Teen Wolf: I.E.D. review

Teen Wolf tries to balance its "teen" and "wolf" elements with mixed results this week. Here's Rebecca's review...

This week’s episode of Teen Wolf was as sharp as a jerry-rigged lacrosse stick dripping with a rare strain of wolfsbane. It was also just as intense, and maybe a little bit rushed. That doesn’t mean I loved it any less, it just means that the show had some moving to do — and it settled for doing it quickly.

With only half of the Death List collected, Lydia and Malia spend a hilarious amount of time trying to trigger Lydia’s Banshee powers. At one point they are but moments away from reenacting the pottery scene from Ghost. Malia bullying Lydia into magically coming up with a second code proves to be almost impossible. I feel bad for Lydia, at least Stiles revels in his lack-of-powers. Lydia has become the show’s hyper-intelligent Eeyore. Fingers crossed she has some sort of Jean Grey-style Dark Phoenix awakening soon.

The gang needs that supernatural shopping list decoded, because of the pint-sized professional killers in their midst. You know who loves to get her some murder on? Violet, that’s who. She may be a freshman, but she is not content with trips to Claire’s or even furtive cigarettes smoked beneath the bleachers. She’s got a fever, and the only prescription is the cash-money payoff that comes when she ends the life of another supernatural denizen of Beacon Hills at the behest of the still-unknown Benefactor.

Just as eager to get his kill on is Violet’s paramour, Garrett. He has a fancy lacrosse stick that they do not sell in stores. It is equipped with a secret blade to slash at werewolves. I mean, maybe this is a normal thing, I don’t really follow sports, but I feel like maybe this is not the norm. In the interest of full disclosure it took most of the first season for me to understand that they were playing lacrosse and not field hockey.

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Most of the action takes place on the lacrosse field, where Scott — after a pep talk from Derek — realizes that he’s got to make the newest werewolf, walking-I.E.D. Liam, an asset and not an enemy. They come together to try and protect each other from their would-be assassins, only to find out that Violet’s garrott had eyes only for ANOTHER were, a former classmate of Liam’s.  Violet gets a little decapitation happy and goes for Scott — which ends with her getting knocked out. Sometimes Scott is too nice.

With an assist from institutionalized-banshee Meredith, Lydia eventually gets the second cipher and decodes the rest of the list. Guess who is on it — DEPUTY PARRISH! I swoon. I also quietly ponder what, exactly, he is. I am hoping Loch Ness Monster, but there is no way this can be correct. Fun alternatives to consider: Were-kitten, were-hamster, a pegasus.

It was a strong, dense, well-packed episode. That said, this week felt a little unbalanced in terms of the supernatural-versus-high-school problems elements. Kira playing her first lacrosse game felt a bit forced, even if it did give Coach a couple of great moments to shine. Even Scott commented on this sudden shift in tone when meeting with Derek about how to deal with Liam. “I thought this was the year I got to focus on school,” he says, with a deadpan delivery that made my night. Here’s hoping the bump on Violet’s head puts her murderous mission on hold for a bit so we can catch up with the gang’s emotional lives, and maybe figure out what’s going with Kate Argent.

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3 out of 5