Teen Wolf 4×3 Review: Muted

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When they said Teen Wolf would be going back to its season one roots I should have guessed they meant literally. It’s not like this show has ever been particularly subtle, bless its heart. Seriously though, it’s Season 1: take two. Scott and Stiles suck at lacrosse, Derek and Peter are searching for Kate Argent and Scott is trying to figure out how to ask out the girl he likes. A few things have changed though, such as Stiles is no longer following Lydia around like a bad smell; he didn’t even notice she skipped out of school to hang out with dead bodies and cute deputies. All in all, it was a pretty entertaining episode, even if it was mostly filler until the last five minutes.

The return of lacrosse was a welcome sight. I don’t think I quite realised how much I missed it until I saw those familiar sticks on the screen. It might seem silly but I am more invested in Scott’s status on the lacrosse team than all the supernatural nonsense. It’s a fantastic way to ground the human side of this show and remind the audience that despite everything that else that happens, these characters are still just kids. There are suburban families using Hannibal’s cook book but getting kicked of the lacrosse team is still the worst thing that could happen.

tw1Speaking of the suburban family from hell, as a monster of the week narrative, their storyline was actually fairly cool. Back in the first couple of seasons, one of the things that made me fall in love with this show was the way they would take established horror conventions and subvert them in some way – like Kate first appearing as what appeared to be a cold open victim only to have her pull out a shot gun and turn into the villain. This storyline felt a little like that. This episode opened like a trashy slasher, only instead of doing the stupid thing, the victim high tails it out of danger. Then later on it turns out he was actually not as innocent as everyone assumed.

Okay, it’s not incredibly groundbreaking, but it was that mix of both meeting expectations and defying them that made Teen Wolf so endearing in the first place. Most of the time it’s a loveably predictable cheese-fest but every so often it smacks you over the head with something completely unexpected like Kira joining the lacrosse team. It was kind of a relief really because they severely underused Kira in the first couple of episodes and I was worried her entire season arc would revolve around her romance with Scott. That’s not to say that Kira and Scott weren’t completely adorable in this episode, because they made me smile so hard my mouth started aching. When Scott pecks Kira on the lips as he’s leaving for class and they both freak out about it, it was so sweet that I could actually feel my heart exploding with rainbows.

While we’re on the topic of romance, this was the first time I actually kind of understood Stiles and Malia’s relationship. I’m still not completely sold on it and I definitely think they shot themselves in the foot with the way they introduced it but it made a lot more sense this week. The scenes with them studying and Malia sticking up for Stiles at the lacrosse trials were actually pretty sweet. Malia definitely came into her own this week. She has had likeable moments before but it wasn’t until this episode that I genuinely started to adore her. I particularly loved when she was picking up her social cues from watching Kira at the lacrosse trails (I really need more interaction between those two, they are my favorite new friendship) and I think most of us can relate her reaction to math, except Lydia of course,

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Poor Lydia, her powers are the worst. She just has to accept that this is her lot in life. She seems more annoyed than upset at this stage, probably just pissed she’s missing class but hey at least she gets to hang out with a total hottie. Deputy Pretty Eyes continued his streak of flirting with teenagers this week (that guy would have chemistry with a lamp). Put that together with Holland Roden (who has also been known to have chemistry with inanimate objects) and there were some creepy underage romance vibes happening. I don’t think they’re going to go there, but it’s Teen Wolf so you never know.

Derek has once again been separated from the rest of the characters, which is disappointing. I hoped that after the pack went all the way to cardboard Mexico to rescue him, he would be integrated more into the main narrative but I guess that was expecting too much. There is no doubt that the Kate Argent/robbery storyline will eventually merge with everything else, and it’s not like Derek can just enroll in high school, but I really do wish he was more involved in the other characters’ lives. And honestly at this stage I don’t know why they haven’t got someone babysitting him at all times because it’s not like he can be trusted on his own. He ends up getting kidnapped and tortured or falling in love with a dangerous woman or worse: trusting Peter. It’s just really not a good idea to leave him to his own devices.

