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Showing posts from August, 2013

Teen Wolf 2-12: “Master Plan”

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Gerard Argent takes a kidnapped Stiles to the basement of the Argent home, where he’s got Boyd and Erica chained from the ceiling with electrical current running through their shackles. Stiles claims that Scott will be able to find him by tracking his scent (quoth Stiles, “It’s more like a stench…”). Gerard, who is only trying to make Scott really, really mad, slaps Stiles around a bit before releasing him. Pretty weak, Gerard. I have no wish to see any harm befall Stiles, but this plan is strictly amateur hour. Considering the verve and gusto with which Gerard chopped the poor doomed Omega werewolf in half in the season premiere, you’d think he’d at least have one of his henchmen hand-deliver a box to Scott containing Stiles’s ear or something. That would get Scott’s attention.

Teen Wolf 2-11: “Battlefield”

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In the guidance counselor’s office, Stiles has a heart-to-heart with Ms. Morell about Matt’s death over a montage of flashbacks. It’s a lengthy scene, with a lot of exposition—we learn that Sheriff Stilinski has been given his badge back, that Boyd, Erica and Isaac are in hiding, that Scott’s mom is avoiding him now that she knows he’s a werewolf, that Scott and Allison’s relationship is still on the rocks—but most of that information gets delivered organically throughout the episode anyway, so what’s the point of this? The scene is so long (over six minutes, which in television terms is freaking ridiculous) and so slow and so unnecessary that I suspect it was crammed in late in the game to pad out a light episode. Slow scenes aren’t always a bad thing, obviously, but Teen Wolf’s strength lies in its fast-paced, high-energy, wildly-careening plots. It stumbles badly during introspective moments.
As if to make amends for the lethargic opening, the very next scene features Scott taking…

Teen Wolf 2-10: “Fury”

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In a flashback, we see Matt’s perspective of what happened on the night of the full moon when Jackson filmed his transformation into the kanima. After loaning Jackson the camera, Matt sits in his car outside Jackson’s house and uses his phone to tap into the video signal to, uh, spy on Jackson while he sleeps. Nice, Matt. Stunned, Matt witnesses Jackson’s entire transformation. The kanima then slithers outside, slinks up to Matt’s car, and rests its clawed hand against the window. When Matt places his own hand against it on the other side of the glass, he sees a vision of the kanima slaughtering Isaac’s father.
Scott and Stiles try to convince Sheriff Stilinski that Matt is responsible for all the recent murders. They’re clueless as to a possible motive, so all three traipse off to the sheriff’s station in the middle of the night to sneak a peek at the evidence files. Even though he’s been officially removed from duty, Stilinski sweet-talks the pretty deputy working the front desk—th…

Teen Wolf 2-09: “Party Guessed”

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Let’s check in with Lydia, who, as the only member of the principal cast who didn’t get to participate in last episode’s rave-centered mayhem, deserves some extra attention this time around. After having a nightmare about Peter Hale mauling her in front of a cheering crowd of lacrosse fans, Lydia wakes to find Ghost Peter lying in bed beside her, nattering away about how he swears her life will return to normal, just as soon as she does him one tiny little favor on the night of the full moon.
Ghost Peter, I have due respect for your entertaining brand of villainy, but non-corporeal or not, stop crawling into bed with traumatized high school kids.

Teen Wolf 2-08: “Raving”

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After receiving a mysterious text message, Jackson—still behaving oddly, though not anywhere approaching the oddness of last episode’s madcap “swallowing live snakes, which then slither out his eyeballs” shenanigans—heads to a warehouse and stands in line to buy a ticket for the upcoming rave. Also in line are Matt, who’s getting tickets for his date with Allison, and Scott, who’s shadowing Jackson in hopes of preventing him from carrying out his next murder. Jackson gets weird with the young woman selling the tickets (he doesn’t say a word, just stares at her ominously with dead eyes), which creeps her out so badly she shuts down the makeshift ticket office and beats a hasty retreat.
It’s probably worth noting that at no point in this episode is Jackson really himself—even when he’s not in the kanima form, he’s still being controlled by the unidentified third party.

Teen Wolf 2-07: “Restraint”

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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.

Teen Wolf 2-06: “Frenemy”

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So we finally get a good look at the missing two hours on the tape Jackson recorded the night of the full moon, and sure enough, it shows him transforming into the kanima. Danny texts Jackson to let him know he’s restored the video. He stresses that, at Jackson’s request, he hasn’t watched it. Because Danny seems to be a thoroughly decent human being, he’s probably even telling the truth. He tosses the tablet with the video on it into the back of his car.
Meanwhile, Derek chases the kanima on foot through dark streets while Scott and Stiles follow in the jeep. Chris Argent pops up and shoots the hell out of the kanima. Even riddled with bullets, it keeps relentlessly coming at him, before turning its attention to Gerard Argent. Gerard observes it thoughtfully and makes no attempt to get out of its path. Curious! Before it can attack Gerard, Scott intercedes and shoos it away.

