Teen Wolf 2-01: “Omega”

After a triumphant first season, here we are, primed and ready for another stretch of sexy mayhem and murderous hijinks on Teen Wolf. Before diving in, let’s get up to speed on a few new characters:

Gerard Argent (Michael Hogan)
Allison’s werewolf-hunting grandfather who blows into town seeking vengeance for his daughter Kate’s death. Hobbies include gourmet cooking and performing spontaneous unanesthetized hemicorporectomies on werewolves.

Isaac Lahey (Daniel Sharman)
A lacrosse player at Beacon Hills High with a troubled home life. Isaac is the spitting image of Jonny Lee Miller circa Hackers and thus is automatically aces in my book

Matt Daehler (Stephen Lunsford)
Teen photographer with a knack for investigating and a whopping crush on Allison. Has sort of a vague Paul Rudd-esque thing going on.

We open with a fabulous montage of Jackson splashing in a pond on a moonlit night, his clothes in tatters, Derek’s bite marks visible just above his flawless hip. He rises out of the water, Birth of Venus-style, then crawls across the rocks on all fours, soaking wet, clothes falling off of him. It’s all very… I’m trying to come up with just the right word to describe this, and you know what? I think I’m going to go with “porny.”

Yes. It’s all very porny. The season is off to an excellent start.

It’s been a couple of days since Derek killed the Alpha, and the single biggest change is that Scott got himself a cute new haircut. He’s also been banned from dating Allison—as we see in flashbacks, Chris Argent yanks him out of the front seat of the car while he’s necking with Allison, slams him down on the hood, sticks a gun in his face, and tells him in no uncertain terms to steer clear of his daughter.

So Allison and Scott have been sneaking around, having a fine old time snuggling together on Allison’s bed in various stages of undress whenever Chris and Victoria Argent aren’t home, and yet again I have to wonder: Scott, honey, why can’t you two crazy kids do this at your own house? Your mom’s never home, she’s cool with your girlfriend, and—pay attention, Scott; this is the important part—she doesn’t want to murder you on sight. Win-win.

In the hospital, a recuperating Lydia takes a shower. We’re five minutes into the new season and already we’ve had a brazenly erotic splash in a pond, a seminude makeout session between two giggly teens, and now a shower scene. No judgment here; I’m just pointing it out, that’s all. As Lydia scrubs, black water seeps up from the drain, accompanied by tangled clumps of hair. Lydia does a pretty good job of reigning in the hysteria, until a badly-burned human arm reaches up through the black water and grabs at her ankles, whereupon she screams the place down.

Stiles, who’s been keeping vigil in the lobby for the past couple of days, rushes into Lydia’s room. The shower is clean and empty, and Lydia has vanished.

In a cemetery at night, a fine-boned young elf named Isaac Lahey operates heavy machinery to dig a grave in preparation for Kate Argent’s upcoming funeral. Some barely-glimpsed creature with sharp claws lunges at him, knocking him into the empty grave and trapping him beneath his excavating equipment. Isaac cowers in the hole, listening to various growls and other ominous noises on the surface… and then Derek peers down at him and gives him a hand up.

Scott, accompanied by Stiles and Allison, tracks Lydia’s scent to the Hale house. Working on the assumption that Peter’s bite turned her into a werewolf, they figure she’s going to try to join Derek’s pack, now that Derek is an Alpha. When Stiles triggers a tripwire, Scott ends up ensnared in a trap, dangling upside-down from a tree. At the sound of someone approaching, he urges Stiles and Allison to hide.

It’s Chris Argent, who stops to shoot the breeze with an incapacitated Scott. Chris is also searching for Lydia—if she’s a werewolf, he wants to hunt her down before she has a chance to hurt anyone. While dropping a lot of dark threats underneath an outer layer of genial good cheer (standard Chris Argent operating procedure, in other words), he lectures Scott on the concept of a hemicorporectomy—chopping someone in half—which is the Argent family’s preferred method of killing werewolves.

Word of the day: hemicorporectomy. Holy hell, I just learned something from Teen Wolf.

Sheriff Stilinski questions Isaac and his father about the incident in the cemetery. One of the graves was dug up and the liver of a corpse was stolen, presumably by the werewolf who attacked Isaac. Upon learning that Isaac is on the Beacon Hills High lacrosse team, Stilinski tries to chat with him about Stiles, but Isaac, who is sporting a nasty black eye, is distracted and agitated, probably because Derek keeps lurking in the background, silently watching him.

