It’s another episode of Teen Wolf‘s final season, which means another big hunt for a missing character. Much like the two episodes that preceded this installment, “After Images” is all about our heroes trying to find someone on the run. While hopefully all episodes won’t follow this same formula, it is a rather fitting theme for a season about hunters and prey.The real strength of “After Images,” however, is that it manages to correct some of the bigger problems of the season thus far while still bringing some genuine scares to the table. It isn’t the scariest episode of Teen Wolf, but it’s up there.
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Wolf and Hunter
The chief issue that “After Images” addresses is it finally puts the two groups of characters together. Liam isn’t on his own being a whiny little tool bag anymore. Liam finally starts working with Scott. When Brett’s sister, Lori, realizes that her brother is missing, she enlists the help of Scott, Liam and Malia to find him.
The injection of Scott does wonders for Liam’s character. Liam has always been best when used in a supporting role, as a little brother to Scott. It’s the one time that Liam feels comfortable as a character on Teen Wolf and not just some lame imitation of Scott. Liam isn’t strong enough to lead a story, but he’s a fine bit player.
Together, the four werewolves go on a hunt but instead find themselves deep in Gerard Argent’s trap — well, at least two of them do. Scott and Malia quickly realize that the trail they are following is being planted. Liam and Lori, who is the actual worst, don’t get it at all. The actress who plays Lori is not only terribly wooden, but the character also stupidly charges ahead into Gerard’s obvious trap. Liam follows right behind out of some misguided heroism, but it’s really just stupidity. Although they do find Brett, it’s a short-lived mercy.
Gerard leads the kids outside to a public and busy intersection. Lori and Brett escape the hunter, only to be run over and killed by a driver. Liam finds their bodies and goes into a fit of rage, wolfing out in front of all the gathered citizens. Everyone coils away, horrified.
This is all a part of Gerard’s master plan to scare the populace into hunting action. Gerard wants to build an army to kill every werewolf, and he is doing it through fear. Gerard’s evil scheme is based more on luck than true genius, but the image of Liam feral and confused in front of a scared population is an effective one.
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“After Images” does mostly improve the hunter and Liam stories. Lori and Brett’s deaths are “sad,” but at least neither character will ever have to be seen again. The hunt for Brett is not actually the best part of the episode. This really has nothing to do with the quality of it, though Lori is a moron; it’s just that the B-plot is much more compelling.
One thing Teen Wolf has done increasingly well in these final group of episodes is building an atmosphere of fear and paranoia. “After Images” starts to drive home the point that this isn’t just a creative choice. There is something insidious lurking in the background of Beacon Hills. This information comes courtesy of Mama McCall, otherwise known as the best character on the show by far.
Melissa is inspecting the mysterious body of the supposedly dead teenager from the previous episode at the hospital when she’s gripped by a wave of horror. She calls Argent for his help, and the same fear quickly grips him. They conclude that whatever they’re feeling, it’s coming from the body. It’s not much of a leap for the audience to discern that whatever escaped The Wild Hunt killed the body and is infecting the town with the same widespread fear.
The image of Liam as a scared wolf was effective, but this sequence with Melissa, Argent and the body is downright chilling. It helps that Teen Wolf‘s two most stable characters, Argent and Melissa, are at the center of it, but it’s still unnerving. The whole thing is really just two adults freaking out over a dead body, but Teen Wolf manages to make it terrifying with the right lighting and some superb musical cues. It’s the show as its horror finest.
Teen Wolf being Teen Wolf, they do manage to mix some romance into all the scares. This comes not only from Argent and Melissa but also Scott and Malia.The latter pair is turning out to be a surprisingly effective couple too, against pretty much all odds. Ultimately, however, “After Images” is a solid bridge episode that manages to bring the season together and provide some needed chills.
What do you think? Is the escapee from The Wild Hunt causing the paranoia? Did you find the episode creepy or was it just run of the mill? Are you sad to see Brett and Lori go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Teen Wolf season 6B airs Sundays at 8/7c on MTV. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of MTV)