Teen Wolf 2-07: “Restraint”

The kanima, accompanied by a shadowy figure in a hooded sweatshirt who is almost certainly its unknown controller, attacks a young married couple living in a trailer in the woods. It butchers the husband and lunges for the wife, but backs up and scurries off upon noticing her pregnant belly.

Following last episode’s madcap kidnapping escapade, Jackson’s father files a restraining order against Scott and Stiles, banning them from coming within fifty feet of Jackson. This seems eminently reasonable. Really, it seems like this was the only logical outcome of the situation, apart from maybe Stiles and Scott both getting hauled off to jail. Those two, I swear. Cute kids, but man, their plan-making abilities outright suck.

Cognizant of the omnipresent security cameras her various immediate family members have installed around the school, Allison secretly meets with Scott and Stiles in the library to discuss the kanima problem. According to Lydia’s translation of Gerard’s bestiary, the primary function of the kanima is to execute murderers, though if the human controlling it becomes strong enough, it can be used against innocent people as well. The kanima is a werewolf who can’t transform properly due to unresolved issues in his or her past. Allison theorizes that Jackson’s transformation went awry because of his lingering issues regarding his real parents—he was adopted by the Whittemores at birth. Due to the restraining order, Scott and Stiles can’t get close enough to Jackson to ask him about his adoption, so Allison volunteers.

Stiles tries to grill Lydia about Jackson’s real parents, but she refuses to tell him anything. Erica overhears their conversation, though, and corners Stiles, wondering what his interest in Jackson might be. Stiles and Erica have mad chemistry together all throughout this episode, plus some flirtatious banter (Stiles expresses an interest in playing the Batman to Erica’s Catwoman), all of which will come to naught later on. Too bad. A scorching-hot, giddy, doomed, reckless, singularly ill-advised fling with Erica is probably exactly what Stiles needs in his life right now.

Allison secretly trails Jackson around the school, looking for an opportunity to confront him. She runs smack into lovelorn Matt, who bats his eyes at her and invites her to go with him to an upcoming rave. Distracted, Allison agrees to the date.

Meanwhile, Jackson is doing all kinds of weirder-than-usual crap. Like plucking a snake out of its tank in the biology classroom and letting it slither down his throat.

Allison trails Jackson into the boys’ locker room (?), where Jackson is taking a spontaneous shower. Just lathering himself up, right in the middle of the school day, no big deal. Which means this happens:

Holy hell. Wow. Hi, Jackson.

Jackson, who is acting very unlike himself (…I mean, he’s acting vicious and bitchy, which is certainly right in his behavioral wheelhouse, sure, but there are strong and uncharacteristic undercurrents of stone-cold evil going on, indicating that someone else is in control of him right now), confronts Allison. He hisses abuse at her and menaces her in a highly disturbing sexually-threatening manner. His claws come out, and he slams her up against the wall.

Allison puts her well-honed Argent Family Fighting Skills to good use and knocks him to the floor. Stunned, Jackson regains control of himself. He seems wholly unaware as to why he’s naked and grappling with Allison in the locker room. An enraged Scott bursts in right then and assesses the situation (he clearly—and correctly!—thinks it looks really bad), and Scott and Jackson, without ever transforming into their respective supernatural alter egos, proceed to engage in the single most crazed, destructive, acrobatic, balls-out battle in Teen Wolf history. Restraining orders are violated, hair is pulled, faces are kicked, lockers are toppled, sinks are broken, barbells are hurled, and god only knows how Jackson finds the opportunity to pull on a pair of shorts in all this messy, glorious madness.

The brawl spills into the hallway. Stiles and Erica jump in and pull Jackson and Scott apart, while Matt scoops up Scott’s dropped tablet and snoops through it, sneakily emailing a copy of the bestiary to himself while he’s at it. Mr. Harris arrives and orders everyone—Scott, Jackson, Stiles, Erica, Allison, and innocent bystander Matt—off to the library for detention.

Confused and infuriated by her son’s recent behavior, i.e. stealing a prison transport van and kidnapping Jackson, Melissa McCall ransacks Scott’s bedroom in the hopes of figuring out what’s been going through his pretty head lately. Upon finding a nearly-empty box of condoms, she heads to the high school and informs Victoria Argent, who’s been filling in at the reception desk in the principal’s office, that despite their public breakup, their kids are still sneaking around.

