Teen Wolf abandons character development in favour of a rip-roaring action/adventure as Scott (Tyler Posey) and co. enlist an unlikely ally in Mr. Argent (JR Bourne) to help track down Derek’s (Tyler Hoechlin) rogue pack mates.
Let’s bitch it out…
It’s early in the season for Teen Wolf, so ‘Fireflies’ is bit of a surprise in several ways. Firstly, we don’t traditionally get a full-on action episode until closer to the mid-way point of the season (ex: 2×05 ‘Venomous’ which spent the majority of the hour protecting Holland Roden’s Lydia from both Jackson and Derek). Secondly, it’s a surprise because the episode doesn’t really pertain to this season’s villains, the Alpha Pack. In fact, they spend the entire episode out of sight and out of mind! Oh sure, Peter (Ian Bohen) makes it clear that unleashing Boyd (Sinqua Walls) and Cora (Adelaide Kane) is part of the plan to wipe out Scott and Derek, but ‘Fireflies’ isn’t really interested in that.
No, this is an episode designed to thrill. Aside from brief bits with Lydia discovering a body at the pool and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) and Mrs. McCall (Melissa Ponzio) putting together the motivation behind the virgin murders*, nearly everything focuses on a simple mission-statement: find and restrain Boyd and Cora.
*Paging little-seen teen slasher flick Cherry Falls: call your lawyers because someone’s stolen your premise!
In the tradition of Teen Wolf, this is accomplished in alternately thrilling and uber campy ways. Though I could do without the giggle-inducing slo-mo acrobatics liberally scattered throughout the episode, the scenes in the woods are mostly tense, fast-paced and just a little disorienting (which works to maintain a certain frenetic pace, although it doesn’t help our sense of geography at all!) Naturally the camp factor is also present. I mean, can we talk about the slo-mo jumping and flipping as the guys are setting up the sonic devices en route to the school? Pretty hysterical.
By the end of the hour, things have – as usual – gone our heroes way. Boyd and Cora are subdued, the human casualty rate has been contained and both Argents – father and daughter – have been brought back into the fold. Why, we’re nearly into Scooby Gang territory folks! All in all, this is classic Teen Wolf: it’s silly, fun, entertaining and well-executed (though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few minor elements to gently mock).
- The Disney-fied opening with the two kids catching fireflies in the woods is set to a perfect whimsical score. For Boyd to descend upon these defenseless children is highly amusing, though I do wish that Teen Wolf had the gumption to kill the kids. Let’s face it: those two would have been doggy chow
- Hot lesbian and beefy lifeguard virgins are fair game, though. Admittedly the death of the final girl, Emily, is pretty graphic. I mistakenly thought I’d changed the channel to Criminal Minds
- Can we talk about how hella dedicated English teacher Mrs. Blake (Hayley Webb) is to her job and, in particular, her filing? Beyond the laughably bizarre Freddy Krueger vibe in the school’s boiler room, why is a public school teacher working throughout the entire night??? I mean, she’s only saved because Derek holds off Boyd and Cora until dawn! I thought she was new? How much filing could she possibly have after just a few days of classes? Is she the CTU mole?
- Clearly the timeline for this episode is completely out of whack. Either Argent was shopping really late at a 24 hr grocer, or the writers took a short-cut and hit the fast forward button to bring about sunrise in order to ensure that Derek survives his encounter (Because of course he does – Teen Wolf was never going to kill one half of the most popular slash-fiction couples on TV!)
- Last week I wondered if Lydia was due to get a decent storyline and this week hints that she may…but it appears to be last season‘s storyline. Let’s just sigh and accept the fact that she’ll do little more than scream away the rest of the season
- Does anyone care about Alison’s (Crystal Reed) residual mommy drama? Anyone? Bueller?
- I know that I suggested that ‘Fireflies’ doesn’t concern the Alpha plot, but this isn’t entirely true. It’s clear that the human sacrifices are tied to the fireflies and other insects, which can only be part of some larger plot. It’ll be hard not to draw comparisons to last season’s Kanima storyline if it turns out that Deucalion (an unseen Gideon Emery) is controlling the bugs, though
- Finally, your “look” of the week comes courtesy of Isaac (Daniel Sharman), who manages to not only hold his own while hunting and fighting, but look dashing while doing so in a smart scarf/jacket combo. Tres, tres chic
- Scott (when Argent pulls a gun on him): “Uhhhhh, hi”
Your turn: Did you like the action-minded episode? Who’s behind the virgin sacrifices (and should Stiles watch his back)? Were you all “oh, come on!” when Derek survived his ordeal in the basement? And should Tyler Posey get more comedy scenes to play considering how surprisingly adept he is? Post your thoughts below
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm EST on MTV