always to expand the roles of the characters you already have (like Danny, Deaton, etc) before bringing in a large number of new ones.
    Can’t wait for season 3!

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