Teen Wolf episode 7 review: Night School

The new take on Teen Wolf might not have too much money to spend, but it's being spent wisely. Here's Ron's review...

This review contains spoilers.

7. Night School

When last we left our heroes, Derek Hale was spurting blood from various orifices outside of the school building, while Scott and Stiles were running for their lives from a very angry, very kill-crazed alpha werewolf, who may or may not be Scott’s boss. Actually, it’s probably not Scott’s boss, but still, they’re running.

Meanwhile, Scott’s standing up his girlfriend, Allison Argent, and his various other friends for a social engagement. This isn’t exactly like Scott, so, of course, Allison is getting worried and once she gets an emergency text to meet Scott at the school, Allison, Jackson, and Lydia all head over in Jackson’s car to see what’s up.

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In case you’ve forgotten, Scott still doesn’t have a cell phone.

What’s up is a trap, set by the alpha for Scott and his pack of friends. Considering nobody but Scott, Styles, and Hale know what in the world werewolves are, it’s not surprising that they walk right into the trouble situation. Just where the alpha wants them, and just where he can exert the most influence over Scott and, perhaps, Jackson. (Remember his scratched neck?) 

One of the things you have to admire about Teen Wolf is the way that they shoot around their budgetary limitations. All you need to do is show brief, glimpses of the werewolf, from a claw against a window to a silhouette at the end of a darkened hallway, and it keeps the monster all the more powerful. In fact, it works better when seen this way than when we get the occasional full shot of it breaking through a door or running down the hallway. The full CGI wolf isn’t terribly menacing, but when he’s implied? Terrifying.

This week’s episode was a great episode, as horror on television goes. There’s only so far you can go before Standards and Practices gets involved, and the Teen Wolf crew manage to push the boundaries of menace, even if they’re taking it easier on the gore than they would normally have to. A few moments this week, such as the silhouetted wolf behind Allison as she walks through the school’s darkened main hallway, were positively inspired.

They’ve even managed to add a layer of interest to the high school soap opera portion of the show, by teasing (or perhaps, breaking up) Scott with the only girl that allows him to control his werewolf-itis (and potentially pairing her up with Jackson), while teasing a pairing of Scott and Lydia (due to her weariness over pretending to be dumb for Jackson).

I’m interested to see how things work out with these various threads, and you have to wonder what this might do to Scott’s relationship with Stiles. While it seems to be a bit quick to break them up (for now), let’s remember this is high school, and relationships flare up and end in a matter of weeks, rather than years. Plus, the group has definitely just gone through some seriously stressful situations, and in the wake of that kind of near-death experience, a little freaking out makes sense.

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All things considered, the alpha wolf storyline is moving pretty well, and this week’s show was one of the highlights of the program thus far. For a mid-season episode, it was very strong, and there was a lot of impressive stuff happening. Color me surprised that I’m loving any TV show on MTV at this stage in my life, but Teen Wolf is a legitimately good programme.

Read our review of episode 6, Heart Monitor, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan would change one thing about the Alpha werewolf: no more glowing red eyes. Find more by Ron at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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