So I have to ask: How does the Teen Wolf Super Saiyan Fusion Twinsies work? Is the combined form known as Eden or Aithan? Can they howl for 3 episodes and form a major Ki ball in their hands?
Welcome to Teen Wolf Season 3A – A as in Alpha Pack because everyone is an alpha this season! It was like Oprah looked at the season and decided that “You get to be an alpha, and You get to be an alpha”! But seriously, there is a lot of red eye people in this season, and it’s not because they aren’t sleeping enough. Shall we take a look back at some of the interesting pieces, the sucky parts, and the what the hell were they thinking moments of season 3A.
Be a Better Scott McCall Program
Over the summer break, Scott has had a definite change to his appearance and personality. He is no longer the fluffy, lovesick klutz that we had in seasons 1 & 2. He’s got a haircut (notice how Scott’s hair gets shorter and Stiles’ hair gets longer…), working out more, and catching up on his studies. In fact, even Coach noticed the change and he likes it!
But he’s also being a better werewolf. After spending two seasons stumbling over himself and trying to learn everything on his own when Derek wasn’t being helpful, Scott is way more in control of his powers and himself. He is owning that werewolf side of him now, and starting to use it in a way that will make a difference and protect those he cares about. He is earning the respect of the other wolves in town, and they come to him for advice. On the flip side, he is getting better at the art of subtle manipulation (see getting Chris involved in finding Cora & Boyd). Deaton has taken to advising him more, being Scott’s “Yoda” now and showing him different things about his powers, as well as gently pushing Scott to become a leader.
And he has his weak moments. Look at what he puts himself through after he thinks Derek died – he almost died himself from the guilt of not being able to save Derek. Or being an idiot and not getting his nurse of a mother to treat his injury. Either way, he can still show weaknesses when his family and friends are used as a pawn, or a ghost decides to play with his head using his fears against him.
It isn’t a surprise, though, that Scott is on the path to be a true alpha. A true alpha, as defined in the show, is one who rises to alpha rank solely on the strength of their character, their virtue and sheer willpower. Character – Scott has a good heart, and good intentions. He doesn’t want to kill, nor will he allow himself to fall to the predatory side of a wolf’s nature. He wants to help, to protect, and care for those around him. He is also stubborn, and willing to push himself to the limit to accomplish those character objectives.
My only issue with making Scott a True Alpha this early on is that, like Harry Potter, he’s suddenly now a too-perfect character. Yes, he will still make mistakes, but when a character isn’t really challenged anymore within their character growth arc, they fail to change or even start to backslide. I think that’s why the first time I watched the Teen Wolf series, I kinda stopped caring about Scott’s plotline and focused more on the others during this season. When he backslides in season 5, though… that’s when I’m back interested in him.
Sympathetic Villains By the Pack…
To be honest, looking at the entire Teen Wolf villain list, the alpha pack was probably the least scary of the villains. Kali and Ennis spent most of the time being side characters who only stepped into speaking lines or the spotlight to further a plot point. The twins – when not in fused form – were about as scary as Isaac on a bad hair day without his scarf. The Darach is maybe just a bit scarier than the pack; her storyline exists outside of the main storyline so that we don’t know that it’s Jennifer until episode 7. That unknown factor gives her the edge on being something to fear, but when you learn its Jennifer, you’re angrier at her for manipulating Derek and kidnapping the Sheriff than killing all of those other people.
I think part of it comes from trying to make Deucalian, Jennifer, and the twins all sympathetic to the audience. The alpha pack is being hunted, so their motivation to kill Jennifer is clear – as is hers to want them dead. They are only responsible for 3 deaths, though (Erica, Ennis, and let’s be real – they killed Boyd more than Derek did). Jennifer, however, is the real murderer in this season since she is responsible for 13 deaths plus another 8 attempted murders (and all those poor birds). But she is remembered for being the girl in Derek’s pants.
You don’t see them as threats so much as victims, which cancels out a lot of their “scary” factor and makes it hard to believe they are a real threat to the pack – the ones we are emotionally connected to. The only one I feel they are a threat to is Derek, because their storylines are written that way to make them such.
Family Feels Part Three (A) – All about the Hales
Derek is starting to become a more focus, zen alpha. He seems to have gotten some influences from Scott and Isaac over the summer. His anger isn’t as strong, he’s not as guarded around Scott and his betas, and he’s a lot more reckless and self-sacrificing (see: boiler room). His willingness to just kill everything is gone, wanting to save his pack. He is more sympathetic to Scott in this season, but still very to the point in his words and actions when it comes to the Argents. His desire to protect Isaac from the alpha pack and their wanting him to kill his own is so strong to the point where he forces Isaac away from him – starting Isaac down the path of changing alphas.
