This week on Teen Wolf, the alpha pack finally gets the blood they’ve been looking for, while Scott finds out about his latent alpha powers. The result is a packed, emotional episode as our favorite characters seem at death’s door from the first five minutes of the episode until the shocking conclusion.
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As a big, dramatic episode of the show, it certainly delivers. The episode drops us into the action with almost no lead-up or explanations. Hey, when did everyone confirm Derek was alive? I know Ethan told the group that the alphas thought he was still banging hot English teachers last week, but you’d think after Scott nearly died from guilt twice, we’d get to see some follow-up.
Just zoom in on a text: “Still alive lol hope u weren’t freaking out! BTW what did I miss on Big Brother? Forgot to DVR it when I was dead!” Like seriously, anything would have been an improvement from how completely the show skips over Derek living after two episodes of dwelling on how his supposed death affected Scott.
We do get a few answers on the Druid storyline, including learning our favorite DEMON WOLF (all caps always necessary) isn’t involved with the sacrifices. Plus, Allison finally finds oozing Grandpa Gerard and Scott’s nature is finally explained.
Evolution of a True Alpha
As opposed to the alphas who get their powers from killing another alpha or taking out their own pack, Scott is a true alpha. He’s the kind who actually deserves the alpha title and can become one by virtue and sheer force of will.
What the show has done with Scott’s character over three seasons is actually fairly impressive. In the first season, such a proclamation would have seemed absurd. Scott was spending most of his time chained up and/or mad at Derek. Even last year, Scott was more reactive than proactive, until the very end of the season when we found out how clever he had been all along.
This season has been working to build Scott up into a true leader, someone with both smarts and heart. Contrast that with the cold-blooded alpha pack or even Derek, who has all the right intentions but the worst possible ability to plan. (His plan this episode is to stand in the water they had just electrocuted and … that’s about it. Look angry, maybe?)
When Dr. Deaton the vet tells Scott he’s a true alpha, it’s not a hard line to buy anymore. The big moment in the episode is obviously when Scott tries to break through the circle to save Deaton, turning his eyes alpha red. While that sequence is impressive, an even better moment is in the beginning of the episode as Scott quietly takes away the pain of a suffering woman in the ER. It’s that compassionate side of Scott that sets him apart from the other wolves, who have a “kill first, wonder if we should have killed that dude later” policy.
We’ve seen that all along with Derek, who’s policy is always “But what if we just killed it?” but Scott’s empathy is more obvious this season when contrasted with the over-the-top villainy of the alpha pack.
Of course, now Scott realizes Big D-Wolf might be after him for more than sparring sessions and jaunty lectures on the metronome. (Do you think Deucalion has perfect rhythm like George Michael? If he survives until next season, will he invent FakeBlock?)
A Heartbreaking Death
So fine, let’s talk about the death this episode. Goodbye, Boyd, and farewell, we hardly knew ye! I should have known after Boyd got the bare minimum of character development last week that we’d be saying goodbye to him. Having given him an echo of a sliver of a storyline, I guess they felt they had serviced his character enough to send him off to the big moon bounce in the sky with Erica.
From a story perspective, it’s shocking and saddening to see Boyd go, and the moment when Cora throws herself on the body and cries is heart-wrenching. Looking at it from the perspective of the show, however, it’s clear Boyd was the obvious choice.
The show basically never knew what to do with Boyd since almost day one. Boyd was the merest sketch of a character, a strong silent type who basically just stood around towering over things without speaking lines of dialogue. Comparing Boyd to Isaac or even Erica shows just how little his character had been developed in the season and a half he’s been on the show.
It’s sad to see Cora crying over Boyd considering their time together in the vault, but we never saw any fall-out or follow-up with those two characters. So it’s really hard to emotionally connect to it on the level the audience did when Stiles stepped into the gasoline with Scott last week. That was a relationship that had been built up and earned. Boyd’s ties were all flimsy. It’s not hard to see why they chose him to kill off: he lifted right out. It’s no knock against the actor, who was given precious little to do with his time on the show and will hopefully be better served elsewhere.
This season, the action has been relentless and nonstop. It’s lead to a lot of tense, dramatic and enjoyable episodes. Yet all this forward momentum has hurt the show in spots like this, where a few slower paced scenes allowing Boyd to interact with Cora or Derek would have really helped to sell the emotional gut-punch of his death.
