Another season of Teen Wolf has come and gone and I honestly didn’t even see the end coming. That’s a first. But I didn’t realize last night was the season finale until right before it aired. That stealthy wolf snuck right up on me. Chris Argent would be very disappointed in my observational and self-preservation skills.
The fact that I wasn’t paying attention to where we were in the season really got me thinking. Usually I’m obsessing over how much time we have left for people to die or do something terribly stupid that will make for an epic, year-long cliffhanger, but not this time. It seems that after five years of this I’ve finally figured out how to watch a TV show I love without giving myself stress-induced indigestion in the process.
So what happened? I think it’s 50% actual personal growth and 50% self-preservation (despite what Chris Argent may or may not think of me). I’ve been involved in a lot of fandoms but none of them have ever impacted my life the way Teen Wolf has. I’ve talked about this before, but what it boils down to is the fact that Teen Wolf means a lot to me. And as a result, I’ve always been very invested in the show, the fandom, and the people associated with the show. Finding a healthy balance between those things is really difficult and I’ve come to realize that it takes a lot of work to cultivate a fandom experience that doesn’t make me go completely insane.
(I’m still a
lot little insane, though. I mean, it’s Teen Wolf. Wouldn’t be as fun if you weren’t off your rocker a bit.)
I can’t pinpoint precisely when I came to be at peace with Teen Wolf. I think it may have been around the time Allison died. That was rough. The third season was also pretty terrible (emotionally) and I had to distance myself some then. Actually, that was probably exactly when it began to happen. I had such a hard time with 3a/3b and I realized that if I wanted to continue watching and not be miserable, I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t control what happened on the show, and recognize that there were still things about it that made me really happy. I needed to focus on those things and remind myself why I started watching in the first place. And if it wasn’t the show I needed it to be anymore, it was time to move on.
That was also around the time that I unfollowed a LOT of really toxic tumblr and Twitter accounts. This is my regular reminder to anyone who may need it that your online spaces should be safe for you – you don’t owe anyone a follow (and no one owes you a follow back).
And then this funny thing started to happen where it felt like the show became more cohesive, and the story lines seemed to be better planned out (and executed), and stuff started actually making sense. Derek leaves to find wolfy nirvana? No problem. The way they wrapped up his arc was perfect for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to his story. [That’s not true. If he’d wolfed out and than ran and jumped into the front passenger seat of Chris Argent’s SUV and they’d driven off into the sunset together that would have been perfect. See? The insanity is still here.]
That was another big turning point for me. If Derek’s departure had happened in the first couple of seasons I would have probably had a nervous breakdown. But I’m happy with the way things ended for the character, and I’m also really digging the new direction the show has taken and the new characters they’ve introduced. I’m not sure if that’s because the show has actually done a great job at developing a narrative lately or if it’s because of my new found balance. Maybe it’s a mix of both, but either way, it’s working for me.
Fandom is like history in how cyclical it is. For all the progress I’ve made with Teen Wolf, I’m currently losing my damn mind over MCU/Civil War. It’s ripping my emotions to shreds and causing me to lose sleep at night. I’m not ready to find a balance there, even though I wish that I was. Right now I’m in the denial stage, where I pretend like if I don’t watch any of the promo and stay off tumblr it will all go away. But then AS I’M TYPING THIS, I look up and on my muted tv is:
DO YOU THINK THIS IS A GAME, EVANS?!?! Come ON. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried. Forget what I was saying about being balanced and healthy. ::flips coffee table:: I legit have no idea where I was going with any of this now. Jesus take the wheel.
Teen Wolf. Right. No, I really did enjoy last night’s finale. I thought it was well written, produced, and directed. The pacing was great – the angst wasn’t drawn out to the point of exhaustion, it was funny in parts, incredibly poignant in others, and it wrapped up with the perfect mix of finality and cliffhanger. I’m actually looking forward to next season, no matter what it might bring. Clearly I’m hoping it brings Stiles with a badge and more Scott + puppies (and by puppies I mean actual puppies and also Liam), but I’m cool with whatever happens.
I’ve come full circle in the Teen Wolf fandom; it feels a little exciting, like when I first discovered the show, but at the same time it’s familiar and comforting and mine now. And that’s great, because I’m gonna need a LOT of comfort after this stupid Civil War trailer drops tomorrow.