Teen Wolf 2-05: “Venomous”

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Jackson tries to bench press far too much weight in the locker room (it still seems odd that there are free weights in the locker room, but I’m just going to roll with it) while  Danny spots him. Jackson is being his usual driven, relentless, snappish self and keeps overdoing it, until Danny’s had enough: “I’m taking a shower. If I come back and you’re lying dead under a pile of weights, I’m taking the Porsche.” Danny is very, very good for Jackson.
Left alone, Jackson’s senses kick into overdrive, until little noises—rotating fans, dripping faucets—start driving him nuts. While he’s thus distracted, someone pops up and grabs him by the throat. I was hoping it’d be Derek, as we haven’t yet had a scene this season where Derek menaces Jackson in the locker room in a sexually-charged manner, but it turns out to be Erica. Eh, that works, too. Erica and Isaac drag Jackson back to Derek’s lair and grope him a bit while Derek sits back and supervises. One of the perks of being the Alpha, I …

Teen Wolf 2-04: “Abomination”

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Chris and Gerard Argent bring the corpse of the werewolf hunter who was slaughtered by the lizard creature last episode to Dr. Deaton, seeking his advice as to what might have killed him. Deaton points out that the creature first incapacitated the man with a paralytic toxin via a cut on the back of his neck, then mauled him to death with its claws.
Stiles brings his jeep to a body shop for repairs. The muscular young repairman, who turns out to be a recently-graduated former Beacon Hills High lacrosse player, keeps bumping up the cost of his estimate as Stiles grows increasingly apoplectic. Stiles flounces off to the office to wait, muttering, “I’ll be back here, seething with impotent rage.”

Teen Wolf 2-03: “Ice Pick”

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Kind of a shaky episode this time. Disappointing, since we've been coasting on such a high lately. Before we get into it, though, we’ve got two final members of the second-season supporting cast to cover:

Teen Wolf 2-02: “Shape Shifted”

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Isaac Lahey and his father discuss his grades over a tense family dinner. When Isaac nervously mentions his D in Chemistry, his father grows furious. He rises from the table and hurls verbal abuse (bad) and glassware (worse) at his son. A shard of glass from a smashed pitcher strikes Isaac’s lovely face and causes an angry gash. As soon as Isaac plucks the shard from the wound, it heals itself up.
Distraught, Isaac hops on his bike and pedals off into the rainy night. His father, still bellowing physical threats, jumps in the car and follows him. Meanwhile, right next door to the Lahey house, Jackson hauls a bag of trash to the curb. He shakes his head and snorts in contempt at the sight of Isaac and his father. “Freaks,” he mutters, as he tosses out a bagful of tissues soaked with the vile black goop that keeps leaking from his nose and ears.

Teen Wolf 2-01: “Omega”

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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:

Teen Wolf 1-12: “Code Breaker”

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Season finale time!  Lots of action! Lots of bloodshed! Lots of people getting slammed against walls! Let’s do this.
So Scott just inadvertently revealed his werewolf identity to Allison. As Allison looks after him in shock and horror, Scott runs away from the school and flees into the woods, sobbing hysterically. While for the most part the Sturm und Drang of the Scott-Allison relationship makes me roll my eyes in exasperation, the moment nicely captures Scott’s utter heartbreak. Hard not to feel bad for the poor kid.

Teen Wolf 1-11: “Formality”

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So Kate takes Allison down to her cool lair, where she’s been keeping a shirtless and chained Derek. There’s a car battery nearby, with wires leading into a gaping wound in Derek’s side. It’s grisly and kinky, both of which I fully expect from Kate. Kate fills Allison in on the existence of werewolves. Allison’s reaction to this thoroughly messed-up scenario is to get teary and overwhelmed, which is understandable. Less understandable, though, is how she never suggests that what her aunt is doing is, like, morally wrong or whatever. For the first time in the series thus far, I don’t like Allison very much. Sure, it’s plausible she’d believe everything Kate tells her, namely that Werewolf Derek is a wild animal responsible for all the recent murders in Beacon Hills, but Kate is torturing him. If Allison saw Kate torturing an actual wild animal, she’d probably try to put an immediate stop to it, so why’s she giving Kate a pass for this?
Let’s assume Allison is too horror-struck at her …

Teen Wolf 1-10: “Co-Captain”

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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!

