Three episodes in, my impressions are:
- Oh, Lydia. God she had a shitty arc in S2, but she's so fantastic. And, wow, I like Erica way more this time around. Go Erica!
- I love how they've set Allison up really early as being on shaky ethical ground -- the way she shoots the Deputy is amazingly cold for so early in the season.
- Gerard is still creepy x a bazillion, but now that I've seen Kate, I love her more. She's definitely the best villain so far. I love Victoria just as much this time around, and I suspect by the end of the season I may end up loving her more than Gerard too. We'll see.
- I remember why I liked Scott more when I first saw this season, but despite that I'm finding him way more annoying in these early episodes once watched through the filter of S1. This is for different reasons than S1, though; I was annoyed with his privilege and lack of character development in S1. This time, he's moved past a knee-jerk denial into taking on more responsibility, but for all the wrong things and wrong reasons. It's the log and mote all over again -- he always knows best, and he neither listens to nor understands what Derek, Stiles, and now Allison and Erica are telling him. It's kind of fascinating to see him get it so wrong.
- I'm finding Derek freaking hilarious. I laughed so hard at the way he baited Stiles in 202 -- that relationship really is not what Stiles thinks it is. Also his seduction of Erica is cast into a different light after the "distraction" in 202 -- I didn't pick that parallel up the first time through. Erica's seduction is creepier on re-watching (and it was pretty creepy the first time), but also much smarter; Derek totally has her number. Why does fanfic always have him without expressions, and not speaking, and kind of dumb? Because his expressions in both seasons spoke volumes, and are even funnier this time around. He makes the best rolling-eyed bitch face at Scott's stupidities. And he actually speaks a lot in both seasons too. He goes about some things in terrible ways, there's no doubt about it, but his goals and plans are quite clever.
Viewed with S1 context, I think the underplaying of Derek is on purpose -- we are meant to find it hard to gauge his character. But he definitely has character, and it's quite consistent.
- I'm finding Stiles a little annoying in these first episodes, because he, like Scott, misunderstands the other characters in really important ways -- especially Derek, Erica, and Lydia. But this flaw actually makes his arc this season make more sense in hindsight -- it's a big part of why he continues to stick with Scott, and it's why he's a bit of an arse while doing so. I think I'm going to enjoy re-watching him spiral down a lot more the second time, because I can already see how the themes are working here, and he does learn from his mistakes.
- And what I draw from all of this really confirms for me my reading of S1. Which is that Derek is actually the hero of the show, but we see him through the eyes of the anti-hero, Scott. That's why the text is so biased. The whole text is much more ironic than I originally gave it credit for.
It's why Derek gets so many of the dilemmas, and so many shitty outcomes; it's why Scott gets to cast judgement without any of the same tests (self-awareness is his test). In fact, all the character arcs and themes make more sense, if you just read it as a deliberately skewed narrative; it's like they've attempted an unreliable omniscient narrator. It's a really clever narrative strategy, and I think I'm going to enjoy S2, and especially Scott, much more now that I've settled on this reading.
This entry was originally posted at http://cupidsbow.dreamwidth.org/389