What Allison Argent’s Death Means for ‘Teen Wolf’

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Teen Wolf is not a great show.  When it premiered on MTV a few years ago, I just kind of rolled my eyes.  A supernatural themed teen drama based on a bad ’80s comedy?  Hasn’t this been done before, and probably much better?  Buffy the Vampire Slayer anyone?  I guess I was frustrated that probably millions of tweens were tuning into this show probably because there were a bunch of hot shirtless guys.  And there’s this show from the late ’90s and early ’00s that deserves so much more recognition.

As it turns out, Teen Wolf has more than a few things in common with Buffy.  The main character (and teen wolf) Scott McCall’s relationship with werewolf hunter Allison Argent would be one of them.  Scott and Allison haven’t had a thing since season two, and they really haven’t had a heavy butterfly-in-your-stomach romance since season one – back in Teen Wolf‘s simplistic days.  Before the cast was too big for the show’s own good.  Before the show’s simple title card was replaced with an over-the-top opening sequence.  Before most of the parents of Beacon Hills knew anything about werewolves.

Back then, the show was mainly focused on high school sophomore Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) dealing with his newfound lycanthrope.  His best friend Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O’brien) helps him learn how to deal.  Allison Argent (Crystal Reed) is Scott’s love interest, but it doesn’t take long for the show to reveal her family as werewolf hunters.  It is a bit of a cliché of course, but it works.

Scott and Allison’s relationship was pushed to the forefront of the show.  It’s the kind of relationship that people want to see.  The kind of thing that will make people think “They belong together.”  Instead of waiting around a few seasons full of romantic tension to place them together, the two jump into it right away.  Which means an inevitable breakup down the line only to get back together before the series end.  Well, the inevitable breakup happened toward the end of season two.  The inevitableness of the two getting back together was put on hold for a while as romantic tension between Allison and werwolf Isaac (Daniel Sharman) budded, and as Kira (Arden Cho), a new love interest for Scott was introduced in season three.

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Even then, you still have people rooting for Allison and Scott to get back together.  It’s bound to happen, right?  Wrong.  Allison is stabbed and killed by a demon before the two even consider getting back together.  It’s not even a tragic death by the fact that the two were just starting to rekindle their relationship.  Both were fully ready to move on with other people.  Despite the fact that Scott was the one to hold a dying Allison in his arms, and her last words were to tell him that he was her first and only love, nothing really indicated that they were going to be with each other again.

And for that, I’ll give Teen Wolf credit.  Allison’s death was sudden and unexpected.  No one could have guessed that Scott’s primary love interest of the series, an essential character in season one, and a beloved main character would be suddenly killed off.  I may be wrong, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Crystal Reed might have wanted to leave the show, but even if that’s true, her sendoff was a lot better than, say, sending her off to London randomly and only briefly mentioning her afterward (coughJACKSONcough).  So yes, maybe Teen Wolf has more in common with Buffy than I thought.  And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

But then again, Allison’s death isn’t necessarily a good thing either.  Killing off a main character is always going to be a bittersweet thing.  Satisfying in doing something bold, but unsatisfying by getting rid of a beloved, well-known character.  Allison was never my favorite character.  She wasn’t necessarily written in a way that had me too interested in her, but looking back, she was pretty profound.  She developed from just a love interest to a character that could hold her own ground.  She defied her family, dealt with the death of her mother, persuaded her father to trust Scott and the wolves, and proved her physical ability over and over with her archery skills.  No, Allison was not the best character.  She was no Buffy, or Veronica, or Katniss.  But she’s definitely not a bad character.  She’s grown quite a bit over three seasons and it’s still sad to see her go.

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I can’t say Allison is the show’s strongest female character.  Lydia (Holland Roden) is whip-smart and even though she’s fallen into a few bad character traps (like revealing that she’s actually a supernatural creature, or insistently placing her with bad boys), she’s not a bad character either.  Scott’s new love interest, Kira, isn’t weak either.  She can handle a samurai sword well, but like Lydia, she was revealed to be a supernatural creature.  Malia, a sort of were-coyote, was introduced this season too, but has played a relatively minor part.  Werewolves Erica and Cora were both written off the show over the last few seasons.  It just seems like girls are getting the short end of the stick here.

The latter half of season three’s plot has focused on an antagonist that has deep ties with Kira’s family.  For a show called Teen Wolf, I feel like a lot of the show has focused on things other than werwolves.  A lot of new minor characters have been written out of the show.  It makes me wonder if Kira will be there to stay.  Will fans of the show be satisfied with Scott’s romance with an electric fox rather than the one he had with a werewolf hunter?  Recently, I feel that Allison’s storyline on the show has diminished greatly.  In theory it would make sense for them to kill her off in that sense, but she deserved a better storyline on the show.  In fact, most of the essential characters do.  A larger ensemble cast allows them to move the plot along easier, but there’s less character development.  A lot of fast-paced action proves for interesting television, but there’s less emphasis placed on the characters.

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So I guess I’ll say I was stunned and a little satisfied with a main character death on Teen Wolf – something I never would have expected from an at times mediocre show.  At the same time, it’s still a sad sendoff for such a beloved and at times strong character.  Allison Argent grew from a love interest to a character that could stand her own ground.  Someone who proved that first loves don’t have to be the love of your life – at least in teen dramas that is.

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