The two night premiere of Teen Wolf season 5 saw the emergence of not one, but two, villains. There were the masked steampunk nightmares that can seemingly turn people into supernatural creatures. One of Stiles’ paranoid suspicions finally turned out to be right with the mysterious Theo appearing to be just as evil as Mr. Stilinski predicted. But what if Stiles was wrong? What if there is more to Theo than appears? He doesn’t seem like a good guy but it could be that he has more virtuous plans than we suspect.
Theo Breaks Tradition
There are very few things we know for sure with Theo. He’s a werewolf, his sister died and he knew Stiles and Scott in fourth grade. That’s about it. Well that and the fact that he likes to break his father’s arm with a hammer when he disobeys him. This last act doesn’t seem like the deeds of a nice guy but it isn’t like Teen Wolf to be so upfront in his evil-doers.
Teen Wolf seasons usually follow a typical pattern with the antagonists and, like the Sith from Star Wars, they come in pairs. There’s a mysterious, usually faceless, monster and their intentions are unknown other than the fact that they want Scott McCall. This describes our vibrating, vaguely insectoid monster hunters who look like they’ve wandered into Beacon Hills from Batman’s Gotham. They’re creepy, menacing and probably have some fatal flaw that Stiles and/or Lydia will exploit by season’s end.
Then there is the second bad guy, the secret Big Bad if you will. This is someone who seems suspicious and is always around but it’s not revealed that they are evil until the end of the season or until they sleep with Derek Hale, whichever comes first. If Theo fits this mold that Matt, Peter, Kate and Jennifer created before him Teen Wolf has revealed his true intentions way earlier than usual. Theo taking a hammer to his dear old dad is a reveal for mid-season not the second episode.
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But That’s Not Always a Good Thing
I’m all for MTV’s Teen Wolf breaking out of old patterns and routines. Who didn’t expect that the sweet substitute teacher Jennifer wasn’t secretly a hell witch from the twelfth dimension (or whatever her convoluted backstory was) before it was revealed? It just seems like Theo’s plan being revealed this early would create the exact opposite effect that Teen Wolf is going for with the character. If we know Theo is evil and is about to go all Single White Werewolf with Scott’s pact all the tension is sucked out of the story. We aren’t trying to guess at his thoughts or intentions, we already know him. If all of Theo’s cards are laid out on the table it’s not exciting for the audience knowing that Scott has a traitor in his midst, it’s frustrating. We know where the story is heading and that becomes much less interesting than finding out with the characters.
It’s pretty easy to guess at what Theo is planning from his first two episodes. He is a werewolf without a pack. Scott is a True Alpha looking for members but given his obsessive streak, Theo wants to be the only member. This is one way to interpet him going after Liam in “Parasomnia”. He’s eliminating the competition. He also was looking at Kira with a bit more than a friendly interest in “Creatures of the Night”. He’s clearly got an obsessive and violent streak as proved by the aforementioned hammer scene. It looks blindly obvious what story Teen Wolf is telling with Theo, he’ll destroy the pack from within.
The Super Duper Double Secret
Yet in a series known for big twists what is obviousness could very well be intentional. Teen Wolf is making us believe that Theo is a maniac only to reveal that things aren’t quite what they appear. It’s going to take some storytelling gymnastics to put Theo’s torture fetish into a better light but it’s not impossible. Theo’s parents could be the real monsters and the only way he was able to escape them was becoming a werewolf and fighting fire with fire. His parents could be the direct reason why his sister mysteriously died.
As much as Teen Wolf has had us believe in Stiles’ detective skills before, they’ve also told us not to believe everything we see. There has to be something more going on with Theo than we realize initially. Even putting aside the frustrations that would come with knowing Theo’s traitor status so early, it’s just not good storytelling. If Theo’s big secret is that he’s evil you shouldn’t waste that big moment so early in the story. It’s the very definition of anticlimactic unless Teen Wolf has even bigger reveal planned for Theo.
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What do you think it could be? Is Theo secretly full of good intentions? Or is his secret even more sinister and he is in league with the gas-mask horrors who are after Scott’s powers? Or is it something even more shocking yet to be revealed?
Teen Wolf season 5 airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV.
(images courtesy of MTV)