Teen Wolf season 2 episode 7 review: Restraint

With welcome nods to The Breakfast Club, Ron salutes the latest episode of Teen Wolf...

This review contains spoilers.

2.7 Restraint

Just because you know your enemy, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to stop said enemy. For example, the kanima is Jackson; Scott and Stiles know this, but they can’t exactly overpower him when he’s out killing in lizard form. While Jackson isn’t a friend, he’s not in control of himself either; that’s no reason to simply follow a Derek Hale-type solution and just kill him outright. Stopping Jackson -and his mastermind – is the plan. It’s just tougher than it ought to be considering all the interference from Peter and his gang of werewolves, various school officials, and Jackson himself.

There’s also the restraining order; let’s not forget that. That’s right, Jackson takes his issues with Scott to the legal system, rather than simply fighting it out monster-a-monster. Though, to be fair, they do that too, in a really brutal fight in the locker room when Scott walks in and sees Jackson semi-molesting Allison (who was sent to look for Jackson in the first place).

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There are other things at play here, namely Lydia and her mystery man who I completely misidentified last week as Matt the camera guy. As it turns out, Matt is just Matt, the guy obsessing over Allison (and he asks her to a rave/concert/party thing this week, to which she says yes possibly to just get him to go away, but still, potential plot twist!). Lydia’s mystery man remains a mystery, until the end of the episode. I love Lydia’s storyline, and I like how I really have no idea what’s real and what isn’t with her (admittedly, I was way behind the commentators on the Lydia hallucination thing). Things seem to end up being more static this week, with some real reveals, but still – can you believe what Lydia sees?

Can you believe what Jackson sees, for that matter? As the conflict between Jackson and the kanima within him increases, he’s becoming more and more unhinged. He’s hallucinating commands in book titles, he’s having fugues and waking up covered in blood from the events of the cold opening trailer kill… Jackson’s not exactly having a smooth transition into his new status as a shape shifter, and whoever is pulling his strings is a dangerous person with a specific mission in mind. We don’t know who that is yet, but he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty (or she, I guess).

I really enjoy the cinematic touches that Russell Mulcahy brings to Teen Wolf. He makes some great choices in this week’s episode. I like the nods to The Breakfast Club – the Teen Wolf gang gets detention in the library and told not to leave their seats, yet they leave their seats almost immediately – and more importantly I like the way he handled the scarier content in tonight’s episode. The scene in which Jackson goes lizard and starts wrecking the library, only to get pulled into an automatic writing episode was simply hair-raising.

Credit goes to Colton Haynes for his great physical work in that particular scene, and bonus points must be given for the megalomaniacal way he delivered his threats to Allison in the scene in the boy’s locker room. It’s not terribly menacing, but it is interesting—ditto Eaddy Mays as Victoria Argent, Allison’s mother, who has become one of the show’s treats. Her decidedly not subtle threats toward Scott when she learns from Melissa McCall that their children may or may not be having sex was very funny in a very intentionally campy way. It was another solid episode from the writing team of Nick Antosca and Ned Vizzini, who have turned in quality work all season.

That’s what I think I enjoy most about Teen Wolf. It balances funny with scary, action with romance, and campy with serious without losing the effectiveness of any of the moments in any permanent way. There may be moments that go awry, or episodes that fail to strike the perfect balance, but most of the time Teen Wolf gets it right and produces an entertaining hour of television. This week was very entertaining.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan may not know anything about the kanima, but he knows not to mess with anything that eats snakes and then vomits them out of their eye sockets. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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