Teen Wolf season 3 episode 23 review: Insatiable

Review Ron Hogan 18 Mar 2014 - 07:12

Showrunner Jeff Davis makes good on his promise in Teen Wolf's top notch season three penultimate episode...

This review contains spoilers.

3.23 Insatiable

All along, Jeff Davis has promised us that somewhere in season 3B, someone was going to die. A hero would fall, so quoth Davis, and as it turns out, the showrunner was not kidding. Not only was it one of the heroes, it was one of the original remaining foursome of core Teen Wolf characters who bit the bullet tonight in shocking fashion. For those who haven't seen the episode yet, stop now or forever hold your peace about spoilers.

Teen Wolf, at its core, is about all the travails of young relationships. Scott and Stiles, Scott and his mother, Stiles and his father, Scott and his mentor Derek, and of course, Scott and his first love, Allison Argent. He's the titular teen wolf, and she's the daughter of a couple of devoted werewolf hunters. They're the show's Romeo and Juliet, and I think we all though they would eventually end up together, but as we find out this week, that's not going to happen because Allison Argent is dead courtesy of the oni and the nogitsune's lust for chaos and disorder.

Jeff Davis, showrunner and the man who promised his audience blood, delivered, but not in a direct manner. Indeed, there were multiple incidents of foreshadowing in order to draw the audience off the scent. Isaac gets slashed up by the oni blades; Ethan and Aiden get attacked by a mystery assailant packing a shotgun full of wolfsbane and Derek risks his life to save them, there's a touching father/daughter moment with the Argents that could have doomed either one of them, and Stiles is both the show's main bad guy and a dying husk who emerged from a pile of rags just last week.

Tim Andrew has done some awesome work this season, and this is another great episode for the show. From the gag-inducing opening scene in which poor Dr Deaton has to pull dead flies out of various throats to the final shot of everyone standing around weeping over the deceased body of Allison, this was a really top notch episode. The Oak Creek facility, Echo House, Beacon Hills High School... these are all great locations for the show to use, and the Oak Creek stuff in particular resonated really well, if only because we got to watch Lydia flee Evil Stiles down a Nightmare on Elm Street hallway. There were lots of cool camera choices made this week, with Stiles lurching out of a dead sleep into a disorienting wakefulness and the great scenes with Meredith from Echo House standing over a piano, listening to the screams of the dead.

I think one of the kickers this week was the tension between Lydia and Evil Stiles. There has always been some chemistry between those two actors, and the scenes with Dylan O'Brien and Holland Roden usually end up great. This is no exception, because Evil Stiles is spectacularly creepy during every interaction with Lydia this week. I mean, Evil Stiles actually nuzzles her cheek and smells her hair (or so it looks), which is a really disturbing bit of physical acting from Dylan O'Brien that's rewarded with a brilliantly petrified silent scream from Ms. Roden.

The final episode before the final episode can often feel a bit overstuffed as the show tries to get all its pieces in the right places for the finale, and while Teen Wolf seemed to touch base with every character in every combination, it didn't feel as busy at it should have been. The balance is maintained and the important scenarios get more attention than others, which is good because you've got a kidnapped Lydia and two versions of Stiles, sword fighting, and lots of plotting, driving, and quipping to get through. Isaac, for calling himself not witty as he did last week, gets off some great lines here, proving to be a much-needed break in the tension when Stiles wasn't around to do the same thing.

Kudos to Jeff Davis for another brilliant episode. Even knowing what was coming, Allison's death was still a punch in the gut. Perhaps it was the result of the shock of it all, or the brutality, or the fact that Allison seemed to know what was happening before anyone else would admit it. Perhaps, easiest explanation of all, it was Allison’s heartwarming speech about first loves and best loves and Scott that really hammered the loss home. Beacon Hills is a place with a lot of death, but this might be the death that breaks Chris Argent.

There's only one episode left in the third season of Teen Wolf. Seems like the season has just been flying by, doesn't it? With the trip into the past, the Japanese mythology, the death(s), Coach getting shot with an arrow courtesy of Stiles... this has been a very busy season and I look forward to seeing how they clear off the rest of chessboard before starting all over again with the fourth run. I'd imagine there might be a few more dead bodies to dispose of before summer is here.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, De-Void, here

US Correspondent Ron Hogan wishes the best for all involved now that Crystal Reed's time on Teen Wolf has come to an end. Here's hoping she lands herself a gig on The Flash, following in Colton Haynes' footsteps. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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