This was a great episode for Teen Realism. First, we open with a 27-year-old high school senior wandering down a dark alley -- always a good idea in Beacon Hills. The positive outcome of his brutal murder is that we now know the druidic serial killer is small enough to hide under a dumpster. I'm thinking were-puppy? Later, we move on to a truly beautiful combination of actual Teen Realism (ie, the sense of complete impotence one feels when teachers and adults have complete control over your life), and high school scenes written from the perspective of someone who may not have ever been in an actual real-life high school.
At the beginning of this episode, I was all aboard the Derek Hale/Jennifer Blake express. Could they get any cuter?? Also, Derek Hale is made for the role of Tall Dark Handsome Stranger. However, by the end I was ready to go round to Ms Blake's house, offer her some ladylike brunch food, and carefully explain to her that she should definitely never date Derek Hale. EVER.
Derek Hale is the most fucked-up character in a show full of massively fucked-up characters. He's a killer, he lost his virginity to a woman who murdered his entire family, and until recently he lived in a burned-out subway car. Ms Blake is the only person who reacts to him in a remotely positive manner, so it's totally understandable that he wants to spend more time with her. Too bad he's the living definition of a Bad News Boyfriend.
If their relationship progresses, I expect there'll be a scene where he says something like, "You should stay away from me. I'm dangerous". This is a classic of the supernatural/Mysterious Bad Boy trope, and the girl almost always sticks by him and ends up in a troubled but exciting ~romance. From Ms Blake's perspective, Derek is the hot guy who saved her life and then flirted with her over English Literature. But we know that Derek is a dangerous basket case who has no friends and no job, and just spent the afternoon being turned into a werewolf kebab by an evil gang of roided-up mass murderers. STAY AWAY, MS BLAKE. JUST STAY AWAY.
I appreciate the way Teen Wolf is completely explicit about the cycle of violence between the main characters. It's very obvious that Derek has had a tragic, terrible life, but that rather than being the romantic saviour he wants to be (with Ms Blake in particular), he's a total disaster zone. And he totally spreads it around. He acts like an asshole towards Isaac, who in turn acts like an asshole towards pretty much everyone -- not that you can blame him. Although if anything, Derek's interactions with Cora are the worst -- not to mention the most nonsensical aspect of this week's episode. Teen Wolf is usually excellent at introducing new characters, so why was Cora's introduction such a mess??
There's no explanation as to how Cora got from being a wild animal to hanging out in Derek's house, and both characters' emotional reactions make no sense at all. Yeah, I'd understand if Cora was angry with Derek, but they've been separated for years! There should be WAY more emotional depth to their interactions than Cora doing angry push-ups while Derek acts as if they've just had a minor argument. I can't even tell if she wants to be doing push-ups or if Derek is making her do them because that's how he deals with his own man-pain. Cora doesn't need to do push-ups, Derek! She needs therapy! You both need therapy! I'm split 50/50 between thinking this was just a really poorly-written scene, and thinking that it's another example of Derek being deeply terrible at human interaction.
This week on Isaac Lahey Personality Roulette: crazy murderer Isaac is back! Yes, let's go kill those two new highschool juniors, Isaac. What a good plan. Just kill everyone! On the bright side, his erratic behaviour made a lot more sense in this episode, because his history as an abuse survivor got a lot more screentime. Plus, we got to see the whole grim cycle-of-violence thing with Derek throwing a glass at him at the end -- even if Derek may have been doing it on purpose, to "protect him". What the hell, Derek! You make terrible choices.
So far, the druidic serial killer plotline is edging up to medium levels of ridiculousness. On the one hand, it is so very, very real for Stiles to question a murder victim's girlfriend about her boyfriend's virginity status. On the other hand, Beacon Hills' body count is fast approaching Sunnydale levels of death and destruction. Usually, when a school student dies then everyone at least has to go to a school assembly or visit the guidance counsellor or something. But in Beacon Hills, kids (and teachers) are dropping like flies and everyone is just like, "Welp, I guess these things just happen sometimes." Remember last year, when every single person in the Sheriff's Office was brutally murdered? No, nobody in Beacon Hills does either.
Also, is Lydia trapped in some kind of time vortex? Hear me out, here. As far as I can tell, most of this week's episode took place during a single school day. Scott and Isaac had at least two showdowns with the Alpha Twins, one of which was after school hours because Isaac and Allison were in detention together. But while they were in detention, Lydia was in music class? And then Isaac and Scott took a shower (??) and subsequently had another showdown in the hallway, at which point the Alpha Twins ripped off their shirts and skedaddled with Deucalian? Which may or may not have happened at the same time as Deaton showing up on school grounds to look at the music room with Stiles and Lydia? I just don't know any more. But the school was definitely deserted enough for
[Edited to add: apparently it's lunchtime detention? PROBLEM SOLVED. One of the problems, anyway.]
- STILES/DANNY, YESSSSSS. Perfect scene.
- This week on Teen Wolf Knows What It's Doing: "Scott McCall holding a puppy." (Last week it was "Scott McCall saves two little kids from scary doom in a forest". Teen Wolf Knows What It's Doing.)
- SNOODWATCH 2013: Isaac has discarded his stylish scarf for a comfy knit sweater. What a cutie patootie. Except when he's threatening to murder someone.
- I loved that Ms Blake was realistically nervous over the fact that Derek Hale is so stunningly handsome your eyeballs have to attune to a different frequency in order to look him directly in the eye. Yes, he's kind of scary and you were right to pick up some kind of weapon when he, you know, followed you into your workplace with no prior warning. But also, he's so beautiful it's like ~~staring into the sun.
- Glad to see (or hear) the return of Teen Wolf's dubstep action sequences. That cross-country running scene has got to be the most dramatic high school gym class in human history.
- Does Beacon Hills High School recruit teachers from beauty pageants? Ms Blake looks like a model from a yogurt ad, Ms Morrell is such a babe that a girl in her class swivelled her head around like an owl to stare at her beauty, and even
Professor SnapeMr Harris seems to have got cuter over summer break.
- Deucalian's accent makes it sound like Kali's name is Kylie. For some reason I find this hilarious.
- Cora = Dawn Summers.
- Druids, LOL. "Gaelic" = Irish, by the way, so I assume that you're talking about Irish druids. Although really, we have no reliable historical evidence about druids at all, because all the sources from the period are heavily influenced by Roman propoganda.
- If Chris Argent is Ser Jorah, then Deucalion is Jaime Lannister.
- Yes, there was an actual moment in this weeks episode when a character roared "I!! AM!! THE DEMON WOLF!!" so dramatically that his sunglasses smashed, revealing the glowing red eyes beneath. While thunder and lightning crashed in the background. That happened.
- When Jeff Davis does his weekly Q&A on the Teen Wolf Tumblr next Sunday, can someone please ask him what happens to the twins' pants when they morph together into the superwolf megabeast??
Find me on Twitter @hello_tailor, and Tumblr at hellotailor.