The werecoyote, who only recently learned that her father is the notoriously cold Peter Hale, has been struggling with her new identity since she found it spelled out on an installment of The Benefactor's supernatural hit list. She's been keeping her distance from Stiles, too, whom she deduced knew the truth about her family tree. And without the support of her partner-in-crime, Malia has begun to doubt that there's any good in her.
After meeting with Peter in the Hale family vault and sorting through adoption information with her biological father, Malia officially resigned herself to the idea that she was genetically destined for a life of stoic, cold-blooded killing and disloyal scheming. "Killing doesn't run in a family," Stiles tried to assure his on-and-off girlfriend.
"Maybe it does in mine," Malia fired back.
She may be in a haze, but we, like Stiles, refuse to believe Malia is nothing more than a blue-eyed executioner. Here are five good reasons she's more than just Peter Hale's offspring:
1. She's capable of having a good time.
Remember the last time Peter rolled out the ol' Parcheesi board? Flew a kite? Smiled? The man who's been on a lifelong wait list for a funny bone is only in good spirits when someone else is in pain, and though Malia's a tough nut to crack, she's certainly not humorless.
2. She's cultivated a circle of friends.
Who woulda thought the lone coyote could play nice with others?! True, Stiles is the only human to whom Malia is completely loyal (at least...used to be), but she's fought alongside Scott and Kira as if they were her brother and sister. Peter fights (and lives) alone.
3. She aims to become something better.
A good chunk of Malia's time is rightfully spent trying to stop trained killers from spilling blood all over Beacon Hills, but don't think that means she's putting off PSAT prep. Whenever her claws are safely tucked beneath her skin, she's scanning through equations, going over vocab and getting her poindexter on. Peter, on the other hand, is content spending his days in the shadows, striving only to exact revenge on those who've wronged him.
4. She picks on people her own size (and bigger!).
Remember when Peter nearly killed a defenseless Lydia on the lacrosse field? His choice of targets speaks volumes, and so does Malia's -- she, unlike her father, routinely goes after the nearly indestructible Berserkers each time they pop up around town.
5. She isn't inundated with the past.
Retribution could very well be Peter's middle name, but Malia, whose life hasn't been a field full of daisies, either, isn't a victim of circumstance. Anyone who can compartmentalize the guilt of mistakenly killing her own family and still carry on is pretty remarkable.