Teen Wolf: Shape Shifted

Scott: “If I’m with you, I lose her.”
Derek: “You’re going to lose her anyway.”

Teen Wolf is starting to show its affinity for mastering moving parts this season. 'Shape Shifted' not only did justice to the already strong story arcs introduced last week, it also birthed a few new ones that emulated the formers’ success. Also, Allison Katniss Everdeen-ing it up was pretty bad-ass.

It’s hard to remember the show that Teen Wolf used to be, in light of this super-confident fantasy series that’s playing out in front of my eyes. Almost all of season one’s misgivings have been dealt with in some way, and new strengths have formed to boot, not the least of which is the strengthening of minor characters that, up until now, haven’t been given the chance to shine. Lydia’s unfortunate Beacon Hills night-time tour has given her more of a reason to shed her former queen-bee attitude, and continue her transformation into a multi-layered supporting player. We may not have learned anything more about said incident, but we at least got to see how much she’s changed now that she’s lost so much.

Jackson is also being used in some new and interesting ways. There was a clear opportunity for the writers to make him wolf, and milk Scott and his rivalry for all its worth, but the route they’ve taken is surprisingly fresh and not at all how I’d pictured it going, and that’s a good thing. Is his bite not taking due to some strange biological reason? Is he just not wolf material? It’ll be cool to see how his inability to become what he so desperately wants to be will affect him. I’m guessing Lydia’s in for some more douchebag treatment; poor girl.

Like 'Omega' did by introducing new mysteries in the form of Lydia’s mysterious condition, 'Shape Shifter' increased the depth of the show’s mythology by introducing us to a new, sinister creature. My best guess is a bizarre lizard, but we haven’t seen much of what this thing can do yet, so I’m not going to make any serious bets right now. I love the idea of introducing some new form of creature to battle the wolves. A lot of the creature conflict seems in-house, since the tension is forming very much among the ranks of the pack, but an outside force like this mysterious assailant could prove a great catalyst to milk that tension further.

The Hunters seem a hell of a lot scarier this season. Maybe it’s because Allison’s crazily intimidating mother has been getting more screen time, or maybe it’s just the arrival of Gerard Argent, but they seem a lot less bound by their moral code that Allison’s father was so attached to before now. He was hardly the poster guy for fair treatment, but he never seemed like he would go so far as to initiate the torture of an innocent public school principal. It’s hard to imagine why Allison hasn’t escaped that mad-house she calls home yet, but I guess helping Scott to avoid capture is all she can do for now.

The horror and comic relief are meshing as well as they ever have before, and this season’s second chapter showed more strong scripting and an ease in its writing that's characteristic of a show just starting to reach the height of its potential.

4 out of 5 weird lizard things.

Plus

As much as they can annoy me sometimes, the Stiles/Derek scenes have really started to grow on me. Although, Stiles should know Derek wouldn’t need much to distract a member of the opposite sex. He just needs to stand there.

Allison and Scott use her car window to organise meetings. How about texting and deleting the message after? Or maybe an email to a password protected account? Weirdos.

Poor Stiles. The last thing he needed was for his teammates to think he was some S&M, chain using freak. That scene was pretty funny, though.

Like I said up top I really dug Allison’s bow wielding this week. Way to capitalise on the Hunger Games hype, Teen Wolf.

Gerard is high school principal now. That ought to make putting the high schoolers directly in his path a little easier.

He Said, She Said

Matt: “What are you doing?!"
Jackson: “Documenting history. My history.”

Coach: “What the hell is wrong with your friend?”
Stiles: “He’s failing two classes; he’s a little socially awkward; and if you look close enough his jaw-line’s kind of uneven.”
It actually is. I spent the entire second half of the episode looking at it.

Previously posted at PandaTV.

3 comments:

Johan said...

This episode made me fell in love with Isaac. I could feel the tension in the kitchen scene. Poor guy.

And Scott need to take lessions from Derek on how to use his werevolves senses otherwise Danny will think he has yet another admirer. I wonder if it was Scotts fault his boyfriend broke up with him?

If I had seen the lizard thing I would have given up and left town. First werewolves and now lizards, what next?

CrazyCris said...

It's hard having to watch my words when I comment here, seeing as how I've already seen the full season. (trying desperately not to say anything about the lizard creature thing!) :p

The Argents are definitely A LOT scarier this year! Kate was unhinged, but basically she was just after Derek and the Alfa and you never thought she'd do anything to hurt Allison. I can't say as much for her grandfather and mother! I wouldn't put it above those two to torture her if they thought she would learn from it. They just FREAK ME OUT!

(but I loved seeing a bad ass "Saul Tigh" back on my screen!)

Billie Doux said...

During the opener, I was thinking, geez, could this sad excuse for a parent die instantly in a car crash or something? and voila! instant gratification.

How nice to see Michael Hogan with a role he can sink his teeth into again. And Allison! What a bow-wielding bad ass, plus she's a secret double agent to boot.

The chain coming out of the locker gag had me laughing for five minutes. And then I laughed like a loon as Scott attacked and sniffed each of his classmates. Subtlety is not Scott's forte. :) For some reason, Jackson makes me laugh a lot, too. What an idiot. I almost feel sorry for him.