Don’t we all kind of feel like this, when the alarm goes off on Monday morning?
Well, werewolf lovers, it looks like we have a real mystery on our hands! WHO’S THE ALPHA?
Tonight’s third installment of Teen Wolf was what we in TV Land like to call a “game changer.” Game changers take what you think you know about a particular program, and turn it on its head. Game-changing episodes either make a show (by defying fans expectations, and reinvigorating their interest in the narrative) . . .
. . . or break a show (by being so patently ridiculous, that they destroy the foundations on which a show’s main plotline was built).
Considering Teen Wolf is currently only three episodes old, it is, perhaps, still too early to determine whether tonight’s plot twist is a “postive” game changer, or a “negative” one. And yet, I will say that, in my opinion, at least, “Pack Mentality” was, by far, this series’ strongest installment yet. Watching this episode gave me, for the first time since the series premiered, an inkling of confidence that Teen Wolf has what it takes to become more than just a summer hiatus series.
Clearly, Stiles is pleasantly surprised by my statement.
Let’s revisit it, shall we?
Worst Wet Dream EVER!
“Please don’t let me die on a school bus. That would be SO lame. If you plan to kill me, at least have the decency to do it in a hot car!”
When the episode begins, Allison and Scott are making out, and dry humping eachother in the dark. It’s getting pretty hot and heavy, in an almost R-rated sort of way. But then Scott
prematurely ejaculates starts wolfing out, and everything goes to hell in a . . . school bus? Suddenly, Wolf Scott is chasing after Allison, and she is running away in tears and SCREAMING HER HEAD OFF.
Garbage pails are thrown. Windows are smashed. The back door of a school bus becomes caked in blood. Scott wakes up in a cold sweat, relieved that this was all nothing more than a bad dream. Or was it?
“Man, I’ve really gotta stop watching The Vampire Diaries, before I go to bed!”
At school, Scott tells Stiles about the dream that made him all hot and bothered. And Stiles chastises his friend a bit for not even being able to “seal the deal” with Allison, IN HIS DREAMS. “When I have dreams like that, they end a little bit different,” Stiles notes wryly. (Oh, I bet they DO, Stiles! I bet they do!)
“Who has two arms, and just got banged in his sleep by the entire female population of the sophomore class? THIS GUY!”
But when Scott spies a brutalized and bloody school bus parked outside the school, he begins to wonder whether what he remembers is actually real. A frantic Scott dashes through the hallways, in search of Allison, to make sure her head is still attached to her body.
(Jury is still out on whether there is actually a brain in there.) When he can’t find her right away, Scott immediately flies into a rage, taking his anger out on a poor defenseless locker . . . Alpha Male Douchebag Jackson‘s locker, to be exact. Oops!
“You asshat! NOW, where am I going to store my 100 pounds worth of hair product?”
But, worry not, Allison fans, because Scott bumps into HER, just a few seconds later. SHE’S OK!
And you know what? I am so glad, because I was REALLY GENUINELY concerned that this show was going to kill off the main character’s love interest, after just two episodes of air time.
Sarcasm. What can I say? It’s a gift!
During class (Yeah . . . believe it or not, they actually DO spend a believable amount of time in school, on this show. It’s kind of refreshing.), everybody rushes to the window, to see a body carried out of the bloody school bus on a stretcher. It’s a bus driver, and he looks pretty darn dead . . . at least . . . until he starts flipping out, like a crazy person.
“Maybe if I tell my mom that a werewolf ate my bus driver, she will finally let me take the car to school.”
Now, Scott is convinced that his wolf-self had, in fact, tortured the bus driver, and ravaged his bus last night, while his HUMAN self, was busy wet-dreaming about butchering his girlfriend. And yet NO ONE seems to be asking the obvious question: What exactly the bus driver was DOING on a school bus, in the middle of the night? Does he LIVE in there?
It kind of reminds me of when I was a little kid, and I assumed that all my teachers lived at the school, and slept in their classrooms, when they weren’t busy teaching me. So, you can imagine my surprise, when I would occasionally see them at the grocery store, or at the post office. But, I digress . . .
