Teen Wolf episode 12 review: Code Breaker: season finale

The Teen Wolf finale is the best episode in a very strong maiden season. Here's Ron's review...


This review contains spoilers.

12. Code Breaker

Now that was a great example of how to do a season finale when you’re being picked up for a second season (or even if you’re not). There were a whole lot of plot threads resolved in the last episode of Teen Wolf for season one, and yet, there’s a whole lot of stuff left for the show to explore.

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For example, what’s the deal with Lydia and her allergic reaction to the werewolf bite? Is she allergic to dogs and that’s what’s throwing her off? Did Jackson get to become a werewolf? How is Derek going to adapt to being the leader of the pack? What’s Argent going to do about his daughter’s newfound knowledge of the supernatural? There’s a lot of fun stuff waiting here, and I can’t wait.

Still, before we get to imagining what’s up with next season, let’s wrap up this season, shall we? Seems like a good plan, and fortunately, the Teen Wolf writing staff agrees with me.

After Lydia gets attacked by the Alpha, Stiles is able to make one phone call (to Jackson) to get Lydia help before Peter drags him off on a mission. Stiles is going to help Peter track down Scott and Derek, one way or another. Then, Scott and Derek are going to help Peter get revenge on the person responsible for the house fire that killed off the Hale family: Kate Argent. The pieces have finally come together, but Kate will not be taken so easily, nor will Allison take her father’s dismissal sitting aside.

Of course, it all ends up heading to one place, the Hale House, and one last Mexican stand-off in a season full of them, where enemies must band together to fight the real danger, hunter stands next to hunted, and everybody squares off against the most powerful monster in the land, with the fate of Beacon Hills in the balance. The show’s crew also delivered on the long-promised death front, which is both great, because it adds to the show’s unpredictable nature, and bad, because it means two of the show’s great cast won’t be returning.

There were a lot of plot threads coming together this week, yet they pulled it off pretty much flawlessly, and the episode moved with a breathless tension from the opening moments right until the very end. And somehow, Stiles has become the most important character in every single one of those plots, if only because he’s the one who has put everything together before everyone else and he’s a great bargaining chip.

By that same token, Dylan O’Brien has become the show’s most important actor, because his take on Stiles is both smart and funny, making him a great foil for the brooding werewolves and angry hunters and whatnot. Stiles makes the show run smoothly, and he’s a fixture in the finale, which may be why it is probably the best show of the season thus far.

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Tonight’s special effects were kind of a mixed bag. There were some great elements (Peter’s semi-shifting werewolf face during the fight with Scott) and there were also some elements that weren’t so great (Peter’s alpha form during combat scenes). Still, the way they morphed and have been morphing Peter’s face was very good, and I love the fact that it was actually shown. Credit, too, for the nod to American Werewolf In London with the shape of the face itself. The fact that they showed Scott’s shift on camera was an added bonus. On the whole, they were more good than bad, though the fire effects need work.

Russell Mulcahy… what more can I say positive about his direction? He continues to use some very inventive shots in his work, he doesn’t let things wear out their welcome, and the episode flowed very well as per usual. He’s a really good director, and that extends to television. I’m glad he did the bulk of this season, and I hope they can afford to bring him back for next, because he handles the material deftly.

I’ve done quite a few unsuccessful season reviews for Den of Geek, but this summer’s lineup, Falling Skies and Teen Wolf, was probably my best, probably because I got to watch some great television in the process. That said, I can’t wait for Teen Wolf to come back next summer, because I’m expecting great things. Given the show’s positive ratings and good response from critics, I can only hope MTV will deliver a second season of the show that fans deserve.

Read our review of episode 11, Formality, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan has become a legitimate Teen Wolf fan. Given his love for werewolves, it’s not terribly surprising. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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