Teen Wolf episode 9 review: Wolf’s Bane

Why isn't Teen Wolf getting more recognition? Ron continues to salute one of the TV highlights of the year...

This review contains spoilers.

9. Wolf’s Bane

The two central mysteries of Teen Wolf, the identity of the Alpha and Jackson’s pursuit of just how Scott has developed mad lacrosse playing skills in a few short weeks after being terrible at the sport, are rapidly drawing to a close. The pieces are falling into place, and this week’s episode solves both mysteries while introducing a new one.

Jackson finally puts together just what Scott is this week, and he wants a piece of it. It’s taken him long enough, but between the werewolf attack at the video store and Scott’s gloves and various other hints, like Scott being able to listen to Jackson talk from across the room, and even the dullest bulb could put two and two together and get werewolf. Jackson, as the show has established, is actually pretty smart, even if he is an insufferable prick.

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As for the mystery of the Alpha, I won’t overtly say who it is, but if you’re one of the very few that guessed it right, you’re smarter than I am. Of all the potentials for the Alpha, from the chemistry teacher to Scott’s boss to Scott’s mom to Derek Hale to who knows who else, there were a lot of red herrings and a lot of reasonable potential suspects.

However, when the alpha was revealed, I actually gasped, because I had no idea just who would get elevated to that position of power (and the show’s done a great job of directing attention away from this potential person by having lots of other interesting plots going on). That’s right, we finally find out who the alpha wolf is on this week’s episode of Teen Wolf, and it both makes little sense, because it’s someone mentioned only in passing, yet also makes perfect sense, because he’s got a werewolf history.

With a cast this large, there are a lot of potential pairings on the show. While Jill Wagner is a scene-stealer and she’s got great chemistry with Hale and Allison, the group I like most has to be Stiles and Derek. Whenever Stiles and Derek are off on an adventure by themselves, you’re in for a good set of scenes. Stiles’ smart-assedness and Hale’s ultra-seriousness make for great television, with Hale’s inability to take or even process a joke makes him the perfect straight man for Stiles’ sarcasm and goofy comments. I’d be hesitant to use them too much, but a little bit goes a long way towards keeping the show interesting, and the way Stiles used Hale’s six pack abs to woo a little technology help from Beacon High’s resident gay student was genius (as was Hale’s revenge later).

It’s the little moments like that, interactions between characters, that give a show legs beyond its initial premise. Like a lot of ensemble supernatural shows (Supernatural, Buffy, etc.), Teen Wolf needs to grow to survive, and so far, it seems like the show is willing to do that necessary growth beyond the initial templates needed to make the second season as interesting as the first. After all, we’ve already had and broken apart Allison and Scott, the Sam and Diane of Teen Wolf, and there’s even been a separation between Jackson and Lydia. This is a show that isn’t afraid to shake things up when needed.

There are only three episodes left for Teen Wolf this season, and since it’s already been given a second season, I look forward to seeing where they go from here. The way things are shaping up is proving to remain very captivating, and the show this week had an extra layer of tension, thanks to Scott’s mission of espionage. I was actually on the edge of my seat while he looked through Allison’s things.

Once again, Tim Andrew comes through with another well directed episode. The scenes are shot very well, and the musical cues, as always, are dead-on for the program.

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Say what you want to about MTV, but this is a good show. If Teen Wolf was on the CW or Fox or any other channel, it’d be getting more respect than it is on its current home (unless it was on TNT, in which case it would have a lot more commercial breaks).

Read our review of episode 8, Lunatic, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan had no idea who the Alpha was, and he was a fool to even speculate that it was the obvious red herring he figured. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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