Today we want to spotlight a fan’s review of ‘Teen Wolf’ Episode 3.01. We so often read professional critics’ reviews of our favorite shows, but it’s not that often that ‘real’ viewers and fans have the opportunity to express their thoughts. We’d like to thank FaeryQueen07 for sending us her review to post on the site. If you haven’t seen the episode, be forewarned: THERE ARE SPOILERS!
Season 3 is officially off and running, and it has brought with it not just new cast members, but a new tone as well. If you haven’t already watched the season premiere, ‘Tattoo’ (which you can stream over at MTV.com), then <i>Beware the Spoilers</i>!
When I sat down to watch ‘Tattoo’ with my nine-year-old daughter, I was half afraid we’d be treated to another opener of gruesome cruelty; Gerard and the omega. While animals killing themselves out of sheer terror is far from pleasant, that three minute scene in season 2 almost put us both off the show. After a lengthy discussion about the self-centered world of teenagers—every down is emotional turmoil and every boy/girlfriend is <i>the one</i>—we were both ready to accept that season 3’s Scott McCall might still remain one of our least favorite characters.
Now, before anyone gets pissed off, let me point out that I haven’t been sixteen for, well, sixteen years. Relationships are not the be-all end-all of life for me. I don’t exist in my own bubble—no matter how much I wish I did! To me, Scott McCall was selfish, whiny and obsessed. Rather than try to understand his new situation, he would ignore it until it inevitably bit him in the ass. Then, while cleaning one day, I found some stories written by people I hung out with in high school and discovered… Scott is pretty average. But more than that, I failed to give him credit when it counted: that boy loves his mama.
Season 3 has given us a different Scott (and Derek, and Lydia, but that’s about it for the usual suspects). This Scott has spent four months looking his faults in the eyes and doing his best to overcome them. He is broadening his literary horizons, researching means of connecting with himself and has dedicated himself to making up for one year (and two seasons) of being a bit of a potato. This is just a glimpse into the man Jeff Davis is molding him into and Tyler Posey continues to make Scott a <i>real</i> person. If you cut the sound in Tyler’s scenes, you would know every thought, every word, just by his body language and facial expressions. He’s just that good.
One thing I found disappointing about the episode was the unveiling of the alpha pack. That isn’t to say I did not want to meet them, just that I felt it was a lot to unleash in one episode. With a 24 episode season to fill, a slower introduction would have been nice. Also, Danny’s abs. And his dimples. But I digress; back to the alphas.
I could go either way on the female alpha and the one posing as a hospital orderly. Her feet freak me out and he just did not impress me. Maybe because he lacked that distinct Hale smirk of superiority? I dunno. No offense is meant to the actor and I’m sure I’ll have a chance in the very near future to eat my words. The twins, however, were a far cry from what I was expecting. I had a flashback to a childhood spent watching Voltron as they merged into one giant, freaky mutant velociraptor of a werewolf. And then there was Deucalion. Gideon Emery, you did not prepare me for how freaky your character is—and hello, idiot Scott! How did you not sense what he is? I am looking forward to seeing what Deucalion has to bring to the table, aside from the scary.
So far as we can tell, the character to have changed the most since last season is Scott. But next in line, and the main subject of this website, is Tyler Hoechlin’s Derek Hale.
Can we just take a moment to bask in Derek’s amused expression when pointing out that Nurse Orderly wasn’t the only alpha on that elevator? And then, again, I have to ask, how do all these werewolves keep failing to sense one another. You have keen hearing and senses of smell. WTF? I could maybe buy the alpha pack using magic to hide their scents, but Derek? He’s still a tad too smug about his He-Man status. But that isn’t my point. It’s this: Scott isn’t the only one to have matured. In the scene where Scott bears his angsty teenaged soul regarding the tattoo, there is no mockery from Derek. There are no patronizing words or condemnation. And though I can’t say I like that Derek tried to hide the fact that a pack of alphas exists and they are <i>in Beacon Hills</i>, I approved of his intent. Derek’s childhood was cut short by the decimation of his pack, his family. After spending 24 episodes treating Scott like an unwanted burden that needed to be dealt with, he has finally stepped up in responsibility.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the pace set in episode one. The audience is thrust right into the action, and we get to see a smarter, more dedicated side to Scott (Yay! o/). Mystery girl was very intriguing, and I’m sad her time on the screen was cut short, but I am very much looking forward to finding out just what her mark will mean for Lydia and Allison. Allison never ranked very high for me because she was led astray so easily. I’m hoping that in this new year, she will figure her shit out and stop letting dysfunctional family members dictate her actions—though I will certainly give her a pass if Mama Argent makes a return from the dead. If not for that, Allison, alongside Lydia, makes for a very strong role model for girls. She’s tough, can fight her own battles and has a lot of potential.
With the absence of Erica, Teen Wolf needs every strong female lead they can get to really connect with their audience. Every girl and boy can appreciate good eye candy (and this is a <i>very</i> delicious cast), but having someone they can look up to, model themselves after while they’re figuring out who they are and how they fit into the grand scheme of things is important. And for all that I complain about the faults of these characters, the best part about them is that they are flawed. Most of them are self-centered, obsessive, juvenile and just <i>teenagers</i>, which I think a lot of people forget.
Lest you think I forgot about him, fear not! Stiles is the reason I’ve stuck with this show, and Dylan O’Brien makes every scene he’s in a delight to behold. He’s more than the comic relief and his backstory is so complex I sometimes forget he’s not the main character. Unlike Scott, there is a lot of mystery surrounding Stiles, his first name for instance. His mother’s name. His father’s name. He was also one of the more mature characters coming into Teen Wolf. Yes, he’s still juvenile enough to go looking for a dead body in the woods, but more than that, he’s aware of the world that exists outside himself. His only truly selfish moment is at the end of season 2 when he’s begging Lydia not to go looking for Jackson. He got a lot of shit for that from the older audience, but I suspect there were a lot of teenagers who could perhaps not <i>sympathize</i>, but relate. And his decision to ‘make’ Lydia fall in love with him, while displeasing to many, just made me sad, because again, Stiles is aware enough to know he can’t force feelings that aren’t there onto someone. I read that scene as more of Stiles’ way of straining towards normalcy in the face of finally accepting that Lydia really does only have eyes for Jackson.
My hope for this season—Jeff Davis reveals aside—is for Stiles to confront some of his demons. While I like the idea of it being Derek because they have so many similarities, I want him to connect back with Scott even more. I want Scott to be the one to sit Stiles down and remind him that his mom dying had nothing to do with him, that his dad is just worried about him and that even though Stiles waited and held his breath and didn’t let go only to have help never arrive, he wasn’t—isn’t—forgotten. I need there to be less secrets between the best friends, and I really hope that this happens. I have other feelings about the dynamics of the characters, but I’ll save those for a later date.
My thoughts on ‘Tattoo’ are pretty simple: lots of action, lots of new characters, lots of questions and pretty much no answers. Am I excited for what lies ahead? Definitely. The days between episodes are already beginning to drag and we haven’t even reached the real meat of things. I like Scott’s progress, and I like that he has found an outlet for his feelings that isn’t obsessively stalking Allison and sleeping on her roof. I want Derek to smile more because his scruffy face was made for it, and I want Stiles to talk in his sleep and spill the werewolf beans to his father by accident because that’s the only ‘werewolf unveiling’ I haven’t read in fanfiction just yet. (And if I do, kudos to that author!)
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