cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

The Alpha rating scale

In light of not particularly surprising revelations in episode 307 of Teen Wolf, I amused myself by making an Alpha Rating Scale for effectiveness of the alphas we've seen leading a pack so far in Teen Wolf.

Spoilers behind the cut.
Alpha rating scale out of 100

Scott McCall = 50
  • Pack health = 4 (lied to Allison, is careless of Stiles, does dubious things to protect mother which puts other pack members in danger; does engender pack loyalty and affection, and makes many allies)
  • Mental stability = 7 (narcissistic and thoughtless, sometimes obsessive, but sane unless under Durach influence)
  • Leadership skills = 3 (rarely makes decisions outside of the heat of the moment, but it could be argued he delegates that to Stiles, which is a form of leadership; the few decisions made such as Gerard plan are usually terrible and put his pack and other people in danger; people think he's a good leader)
  • Fights won = 1 (controls other betas, but doesn't win fights)
  • Murder quotient = 4 (has not directly killed anyone; attempted to kill Gerard and violated someone else to do so; shares some causal responsibility for kanima deaths and Allison's shootings during her psychotic break; tried to kill himself)
  • Familial loyalty = 9 (will do anything for family, including cross ethical lines and hurt others)
  • Pack attrition rate = 7 (primary pack all still alive, but all damaged as a result of his pack business; his pack have some allies if anything happens to him; he's directly responsible for some of the damage to Derek which has impacted on Derek's pack)
Total = 35/70

Laura Hale = 40
  • Pack health = 4 (she and Derek weren't psychotic, but weren't functioning as a pack either)
  • Mental stability = 6 (seemed sane from what little we know of her, but was probably somewhat traumatised)
  • Leadership skills = 4 (she got her pack away from the hunters, didn't actively endanger pack, but made no ties with other packs, didn't train Derek, and went to BH alone)
  • Fights won = 0 (was taken entirely by surprise in the one fight we know of)
  • Murder quotient = 8 (didn't kill anyone... even in self-defence)
  • Familial loyalty = 4 (seems to have taken basic care of Derek, but not got him psychological help; putting Peter in care is reasonable, alone miles away not so much when pack is supposedly so important; didn't look for other Hale survivors as far as Derek seems aware)
  • Pack attrition rate = 2 (she dies, and Derek is left with Peter as alpha and no allies to help)
Total = 28/70

Derek Hale = 40
  • Pack health = 4 (betas didn't function as a pack, but were all consenting and formed bonds with each other; Derek has made efforts to connect with Scott and Scott's pack)
  • Mental stability = 4 (traumatised and depressed, but sane)
  • Leadership skills = 2 (couldn't maintain pack, couldn't convince Scott to join, makes poor plans; tells his pack the truth and does actively try to take care of pack)
  • Fights won = 2 (can win fights against betas but not alphas; can control betas)
  • Murder quotient = 6 (killed Peter in self-defence and defence of pack, wanted to kill kanima in defence of his pack and local community, was used as a weapon to kill Boyd)
  • Familial loyalty = 7 (consistently tries to protect those he considers family, but would not hurt someone else in the process)
  • Pack attrition rate = 3 (Erica is not technically pack when she dies, and, like Boyd, is targetted because they are/were part of Derek's pack but that's actually due to Deucalion's plans for Scott; Victoria kills herself rather than join Derek's pack; I don't know how to count Peter here; Cora is an addition; Derek's betas do have allies if anything happens to Derek)
Total = 28/70

Peter Hale = 16
  • Pack health = 0 (killed Laura, terrorised Derek, bit Scott and Lydia without consent, killed his human packmate)
  • Mental stability = 0 (improves over the course of the series, but is not sane during S1 and while alpha mostly acts on instinct and cunning rather than deep planning)
  • Leadership skills = 0 (made false promises and used fear and coercion)
  • Fights won = 9 (a strong fighter)
  • Murder quotient = 0 points (killed not only those he saw as responsible for the fire, but Laura and the nurse)
  • Familial loyalty = 1 (tried to avenge pack, but destroyed the remains in the process)
  • Pack attrition rate = 1 (he dies, and while Derek survives, he's left with no known family or pack)
Total = 11/70

Deucalion = 16
  • Pack health = 0 (lying to pack, willing to kill pack members, pack dynamics seem entirely toxic)
  • Mental stability = 2 (not sane, but seemingly has a deep plan)
  • Leadership skills = 0 (lies, murders and used fear and coercion)
  • Fights won = 9 (a strong fighter, but for terrible reasons; was probably blinded in a fight, which is why he doesn't get 10)
  • Murder quotient = 0 (killed a pack member to incite his remaining pack; murdered his previous pack; probably ordered the death of one of Derek's betas; is attempting to incite Derek and Scott to murder their current packs and/or each other)
  • Familial loyalty = 0 (there's a vague implication that he's an Argent, enough said)
  • Pack attrition rate = 0 (he's killed pack members in both this and his previous pack, is causing deaths in other packs, and has only the most dubious allies for his pack)
Total = 11/70

In conclusion, all of these alphas suck.

Laura and Derek primarily sucked for reasons outside of their control, like being targetted by whackos or used by people they trusted, or having no support network and training.

Peter and Deucalion suck/ed because they are/were crazy and have/had little to no concern for the lives of anyone around them.

