Teen Wolf: “Unleashed”
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Teen Wolf: “Unleashed”

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Teen Wolf

“Unleashed”

Season 3, Episode 4

I don’t know whether it’s my fault or Teen Wolf’s—I have my suspicions, but we both have our stories and are sticking to them—but I sometimes have as much trouble following exactly what’s happening on this show as I’ve had with any show I basically like since Lost. I could have sworn Derek ended up having to kill Boyd and Cora at the end of last week’s episode, but I clearly got that wrong, since they’re both on the show tonight, alive and looking just fine, all things considered. Cora, who appears to live in a sneaker commercial—when she’s not locked in a vault, she spends all her time strenuously working out while looking just furious about it—is in Derek’s space and in his face, and generally behaving as if she’s upset that, during the years he thought she was dead, he wasn’t saving up presents for all the birthdays he was missing, just in case.

Derek did save the hot English teacher, Jennifer, who is campaigning to become my new favorite character and doing better than you might think. She doesn’t have much screen time tonight, but she makes the most of it. After a lingering close-up of her legs runway-walking down the school corridor, presumably included just to make sure we won’t think she rides a unicycle or a winged dragon to work, she enters the classroom to find Derek waiting for her. “What do you want?” she demands. “Are you going to tell me that nobody’s going to believe me? Threaten me? Kill me?” It’s the way she goes all throaty on the last question, as if she isn’t sure that she’d object so long as he takes his shirt off to do it, that seriously raises the possibility that Derek may have found the woman for him. Just when you think she can’t top that, Derek tells her he just wanted to see if she’s doing okay. “Physically,” she asks, “or emotionally?”

Poor Derek deserves all the diversion he can get. When he’s not taking guff from his sister, he’s on all fours on the floor, gritting his teeth in agony, with a steam pipe sticking out of either end of his torso—and also with his shirt off, as if that’s going to do him any good now. The members of the alpha wolf pack have placed him in this situation because their leader, the blind werewolf Deucalion (whose underlings, I am happy to report, call him “Duke”), wants to share his backstory with Derek and requires his undivided attention. Duke wants Derek to kill all the members of his pack, and having done it himself, he recommends it highly.

Duke first killed a wolf who challenged his place in the pack after he’d lost his sight. He soon learned that when an alpha wolf kills a member of his pack, the victim’s special powers and abilities are transferred to him. So he went through his whole pack like a hot knife through butter, and he’s still blind, so I guess not a single member of his pack could see for shit. No matter: Now he is, he explains (in response to Derek mildly calling him a “fanatic”), “The alpha of alphas! I am the apex of apex predators! I am Death, destroyer of worlds! I am the demon wolf!” Whoever decided this speech wouldn’t be complete unless it was punched up with thunderclaps has an extra portion of gruel coming to him. (At the same time, it was a stroke of genius to make the character blind, since, at moments like this, you can’t tell whether he’s popping his eyes behind his dark glasses.)

The amazing thing is that this season has this glorious hambone, all served up on a silver platter; it has the alpha wolf twins (who finally get to be seen, for extended periods, clearly and in broad daylight—they look like the bastard sons of Matt Damon and William Devane); and it has their gal pal with the nasty toenail claws she uses as if they were shivs; and they’re apparently not even behind the main murder-mystery plot. A client at the vet’s winds up dead in the usual ritual-sacrifcey way, and Stiles still thinks the killer is selecting his victims on the basis of their sexual virginity, which means he has the chance to ask the latest victim’s still-grieving girlfriend whether or not her boyfriend had ever had sex, with predictable results. With the help of Dr. Deaton, the Mystery Vet, Stiles deduces that the killings are being done in groupings of three, and that, with three virgins dispatched, whoever is responsible has moved on to killing three people with military connections. The likely culprit? The Druids. Because, as Stiles so eloquently puts it, “The Druids had a raging big hard-on when it came to giving one up for the gods.” If there was a line half as memorable as that one in tonight’s premiere of Under The Dome, I’ll be forced to conclude that Stephen King probably deserves all that money after all.

Stray observations:

  • So, all of a sudden, Allison and Isaac are acting as if they’re repressing a powerful sexual attraction to each other. This had better be the result of Duke’s slipping some powerful killer aphrodisiac into their Kool-Aid. Because otherwise, I just don’t know. And it had damn sure better not be what that “Isaac Unleashed” hashtag is all about.
  • The scene of Lydia stumbling across a clue in the music room is this week’s archetypal Lydia scene, by which I mean that minutes after it was over, I still wasn’t sure whether or not it was a dream sequence.