Teen Wolf 3×13 Review: Anchors

Teen world 4Did you know that when you die and come back to life there could be lingering side effects? Perhaps a better word is consequences. Well Scott, Stiles, and Allison are certainly learning that in the first episode of the second half of Season 3. They made a sacrifice, and a sacrifice involves giving something up. I don’t think Scott, Stiles, or Allison realized what they had to lose when they made their decision and now they have to deal with the consequences.

I’m just going to bite the bullet and say that I loved this episode. A lot. Maybe 3A lowered my expectations, but it was intense and exciting with just the right amount of cheese and it was so much fun to watch. It was not without its problems – I’ll get to that in a bit – but I am just so pleased that this episode was good especially after the mess that was 3A.

Teen Wolf 3Teen Wolf is at its best when it focuses on the core characters desperately trying to retain some semblance of normality while dealing with a world of supernatural trouble. 3A seemed to forget this and focus entirely on the supernatural drama while ignoring the human consequences. Well it seems like they were saving all the consequences for the second half of the season and because of that this block of episodes is already miles above its predecessor.

I was actually worried as the episode began because while Dylan O’Brien is phenomenal, and Stiles trauma will always grip me emotionally, the actual dream sequences were a little cliché. That was until the final wake up (if he ever actually woke up) – it shocked me right out of my seat and I was almost in tears watching Sheriff Stilinski clutch his screaming son. They may as well just hand over an Oscar to Dylan O’Brien already because we know it’s inevitable.

Before I get lost praising everything this episode did right, I should probably mention the few choices that were rather questionable. The macho posturing between Scott and Isaac was completely over done and it seemed out of character for Scott to react so violently, or maybe that’s just me? It was played for laughs and while the initial awkward conversation was pretty funny it quickly devolved into a cliché. It’s totally hilarious to beat up on the kid that was abused right Teen Wolf? That said, Melissa McCall’s reactions were fantastic.

Speaking of Melissa McCall, she has cemented her position as mother of the year. The scene between her and Scott – where she tells her son to be his own anchor made me feel like I could take on the world… and she wasn’t even talking to me. I know I’m not a teenager with a broken heart but I can be my own anchor because I will love again.

Unfortunately Scott is not lucky enough to have two phenomenal parents but Agent McCall is shaping up to be a fantastic villain (I already hate him so much), as long as they don’t decide to redeem him. I will be so disappointed if they try to get me to sympathize with the deadbeat dad that skipped out on two of the most wonderful people that have ever existed.

Teen Wolf 1It wasn’t just Melissa, all the ladies were on top form in this episode. Allison struggling with the memory of her psychotic aunt – I’m always excited to see Jill Wagner’s Kate Argent on my screen – gripping. Lydia’s determination to help her friend stay and regain her control was beautiful to watch and everything I wanted out of this wonderful female friendship. Kira Yukimura (Arden Cho) is a wonderful addition and I am already far too attached to her. I will probably be spending the next 11 weeks praying that she doesn’t end up evil or dead because let’s face it, Teen Wolf does not have a great track record with female characters.

Kira is great though, she’s adorably awkward, and she giggles when she says things like demons and death not to mention she has exceptional taste in men. You can’t do much better than Scott McCall, even if there is a possibility he could lose control of his wolf and claw you to death.

The thing that has me the most worried is strangely enough also what has me the most excited. As of right now, I’m entirely sure where this season is going. That could mean that we are in for a genuinely thrilling ride filled with shocking twists and turns. Or it could mean that the-powers-that-be have no idea what’s happening either.  I swear to goodness if the whole thing turns out to be inside Stiles head I may have to get violent in a way that Scott McCall would not approve of.

Teen Wolf 2Before I throw the ball into your court – because I really want to know how you guys felt about the episode – I will leave you with my thoughts on the reveal that Derek and Peter are being held hostage. My feelings are reflected in Derek’s face, which is mostly annoyed but also kind of bored. Because hey, Derek’s being tortured, must be Monday. I hate to say this because seeing Tyler Hoechlin chained up is one of the greatest pleasures life can afford but can we find something else for Derek to do besides being physically and emotionally abused? It’s getting kind of old.

