If there’s one thing Teen Wolf loves, it’s parallels. Between characters actions, their choices, their situations, and in a strong way, between characters.
It’s what I like to call Dark Reflections.
When you look at the main characters throughout the show, it becomes clear that each of the main ones, had a dark reflection among one of the villains. A reflection of what they could have become, if they hadn’t made better choices, if they hadn’t grown, if they’d let themselves give in to their darker urges.
1. Stiles is the most obvious one.
Stiles dark reflection is Peter. Both of them are smart, willing to bend the rules, and feel insecure and a need to be better than they are. Peter and Stiles are both goal-oriented – the ‘ends justify the means’ – approach to their problems. Stiles, for example, wants his father safe, so he’ll lie, steal, be cruel, beat people to make sure his father is safe. When Theo gave him a choice to save either his father or Scott, he chose his father. When he had the choice between Scott risking his life to save Derek, or leaving Derek to die in Kate's hands, he chose to lie to Scott to keep Scott safe.
The difference, of course, is that Peter’s goals all focus on him. He wants a daughter, but if he has to use her to get rid of Kate, he’ll do it, no sweat. He wants to kill Scott for his power, he’ll ignore Derek – his family – dying in order to get it done. The difference between Stiles and Peter is that Stiles cares about other people, no matter what. Peter cares about other people if it doesn’t inconvenience him..
Where they separate the most though, is that Stiles saw the darkness in himself, and rejected his own need for power. He saw the harm he could do if he let Peter (or later on Scott) give him the bite, and rejected it from Peter, and never asked for it from either Scott or Derek. It’s that most key element, choice. Stiles chose to be friends with Scott, vs Peter who didn’t really have friends,just people he could use or manipulate.. And it’s that difference that makes Stiles one of the ‘heroes’ vs Peter who is one of the villains
2. Second most obvious, is Allison. the show even lampshaded Kate as Allison’s dark reflection, when Allison hallucinated her worst fear in Party Guests, and it turned out to be herself acting like Kate.
Kate is what Allison could have become if she hadn’t met Scott. If she hadn’t already had a chance to see a werewolf as a human, a friend, a loved one. If Gerards whispers for revenge, of hate, hadn’t fought with her urges to protect Scott.
If all she had known of werewolves, was the monster Kate told her they were, and if she’d had no defenses whatsoever built up against Gerard’s lies, or her family’s attempt at indoctrinating her.
But Allison did have Scott, she did have a chance to meet werewolves as people. So even when she saw Derek send his betas after Lydia, even after Gerard lied to her about Derek killing her mother, she still knew that not all werewolves were evil, and it gave her a path towards her redemption from s3 onKate rejected that path, she ate up Gerard’s manipulation and became a monster, long before she became a shifter. Allison chose to move away from that and be better, making her a hero instead.
3. It took up until s3 before Scott’s dark reflection showed up.
Long before he became a villain, Deucalion was an idealist, a visionary. He was a man with a vision of peace, of hope. he was the kind of man, who wanted to reach out, even to Gerard Argent, and talk peace. He was a planner, a strategist
He was by all accounts a good man, and a good alpha.
And then he was betrayed.
Who else do we know that fits all of those. A young boy who just wanted peace, who still held out hope for a better tomorow., for a chance at peace.Who rejected the notion that violence and death were the only sollutions.
And in both cases that hope, that rejection of simple solutions, that willingness to reach out, and ‘give peace a chance’ led to betrayal by a person they cared about.
Deucalion was betrayed not just by Gerard, but worse than that, by his own beta, Marco. A man that by all accounts had to have been like family to him, like his own son. But who felt that Deucalion was weakened and no longer worthy of being an alpha. We don’t know enough about Marco, to be sure of his motivations, but what we did see of him, showed that he was brash, outspoken, and Deucalion trusted him.
And here’s where Deucalion fell… When Marco attacked him, already feeling vulnerable with his loss of his sight, Deucalion lashed out and killed Marco. It was the first step to rejecting all the ideals he’d ever believed in
Scott too is a planner, Scott too is a strategist, he’s not as experienced yet as Deucalion was, but when it came down to it, he already displayed two examples of being a chessmaster in the making. First in Masterplan, and then again in s5b, when he arranged a double double cross, both on Theo, using Deucalion, and on Gerard, using Chris.
Scott too faced a double betrayal, both by Theo, and by his own beta, Liam. (this by the way is also where Marco becomes Liam’s dark reflection)
But where Scott differed from Deucalion, is that even at the highest point of betrayal, even when Liam tried to murder him, Scott rejected the notion of killing or harming Liam, in order to stop him.
Scott’s motivation in that fight, was not to beat Liam, but to keep Liam from making the worst mistake of his life, putting Liam’s wellbeing above his own.
(where Liam outbeat his dark reflection, is that when Mason told him that Hayden was already dead, Liam backed off and left, putting Hayden’s life above the desire for power)
It is no shock that in the show finale Scott too was blinded, but with him, it was by his own hands, taking on the markings of Deucalion in a more visual way.Once again, it’s all about choice. Scott chose to be better, Deucalion let himself fall… And that is the difference between a hero and a villain.I’m going to make a separate post for Lydia, Derek and Malia, and maybe some other characters to keep this post from being even longer than it already is