Following the Teen Wolf season 5 finale, we spoke with showrunner Jeff Davis about the episode’s impact on the series and what to expect in season 6.
Teen Wolf season 5, episode 20, “Apotheosis,” saw the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. We saw the birth of a new threat, the return of a beloved actor, and the start of a new era. Creator and Executive Producer Jeff Davis offered us some insight into what’s next.
What kind of impact did it have on everyone to have Crystal back on set for her episode?
It had a huge impact, especially on the writers and producers. Joe, our executive producer who directed the episode, is now obsessed with getting a spinoff about Crystal as Marie-Jeanne, which I would absolutely support him in.
But it was just great to have her there. It also, as you can see, inspired a twist in the ending for us. It allowed us to really kind of make this season a love letter to both Allison Argent and Crystal Reed.
You know the whole internet is going to blow up wanting a Marie-Jeanne spinoff, right?
Yes! And they should! She was fantastic. I don’t know if we could do the accents, though. We might have to skip the accents. [laughs] Even though she did an amazing job.
You’ve been setting up Allison as one of the heroes of this season despite her no longer being on the show. What was it like making sure you kept threading her throughout the 20 episodes so that the payoff was so great in the end?
We didn’t really know about the payoff. [laughs] I call it the subconscious writer. One of the things I tell the writers in the room is to not try to figure out everything all at once. The story and the characters will lead you down a path.
I remember the day when we were sitting there, and I suddenly had the thought of Sebastien’s claws going into the back of Scott’s neck because we really wanted to set up in 518 that Scott could not defeat The Beast with sheer force, that he would have to do it cleverly, that he’d have to do it with his brains and not his brawn. And I thought, what would Sebastien see? Would he see Allison Argent? And would he suddenly be taken aback by the appearance of Marie-Jeanne, who had defeated him before. And could she defeat him again in this moment, just by her memory and just by the power of Scott’s relationship [with Allison]? It was a way to show that these friendships and these relationships and these bonds between these characters are so powerful they can save their lives even in death.
As far as I can tell, the Desert Wolf isn’t dead by the end of the finale. Will her story continue into season 6 or is that pretty much wrapped up at this point?
Well, we wanted to give it a clear ending, but we also liked Marisol [Nichols] so much that we didn’t want to kill her. We also knew that the difficult choice for Malia this season was to stay with Scott’s pack and not be a killer or to have her revenge. We knew by this point that she wouldn’t be a killer, so we always knew the Desert Wolf would live on. But we loved Marisol and we’re really happy with how she played the character, so we’re hoping to get her back if her pilot doesn’t go forward.
And in what ways will gaining her mother’s power affect Malia moving forward?
She’s going to have a lot more confidence and strength, and you’re going to see an example of that power in the very first episode, 601.
And how will Hayden being a part of Scott’s pack now affect the dynamic of the group?
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing Hayden’s character for season 6, and we think we struck on a really good arc for her. Her becoming a werewolf at a time when Scott could be leaving Beacon Hills for college is going to become a very important aspect of her arc in season 6. What’s it like to be a werewolf when the alpha leaves?
One of my favorite parts of season 5 was the introduction of the Skinwalkers, and, of course, at the end of the season, in the finale, Kira makes a deal with the Skinwalkers, which means she has to leave again for as long as it takes. Will we see her in season 6? Will we get more about the Skinwalkers?
That remains to be seen. I’m going to tell you that there are big changes coming up in season 6, so you’ll have to see, but for now she’s with the Skinwalkers.
Speaking of the Skinwalkers, was Theo’s demise as satisfying for you guys as it was for me?
We didn’t want to kill Theo, partially because we loved Cody Christian so much. And we were like, ‘Are we going to bring him back? We’ll have to see. We don’t know yet.’ But we knew he had to get his comeuppance. We decided a long time ago the Skinwalkers would be part of that and Kira would be part of that.
I think Cody gave it his all. You hear that sort of crack in his voice when he screams, “Scott, help me!” And he gets his just desserts. Back down to Hell, or wherever it might be.
