This review contains spoilers.
2.9 Party Guessed
Teen Wolf seems to be a show that enjoys being weird. Tonight’s episode seemed to maximize that interplay between reality and fantasy, with every character getting some sort of hallucinatory experience for one reason or another. For Lydia, she’s just straight up having a mental breakdown/under the thrall of Peter Hale. For Stiles, Scott, Allison, Jackson, and Matt, their impromptu, unwanted fantasies are the result of Lydia’s nefariousness.
You see, it’s Lydia’s birthday, and since it’s spring break as well, she’s planning a big blow-out party. Unfortunately, she’s kind of become the town weirdo since she got attacked by Peter Hale. Hence, the party is a bust aside from Stiles, Allison, and Scott showing up. Thankfully, Stiles has some new friends – the cross-dressers from their brief adventure in the town gay bar – and Scott has the lacrosse team, so before long Lydia’s birthday is hopping and everyone’s there. Including Jackson.
However, while Allison is blissfully out partying, her world is about to turn upside down. Not only does she find out that Matt the photographer is kind of a creepy stalker type, but her mother is dying. Remember last week, Victoria got bitten by Derek during the fight, and now, well… there’s no way the family of slayers is going to let her live to turn into the very thing they’ve spent their lives hunting (at least not when Gerard is around; Argent himself seems fine with the idea).
Sometimes, you watch a show and someone comes out of nowhere with some really surprising, brilliant acting work. Throughout this season, Eaddy Mays as Victoria Argent has simply been the world’s creepiest mom. Whether she’s threatening to castrate Scott, running Scott down with a car while trying to kill him, or generally being the scariest mother since Joan Crawford, Mrs. Argent was nothing if not unrelatabale. Well, this week, Victoria was completely different. Faced with her own mortality, she was scared, sad, lonely, trying like hell to reach out to her daughter, and completely relatable. Mays and JR Bourne had some great chemistry and I really felt an emotional impact from both theirs, and Mays’ scenes with Crystal Reed. I shouldn’t feel for her, because she scares me, but I did. The actors playing the Argent family did some great work tonight. They’re technically the antagonists, but I felt for them.
The Stiles and Sheriff show-down tonight also really worked, especially when you consider just how many heart-to-hearts the two have had in recent weeks. The whole conceit of the wolf’s bane punch (or some sort of flower punch) giving everyone hallucinations was pretty interesting, and it helped to add more characterization to the teens of Teen Wolf. Dylan O’Brien and Linden Ashby’s son/father relationship works really well and it was nearly as brutal seeing Stiles’s manifested guilt as it was seeing Mrs. Argent’s final moments.
Or were they? During Mrs. Argent’s death scene, when Chris has to help her end her life, there was a very clever moment. She sees the moon, her eyes start to turn wolfy yellow, and then the knife finds purchase in her heart. She passes away, and her eyes return to their normal color. Perhaps we have not seen the last of her after all (or maybe she’s actually dead; I guess we’ll see).
There’s another big reveal tonight, and that’s who the master of the kanima is. Well, maybe it is, anyway. It came in the midst of a lot of people having acid-type freak-outs and the party-ruining presence of the cops, but there was a definite reveal of who Scott seems to think it might be. Of course, that’s only one of the surprises tonight.
I have to hand it to Jeff Davis; this was a brilliant episode of Teen Wolf. The second season has been an improvement on the first, and Party Guessed is without a doubt the best episode of the series so far. The actors had a lot of stuff to work with, and it’s a credit to Davis and director Tim Andrew that they excelled. (Andrew and Davis even worked in a werewolf on werewolf-on-werewolf fight scene this week, which was fun but not even close to the best thing about the episode).
As for how the events of this week will play out in the next few episodes, I couldn’t even hazard a guess. After all, how can you tell what’s real and what isn’t? I have some vague ideas about what’s going on, or what I think is going on, but I can’t tell you for sure any of it is actually happening. Is Peter Hale really back, or was Derek hallucinating that due to the flower powder Lydia dosed him with? Is the kanima master really the person Scott sees in the aftermath of the party?
Read Ron’s review of last week’s episode, Raving, here.
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