When Teen Wolf first premiered on MTV last summer, I watched the first 15 minutes and immediately gave it a big, fat, "NOPE!" I can't remember exactly what I took such an instant dislike to. I suspect it was Tyler Posey's inability to have a facial expression. But when my Twitter friend Cathy (@bluedaisy16) compared Scott and Stiles to Joey and Chandler last week, I decided it was time I give the show more than 15 minutes to win me over.
As usual, the main character is the least compelling person on the show. You would think that a kid navigating high school and life as a newly minted werewolf would be interesting but...Tyler Posey. I'm never quite sure what emotion he's trying to convey because his face always looks the same. Which is to say he always looks like he just found a piece of steak between two of his molars and he's trying to remember the last time he ate steak. I have it on good authority (I asked my teenage cousins) that what Posey lacks in acting talent, he more than makes up for in having a face/body that appeals to 15 year old girls so, there's that. Fortunately for me, Scott doesn't need to be interesting or likable because most of the other people on the show are kind of fantastic.
If you haven't watched Teen Wolf, I encourage you to do so. All 12 episodes of the first season are available on Netflix instant and there are a lot worse ways to spend 12 hours of your life. If you have seen the show, let's recap season one shall we?
Scott McCall is your basic high school also-ran. He's on the lacrosse team as a bench warmer, a mediocre student with one friend and maybe some child-of-divorce issues. Oh, and he really wants us to know up front that he's "severely asthmatic" but that matters less to the story than what brand of shampoo he uses so whatever. Scott's best friend is Stiles and Stiles has the inside track on when weird shit goes down in town because his dad is the sheriff. When someone finds half a girl in the woods, Stiles and Scott sneak out to see if they can beat the authorities to the other half, because they're teenage boys and therefore gross.
Instead of finding half a girl, they find trouble in the form of a werewolf that bites Scott. So now Scott is a werewolf and he really doesn't deal with or even comprehend it, like, at all. Stiles, on the other hand, is all the fuck over it because Stiles is smarter and better than Scott in every way. Oh, except for lacrosse because Scott's new lycanthropy has turned him into a star lacrosse player and you can bet your sweet ass that team captain and all-around BMOC Jackson is not amused.
Scott meets and instantly falls in love with new girl Allison who conveniently falls for him as well. I mean, of course she does because her family are werewolf hunters so naturally she's going to get all schmoopy over the first werebeasty she meets just to complicate things. This is why you need to let your kids in on the big family secrets early, folks. That's the only way to avoid the awkward "sorry honey, but I have to kill your boyfriend" conversation.
Meanwhile, Scott and Stiles meet Derek, a heaping helping of hot, mysterious weregoodness who really can't believe that he's stuck with Scott as his only werefriend. Derek drops some knowledge on Scott - some people are born into the lycan life and others have lycanthropy thrust upon them. The thruster is called "The Alpha" and he's a real pain in the ass. The Alpha needs his betas to join the pack to help him reach his full potential as a power player in the dog-eat-dog world of werepolitics. Derek isn't up for being Alpha's little lap dog so he'd like Scott's help in tracking this jerk down and killing him. Derek clearly isn't used to having to explain shit to morons because he has no patience for Scott and is fucking TERRIBLE at sharing useful information. That's ok though, because he looks like this:
Stiles does not care for Derek's attitude and secretiveness so he teaches his BFF how to be a better wolf all by himself and, he is pretty great at it considering he's not a wolf himself. But the full moon turns Scott into an unbearable douche.
With the werecancer in the rear view, Derek sets his sights on identifying the Alpha and he thinks it's Scott's boss, the local vet. In all fairness to Derek, the vet does give off a ridiculously creeptastic vibe. Derek kidnaps the vet and meets up with Scott and Stiles and then the vet disappears just as Alpha makes an appearance (dun dun dun!). Derek gets stabbed in the back and vomits about 3 gallons of black blood out of his mouth leading Scott and Stiles to believe he is dead. They lock themselves in the high school at night where they're later joined by Allison, Jackson and Jackson's girlfriend Lydia.
Jackson and the girls are like, "wtf?" and Scott says that Derek is loose in the school and on a murdering rampage. Stiles is all, "uh...nuh uh." But Scott just thinks that since Derek is dead, it's easier to blame him and his penetrating eyes for all the bad stuff than to try and explain the giant man-mutt who's out to make them all kibble. Scott tries to save everyone but instead the Alpha finds him and forces Scott to wolf out with, like, the power of his manly roar. The roar also causes Jackson's neck wound to flare up. He gets a screaming migraine, and crumbles to the ground where Stiles gets a good look at the claw marks and is like, "oh shit, not again!" Sheriff Dad arrives and rescues the kids and finds the vet who's all, "I just, you know, got away." Then Scott tells Stiles that the Alpha doesn't want to kill his friends, he wants SCOTT to kill all his friends and now that the Alpha has given him the tingles, he kind of wants to. Allison doesn't appreciate the way Scott just left them all for dead in the school so she dumps him.
