The denizens of Beacon Hills are learning something this season that some of us never quite manage to figure out until much later in adulthood, if at all. The moral of tonight’s episode (written in our black journal with gel pen) is this: Who you are thought to be matters little in the face of what you do. You aren’t a bully just because someone says you are. You are a bully when you behave like a bully. Substitute “bully” here for “stereotypically deadly supernatural being” and the message is the same for our plucky gang of angst-riddled youths.
Damn it all if the kids ain’t growing up so fast! I envy them their totally unique adolescent learning experience. Most of us just have to slog through this stuff with only zits and bad first kisses to remind us of the trauma that comes with growing up. Scott McCall and his posse have life-threatening battles against borderline evil computers and the diseased fever dreams of a very, very angry werewolf to tuck away in the yearbooks. You could make the argument that they are, in a way, lucky to have such a clear (noble even) litmus test as to their very goodness. To not be a monster, Scott just needs to do what he did this week — not kill someone. For the rest of us, life and the choices we make aren’t so obviously divided between right and wrong.
The themes the show is exploring this season, in addition to the kind of dynamic and cool moral it’s advocating, almost makeup in rhetoric for the frenzied, tough-to-swallow, “whatnow?” twists and turns this season has provided us. It was a relief to see that the Benefactor story-line didn’t end with simple-Meredith. I’m glad the writers tested their hand.
That said, the “ultimate” reveal was unsatisfying. You should have heard me screaming at the TV when we learned that Peter, stuck in a fever of hatefilled coma revenge fantasies gave Meredith the idea to run the Dead Pool…accidentally. “LAME,” I yelled once, “LAAAAAAME” I yelled again. I considered yelling it a third time, but while my neighbors are forgiving folks, I still don’t relish terrifying them for no reason. What if someday a murderer breaks into my home? I want my neighbors to be concerned when I bellow, is what I’m saying, not quietly assuming that television has disappointed me once again.
The season is at a tipping-point: Great things from here on out, or a slippery descent into well-worn territory. I’m really concerned it’s going to be the latter based on the final moments of the episode. Peter and Kate meeting in the sewers again to cackle over Peter’s ultimate plan — TO KILL SCOTT MCCALL. Boooooo. It would be shocking if it didn’t make the entire Benefactor story stink of red herring and a waste of time, or if this was a real change for Peter. But it isn’t. Peter has always been ultimately untrustworthy. He and Kate deciding to go after Scott? Not surprising, not interesting, and frankly, our gang (Peter and Kate included) deserve better. The entire subplot about Lydia’s grandmother Lorraine, Kira and her athletic prowess, Stiles and Malia being Stiles and Malia — these are all elements the show could (and SHOULD) put to the foreground.
Besides, if they insist on making the show about “Evil Peter”, then we should at least already be laying the groundwork for his ultimate confrontation with Malia.