Teen Wolf 1-08: “Lunatic”

To boost Scott’s spirits after his breakup with Allison, Stiles takes him out drinking. There are so, so many excellent reasons why these two adorable knuckleheads should not hang out in the woods at night, alone and drunk, especially right before a full moon, but they both seem to think this is a sterling idea. They’re accosted by a couple of ne’er-do-wells who try to steal their precious bottle of Jack Daniels. Scott, who is unusually aggressive and humorless these days, gets snarly and dangerous and scares them off.

And then the Alpha grabs the ne’er-do-wells and brutally slaughters them.

It’s been a couple of days since the incident at the school, and things at Beacon Hills High are getting back to normal. To help with the ongoing manhunt for alleged-murderer Derek, Sheriff Stilinski brings in a state detective. In a subplot that will go nowhere, the state detective turns out to be secretly in cahoots with the Argents.

While taking an Econ test (which is inexplicably being administered by the awesomely self-loathing Chemistry teacher, Mr. Harris), Scott suddenly grows overwhelmed and panicky. He flees the room. Stiles trails him to the locker room and finds him taking a spontaneous mid-day shower to calm himself down. As it turns out, he’s just distraught about being dumped. This is sort of an unnecessary scene, and it doesn’t really fit with Scott’s behavior in the rest of the episode—the upcoming full moon is turning him into a world-class asshole, not an emotional wreck—but since last episode featured a shocking and distressing lack of gratuitous skin, this was probably shoehorned into the script to give Tyler Posey an excuse to whip his shirt off again. Fair enough.

Kate and Chris Argent, plus the state detective and various werewolf-hunting lackeys, hold a council to solidify their plans for capturing the Alpha and Derek on the night of the full moon. For the first time, we see that Victoria Argent, Allison’s heretofore innocuous cookie-baking mom, is just as creepily bloodthirsty as her husband and sister-in-law.

Jackson and Allison eat lunch together and keep up that weird flirtation thing they’ve been doing for the past couple of episodes. Okay, I know what Jackson’s up to—he’s getting close to Allison to uncover Scott’s secrets, with the added plus of annoying the crap out of Scott in the process—but I have no idea what Allison is doing. Jackson is dating her close friend Lydia, so he should be off-limits right there. Even disregarding that, he sure seems like he’d be a nightmarish, drama-filled, unmitigated train-wreck of a potential suitor, despite that beautiful face and that underwear-model body. Scott uses his super-hearing to eavesdrop on their giggly banter. He seethes in fury and smashes a brick wall with his head.

Locker room, pre-lacrosse practice. At last! It’s been far too many episodes since we’ve had a good lacrosse scene! Due to a recent pinkeye epidemic that has incapacitated much of the team (Coach Finstock blames this on a never-seen student named Greenberg, who, in an ongoing gag, is frequently name-checked by Finstock and is clearly the bane of his existence), Stiles is temporarily bumped up to a position on the first line, while Scott is promoted to co-captain with Jackson. Predictably furious, Jackson hisses and snarls and swears dark vengeance. Danny, ever the voice of reason, urges him to let it go. Jackson clearly has no intention of letting it go. Jackson clearly never lets anything go.

Since Scott’s werewolf powers seem to be in perpetual overdrive, Stiles asks for a favor: Can he use his enhanced senses to get a sense as to whether he has a shot with Lydia? (They sort of dance around the subject, and I may be misinterpreting this grotesquely, but it sure seems like the point is that Scott can smell whether Lydia becomes aroused at the thought of Stiles, which: hey, kind of gross there, Teen Wolf!) Scott takes Lydia aside under the pretext of talking to her about Allison. Lydia gets flirtatious with Scott—it’s unclear whether she’s newly attracted to Scott because of his hormonally-enhanced bad-boy pre-werewolf state, or if she’s trying to get back at Jackson and Allison, or if she’s just being Lydia—and Scott gets flirtatious right back. They end up enthusiastically macking on each other for a while.

When Lydia pops up on the lacrosse field a short time later with smeared lipstick, it doesn’t take either Jackson or Stiles long to figure out what happened. Stiles is devastated by Scott’s caddish duplicity. During practice, Scott is unusually rough and vicious on the field, even in his still-human state. He ends up injuring Danny, which does him no favors with his teammates.

Allison’s been feeling jumpy and defenseless since the incident at the school, so Kate trains her in the proper use of a Taser. While airing her grievances about Scott to her aunt, Allison lets it slip that Scott and suspected-murderer Derek have been known to hang out together. This bit of information is highly relevant to Kate’s interests.

Night falls. The full moon comes up. Scott hasn’t transformed yet, but he’s being even more of a raging dickwad than he’d been during the day. Stiles resorts to trickery and deceit to get him handcuffed to the radiator in his bedroom to prevent him from going out and killing everyone at the Alpha’s behest. Luckily, Mean Werewolf Scott is not noticeably smarter than Good-Natured Human Scott, so Stiles manages this pretty easily. A chained-up Scott gets flat-out nasty with Stiles, alternating taunts about Lydia with manipulative pleas for his freedom. When the light of the full moon touches him, Scott transforms, breaks through the handcuffs, and scampers out into the night to wreak some merry havoc on the town.

Following a chance encounter at a sporting-goods store (Allison, figuring this would be an excellent time to brush up on her archery skills, is shopping for a new sight for her bow), Jackson and Allison have a serious talk about all the weirdness going on in Beacon Hills. Allison confesses that, despite Scott’s claims, she doesn’t think Derek was the one who attacked them in the school; Jackson tells her about seeing the Alpha in the hallway. Allison also mentions that she thinks her dad knows more than he’s letting on about what happened in the school. Jackson files this bit of information away somewhere in his dark, spiteful, obsessive little brain for future use.

Scott, transformed and pretty much out of his mind with rage, sees them together in the front seat of Jackson’s vehicle (it’s not the Porsche, so I’m guessing it’s his parents’ car?) and loses it. He jumps on the roof and tries to rip it open with his claws… when suddenly Derek, also in werewolf form, tackles him out of nowhere and drags him off into the woods. Derek and Scott roll around together and growl and snarl and tussle for a while, before Derek shakes some sense into Scott and gets him to realize that massacring Allison and Jackson is a pretty bad idea.

Derek! Buddy! You weren’t even in the last episode at all! You’ve been missed. Never leave us again.

Kate, out searching for Derek and the Alpha, compares notes with Chris Argent about her recent conversation with Allison regarding Derek. Chris notes that, way back in the pilot episode, he’d seen two Betas in the woods together: one was clearly Derek, and the other was smaller and younger. Kate notes that Derek and Scott seem to have some kind of secret relationship. Putting their heads together, they reach the surefire conclusion that the unknown Beta must be… Stiles.

…Wait. What?

Ahem. Anyway, Derek brings Scott safely home. Scott whines about how he doesn’t want to be a werewolf if it means he’ll probably kill Allison. Derek reveals that if Scott kills the Alpha, he might—might—permanently return to normal.

And then Jackson discovers one of Scott’s bloody claws embedded in the hood of his car, which he compares with the holes in the fingertips of Scott’s torn lacrosse glove that he’s been hiding in his underwear drawer since the second episode, because Jackson is a hilariously weird and obsessive kind of guy. Naturally, it’s a perfect match.

Lovely episode. Great stuff. Darned near perfect hour of television.


Popular Posts