Like most teenage boys, I suspect, Scott cares about getting laid and . . . well . . . that’s pretty much it. So, the fact that our “hero” seems more concerned about how his “sleep-murdering” tendencies might negatively impact his upcoming date with Allison, than he is about the fate of the poor, probably homeless, bus driver, who’s face he may have consumed as a midnight snack , is disconcerting, but not necessarily surprising.
What’s more surprising (well . . . at least to Stiles . . . I think most viewers probably expected this), is Scott’s decision to approach prospective Sister Muncher (Bad choice of words?) Derek Hale for tips on How to Be a Better Werewolf.
“Umm . . . how about tips on how to be a better vampire bat, instead? As you can see, I’ve already got the ‘hanging upside down’ part covered.”
Bowling for Douchebags
It’s lunchtime, and Scott and Stiles are both surprised to find themselves eating at the “cool table,” for a change. When Alpha Male Douchebag and Co. plop down next to the two best buddies in the cafeteria, the boys aren’t sure whether they should be pleasantly surprised or seriously freaked out. I like how dating the Hot New Girl at school seems to have made Scott instantly popular, by association. In terms of the Complex World of High School Social Politics, this seems to be something the show actually got right. (Then again, Scott’s newfound “sports stardom” probably had a bit to do with his Climb Up the Social Ladder, as well.)
Though we got a brief glimpse of him last week, this was the first time viewers were officially introduced to Jackson’s best friend Danny, who just so happens to be a homosexual.
I have to say, I loved the little risque comment Danny made to Jackson’s other friend (Apparently, he has TWO! Go figure!), when Other Friend asked Jackson why the Douchebag always kicked HIM out of the lunch table, instead of Danny. “Because I never stare at his girlfriend’s coin slot,” Danny remarked cleverly.
Speaking of the . . . ahem . . . Coinslot, at lunch, Lydia inquires what she, Jackson, Allison and Scott should do on their upcoming double date. I believe it was Jackson who suggested bowling. First lacrosse? Now . . . bowling? This is quickly becoming the Random Sports’ Endorsement Show!
I have to say, I really did expect “popular kids” like Jackson and Lydia to have more exciting, rebellious, ideas about how to kill time on date night than bowling. Then again, it is a sport that emphasizes the fondling of BIG BALLS!
And, in that sense, I suspect it is right up this crew’s alley! Though Scott knows all too well that he SUCKS at bowling, big time, he simply can’t prevent himself from entering into a classic pissing contest with his rival, by telling the Alpha Male Douchebag, that he is the best Ball Groper and Pin Punter on the Planet!
And might I say, Mr. McCall, that if you are ever looking for someone to grope your . . . er . . . punt your pins . . . I’m your girl!
Speaking of pin punting, did anyone else find it a bit strange how preoccupied Stiles was with whether Danny found him attractive? I suspect the comment was just inserted for humor, and to, again, reiterate the notion that there is, in fact, a gay character on this show. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me wonder a bit . . .
“Hi, Danny! How YOU doin’?”
The lunchroom scene is followed by a glimpse of Scott at work at the local veterinary clinic.
Stiles’ dad, the Sheriff, pops in to get his dog’s stitches removes, and starts randomly spewing out all this “supposedly classified” information about how the busdriver’s injuries have been determined to have been caused by a wolf. Scott looks on wide-eyed, even though he pretty much knew this information already. Then, as if the scene wasn’t disturbing enough, the Sheriff gleefully and graphically recounts the precise way in which a wolf will incapacitate his prey. Those of you who put the Sheriff at the top of your “Alpha” suspect list, probably cite this scene as your reason for thinking so.
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolves?
As far as I’m concerned, this guy’s mutilated mug is more frightening than those CGI werewolves will EVER BE!
Apparently, Scott’s mom is a nurse at the local hospital. After work, Scott visits her to ply her with food, in hopes that she’ll lend him the car for his upcoming Wild and Crazy Bowling Date. Unfortunately, for Scott, his mom shoots him down, citing as her reason the “mandatory curfew” for minors, which was enacted in town, as a result of THIS . . .
Never . . . gets . . . old.
