(Image credit: mtv.com)
When it comes to parents—or adults in general—on supernatural shows, they usually get relegated to very secondary roles. Such not the case with Teen Wolf. While the parents are often at a disadvantage since they can’t possibly understand what’s going on with their kids and frequently find themselves in seemingly inexplicable situations…
…the way they (re)act defines who they are as parents and as people in general. As it turns out, not all of them are fit for the job but some of them are pretty freaking awesome.
Here, take all the gold stars.
Take the Sheriff, for example. He never fails to put Stiles in his place when he thinks it’s warranted:
“To be honest, I haven’t believed a word Stiles has said since he learned how to speak.”
But, Stiles’ happiness is his number one priority. Case in point: you don’t attend lacrosse games where your son holds the privileged position of ‘Benchwarmer Extraordinaire’ just for the fun of it. Claudia’s absence (Stiles’ mom) deeply taints both of their lives, but it’s obvious how much closer it has brought them. Stiles’ desperation at the mere possibility of also losing his father makes for very poignant and realistic situations: him trying to protect the Sheriff at all costs and care for his health becomes all the more heart-warming. Or, rather heart-breaking? Honestly, their relationship is one of the best on the show and makes for a lot of tears.
On the other side of the Scott/Stiles bromance, Melissa McCall wins at, well, everything. She works tirelessly as a nurse to pay her family’s bills, but she’s never too tired or busy to call out Scott when he deserves it. She’s hilarious and she kicks ass (who zipped up the Kanima’s dripping body bag because Scott was too petrified to? Mama McCall, that’s who!) but she’s also the best at giving advice:
“Sweetheart, let me tell you something no teenager ever believes, but I guarantee you is the absolute truth. You fall in love more than once. It will happen again. […] I promise. But until then, be your own anchor.”
While she’s had questionable taste in men so far, no one gets in Melissa’s way when it comes to protecting those she cares about, including lovable strays like Isaac.
Chris Argent comes from a—to put it mildly—insane family, and yet he still succeeded in raising his Allison to be a (generally) good person. Did he terrify her boyfriend at the most awkward of dinners? Sure. Did he stage an attack and leave her bound to a chair in an abandoned house to “train” her? Well, yes. But he taught her how to be strong and independent, and he was always there for her when she needed him. And sometimes when she clearly didn’t.
And then you’ve got this guy, who clearly majored in dad jokes and/or embarrassing his daughter instead of history.
Kidding, he’s pretty great and seems a lot more reliable than Kira’s mom.
Even though we only get a short glimpse at Talia Hale, it’s enough to deduce that if Derek hadn’t lost almost his entire family thanks to one of his murderous girlfriends, he’d probably be a well-adjusted adult.
Group-hug for the Derek-that-could-have-been, guys. He needs it.
You tried *pats shoulder*.
None of these characters are outwardly terrible parents and most of the time they do try to do the right thing…But they fail. Big time.
Victoria Argent wasn’t a terrible parent per se, but she was a terrible person so I’m not sure how that works out brownie-points wise. On one hand, Allison clearly drew her strength and discipline from her, and relied on her mom when she needed help. On the other, I wouldn’t be surprised if Victoria’s parents had pulled a Targaryen and decided incest shouldn’t stand in the way of their love, regardless of the wacky offspring it might create. The Crazy Eyes are strong in this one.
Plus, while Beacon Hills constitutes something of a bubble when it comes to morally gray areas, it’s usually considered not OK to murder your daughter’s boyfriend even if he does occasionally grow claws.
In all fairness, Mr. Tate wasn’t aware his daughter was a coyote when he attempted to kill trap her, and their reunion after 8 years apart was emotional.
That temporary lapse in judgement could have been forgiven…if we hadn’t found out a couple of episodes later that Malia had been committed to Eichen house. And while I’m all for these kids getting some sorely needed therapy sessions, Eichen doesn’t seem like the best institution to re-learn how to act human.
Moving on. Agent McCall makes for an interesting character in that he’s clearly trying to patch up his relationship with his estranged son, but the way he goes about it is clumsy at best. Buddy, I know this might seem shocking, but waltzing into town, threatening the Sheriff’s job and berating Stiles is maybe not the best plan to win everyone over, okay? The WANTED sketches below, however, will never cease to be hilarious.
It might seem surprising that both Mrs. Yukimura and Mrs. Martin end up in this category, but the former lied to her daughter and used her to sort out a mess she had created over 50 years ago, and the latter not only didn’t realize her daughter was being possessed/becoming a banshee but also thought it was fine to let a boy she didn’t know into her sedated daughter’s room.
Adoption story-lines don’t happen that often on TV, at least not from the child’s point-of-view, and not as an established fact. It’s a shame that we won’t learn more about Jackson’s struggles or how the Whittemores came to adopt him, but we did get a glimpse into their family life. While they clearly thought they were doing a good job raising a straight-A, athletic, popular teen, Jackson’s parents failed to realize they were actually bringing up a douchey, murderous, Kanima in the making and generally quite heinous guy. I mean he knew Isaac was being abused by his father and he didn’t say anything?!
That may be, Jackson, but you know who isn’t everyone’s type? A BIPEDAL LIZARD-MAN KILLING PEOPLE ALL OVER BEACON HILLS.
Someone call child services ASAP.
Physical and mental abuse, neglect, irresponsibility…you name it, Mr. Lahey’s inflicted it. Not to mention he was also at the root of Matt’s, um, issues.
Now, 99% of these not-so-stellar parents have a few redeeming qualities, or at least some kind of tragic past explaining how they’ve come to be this way.
NOT THIS GUY.
And before someone pipes up with a “But Kate…” no. No Kate excuse. He was insane before anything ever happened to Kate, as proven in season 3A. Gerard is The. Actual. Worst.
In the same vein, let’s all form a prayer circle and hope that Peter Hale never gets a shot at parenting Malia. He’s sassy and hilarious but he’s also unhinged and she doesn’t need that in her life. Especially when she already has the Stilinski Family Support System™.
Unsurprisingly, Beacon Hills seems to mostly be comprised of single-parent families, and it seems natural that the remaining parents would band together since their children are all involved in the same crazy happenings. That being said, while Melissa very clearly cares deeply about Stiles, Scott and the Sheriff don’t seem overly close. Stiles even mentions Deaton being more of a father-like figure for Scott during Season 3, so what gives? Who wouldn’t want Papa Stilinski as a dad, huh? NO ONE, THAT’S WHO. Also, how lacking is the town when it comes to siblings?! Almost every kid is an only child, whether by design or, well, death. You know something’s not quite right when the closest thing we’ve got to an extended family tree is the Hale one.
Who’s your favorite parent on Teen Wolf?