Promo: This Might Hurt [Analysis]

Have a gander at the first Season 3 Promo here. It might hurt!

At OFFTHEPRESERVE we strongly believe that the small things have meaning in Teen Wolf and fondly remember the time we spent breaking down the title sequence for last season. For example we think that Stiles moving into the headlights of his Jeep foreshadowed his detective streak. The light representing the searching in the dark, lighting the way etc etc. If you want to know about more of the clues we think were hidden in it you can read about them here. Note: we are also incredibly excited to see the changes made to the opening sequence for Season 3 – hold us please *clings*.

Now taking this into consideration lets take a closer look at the Promo shall we? For anyone that is reading this going “why do you care” or “why are you thinking so much about this” shooooo this is probably not the blog for you ;)


Teen Wolf Season 3 First Promo This Might Hurt[16-42-21]

  • The promo starts with Scott, who is in a white t-shirt, face down in some water apparently already dead. We know he is already dead because of the lack of air bubbles coming out of his nose or mouth and the fact that his eyes are open but not blinking which is Hollywood speak for dead-as-a-doornail.

Teen Wolf Season 3 First Promo This Might Hurt[18-18-04]

  • Then as the music builds, white-t-shirt-Scott blinks and starts struggling against something or someone holding him under the water. There are lots of air-bubbles now as he silently screams in terror. I was screaming in terror too.

Teen Wolf Season 3 First Promo This Might Hurt[16-43-37]

  • We then see that a topless someone (hello nice side profile) is holding white-t-shirt-Scott down in a lake as a wolf watches from the opposite bank. The wolf seems very agitated and I can’t tell if it is eager and excited or upset and angry? Although I vote the former instead of the latter.

Teen Wolf Season 3 First Promo This Might Hurt[16-43-02]

  • Before we see the face of whom is holding white-t-shirt-Scott under the water people who were already familiar with the spoilers about Scott’s new tattoo will have figured out that white-t-shirt-Scott is being held under the water by himself because the promo cuts to a tattoo on the persons arm. Creepyyyy. White-t-shirt-Scott does not have a tattoo. (insert spoilers and image).

Teen Wolf Season 3 First Promo This Might Hurt[18-15-16]

  • While white-t-shirt-Scott is being drowned by tattooed-half-naked-Scott the promo also cuts to some other images one of some Wolfsbane and another of a rope snapping; as this rope frays and snaps a lot of white powder escapes.

This white powder featured in last seasons open sequence and we figured at the time that it could be ash. The only time that ash has actually featured in the show is when Peter blew some white powder into Lydia’s face in one of her hallucinations and we thought it might have been ash from the Hale fire indicating where Peter was buried. Although it could also be mountain Ash though from what we have seen so far that is typical more grey in colour. 

Teen Wolf Season 3 First Promo This Might Hurt[18-15-32]

  • The tattooed-half-naked-Scott (hello muscles) manages to drown white-t-shirt-Scott again but this time something leaks from drowned white-t-shirt-Scott’s mouth – it looks like the black goo from seasons past but it could be blood. It’s dark enough that red blood could easily look black.

Either way it is strange because why would blood be leaking from his mouth at all? This is not normally something that happens when you are drowned (I Googled it) and if it is black goo what does it mean?? We still don’t know what the black goo is??? Theories found here though. 

Teen Wolf Season 3 First Promo This Might Hurt[18-21-15]

  • The camera angle then shoots out wide and high and tattooed-half-naked-Scott looks up at the sky as white-t-shirt-Scott lies beneath him. It is quite probably the full moon as you can see its light vaguely reflected upon the surface of the lake.

On the sand behind tattooed-half-naked Scott you can see the letters D and P on either side or him….or rather I see letters ya’ll probably just see sand. 


  • The final shot of the promo is of white-t-shirt-Scott sinking slowly face down into the lake.

Generally speaking when you drown you float because your lungs are filled with water – you do not sink! OOOOOOOHhhhh.


What does this all mean? I have split the analysis in to Part A, which deals with Scott, Part B, which deals with the symbolic elements and Part C which is just other stuff (also symbolic). I wanted to break things up to make it easier to digest I am hard to follow at times, all the time.

Part A

I have been reading comments saying that the new promo is symbolic of Scott letting go of the old Scott and embracing the ‘new’ Scott i.e. the werewolf. However I think that it actually could be slightly more complex than just that.

It is interesting that there are three entities involved: the wolf, tattooed-half-naked Scott and white-t-shirt-Scott. Which I think can be extrapolated to wolf Scott, werewolf Scott and human Scott respectively or if you like The Id, The Ego and the Super-Ego. However I won’t get to into the detailed specifics of Freudian psychology because while it is interesting I don’t want to ramble on to much and it is just a theory after all.

I’ve quickly broken the basics down for those of you that aren’t familiar with the concepts:

  1. The id (WOLF) is instinct.
  2. The super-ego (HUMAN) is the moral centre, both critical and rational.
  3. The ego (WEREWOLF) mediates between the instinctual desires of the id and moralizing of the super-ego.

freud example

The super-ego (HUMAN) can also stop your id (WOLF) from doing things it may desire to do.

