Teen Wolf episode 3 review: Pack Mentality

Ron continues to be won over by the new TV show of Teen Wolf, in spite of a couple of problems...

1.3 Pack Mentality

You have to feel bad for Scott McCall. First of all, he’s got a terrible haircut. Second of all, since he’s a werewolf and all, he feels like everyone he loves is constantly in jeopardy of their lives around him. Plus, he keeps having horrible nightmares/fantasies about attacking people, only to wake up the next day and realize that people have been mauled in a manner very similar to the dream in question. Scott is pretty werewolf-ignorant, but even he realizes this is probably bad news.

As it turns out, the werewolf attacker who mangled the bus driver isn’t Scott. So, it has to be Derek, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. Scott heads over to have a showdown with Derek by the end of the episode, but as it turns out, there’s more to the world of werewolves than unwanted body hair and the ability to like one’s own nether regions. There are many different levels of werewolf, and the wolf who has been creating problems around town just might be more than Scott can handle in his young state.

One of the troubles I have with Teen Wolf, and this is just a general complaint, is the fact that when Scott is having his troubles with Jackson, or Lydia is blatantly scheming to (apparently) supplant Jackson with Scott, right in front of Allison, I tend to zone out. I know that’s a portion of the show that’s a crucial aspect for some of the target audience, who looks for teenage soap opera. But I can’t take Jackson seriously as a threat to Scott because a) Scott is a freaking werewolf, and Jackson is (as far as I know) a normal dude, and b) Jackson isn’t really a threat to Scott’s relationship with Allison.

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The whole bowling group date between Jackson/Lydia and Scott/Allison isn’t terribly interesting or tense, as it’s tough to get excited watching other people bowl, either badly or well. Bowling is bowling, you know? I would have rather seen Stiles do, well, anything, really. That character continues to be the standout of Scott’s human world, though Derek Hale gets infinitely more interesting this week, and Scott’s mother continues to provide a little fun and sweetness.

Everything else about the show I like. I like Scott and Hale’s unusual relationship. I like Stiles as the comic relief. I even like Argent’s little square-off with Hale. But the idea of a teenage bully pushing a werewolf around? That’s a bit much to me, though it does make a good counterpoint to the more mystery/action oriented sequences.

I guess that’s the whole point to it. Scott’s living a dual life here, and that needs to be reflected in the show.

Another positive for the show? We don’t get a years-long pursuit between Scott and Allison. They just hook up and become a couple, which is way more realistic (especially as high school kids go).

I guess the show will get to that when the time comes. After all, Scott doesn’t want to kill anyone, even if it’s just Jackson. He’s still learning to control his powers (and not doing the best of jobs at it). Still, things seem to be progressing at a good pace, especially in this episode. We’re learning more about Scott’s powers, Derek Hale’s relationship with others in the town, and even a little brief look at the Argents and Allison’s background.

The more I watch Teen Wolf, the more I realize that, as scripted television goes, it’s very clever and it’s got a fun, charming factor to it. I know. I assumed I’d hate it, too, but I find myself being won over by the show. It’s a lot of fun, they’re working in more action sequences, and thus far, the writing has been pretty intelligent. Here’s hoping that keeps up.

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Read our review of episode 2,  Second Chance At First Line, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan wonders what the effect of a curfew is when nobody actually enforces it. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.