I hope this holds out as a major plot point in season 3. Because everything already up there, it’s things I noticed as well. Stiles has broken in this episode. After two seasons of strength, of fighting, of doing everything despite his unwillingness… he gives up. He lies about it to his dad, to Scott, to everyone. He’s desperate and despaired and angry when he watches Lydia and Jackson.
And I felt like every single conversation in that episode was foreshadowing. Warnings of things to come. A head’s up. Clues to what is going to go down as Stiles’ breakdown and buildup. First Gerard telling Stiles what he’s being telling himself and trying not to believe, that he’s useless, a weak human who can’t even fight against an old man, worthless except as a body to be broken and bloodied as a threat against his best friend. Then his dad, who through all those good intentions, essentially tells Stiles that the only thing he’s good at is lacrosse. It’s not what Stiles wants to hear, because Stiles isn’t a hero in his mind. He’s just trying to survive.
The entire scene with Lydia was him shouting at himself. About himself, about his mother, about his father. Stiles is useless, but he can’t die. He can’t leave his father. He knows he’s useless, a liability, only there to cause damage. But he knows he can’t die, either, because it’s not about him, it’s about the people around him.
It’s damaging. As (creepy) as his behaviour was toward Lydia, I think he knows he won’t have her. The 15 year plan? It’s him brushing off Scott. Again. When has Stiles actually said something like that truthfully and not as a deflection in the past five episodes? But it’s another hit to his psyche. Lydia won’t look at him, because Lydia has someone gorgeous. Someone she loves. Someone, who despite all his faults and arrogance and douchebag behaviour and murders under his belt (from Stiles’ POV, remember, and he’s as black-and-white as Derek sometimes), comes back as a blue-eyed werewolf. That’s got to hurt, especially now that Peter’s back as well.
But even though Stiles was somewhat in the background this episode, he’s breaking.
He’s been broken. He’s given up and it’s taken two episodes to reach. I need season 3 to reaffirm Stiles, I need him to form again.
The scary thing is, I think Stiles’s hell isn’t anywhere near over. You think he’s breaking now? Well he’s going to shatter in S3, and it’s gonna be messy. We’re starting to see the fractures in this finale, but he still managed to show up in the end, in the nick of time, if a bit late to the party. He’s still got his bonds to Scott and Lydia and his dad, even if they’re starting to get a bit frayed, overstretched, the other ends sounding more and more like strangers (I am with you on that lacrosse thing…you’re talking a whole ‘nother language here, Sheriff).
I’m convinced that S3 is going to test these bonds even further, see if the weight of his helplessness can make him crack. Because unlike hero!Scott, Stiles has shown before a somewhat callous attitude to those outside his circle (let Derek die, let Jackson die), though he’s pulled through in the end. Because his heart, remember, slowed over the words “I. Don’t. Want.” as Peter held up his wrist. There’s a part of Stiles that wanted that bite, and it’s the same part that must be feeling the full force of his uselessness now. Scott can do all this shit and save his friends and save the day, but you know what? What’s Stiles? Where’s Stiles in this picture?
Stiles can’t be with these people. He can’t be with his dad because of the werewolf thing, but he can’t be with Scott and Jackson and the others either because of the human thing.
Stiles is the piece that doesn’t fit. He’s kept going for the sake of other people, but who’s kept going for him? Who’s kept watching out for Stiles? Who came for him, when he was being beaten in a torturer’s basement? That’s why I think that maneuver by Gerard to let him go was even more devious than it looks: because it was psychological torture. Because he didn’t allow Stiles the comfort of seeing his friends come for him - only the shame of walking home alone with a broken face.
Funnily enough, after a whole season of watching Jackson and Lydia and Allison become omegas, you realize these people have remade their bonds. And now it’s Stiles who’s alone.