Is it too meta to suggest that Teen Wolf knows its target audience so well that it found a way to work in a shout-out within the narrative? If by “target audience” you mean “gays” and by “shout-out” you mean “gay bar”, then no.
Let’s bitch it out…Between Magic Mike opening this week (our review here) and now the gayest episode of Teen Wolf ever, it’s been a good week for boys who like boys. Oh sure, Magic Mike is a huge disappointment and Teen Wolf spent the duration of its time at “Jungle”, the Beacon Hills gay bar, featuring an attack on a half dozen unfortunate boys, but it was all fun nonetheless. I mean the place is so freaking popular it’s literally got a plethora of attractive ‘mos that we’ve never even seen before! Look there’s Danny (Keahu Kahuanui) getting over his ex by busting an awkward move on the dancefloor. And there’s a junior twink buying Scott (Tyler Posey) and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) a drink. Why there’s even a posse of Divine-like drag queens who fawn all over the sarcastic sidekick within seconds of our intrepid duo entering the bar.
What I’m basically saying is: let’s spend every episode here!
All kidding aside, it’s an amusing side adventure. In the pro column, this also serves to transplant the action from the woods to the city proper (I’m not counting the minor sequence with Isaac’s father in the second season premiere). If I have one complaint about introducing a location that’s not the woods or the school, it’s that these scenes reinforce how little we actually know about the town of Beacon Hills. I’m reminded of Buffy: whenever they traveled to the museum, or the mall, or the skating rink I either said “oh, they have one of those?” or “how freaking big is this haven/town/city/metropolis?!” When we see the CGI lights of Beacon Hills from the buffs in the woods it’s clear that the city is fairly big, but since we only ever spend time in houses, the woods and the school, it can be easy to lose that perspective.
Moving away from locations and gay bars, this episode brought the show to a whole new level of crazy. After last week‘s speed dating science class meets home invasion episode, ‘Frenemy’ kicks up the drama even more. I’ll admit I was frustrated that Jackson (Colton Haynes) refused to believe Stiles and Scott when they told him he is the Kanima, though I suppose it makes sense since he doesn’t believe Derek’s (Tyler Hoechlin) bite had any effect. Of course, we know that he’s spent the evening attacking Derek in the underpass, nearly taking out Argent (JR Bourne) and cruising Danny at the gay bar (sing it!…sorry, couldn’t resist). The lacrosse jock spends the rest of the episode locked in the SPCA van in the woods. It’s kinda adorbs that Stiles mistakenly assumes Jackson is capable of affection towards his adopted parents and sends a whole series of xs and os, which naturally leads lawyer dad to believe Jackson’s been kidnapped (to be fair, he has been).
My favourite scene: the over-the-top melodramatic transformation / sex scene. After Allison (Crystal Reed) confesses she’s into Scott for the long run (talk about sinking your talons into someone), they make some nookie in the backseat as Jackson goes scaly and busts out. But it’s done to Twilight-esque music in SUPER. SLOW. MOTION because that makes it SOOOO. DRAMATIC. I’m not saying it didn’t work, but it definitely straddled the enthralling vs cheesy line. Which, if you think about it, pretty much sums up Teen Wolf perfectly.
- I’m totally loving clueless Lydia (Holland Roden) – who despite being attacked, bitten, lost naked in the woods and nearly mauled to death by multiple werewolves – has no idea what’s going on. At this point I’m unsure why they haven’t just broken down and told her (newsflash, she’s in the credits so she’s not going anywhere!). I mean, come on! The girl is good at reading Archaic Latin…clearly she’s a keeper
- Also, her dog is named Prada. As if that could be more perfect
- The big reveal for this episode is that Jackson-Kanima is not looking for a “friend” as we assumed last week, but rather a master to control him. And he went looking at the gay bar? Hmmm…Seriously though, let the speculation continue, especially since we saw Grandpa Hunter (Michael Hogan) seemingly stop Jackson-Kanima in his tracks. My guess: the whole idea that the Kanima can only kill those that have killed is why Grandpa wasn’t attacked. My vote for the master is still the creepy Chem prof
- Danny better watch his neck. Now that we know that the Kanima isn’t looking for a friend, but is actually being controlled by a master, it seems clear that the mysterious commander is telling the pet snake to dispatch anyone with evidence of Jackson’s alternate personality. Now that the reconstructed video has disappeared from Danny’s trunk, he’s either safe (since he can’t prove anything)…or he’s a liability
- So with Grandpa Hunter taking over as principal and Mama Argent (Eaddy Mays) filling in as substitute English teacher, can we expect Argent himself to stop by as a not-so-friendly janitor or gardener next week? Seriously…I know the Argents are connected (they apparently have Big Brother levels of control over all the surveillance equipment in town), but this seems a bit ridiculous
- What to make of Lydia’s new special friend: Dog-napper? Kiss-stealer? Wolfbane-giver? This guy has future serial killer written all over him. So clearly he’ll just turn out to be some regular kid. Or a hellspawn. There’s only two options
- Finally, Scott is a big failure. In school at least! Turns out he’s failing two classes. To which I say “Duh!” He’s clearly not the brightest tool in the shed (nyuk nyuk) and he spends all of his time running around in the dark or sexing up his gf in the back of her car. Who has time to study when you have a life like that?!
- Stiles: “I’m 147 pounds of pale skin and fragile bone. Sarcasm is my only defense”. That’s pretty much true at this point (but it’s why we love Stiles, right?)
- Stiles (on Scott’s astute observation that they’re in a gay bar – while being groped by drag queens): “Man nothing gets past those teen wolf skills.”
- Lydia (to creeptastic new ‘love’ interest): “Should I call the police or is there a non-rapist reason for being in my backyard?”
- Stiles (reminding Jackson who puts his pants on): “Being up close and personal with your junk was not a highlight of my day”
So that’s Teen Wolf goes to the gay bar. Check that off your list, kiddies! Questions remain: who is the master? Who is Lydia’s new special friend? And, in the dumbest moment of the episode, will Jackson actually follow through on suing Scott and Stiles for imprisoning him in a van? Sound off below!
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm EST on MTV