Above anything else, this episode has me completely hooked – I am dying in anticipation of next week’s episode and that’s a feeling I didn’t really get for the first 12 episodes of Season 3.

So what did you think?

Does Scott have the right to be upset with Isaac?

Is Melissa McCall the most amazing woman in the world?

Do you think Kira and Scott are destined to date?

Let us know in the comments.

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.


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About the author

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.

Comments

  1. The things i liked were: The show going back to focusing on the basic group, Lydia’s lines and Mellisa McCall

    It seems the demons or whatever are attacking: Scott’s humanity, Allison’s fear of becoming like her aunt, and Stiles ability to read/research….did not enjoy Issac and Scott’s ‘abuse’ scenes and i’m not even sure what role Issac will be playing this season

    And here i thought Derek left BH’s for good or something just to make an awesome comeback to save the teens, but he’s being held hostage along with Peter…..also have a feeling, not Kira, but her parents are going to be evil or having a very strict ‘code’ of their own

    Let’s see where the story goes in the next 11 episodes.

    1. I was so happy that this episode focused on the core characters. The premiere of 3A wasted so much time introducing new characters and plots. And you are so right about the way the darkness is manifesting in them – it’s each of their greatest fears. Things that have been important to their characterisation since the show began. FANTASTIC!

      The worst thing about Scott attacking Isaac was that wasn’t funny. Watching Scott and Isaac trying to interact and get past the Allison thing when it’s pretty clear they both feel weird – that was funny. Watching Scott trying to be the better person when he is very clearly upset – that is funny. But the violence was just cheap and it had zero pay off. It’s like urgh, you’re better than that Teen Wolf.

  2. I actually felt that this episode was just filler. Nothing seemed to happen for me. We got the awesome set up that the three central characters are dealing with potentially losing the things that are most vital to their identities: Scott’s humanity, Allison’s ability to trust her sight & shoot straight, Stiles’ mental faculties and ability to read and research.

    Other than that, it was minor moments in the episode that stuck out to me, not the actual episode itself. I also loved Mama McCall and Sheriff Stilinski. The moment when he ran in to take care of his screaming son was really moving and I honestly think their relationship is my favorite in the show.

    I have reservations about Kira and her family only because I have seen how tv shows treat Asian characters. I am so worried about Teen Wolf using casual racism and the use of orientalism (as post-colonialist Edward Said defined it). I like Kira and I don’t want her to fall under the cliches and dangerous stereotypes of Asian women, along with her family.

    In terms of the last moment with Derek and Uncle Peter, I’m also exhausted of these moments. Jeff Davis constantly promises character development and changes with Derek, and granted we saw Derek for about 20 seconds so far, it seems like Derek will always be tortured and generally unhappy. Also, I’m genuinely getting uncomfortable with the objectification of Derek/Tyler Hoechlin. Look, a huge part of Teen Wolf is shirtless hot guys – I get it – but it’s started to get a bit gross. And I also get that women on TV are objectified way more than men so it’s kind of cool to even it out but still. And I know I’m a total hypocrite because I have a huge crush on Tyler Hoechlin and enjoy looking at it him constantly but I did roll my eyes at the last moment of the episode. We’ll see…

    1. I thought it was good opening episode – but then I’ve always been more interested in character than plot and as I said in the review I am worried that they have no idea where they are going. But overall I enjoyed it. I thought there were quite a few standout points (especially Mama McCall – she’s amazing) and I was especially pleased that the focused on the core 5 characters (not looking forward to the return of the twins next week).

      I’m worried about Kira in that regard as well – especially due to the fact that that seem to be amalgamating all Asian cultures together, which is totes not cool. But as a character I found her intriguing and Jeff seems to like her so hopefully she wont fall into the same trap as the female characters that have come before her.