First locker room scene of the new season! Obviously mistaking Jackson for a decent human being, Scott and Stiles ask for his help finding Lydia. Jackson sneers and scoffs, advising them to save their concern for Lydia’s potential victims: “When I was with Lydia, you should’ve seen the scratch marks she left on me. What do you think she’s going to do with a set of real claws?”

(This is another of those locker room scenes where everyone stays fully clothed—disturbing trend, Teen Wolf!—though this time it’s probably for plot reasons. As of yet, Scott and Stiles are blissfully unaware that Derek tried to turn Jackson into a werewolf. If they’d spotted the teeth marks on Jackson’s toned hip, the beans would be prematurely spilled.)

During a pop quiz in Mr. Harris’s chemistry class, Jackson’s nose starts dripping black gunk all over everything. He flees to the bathroom and tries to staunch the flow. Derek, who is still spending waaaaay too much of his free time hanging out with high school kids, trails him in there, anxious to make sure his shiny new pack member is okay: “You’re with me now.” Jackson hisses, “What am I, your little pet?” (Writing staff to viewers: “Here you go, slash fiction fans, have a plot idea! We’ve already done all the heavy lifting for you.”) He scoffs at Derek’s offer of pack membership: “I’m sorry, but to be honest, you don’t exactly show outstanding leadership qualities.” Derek glowers and scowls and starts to argue the point, but then Jackson begins leaking black goop out of his ear, which totally grosses Derek out. He turns pale and backs away while muttering something about how Jackson’s body must be fighting the bite, then takes off, thus sort of proving Jackson’s point about his lack of leadership skills.

Kate’s funeral is a media circus. Allison and her parents are hounded by a gaggle of photographers, Allison’s classmate Matt among them. When Matt snaps too many photos of Allison, Gerard Argent, Allison’s grandfather, calmly takes his camera away and crushes the memory card in his hand.

Gerard Argent, by the way, makes his entrance walking in slow-motion flanked by two grim-visaged men in dark suits while dramatic music swells in the background. Also, Gerard is played by Michael Hogan—Colonel Tigh on Battlestar Galactica—who is too good and too iconic of an actor to be relegated to some piddling little supporting role. Take note, viewers: An Important New Character has arrived on the scene.

Scott and Stiles shadow Allison at the funeral to give her unseen moral support. Sheriff Stilinksi catches them lurking behind tombstones and stashes them in a squad car to keep them out of trouble. They overhear a report on the police scanner about a weird attack on an ambulance in the woods: Someone broke into it and gnawed on the already-dead patient inside. Suspecting this is Lydia’s doing, the boys slink off to investigate.

At the crime scene, Scott picks up Lydia’s scent again and searches the woods for her. He encounters a werewolf with wild eyes and tangled hair (who, in his human form, had shown up at the school earlier and scrounged through garbage cans until Jackson shooed him away. Probably should’ve mentioned this before, but if I tried to summarize each and every pissy move Jackson makes, these recaps would be twice as long). They tussle for a bit, then the new werewolf scurries off.

Lydia wanders out of the woods and approaches Stiles and Sheriff Stilinski. She’s naked and freezing and frazzled, but otherwise seems to be doing okay.

Scott chases after the new werewolf, who gets caught in one of the Argents’ traps. Scott tries to cut him down, but Derek pops out of nowhere and drags him behind a tree, hissing at him to keep quiet.

Chris and Gerard Argent approach the trapped werewolf, who reverts to his human state and babbles frantically that he didn’t hurt anyone living—he ate the liver from the corpse in the cemetery, and the patient in the ambulance was already dead before he munched on him. Gerard explains that he’s an Omega—a werewolf without a pack. “An Omega rarely survives on its own,” Gerard says, as he whips out a broadsword and, while Scott and Derek look on in horror, chops the poor guy in two. Hemicorporectomy!

Chris protests to his dad that this violates their code. Gerard snarls that, due to Kate’s death at the hands of the Alpha, the code is no longer applicable.

And then Isaac wanders into Derek’s cool new underground lair. This, presumably, is the same place beneath the Hale house where Kate kept Derek chained up last season, only now it seems to be part of an abandoned train tunnel, complete with an old subway car. Derek seems wholly unsurprised to see Isaac.

Good start. Tawdry and grisly and funny in just the right proportions. Well done.


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