After chatting with his mother, Scott sneaks down the hall to visit his old pal / prospective first victim the busdriver. The latter, upon seeing Scott’s face, starts screaming like a banshee, making Scott more convinced than ever that HE was the one who attacked this now-mentally unstable victim.
How to Be Were (wolf)
This scene is followed up by a seemingly random one, in which a cop goes to examine Derek’s house, to ask its presumed owner follow-up questions about his “half” sister. (See what I did there?) However, the minute the cop leaves his car, and starts approaching the house, his police dog starts going apesh*t. This causes Beacon Hills’ Finest to immediately pee his pants, and run screaming in the opposite direction.
“Peek-a-boo! (I see YOU!)”
By the way doesn’t the above picture remind you of something?
Maybe it’s just me . . .
In hindsight, it’s uncertain whether the police dog was reacting to Derek’s presence or to the OTHER werewolf on the scene, Scott. After all, the latter has just arrived at Derek’s house to “talk” about the whole Busdriver Incident.
By the way, I noticed something about Derek’s house. It’s gross . . . and, pretty much, a fire hazard waiting to happen. It also probably lacks indoor plumbing. And why shouldn’t it, when Derek can just lift his legs and “do his business” in the woods, most of the time, anyway? I’m willing to bet he saves a lot on his water bill that way. Plus, considering that “being a werewolf” is probably not the most lucrative occupation on the planet, Derek can probably use all the monetary help he can get!
But I digress . . .
“Am I going to hurt someone?” Scott asks.
“Yes,” replies Derek SexyWolf.
“Am I going to kill someone?” Scott probes further.
“Probably,” says Derek, earning extra points for honesty.
“You also have bad breath. And I think the shirt you are wearing is ugly. Oh, and it makes you look fat.”
Apparently, Derek is the Obi Wan Kenobi of Werewolves. (Who knew?) When he offers Scott to teach him how to “hone his gift”
(sounds kinky), the Big Bad Were acts as though he is giving the teen the Greatest Honor Ever Bestowed on a (sort of) human being. But, alas, in Derek’s world, the best things in life are NOT for free. Therefore, admission into the prestigious Derek Hale School of Werewolf Brooding, Smouldering, and Creepily Glaring at People does not come without a steep price.
What’s the price, you ask? Well, Derek has decided to keep his
only most promising student in suspense about that little part of the deal, for just a little while longer. (Far be it for Derek to spoil the Big End of the Episode Cliffhanger, twenty minutes too early.)
However, since Derek HASN’T set his “fee,” at this point in the episode, might I make a suggestion? It’s a good one, if I do say so myself. (WAY BETTER than the SUPER LAME form of payment Derek actually ends up requiring of Scott, in fact.) Are you ready for it? Here goes . . .
As payment for teaching him how to Be the Best Brooding, Glaring, Monotone-Line Delivering Werewolf he should be, I suggest that Derek should require Scott to . . . wait for it . . . not wear a shirt for the remainder of the season.
(You KNEW I was going there, didn’t you? ;))
For his very first were- lesson, Scott wants to know how to go about remembering things that happened during his “Lost Werewolf Time.” I bet you are never going to guess what Derek’s “fabulous” advice regarding this difficult Were-Problem? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same thing they are always telling everyone to do in those Nike commercials!
That’s right, boys and girls. Our protagonist has just agreed to pay some as-of-yet undetermined price to learn how to do “werewolf stuff,” and the first piece of advice he receives is to “just do it.” I don’t know about where you come from, but around these parts, that’s what I call a F*&KING RIPOFF!
And yet, surprisingly, this lame advice actually seems to work. Because, later that night, when Scott, and (the self-proclaimed Robin to his Batman) Stiles, head to the “Scene of the Crime” that night, all Scott seems to have to do is physically BE where he recalls being during his “dream,” and POOF, memories of that fateful night just seem to magically appear to him, almost as though they have been there all along!
*sings* “Stars shining bright above you. Night breezes seem to whisper I love you. Birds underneath the sycamore tree, dream a little dream of . . . . EATING YOUR FACE OFF AND RIPPING OUT YOUR THROAT!”