Freud aside I do think it is safe to posit that the three incarnations of Scott could be symbolic of Scott’s psyche or in this case perhaps his fractured psyche. His human side is being suppressed and sinking below the surface of conciousness thus explaining why in the Promo white-t-shirt-Scott is seen sinking below the surface into the lake. The lake is sometimes a motif for the human mind and the depths below the surface representing the subconscious  and the deeper you go, the deeper in your mind the thing is hidden.

Thus the Promo is representative of the struggle going on inside Scott and seems to indicate that the moral part of Scott, the human part will be forgone in favour of his more animal side. Perhaps indicating that he will make choices like killing people that his human side would usually never agree to doing. Scott the werewolf is supposed to help keep the balance between his baser instincts which are stronger now he is a werewolf and good ol’ human morals but sometimes it’s easy for the balance to tip just a little to much and Jeff has already said that Season 3 is going to be about power/power-play (source spoiler).

Part B

In 1×02 ‘Second Chance At First Line’ we learnt that Laura was buried underneath a spiral made by rope to which Wolfsbane had been tied and this kept her in the form of an actual wolf, when this was removed she reverted back to being human. When the Promo cut to images of Wolfsbane and the rope it reminded me off this.

We also know from the show that there are strains of Wolfsbane that force a werewolf transformation (the one used on poor dead Laura) but what is interesting to me is that it would work on a dead werewolf indicating that it is a physiological response that the ‘mind’ has no control over because she is dead and what have you. Except we know this isn’t true exactly because the werewolves that we have met can control their bodies and transforming – it may be something they have to learn but it can be done. Mind over matter and all that jazz.

We have yet to have an explanation for why Laura was turned into an actual wolf rather than the human/wolf hybrids we’ve seen elsewhere so here is a theory for you. We have seen the other werewolves like Scott, Derek and co. wolf out to various degrees. Whether its just a flash of the eyes, claws, fangs to full on facial fuzz and pointy ears. The level of ‘wolfiness’ can be controlled. Then we have Peter Hales Alpha form which is the most wolflike werewolf we’ve seen to date with the exception of Laura as Peter was covered entirely with fur and I think sort of had a muzzle, he totally looked like a giant Gorilla.

The theory is that the more a werewolf lets go of their human side and embrace their instincts the more wolfed out they get. To turn into an actual wolf they would have to let go of their human side altogether and it is possible that once they’ve relinquished this and embraced the animal within completely it is exceptionally hard or even impossible to turn back because they don’t exactly have a rational mind any more to make this decision (although it is possible someone else could use Wolfsbane that causes a werewolf to transform back to human on them). This would explain why the Wolfsbane turned Laura into a full on wolf because she was dead and didn’t have a ‘mind’ to reign control over how far the transformation actually went.

Now the rope in the promo was seen snapping and if it is the rope with Wolfsbane that keeps a werewolf a full wolf – snapping the rope would let the wolf turn back into a human…going with my theory of course but how does this related to Scott if in the promo he seems to be relinquishing his human side? Is it a metaphor that something has to snap for the balance to be restored or something else? I AM SO FULL OF IDEA OMG SOMEONE STOP ME!

If it doesn’t relate to Scott who does it relate too? Maybe a Hale? In the Season 2 title sequence Derek Hale has ash (or whatever it is) exploding off his skin and it looks like the same thing that explodes out of the rope as it snaps but what exactly is it’s significance? This ash substances is one of the big mysteries but I am just going to throw out there that if the ash relates to the Hales somehow maybe it’s about some Hales that are currently trapped in their full wolf form being turned back into their human form???

By the way I fully expect this theory to be completely trashed but it can stand for now, right? It’s also nice how this fits with Part A and the idea of the id, ego, super-ego.

Part C

Some other things that were of note in the Promo but we still don’t really have an answer or an explanation for are the black goo leaking out of Scott’s mouth which we know relates to a body rejected the werewolf bite i.e. the werewolf and the lake itself.

We first were introduced to the black goo in 1×04 ‘Magic Bullet‘ when Derek was shot with a Blue Monkshood Wolfsbane bullet he vomited black goo and told Stiles that it was his “body trying to heal itself”. Yet when Jackson got bitten by Derek he started leaking black goo and in 2×01 ‘Omega’ Derek commented that Jackson’s body was “rejecting the bite” (and he seemed quite freaked out about this I am still laughing about how he slowly backed away into the shadows). Then in 2×12 ‘Master Plan‘ when Gerard gets the bite (also from Derek) he vomits a fountain of black goo and is basically leaking it everywhere because when he was bitten he was full of mountain ash that Scott had secretly been feeding him.

So if white-t-shirt-Scott is bleeding black goo from his mouth does that mean that his body healed itself or that he rejected the bite and thus his werewolf side? It makes sense if Derek meant that his body was trying to heal itself of being a werewolf because that would both be ‘healing’ but also a rejection of his werewolf side. It is then kind of ironic because in the Promo at least it is Scott’s werewolf side that rejected his human side…by killing him and not the other way round.

Finally one of the biggest questions of season 2 was why Jackson was in the lake after he was bitten and now Scott is drowning himself in a lake (probably the same lake because how many lakes can there be). Jeff Davis said that we would learn in Season 3 why Jackson was in the lake and thus its significance, I hope Colton leaving hasn’t changed this fact, exciting.


What is Scott’s Tattoo symbolic of? Read theories here.