I’ve been thinking a lot about Derek Hale. This season has thrown us several curve balls in terms of his characterization, mostly because everyone has their own idea of just exactly who Derek Hale is. I, for one, had been getting really confused, especially after 3x05, and was well on my way to convincing myself everything we’re seeing isn’t real and is all one, big mindfuck (which could still be the case, that actually works with this theory, too). And then I saw the promo and everything clicked together. (post-ep meta here)
(I’m starting from the beginning since it’s important to understand my thought process. [read this as my attempts to get inside Derek’s head])
I’ve always gotten the impression that Derek was starting to pick his life back up in New York. I think if we had met Derek Hale a week before Laura left for Beacon Hills, we would’ve seen someone quite different than the one we met just after having buried half of his sister. It had been 6 years since the fire, since the initial loss and trauma. He was starting to let himself heal. Maybe not forgive himself, but at least try to move on. Make some sort of life for himself.
I think he probably had a string of one night stands and physical relationships, but never really let anyone in. Sex was just a means to an end, a short high during which he could pretend things were better than they actually were. It’s not like he could get drunk or chemically high or forget his troubles in any of those ways. So he would just let himself get temporarily lost in these people, let himself forget who he was for a little while and just be with another person. He didn’t care about them; they didn’t care about him. That’s never what it was about. Derek’s emotional attachment to sex was broken when Kate betrayed him.
But then he lost Laura and was dragged back to Beacon Hills by her memory. He stood in the broken-down house and grave of his family, a burned out shell just like himself. Then SHE was there again and his uncle had betrayed him and - he wasn’t healing at all, wasn’t even close to pretending he was any more stable than he’d been 6 years ago.
Suddenly she was dead, and so was his uncle, and he was well and truly alone now. But he told himself he could fix it, he could make his life whole again with these burned out shells of teenagers, make a pack again. He made himself believe.
But now it’s all falling apart again, and he’s lost Erica and he’s losing Isaac because he cares so fucking much about the kid that he can’t stand to be a threat to him. Boyd is broken, becoming more and more like Derek every day. Cora’s here, she’s alive, but she’s different, and Peter’s here, too, but he’s so shady he brings little comfort.
And then there’s this teacher and she’s pretty and she’s awkward and her heartbeat doesn’t rise with fear. So, he thinks, maybe he can fall back upon old habits and just fall into someone else again for a little while and lose himself, forget who he is for just a moment. So he does.
But this time, I think, it won’t work because EVERYTHING has changed. He has changed. I think this will be Derek’s breaking point, because he will finally have to admit to himself how broken his life is, how irreparable he is.
So if you think about it… it all makes sense. Everyone, including me, has been complaining about how “rushed” this pairing has been. How little they are giving us to sell this “romance.” But maybe, just what if, it was never meant to be a romance at all? What if it was never meant to be a “pairing?” What if all it was meant to be is a moment?
And I wonder if this moment isn’t just for Derek. I wonder if Jennifer needs this just as much. We know like, wow, so little about her, but I fully believe her character will serve a much greater purpose than being a warm body for Derek. But what if being warm bodies for each other isn’t really relevant to either of their storylines? What if they both just need this, need this moment to prove something to themselves?
I can’t explain the glaring parallels between Sterek and Dennifer, and I can’t fathom where this will lead us next.
But I think I can see how we got here.
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