This review contains spoilers.
One of the best things about the third season of Teen Wolf is that they have managed to have created three distinctive villains for this season in the form of the Alpha pack. Between the twins Ethan and Aiden (Charlie and Max Carver), the massive man-beast Ennis (Brian Patrick Wade), Kali the toenails of doom (Felisha Terrell), and the awesome Deucalion (Gideon Emery), the new Alpha pack is really impressive to see on the screen and it’s the kind of instant recognizable visual code that makes them such effective villains. We know what it means to see the twins at school harassing Scott and Isaac (the execution of their Wonder Twin power this week is really well done and a big improvement over their last appearance) or what it means to see/hear toenails clicking on the tile.
Those are the kind of short-hand signifiers needed by a show that is so visual. Once again, Tim Andrew is in the director’s chair, and once again we get a pretty cool episode. Teen Wolf has defined its look, leaning heavily on the eighties music videos, and it’s a look that really works. It covers the seams of the special effects, be they digital or real, and it increases the drama of an already pretty dramatic show.
Witness Gideon Emery’s super villain moment this week. With Derek on the floor, Deucalion takes the opportunity to both explain why he has a pack of alphas, how a pack of alphas can even exist, and just how and why he’s taken an interest in the Hale family (even name-dropping Peter). It goes from pretty interesting (and about what I suspected) to really over-the-top, with Foleyed-in thunder sounds as a punctuation to Deucalion’s speech about being the monster of all monsters. It’s cheesy, but it’s balanced out nicely by the various detective team-ups with Allison and Isaac working together while Stiles and Lydia continue to dance around their inevitable pair-up.
I like the ongoing murder mystery aspect Teen Wolf has going on this season, and writers Alyssa Clark and Jesec Griffin have captured the feel I think the show functions best with while squeezing in a lot of good excuses for shirtless fight scenes. The continued use of legends, specifically Celtic customs and ancient druid rites and rituals, is a boon to the show’s research department. They have a good cast member in Seth Gilliam’s Dr. Deaton who seems to know everything, and it’s a clever bit of self-awareness to have Stiles actually turn to him and tell him that, whenever there’s a mystery, he’s just about the only person on the show who can solve it since he’s also the guy who delivers the exposition.
One of the fears I had about the expansion of season three is that the show would run out of ideas, or maybe milk an idea for too long. However, it seems that like that’s not going to be the case. Between the serial murderer sacrificing people, the Alpha pack, the various teenage problems, and all the other longer-running mysteries that the show has (the fate of Gerard, why Dr. Deaton knows everything, who was that mystery girl in the first episode), it seems like there is no shortage of ideas in the brain of Jeff Davis. Of course, it’s still early yet, but thus far the new additions to the show are working out really well.
Read Ron’s review of the previous episode, Fireflies, here.
US Correspondent Ron Hogan was saddened by the lack of Lydia screaming this week, though Isaac got in a good roar or two. So long as people are shrieking, everything is fine. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.
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