Teen Wolf season 3 episode 9 review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Teen Wolf boasts yet more impressive direction and performances this week. Here's Ron's review of The Girl Who Knew Too Much...
This review contains spoilers.
3.9 The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Life goes on in Beacon Hills, even as multiple lives continue to be snuffed out. Folks are waking up dead, victims of the crazed druid serial killer, the Alpha pack, or some other potential killer on the loose. If you’re a random person in Beacon Hills, your lifespan ends up being pretty short, what with the family of werewolf-hunting psychopaths, serial killers, vengeful drowning victims, Kanimas, werewolves, and other supernatural monsters running around.
It’s only fitting that Beacon Hills High School, the site of dozens of murders and serious violent crimes, is the place where everyone gets together to memorialize the dead via intense classical music. It’s a gathering of lots of potential victims and lots of teenage werewolves, so it’s only natural to assume that crazy stuff is going to happen there. Teen Wolf is a show that’s never better than when it’s throwing caution and realism to the wind and just going completely crazy, and this week’s episode is a pretty potent cocktail of deranged, amusing, and legitimately scary events.
One of the things I like most about Teen Wolf is the show’s ability to emphases certain elements of its style at certain times without being detrimental to the tone as a whole. By and large, if Derek and Ms. Blake sneak out between classes to make-out in some sort of tunnel thing and crack a joke about how much they hate it when the bell rings, it won’t take you completely out of the show; it simply provides a respite from scenes of Lydia skulking around in the dark and being weird while people die left and right from cut throats. Tonight, Tim Andrew reaches into his bag of tricks and pulls out one of my all-time favorite in-camera effects, the Hitchcock zoom. Made famous in Vertigo, it’s that awesome zoom where the camera dollies in while the angle of view changes, leading to the character staying the same size while the background gets massive.
It’s an impressive reminder of the sort of feeling that can be evoked via relatively simple camera tricks, and it hits like a ton of bricks when the focal point is poor Lydia’s freaked-out face. Holland Roden has a great face, and even more impressive lungs, as we see later in the episode. However, while she busts out the best scream I’ve heard in recent memory – maybe better than Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween – and I have to wonder if they cast her because of her screaming or changed her character because she can scream like nobody’s business?
The top performer of the night has to be Linden Ashby as Sheriff Stilinski. Indeed, this is the most Ashby has had to do all season, but when he’s put into scenes, he does a great job with them. Despite the things he’s seen, despite all the mystery murders in his small town that go back throughout his entire police career, he’s still not a believer. Stilinski refuses to believe his son when Stiles tells him about werewolves, and as Stiles goes through the plot of the three seasons of Teen Wolf, from Kate Argent on forward (with the aid of a chess board no less), Stilinski simply refuses to get it.
It’s a moment that works on a few different levels. Stilinski and people over the age of thirty are generally not the show’s target demographic, and the way Stiles feels as he tries to explain Teen Wolf to his father is kind of how I feel when I try to explain the show. Whenever I try to tell people outside of the fandom that Teen Wolf is TV worth their time, despite being on MTV, I get pretty much the same angry, annoyed look that Stiles gets from his father. Writer and producer Jeff Davis has successfully set up the Sheriff as the uninitiated viewer, and it works great in the moment, and it work seven better when Stilinski comes around at the very end of the episode to come to the rescue of Lydia. The show does a good job with its teenagers, but there’s definitely an improvement when you have the adults talking to one another, and it’s nice to see hints of the possible relationship between Sheriff Stilinski and Melissa McCall outside of their children’s shared friendship.
To really be able to follow Teen Wolf requires you to actually pay attention from week to week, and if you’re like me and have a little trouble focusing now and again, then there are little hints that you might miss. To be fair, there is a lot going on in the show, and as we angle towards the end of this half of the season, secrets continue to be revealed left and right. Little hints are going to be missed, I think, but the show is good about reinforcing those little things more than once just to make sure everyone can follow along.
Coming into the season, I was worried about how they would be able to fill twenty-four episodes; now I’m pretty sure they have ideas to spare, even if the cast of minor character humans and extras they’re able to kill off seems to be thinning out quite a bit.
Read Ron’s review of the previous episode, Visionary, here.
US Correspondent Ron Hogan was impressed by tonight’s episode, and is glad to see that it actually happened, despite the IMDb not having it listed. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.
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