2:00 pm EST, February 1, 2017

Exclusive: Jeff Davis breaks down the ‘Teen Wolf’ season 6 winter finale

The Teen Wolf season 6 winter finale aired on Tuesday, and a lot of fans are wondering what’s next. Creator Jeff Davis has plenty of details to share.

Teen Wolf season 6, episode 10, “Riders on the Storm,” marks the halfway point to the series finale. We saw the defeat of a Nazi Alpha and the Ghost Riders of the Wild Hunt, as well as the triumphant return of one Stiles Stilinski. Several relationships blossomed in this episode, and two friends said what may be their final on-screen goodbye.

There’s a lot to dig through with “Riders on the Storm,” and even more to speculate about for season 6B. Luckily, we caught up with Davis and asked him what we can expect from the final 10 episodes of the series.

The season 6 winter finale felt like a series finale in a lot of ways. Where do you go from here?

That’s a good question. That’s exactly the question we asked ourselves as writers. What other stories do we have to tell, that one last, final story? It was sort of inspired by a few current events. We decided to go back to Scott’s character, to really explore what it’s going to mean for Scott to be stepping out into the world as an adult now. And we decided on a theme of being an outsider again and what happens when the supernaturals of Beacon Hills once again become pariahs, once again become feared and possibly hunted. It’s very much a backlash season, which is kind of the current climate of events in the world right now. How do they step forward? We wanted 6A to sort of close the chapter on Scott, Stiles, Malia, and Lydia’s teenage years and high school years, but now they have a challenge to face as adults.

The biggest question on everyone’s minds at this point is whether or not Dylan O’Brien will be in 6B. What can you say about that?

You’ll have to wait and see. I can’t officially say anything yet. It could be the end of Stiles.

What kinds of mythology and themes can we expect in 6B?

I’ll tell you that this 6B season, in terms of horror and in terms of the supernatural, started off with an influence from H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a new kind of horror, a definite darkly supernatural horror.

I know I ask you this every time we talk, but I’m going to try my hand at it again. What can you tease us about possible cameos coming up in 6B?

I’ll tell you that I had a list of the people I wanted to get back, and I got several more than I thought I would.

Pairing Melissa and Chris is a departure from the slow build we’ve seen over the years between Melissa and Sheriff. What made you guys decide to go in that direction?

It wasn’t my decision. [laughs] No, I’m kidding. It’s been a favorite pairing in the writer’s room, actually, and I’ve been a bit resistant to it, but once you see their chemistry on screen… and it’s fun. I also prefer to take the narrative in unexpected directions. If everybody expects Stilinski and Melissa to get together, is it more interesting to find them a new path? We don’t like being predictable here at Teen Wolf.

Now that Stydia is happening, what does this mean for Malia and her relationship with both Stiles and Lydia?

Complicated. I think Malia will always see Stiles as her first love and her first experience with a human romance. In Teen Wolf, we’ve always been the proponents of, “You love more than once in life.” So, we’ll have to see.

What made you guys decide to definitively make Peter a good guy? Where does he go from here?

Fatherhood changes people. And is he definitively a good guy? That remains to be seen. But he definitely has a role in 6B. Part of it is that we just find Ian Bohen such an enjoyable person to work with that we keep bringing him back. No one can sell a line like, “No one likes a Nazi,” like Ian Bohen. We’ll see where he goes, but a lot of it has to do with his relationship to Malia. If he’s ever to become a truly good guy, it will really be because of Malia.

Which is complicated for her because we see her in the finale kind of resisting reaching out but ultimately doing so. Is she willing to give her father a second chance?

Yeah, and that is partially based on Scott’s influence because Scott always gives people a second chance, where Malia would be perfectly fine saying it, “Fuck it.”

Another character who walked a similar path to Peter this season was Theo. What was that like for you guys to turn the tables on what we’ve seen from him in the past?

Theo is kind of a tragic character. He looks like he’s had a terrible childhood. We love Cody Christian, and part of what we do is try to figure out who is good together and who creates good conflict and what kind of characters in that dynamic we can explore this season, and who’s a fan favorite? We love our bad guys here. We love to hate them, but they also bring a certain darkness and cynicism that challenges the good guys in great ways. We wanted to pair Liam and Theo up and see how those two actors play off each other. And is Theo someone who wants redemption, or is he always going to go down a dark path? He’s just a guy who wanted a pack, and he couldn’t help but kill people to try to get one. Don’t we all just want friends in the end? And if a few people die along the way, is that really so bad? [Laughs]

Where will Liam’s journey to becoming an Alpha of sorts take him from here now that he’s much more confident in his leadership skills?

Very much stumbling his way into becoming a leader, and his insecurity about that as well. There is a new supernatural threat that occurs in Beacon Hills that does prey upon Liam’s greatest weakness, which is his own fear and anger.

Corey was a surprising MVP this season. What made you guys step up his role so much and where does he go from here?

When we talk about relationships in Teen Wolf, we like seeing good relationships. We like seeing helpful relationships. We were trying to build up Corey and Mason. We built [Corey] in his introduction as this character who really sort of gets taken advantage of and is weak. We wanted to see him come into his own, to find his own power. A lot of growing up in high school is finding your strength and going from an insecure person to someone secure with themselves. Not every character we introduce is a superhero and has control of their powers, like Lydia, or feels as though they can be the hero. So we like to see that growth and that was one of the things we wanted to do with Michael Johnson’s character this season. How does he find his power? How does he find his role and his place?

Will we be seeing much more of the Next Generation than the Original Generation, or is it still going to be a balance between Scott, Malia, Lydia, and Stiles, and then Liam, Mason, Corey, and Hayden?

There’s definitely a balance. We started with Scott’s character, and we really wanted to explore, “Who is Scott on the cusp of adulthood and about to leave Beacon Hills? What does that mean to him and can he ever truly leave?” So we started there.

Using flashbacks in this final season was such a stroke of genius because not only did it fit the storyline, but it allowed fans to look back on how far these characters have come. How difficult was it for you guys to choose which ones to use, and in many cases, what was the deciding factor for choosing the ones you did?

We look for the most meaningful moments. You might be surprised to know that sometimes it’s simply limited — nobody wants to think it’s for technical or contract reasons — but sometimes you’re limited by how many episodes you are going to flashback to in this episode and how much does that cost? So just like in Jaws, with Spielberg, you find creative freedom with your budgetary limitations. But we were really just looking for the most meaningful moments. Like 609, I was very heavily involved in that, and I knew the moment that was really important was when Scott reaches into that locker in his mindscape. What was he going to pull out? To me, it had to be the flare from the “Motel California” episodes. A lot of that was simply picking what are the moments, the writers and creatives behind TW, what are we the biggest fans of? What are some of our favorite moments? That’s how we choose, really.

Sweet/Vicicious just finished their freshman run on MTV. What advice would you give the creators of that show based on your experience from ‘Teen Wolf’?

Write characters you love. That’s all. The audience will fall in love with them, too. Always please yourself first, as a creative. That’s actually any piece of advice I would give any writer: Please yourself first as an audience member. Whenever you try to please other people, you just end up writing a piece of shit — and nobody’s pleased.

Teen Wolf‘ season 6 will return Summer 2017

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