Teen Wolf recap – 2×03: ‘Ice Pick’

Courtesy of MTV

After a double dose, Teen Wolf settles back into its regular timeslot with less of an emphasis on abs and nudity, and more on drawing battle lines. Everyone has to pick a side. Which one will you go for?

Let’s bitch it out…If season one of MTV’s breakout hit was about Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) figuring out how to control his wolfie self, season two thus far has been about who has got the power. After three episodes, I’m going to have to say that it’s not Scott. Because let’s face it, if you were one of these physically/mentally abused, isolated or sick kids, you would totally choose Derek (Tyler Hoechlin). Not only is he older, he’s sexier and – if we’re being honest – he’s kinda wicked badass. Scott, meanwhile, is trying to get people to see the drawbacks to the solution to their life’s problems. Clearly he’s in no win territory because not everyone is going to be as stupid as Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) was last season and say no.

And so, now Derek has his army of pretty, but dysfunctional wolves. Joining last week’s abused gravedigger Isaac (Daniel Sharman) on the roster is epileptic blonde hottie, Erica (Gage Golightly) and bland, friendless Boyd (Sinqua Walls). Now I’m not going to discriminate against these choices considering my own loner status back in high school, but come on! An abused boy and an epileptic girl who wet herself on a video that was uploaded onto the net? Yeah, they’ve got reasons for wanting to become superpowered werewolves. But Boyd? Seriously?! You don’t have friends and you’re tired of eating lunch alone, so you let a creepy older man who lives in the woods bite your stomach? I think we all know how this ends (warning: delicate readers should not click through). Boyd definitely is the moron of the bunch.

Courtesy of MTV

The rest of the episode is a bit of a mixed bag. The majority of the time we’re focused on Erica’s transition from wallflower with frizzy hair into a smoking hot, leather clad hoochie mama. I’ve always thought that it’s strange how the shift from human to supernatural is portrayed in TV and movies: in some cases it’s very naturalistic, but in others – such as Teen Wolf – there’s a heavy level of sexualization. My issue is that it’s also frequently a primarily gendered response. When Scott first began to transition, he didn’t suddenly begin wearing wife beaters and leather jackets, and yet Erica’s big debut as a newly transformed werewolf is a slowmotion PG-rated sex fest of apply biting, cleavage bearing tops and sexy ‘come do me’ hair.

It’s a strange double standard that also makes clear the distinctions between Scott and Derek’s new cabal of wolves.

What’s different about Scott – aside from increased facial hair and slightly better agility on the ice – is that his transition through these early phases of the bite were arduous and painful. In comparison Isaac, Erica and – to a certain extent – Boyd, all seem to have adjusted more or less seamlessly into their new True Blood baby lifestyle*. Either 1) our timeline has sped up for the sake of the storytelling, 2) Derek has been mentoring these folks much more carefully, or 3) Scott’s inherent ‘goodness’ prevented him from accepting – and thereby fully embracing – his shift.

*Can we take a moment to appreciate the hilarious similarities between the shot composition and costuming inTrue Blood (see pic) when the Authority capture Bill, Eric and Nora and the scene on the ice as Derek and his underlings stand in front of Scott on the ice?

Other Observations:

  • The Reese Peanut Butter cup product placement is even more blatant this week, huh? I don’t mind because I think it’s funny, but I wonder how many people are wondering why these kids only eat one kind of candy bar?
  • Hold your breath everyone because Lydia finally gets her own storyline! The pouty hanger-on begins seeing visions of Peter Hale (Ian Bohen), last season’s Alpha. The reasons for these ghostly apparitions are thus far unclear, but it’s likely they’re related to Lydia’s reaction to Peter’s werewolf bite in the first season finale. Either that or her far-too-shiny lip gloss is poisoning her mind
  • Jackson’s (Colton Haynes) diligence in becoming something ‘more special’ appears to have finally paid off as he develops super strength in the final scene. Of course, if he has turned into something new, he’s likely already in trouble since he caught the attention of Papa Argent (JR Bourne) by showing up at Derek’s house screaming
  • Just in time for Father’s Day on Sunday, Teen Wolf offers up new bonding opportunities for fathers and daughters: joint faux-kidnappings! All kidding aside, Papa Argent informs his darling daughter, Allison (Crystal Reed) that Argent women are the brains while the men are the fighters (is that progressive or sexist? Or both?). We witness this in action when Mama Argent (Eaddy Mays) – she of the severe red hair – finds a picture of Scott and Allison and cuts herself up with a giant kitchen knife so that she can get intel on the kids’ non-break-up from Scott’s mom, Melissa (Melissa Ponzio). Perhaps if Victoria was so smart she would have considered faking a cough instead of self-mutilating herself? Just sayin’
  • We get another visit from the new reptilian beastie. This time , however, we only see it’s tail and white claws when it takes down one of the Argent henchmen. It’ll be interesting to see if this guy is dead or if he’s turned into something else
  • Further proof that humans are boring: Stiles is randomly cold cocked by Erica with a piece of his own car and left in a dumpster. This is the extent of his contribution to the episode. I get that he’s human in a show otherwise populated by wolves and/or hunters, but unless they want Stiles to only provide the punchlines each episode, they’re going to need to find something new for him to do
  • Finally, after endless speculation last summer, the big question of who the vet, Dr. Deaton (Seth Gilliam), really is comes to the forefront. I always wondered why Deaton seems so comfortable with supernatural elements, but figured that he was an Alpha red-herring. Now it’s clear that he’s something else since he clearly knows a great deal about werewolves. Could he be an ally for Scott in the fight against Derek and his new army?

What did you think of ‘Ice Pick’? Was the fight on the ice a little too hokey for you? I found it all a little pointless considering Boyd had already been bitten by then, but I guess we need to see that Derek and his posse are willing to take Scott on. What’s your theory about Lydia and her visions? And what is the deal with the snake monster?!

Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 9pm EST on MTV

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

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