Another season, another episode 12! Sadly, the conceit that I appreciated so much in the first season, where the finale revolved around the crossfire of two separate villain camps, has become a tad rote. Not that I don't love this season! And I don't even really have anything against this episode. It's just that we've gone from Our Heroes caught between Argents and Peter, to Our Heroes caught between Gerard and...Jackson, I guess, or whatever the hell was going on in season two, to Our Heroes caught between the alpha pack and the Darach. It's starting to feel a tad samey in spots.
But whatever! I still love this season. It's cool to see the flashbacks – everyone's bad hair! Baby Scott falling down and then wandering into traffic! It just nicely emphasizes what different people they've all become since That Fateful Night, and because the show really has made them quite different people, it feels earned.
Hey! Jennifer gets to do the patented Scott McCall leap-and-crouch! I knew I liked her.
I don't know about this whole letting Deucalion go business. I would think slaughtering your own pack would be pretty much the worst possible crime to a werewolf's brain – treason to the power of kinslaying. Not to mention, it's strongly implied that the very act of killing the first member of your pack makes you crazy, enabling you to finish off the others more easily. Deucalion is responsible for a lot of slaughter and betrayal, I'm trying to say. Is there really a reasonable chance that he'll just...take some time to himself and get his head together, be a better person? I mean, it's possible as in within-the-laws-of-physics possible, but.... I can't say I would've gambled on him.
Okay, COME ON. Come on, this isn't even subtle! Scott, feeling all alpha-ishly protective of his friends/new pack, looks around to check on all of them. The camera pans to: Lydia and Aiden (were fucking, may be again)... Danny and Ethan (definitely fucking)... Allison and Isaac (going to be fucking very soon)... aaaand, back to Scott with Stiles draped around his shoulders (JUST SUPER GOOD FRIENDS). I swear they're just baiting me at this point. I get it, okay?!? Scott and Stiles are Endgame. Put the mallet down, I agree with you!
So, yeah, like I said. A lot of housekeeping here, when most of the season's emotional payoff happened last episode. But still, it's nice to see some fights get won and all that. Go team! Season 301 is a good time overall – it nicely expands the universe without artificially designing fate-of-the-world type conflicts. Everything is about the local ecosystem of Beacon Hills, which they've made plenty rich enough to sustain a lot of plot. The Word of the Season is obviously “alpha” – what makes a good alpha, what it means in this universe that the power to control others' lives is normally in the hands of those who are least restrained in grabbing for it, what it is about Scott that makes him both fit as an alpha and stand out among them. I feel like the reservations I had about the Werewolf Jesus plotline are partially put to rest by how much energy they expended on what that means and how it shapes things for Scott, rather than just cramming in a level-up so they can ramp up the scale of the villains.