Post-break up, Scott is the worst. He's pouty and annoying and a huge jerk to Stiles. Scott makes out with Lydia even though he knows Stiles has been in love with her since he was in diapers. Lydia makes bad choices. Jackson finally goes to see a doctor about the wounds on his neck that haven't healed in weeks and have also been giving him vivid and crazy nightmares. The doc tells him he has aconite poisoning which is a thing you get from ingesting wolfsbane. The lesson here is that when Derek is suffering from wolfsbane-induced werecancer, he should wear protection over his claws before he sticks them into people. I guess it's really more like wereHIV.
Derek returns from the dead a wanted man so he hides out at Stiles house which makes no sense at all unless you consider that Derek and Stiles are kind of the best characters on the show so they should obviously be in as many scenes as possible together. Then Danny, the other best character on the show, comes over to do homework and Stiles accidentally stumbles on the fact that a shirtless Derek is a really good carrot to dangle when you want your gay lab partner to help you out with some minor law breaking. I can't really convey exactly how perfect the scene is but I did watch it 27 times.
What were we talking about? Oh yeah, so Stiles uses Derek's body to get information because Stiles knows what's up and then Stiles and Derek go to the hospital where Stiles does some investigatin' and Derek waits in the car because he's a wanted murderer and stuff. Derek is on the phone with Stiles and he's all, "while you're there, will you stop in and say hi to my uncle?" Stiles would do anything for his new bestie but the uncle is gone and Derek smells something fishy. Turns out the Alpha is Derek's uncle who...ok, wait. I forgot to tell you about the fire. Six years ago there was a fire at Derek's house and most of his family died. They were all werewolves except I guess there were some kids in the basement who weren't. Or would be but weren't yet? I'm fuzzy on the particulars. Anyway, this fire killed everyone in the house except Derek's uncle who somehow got out but not before half of his face was burned. Derek and his sister weren't home so they remained alive and beautiful. That is until Derek's sister was RIPPED IN HALF and then Uncle Burn Victim bit Scott and became Uncle Alpha.
Derek is pissed. Uncle Alpha explains that he's been, like, real mad about his fugue state and his melted face and stuff. So he was just sitting there for 6 years thinking about how unfair life is and then this whole Alpha thing happened and he took the opportunity to get a little revenge on the people responsible for The Fire. So he killed the insurance adjuster and the...person who sold the matches? Whatever, all the people he killed were, in some small way, connected to the fire. Except none of them were the person who actually SET the fire because that was Aunt Kate. Derek feels like Uncle Alpha is talking some sense with this whole "kill the bad people" thing so he takes Jackson hostage, as you do.
Scott goes out to Derek's place to save Jackson who is like, "no, don't save me! Let him nibble my ear, er, I mean bite me and turn me into a werewolf." You guys, I kind of think Jackson has a crush on Derek. I'm just saying. But Scott has this whole history of kind of hating Derek on account of how Derek keeps saving his bacon and Scott is really super stupid. So they fight and then the hunters arrive and open fire and Derek sacrifices himself so Scott can get away. Scott scurries off, the hunters capture Derek and everyone just leaves Jackson laying around the filthy, decrepit house to get a staph infection in his still-not-completely-healed neck wound.
Kate holds Derek hostage, trussed up in the basement with his shirt off and electrodes attached to his side where they won't obscure our view of his magnificent torso too much. Kate is all kinds of crazy but I have to hand it to her, when she chains a hot, half naked dude up for a little torture, she takes the opportunity to lick his fucking abs like any right-thinking person in her position should. Just ask Jackson and Danny. Anyway, like all bad guys, her torture consists mostly of talking a whole bunch to her victim. She starts with the exposition and then tells him what her big plans are. Seems that she and Derek used to date and he fell in love with her (talk about your poor life choices) and she used his feelings for her to gain access to his family whom she set on fire. Now she wants to kill all werewolves everywhere even though it's against the strict code of conduct for hunters which says they can only kill werewolves who've killed innocent people. Do you think there's an official oath they have to take?
All this time Kate and her brother, Chris Argent (played by JR Bourne who can get it, btw), kept trying to figure out who the other werewolf was. They thought it was Jackson then Stiles then Jackson again. Finally they put Scott in a position where he had to...jump really high to save himself and that caused him to wolf out and Allison saw and oh the tragedy of true love and fate and blah blah blah.
While out on the lacrosse field, Alpha attacks Lydia and Stiles is like "I'll trade ya, leave her alone and I'll help you track down Derek." Alpha's a smart dude and he knows that the sensible trade is always going to be Stiles and Derek for everyone else on the show. Stiles calls Jackson who takes Lydia to the hospital and through all these circumstances Alpha, Scott, Allison, Derek, Argent and Kate all end up out at Derek's house. Kate tries to get Allison to kill Derek and Scott but then Argent steps in and is like, "slow your roll, little sister." But too late because Alpha does not like how his plan is falling apart so he rips Kate's throat out and before he can break his promise to be nice to all the people who didn't barbecue him, Stiles and Jackson speed up and fire bomb Alpha. As he lays dying in front of the house, Derek is filled with a white hot rage so he slashes his uncle's throat and I guess killing the Alpha turns you into the Alpha which, ok, fine, whatever. Derek's eyes glow red, DUN.
After Allison and Scott have made up and made out and everyone else has gone home, Jackson shows up at Derek's house and begs the new Alpha to love him. Or maybe to turn him. Either way, Derek gets quite a twinkle in his red eyes before we cut away to black for the season.