Let’s talk about Teen Wolf’s hunters for a sec.
The show tells us that the hunters are matriarchal, but it shows us Gerard Argent as top dog in the Argent clan. From the moment he rolls into town, he’s calling the shots on the home front, as well as in the field. He asserts his authority over Chris and Victoria as parents, as well as hunters. Gerard is a stereotypical patriarch in a supposedly matriarchal subculture. So what’s up with that?
If the hunters are matriarchal, it’s Gerard’s wife, Chris and Kate’s mother, who should be leading the Argent clan, but she’s absent from the show. Not only does she not appear on screen, she’s never once mentioned, and Gerard’s authority is absolute. It seems likely then, that she’s been dead for some time. (And knowing Gerard, one wonders if we should suspect foul play). Gerard’s authority seems to derive from his age, his experience, and his place in the family. Maybe there were no aunts or cousins who could take up leadership. Maybe Gerard just back stabbed his way through the power struggle. Regardless, the Argent family legacy means that they’re always going to be significant to wider hunter culture, even without their matriarch.
What I take from this is that either, a) men can be leaders, in spite of the tradition of female leadership, or b) men can be leaders in special cases. I think it’s the latter.
After Victoria dies, Gerard declares Allison the new Argent matriarch. Chris isn’t surprised by the declaration, so much as the timing. Allison taking over leadership was natural, but he wanted his kid to be a kid for a little while longer. And there’s no suggestion that either Gerard or Chris should take up official leadership. Victoria then, was the de facto matriarch of the Argents, and Gerard was her adviser. It’s understood though, that while Victoria is the boss when it’s just her nuclear family and their soldiers, Gerard is really the one in charge. He overrules them on parenting Allison. He declares war with Derek’s pack without consulting with Victoria or Chris. Victoria as matriarch is just lip service to tradition.
Gerard says that he would do anything for survival, including killing his own son. He’d absolutely flout tradition—but only in ways that wouldn’t get him blowback from other families. Gerard is just such an experienced hunter, and aren’t Victoria and Chris lucky to have him to advise them, as they raise the next generation of Argents? But his diagnosis changes everything. Gerard no longer has any time to waste, and he is willing to do anything to get what he wants. And so goes any pretense that Victoria is in charge of strategy, or that Chris can act with any kind of independence as field leader. The family is clearly used to his leadership. Whatever their minor rebellions, Victoria and Chris know what’s what.
Now let’s consider Kate. Victoria is an Argent by marriage, while Kate is the oldest daughter of the previous matriarch. She was raised to be a leader and a soldier, and she’s as meanly pragmatic in achieving her goals as Gerard. Like Gerard, she rolls into town and does (whatever whatever) she wants with impunity. Chris is nominally the boss of her, but not really. He’s unable to rein her in (not as Victoria’s husband, not as her older brother, not as the senior hunter)—has he ever had real authority over her? She laughs at his conservatism. His protectiveness. His dedication to the code. At no point does she really listen to him. It makes me wonder if Victoria was really regent, with Kate meant to take over leadership at some previously determined time. (Imagine the Argents as lead by Kate and Gerard.
Don’t cry bbs). This would give Victoria and Chris a little leeway in regards to keeping Allison ignorant of her family’s heritage. She’s second in line, and who would think someone as tough as Kate would be taken out, amirite? If this is true, then Kate takes a special interest in Allison not just because she’s her favourite niece, but because Allison is going to be her second. (And man, what I wouldn’t give for some flashbacks exploring Kate and Gerard’s relationship).
Chris takes hunter traditions (and the code) very seriously, and with Gerard, Kate, and Victoria all dead, leadership does fall to Allison. It’ll be interesting to see what the show does in this regard—will Allison give up hunting? Will Chris continue mentoring her, but with a renewed commitment to the code? Will Chris take over leadership himself, on the grounds that Allison is too young?
Ugh, I can’t wait to find out.