Now, I may poke a bit of fun at how conveniently easy it was for Scott to suddenly remember all this heretofore COMPLETELY inaccessible information. And yet, the fact that Scott can do this at all presents to the viewer an aspect of the Teen Wolf mythology that is SURPRISINGLY complex . . . especially, for an MTV show about half-naked teenage werewolves who run around terrorizing people, and take the occasional break to play a “nice game of lacrosse.”
I’m talking about the idea of “dual consciousness.” Let me see if I can explain this correctly. Based on what we’d seen of the show up to this point, most of us probably assumed that Scott’s “werewolf-ism” acted like a form of dissociative / multiple personality disorder. In other words, whenever Scott became “the Wolf,” his “human” self was completely out of commission . . . unconscious . . . sleeping . . . whatever term you prefer.
But NOW we see that HUMAN Scott was actively engaged in his own little snuff porn dream involving Allison, at the EXACT SAME TIME that Wolf Scott was supposedly “trying to save” the busdriver from another wolf. Weird right? Speaking of weird, during his “just do it” form of Lost Wolf Time Investigation, Scott learns that he and the busdriver weren’t ALONE during the Incident. SURPRISE! Derek was there too!
School buses never looked so enticing . . .
Speaking of Derek . . .
Big Bad Wolf Reconnects with Some “Friends” / Gets a New Sunroof for His Car
Much like Scott before him, Derek heads to the hospital to pay a visit to the now-deformed Bus Driver. As we suspected, just like with Scott, the Bus Driver definitely seems to recognize Derek. So, much s,o that he actually goes as far as to apologize to him repeatedly. (For what? Why are you sorry, Bus Driver? For getting your face eaten? For being funny looking? For ruining this beautiful Derek moment by frightening me in this scene?)
This little “coincidence” led me to wonder whether the Bus Driver was as random a victim as the writers would initially have us believe. What if the Bus Driver was, like Derek’s sister before him, another werewolf?
It would explain why Derek instinctively knew to travel to the site of the Incident in the middle of the night. It would also jive with some pertinent information to which we become privy toward the end of the episode. But more on that later . . .
For now, what you need to know about the Bus Driver is that, shortly after seeing Derek at his bedside, he . . . DIES! That’s right, folks, the poor Mutilated Bus Driver took one look at that Hot Piece of Man Meat standing over his bedside, staring down at him with those gorgeous eyes of his, and he DROPPED DEAD.
You know, come to think of it, I would probably have a very similar response, if I woke up to find someone as attractive as Derek Hale leaning over my bed. I would have died too! Though . . . probably not for the same reasons the Bus Driver did.
Poor Derek! The dude just killed a guy with his hotness. And now, his night is about to go from bad to WAY worse! We catch up with the Sexy Wolf, a bit later, while he is filling up his tank at the local gas station.
Apparently, in this town “getting gas” is somewhat of a Social Event. After all, just minutes after Derek has situated himself suggestively across the hood of his car, hand clutching tightly to the gas pump, he finds himself surrounded by TONS of company.
(Gang Bang?) And I bet you will NEVER guess who that “company” happens to be! Actually, you probably, will. It’s Allison’s Creepo Dad and his Asshat Werewolf Hunters.
Werewolf Hunter Dude immediately starts washing Derek’s windshield (not a metaphor for sex, unfortunately). As he is doing this, he starts making thinly-veiled threats to the werewolf about “importance of protecting the things, and people he cares about.” He also makes an insensitive comment about how Derek doesn’t have much “family” anymore, an obvious reference to his “half” sister.
But things really come to a head (again, not a metaphor for sex) when Derek dryly suggests that the men check his oil next, and one of Big Bad Werewolf Hunter’s Cronies obligies . . . by bashing in the passenger side window of Derek’s car!
At this point, I was kind of HOPING for Derek to wolf out, and kick some Redneck Hunter ass. But, of course, that’s what the Werewolf Hunters were undoubtedly counting on happening, thereby giving them the public ammunition they need to shoot him in “self-defense.’ So, I’m proud of my Sexy Wolf Man for keeping his cool, in a situation where most humans DEFINITELY would not.
