Teen Wolf has seen a lot of amazing characters come and go, but Coach has proven time and time again there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye.
Bobby Finstock: Economics teacher. Lacrosse Coach. Infamous grouchy pants.
When we first met Coach in season 1, he yelled a lot and gave pretty terrible advice. His Independence Day speech was the stuff of legend, though.
Over the course of six seasons, Coach has mostly played in the background. He’s there for comic relief and to be a thorn in the side of our main characters, to remind us (and them) that they’re still teenagers who have to at least pretend they’re living a normal life.
In season 3, Coach was skewered by an arrow, and this was the first time Coach was in any real danger. It immediately became apparent how important Coach was to Scott and the other lacrosse players, but also to the show. Even this provided plenty of opportunities for humor, but it also brought him to the forefront of the story and made us realize he’s just as mortal as any of the other humans on the show.
In season 4, we got a rare bit of backstory about Coach. We learned Eichen House orderly Brunski had a bit of history with Finstock back in school. While Brunski was looking for Meredith at Beacon Hills High, he ran into his old target, and Coach had to come face to face with his tormentor.
But Coach isn’t the boy he used to be in school, and he uses Brunski’s taser against him in order to save Meredith and the others.
It was one of those rare moments where we got to see a vulnerable Coach. He’s always inspired his students, albeit in his own way, but for the first time, the facade was gone and we got to see what kind of person Bobby Finstock truly is.
Turns out he’s a damn good one.
And in case you were wondering if this was a fluke, Teen Wolf season 6, episode 14, “Face to Faceless” saw Coach step up to the plate in a huge way.
Throughout the entirety of the episode, Liam has been doing his best to avoid his teammates and classmates, especially Nolan, because they want to force him to shift and prove to everyone that he’s a monster. Near the end of the episode, Liam is surrounded by onlookers while Nolan and Gabe beat him senseless.
Mason is helpless, held back by the crowd. Liam’s science teacher is too afraid to stop them and therefore allows the beating to continue. It isn’t until Coach sees what’s happening that the fight is broken up.
“What the hell is going on?” he yells, dispersing the crowd. He’s beside himself with anger. “What the hell is this? Get out! All of you! I can’t stand to look at your faces.”
We’ve seen Coach mad before, but not like this. His eyes are wild with rage, and he sends the students on their way and the two boys to the principal’s office. He doesn’t have any comforting words for Liam, but the look on his face tells us he knows exactly what it feels like to be on the receiving end of this level of bullying.
The science teacher was too afraid to stop the fight. Most likely that’s due to the fear monster that’s currently roaming around town. We’ve seen her be tough before, and even earlier in the episode we saw her call out the class for not stepping up to the plate to help Liam during their lab, though that was to zero effect.
But Coach doesn’t seem at all affected by the fear. His first reaction is to stop the fight, and then shame all of them for letting it happen in the first place. Coach doesn’t for a second give into the mob mentality.
Coach’s journey on the show has been incredibly short, and yet incredibly emotionally impactful. I love that despite him being a tertiary character, Finstock has been a fan favorite since season 1. Because of this, Teen Wolf has had time to flesh out his character and give us moments that not only support the main cast of characters, but show us that there’s a lot more to Coach than meets the eye.