Money has always been an underlying issue in Teen Wolf. Season 4 just brought it to the surface and made it a genuine plot point.
If we look back we know a lot about the different characters finances just from the little details and comments all they way back to season 1
- Jackson never lacked anything. He drove a Porsche, frequently bragged about it, made a point to mention that his suit at the winter formal was Hugo Boss and had no issue paying Matt $100 to borrow his video camera and casually told him to send the bill when it broke.
- Lydia has never bragged about being well off but her stylish wardrobe always suggested it. They have a nice house and a lake house and she always drives a new car. Something has clearly happened in the background between the first season and season 4 where she all of a sudden has too many credit cards to be healthy and their looking to sell the lake house. Her parents clearly have split, so perhaps the divorce has worsened their economy.
- Stiles has never really lacked anything, but he’s not well off either. His dad is a sheriff which isn’t the most lucrative job in the world, but it pays reasonably well. Enough for Stiles to afford a car, repairs and constant upgrade his mobile phones and he has a Mac as well. Typical middle class, but when a hefty medical bill piles up on top of normal expenses it becomes a problem.
- Scott and Melissa has always been struggling since season 1. Scott complained about loosing the inhaler that cost $80, the car they drive is banged up, the suit Scott got was barely hanging together and he couldn’t afford to get a new mobile when Derek threw his in the wall so it broke. When Scott was to play his first lacrosse game, Melissa took the night off and Scott protested, but she said one night off wouldn’t ruin them…
- Derek has never worked and yet it’s always been clear he has money. He drove a Camaro and later a brand new Toyota and now we know that he owns property.
Okay i’m going to get a little philosophical now :)
Having money equals power. and power is always tempting. If you have a lot it’s not uncommon to want more, and if you don’t have any you want some. And with the benefactor arc we see how easily money can corrupt you to do terrible things, even kill for it.
And now i might be reading to much into things as well, but i feel like the parallel of money = power resonates with this season particularly.
Scott has never really had much money or power, and even though he became a werewolf he’s rejected all parts of it and refused to do the things that can make him more powerful, namely kill. But just like when the money issues become too much, and taking some that wasn’t his and certainly wasn’t even a little bit morally right, basically blood money, he kept it under his bed and was tempted. He almost fell pray to it, and if it wasn’t for his mom he probably would have talked himself into it.
And not just for himself, it could help others as well. And just like with the money, it also seems to me that for all his resisting the allure of more power as a werewolf, Scott is slowly inching towards that as well. He almost killed that hunter guy in 4x10, and if Stiles and Malia hadn’t stopped the computer he probably would have.
Lydia has always had money and she’s always had power as well. Her power was her popularity and her social status, but as the seasons have progressed she’s slowly lost that. And it seems like her financial security has suffered the same fate.
On the other hand she is slowly obtaining her banshee power, and parallel to that she’s also learning the value of other not so superficial things, like friendship, not hiding who she and how smart she is and depending on others and letting them in. She gaining another kind of power, a healthier kind.
Stiles always had brain power but was more neutral both financially speaking and also socially. He had good grades but not a lot of extracurricular activities (besides warming the lacrosse bench) and though not disliked certainly not popular. This goes hand in hand with the picture of Stiles as human - he’s not powerful like the werewolves, but has some power with wits and planning so he comes out mostly at zero in sum.
He had the opportunity to obtain power when Peter offered him the bite in season 1 but refused. Probably because Stiles has always been self aware enough to know that he shouldn’t have that kind of power. Because he feared what it might do and that he might not control it.
In 3b stiles lost his financial security and at the same time also lost his self control. Season 4 was all about struggling to get it back, worrying about it, not knowing if it was possible to regain control again, or if he would plummet into darkness again. And as the Eichen house bill was taken care of by the end of season 4 and the financial situation for the stilinskis seems to be over the worst, i think Stiles has found a new plateau and a new sense of tentative control realizing his own abilities. The financial situation is better, and so is Stiles according to himself. Not powerful yet, but the potential is there.
Derek didn’t really lose his money and his financial security. But it did look like he lost all his power in season 4. But he was evolving. He was like a caterpillar, in stasis. And he didn’t care anyway, he thought he was going to die. But we all thought both his power and money was gone.
Also Peter’s money was used to fund the deadpool. And the deadpool served to kill supernatural creatures where their supernatural energy and power probably went back into circulation in the telluric currents and the nemeton. once again money = power, but i’m not so sure Peter benefited directly. He’s stronger yes, but is that because of the deadpool or because he killed Jennifer on the nemeton. I think the latter, so who is reaping the benefits? Probably Scott who has had a visble powerup since 3b and also Stiles to a certain degree. His somethingness has really progressed in season 4. These might be unexpected side effects though, probably facilitated by Deaton and the ice bath sacrifice. So did he do that to help prevent something worse, or is he somehow in on things? He’s so sketchy it’s bordering on too much in a way.
Personally i have a feeling Dr Valack has a hand in this somehow. The thought is not comforting… :)