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Things Wot I Find Interesting

Storm love
Incoherent Ramblings on Visionary, Derek Hale – character or plot point and whether or not Jeff Davis has made a deal with a crossroads demon

Talking about what changed the color of Derek's eyes - "some girl broke his little heart" – why was Paige necessary to explain that? Granted only the audience knows about Derek and Kate, but even without knowing how Derek's relationship with Kate led to the fire, Derek's survivor's guilt over the fire is almost tangible– why wouldn't that be enough? I do think guilt is a much better explanation than "killing an innocent" because an argument could be made that the people Jackson killed as the kanima lost their "innocence" when they threw a kid into a swimming pool and left him there when they realized he couldn't swim.

The main thing with Visionary is that I don’t believe what Peter said, but I also don't believe what we saw either. Peter first says Baby!Derek was a lot like Scott, but the first Baby!Derek scene shows him behaving more like Jackson, while subsequent B!D scenes have him behaving more like Scott.

Peter saw "profound loss"; Derek "say opportunity." Another example of a lie. If Derek were even a tiny bit opportunistic, he'd be much better at planning and being an Alpha.

Peter and Derek at lunch watching Paige study alone. If we accept what we see as having truth in it, if not actual fact, Peter is definitely speaking from experience. So was there a "Paige" for Peter that happened before this or is he substituting Derek for himself? I'm kinda hoping Peter is substituting because otherwise Derek's life is getting to be like the line about tragedy and statistics – one death is a tragedy, a thousand is a statistic. The audience knows about Kate and that experience should be more than enough to change Derek in profound ways. Why should we believe/accept that losing Paige was an even bigger loss than the deaths of 75% of his family?

Peter is very emotionally invested in telling the story. He's connected to Derek's worry about Paige finding out he's a werewolf, his fear of losing her to that knowledge, his conviction that giving her the bite was the only option available to alleviate those feelings and concerns. Even when he's telling the story of Derek, he's speaking with the voice of experience.

Cora: "Ennis? Why would you choose him?" She is talking to Peter and it sounds to me as though she is specifically speaking to and about Peter, not the plural you to include Derek.

Stiles: "He doesn't remember it was Ennis, does he?" Why would he? From what we saw, he never spoke with Ennis. It's easy to believe Peter made the arrangements for the attack. I know the way Peter is telling the story, it was all Derek's idea, plan and execution, but when has Derek ever behaved like that?

Peter: "He came at Ennis. A fifteen year old boy against a giant." That, however, is the Derek we've seen since S1E1.

I find it quite telling that Chris isn't in the distillery/ambush scene.

Stiles: "When you offered it to me, you said, if it doesn't kill you." Peter: "If." I hear true sadness and even remorse in that one word. Why would it be there for his nephew's girlfriend? You could argue it's for Derek's loss, but does Peter really have that much empathy? I doubt it. Not that much anyway.

Why blind Deucalion when he could just kill him? Gerard is a sadistic son of a bitch, but his rallying cry has always been Kill Them All. Until he wanted to be cured.

I don't know if Peter is telling his story and using Derek as a cover. I do know I don't trust that the story we heard and the story we saw was the whole story. Again, we the audience know about Derek and Kate and I don't think any of the characters do, so that would fit in with the start of Peter's story – "well, the same thing that changes a lot of young men … a girl" - he doesn't know that. But even without knowing that important detail, shouldn't the fact that he lost everyone in his family except his sister and an uncle who was burned so badly it took him six years in a coma to heal to any real degree? Why does there need to be a tragic first love on top of losing his family – the majority in the fire, his remaining sibling to Peter and then having to kill Peter himself? Granted those last two occurred after the blue eyes, but if what Cora and Peter said about losing pack being akin to losing a limb is true, again enough for the change. The fire alone is sufficient to explain a massive change in character. Why didn't Jeff explore that? How would Peter and Cora react to finding out about Kate and her using Derek? Exactly what was Derek like before Kate and the fire? Was he the innocent, awkward kid who legitimately fell for the beautiful older woman or did he get involved with the hunter to punish himself for Paige? Would Kate's game have worked on the Baby!Derek we saw? I find those questions far more interesting than the tragic, presumably epic, first love that we got.

