‘Teen Wolf’ S3E1 Recap: Wolves at the Door

Yay, Teen Wolf is back for the summer! And last night’s episode was crazy good; it easily filled the audience in on events that took place during the four-month time jump (like the reason for Jackson’s absence) whilst simultaneously dropping a whole pack of new enemies/problems on Scott’s doorstep. Best of all, the show has clearly suffered no lack of quality whatsoever going into its third season–it’s just as well-written, slightly corny, and fast paced as ever. Last night’s episode dealt with typical high school problems, such as first tattoos, mourning past relationships, new teachers, and bloodthirsty alpha werewolves. Fun times!

So, the cold open began with an unconscious Isaac being dragged through the streets by some woman we’ve never met before. After using her car to resuscitate him, she pulled him onto her motorcycle and told him to hold on. The two began to race through the streets of Beacon Hill, but were quickly ganged up on by a set of twins who did their best to rip Isaac off the bike. After jumping through a warehouse window, Isaac fell off the bike, and the pair crashed to the ground. The twins followed, ripped off their shirts, and did one of the craziest things I’ve seen yet on this show: one brother punched the other in the back, and the two converged, forming one giant werewolf. The whole transformation sequence was horrifyingly grotesque but also strangely fascinating. I couldn’t look away. Anyway, The Girl (that’s how she’s credited for the episode, so that’s what I’m calling her) shot the wolf brothers with something, and they split into two bodies again and fled. So crazy.

After the opening credits, Scott and Stiles were hanging out in a tattoo parlor where Scott wanted to get his first tattoo. He hilariously drew the tattoo artist a picture of the tattoo he wanted, which was nothing more than two simple, thick black bands around his bicep. Scott seemed unfazed by the tattoo process as the man began his work, but Stiles quickly fainted. Afterwards, the two were sitting in the parking lot when Scott’s arm began to burn painfully, and when he ripped off the bandage, his tattoo quickly disappeared and healed. Such a waste of money, though Stiles was pleased. He wasn’t a fan of the tattoo, apparently.

Around the same time as the tattoo incident, Allison and Lydia were discussing Jackson and Allison’s summer trip to France while on the way to a double date. Though she wouldn’t allow Allison to say his name, Lydia informed her that Jackson had been shown the basics of werewolfism by Derek before his father moved him to London. And Allison and her father had spent four months in France after her mother’s death, but had decided to return to Beacon Hills. When the pair were stopped at a red light, Scott and Stiles pulled up beside them. The girls quickly sped off, and the boys, after feeling awkward for driving right behind the girls, stopped in the middle of the street. The girls followed suit, and, as the four had separate debates about whether or not they should talk to the others, a deer ran straight into Lydia’s car and crashed through the windshield. After using his weird werewolf powers, Scott surmised that the animal hadn’t simply been scared, but terrified, though there was nothing around to signify the source of the creature’s fear.

Meanwhile, Isaac and The Girl were brought into the hospital. When Scott’s mom, Melissa, tries to help The Girl, she tells her she needs the alpha (Melissa was clued into her son’s werewolf life last season). Melissa mentions Derek, but The Girl says no, she’s talking about Scott McCall. Interesting!

The next morning, Scott does one-armed pull ups with one hand while holding a book in the other. After his workout, he checks his computer for the word of the day (ephemeral) and checks his bicep again, where there’s absolutely no sign of a tattoo. Better luck next time, Scott. At the Argent house, Allison’s father offers to let her stay home for a day or a week if it would make things easier on her, but Allison shoots him down and the two hug out their lingering grief. In contrast, Stiles’s father actually begs his son to go to school so he doesn’t have to listen to his son’s rambling research about the country’s deer and car accident statistics. A funny and perfect father-son exchange followed:

Sheriff Stilinski: Would you consider a bribe?

Stiles: You couldn’t meet my price.

Sheriff Stilinski: Extortion?

Stiles: You got nothing on me!

Too good! Finally, Sheriff Stilinski gave up and literally dragged his son’s chair away from his computer. Lastly, Lydia prepared for school while Jamie N Commons’s song “Rumble and Sway” played in the background, and a naked guy begged her for a real date, or at least more sex, from her bed. Oh, Lydia. I’ve missed you.

At school, Scott and Stiles were discussing going to Derek for tattoo advice when they spotted posters of Boyd and Erica hanging up in the hallway. The two are still missing and have been all summer. Lydia and Allison were up against their lockers, once again discussing boys, when Lydia began to check out all the new freshmen boys. Her “hunt” was cut short by the twins’ arrival (in a slow-mo walk while the camera pans up, because this show loves to flashily show-off their attractive cast members). The twins caught almost everyone’s eyes, even The Girl’s, who woke up with a start at the hospital.

While Isaac tried to get Melissa to help him keep his rapidly healing wound a secret from the doctors, who were prepping for his surgery, The Girl woke up and snuck out of the hospital. Melissa failed to get a hold of Derek, so Isaac recommended she call her son. After she left his room to call Scott, a new (faux) nurse came in and drugged Isaac. He fell unconscious, but not before catching a glimpse of her bare, clawed feet.

Back at the school, Allison was forced to take a seat in front of Scott’s because it was the only one available. All at once, the entire class received a text message, courtesy of their new teacher. She walked in, told them the text was the last line of the first book they’ll be reading as well as the only text they’ll ever receive from her, and then ordered them to shut off their phones. Whoops. Melissa failed to call her son before his phone shut off. Allison passed Scott a note during class, asking if they could talk, but Scott was called to the office before he could reply. Though the teacher let him go, she also gave him a warning. She knew about his spotty attendance record. Scott reassured her that he’d be doing better this year, then dropped his word of the day in a sentence (much to the teacher’s surprise) and sauntered off.