I know this is always something you guys play with between seasons. Will there actually be a time jump before season 6?
Yes, three months. We will be into the second semester of their senior year.
I was wondering if we would be seeing Mason working through what happened to him or is that something that is kind of an off screen thing?
Well, we’ve talked about that quite a bit in whether we want to see Mason struggle with a darkness left behind. But one of the things we like about Mason — about Khylin [Rhambo] — so much is he’s such a good, positive energy. And he’s funny. One of the things that’s most important to us in season 6 is getting him back to being funny, to being that bright, shining light. Our show does get very dark, and one of the things that we wanted to do within season 5B was bring a sense of humor back to it. Since Khylin does that, we may actually let [that struggle with darkness] sort of go. We’ll see.
We’ve just been calling him Tank Guy because we didn’t really know what to call him, but the soldier that was keeping the Dread Doctors alive has obviously escaped. What can you tell us about what kind of threat he’s going to pose for season 6?
He’s definitely going to be lurking in season 6, but I can’t really tell you much more about that. But he’s a Nazi werewolf, so he’s obviously not gonna be a good guy.
You usually pick a theme for each season. Have you settled on one for season 6 yet?
Season 6 actually really goes back to the friendship, the main thrust of the show, which is about two best friends going out into the woods one night to find a dead body. The first part of season 6 is very much about Stiles and Scott’s friendship. That’s all I can really say at the moment since we’re still working it out.
Do you know what kind of mythology you’re going to tackle for season 6?
Yes, we do. You’ll see a hint of it in the preview for season 6 that comes directly after the episode on Tuesday night.
We’ve heard that you’re also taking a step back from the show a little bit, or at least trying to, and letting some others fill in a bit more. Are you planning to work on some other projects, or just getting some much-needed rest and relaxation?
I’m trying to focus first on relaxation, but I do have one other project cooking at the moment, which is Let the Right One In with A&E. But part of it is I’ve been going at this for six years non-stop, and it’s time to step back a little bit more. I have a bit of an obsessive overseeing of the show, down to every word on the page to every frame in post-production. It’s time for a break.
I have a great team right now with Lindsay Sturman and Mark Kruger and Ross Maxwell all being big parts of the show now, and they’re killing themselves in the writer’s room working on new stuff and I think they’re doing a great job.
Yeah, I was going to ask if anyone in particular was really stepping forward in wanting to take on a larger role.
That’s Lindsay Sturman, who I have a huge amount of confidence in, and one of our other writers, Eric Wallace, is going to be directing an episode in season 6B. So it’s all about, for me, getting people to where they want to be as artists. Joe Genier did his first episode for us with “The Maid of Gévaudan,” and we’re actually going to be giving directing slots to our 1st AD, JD Taylor, who did an episode back in season 4, and to David Daniel, our cinematographer, who did an episode back in 5A that I thought was fantastic as well, and our script supervisor Katie [Eastridge] is going to be getting another episode as well. She did episode 14 for us this season and did a fantastic job. So that’s one of the most important things to me as a showrunner, which is getting people to the places where they want to be. Will Wallace is now a staff writer and has trained a new assistant for us, so I can no longer ask him to do assistant things, which is hard because he did them so well.
Tyler Posey is still slated to direct an episode, right?
Yes, in 6B. One of the things we need to do first is that he is going to do what we call shadowing, where he follows one of our directors around through the entire shoot and the whole pre-production process, and is there on set every day. It’s just to get him up to speed. There are a lot of things that you don’t realize in directing. It’s not just directing actors; it’s choosing the right type of lens. It’s choosing the number of shots to get through your coverage, whether you need to do a full scene in a master or only bits of a scene in a master. There’s a lot of technical stuff to learn.
Is there anything else you want to say either about the finale or about season 6 coming up? Anything you wanted to tease fans about?
I can tease about season 6 that there are big changes coming. It’s a big season, actually, for both Scott and Lydia in terms of change.