This review contains spoilers.
I gotta say, Russell Mulcahy and Jeff Davis have done some great work at the helm of the Teen Wolf reboot. Davis, with plotting out the first series so well and getting all the elements to come together at the right possible moment, and Mulcahy, with his incredible direction of crucial episodes of the series.
For example, this was a Mulcahy episode, and it was incredible. Mulcahy has a great way of framing the shots he uses, and he alternates between hanhandheld cameras and the Dutch angle expertly as he finds the right tone for the scenes playing on screen.
This week’s episode was masterfully done, probably the best episode of the series just from a pure visual filmmaking standpoint. There weren’t any wasted set pieces, the use of chiaroscuro throughout the episode was brilliant, and the show just seemed to keep moving the entire time, not even bogging down in the various Scott/Allison discussion segments.
As for Davis, well, this is the episode where you can see the conclusion to the first season starting to develop. All the little plot threads, from the vet to Derek’s uncle to Allison and her family to Stiles the detective are all starting to come together, and that just increases my desire to get through the rest of the series, because I’m incredibly enthusiastic about just where this show is headed and I really want to see how it all plays out. Things are coming to a head, and best of all, it all seems to make sense.
So, what’s going on in this week’s episode? Only everything. Try to keep your wits about you, because this review is probably going to be excited and slightly confusing, because there’s a lot of stuff this week, and I don’t want to spoil everything by blathering on.
The lacrosse team made it to state, and Jackson has a deal for Scott: you turn me into a werewolf, I help you get Allison back. Of course, Allison has a will of her own, and after Scott returns the locket to her (that he stole last episode), she seems to be coming back around to his side of things. That is, until Scott bails on her to go off and rescue Jackson from Derek, who apparently has joined up with the alpha/his uncle and gone over to the bad side.
Except that it seems to me like Derek isn’t a bad guy for real. He’s just playing at it to get close enough to the Alpha to stop him before he turns Scott’s mom into his werewolf wife. Meanwhile, Argent the father is stalking Jackson, thinking he’s Scott, Sheriff Stilinsky is getting drunk and leaking crucial information to his son about the werewolf murders, and Allison is taking killing lessons and blowing up trees with Lydia.
There’s a lot of stuff happening this week. The show is packed with plots, but it doesn’t fall into the trap of being frantic. Instead, Co-Captain just offered up occasional reminders of things from previous episodes, rewarding the close viewer, without losing those who might not have been completely following along as closely as I have.
The pacing is perfect, with certain moments lingering and others simply slipping by without much fanfare. It seems, and I could be wrong, that the show is leaving no plot threads dangling without some sort of termination, which is just mind-blowing, considering how quickly some programs forget what they’re doing.
I’ve marveled at this before, but this is definitely one of the better shows on television. Far from being a simple Twilight knockoff, there’s suspense, romance, action, comedy, and even drama. Sure, it’s teenage drama, but we were all teenagers once (or are teenagers currently), and just because a show or movie is geared towards younger folks doesn’t make it terrible by default. Teen Wolf has been consistently excellent since episode 1, and I, for on,e am glad to see it’s going to play out with such strong episodes.
Keep it up, MTV. You’re winning me over.
Read our review of episode 9, Wolf’s Bane, here.