Teen Wolf Chat: Fixing the Peter Hale Problem

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Teen Wolf has a problem, and its name is Peter Hale.

As a show that’s always operated in that grey area between heroes and villains, good and evil, Peter doesn’t stick out much, but the fact that we’re in the fifth season and still don’t really know where his loyalties lie is starting to become an issue. Is he on Derek’s side? Does he value family or power more? Are we ever going to mention the Lydia arc again?

These are all questions that pop into my head on a weekly basis while watching the show, and the latest revelation that he’s going to team up with Kate Argent just muddies the waters even more.

He’s clearly kept around to be the morally ambiguous loose cannon of the group – no bad thing when you consider past occupants of that role: Spike on Buffy etc. – but the problem arises when there’s no logic to his actions whatsoever. It’s a problem of audience knowledge, with the brief flashbacks we’ve seen of the Hales focusing primarily on Derek, and – I hate to say it – writing.

Peter started on the show as the de facto villain, revealed to have murdered his own niece on his quest to be an alpha. He’s also the guy who bit Scott, kicking off the concept of the show, and went on a killing spree across the entire first season. Again, that doesn’t even scratch the surface, with Peter acting as the show’s go-to villain whenever the actual bad guy doesn’t feel threatening enough, turning on Derek, Scott and the others with hilarious frequency.

But it has so little effect on the ongoing narrative that it’s easy to forget about his questionable role on the show. He just hangs out in Derek’s loft ready for whenever the gang need some exposition about werewolf lore or Derek’s past. Or a sarcastic comment.

The biggest crime of all is the retconned ‘relationship’ with Lydia, which was a huge part of the show’s second season but hasn’t really been mentioned since. There’s very little fallout at all, despite the fact that Lydia had been tormented for the better part of a season in quite graphic, suggestive and troubling ways.

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This is, after all, Teen Wolf, and we can safely assume that the writers know what they’re doing when they’re doing it. Re-watching the first season finale or those relevant season two episodes paints a disturbing picture, and it’s something that really needed to addressed.

Now, Peter is turning on the gang once again, this time with Kate Argent – another character I’m not too fond of – and the way in which that cliffhanger was offered to the audience suggested that we were supposed to be surprised. Except, for me, it was just another example of an ongoing annoyance that’s plagued the show since the start.

There was a glimmer of hope with the Malia nugget we were offered last season, but then that also hasn’t gone anywhere since we learned of their familial connection. Peter knows about his daughter, but Malia doesn’t, and absolutely no one seems particularly interested in letting her know.

This is where it’s most noticeable – even on a show like Teen Wolf that’s so careful and meticulous about where it puts its characters in relation to one another, the Malia and Peter issue remains unresolved. We can assume that it will be touched upon again at some point but, right now, if you happened to miss the episode in which the teens discovered Malia’s true parentage, then you’d be none the wiser.

The show needs to clarify what Peter is all about, and stop dropping storylines just because they’re not immediately relevant to the main action. Some shows are filled with character’s like Peter, and they’re shows no one’s particularly interested in watching, but Teen Wolf is different. Peter Hale is an anomaly, and that makes him even more of a problem.