Remember lacrosse? Teen Wolf sort of does. The big game is tonight but a thousand other more interesting things happen. Mostly the first scene.
Stiles' Somber Soliloquy
Since last week's episode, enough time has passed for Stiles to lament during a little therapysession where everyone stands now. Our boy Stiles isn't his usual perky self, of course, but ina rather somber mood (in fact, no one seems in good spirits thus far) while we cut to variousmembers of Team Wolf and Team Argent during this session.
Stiles mentions about the mechanics of drowning and the natural reflex to open your mouth. Youdo not inhale until you pass out. It's peaceful, he claims. The guidance counselor, Mr. Morell,inquires Stiles' feelings about Matt (who the Sheriff's department has discovered dead andresponsible for the crimes).
Stiles has no sympathy for Matt's perversion and drowning because he killed other people.One good thing to come out of all of this? The Sheriff has his job back. But there's somethingoff with his relationship with his dad and his best friend Scott, who has his own problems todeal with--like Mama McCall completely ignoring Scott and his transformation. Then there'sAllison, who is seeking vengeance for her mother's death. And Jackson hasn't been himselflately. Lydia's maybe even the most normal now. Granted, this little catchup with our main castfeels more like recap than necessary but let me get to the importance of this first scene for theshow as a whole.
Like many genre shows, Teen Wolf can and does get pushed off as being nothing more than funand camp and sex and commercial. It can be deemed as having no value or voice, rejected asmeaningful art or maybe just something without a voice. It's ignored because it is called TeenWolf. I find that this show is a lot deeper than its commercial name implies based on this scene.
Stiles is perpetually sleepless and anxious, worried about the next worst-thing-that-could-happen.Hyper-vigilance--the persistent feeling of being under threat. That's our boy Stiles, isn't it? Heis the only character on the show to feel the full weight of danger and proceed anyhow. Anyonewho watches Teen Wolf knows that Stiles is the heart, the brain, the anchor, the comic relief, thewindow into these people and into this world of Teen Wolf.
In order to not drown, they postulate that you have to hold off that reflex to give yourself moretime to escape, to get help. It has to get worse before it can better. That's kind of what thisepisode represents: building a part in which everything must get worse before it gets better.
Instead of running full force with last week's momentum, the episode gives a scene to catchits breath. It might have been a little heavy-handed and it is surely open to interpretation onwhat it is saying, but the show is saying something. I could probably spend the rest of this postdeconstructing that scene in terms of its impending significance for next week's season finale,but I wanted to give a specific example as to why Teen Wolf should not be so easily dismissed.This isn't a flawless episode or a great one--there are issues with pacing and juggling all thestories--but I admire it for taking a second to just breathe. I'm fully aware of the irony of thatstatement.
Hey, Just Dropped By to Say I'll Kill You So
Scott casually walks into another room to find the Kanima's body around Mama McCall's throatand Gerard sitting casually at the couch. That man defies creepy; and manners. Essentially,Gramps Gerard is playing the revenge card with the Kanima at his side. My question, though, iswhat was Gerard's long game before the discovery of the Kanima?
Regardless, Gerard wants Scott to trade in Derek otherwise he'll kill just about everyone.
Derek has his own problems, of course, because Derek is a rather incompetent Alpha. His pack,the runaways, are about to abandon him. Erica and Boyd want out of the pack, but Isaac isundecided. Isaac's debating joining Erica and Boyd. Isaac seeks counsel from Scott because hetrusts him. Who would have thought that from all of the Betas, Isaac would be the only wouldleft.
After hearing other werewolf calls, Boyd and Erica search for a new pack. Derek claims that theyare running, but that's what you get when you turn emotionally vulnerable and self-consciousteenagers. Peter's paraphrased words, not mind.
The Hale Family Reunion
Since Peter is a psychopath and murderer extraordinaire Derek reverts to basics: beating him up.Peter mentions what I already knew: Derek's already been beaten. Peter admits that after comingback from the dead, he isn't as strong as he used to be. But he asks for trust anyway.
Peter, for all his psychosis, is knowledgeable. He knows how to save Jackson. There's a myththat you can cure a werewolf by calling its Christian name. Peter connects that solving the riddleof the Kanima relies on solving Jackson's identity and his orphan issues. Who is the one personthat Jackson has a modicum of connection to? Lydia. Peter's very clever, you see.
Those mysterious wolf cries from another pack are no longer so mysterious: the Argents arethe ones projecting the fake wolf cries to lure in self-conscious teenagers Erica and Boyd. It isstrange that Allison is hunting down her classmates, isn't it? I find it an odd association with hercharacter, but she's in the middle of becoming of fulfilling her Argent crazy legacy. Coldly, sheshoots an arrow into Erica's leg.
Boyd comes back for Erica, but Allison shoots a thousand arrows into his body, never relentinguntil Chris shoots Allison's bow. Allison is turning into Aunt Kate--she's crazy murderous andlikes Gerard enough to call him Gramps! That's my nickname for him!
Earlier at the locker room, Jackson is aware enough to warn his BFF Danny not to go near himduring the game because Jackson, rogue killer and all, is going to be in a crowd full of people atGerard's command. Scary thought.
The show takes another moment for some comedy, with an inspiring speech from Coach from...Independence Day? It's his favorite movie. Gerard's speech (remember that he is the principal)is less inspiring probably because he is a murderous villain. Probably.
At the game, we have a nice scene between besties Scott and Stiles. Stiles feels helpless becausehe knows he can't do the things Scott can do. Except... for lacrosse! Even if Stiles is the worstplayer on the team, he's the only one left who is eligible to play on the team. Cue the hilariousbad shots of him failing while his dad, Mama McCall and Lydia try and cheer him on.
Gerard threatens to kill everyone we like on the show. Even Coach! Luckily, as Scott realizes heis outnumbered another player arrives. Isaac! He is Team Scott after all! Since he is dangerous,Isaac takes out his own teammates so Scott is forced to be in to protect people from Jackson.Unfortunately, Jackson injures Isaac, semi-paralyzing him. Scott cannot be in two places at once,so he scurries off to save Isaac from Gerard and his goons. But then they disappear.
At the actual game, we continue to question how Stiles made the team to begin with. Somehow,Stiles' failure at lacrosse breaks for a moment to allow him to score a goal. The goal createsmomentum enough for them to win the game. Three cheers for--
Boom. Suddenly, the lights turn off and we hear some intense screaming as people run for theirlives. Panic, commotion, perhaps some paralysis. There's an injury, a great one and it's...
Jackson. He became aware enough to injure himself except he isn't breathing and looks to becompletely human. This isn't even the worst of it. Brace yourself for pure panic, for absoluteagony because--
Stiles is missing.
Okay, so what did you think of tonight's Teen Wolf?