Apparently when he’s left on his own Derek forgets that he has the worst taste in women ever and decides to fall in love with the first strong sexy morally ambiguous woman that looks his way. I love Braeden, I really do, but we have been conditioned not to trust anyone that Derek’s attracted to so this is very confusing. It’s a good bet that they’re not going to make Derek’s girlfriend the villain again but I just don’t trust TPTB not to use this is an another excuse to emotionally torture Derek again. I worry about Derek’s emotional health an unreasonable amount, okay (Also I have no idea what’s going on with his eyes, but the whole eye-color mythology is kind of all over the place so I’m just going to ignore it until we get a little more information)?

Anyway, as I said earlier, this episode was most filler – fun filler with some great character moments but filler nonetheless. Nothing really happened until the final act when it was revealed that the cutie with the abs from the beginning was actually a supernatural creature. He came from a family of wendigos that kept a freezer full of people meat to much on whenever they got hungry. Lovely. It seems the mouthless axe-murderer, who may or may not be connected to The Matrix, might be killing supernatural creatures, which is not great for Scott or his new bitten beta Liam.

tw4I knew Liam was supposed to be Scott’s beta but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how they were going to get Scott to give someone the bite. He’s so against the bite; that’s basically his main thing. I didn’t think they could do it without it being at least somewhat out of character but they did it pretty well. I’ll admit the whole ‘stop him from falling by biting him’ didn’t make a whole lot of sense. The mouthless axe guy certainly has exceptional timing. He was probably just hanging out around the corner waiting to see what happened before he axed the ab-licious wendigo. But it doesn’t really matter because Liam is a pretty intriguing character and Dylan Sprayberry has a great rapport with Tyler Posey and Dylan O’Brien so I am super excited to see how this storyline plays out because it’s got a lot of potential.

So what did you think? Were you as excited as I was for the return of lacrosse? Are you warming up to Malia? What about Lydia and Parrish, do you ship it? 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. Overall I did like the episode but didn’t love it. I’m intrigued to see how they handle things with Liam, and the idea of Scott having bitten someone has so much potential. I don’t have as much confidence in Jeff Davis as I used to, but I think he can tell that particular part of the story well.

    Scott and Kira were cute, I agree. But something about it feels artificially cute. I really like Kira – and her scene with her parents was one of the best in the episode, IMO – but she and Scott are falling flat this season as a couple. I’m not invested in their couple-ness right now. Not sure why, since last season I liked them together. But I don’t feel enough connection to make me feel Kira’s concern at possibly having to move away and lose him. IDK, maybe the show should just take a season off from any romance storylines at all.

    As for Derek and Braeden, I think you’ve nailed it. I like Braeden, but if I’ve learned anything from this show it’s that Derek Hale is not allowed to be happy. I don’t know whether Braeden will betray him or die, but I know something will go wrong, so again I’m not invested in any possible relationship there. But I love having Braeden as part of this season.

    Stiles and Malia. Blech. Sorry, I’m still not buying Malia. She and Stiles have zero chemistry together, and I’m getting whiplash from the inconsistent writing about her. I found her irritating in her scene at the lacrosse game, both with Kira and when she yelled out the bet to coach. She doesn’t know how to talk to or about people in a reasonably polite or friendly manner, yet she knows about do-overs and cash bets. She knows how to study using highlighters but doesn’t have the sense to ask someone to explain when Lydia’s notes make no sense to her. And why the hell is she in a math class with genius Lydia, anyway? The show is trying to make Malia cute and funny and sympathetic and badass all at once, but instead every scene with her makes no sense. She leaves me cold.

    And speaking of Malia’s notes, given Stiles’ issues last season with words not making sense, the moment he looks at those notes would have been a good moment to show some lingering repercussions from that in the form of a quick flash of panic from Stiles at words that make no sense. Just a glance at those, and then back to the book open in front of him, to show him checking to be sure he’s okay. It would’ve taken only a second and would’ve been completely a Stiles thing to do. Instead, they miss that chance because they’re trying to sell Stalia.

    When the best chemistry in the episode was between Lydia and a deputy who’s probably not going to be part of a romantic storyline, there’s something wrong. I’m really thinking JD should give up on the romances this season and focus on characterization instead. He’s got some good stuff on the plate to work with, if he does. But the dull-as-dishwater romances are getting in the way.

    Good villains this season, at least. I had reservations when I first heard Kate was coming back but I’m interested in seeing how her story plays out. And that guy without a mouth was definitely creepy.

