Teen Wolf has a lot of storylines in the proverbial oven during its final season. Between the Ghost Riders, Mr. Douglas, Stiles’ abduction and the existence of the previously deceased Claudia Stilinski, MTV’s supernatural teen drama has a lot things to wrap up. This is not really a bad thing. There is more than half a season to go on Teen Wolf, which is more than enough to bring everything together.
Sadly the show seems to be making more problems for itself than is necessary by essentially splitting the cast down the middle. Scott, Malia and Lydia are on the search for Stiles. Meanwhile Liam and his not-so-merry band of supernatural creatures are trying (and failing) to hunt the Wild Hunt. It’s the final season of Teen Wolf and the show is spending far too much time with the characters that are quite clearly the “B-Squad.”
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No matter how things shake out in Teen Wolf‘s final season, Scott and his friends should be leaving Beacon Hills. Whether they die or survive the latest threat to their lives, Scott, Lydia, Malia and Stiles are ready to graduate high school. It’s been a long time coming and the past couple seasons have prepared us for Scott to go to college. So it’s very likely that when season 6 wraps up, Liam and his friends will be the new sole protectors of Beacon Hills. Even if MTV is not interested in a spin-off or sequel series, which is always likely, the show needs to do something. The show must establish that Liam is capable of taking care of Beacon Hills without Scott before the show ends.
The problem with Teen Wolf‘s final season is they are spending too much time in setting up Liam’s inevitable role while pretty much ignoring Scott and the gang. Liam is not really that new of a character. Malia has only been on the show for a half season longer than Liam as he first appeared in season 4 and has been a series regular ever since. Still, Liam has always felt (and been treated) like a lesser character.
Liam is a second-tier and supporting character. Liam has always been defined by his relationship to Scott. Even though actor Tyler Posey hasn’t been a teenager for years and years on Teen Wolf, his character Scott is the teen wolf of the show’s namesake. Liam is not, nor has he ever been, close to being that important.
In the final season, though, the roles have kind of been flipped. Scott has taken the reigns off his beta wolf and has been distracted with trying to remember and bring back his best friend Stiles. As a result, it has been up to Liam to try to find the Ghost Riders and it has resulted in a very weird situation.
Nearly all of Liam’s ideas about how to deal with the Ghost Riders have been terrible. The show has given us a lot of Liam scenes with his friends failing to succeed without actually telling us why we should care. There are precious few episodes of Teen Wolf left, and they should be spent with the characters who have been there from the very beginning. The show should be spending time with Scott and Lydia (the show’s hands are admittedly tied when it comes to Stiles), and even Malia is more important than Liam. At this point it is too late to make us care about Liam, especially when he seems like such a poor imitation of Scott.
The heart of the problem with Teen Wolf‘s increased focus on Liam and his friends is that they just feel like the second generation of the original characters. Liam, like Scott before him, is a confused kid with crazy powers who is in way over his head. Hayden, like Allison before her, is the main werewolf’s love interest who was a victim but fought back to protect herself and others. Mason, like Stiles before him, is the werewolf’s extremely close best friend who is powerless but uses his brain to figure out situations. The only truly unique character is Corey, who only stands out because he is the most boring character imaginable and to date has done almost nothing useful.
Teen Wolf should try to pass the baton in the final season but not at the expense of the characters who we’ve grown to love and have seen grow over the years. The show has already told the story of a confused werewolf coming into his own with Scott. There is no need to tread the same ground at the end of the series with Liam.
A much better situation would be if Teen Wolf did more to blend the two groups. Scott’s friends and Liam’s friends are ostensibly (according to the lore of the show) part of the same pack. Yet they feel like they are on two very separate shows. Liam and his friends can still grow if they are hanging out Scott, they don’t need to be separate.
Furthermore, while it is fine that Teen Wolf season 6 has so many plotlines running, the show needs to do a much better job tying them together. One easy way to do that would be to bring the characters back together starting with more merging of Scott and Liam’s groups. Even though Stiles was taken by the Wild Hunt, Liam’s fights against the Ghost Riders and Scott’s mission to remember Stiles have felt like two very different goals this season. This should not be the case.
Liam has always been defined by his relationship to Scott but his best moments as a character have also been with Scott. Liam works best when he is working with Scott. He is not as interesting on his own. It’s past time that Teen Wolf remembers that fact and brings the alpha and beta back together on the same page, same mission and same screen.
But what do you think? Has there really been too much Liam this season? Do you enjoy the increased focus on the younger werewolf? Should he be more involved with Scott? Can Liam hold his own with Scott around?
Teen Wolf season 6 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on MTV.
(Images courtesy of MTV)