Teen Wolf 1-10: “Co-Captain”

The lacrosse team wins their quarterfinal game, amidst much celebration. Afterwards, Jackson confronts Scott in the locker room to offer him a generous deal: If Scott helps him change him into a werewolf within the next three days—just in time for the winter formal!—Jackson will help Scott win Allison back.

This particular locker room scene, by the way, features the triumphant debut of Danny’s bare chest, as Keahu Kahuanui joins Colton Haynes and the Tylers (Posey and Hoechlin) in the Shirtless Guys of Teen Wolf club. I’m pretty sure a calendar is in the works, if one doesn’t already exists. Welcome, Danny!

So every single member of the lacrosse team finally gets dressed and leaves, except for Scott, who’s still dithering around in the locker room, clad only in a towel. The lights go out, and Scott finds himself surrounded by Derek and Peter, the newly-revealed Alpha. Derek is now fully in cahoots with his uncle, having forgiven him for murdering his sister. When Scott expresses his horror at this, a strangely blasé Derek kind of shrugs and says, “It happens.” Dude killed your sister, Derek. Feel free to take it a little personally. Scott seems gobsmacked by Derek’s about-face on the subject of the Alpha. He’s even more gobsmacked when Peter saunters up to him and jams his claws into the back of his skull. This claw-to-brain tactic gives Scott access to some of Peter’s memories, which Peter hopes will make Scott more sympathetic to his situation. Scott sees images of the fire at the Hale house and of Peter’s subsequent years of recuperation at the hospital.

Allison searches her car for her missing necklace. When Kate and Chris enter the garage, she eavesdrops on their conversation. Chris is adamant about not involving Allison in their current drama; Kate, however, thinks Allison would be game for a spot of werewolf-hunting. Chris fiddles around with some kind of souped-up arrow tip, which a curious Allison pockets as soon as they leave.

Jackson, who is a pent-up ball of rage and venom and confusion topped off by a lot of stellar bone structure, spins his Porsche around a parking lot in out-of-control circles until it breaks down. Which is kind of a poignant metaphor for Jackson’s entire plot trajectory this season. Chris Argent pulls up and helpfully offers to take a look at the engine. Still maintaining an air of bonhomie, Chris gets right up in Jackson’s personal space and prods around at the scratches on his neck and asks all kinds of pointed questions aimed at figuring out whether he’s a werewolf. As Jackson grows increasingly agitated, Scott and Stiles arrive in the jeep and offer him a ride. (Stiles: “Come on, Jackson. You’re way too pretty to be out here all by yourself.”)

After Chris leaves, Scott and Jackson bicker and quarrel and shove each other around a bit. Scott yells about how Jackson is in grave danger from the Argents now that they think he’s the other Beta; Jackson yells that he wouldn’t be in any danger if Scott would just turn him into a damn werewolf already. Scott argues that being a werewolf is ruining his life; Jackson counter-argues that being a werewolf might indeed be ruining Scott’s life, but that’s only because Scott is a scrambled nitwit who can’t handle the power: “It’s like you’ve turned sixteen and someone started you out with a Porsche when they should have bought you a nice little Honda. Me? I drive a Porsche.” Jackson, at least, knows his way around a simile. Good to see the efforts of the Beacon Hills High School English department haven’t been entirely in vain, Scott’s academic record notwithstanding.

Allison drags Lydia into the woods to test out the arrow tip she swiped from her father (and, as a side benefit, to: a) inform Lydia that she’s planning on going to the winter formal with Jackson, and b) chew her out for making out with Scott). She fires the arrow at a tree; the tree promptly explodes. Scott trails Allison into the woods to give her back her necklace, neglecting to mention how he broke into her bedroom and stole it in the first place. This earns him a big hug and a strong shot at reconciliation.

Casa Stilinski: Sheriff Stilinski sifts through mountains of files pertaining to the recent bizarre murders in Beacon Hills. He (wisely) refuses to discuss the cases with his son, so Stiles plies him with Jack Daniels to loosen his tongue. I’m not entirely sure this is the healthiest father-son dynamic, actually, but these two clearly get a kick out of each other. Sheriff Stilinski drunkenly tells Stiles that the killings all seem to be connected to the fire at the Hale house six years ago: The school bus driver had been the insurance investigator assigned to the Hale case before being fired for corruption, and the video clerk and the two thugs in the woods all had long rap sheets filled with arson charges.