  2. I enjoyed the episode overall mainly because of the return of lacrosse. It kind of bothered me that Danny wasn’t in the episode at all. What happened to him? He revealed that he knew about werewolves in the 3B finale then just falls off the face of the earth? I think that the writers don’t utilize him the way they could.

    Gah. Stiles and Malia together still feels so uncomfortable to me. And I agree with the first comment that the writing where Malia is concerned is very inconsistent. It just doesn’t make sense. I wish that they didn’t rush these two into a relationship. I would have been happy seeing Stiles still recovering from being possessed and Malia adapting more to being a human than just being pushed into high school.

    I’m excited about the Liam storyline. It’s fresh and will add more conflict to the story. I just really want to see how Scott copes with the fact that he bit someone since he’s been so against it. And it will kind of show him in a different light as an alpha because he’ll have to teach Liam how to control his new power especially during the full moon.

    Scott and Kira were adorable. I love how their relationship has grown (why couldn’t the Stalia relationship be a little more like this?) I really like Kira as a character, period. She’s coming into her own and I want to see reactions to her playing lacrosse.

    Derek just can’t catch a break. Aren’t there rules to how much emotional damage you can do to one character? I hope he’s reunited with everyone else soon.

    I still have high hopes for the season but they really do need to lay off of relationships and focus more with character development.

  3. Okay for me this episode was okay. I like it but at the same time I wanted to slap someone in the head!

    The windigo (I think that’s how you spell it) was a little off, sorry guys but I didn’t see the point of him, aside from the fact that he was supposed to bring in the new villain but was that it? Are we going to see more windigos or is he the only one we will be seeing ??? I just wish that JD would slow down once in a while and focus on the characters that he has instead of dumping everything in one episode !!!

    I really enjoyed Kira and Scott, although I do agree with Ellery, I don’t feel like they are becoming like a couple, I don’t feel the connection that they had back in season 3b.

    The Stalia scene … I am sorry but that scene was once again disturbing I will admit that I enjoy seeing her struggling in Math (mainly because it shows us that she’s trying to be human again) however, I have to ask what is she even doing in that class if she doesn’t even understand half the things that are going on ??? I feel like they are trying to shove Stalia down our throats, I mean we saw how she used the colors of the highlighters were the same that Stiles used. I feel like the writers are making her into this Mary Sue and for me it is not cutting it.

    Derek needs to take a break from relationships I mean you’d think that after his past relationships he’d learn his lesson.

    I enjoy Liam, he was adorable and Scott biting him is going to be an amazing thing to see and I am anxious to see what will become of him ^^

  4. I’ve been really enjoying the new season so far, and tonight’s episode was no exception. Honestly, I don’t really look for logical consistency in this show which I think serves me well in the enjoyment factor.

    Kira and Scott are obviously adorable, but i’m not feeling overly invested in them at all. I’m willing to admit this could stem from really missing Allison though.

    I was so wary of the whole Stiles/Malia thing at first, but I really enjoy the dynamic they share. The whole highlighter bit made me smile like an idiot.

    I am warily excited about Derek and Braeden, Derek’s little smile! But yeah, I think we all know by now not to expect good things for Derek.

    Lacrosse and creepiness? Weird villains? Ah, the teen wolf of old. I am extremely into it.

    The one thing about the episode that everyone seems into but i’m meh about is Liam. It’s not that I don’t like him so much as I just didn’t care. I did like the scene of him talking to his dad though, it just seemed like such a genuine moment. I’ll keep an open mind and see what happens.

    In conclusion, where the frak was Danny?

  5. i guess with the Benefactor thing…we will probably be getting some new creature every week…oh well, whatever TW wants to do this season

    Liam will take some time for me to have an opinion..but the hospital convo he had with his Dad..nice!..TW always does have some good parent/child interactions

    as for the romance department..would i like romance this season, after all the loses, of course not..the romantic scenes feel so out of place for the characters right now…and yes Parrish does seem to have chemistry with everything/body

    the only important thing that kept coming in my mind throughout the episode…where is Danny?!?! I would lol so hard if he turns out to be the Benefactor, he’s a pro with a computer already 😉

    1. I would love Danny to be the Benefactor, and if not that, can we just have more Danny then?

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