Farewell To 'Teen Wolf,' The Show That Made Us Believe Good Could Triumph Even When It Didn't
While the movie focused on the redemption of a werewolf who'd let his powers go to his head, the television show focused on the fight for a town that wouldn't accept anything outside of the ordinary.
Teen Wolf, the supernatural teen drama that just ended its run on MTV, was loosely based on the original 1985 movie of the same name starring Michael J. Fox. Though that film was extremely successful in its time, the creators of the television version of Teen Wolf decided to take the series in a different direction that proved to be equally successful for six seasons.
As for Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), the hero of the MTV TV series of the same name, he hid his secret as well as his abilities after he was bitten by an Alpha with a grudge and a desire for even more power. The last thing Scott wanted was for anyone to learn what he was, partially because the town he called home, Beacon Hills, included the Argents, a family of werewolf hunters who didn't see past the supernatural. So, there was no upside to showcasing his abilities.
While the movie focused on the redemption of a werewolf who'd let his powers go to his head, the television show focused on the fight for a town that wouldn't accept anything outside of the ordinary. This one key difference gave Teen Wolf the series the boost it needed to become a cult hit, showcasing how the survival against evil always comes at a price. Fans tuned in each Sunday to see who was going to pay the toll that week.
Would It Be One Of The Werewolves?
Though few of the werewolves shifted into actual wolves, they were still fearsome creatures with fangs, claws and capabilities that instilled fear in humans that encountered them. Werewolves like Derek and Peter Hale took innocent lives and recruited humans for their packs without reservation. They didn't hesitate to retaliate against those who hunted them which made Scott McCall's reluctance to take a life even more courageous.
Still, the werewolves weren't immortal, and many lost their lives in the battle against humans and other beastly creatures. This knowledge that no one was safe kept the fans on the edge of their seats, hoping their favorite werewolf didn't die that episode. Over the course of six seasons, there were several losses that left an impact: Erica, Boyd, Aiden and Deucalion, to name a few.
Most episodes, Scott McCall and his pack were in a constant struggle for their lives, but while the werewolves could, for the most part, fend for themselves, the real danger lay in the threat to the humans that kept Scott connected to his humanity.
Would It Be A Family Member Or Friend?
Scott never failed to stand in the way of anything or anyone threatening his family and friends, and since it was Teen Wolf, a human (or humans) was always in peril. Scott's mom was shot several times in Season 6, and his best friend, Stiles, was kidnapped and almost lost forever. But there was one death in particular that crushed both Scott and the fans: Allison Argent, Scott's first love and a girl who loved him in spite of what he was. Allison joined in the fight to protect Beacon Hills from otherworldly dangers, and, in doing so, lost her own life. She died in Scott's arms while Teen Wolf fans wept.
Though Scott found love again with Kira, Allison's death served as proof that no character was safe in Beacon Hills, especially with the influx of supernatural creatures seeking to overtake the town and eliminate Scott and his pack as a threat.
Teen Wolf introduced creatures unique to its world, and though few were on the side of good, the series did manage to provide Scott with a little extra help battling evil with the introduction of Deputy Jordan Parish as a Hellhound with fiery capabilities, Malia Hale as a werecoyote, and Corey Bryant, a Chimera who could blend in with his surroundings so as to appear invisible to those around him.
Then there were the entities that made life in Beacon Hills a living hell. While Season 6's Anuk-ite, a creature that could kill with a look and wrapped everyone in a cloak of fear dark enough to lead them to kill, was especially horrific, it didn't outshine the Beast of Gevaudan. Originally an 18th century serial killer who'd been transformed into a werewolf, the Beast was resurrected and could not be stopped without the intervention of a man who would turn out to be Scott's greatest enemy: Gerard Argent.
The Argents were a family with a long history of eliminating what they considered to be threats to the world. Gerard Argent was the leader of the family and a man with a malevolent personality and no redeeming qualities. He saw only the need to exterminate all supernatural beings from his world, and even his son, Chris Argent (J.R. Bourne) couldn't stand in his way.
It was this final battle with Gerard that brought Teen Wolf to a close. With Scott as their guide, the teens of Teen Wolf were forced into a war against an army of hunters whose fear had been escalated by yet another evil force. And Gerard stayed one step ahead for most of the season. His final battle came to a karmic end when his own daughter, Kate Argent, who'd been transformed into a werejaguar, decided she'd had enough of him.
Teen Wolf highlighted the strength of will, the power of friendship, and the necessity for a leader in times of war. In spite of its fictional story, Teen Wolf shared a strong message with its fans. It was, at its core, a show about the battle between good and evil. Good didn't always win, but that only stood to prove the truth of the real world.