Stiles, sitting next to Lydia, noticed an injury on her leg (I think, I can’t remember, not super important). She told him the injury was from her dog, who had bitten her. Stiles seemed worried, especially when Lydia told him her dog had never bitten her before. Lydia began to mock Stiles’s fear when their conversation was interrupted by a bird flying into the window. The teacher moved to the window, just in time to witness an entire flock of birds heading toward the school. They burst through the windows and flew around the room scratching faces, disrupting desks and leaving feathers everywhere. The whole scene was odd, spooky and ominous, and I loved it.

Scott met his mom at the hospital, but Isaac was already in surgery. As Scott headed toward the elevators, the surgeons pulled aside Isaac’s bandages to reveal fully-healed skin. Scott ran into a blind man on the elevator, who was given enough attention by the show to indicate he’d be popping up later (and he did). Another faux nurse (this one a towering, thickly-muscled man) wheeled Isaac out of the operating room and into the elevators. Before the doors shut, Scott spotted the man and realized he was a werewolf. Cue the dubstep music (AKA Teen Wolf‘s preferred fight score) as Scott attacked the man, and the two battled in the elevator (while Isaac slumbered on obliviously). As the new werewolf had Scott by the throat, the elevator doors dinged open, and Derek clawed the man in the back. He easily tossed the other alpha wolf out of the elevator, and then made a crack at Scott about being out of school. Nice to see you, Derek! I was wondering when you’d show up.

Derek took the two to his old hangout, the abandoned house, and told Scott that Isaac had only healed on the outside; he still had internal injuries. He also informed Scott that the new wolves were part of an entire pack made solely of alphas.

Amidst the leftover mess from the bird attack, Sheriff Stilinski pulled Mr. Argent aside to ask if he knew anything about the town’s strange animal happenings. Mr. Argent shot him down, confused as to why he was being questioned, but the sheriff had simply heard that Mr. Argent was a good hunter (though he didn’t realize Mr. Argent wasn’t a hunter in the regular sense). Still, Argent knew nothing and, though Allison seemed interested, reminded her that they’d agree to stay in Beacon Hills only if they stayed out of the town’s supernatural mysteries. Right. We’ll see how long that lasts. When Lydia and Allison were preparing to leave, The Girl approached them at their lockers and demanded to know where Scott was. Then the twins showed up. The Girl spotted them at the end of the hallway and gripped Lydia and Allison’s wrists so tightly she left instant bruises before fleeing.

Sheriff Stilinski was called away from the school by the town vet (whose been lurking in the background up to this point, but will hopefully become more involved with the wolves, as the end of season 2 seemed to indicate). All of his animals had been killed, but not by an intruder–the animals had killed themselves. Very strange. Also intriguing! I’m very excited to see where Teen Wolf is going with the suicidal animal storyline.

Anyway, Scott took advantage of his time with Derek by asking him to give him a tattoo. At this point, Stiles had filled Scott in on the bird attack and arrived at Derek’s old house. When Derek pulled out a blow torch (I repeat, a BLOW TORCH) to tattoo Scott, Stiles tried to run but Derek needed him to hold Scott down. Scott’s reasoning for getting a tattoo was so corny, but he basically wanted it as a reward for not calling or texting Allison all summer, though he’d very much wanted to. Tattoo in Samoan means “open wound” and missing Allison still felt like an open wound. So, so corny, but I forgive you, Teen Wolf, because you do so many other things so well. Post-tattoo, Scott and Stiles are leaving, when Scott notices the door’s been painted, which is already strange, but stranger still is the way Derek only painted one side. Ignoring Derek’s orders to leave, Scott begins to scratch off the paint, revealing the symbol underneath (the one we saw at the end of season 2).

The last bit of the episode was a nice juxtaposition of the various storylines. First, we see The Girl being attacked by members of the alpha pack as Derek explains more about the ways a pack made solely of alphas works. According to him, they still have a leader, called a Deucalion. Immediately after Derek says this, we get a shot of the blind man from the elevator pulling off his glasses and approaching The Girl. She accuses him of being afraid of Scott, of the type of man he’ll become. The man responds by telling her the best way to get rid of a threat is to eliminate it, and it’s even better if you get someone else to eliminate the threat for you. The Girl assumes he means Derek, and says so, but the man kills her without response. Lastly, Isaac jerks away asking after The Girl, Lydia and Allison put their bruise wrists together and realize they make a symbol–the same symbol on the floor behind Erica and Boyd, who we’ve finally learned have been kidnapped by the alphas.

I thought this was a solid and thoroughly enjoyable episode. This show’s always done a great job keeping its supernatural elements grounded in real teen issues (example: Stiles mentioning Scott’s studying for the PSATs right before Scott claws the paint off of Derek’s door), and the characters are fully realized and relatable. When I first heard Colton Haynes had left the show, I was afraid his absence would negatively influence the show, but I barely noticed his absence. I am worried about the twins, however, because we don’t know very much about them thus far. I’m interested in seeing how they develop as characters, and I’m already loving the new alpha pack stuff. Overall, I think Teen Wolf makes for great summer TV–it’s light enough for entertainment but contains enough substance to avoid being shallow viewing–and I’m very glad it’s back!

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