It’s the penultimate episode of the first half of Teen Wolf‘s third season, although more accurately ‘Alpha Pact’ is really part one of the mid-season finale. After two of the final three sacrifices are snatched, can Scott (Tyler Posey) and co. track down Jennifer Blake (Haley Webb) before it’s too late?
Let’s bitch it out…In terms of coherent plot structure, ‘Alpha Pact’ is arguably one of the strongest efforts of the third season. It’s well-paced, with a few action set-pieces, several big developments and evenly distributes the screen time across a variety of characters.
Because this is the first half of the mid-season finale, we’re really only getting half of the story. We’re clearly moving towards a confrontation between Blake and…well pretty much everyone at this point…but that’s deferred until next week. As a result, ‘Alpha Pact’ feels like it’s just getting started by the time that Scott, Alison (Crystal Reed) and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) hop into Dr. Deacon’s (Seth Gillam) icy baths…and then it’s over.
Momentum aside, this penultimate episode features a number of big moments that will affect the show moving forward. Chief among them is Stiles’ and Lydia’s (Holland Roden) first kiss, which happens out of necessity (she uses her lips to stop his panic attack). Now this is no simple kiss; it has deliberately been in the works for three seasons. Perhaps for this reason it would have been nice if Lydia hadn’t looked quite so surprised – it’s not as though these kids didn’t know that there was a mutual attraction. Obviously as first times go, this doesn’t happen under the best of moments, but if ever there was a legitimate starting point for a future relationship (perhaps in the second half of the season?) then this is it. Side Note: This “intimacy under pressure” reminds me of Willow sleeping with Oz for first time in the lead-up to certain death at their high school graduation on Buffy.
Other milestones: Scott’s father is revealed to be some random FBI agent (and can I just say that it’s about time that a higher authority descends upon Beacon Hills considering the murder rate this small town has racked up recently?). Also, Melissa (Melissa Ponzio) fills in Sheriff Stilinski (Linden Ashby) about all the supernatural craziness in town and Argent (JR Bourne) arbitrarily gets himself caught by Jennifer in an ill-advised plan (did he honestly think that she wouldn’t frisk him for weapons? Dude, she’s magical and survived a mass execution – she kinda knows how to protect herself)
All in all, it’s a well done episode that builds a lot of goodwill going into the mid-season finale. Bonus points: very little Kali and less slow-motion-for-no-purpose camera work than usual. Score!
- How great is that pained looked on Scott’s face when Dr. Deacon pairs Alison with Isaac (Daniel Sharman)? Seriously Scott? Don’t get jealous: A) Isaac is basically being asked to murder her and B) if it’s because you would rather have Isaac hold you down, then we need to seriously examine just how much slash fiction a single show can sustain…
- The Alpha pack goes after Ms. Morell (Bianca Lawson) because she’s the same as Jennifer (wow – guilt by association) and because she sent the girl from 3×01 ‘Tattoo’ to protect Isaac. Geez, way to wait until no one remembered/cared to bring that information back, Teen Wolf
- Like AV Club, I’m unsure how we’re meant to react when it’s revealed that Lydia has been drawing the same tree over and over again. Clearly the writers are aiming for shock and dread, but there’s an inherent silliness to the whole thing. “Ohhhh, she’s got limited creativity when it comes to artistic subjects! Scary!”
- Finally, Derek’s (Tyler Hoechlin) entire storyline with Cora (Adelaide Kane) is such a bore. I’m only highlighting it because it seems as though Peter (Ian Bohen) has cooked up this “dangerous cure” with malicious intent (stealing back Alpha status from Derek?). That close-up of Peter’s face is too telling for the untrustworthy uncle not to be plotting something
- Stiles (when Scott’s dad indicates that the last he saw of Sheriff Stilinski, he was drunk): “Next time we’ll do a field sobriety test. We’ll start with the letters F and U”
- Lydia (to the girl waiting in Morell’s office): “Sweetheart, we’re not here for a session”
- Sheriff Stilinski (to Argent, after Melissa admits she filled Stilinski in): “I was starting to feel left out”
Over to you: did ‘Alpha Pact’ get you fired up and ready for the mid-season finale next week? Were you glad to finally see Stiles and Lydia hook up? Are you interested in Derek’s mission to save Cora? Is Morell dead meat now? And do you really think Lydia and Deacon could hold a nearly adult male and a burgeoning Alpha underwater until they drown? (Answer: no). Contribute your thoughts below
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm EST on MTV