Which brings me to my concerns about the character of Derek Hale. I don't think Jeff Davis actually sees Derek as a character, I think he sees Derek as a plot point. He's a brooding mysterious guy who doesn't deny biting Scott in S1E1, but does in E3. He wants to help Scott, but doesn't tell him anything useful. Even knowing Peter killed Laura, he accepts him with seemingly open arms and does his bidding in attempting to kill Jackson until he needs to sacrifice himself to save Scott and Jackson.

S2 Derek is all about building a pack and killing the kanima. It is specifically stated several times that Isaac, Erica and Boyd were given full disclosure about the pros and cons of the bite – within reason anyway. He's all for killing the kanima, regardless of who it is and seems to be so as much in opposition to Scott's "the killing machine must be saved at all costs" as because he honestly believes killing it is the best way to protect Beacon Hills. So does Derek act that way because that's really how he feels about the situation or because Jeff needed someone to stand in counterpoint to Scott's idealism? Which is a valid choice, but shouldn't Derek be a character in his own right and not just a device to show off Scott to the best advantage?

I find it interesting that Derek who was unwittingly used to help kill his family, who was unwittingly forced to bite Gerard, who was unwittingly forced to kill Boyd was party to forcing the bite on Paige.

Another indication that Jeff doesn't really see Derek as a character is that Cora was allowed to throw "do you have any idea how it felt to find out you were alive?" at him with no response from Derek about how Derek felt to find out his little sister survived the fire – how, btw? –except "Sorry to disappoint you." What was the point of introducing Cora anyway if not added insight into Derek, which I haven't seen. Yes, Cora should be considered a person in her own right, but I have two and half seasons of caring invested in Derek. Other than she's annoying and Derek's little sister, I know nothing about her and with the above exchange, I'm hard pressed to care.

Speaking of being hard pressed to care, I don't care about the Alphas or Ms. Blake. There doesn't seem to be any point to the Alphas except pointless power plays and the Darach just muddies the waters. The season is too short to double up on villains. As for Ms. Blake, I don't think she's a very good teacher. Heart of Darkness only has three chapters. Even a first year teacher should know what they are planning to teach more than 20 minutes before the class starts. I thought the mass text thing was right on the borderline between cool and too cool for school and there had to be a better way to show she's a TEACHER WHO CARES than lecturing Scott about missing class when his mother pulled him out. I also don't like her because, despite the magical healing hoo-ha, which I can't even, she's only going to end up hurting Derek more in some fashion. Either she's an innocent who dies because she got involved with him or she's involved in whatever and will betray him. And then die. Derek is reaching levels of man pain that even Dean Winchester thinks is too much.

I just think sometimes Derek does things because they advance the plot and not because they are in character. I think that's because Jeff hasn't given Derek the same thought he has Scott, doesn't enjoy the character as much as he does Stiles and I think that is a disservice to both Derek and Hoechlin.

I also find it interesting that Jeff's IMDB entry only has two writing credits listed – Criminal Minds, which he created and wrote episodes for and Teen Wolf, which he created and is writing episodes for. I'm not saying he hasn't paid his dues, but even Joss Whedon, and Jeff Davis is no Joss Whedon, worked on other shows and with other writers before Buffy. I don't have any conclusions about that observation. I just find it very interesting.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
"magical healing hoo-ha"...LOL! That is so very true, and I did think that sex scene came out of nowhere.

You also make a really good point about Derek being more of a plot device than a character of his own. I think I saw that very clearly in Deaton's "True Alpha" speech to Scott. Not that I don't love Scott, but I felt that was a little more telling than showing. Sure, Scott is great, but I feel like the show has been hammering that home for three seasons without demonstrating that he's great, if you know what I mean.

Were Derek's eyes blue before he became an alpha at the end of S1? I don't remember, and I'm too lazy to look.

