Teen Wolf episode 4 review: Magic Bullet

Teen Wolf still faces challenges, but the show is hitting its stride. Can it pull all of its segments together, though? Here's Ron's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.4 Magic Bullet

One of the nasty parts about being a werewolf is probably the fact that people keep trying to kill you. While Scott’s only gotten an arrow into the arm so far, Derek Hale has been far less lucky. The family home was burned to the ground, his sister was killed, and in this episode, he gets shot in the arm with some kind of magic poisoned bullet. Note to self: if you ever become a werewolf, invest in a bulletproof vest.

Still, an injured Derek stumbles into the way of Stiles and Scott, and since Scott’s got a job to do (find the magic bullet at Allison’s house and save Derek’s life), that leaves Stiles to care for the injured, angry Derek. And yes, it’s as amusing as you could imagine, given Stiles’ general character’s reality-based lifestyle and Hale’s brooding older werewolf shtick.

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Stiles, as a character, is a great grounding element to the show, and he’s generally the best thing about whatever scene he’s in. His interaction with Hale in this episode? Priceless stuff, really. Very funny and great writing, without being too jokey.

Meanwhile, in order for Scott to infiltrate the Argent household, he uses his connection with Allison to get in the door and do a little learning about her background. What he finds out, he doesn’t seem to like, but then she starts making out with him and that makes things much more tolerable. Then, her father comes home. Cue awkwardness. Cue barely restrained distaste.

And also, cue new character, Kate Argent (Jill Wagner), who turns the awkwardness up to eleven by commenting on Scott’s cute brown eyes while inviting him over for dinner. So, Scott gets a nice family meal and Stiles gets to wrangle an angry, threatening werewolf. Seems fair.

One of the dynamics the show introduced this week was Allison’s werewolf-hunting family and their relationships, both with one another and the world at large. Allison, who last week showed off gymnastics and high fall skills, now confesses to being an archery nut, while her father’s career as a “gun dealer” is revealed to Scott. The Argent family backstory, as well as the Hale family backstory, are being filled out at a steady, but not too heavy pace.

Meanwhile, Allison’s aunt, Kate, has added both a sense of fun to the Argent family (via her gentle teasing of Scott) and a sense of danger to the Argent family (via her blatant threatening of Scott later in the episode). She seems like she’s going to be trouble, and not only because she seems like the person on the show most likely to shotgun our hero to death. She’s helped establish the dynamics of the Argent family. Argent, the father, has rules about killing and injuring werewolves, Kate, not so much, it seems, given her brief square off with Argent over the hunting of Derek Hale.

This week seems as though the show is finding a steady stride. Of all four episodes, episode four is the one that seems to work the best at all the elements the show is striving to incorporate: romance, intrigue, suspense, action, and comedy. There are some genuinely great moments between Stiles and Derek. On a similar tone, the whole dinner scene between Scott and the Argents is very uncomfortable (and when Allison covers for Scott’s snooping, it gets even better). It goes without saying that this episode featured the least amount of Scott’s high school nemeses, Lydia and Jackson.

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The toughest part of the show will be making the high school segments work better than the non-high school segments. I like Scott as a werewolf, and I like the werewolf drama, but the high school drama? Not so much. There’s the tough part of the show. Make that come together (or keep writing around it) and we’ll be onto something.

Read our review of episode 3, Pack Mentality, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is aware of how awkward family dinners can be, especially when you’re a werewolf and your girlfriend’s father is a shotgun-wielding maniac. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.