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There are a lot of character-driven things I want to see come out of season three of Teen Wolf: What the hell they’re going to do with Sassy Uncle Creeper Peter, a compelling argument for why Scott McCall would make a good alpha (or, really, for why I should even care about his story arc—I find him a terrible main character), bringing Papa Sheriff into The Know, moar Stiles and Derek snark/flirtation. But above all, more than anything, I want to see what they’re going to do with Lydia, especially after what we’ve seen in the first episode. We’ve been promised that she’s going to kick ass, and that her and Stiles are going to interact a lot more, but let me share with you all my meta feelings about her character.
The Setup: Or, why this woman should rightfully be living in a therapist’s office this season
What terrible thing hasn’t happened to Lydia already? She was puppet-stringed in the creepiest of hallucinatory ways the entirety of season two by the spirit/essence/wtfwasthateven of the dude who brutally attacked her at the end of season one, and who was also simultaneously seducing her with a projected version of his teenage self. Of course, all of this crazy was spilling over into some stupendously embarrassing public episodes, turning the former BHH Queen Bee into a social pariah. And while most people might turn to their friends in time of need, said friends were giving her the “we’re protecting you by keeping things from you” runaround. Meanwhile, her already dysfunctional relationship with her asshole, murder-lizard boyfriend got even more emotionally abusive right before an eleventh-hour beauty-and-the-beast type reconciliation that ultimately got the long-distance kiss of death.
The Stage: Or, Lydia would take charge of your face
We already know that Lydia is about control: She carefully crafts her own persona (playing down her smarts), image (fashion), and entourage (playing Scott and Jackson off each other) in season one to achieve and maintain aforementioned BHH Queen Bee status. In season two, even amidst all the crazy town, she schools the school therapist, requires artful and persistent courting by young!Peter to be won over, and still refuses to completely play by Peter’s rules when she doesn’t send out invites after he mandates she turn her annual b-day party into a halluci-fest. And in the beginning of season three we see her handling her Jackson heartbreak and the wholesale takeover of her body and mind by Peter by using men to reassert control over her heart/mind/body in a very self-aware, “f*** all of you (literally)” way. Obviously there are a lot of potentially unhealthy psychological undercurrents to the behavior, but so are basically all her other decisions as she asserts hyper-control over her own life. It’s exactly how self-aware and possessed she is that makes the dubiousness of some of her life choices so compelling and interesting: even if you don’t agree with how she handles her life, it’s pretty baller that every move she makes is a thoroughly conscious, deliberate choice.
The Fallout: Or, what I’m hoping to see and what I hope not to see
The obvious trajectory for the “distractions” plan is for it to devolve into a self-destructive character arc climaxing (HA) with her getting almost killed when hooking up (or trying to hook up) with one of the alpha Wonder Twins, despite being warned away from them, and needing damsel-esque rescuing, blah blah blah. PLEASE NO, WRITERS. What I’d rather see is her taking Stiles to task for his hopeless crush and instead being his wing-man as she schools him in game and also aids and abets the kick-ass research portion of Team Human. I also want to see what the damage is between her and Peter like burning because it’s bound to be incredibly and deliciously traumatic, and I hope it at least in part results in them trying to eviscerate each other with sass. I want something other than more trauma to come out of whatever her immunity to the bite ends up being; like, a 1:1 ratio of trauma to BAMF would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath. In short, I want to see Lydia continue to take charge of everything and its mom in the self-aware, slightly self-destructive way she rocks so hard.