So Victoria hauls Scott out of detention to ask him point blank whether he’s sleeping with her daughter. All the while, she furiously sharpens pencils down to tiny little stubs. Meaningful stubs. Scott denies everything, which is a blatant lie, though under the circumstances, it’s kind of hard to blame him.

Back in detention, Scott holds a whispered conversation with Stiles. He’s now fully in support of killing Jackson; Stiles, however, has completely reversed his original let’s-murder-Jackson stance and argues for saving him. Meanwhile, Jackson is stricken with a sudden awful headache and flees to the bathroom, where the snake he swallowed earlier crawls out of his eyeball and slithers down the sink drain.

Yeah. Things are just kind of wrong with Jackson these days, let’s just put it that way.

Erica huddles with Scott and Stiles and fills them in on what she knows about Jackson’s real parents (her father was the insurance investigator on the case, so she’s got the scoop). Jackson’s parents were killed in a highly suspicious car crash the day before he was born; he was delivered by cesarean after his mother’s death. Yep, a day after his mother’s death. I’m still not 100% clear on how that’s supposed to work, but that’s Erica’s story, at least.

(When I first watched this episode, I naturally assumed Jackson’s strange and near-mythical origin story here would turn out to be relevant to… I don’t know, something. Spoiler alert: It is not relevant to anything. Just file it away in the Weird Things About Jackson folder and move on.)

Mr. Harris, who’s already been doing a pretty lame job of supervising this detention session, decides to leave the kids entirely on their own. He instructs them to, like, shelve some books or whatever, then takes off. His car has a bumper sticker with an Einstein quote on it, just like the car driven by the kanima’s unseen controller.

In the middle of shelving, Jackson sees a message spelled out on the book spines urging him to close his eyes immediately. He obeys, and chaos erupts. He begins to transform into the kanima, then runs amuck in the library, paralyzing Matt and Erica and toppling bookcases and scurrying around the ceiling and smashing light fixtures. Still only half-transformed, he scrawls a message on the chalkboard: Stay out of my way, or I’ll kill all of you. Then he leaps up to the window and jumps out of the building.

The kanima venom triggers Erica’s epilepsy. While Allison stays behind to call an ambulance for Matt, Stiles and Scott carry Erica off to Derek’s lair. Derek squeezes the venom out of Erica’s wound and breaks her arm to trigger her super-healing abilities. It works, and Erica recovers in Stiles’s arms while telling him he makes a good Batman. Crazy chemistry, those two. Missed opportunity, Teen Wolf. Just saying.

Scott tells Derek he’ll join his pack to help him track down Jackson, provided they agree to catch him, not kill him. “And we’ll do it my way,” Scott defiantly proclaims, his chin set, his eyes blazing fiercely. God help us all.

The pregnant woman whose husband was slaughtered in the opening scene gives birth in the hospital. Immediately afterwards, a hoodie-wearing figure slinks into her room and suffocates her.

And Lydia wanders out of her home, barefoot and dazed, in a fugue state similar to the one she entered when she disappeared from the hospital. She ends up at a stately mansion in the woods, where she finds her mysterious young suitor. He kisses her tenderly… and then she happens to catch the reflection in the glass of a cabinet and sees she’s actually standing in the burned-out ruin of the Hale mansion. And instead of kissing a fetching and age-appropriate schoolboy, she’s kissing a badly burned Peter Hale. Stunned and more than a little traumatized, Lydia realizes her mysterious suitor: a) was a high school-aged version of Peter, and b) never really existed—he was a figment of her imagination all along. Peter sits beside her and genially chats about how he’ll need to use her—and, more to the point, her weird immunity to werewolf bites—for one very specific upcoming purpose.

And then he vanishes, leaving Lydia sitting alone in the ruined mansion and clutching a wolfsbane blossom, while deep in the earth directly beneath her lies Peter’s burned corpse.

Okay! That was interesting! We’re moving right along, story-wise. Things got a little icky in parts—as I pointed out last season, whenever Teen Wolf forays into organic horror, Jackson’s always at the center of it—but very effective. Thumbs up.


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