Hey, maybe Derek IS the Obi Wan Kenobi of werewolves, after all!
Allison Finally Grows a Personality (and it’s kind of slutty, not to mention, a tad suspicious)
I hate girls who always look like they are posing for a picture, even when there is NO CAMERA AROUND.
Around this time, Lydia is hanging out at her new bestie, Allison’s house, and helping the latter prepare for her Wild and Crazy BOWLING date with Scott. Once Lydia finds Allison something suitably tacky from her closett to wear, Big Bad Werewolf Hunter Dad pops in to remind the kiddies that as a result of the death of Derek’s “half” sister, there is a curfew tonight, and neither of them are to leave the house. Lydia hits on Big Bad Werewolf Hunter Dad, shamelessly for a bit, and then he leaves.
Once he’s gone, Lydia sarcastically inquires as to whether Allison is “Daddy’s Little Girl.”
“I am,” Allison replies. “But not tonight.”
To prove it, Allison jumps from her two story bedroom window, and lands on her feet: an unnecessary stunt, especially considering her dad had announced he was leaving the premises, and she could have just as easily used the DOOR, as Lydia helpfully points out later. Allison chalks up her Spiderman-like abilities to “8 years of gymnastics.” And yet, those who suspect Allison to be the “Alpha” (again, more on that later) point to this scene as evidence of her true identity.
At the bowling alley, EVERYONE seems to be bowling non-stop strikes, except for self-proclaimed “awesome bowler” Scott, who keeps throwing nothing but gutter balls.
*insert sad trumpet music*
Alpha Male Douchebag Jackson, who’s been perpetually pooping himself lately with jealousy over Scott’s newfound-lacrosse playing ability, is just eating this up, laughing loudly and uproariously at Scott’s expense. I actually think this is the first time we’ve seen the character smile on the show.
Fortunately for Scott, Allison is there to rescue him. At a crucial moment in the game, she pops up to offer her Cuddly Wolf Boy some “helpful” advice. And here it is: He should picture her naked, while he bowls.
Wait . . . what? THAT’S THE WORST SPORTS-PLAYING ADVICE, EVER!
Do you know what happens to me when I try to play sports, while thinking about sex? Scratch that, do you know what happens to me when I think about sex, while doing ANYTHING that doesn’t involve . . . oh . . . I don’t know . . . having SEX? I SUCK, ROYALLY. (And no, THAT is not a metaphor for sex, either!) In fact, I think it’s pretty safe to say that any human would react the same way I would when trying to follow Allison’s “helpful” advice.
Yet . . . Scott is NOT human . . . not anymore . . . not entirely, anyway. Scott is a werewolf. And, as Stiles helpfully informed us in the pilot episode, werewolves tend to “wolf out,” whenever their pulse raises, like, for example, when they are extremely angry . . . or extremely nervous . . . or extremely . . . wait for it . . . sexually aroused. So, all it takes is for Scott to think about Allison naked and, SUDDENLY, he’s Mr. Pro-Bowler!
We know immediately that this has happened, because Scott starts seeing the bowling pins in RED. Now, honestly, I don’t know what makes red pins easier to shoot down than plain old white ones, but hey, whatever floats your boat, Scottie Boy!
So, of course, Allison and Scott are thrilled, Lydia is intrigued, and Jackson is sporting PermaBitchFace again, and making those oh-so-redundant threats to Scott that he’s going to “find out what’s up with him, if it’s the last thing he does.” Yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s time to put your body where your mouth is, Jackson. (OK . . . that ended up sounding dirtier than I intended.)
“Bite me, Wolf Boy! (I bite back).”
Anyway, here’s MY question. How did Allison know, for sure, that her “bowling advice” would work for Scott, when it seems SO antithetical to everything most of us know about sports? It’s almost as though Allison KNEW exactly what would spark Scott’s hidden athletic prowess / werewolf powers. And how would she KNOW that, unless . . . SHE IS THE ALPHA?
