Teen Wolf wraps a significant development in a supernatural case-of-the-week. Also: lacrosse is back?
Let’s bitch it out…
Oh man – I had almost forgotten about the lacrosse. After sidelining the sport for what seems like ages (I believe we last saw it sometime in season two when Colton Haynes’ Jackson was still on the show), the game rears its ugly head once again for no good reason. Apparently during the entirety of S3 when Scott (Tyler Posey) and crew were dealing with the Alpha pack and the Nogitsune, there was still lacrosse taking place with Scott as captain? Now, with a new school year beginning (or is it just a new season?), we return for lacrosse try-outs and Scott and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) are super worried that they won’t make the cut*. And for some reason Danny (Keahu Kahuanui) isn’t there – or even acknowledged – but there is some new freshman named Liam (Dylan Sprayberry) who totally rocks. He looks twelve, and has some meh backstory about getting kicked out of his last school, but that doesn’t matter because Scott and Stiles have to take him out lest he make them look bad. It’s all terrible and for some reason it dominates what feels like 75% of the episode’s run time.
*This despite the fact that Stiles literally wonders aloud that their interest doesn’t make any sense, as though the writers know that the decision to reintroduce lacrosse is completely arbitrary and unwarranted.
Basically none of this matters until Scott breaks the cardinal rule of super powers and abuses them on the field, breaking (or spraining) Liam’s ankle in the process. The new series regular ends up in the hospital where his storyline intersects with the other plot – aka the one from which the episode takes its title and is worth tuning in for.
The other storyline that’s developing at the same time is more or less a supernatural beastie of the week tale involving a hunky teen named Sean (Glenn McCuen) whose family is killed by a mouthless killer, the appropriately named The Mute (Joseph Gatt). In a nice twist on our expectations, it is revealed that Sean and his family are actually Wendigos with a basement full of bodies and a habit of attacking people when hungry. Enter Melissa McCall (Melissa Ponzio), who continues to have the worst luck of nearly any character on the series. After Scott saves his mom from a hungry Sean, the teenage Wendigo goes after Liam, dragging him to the roof so that we can have a climax involving a perilous situation with people hanging off the ledge. It’s here that Teen Wolf sneaks a defining moment into an otherwise random encounter: Scott chomps down on Liam’s arm to prevent him from falling to his death, effectively creating his first Beta in the process and fulfilling the Checkov’s gun introduced in the premiere when he promised Araya that he wouldn’t turn someone. Oops!
The resolution is fairly clear-cut. The Mute conveniently shows up in time to skewer Sean with his tomahawk, bides Scott a silent goodbye and leaves the Alpha and future Beta to stare at each other. Things will only get more complicated from here, but for now it feels like the season has finally begun. It’s about time!
- The opening scene when the Mute attacks Sean’s family in the dead of night is drenched in slasher movie tropes and it’s surprisingly great. This is one of those rare times when Teen Wolf dumps viewers into the middle of a situation and forces us to play along and it actually works. It’s effective because the atmosphere, the slow build-up to the Mute’s silhouetted reveal and his uber-creepy voice through the door all help to sell the scene. Kudos to the production team for this genuinely freaky cold open.
- No sign of Kate Argent this week, but we do get the return of badass bounty hunter Braeden (Meagan Tandy). The Hale boys – Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) and Peter (Ian Bohen) – recruit the leather wearing gun-for-hire to track down their nemesis for different reasons: Peter is interested in recovering the stolen money, whereas Derek is seeking answers for his delightful new eye colour.
- Might this be the one? After a series of failed relationships, there’s a hint of something going on between Lydia (Holland Roden) and Deputy Parrish (Ryan Kelley). This despite the fact that my gaydar goes wild every time he appears on screen.
- Still not finding Malia’s (Shelley Hennig) inability to adapt to high school amusing. Buffy‘s Anya beat her to this schtick more than a decade ago and she did it better. Math is hard – nyuk nyuk nyuk. Move on already!
- Finally, can we please find a better storyline for Kira (Arden Cho) than lovesick wannabe girlfriend for Scott? Considering how great she is with a kitana and everything she got to do last season, Kira deserves to do more than wait around for Scott’s kisses and engage in some The Killing-esque plot that mock threatens to move her back to NY. (She’s in the credits; who are they trying to fool?)
Your turn: did you enjoy the return of the lacrosse team? What’s your impression of Liam? Were you taken in by Sean? Do you hope to see the Mute again? Should Lydia and Parrish hook up? And how long before the Mexican hunters descend on Scott for what he’s done? Sound off below.
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm EST on MTV