      As far as the objectification of Hoechlin is concerned – I’m massively crushing on him as well, I think the whole world is but TBH I’m getting kind of bored and that’s saying something because I didn’t think I would ever get bored of seeing Hoechlin’s body. (And I wrote my thesis on women attempting to reverse the male gaze so I won’t even get started on that because we would be here all night).

      1. That sounds like a super interesting thesis! I’ve written about the male gaze constantly as an undergrad and grad student so I think about it constantly (thank you, Laura Mulvey!).

        I love to look at Derek Hale/Tyler Hoechlin all the time but I think after two and a half seasons, it’s a) getting played out and b) quite troublesome.

        I think one of the reasons why I cringe whenever we have these overt shirtless objectification scenes with Derek is because, based on what we know on Kate Argent’s taking advantage of him while he was still underage, Derek is a victim of a lack of consent/statutory rape. I’ve noticed that fandom doesn’t really call it that though they are quick to feel sorry for Derek for his past – yet the concept of him being the victim of sexual assault is rarely mentioned. As a society, we rarely talk about men being victims of sexual assault or rape, ESPECIALLY when it was committed by a woman. When we then get these scenes of Derek tortured, tied up, and in a lack of control, I usually get uncomfortable.

        I recently read an interview with Jeff Davis calling Derek a “bad boy” in the first season. That was the season we found out about his past with Kate. I never considered him a “bad boy” and I think it’s rather alarming that the exec producer and writer of the show views this man in these simplified terms, especially given that he was used as an object when he was underaged.

  3. I do think Scott is right to be mad at Isaac. And I understand the upset about the abusive background, but I feel like they’re werewolves, they probably look at that type of violence a little differently? And above and beyond that, Isaac told Scott to hit him. I felt like it was a totally normal reaction – you get mad, you punch. Especially if violence is kind of a part of what you are. I bet if Isaac wasn’t a werewolf (or such a good friend) Scott wouldn’t punch him. But whatever, I don’t want to debate that part, because I laughed and that was the point!

    I love that the Mama McCall speech was taken from a conversation Jeff had with his own mom. Makes it even more special. But mostly I think it’s a super important thing for everyone to hear. BE YOUR OWN ANCHOR. A good life mantra.

    Kira and Scott are definitely going to date. I’m still holding out hope for Allison/Scott endgame though.

  4. I was pleasantly surprised by this episode after being worried for so long. Everything felt very solid and like you I was happy that the episode focused on our core three and the repurcussions of their actions.

    I’m so happy that Alison and Lydia are getting more screen time together! I just want Alison to teach Lydia how to fight so that she can take care of herself if the situation arises. I hate how things happen to her and she has no recourse but to depend on somebody else. I also want Kira to integrate herself into their friendship. I don’t want anything to happen to her and if Alison and Lydia have her back I think she might just be okay.

    i wasn’t down with the whole Isaac/Scott situation. I think it’s fine if Scott’s feeling upset about ‘the Alison situation’. He’s allowed to have an opinion but it’s not okay for him to violently take it out on Isaac, especially since Isaac is part of his pack. That’s no way for an Alpha to be acting.

    Also, Alison doesn’t belong to Scott; she is free to be with whom she pleases and it that person is Isaac Scott needs to suck it up. The most disturbing part for me though was Isaac’s prompt for Scott to hit him. This seemed entirely counter to a child growing up in an abusive household. It felt like he thought he should be punished even though he hadn’t done anything. If this is further explored it could be interesting but I hold no illusions that this is something Jeff Davis will do.

    Props to Mama McCall for having Scott’s back and telling him to be his own anchor and to Papa Stilinski for fully embracing the truth about werewolves. These two are finally on the same page as there sons. But I don’t think that will stop Scott and Stiles from keeping things from them.

    Not down with the Derek/Peter situation though. And yes, Derek being objectified/tortured is like a day that ends in a ‘y’. I was hoping we were done with that and moving on to character growth because Derek continues to be nothing but messed up because of Kate, because of Peter, because of his own guilt and Scott and his family. The situation is nothing but a repeat of S1 & 2 and I’m not looking forward to his scenes unless something changes.

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