sometimes i think about what could have made me like sc*tt. like. s1&s2 sc*tt definitely had his faults- esp. wrt his treatment of derek- but i think he definitely could have developed as a person from there and had a rly interesting character arc? like real personal growth and shit. it gets harder after master plan. is there a way that episode could have gone down the way it did and still made him a likable character after that? is there any apology he could give that would suffice?
cont. - like im not sure of the answer, but id love to see someone manage it. i don’t know if ive ever come across a fic that manages to redeem him from that moment while still acknowledging it. most fics either dont forgive him for it or they just sort of ignore it. for me tho, i think the real breaking point for sc*tt is the true alpha storyline. after that i don’t think there was anything they could have done for him to make him an interesting or likeable character. that storyline ruined it.
I think one of the biggest places where people take issue with Scott –– and this doesn’t mean they hate him or he’s a horrible human being (although some people feel that way too, and are entitled to it), but where many people see Scott falling short as a character is in that the show seems to have decided that “main character” or “hero” should mean perfect, and that’s just… that’s not good for character development, for plot building, or honestly, for a character’s likability.
Characters need to grow to be engaging. And people grow by making mistakes, learning from them, and moving forward. Scott’s mistakes, his flaws as a human being (and yes, he has flaws, everyone does, that’s not character assassination, that’s just fact) are really never addressed. He isn’t made to apologize for the things he does wrong (and why should he, honestly, since no one around him recognizes his problematic behaviors and calls him out on them) or face any apparent payment for them. This compared to the rest of the characters in the series, who are called out on their mistakes –– either by other characters or by consequences in canon. I always use Derek as a comparison, because there are a lot of straightforward parallels, such as the key moments with Isaac. Derek throws a glass at Isaac to get him to leave the loft. We know that’s an absolutely shitty thing to do, it reads immediately on both Isaac and Derek’s faces, and as consequence Derek loses Isaac as a pack member. That’s some hardcore, immediate reaction showing people in the scene and in the audience that This Was Not An Ok Thing To Do. The fact that Derek knew it wasn’t ok as he was doing it, and that he did it on purpose to get Isaac to leave for his own safety, does not make the behavior alright, and Derek acknowledges and pays for that behavior in the permanent loss of Isaac as a housemate and pack member.
When Scott, a short time later, throws Isaac into a wall in a moment of jealousy, it should, on the surface, seem to strike a fairly close parallel. We have Isaac’s Alpha, someone in a position of power over him, physically lashing out at him in some way. But in this instance, neither Scott nor Isaac react much to it, Isaac continues to go on living in Scott’s house and remaining a member of his pack, and there is just… no real follow up to that moment. And while I understand how that can lead some viewers to dismiss the moments as not being parallel (Isaac wasn’t upset there, so clearly Scott’s behavior is acceptable), what I and many viewers are instead left with is the message that Derek lashing out is unexpected and unacceptable, Scott lashing out is expected and acceptable, and that makes him… more heroic?
In season five I believe there finally was a moment between Stiles and Scott where Scott seemed to be being called out on his behavior, but even that came off as very “I’m flawed and you can’t understand that because you’re perfect,” which is… it’s how Scott sees himself, and it’s how the writers seem to see him, but A) that fails to acknowledge the ways in which he is flawed –– meaning that he can’t learn from and improve upon those flaws –– and B) makes for an incredibly un-engaging character. How can we identify with perfection? How can we root for perfection? And how can we fully get on board with someone we are told is perfect, when we can look at them and point out a dozen instances where they weren’t?
This is my major issue with Scott’s character. That we are told he is perfect when we see he isn’t, that he has a double standard of being excused from all of his bad behaviors when the characters around him aren’t, and I do think this connects very much to the True Alpha problem (I got another ask about my thoughts on that so I’ll answer that in more detail separately), because it’s just another level of saying “Scott is a better man, werewolf, and person in general than everyone else.”
Ok, now after all of that, how do I think Scott could have been improved and made more likable for many critical viewers? To be honest, for me it would have been really simple. Include moments where he apologizes for things. That’s… really, honestly, all I would have needed. Because like I said, I’m not looking for perfect characters. Scott acknowledging that he screwed up now and again would make me ecstatic because it would mean that he’s learning and growing and is trying to become better, and that makes for an amazing character arc in any show. If Scott had done the exact same thing in “Master Plan,” except when Derek asked why Scott didn’t tell him Scott had said “I’m sorry… I was afraid if I told anyone then Gerard would find out my plan. And I couldn’t risk that, my mom was in danger” then bam. I would have had a complete turnaround on my attitude toward him in that moment. He would have been humanized, we would have seen that he was in a tough situation, and he would have become more sympathetic by sympathizing with the shitty thing he’d done to Derek. Honestly, that simple.