He’s also more receptive to affection, which is great for him as a person to be able to open that part of him back up again. It sucks that Jennifer uses it to try and manipulate him. It shows a lot that Derek, after nearly dying in his battle with Ennis, goes to Jennifer for help and not his family. Perhaps he’s trying to protect his pack in doing that – they do know where he lives after all. Perhaps it’s just because she’s closer to get to, but he goes to a semi-stranger in that moment of need because he trusts her (something that just a season ago he said he refused to do). Her presence, this connection between them, helps him heal from his wounds – both from the alpha pack and from his own fears of opening up. Jennifer must initiate the kiss between them, and it even then it takes him a moment before he responds – and then he does like a starving man who hasn’t been loved in a long time. One could debate on if it was the sexual healing of his battle scars or if Jennifer used magic to heal them for him, but as we learn in season 5B that it takes Scott longer to heal with his pack broken. I’m going for the affection as being the cause for his healing.
Speaking of Hale family feels – this is the season we meet Cora Hale – a 17-year-old Cora Hale who Derek (and probably Laura) believed to be dead. She would have been 11 at the time of the fire. There is no indication how she got out, or how an 11-year-old werewolf managed to survive on her own and get to South America of all places. Cora enters the show as an angry sprite wolf (so tiny and adorable in her shifted face). She didn’t know that Derek was alive either, and is upset that Derek isn’t a ferocious beast wanting to fight all out at those coming against him.
Then we have her seeing Peter – which why does Cora not attack knowing about him killing Laura (which I’m assuming Derek told her)? Is it Derek’s possible death that unites them in this first time they have seen each other since her return? Peter is just as cautious of Cora as she is of him since she is now an unknown factor he doesn’t know how to handle (or control).
There is never an explanation about how Cora got out of the fire. My theory is that Peter helped get her out. We see that Peter has memories of being outside the Hale House when it is on fire, and then inside. Also, going on my theory that Peter, who still does put pack/family above his ego some of the time, went in to try and get people out, and Cora was one. I’m also hoping that more Hales got out and we just never will know because, like Cora, they are in hiding.
Derek and Cora could almost mirror what Laura and Derek would have been just after the fire. Derek was an angry teenager, and would want to lash out after his family died and probably tried Laura’s patience time and time again. Now Cora is here, lashing out at her calm brother one moment, and jumping in to protect him with her life the next. They are siblings in the end, and when it comes to the other’s life – theirs is second. Derek, being an alpha on top of a big brother, is instantly protective of his sister once he sees her alive.
When Derek is forced to face losing another sister, and given a way to save her that will end his time as alpha, he doesn’t hesitate. I think it’s at that point where Derek truly learns about what it means to be alpha: that it isn’t the power, but it’s what you do with it to make the pack stronger. He has already lost most of his family. He’s lost Erica and Boyd. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he didn’t save Cora, and she is his family. The Hales have been portrayed as being a very tight, loving family within their pack. It would be going outside of all of his own family values if he didn’t. So he gave up the power to keep his sister alive, and he has never shown any sign of regretting it for an instant.
Then we have Peter. He’s not big on action, claiming he is still regaining his strength, but he is involved with Derek and his pack almost as a second. He’s trying to find a way to guide Derek to become an alpha he would want to follow – someone who works in the shades of gray. Derek walks a line on listening, but knows that Peter is dramatic and does have a lot of knowledge he will need to draw on – like the way to get Isaac’s memories. With Cora, he is unsure about her, but that doesn’t stop him from working with her to try and find Derek, or telling her stories about the past, or caring for her while she is in the hospital. You can see real concern in his face while he’s in the hospital and for the first time he willingly gets himself involved in battle against the alpha pack to protect her – and Derek – any way possible.
Now his telling Derek about how to heal Cora: Peter gives Derek the knowledge he has of the story, including the fact it may not work or it could even kill him. He lets Derek make the choice, but focuses his words in a way that you’re unsure if he’s being dramatic, or something more. The look he gives at the window, there is a single dark drumming sound as his eyes shift which leads one to believe that Peter is manipulating Derek into doing this, knowing it will either kill him or make him lose his power. Now at this point in the season, Peter knows Scott is becoming a True Alpha, so is this move a way to save Cora, make Derek a beta who would fall in line with him once he kills Scott for the power? He can easily link that Derek healing Cora this way could being something Jennifer would want – after all she doesn’t need him as a wolf during the lunar eclipse and him not being an alpha would keep him from joining the alpha pack. This is also a good motivation for when the threat of Kali and Ethan coming to kill Derek and Derek now depowered, Peter all but begs for Derek to flee from town with Cora.