Teen Wolf 1-09: “Wolf’s Bane”

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It’s night, and chemistry teacher Mr. Harris is staying late in his classroom, no doubt to think of new ways to slather his pupils with a thick, sticky layer of contempt and loathing. The Alpha, seen only in shadows, arrives to harass and terrify and presumably slaughter him for unspecified past wrongs. Just before the Alpha attacks, Derek appears out of nowhere and fends it off. Sheriff Stilinski shows up with a fleet of squad cars and surrounds the school, sending wanted-fugitive Derek scurrying off into the darkness.
The cops pursue Derek on foot into an ironworks. Chris and Kate Argent, who’ve been following the pursuit on the police scanner, join in the chase. Chris Argent hunts Derek down and shoots at him… but then Derek’s saved by the timely arrival of Scott and Stiles, who zip onto the scene in Derek’s car, scoop him up, and whisk him off to safety. Look at Scott and Stiles, being all newly-competent and badass! Keep up the good work, kids! Derek grouches about losing the Al…

Teen Wolf 1-08: “Lunatic”

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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.

Teen Wolf 1-07: “Night School”

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So we pick up right where we left Scott and Stiles, i.e. holed up inside the school at night while the Alpha loiters outside the building. Stiles is pretty sure the Alpha is the werewolf alter ego of Dr. Deaton, who escaped from captivity and disappeared right before Derek was impaled at the end of last episode; Scott is less convinced. The boys make a daring plan to leave the safety of the school and run for Stiles’s jeep… and then the Alpha hurls the jeep battery right through the window at them.
So, scratch that idea. Time for Plan B. With the Alpha in hot pursuit, Stiles and Scott hoof it to the locker room and hide inside the lockers, like they’re starring in a zany mid-eighties teen sex farce. Which I suppose they sort of are. They’re discovered by the janitor, who, suspecting youthful shenanigans, yells at them for a while. And then the Alpha drags him off and slaughters him.

Teen Wolf 1-06: “Heart Monitor”

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A grocery-laden Scott searches for the car—his mom’s car, presumably, since apart from his first date with Allison, we’ve mostly seen him on a bicycle—in a darkened parking structure. Good to see Scott making himself useful, especially after his epic school-skipping slack-a-thon last episode, but really, if you were Scott’s mom, would you trust this kid to bring home the groceries? You know those bags are filled with nothing but pizza rolls and pressurized cheese. As part of his ambitious make-Scott-a-better-werewolf campaign, Derek leaps out from the shadows, tackles Scott, and body-slams him into a car. Derek also smashes Scott’s phone to bits and bans him from seeing Allison, as there’s a full moon coming up soon, and Scott needs to remove distractions if he wants to prevent the Alpha from gaining control over him. Scott sees the logic in this and reluctantly promises to steer clear of Allison.
Cut to Scott and Allison rolling around on Allison’s bed, fumbling to remove various it…

Teen Wolf 1-05: “The Tell”

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Lydia and Jackson sit in the car outside a video store (a video store! how quaint!) and bicker over their rental options. Jackson wants Hoosiers, which Lydia refuses to consider. Jackson howls, “I am not watching The Notebook again!” Smash cut to Jackson wandering around the store: “Can somebody help me find The Notebook?”
As it turns out, nobody can: The sole clerk is lying dead, his throat gashed open. Upon finding the corpse, Jackson looks up and sees a werewolf—the Alpha, in fact—stalking him. The Alpha lunges at him, ripping up the store and knocking over racks of DVDs in its wake. Jackson scrambles for cover, but a toppling shelf knocks him down and pins him to the floor.

Teen Wolf 1-04: “Magic Bullet”

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We’ve got three final members of the Season One supporting cast to examine. Let’s get to it:

Teen Wolf 1-03: “Pack Mentality”

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More Teen Wolf! Before delving into a fresh batch of good-natured shenanigans, let’s take a quick look at a few additional members of the supporting cast:

Teen Wolf 1-02: “Second Chance at First Line”

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Before we get started, I just quickly want to draw your attention to something that might help explain why I grok Teen Wolf so much. Scroll all the way down to the very, very bottom of this page, past the comments, all the way to the footer section that starts off with the heading, “About the Preppies” (if you’re on a mobile device, you may have to click on the “view web version” link). Do it now; I’ll wait. Yeah, did you read that? The part about how the name of this site comes from “…a screenplay I wrote in the late 1990s, in which a couple of adorable young prep school students, armed only with their quick wits and lacrosse sticks, get stranded in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where they're pursued by cannibals”? Given all that, is it really any wonder that Teen Wolf resonates very deeply with my soul?
I covered the main characters yesterday, so here are the vitals on a few members of the supporting cast:

Teen Wolf 1-01: “Pilot”

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For no particular reason, August is going to be all-Teen Wolf, all the time around these parts. Every day this month, I’m going to review/recap an episode of the MTV series, starting right here with the pilot.
Why Teen Wolf? Because it’s sort of adorable. Because it’s often smarter and funnier than it has any right to be. Because one of the executive producers/directors is the always-great Russell Mulcahy, who tends to get name-checked all over the place on this site. Because it’s fun.
Before we get started in earnest, here’s a rundown of the major players: