I wasn't gonna write a review this week, but then Marie reminded me of the many stupid things in this episode that needed to be catalogued for posterity. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but that enjoyment was helped along by the fact that I was a) playing the Teen Wolf drinking game, and b) watching it with someone who had never seen the show before, thus rendering everything hysterically funny. (Try explaining three seasons of convoluted Teen Wolf soap-opera subplots in one minute or less. TRY IT.)
i just watched teen wolf and it was exactly what id expected from teen wolf.The Alpha Pack/darach storylines are more or less wrapped up, THANK GOD, hopefully leaving the show to do a better job with season 3B. And the episode ends with the satisfying combination of parental survival (duh, they weren't gonna kill them off, hello), Stiles/Scott friendship, and Derek and Cora shipping out to a group therapy retreat together. It's just too bad that there are a ton of problems lingering on from earlier points in the season.
— Merlin (@Typhonatemybaby) August 20, 2013
Regarding the treatment of all the villains/antagonists in this episode, I can't help but feel that Teen Wolf is going in a distinctly Supernatural-esque direction. When I wrote the Teen Wolf drinking game yesterday, most of the rules were basically affectionate jokes about all the dumbass shit that happens in this show, but one was pretty serious: the rule about female or POC characters being killed off while the white men survive. The two permanent deaths of the episode were Jennifer and Kali. Deucalion's survival was mostly down to Derek and Scott's distaste for coldblooded murder, but from an audience perspective it was both unsatisfying and pointless to see him walk away unscathed. Not to mention frustrating when 75% of the main character deaths have been women, in a show where the main cast is already about 75% male overall.
The twins were definitely the worst for me. I've never been able to get my head around the Aiden/Lydia relationship in particular, despite the many comments/messages I've had from people who basically say, Lydia is kinda fucked up and attracted to dangerous/abusive men. I agree that Lydia probably has bad taste in men and also has some issues with regards to dating and relationships, but I also think that the depiction of her relationship with Aiden has been VERY poorly written. She expresses shock when Stiles reveals that Aiden is an evil murderous werewolf, BUT she never really confronts him about that, or indeed seems to struggle with it internally. Her decision to keep hooking up with Aiden can be interpreted as self-destructive, but it's definitely not explicitly portrayed as that, and her motivations are very unclear. Aiden's "redemption through love" storyline has been even less convincing than Ethan's, because he was always the more aggressive/amoral of the twins. He seems to like Lydia and wants her to be OK, but not enough to a) actively protect her, b) tell her anything about what's going on, c) explain his reasons for joining a murderous werewolf gang, or d) do anything other than mildly protest to other Alpha Pack members that he likes her and doesn't want to have to kill her.
I find it actively irritating that Ethan and Aiden were included in the friendship montage at the end of the episode. They have functionally replaced Boyd in the teen social circle, except moreso because Boyd was never fully part of the gang, whereas the twins have links in the form of Danny and Lydia. Except, remember how they KILLED BOYD? An action for which their ONLY EXCUSE was that they were "just following orders"? Remember how they never expressed remorse for this, and Ethan is the only one of the two who even appears to have basic moral qualms about the Alpha Pack? Boyd was killed off for a Derek-related manpain reason that only lasted until the end of that specific episode. Nobody really mourned him. Nobody seems all that bothered that the twins are directly responsible for his death. Lydia is now dating a murderer who only went to highschool in order to seduce her for information. Cora (the ONLY person who really cared about Boyd's death after it happened) actually helped save the twins in this episode. Everyone is friends now and it's all fine.
Derek in this episode was... IDK. Was it just me, or was Tyler Hoechlin's acting noticeably way more terrible than usual? I feel like a douchebag just saying that, because he seems like a sweetheart in real life, but seriously. In some episodes he does pretty well and you do actually feel the ridiculously overwrought Derek Hale Torment, but this week he was soooo clunky. Usually there's like one line delivery per episode where he sounds like an automaton and just sort of stares at a wall or something, but for some reason this happened like six times in the season finale, presumably making up for his far better acting in several other episodes?? Anyhow, character-wise, I have no idea what was even meant to be going on between him and Jennifer. Where are Derek's emotions at? Does he identify with Jennifer's need for revenge? Who knows. (I'd say "who cares", but I was pretty invested in the idea of Derek getting into a serious relaysh with a mass-murderer with no face. That would've been a far better ~ridiculous redemption~ storyline than Deucalion surviving, or the twins galumphing around Beacon Hills High without a care in the world.)
