You haven’t seen a whole lot of meta from me lately and the reason for that is that I cannot figure out why things are happening on Teen Wolf. The choice is always somewhere between intent and incompetence (or lack of resources) and maybe the meddling of the higher ups.
For a long time we’ve assumed that Jeff Davis has almost complete creative control, but considering a few tidbits like the Camaro being axed for the mom-car sponsor and with the strange behavior of TW-related PR, I’m thinking it might be somewhere in the triangle.
Teen Wolf’s continuity has always been questionable. Official social media and the show have put out conflicting information. It’s incredibly hard to judge the nature of an event on Teen Wolf with any accuracy because it exists in uncertainty - especially because they have, through protecting spoilers with a kind of mad frenzy, repeatedly outright lied to us.
There is no source of information we can trust. And in a season where we are deliberately led to believe that the reality of any scene is questionable, that makes it really hard for me to develop theories I can believe in.
There are so many questions to which I don’t know the answer. Like:
- Why have Deaton and Morrell’s roles been reduced so much? They’ve both had one major episode where they had some fundamental impact and nothing else, one after the other. Their actions have likely led directly to Stiles being in that basement with Malia and the dead body. Why? What’s their endgame here?
- What happened to Danny? He’s been significantly sidelined with the introduction of the twins, reduced to being love interest and character development for a murderous werewolf. What purpose does that serve? Is this a deliberate move to keep Danny out of the line of fire in terms of script importance so no one will be tempted to kill him? Or is it that the story is focused so tightly on the events with Stiles that anyone not directly connected to him or his friends gets the shaft?
- Speaking of people who should be there but aren’t - what is Peter’s purpose, his endgame, his plot? Why was he with Derek after 3a? What was he so afraid for Derek to learn in his conversation with Talia? Why is he alive?
- What’s the deal with Gerard? Deucalion? They’ve both been put on hold, but they are lurking at the edges of the story like vultures waiting for their chance at the corpse.
- The nemeton. We’ve now heard how it is connected to the nogitsune and the Yukimura family, which is mostly sort of accidental, but the nogitsune is not everything there is. In the last episode we learned that the oni come from Noshiko breaking her tails - they explicitly do not come from someone pulling out a bit of the nemeton trying to grow back. Those shadows emerging from the tree may have been oni, but they may be something else entirely as well. Fireflies and an electrical storm, btw, have been motives since early 3a. What does it mean? Remember Isaac in the first ice bath? The demon wolf speech? Why have these background motives so obviously repeat in two apparently separate stories?
- Usually there is a theme and plot change through revelation between episodes 3/4 and 9/10 of a season. What was the game changer in 3x21? Noshiko’s story and the structure of the episode reflects Visionary. Are we supposed to question the truth behind the story?
- Indeed, what’s up with the riddles? I’ve been saying that they remind me of The Dark Tower and the last episode actually made that connection more prominent, because in the novels Roland and Eddie Dean clash fundamentally about the nature of riddles vs. jokes and if something that seems nonsensical can be considered a good riddle (a joke, in the end, saved the group’s lives). Are these riddles meaningful in context or are they just creepy atmosphere?
- What’s happening with Scott, Allison, Lydia, Derek? They’ve all been pushed aside to deal with Stiles’ possession, so much so that their whole plot is his plot. Why? Is it just that the Teen Wolf writers work in a way where characters have to serve the plot and not the other way around? What happened to their struggles?
- Speaking of Scott, has anyone else wondered why Stiles and Allison are said to be potential nogitsune hosts but Scott is not? Can we talk about how Stiles and Allison were both with their Deaton-assigned anchors and Scott was alone in 3x14 and HE seems to be fine? Did Deaton potentially engineer the whole thing from the beginning?
- Remember Peter killing Jennifer on top of the nemeton? Because if we’re going by blood sacrifice strength, I think that one is way ahead of the silly little ritual with the ice baths. No really, what the hell is up with Peter?!
- Have you noticed that the new chess board is werewolves vs. hunters in terms of color choice of the pieces (making Kate a white piece, even) and that who is and isn’t on the board is kind of really fucking odd? Kate is on it, but Gerard and Victoria are not. And while the whole remaining werewolf population is on it (Derek, Aiden, Ethan, with Isaac on the side, Scott, Peter) there’s also Jackson (as a white piece no less!). Deaton is on it but not Morrell or Lydia, even though we can assume Stiles did this revision after the banshee reveal, in fact, probably after his dad explicitly asked about her in 3x15 and Stiles says she’s on the board now. But she and Malia are conspiculously absent. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
With all this, I wish I could go deeper, look harder and make sense of the tangled web, but I don’t have enough information to even make so much as educated guesses because as many times as something turned out to be true (Lydia’s young Peter hallucinations, Jennifer being the darach) we also have plenty of precidence for things just being huge ass continuity fuckups or a scarcity of resources (be that time to write, time to film, money to pay for things, time within the episode etc.) or Jeff Davis reacting, occasionally badly, to actors leaving for a chance at more money or top billing.
Basically, I really just don’t know.
I still think Isaac has been set up perfectly as the one to die because of the way they wrote him this season - he has become (or always was) important to Allison, Scott and Derek and Stiles might be the one to kill him or cause his sacrifice. That’s the highest amount of personal emotional resonance you can get without killing one of the main five.
And I still think that the meat of the nogitsune story is a red herring in the same way Matt was - the true obstacle of the season is going to have to do with the nemeton and the doors in their minds and the nogitsune will only be its pawn.
But in the end, I feel like trying to work out the puzzle is impossible because Jeff Davis has stuffed half the pieces down the back of the couch.
And that’s why I haven’t been writing much.