And I think Jeff Davis said something about what we saw last week, and how we weren't seeing the whole truth. The idea that it might actually be Peter's story is an interesting one, and not beyond the realm of possibility.

What did you think of the age thing in Visionary? It seems to me that they're setting up the idea that werewolves age slower, which has interesting implications for the Kate thing.
Jul. 30th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
Yes, Derek's eyes were blue before he became alpha. On some levels, I like the idea of guilt changing the color rather than the color being genetic, but I'm more inclined to believe Jeff wanted different colored eyes for Derek and Scott and much like Xander's lie in Becoming Part II, it ended up becoming a bigger deal than was ever intended.

As far as the age thing - I have no idea what to think. Well, that's not entirely true. I think Jeff is being a coy little shit who enjoys baiting the audience. Storywise, though, I'm not sure. I could really see a Wolverine type thing where they just keep healing and that would correlate into being younger than they seem younger simply because they are healing the body's natural wear and tear as well as any injuries. But that doesn't explain how Derek was a sophomore 9/10 years ago. I'm also not sure how Younger!Peter plays into that, but I don't doubt he was used in Visionary for a reason. And I'm completely lost on the idea that they are younger than they look.

I know what you mean about Scott. I love(d) the idea that Scott's story was this good-hearted, not terribly bright but not stupid guy, who suddenly has to deal with this extraordinary thing he never wanted and never would have wanted, but that hasn't been what Jeff has been doing really. The Scott's "pack" with Stiles and Allison didn't really ring true because while Scott always, always, always wants to do the right thing, Stiles and Allison and Lydia figure out how to get things done and Scott executes. Scott's plans tend to be just as dumb as Derek's and Derek has learned planning dumbly at Angel's feet. C'mon, tell me that Scott and Derek both would not have come up with "walk fast? That was the plan, walk fast?" I think the ability to plan and execute is necessary for a leader. Of course, my personal theory/fanon is that Derek was never meant to be the alpha. He's a foot soldier, not a general, and he could step up if necessary, but would have practically thrown the reigns back at the first opportunity. Provided the first opportunity had not killed his sister. :-)

I much preferred when Derek was talking about his tattoo last season with Boyd and the others and explained that, for him, it symbolized how one can move between alpha, beta and omega. It seemed to be more flowing from one to the other. I'm sure in werewolf families like the Hales, it was a little more rigid, but like Scott's pack or a group of alpha-less betas, I believe the beta most capable of taking care of the pack would rise to the challenge. And I think Scott could that, just not any time soon.

Oh, and another thing about the tattoo and Derek as plot point - not even going into how stupid fire was for Scott's tattoo in the first ep, who the freaking hell gives an open flame to a man whose entire family - God bless hyperbole - was burned to death in the very home where THEY BURNED TO DEATH! And no one, not even Derek, batted an eye.

I just think it's a case where Jeff actually created something interesting and layered and then gets distracted by the shiny new Alpha pack and Darach and Cora and yeah, there has to be an outside threat to cause the not!Scooby gang to band together and save the day, but the outside threats seems to have taken over this season. You have Resurrected Peter and yeah, he's already been the big bad, but there's a lot of story there. There's a lot of story begging to be told and sadly, Jeff doesn't seem to be interested in telling it. At this point, I'm kinda wondering if I'm interested in the story he is telling this season. I'm not bailing, because I generally don't do that and I love Stiles and the Sheriff and Melissa and Chris and the whole stupid messy crew I've loved for two and half seasons. I just wish Jeff loved them as much as I do.
Jul. 31st, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
I really enjoy the show, but it's not one I think too hard about. TW is one of those shows that I like watching, but I think lends itself much better to fanfic than to the show itself. There are shows where I don't necessarily care about fic because what we get is completely satisfying, and then there are shows where I prefer fic, and that's what TW is for me.

Of course, this means I may end up writing fic for it, just to satisfy my urge to see certain things I'm not getting from the show.
Aug. 1st, 2013 01:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think way too much about this show. There's so much potential, but it's just being left by the side of the road. Fic is definitely more rewarding than the show.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )