August 6, 2013 | 9:03 am
Posted by Zan Romanoff
Do you know what convinced me to start watching Teen Wolf? It was not Tyler Posey's shirtless torso, or Tyler Hoechlin's shirtless torso, or even the power of their shirtless torsos combined. (It might have been a little bit of their torsos and Hoechlin's face but-- that's only natural, I'm only human, okay.) Anyway it was the early scene in which Posey's character, Scott, has recently become a werewolf and, as a fun side effect, gotten really good at lacrosse. Head Jock In Charge Jackson Whittemore, convinced Scott is taking steriods, slams him up against a locker and demands to know where he's getting his juice. Scott looks back, so sweet and perfectly sixteen, and says, "I don't know? My mom does all the grocery shopping."
The moments in which Teen Wolf allows its characters to be teenagers, to be goofballs, to react to pain and trauma and fear with the same mix of shock and misplaced levity that actual humans do are always the best ones. Last night saw Peter shooting himself with an enormous syringe's worth of epinephrine to prepare for a fight with the Alpha twins (whose shirtless torsos literally do combine to make on enormous shirtless torso when they wolf out, but it's just weird and not intruiging, sorry) and staggering out of the hospital room with the needle still in his chest, grunting and growling; once it had worn off he and Scott locked themselves in a laundry room and escaped the twins down a laundry chute. They landed on top of one another in a pile of soft white sheets (clean sheets, let's hope-- they were in a hospital, after all), Peter bitching at Scott for not waiting longer to jump down after him. I laughed out loud! I shed small, discreet tears when Stiles talked about not wanting to have to find his dad's body! The episodes' dramatic structure was as weird as they always are, but at least this one was fun to watch.
We're winding down towards the end of the first part of the third season (when MTV doubled their episode order, they apparently did it in two sections: 12 episodes to air as season 3a this summer, with another 12 coming in January), and the massive cast of characters is starting to become seriously unweildy as the plot tightens up. There's also a lot of explaining to do, as evidenced by last night's big monologue/infodump scenes between Kali and Deucalion and Derek and Jennifer.
The episode goes roughly as follows: there's a storm so bad it's knocking out power to Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital and everyone is being evacuated. Everyone, that is, except Cora, who's still sick with mistletoe poisoning. (Why, you might ask? No one knows yet. Probably because the actress who plays her was in a CW pilot that got picked up.) Derek knows that Jennifer is the Darach; the says she'll save Cora out of the goodness of her heart. When she and Derek and Scott and Stiles get to the hospital it turns out that the Alphas are already there, wreaking merry havoc on Peter. Jennifer runs away and then returns to say she'll save Cora and tell the gang where she abducted Stiles' father to-- in exchange for them getting her out of the hospital alive.
Because it turns out that Jen was Kali's emissary, back when she had a real pack, and that Kali mutilated her and left her for dead, and Jennifer drew power from the tree where Derek had murdered his virginal teenage girlfriend after the bite didn't take so that she could survive long enough to hatch a plot to sacrifice a bunch more people to gain enough power to murder the Alpha pack. On a total lunar eclipse. When they can't shift or heal. Deucalion knew all of this all along and waited until Jennifer had made off with Scott's mom to force him into the ultimate deal: join me, or she will die.
I know, right. That's a lot to have done in ten episodes, and that's not even counting Lydia, who's apparently a banshee and spends the episode off-screen getting treated for the bruises from where Jennifer almost strangled her. I'm hoping that with the season's mysteries mostly cleared up the next two episodes will be clearer and cleaner, though honestly I kind of doubt it-- but maybe at least they'll be funny?
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