Scott gets a bare pass, and that's mostly because his pack is awesome, which I count in his favour (one measure of a person is in how awesome the people around them are), and because Derek usually pays the price for Scott's mistakes, which I count strongly against him. A leader is not a real leader until they have dealt with both defeat and victory, and Scott has so far only achieved victory by 1) miss-using the people around him (rather than leading them), and 2) the independent actions of his pack, who then don't get the credit. He has not experienced defeat.

In terms of skills, Laura seems to have been the best alpha, which isn't saying much; we haven't seen her in action, but she kept herself and Derek alive for years before her lack of experience and resources took their toll.

The most effective person we've seen in an alpha-like role so far is Stiles, who has been instrumental in most of the big saves to have taken place. In fact, a big chunk of Scott's score is directly attributable to Stiles (along with another smaller chunk to Allison, and a bit to Lydia and Deaton). Stiles shown care for his pack members and others (sometimes in direct opposition to things he's said -- he's the mirror-image of Scott in this regard, who talks a good talk but doesn't follow up well). He's demonstrated active planning, good judgement in the heat of the moment, networking, decision-making, leadership (even of people who don't like or respect him), and has had to handle both genuine defeat and the responsibilities (but rarely the kudos) of victory.

Stiles Stilinski = 69
  • Pack health = 6 (lied to his father and Lydia, but does a lot of caretaking and helping)
  • Mental stability = 7 (sometimes self-absorbed and morbid as teens are, some anxiety, but mostly balanced and self-aware)
  • Leadership skills = 7 (actively plans, researches and prepares; assesses people and situations and can influence them when necessary; works with others; prioritises keeping people safe; is usually under-estimated and his actions are rarely recognised; people don't think of him as a leader, although maybe as a "ringleader" for trouble)
  • Fights won = 7 (his battles are with words, not muscles, but he has bettered several key players, including Chris Argent, Derek, Scott, and Peter; he's also lost some fights, notably to Gerard and Jackson)
  • Murder quotient = 7 (directly contributed to Peter's death, which was self-defence and in defence of pack and community; he was willing to sacrifice Derek for Scott/Lydia/his father; helped re-electrify Derek's loft with the intention of disabling the alpha pack)
  • Familial loyalty = 8 (will do anything for family, including cross ethical lines, but will try to find a way to ameliorate the damage afterwards)
  • Pack attrition rate = 6 (primary pack all still alive, and he's managed to limit damage several times; his pack would likely fall apart without his glue, but they do have some allies if anything happens to him; he's saved or limited damage to his secondary pack several times too, although not as successfully)
Total = 48/70

So there you have it. If I had to pick an Alpha, it would be Scott, because his people always survive through being The Chosen Pack. But if I had to pick an alpha on ability, it would be Stiles.

This is why the whole plot thread introduced on 307 about Scott being werewolf Jesus is so terrible. One of the few really great things about Scott's character is that he's an everyman. I'm not a huge fan of Scott, but I did like that he was on a coming-of-age story, and that his blindness, bad decisions, taking people for granted, deceit, and deadly idealism were the flaws he was working through. By having him an everyman, and the Bite a metaphor for growing up and trying to become a decent person, there was a lot of room to forgive him being a bonehead, doing evil things for good reasons, and taking his friends for granted. I was even interested in the idea that people could spontaneously become alphas -- it would make sense that there's more than one way to do so, and if people prove themselves while leading a pack, they become the leader in more than name. It would be an interesting additional aspect of werewolf magic, and a kind of interesting one -- it's an incentive for people to lead well, or even to leave bad alphas and start their own pack. I was starting to really like some of the possibilities in the idea.

However, if Scott's werewolf Jesus, The Chosen Alpha, once-in-a-thousand-years blah-blah-blah, those character flaws of his are not forgivable anymore, because he's not an everyman on a coming-of-age quest. He's a different beast altogether -- he's a Hero on a coming of age quest. With a Hero there should be something intrinsically noble and righteous, something fundamentally decent. Something, in short, more than a barely-passable 50% Chosen One.

The Hero can still be flawed (Buffy still had flaws, for instance, and that's the kind of narrative we're now in, just flipped to the "monster's" side, not the Hunter's side), but not at his core. He can make mistakes, but must learn from them, and quickly. Otherwise, he turns dark-side and becomes the Villain, the Monster. Darth Vader.

Can you imagine Buffy physically forcing Spike to turn a human baddie into a vampire so that she has an excuse to stake them, after secretly pretending to be in cahoots with them and not telling any of the Scoobies?

I can't. Because that's Vader territory.

And yet... Scott.

The paradox between what Scott does and how it's positioned on the show has been there right from the start, but with the werewolf Jesus plot it's slapping us right in the face. 

I honestly don't understand how we're meant to read this. Is it meant to be ironic? Because I thought inverting the usual werewolf narrative so that the werewolves are the victims and the hunters were the villains was the point, but then if the Chosen Hero is the werewolf who hates his own werewolfness and uses it against other werewolves as well as against humans, how are we meant to read the text?

You know, this whole story would make so much more sense if Scott didn't exist. Forget all the death, angst, Derek-torture and weird plotting this season, this is what pains me most: the irreconcilable paradox of Werewolf Jesus Scott. It pains me right in my love of story. Gah!
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Tags: meta, teen wolf
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