There were two things I really liked this week: Allison, and the relationship between Scott and his parents. I love that Scott's relationship with his mother is so good, and I particularly love that he RECOGNISES THAT. Melissa McCall is an amazing mom and amazing woman, and she and her son have a lovely, trusting relationship where he admires her and thinks she awesome. What a great depiction of a divorced family that is the exact opposite of a "broken home". Agent McCall is portrayed as a douchebag from day one, and Scott clearly recognises that he and his mother are better off without Dad in the picture. Love it. Actually, there are so many great single parents in this show that it kind of makes me wonder if Jeff Davis is writing from experience? But then again, it might just be because dead parents are mandatory in this type of show. As for Allison, she was brilliant throughout the episode, and I'm SUPER INTO the implication that she's gonna go fully-fledged Buffy the Vampire Slayer next season. PLEASE LET THAT HAPPEN.
- WHY DO ALL THE MEN IN THIS SHOW WEAR EXACTLY THE SAME CLOTHES? Stiles is marginally different in that he wears more plaid, and Isaac has the whole snood/scarf/knitwear thing going on, but seriously. EVERY SINGLE DUDE IS JUST WEARING A GREY HENLEY AND TIGHT-FIT JEANS. Arrrrrghhhhhh. I think Teen Wolf has had the same costume designer throughout, so I'm not really sure why she's gone from each character having a relatively distinctive style, to all the men being dressed in a chorus line of identical monochrome henleys. Plus, that's gonna make it difficult for new viewers to tell the characters apart, because nearly everyone is a slim/muscular, good-looking white guy, and most of the show takes place in the dark. Don't fall into the cheesy American TV trap of making everyone look like a clone!!
- I totally should've put "I'm the Alpha!" in my drinking game, but I was soooo sure that they couldn't possibly use that line again. But it happened TWICE!! In ONE EPISODE!
- Not impressed by the fact that Lydia's banshee storyline was, as either @snazdoll or @MLDavies put it, reduced to her acting as a human dog whistle for Jennifer.
- Jennifer healing Deucalion's blindness before he died was bullshit. What a garbage idea. Bleurgh.
- Loved the Matrix parking garage scene at the beginning. They should've left the Nemeton tree there and told everyone it was installation art.
- Why did Scott and Stiles get changes of dry clothes but Lydia had to wear that dress throughout the entire episode? Someone give her a jacket at least! I guess Scott and Stiles must've been wearing Scott's spare clothes that he leaves at Deaton's office...??
- I'm inclined to believe that Tyler Hoechlin can act, mostly due to the fact that his IRL personality is so different from Derek in every way. However, this episode made me reeeeally hope that he does actually get cast as Batman in the Man of Steel sequel. I hated both Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises, so the idea of Tyler Hoechlin having to deliver Chris Nolan/Zach Snyder dialogue sounds hilarious to me. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE.
- I liked the cinematography in the final scene with Deucalion, where they made him look really small and weak by comparison to Scott and Derek.
- The flashback scenes were fun to watch, but this show really needs to get out of the habit of trying to ~tie everything together~ in the past. EVERYTHING DOES NOT NEED TO BE CONNECTED. In a show like this, there is no point in trying to link everything together in some complex backstory web. Particularly if your storylines require the audience to quickly forget terrible and/or stupid things that happened only a few episodes ago.
- What is up with Jennifer's darach outfit?? When we were watching the episode, my friend who doesn't watch Teen Wolf was like, "Why is that woman wearing a leather corset?" Why do any women in any TV shows wear a leather corset, I replied.
- SIXTEEN HOURS LYING IN AN ICE BATH, AND DEATON, ISAAC AND LYDIA ALL JUST WANDERED OFF INTO ANOTHER ROOM? Never change, Teen Wolf Science. Never change.