Still, loosing two members of the pack is tough. Barefoot Girl tells Derek the next time she’ll kill everyone and their little dogs too and then flounces out of water world. Isaac clutches Jennifer Blake close and wonders if he should have done something besides make sad faces while the alpha twins forced Boyd onto Derek’s talons. Derek’s eyebrows are very upset. Lydia and Stiles are shocked.
Before he dies, Boyd is like, “Hey, there’s some exposition I never told you about!” While he tells Derek being a werewolf was worth paying the ultimate price (questionable), he also mentions the upcoming lunar eclipse. In a flashback to Erica, she also wondered if it would make them stronger.
So Derek is officially the worst alpha of all time, right? I mean, he’s got really bad odds. If he was the coach of a sports team, it would be like if the Bad New Bears lost half the team on the way to a game. Just not great leadership. If I was Isaac, I would look at my life, look at my choices, wrap my fetch little scarf around my neck and hit the road.
Can we talk a minute about what does and doesn’t kill werewolves? Because, honestly, I have no clue. So werewolves can be shot a million and one times with Allison’s arrows and be more or less fine, but Derek’s untrimmed fingernails are deadly? They can be thrown into walls, but if they fall on an escalator it’s lights out? It must be so confusing to be a teen wolf. “I can survive having a lead pipe thrust violently through my midsection, but if you poke me with your nail I will just immediately drop dead.”
Go with the Current
When it comes to the Druid storyline, there are so many scattered clues across the episode it’s hard to keep track. It starts when Scott comes to visit his mom in a crowded ER, because most of the doctors are mysteriously missing. Looks like the Druids are going after “healers” this time, which leads to a cute scene where Scott and Isaac fall asleep at the foot of Ms. McCall’s bed like a bunch of protective puppies.
But things get serious when Danny, my sweet little lotus flower, comes into the hospital with stomach pain and shortness of breath. He throws up in a seriously hideous scene and is later saved by Mama McCall, but not before they figure out he ingested mistletoe somehow.
Why were the Druids after Danny, my brilliant little dove? Because he was doing a paper on geomagnetic fields affected by lunar phases. Take this message to heart kids: homework kills!
Anyway, it turns out Beacon Hills is the Sunnydale of lunar weirdness and all the earth’s moonbeams shoot into the town or something. The end result is that there is a lot of supernatural weirdness and supernaturally attractive people in Beacon Hills, I guess.
Meanwhile, Allison has put on her best sexy pilgrim outfit to use a blacklight in her father’s study. No sentence I have ever typed about the Argent family has ever been normal.
Scott comes over, where Allison shows him a map of all the current Druid body sites … and some future sites as well. What does Argent know and is he getting this information from Grandpa Argent?
When Argent suddenly comes home, Scott and Allison are forced to hide in the closet together. Their sexual tension is off the charts and they are super cute giggling about his teen wolf hormones. Two feet away, brilliant tracker and keen detective Chris Argent cannot hear Scott trying to describe Allison’s butt without being disrespectful. (Damn girl!)
Either the map or Argent’s general lack of stealth leads Allison right into the lair of Grandpa Argent. “I was wondering when you’d find me,” he cackles like a Saturday morning cartoon villain.
I wouldn’t mess with Allison Argent, considering most of her family bonding has consisted of mild torture. If you cross her, she will pull on her sexy pilgrim bonnet and shoot an arrow into your face, because that’s how Argents deal with difficult family situations. On Thanksgiving, everyone is in the ER by dessert.
Elsewhere in Beacon Hills…
— For the first time ever, Lydia is no help at all with a supernatural situation. She has no power over Ouija boards, can’t read objects and can’t do anything besides draw a crappy tree.
— Poor Deaton has the worst day ever suspended from his hands. Meanwhile, his sister the Guidance Counselor continues to be a mysterious presence, although sending them off in Lydia’s direction turns out to be a bad idea. What is up with her? What does she know? Whose side is she on anyway?
— Seriously, is no one going to mention to Danny that he’s dating a serial killer? Couldn’t Stiles have tried to make it a hypnotic suggestion when he was pretending to be in Danny’s dream?
The Shirtlessness Count
A pretty skin-light episode this week. Most of the action turned out to be of the non-sexy variety.
The Shirtlessness Count: Danny being treated at the ER and Aiden making out with Lydia in school.
Best Pecks of the Episode: Since Danny nearly died, it really feels like he deserves this win.
What did you think of the episode? Are you sad about Boyd’s shocking demise? What do you think is going on with the guidance counselor? What does Grandpa Gerard know? And what will Scott do now that he knows he’s a true alpha? Sound off with your theories in the comments!
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(Image courtesy of MTV)