The Wolf Avengers: Thoughts on Teen Wolf Seasons 4-6
Updated: Jul 18, 2020
You're not a monster. You're a werewolf, like me.
These are the final words of Scott McCall, main character and alpha wolf of his wolf pack on Teen Wolf. If you're not familiar with this TV show, take a look at my previous blog on seasons 1-3. The title of this blog is a nod to the final season of Teen Wolf, which has oddly familiar feels to Captain America: Civil War.
Overall, I am not disappointed with Teen Wolf. If you like hunky supernatural men and horror, you're in for a treat. Here's a sample, just because:
Theo (Cody Christian), a new werewolf in season 5 who wants in on Scott's Pack. He's already got a six pack so I don't know why he would want more.
Fun Fact: Cody Christian plays the voice of Cloud Strife in the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
I want to post more pictures but I'll spare you (for now). If men aren't your thing then there's occasional fan service for the other team too. Unfortunately, not as much when compared to team one.
Regardless of the fan service, there are some deep moments in Teen Wolf that push me to the verge of tears and then there are moments where I am left thinking, did they really just say that? Not to mention some weird plot holes every now and then and solutions to problems that just do not make any sense. But before we move onto seasons 4-6, let's talk about some of the good things Teen Wolf has to offer, overall.
My favorite episode, by far, has still got to be in season 3 - episode 6. It has some real good writing, deals with some heavy stuff, and sees two of our main characters make some good strides towards character and relationship development. Overall, my favorite season is season 3, part 2 and the lore of the Kitsune.
Kira (Arden Cho), who has a fox spirit attached to her.
You might be thinking, "Well, this is The Outside Story and y'all are Asian American so of course it makes sense this would be your favorite season." Well, it's not just because the Kitsune is an Asian (Japanese, to be precise) supernatural creature but in general the entirety of season 3 part 2 is just so well done. You can tell the writers did a lot research for the lore, even going so far as including things such as tails for the Kitsune. I appreciate a well researched and well represented outside story.
In addition, season 3 features one of the main actors as a key player in the overarching plotline and let me tell you, Dylan O'Brien slays (literally).
Who would've thought that a goth Stiles (Dylan O'Brien) would actually be kind of attractive?
The third season has some of the most bone chilling and the most demanding, acting-wise, scenes of the entire television series. From nightmares and night terrors to heartfelt conversations to being possessed by a dark Kitsune, this season has it all.
If you want my honest advice, you can stop after season 3 because unless you really love the characters, the rest of the series doesn't have much to offer.
One of the problems that I have with this show is its portrayal of people of color and LGBTQ+ folks. Often time, we see these characters get the short end of the stick. Our first werewolf of color (wow, did I just say that?) died after trying to save his life by running away. His name was Vernon Boyd and he was a tragic victim of unfortunate circumstances.
Boyd (Sinqua Walls) sitting in a motel in my favorite episode, Motel California.
Another standout character of color would be Tamora Monroe. Monroe, as she's often referred to, is a counselor at Beacon Hills High School. She's new in this role and is curious to know what the students are up to because they seem to know something that she doesn't. She ends up being one of the villains for the final season and I'm really upset that she never comes around.
One of the things that I think the show is balancing is a real hard and awkward tension between reality and fiction. Monroe is a woman who was a victim of events in Beacon Hill caused by Scott and his wolf pack. Because of this, she blames them and all supernatural folks for all the bad things happening and goes as far as saying that they all deserve to die, no matter their innocence.
Monroe (Sibongile Mlambo) trying to get Sheriff Stilinsky to give up the werewolves they're protecting.
In the racialized world that we live in (in the United States mainly and, arguably, the entire world) watching this made me feel real uncomfortable. Monroe, a woman of color, is criminalizing an entire group of people because they have supernatural powers. She takes matters into her own hands when she arms local residents with military firearms and attempts to take over the town. The irony here is off the charts yo!
I know that people will say, "Well, this is fiction and they live in a different world." Well, my friends, to that I say "We are the intended audience for this piece of fiction and the people who wrote this know the world we live in, in fact they live in it themselves." Like all TV, film, music, and media, these pieces of art impact us for better or for worse. Whether we like it or not, we develop formed out thoughts about the lives we live because of the things that we watch, listen to, and take in.
I squirmed in my seat as Monroe threatened, through terror, to kill all supernatural people in Beacon Hills. Not only that, she was taking cues from and being mentored by an old white man who we all know is real bad, like real real bad.
I dislike Monroe as a character (Sibongile Mlambo on the other hand was a beast at her role). Some of the conclusions that she came to just did not make any sense to me. But I guess this is what villains are supposed to be like?
I also understand that the world we live in now has an increased awareness to racial injustice. However, that doesn't give Teen Wolf an excuse to be colorblind or unintentional with its characters and plot. Racial injustice has always been a thing since the United States was born and was definitely around in 2016 when this season of the show was airing.
Other characters of color do not fare too well either, unfortunately. Kira, Scott's love interest for seasons 3.5 to 5, disappears when she has an internal conflict with her Kitsune. She's unable to control it, so she leaves. Kira's parents disappear when she does. We only get a single cameo appearance from Kira's mom when they need to free Theo from the prison that Kira put him in (one of the few times that Kira kicked ass, unfortunately).
Satomi, the only woman alpha wolf of color, dies (but she has some badass scenes before she does, see below). Again and again, characters of color are just not in the spotlight of Teen Wolf.
The only person of color who seems to be in a good role is Dr. Deaton, the mentor and druid of Scott's wolf pack. We see the characters going to Deaton when they need help and time and time again, he helps them. One might think this falls into the idea of the "magical negro" trope (which sometimes applies to non-Black PoC) but on a show where almost everyone is magical, I wouldn't count this trope against them.
Lastly, let's talk about about queer characters who are, surprisingly, mostly people of color too. First, there's Danny.
I had to, sorry (not sorry). Danny (Keahu Kahuanui) from Teen Wolf in the locker room.
I really like the openness that Teen Wolf has to queer characters. By openness I mean that the characters are not just queer - it is a part of their identity and they don't spend the entire series figuring out their sexual identity. They all just step into this part of who they are. Jackson is another story altogether and his story needs to be told too (Jackson spin-off anyone?).
Back to Danny. Danny gets his first real character arc when a gay werewolf, Ethan, comes to town. I grieve that it took them til season 3 to give Danny more of a part in Teen Wolf. After Ethan leaves, Danny does too.
But in season 4, we're introduced to Mason, the best friend of new beta wolf Liam. Similarly, Mason gets a love story too and gets together with Corey. They're pretty dang cute together if I say so myself.
Corey (left, played by Michael Johnston) and Mason (right, played by Khylin Rhambo) sharing a kiss before they could possibly die together.
Overall, we're lacking some major representation from queer womxn and trans folks. They are completely missing from the series which is very unfortunate. There are also no major LGBTQ+ characters. Mason and Danny are minor support characters and even though Jackson and Ethan get an episode named after them, they are not key players in the story nor do we get to see much of them at all.
Despite the position of PoC and LGBTQ folks in Teen Wolf, we are, fortunately, not lacking in strong female leads. Lydia (Holland Roden) is fire in the second half of the TV series. After learning how to use her banshee powers for combat and getting a better (although not quite perfect) hold on her ability to see death, NO ONE dares to step in her way. Make way for the scream queen of Teen Wolf y'all.
So, there are (most of) my thoughts on Teen Wolf. If you're cooped up during this quarantine season and have Amazon prime, give this one a go. I wasn't disappointed (mostly) and actually, I would totally be down to watch more. I think I'm done with Scott McCall though... Jackson on the other hand.
What are you watching?