Scott Bowls Strikes (Literally and Figuratively), Stiles Gets Struck (again)
Back at Scott’s house, Scott’s mom is home from her nursing night shift. She approaches Scott’s room to check up on her son, and finds him . . . MISSING! And yet, rather than assuming, as most parents would, that Scott has disobeyed curfew, and snuck out of the house, Scott’s sweet (possibly naive) mom, begins to wonder whether something AWFUL happened to him
(like, say, he got bitten by a rapid werewolf, and, then, almost HIT BY A CAR).
So, when Scott’s mom hears the sound of footsteps climbing into Scott’s window, she doesn’t assume it’s Scott, but, rather AN INTRUDER. Like mother, like son, Mommy Dearest immediately picks up her trusty bat, and runs into the room swinging. Except, the person at the window is not an intruder at all. In fact, it’s not even Scott, it’s STILES!
“Seriously! You guys HAVE to stop trying to clobber me with a bat. I’m going to start to take it personally.”
Fortunately, for Scott, he snuck in just moments earlier, after having exchanged some SERIOUS smoochies with
She-Wolf Allison on her porch.
In short, Scott had the perfect night, AND he didn’t even get nailed to the wall for disobeying curfew by his mama. Talk about win-win! Well . . . except for one thing. Apparently, Stiles creeped into Scott’s room in the middle of the night to
have his way with him deliver some bad news. It’s time for Scott to learn what most of us already knew: Mutilated Bus Driver is no more. And Scott . . . well, he’s SUPER PISSED ABOUT IT!
Battle of the Funny Lucking Wolf-Head Thingies
In what is already becoming a comically regular occurrence on this show, Scott storms over to Derek’s crack house, all angry and accusatory. “YOU KILLED HIM,” Scott screams at Derek in one breath, regarding the former-Bus Driver.
“YOU DID THIS TO ME,” the Teen Wolf, shouts in another, regarding his newfound tendency to sometimes sprout hairs from his ears, and resemble E.T.
Derek denies BOTH accusations. But, of course, he’s too cool to just say that in front of Teen Wolf. Instead, he allows his voice to echo around the entire house, while he hides somewhere off screen, Wizard-of-Oz Style. Wow! I was unaware, ventriloquism was a werewolf skill. Neat . . . I guess.
When Derek finally does show his face, Scott is already wolfed out, and starts lunging after him. So, Derek decides to wolf out too.
This marks the first time in the series that we have seen Derek’s wolf form. And it’s . . . well . . . a tad underwhelming, if you ask me. Honestly, I’m not really sure what I was expecting out of Wolf Derek, but it wasn’t that. Perhaps, I was looking for something hotter? Or scarier? I’m not really sure.
Either way, the fight scene between the two wolf heads was kind of cool. And yet, what was even cooler (and more shocking) was what Derek said to Scott AFTER the two Wolf Heads finished fighting. During his little monologue, the following points of interest / game-changing facts were revealed:
(1) Derek was not the one who killed the Bus Driver, nor was Scott. A THIRD WOLF did the deed. And he is an ALPHA wolf. In other words, when he wolf’s out, he looks more like Jacob from Twilight, and less like the E.T.-esque Beta werewolves, Scott and Derek.
(2) Derek DID NOT bite Scott. The Alpha Wolf DID. So, Scott is now part of THAT wolf’s pack. Therfore, the Alpha is now on the HUNT for Scott, seeking him as part of his “team” or something.
(3) The Alpha Wolf may have also been the one who killed Derek’s sister, since she had come to town hunting for that wolf. If so, he did it to draw Derek out, and “send him a message.” (Of course, the Hunters could have just as easily done this, for the same reason.
(4) Scott’s connection to the Alpha Wolf is the key to bringing it down. (Remember how Derek required PAYMENT for his wolfing lessons? This is it! Scott gets to be Alpha Bait. YAY!)
“Whatchu talkin about, Recapper?”
Of course, this begs the question I’ve been hinting at throughout the recap. Who’s the ALPHA? Is it someone NEW, who we have yet to meet? Or is it someone we ALREADY know, like Allison (My money is on her, so far), or her Dad, or Lydia, or that Crackhead Coach?
Tune in next week to find out. (Well, we probably won’t find that out next week. But tune in then, anyway.)