It’s funny how often Peter fans like to act as if Peter’s extraordinarily intelligent, when it was Peter’s stupidity that lost him everything in Season 1.
I mean part of what cost him everything was his cruelty and utter lack of concern for the pack he was building. Even a ‘ruthless con man’ like Peter should have known better than to rely entirely on mind control and terror to get a newly bitten beta on his side.
If Peter had actually used his supposed intelligence and greater understanding of human nature, then he would have learned about his beta and used that to get him on his side.
See, the entire reason why Scott was one of the only characters Peter was never been able to manipulate, was because Peter made crucial mistakes in the first few episodes of Season 1.
He was smart enough to trick his nurse into helping him and teach her about werewolves. He was clearheaded enough to lure his niece to Beacon Hills, ambush and murder her. And he was clever enough to stay ahead of the Argents.
Yet when it came to Scott, instead of trying to approach him in a thoughtful manner, he assaulted him, abandoned him, stalked him, terrorized him, and mind-raped him. But when these tactics just made Scott more stubborn, he didn’t change his tactics. He just kept pushing.
If Peter had instead gone up to Scott after he Bit him. If he’d pretended to be sorry, acted as if he was remorseful, played up his injuries from what the Argents did to him and played the role of the victim, then he might have actually gotten a loyal beta out of Scott. Scott’s compassion is also *his defining trait.*
Scott also has a habit of looking up to father figures, it’s why he was so close to Deaton, to the sheriff, to Chris… even Deucalion later on. Peter could have played up the fatherly connection between Alpha and Beta. Scott probably would have forgiven him. After all he forgave Derek easily enough for most of the terrible things Derek pulled in Seasons 1 and 2.
But Peter did none of those things.
The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes how lucky Beacon Hills was that Season-1 Peter was blinded by his rage, his impatience, and his arrogance.