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July 16, 2013

Teen Wolf Recap: Currents

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Teen Wolf seems very determined to remind us that its characters-- no matter how smooth their skin or ripped their abs-- are still in high school. The first episode of the season opened with Scott studying for the PSATs; every week since has offered us a key word, first mentioned in a classroom, that comes to play in the action of the episode. Ephemerality, risk and reward, intransigent, anachronism; this week, it was currents. The currents Deucalion told Scott to look for his captured mentor Deaton in, the currents of water and electricity flowing across Derek's apartment as he and his betas attempted to electrocute an attacking Alpha Kali, the geosomething-or-other vaguely mystical currents poor Danny was plotting for a school project before mistletoe poisoning landed him in the hospital. It's all about flow this season, movement and placement in space and time. 

(Also still about water and fire: Derek's flooded apartment, sparks of electricity shooting across the floor.)

Last night's episode was blessedly self-contained: we learned in the opening moments that the Darach is sacrificing healers this week, disappearing two doctors from Beacon Hills' ER at a particularly crucial moment and going after Scott's boss, the mysterious veterinarian Alan Deaton, for the third. Deaton recognizes the warning signs, butterflies massing at his windows, and calls Scott to warn him in turn; most of the rest of the episode is spent in pursuit. The B story is Derek and his loyal betas, Isaac and Boyd, preparing his apartment for a visit from the Alphas, who are very formal about the whole arch-enemy thing, always warning him days in advance. Deaton is saved (with the help of Sheriff Stilinski, who really, really needs to find out about the whole existence of werewolves thing sooner rather than later); Derek is, too. It's Boyd who doesn't make it.

It's hard to talk seriously about a lot of what happens this season; creator and showrunner Jeff Davis has been pretty clear that the Alphas have potent mind-control powers, so you're never quite sure what's a plot hole and what's an intentional red herring. It seems like there's definitely something up with everything happening around Derek: no one has yet explained how his little sister survived the fire that killed the rest of their family or where she's been for the last six years. I'd say that last week's seduction of a woman he barely knows while bleeding from multiple open wounds was similarly inexplicable but come on-- have you seen Tyler Hoechlin shirtless? We are all Jeniffer Blake. But there were shots of Stiles' distinctive baby blue Jeep in the traffic jam that caught up the track bus while Stiles himself sat on board, and there have been too many other unexplained oddities to be sheer sloppiness at work.

Which is a long way of saying that I don't think Boyd's dead. His dying monologue-- about how everything that happened to him as a werewolf was worth it-- makes no sense, since three weeks ago he was still pretty raw over Erica's death. My real takeaway is that we should be on the lookout for the lunar eclipse, which is the last thing he talks about as he's dying, which he remembers Erica mentioning before her own (possibly faked?) death. (I want to know what happened to her body. That was a mysterious disappearance in its own right.) 

The episode ends by letting us know that Scott is such a special gem of a dude-- has such character, morality and will-- that he has turned himself into an Alpha without having to kill anyone to do it. A Born Alpha. I'm sure it will come up again, so we'll talk about it next week, but I'll just say for now that as far as I'm concerned the least interesting thing about Scott is his self-serious I'm a Hero and a Good Guy attitude, and the idea that the show is rewarding him for it by making him into some special category of werewolf is far and away the most boring thing it's ever done. 

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