Peter is still working on his own game, which will become the beginning of a long con that starts this season in gaining Scott’s alpha power the moment he learns that Scott is a true alpha. After all, if Scott becomes a true alpha, the bite that made him is a Hale bite. It could be seen as an extension of the same power – the Hale family power. It would be the last bit of the family power left, and Peter will want it. This is probably why while when he is begging Derek and Cora to flee, he stays behind in Beacon Hills to be able to continue his plan to kill Scott.
Final note on Derek: This is the season Derek fades from human to the wolf in the opening credits. I remember Tumblr and Twitter blew up during the season 4 finale about how it had been in front of us the whole time with the credits. If this is the clue from the writers about Derek’s evolution, we can point to this season is when Derek starts his evolution. If I was going to pinpoint a time in this season that would have been the kick-start of the evolution, it would have been his giving up his alpha for Cora. It’s a rare event to take place, and it’s a selfless sacrifice of a part of himself to whatever greater powers are over the supernatural in their world. That would be the kind of act I would expect a supreme being to take notice of, and give the warrior a path to obtain a higher form of knowledge for what he gave.
The Revolving Door of Stiles’ Love Interest
I am not a big fan of how every teenage unattached female in Teen Wolf is cast as being a “love interest” for Stiles. In season one, we learn of his pining for Lydia. Season 2, Erica Reyes was positioned to be this for him – we all remember her talk about how she was crushing on him, and that he can be her Batman. But that never went anywhere. Season 3A, we get Heather for an episode, and then Cora Hale which is as close to a Hale’s bed Stiles is probably going to get in canon – sorry all you Sterek people reading this (hey Steter people – you still have a long shot. A very LONG shot but at least Ian is still on the show).
Cora and Stiles, aka Stora, are my favorite ship of all the possible Stiles pairings. While I’m not into Sterek, I can see the attraction of the angry, dour character to the hyperactive, sarcastic one. Where they are opposites in personality, Cora and Stiles both share a high intellect with low impulse control. He is also the first person outside of the pack that Cora bonds with on any level, and in that she extends a level of trust to him that we know is a rare gift for a Hale to give.
The only hint we ever get of Stiles’ interest in Cora is after he saves her life with CPR and makes the quip of her being awake the next time. Other than that, for a character who was supposed to be a love interest, there’s no real interest shown, and then Cora goes back off to South America which looks a lot like medieval France and Scotland.
I personally would like to think that if Adelaide Kane didn’t get cast in Reign, that she would have been back and that Malia wouldn’t have ended up becoming Stiles’ girlfriend in season 4.
The other thing that annoys me about Stiles’ revolving door is that we know none of these relationships are going to last because Jeff Davis has been very vocal that the endgame for Stiles’ relationship life will be Lydia. On top of that, you also have the “is he or isn’t he” game played on if Stiles is interested in boys as well as girls. My opinion: Stiles is way too curious about everything in life, so of course he’s bi-curious. I wouldn’t never doubt that he wouldn’t at least try to make-out with a guy to see what it’s like. However, he’s never openly shown attraction to a guy (and with all the hot, shirtless guys on this show – he has plenty to look at), so his preference as far as canon shows is female. Will that change in adulthood – we will never know.
That’s what fanfic is for, folks!
There isn’t a lot of foreshadowing for future seasons in this half of season 3, but there is one thing that I noticed and gets talked about too – the fireflies. Californian fireflies don’t light up, but the ones that appear for the Darach do. Question is – did they appear for the Darach, or were they harbingers returning for a certain kitsune mother and daughter that would be making their way to Beacon Hills during this season.
Also, after their sacrifice, the main trio are supposed to have a “darkness” around their heart – permanent, like a scar: The nemeton effect is supposed to last the rest of their lives. Could this be the reason that the show gets darker from this point out? We don’t get to see much of Allison’s long term effects, but we do see it the most post 3B with Scott and Stiles in that there are a lot less of the “goofy” moments that defined them in seasons 1 and 2. Closing the door in their minds is the motivating action for the three of them in the first two episodes… but we all know how that goes for one of them.
If you don’t have season 3A on DVD yet, Amazon is having a sale on the older seasons! Grab a copy for yourself, or the Teen Wolf fan in your life .
Stay tuned, and keep your eye on my Twitter @aliskyrichards and you may catch me livetweeting as I rewatch these two parts this week. Otherwise subscribe to the Three If By Space site to keep tabs on when the rest of the retrospective series gets posted, and of course for all the Season 6 news as I hear it!