Scott’s mom gets gussied up for a big date with a new medical rep. The doorbell rings, Scott answers it… and Melissa’s new suitor turns out to be Peter Hale. Who, yes, had been a patient for the past six years in the long-term care wing at the hospital where Melissa works, but it’s not unrealistic to assume she wouldn’t recognize him without the disfiguring burns over most of his body. While Melissa finishes her pre-date ablutions, Peter helpfully fills Scott in on his plans for the evening: He’s going to turn her into a werewolf to give Scott more incentive to join his pack.

So Scott grabs Stiles and heads off to shadow his mom and Peter on their date. Stiles rear-ends Peter’s car with his jeep in time to save Melissa from getting chomped. In the resulting chaos, Peter lets Scott know plans have been set in motion to kill Jackson, who’s become a dangerous, emotionally-unstable liability. I appreciate the way Peter keeps flat-out telling Scott about all his schemes in advance, thus saving Scott the trouble of having to puzzle anything out by himself. For a villain, Peter is very thoughtful and service-oriented.

Locker room, part deux: Jackson lifts weights (there are free weights in the locker room. Seems weird, but I haven’t been in a high school locker room in a very long time, so maybe this is typical these days?) and blasts music. It’s been days (five whole episodes!) since Derek last menaced Jackson, so here he is again, lurking in dark corners and complimenting Jackson’s taste in music. As Derek prowls around him, Jackson arms himself with his lacrosse stick and insists he’s not scared. “Yeah, you are,” Derek says cheerfully, then casually offers to make him a werewolf.

Derek takes Jackson back to his burned-down house. When Jackson balks at the idea of following Derek into a creepy abandoned ruin in the middle of the night, Derek assures him, “It’s going to be all right. Trust me.”

This is probably about the point where it dawns on Jackson that Derek’s totally going to kill him.

Jackson pleads for his life, claiming that he doesn’t deserve to die. Derek gets bitchy and mean and taunts him for not having any friends to come to his rescue. Come off it, Derek. Mocking the kid before slaughtering him is a dick move. Derek snarls at Jackson, “No one cares that you drive an expensive car, no one cares that you have perfect hair, and no one cares that you’re captain of the lacrosse team!” At which point Scott leaps at Derek from out of the shadows while bellowing “Co-captain!”

Fighting ensues. Derek snarls out something about how he’ll just have to kill Scott, too. Scant milliseconds later, Derek spots a flash of light outside the window and yells for Scott to close his eyes. Kate and Chris Argent and sundry lackeys, armed with guns and flash-blinding explosive arrows, shoot up the place. Jackson hightails it out of there; Scott takes a bullet. Derek pull Scott out of the line of fire, then charges straight at the Argents to distract them while Scott runs to safety.

(To recap: Yes, Derek did just sacrifice himself to save Scott, immediately after vowing to kill him. Derek’s kind of complicated.)

Badly wounded, Scott stumbles into the woods and collapses. He awakens to find himself on the operating table in the animal hospital. Dr. Deaton, who seems fully hip to all this werewolf nonsense, calmly extracts the bullet from his wound and patches him up.

Kate brings Allison down into a grim underground lair, where she’s got Derek, shirtless and sporting electrodes sticking out of his gaping side wound, chained from the ceiling. Kate’s got some interesting leisure-time activities. I would expect nothing less from her. As Allison watches in horror, Kate grins and says, “Isn’t he beautiful?”

Okay! Great stuff. Derek’s motivations throughout the episode get a little murky, what with his dizzying alliances and reversals (“I’ll team up with the guy who murdered and mutilated my sister! I’ll try to kill Jackson! I’ll try to kill Scott! No, I’ll risk my own life to save Scott!”), most of which place him fully on the dark end of the Morally Ambiguous™ spectrum. Even if many of his actions don’t make much sense, it’s still fun to see him drift over to the side of evil. Only two more episodes left in a damn good first season.


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