Teen Wolf episode 6 review: Heart Monitor

Toby Wilkins continues to deliver fine work on Teen Wolf, as the show's latest episode keeps the standard high...

This review contains spoilers.

6. Heart Monitor

Scott, who’s spent most of the past few episodes shirking his werewolf responsibility, has decided to take his destiny square on, thanks to a pep talk from Stiles and some more stalkery action from Derek Hale. That’s right, Scott’s in training. Werewolf training. And he’s going to be all he can be one way or another, because Derek Hale needs Scott’s help to ferret out and kill the alpha wolf who keeps slaying indiscriminately throughout Beacon Hills.

Time is of the essence. For Scott, it’s learn to control yourself, become a killer, or be killed. For Derek, it’s get Scott to start thinking with his brain or potentially be killed, either by the Argents or the alpha. For Stiles, it’s make funny quips and provide comic relief, as well as occasionally pelt your best friend with lacrosse balls while engaging in interspecies light bondage. Meanwhile, Scott has to keep his girlfriend while avoiding the distractions that come with having a girlfriend.

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One of the positive things Teen Wolf has is the ability to keep us off balance about just who the alpha wolf is. Derek Hale was a suspect for a long time, but after him, there are any number of background characters who may or may not be the werewolf, from Scott’s boss at the vet clinic to several of the teachers at the school, or even Allison Argent herself. Every character, aside from Scott and Stiles, could have potentially been the alpha werewolf at one point or another, but some characters have been eliminated from the proceedings.

Still, there are a lot of possibles, and while this week’s episode of Teen Wolf seems to have narrowed the potentials down to one guy, that’s not an instant out. After all, we don’t see where that one guy goes, so maybe he’s just dog food. Either way, I’m interested to see how this all plays out, now that Scott and Derek have gotten the attention of the big bad wolf.

However, the fact that Scott can now control his werewolf powers without Derek’s assistance seems a bit rushed. Yes, I do like the fact that Allison, Scott’s greatest weakness, is also his greatest strength. As it turns out, ‘twasn’t beauty killed the beast, but beauty controlling the beast. When Scott needs to not wolf out, he just has to distract himself with Allison. When it’s wolfing time, he’s just got to get really, really angry (and he’s got an infinite amount of sexual frustration to tap into when it comes to getting irritated). It’s a cute way to kind of guide Scott on his journey, but what if he gets irritated at Allison? Will he one day accidentally wolf out and rip her head off, because his only source of calm has morphed into a source of frustration? Perhaps I’m thinking too far ahead.

This week’s episode was very tight, the third of three from Toby Wilkins, best known for Splinter. He makes good use of shadowy locations here, from the parking garage to the school, and he handles the werewolf fairly well (as he did in the two previous episodes, Magic Bullet and The Tell). The script seems to make Derek Hale a little more desperate, and a little more willing to expose himself to the world (or at least risk arrest by beating the crap out of people). That part works well, since it’s kill or be killed time, but I’m not crazy about Stiles’ plan to test his best friend’s werewolf defenses by having him beaten up by a gang of thugs.

Aside from that, there were some very good scenes in the script, written by newcomer, David Sinclair. In particular, Stiles has some great lines (as he always does), but some of the decisions made by the characters are questionable. Still, there have been more inconsistent episodes, and there were enough good moments to balance out against the bad. There are some interesting ways this week’s events could play out in the future, and I’m curious to see just how they’ll work things out.

That’s one of the most shocking things about Teen Wolf. Yes, it’s a teen drama, but it’s actually a good teen drama. The show has dumb moments, and sometimes the musical cues can be a bit heavy-handed, but the soundtrack is great and, by and large, there are some good things going on in spite of the audience. Color me stunned that the show remains entertaining six episodes in.

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Read our review of episode 5, The Tell, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is slightly ashamed to admit in public that he’s liking Teen Wolf, but here we are. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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