SPOILER ALERT: The following contains spoilers for tonight’s series finale of Teen Wolf.
After six seasons, MTV’s Teen Wolf came to an end tonight with a highly-anticipated finale. Even though the final adventures of the pack ended with a bang, the show left a tiny opening that suggested a continuation of a new story might be on the horizon.
The series may share the same title as the ’80s starring Michael J. Fox, but it is anything but a genre teen comedy. The series is cut from the same cloth as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Grimm, but has supernatural MTV panache appropriate for the millennial generation. In other words, the cast looks like they are part of a Halloween-themed H&M ad filled with attractive shapeshifting models — a detail about the show that probably gets zero complaints from their core demo.
During their final appearance at Comic-Con in July, executive producer/creator Jeff Davis said that the series finale marked their 100th episode and that it is a benchmark seldom achieved by a show with a cult following. Based on the series finale and the episodes leading up to it, it is clear that Teen Wolf is fueled by the fans while maintaining a fun, action-packed, and very soapy point of view from the creative team.
The final episode titled “The Wolves of War” is the punctuation mark of episode 18 and 19. When we last left them, Scott (Tyler Posey) and his pack were getting attacked by hunters while Liam (Dylan Sprayberry), Corey (Michael Johnston) and Mason (Khylin Rhambo) were trapped in the hospital with a bunch of hunters. Needless to say, the finale is basically a final showdown between Gerard (Michael Hogan) and his army of hunters and our ragtag group of hottie supernaturals — not to mention a fight against the Anuk-Ite. Also, the last hurrah follows up with all of the other characters including Jackson (Colton Haynes), Theo (Cody Christian) and the rest of the Beacon Hills gang. Needless to say, the episode piles on this on in the best way it can and scrambles to give everyone a fair shake before the big finish. They have a fun time doing it — even if it does get a little bit messy.
The super-sized ep has so much going on to the point where you just want to see the big showdown between the supernaturals and the hunters. You want to see Gerard get what he deserves (and he does), you want to see Monroe (Sibongile Mlambo) get her fair share of punishment, and, most of all, we want to see Scott shine victoriously as the Alpha — and in “The Wolves of War,” he does exactly that. We also get to see fan favorites Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) and Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) back in action on top of all of the regular Teen Wolf fun that harkens back to the first seasons.
The finale is wildly overstuffed and injected with savage Teen Wolf MTV-ness and it all works because it’s like an out of control, chaotic going away party with people turning to stone courtesy of the Anuk-Ite (sorry Jackson and Ethan!) and a moderate body count (don’t worry, there are no MAJOR deaths). And for the final party trick, Scott digs his eyes (a la his training with Deucalion) out to fight the Anuk-Ite to undo all of its evil while Chris (JR Bourne) and Kate (Jill Wagner) confronting Gerard.
The episode also introduces a new character in a flash forward named Alec (Benjamin Wadsworth), who is getting hunted. Scott reaches out to help him and, at the end of the episode leaves the door open to Teen Wolf: The New Class if Davis decides to go that route. With Monroe escaping the final showdown amidst defeat, a continuation may be a possibility in the future — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. When the smoke cleared and the claws were retracted, the series finale had Scott and his pack standing in victory. The finale may have been hasty and scattered, but it was fun and satisfying — glowing eyes and all. The bad guy was defeated and the marginalized group of teens came out on top and stronger than before.
What could have easily been a carbon copy of a Twilight-esque of story in a TV form, Teen Wolf managed to stay self-aware by staying in its lane without trying too hard to be something its not. It embraced the fact that it is a supernatural teen soap opera on MTV and maintained a loyal audience among similar shows like Vampire Diaries and Supernatural. It tackled issues affecting younger generations, promoted inclusion and representation via characters of color and from the LGBTQ community. At the same time, it kept its sense of heartthrob-driven fun, adventure and wolf pack storylines that not only dealt with feelings of being an outsider, but also promoted friendship and family. When you strip away the dark supernatural finish, Teen Wolf essentially flows in the same vein of an afterschool special that teaches us to respect ourselves and each other. As cheesy as that may sound, it’s essential. Reminders about how to be a decent human being — especially in the current social climate — doesn’t hurt.