Teen Wolf Recaps – Season 1 Episode 3: Pack Mentality

The episode begins with a dream sequence—a bit overdone in supernatural TV series, but bonus points for the cutesy cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Tonight’ in the background. In the dream, Scott and Allison are enjoying sexy times at night on a yellow school bus (Dear Australian readers: I have seen one in Canada and can confirm that they actually exist). Then he wolfs out and attacks her in a manifestation of his not-really-subconscious fear that he cannot control his inner beast around her.

Scott believes it was all a dream until he and Stiles stumble upon the yellow bus crime scene. But Allison is fine! He didn’t kill her after all. Still, all this prompts Scott and Stiles to have a serious discussion of the pros and cons of Scott enrolling in Introduction to Lycanthropy with Mystery Man Derek Hale, to help sort out his wolf issues.

Our Paracosm

Derek does another sterling job of standing and scowling while wearing leather

Then, when the popular kids bewilder Scott and Stiles by sitting at their cafeteria table, somehow Scott’s and Allison’s date plans are invaded by Lydia (motivation unknown). In response to the double date proposal, Lydia’s shiny-skinned bf Jackson actually says, out loud, ‘I would rather stab myself in the face with this fork than hang out with you.’ At that point you really don’t need to keep up the social niceties—in the face of such enthusiasm, I am pretty sure it is acceptable to politely decline.

But the plan blunders on because Jackson and Scott engage in a pissing contest about their ten-pin bowling abilities. Dissecting the whole mess in the next scene, Stiles much more sensibly gets caught up agonising over whether he is attractive to gay men.

After school, Scott goes to his work at the animal clinic. Stiles’s dad the Sheriff stops by to ask about animal attacks re: the actual yellow bus victim, who was not Allison but some ugly old driver guy. The Sheriff is a good police (high five Seth Gilliam from The Wire, B-more 4EVA). They learn that the attacker may have been a wolf.

After work, Scott tries to suck up by taking dinner to the hospital for his (nurse) mother, who charmingly calls him a con artist and says he can’t borrow the car because there is a curfew. On his dejected exit, Scott is drawn to the room of one of the patients, who turns out to be the bus victim. Scott approaches him carefully but the guy goes into a horrible googly-eyed cardiac arrest at the sight of Scott. Mama McCall comes to the rescue, shoving Scott out of the room and tending to the guy.

Quick scene of an unknown police officer ordered to inspect Derek’s haunted house. The officer’s dog (also a good police) goes beserk because Derek is growling at him, in a leather jacket, through a broken window. The officer panics and drives off.

Then Scott shows up and asks Derek to enrol him in Introduction to Lycanthropy so that he can (a) learn some control, (b) find out if his dream was real, i.e. whether he made out with and then attacked that guy in the yellow bus. This leads to Scott and Stiles sneaking into the school at night so Scott can successfully follow Derek’s extremely vague advice to ‘use his senses’ to remember what happened on the bus. Scott discovers he was not the one that attacked that guy.

Girl time! Allison’s bedroom: Lydia is insulting Allison’s taste in clothes. Allison’s dad walks in and Lydia greets him with a weird seductive pose and saccharine voice, but I’m just going to ignore that awkward little moment.

After that, the kids ignore the police curfew to go on the double date. Apparently the bowling alley also ignore the curfew. More ten-pin bowling pissing contest between the boys, resolved by Allison’s advice to Scott to ‘clear your head and think about something else’ like ‘me…naked’. This, um, actually works. STRIKE!

We are starting to learn that Lydia is not as dumb as she acts, and Allison dishes out some more of her trademark—this time genuinely—good advice: ‘Maybe you should stop pretending to suck just for [Jackson’s] benefit’. We will not besmirch this page with Lydia’s reply about sucking.

Our Paracosm

Insert caption about pink balls appropriate for all the innuendo and macho heat surrounding this bowling date.

After his masculinity is demolished via defeat at ten-pin bowls, Jackson points his cheekbones at Scott and threatens to discover his secrets.

Scott and Allison have a lovely kiss and agree that double dates are lame.

(All this interrupted by interludes of Allison’s dad the WEREWOLF HUNTER giving Derek Hale a few vague warnings using car-care metaphors, then much less subtly having his cronies smash Derek’s car window.)

Derek then appears ominously in the hospital room of the attack victim, who goes into arrest again. Mama McCall hears the alarm and goes to the rescue, but gives up when the guy seems dead—what, no shouts of ‘CLEAR’ with electric zapper things?

At home, Stiles and Scott exasperate Mama McCall, who storms off with another classic: ‘That’s about enough parenting for me for one night’. Stiles reports that the bus victim has died of his wounds—Scott doesn’t get it at first because he doesn’t know what ‘succumbed’ means. Adorable.

The obvious solution is for Scott to burst into the dilapidated mansion and accuse Derek’s smarmy disembodied voice of killing the bus driver. Wolf fight! Derek’s wolf face is much realer and scarier than Scott’s, but their fighting is more about punches and throws than wolf attacks. Unfortunately they get bored with the fighting and segue into more Introduction to Lycanthropy.

DEREK: We are beta wolves, there is an Alpha in town who is a bigger, badder wolf who wants you in his pack so let’s team up. Also, he was the one who bit you, not me, bro.

END OF EPISODE

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