TV reviewer Katie Young gets her claws into the first three seasons of the MTV show ‘Teenwolf’…
You know when you’re late to a party? Like really late, and all the good nibbles have gone and there’s just a few dried up carrot sticks and some crusty hummus left (because, really who wants crudités when they’re drunk)? Maybe there’s some orange dust in a bowl which once overflowed with delicious cheese puffs, maybe not. Everyone is hammered and they’re all dancing, getting off with each other or talking too loudly and there’s a couple bickering in the kitchen, blocking the fridge. What do you do? You could cut your losses and slink off home. Or you could grab a bottle of mystery booze from the cocktail cabinet and neck shots until you’re having fun.
And in that spirit, dear reader, I present my opening recap of Teen Wolf seasons one to three, just four weeks after the premiere of season four aired!
For the uninitiated, MTV’s Teen Wolf bears little resemblance to its 1985 movie namesake. While it centres around best friends Scott and Stiles and how they deal with Scott’s newly acquired wolfy powers, these kids are far hipper, sexier and more angst-ridden than Michael J. Fox ever was.
Set in the fictional town of Beacon Hills, Beacon County, Teen Wolf burst onto the scene in 2011. Drawing on influences such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Lost Boys and Stand By Me, the series is a mixture of horror and humour with a focus on romance, family and high school relationships. The first season deals with the trials and tribulations of asthmatic and nerdy Scott McCall (in Teen Wolf, even the social outcasts have six-packs) who is bitten by a werewolf whilst looking for a dead body in the woods with his best friend Stiles, son of the local sheriff. Realising he is healing abnormally fast and becoming aggressive with the waxing of the moon, Scott hides his secret from everyone except Stiles, whilst negotiating a burgeoning relationship with cute new girl in town, Allison Argent, who is, unbeknownst to Scott, the daughter of a werewolf hunting family. On top of all that, he’s trying to impress one-man sarcasm generator Coach Finstock enough to make captain of the school lacrosse team.
The focus is on all things lycan throughout Season 1, and the drama stems from a spate of werewolf killings rocking the small town, as well as Scott’s struggle to maintain his double life whilst investigating the brutal murders and trying to win the girl. The Romeo and Juliet romance between Scott and Allison is at the heart of the story, culminating in Allison’s discovery that Scott is a monster, and that her own family are monster hunters.
Season 2 introduces a new piece of mythology and a new ‘big bad’ in the form of the Kanima, which possesses school jock, Jackson, and is controlled by a boy seeking revenge for his near drowning at the hands of his classmates back in 2006. This provides some amazingly Freudian visuals such as Jackson choking on a large snake. The second season also sees Scott’s mother, Melissa, discovering his supernatural secret. New characters are introduced and allegiances forged and broken. Allison’s hunter mother is driven to suicide having been bitten by mysterious and brooding lone wolf, Derek Hale, whose family were murdered by a rogue Argent, Allison’s Aunt Kate. Argent patriarch, Grandpa Gerard, becomes a threat towards the end of the season when he tries to become an alpha wolf in order to cure himself of his cancer. He is thwarted by Scott, who swaps his cancer meds for Mountain Ash, but a new threat arrives in the form of an enemy alpha pack. Scott and Allison also part ways, realising they can’t be together in the wake of all that has happened between McCall’s pack mates and the Argent family.
Season 3 is comprised of 24 episodes instead of 12, and aired with a sizeable hiatus splitting it down the middle. The first half finds Scott and friends under threat from the new pack in town, as well as a dark druid who is sacrificing townsfolk to enhance her power. It is revealed that this druid or Darach is actually the hot new teacher on the block, Jennifer, and she has been locking lips (and other bits) with Derek Hale. Jennifer kidnaps the kids’ guardians and plans to murder them under an old, magical tree stump called the Nemeton, which acts as lure for supernatural beings and powers. This explains why Beacon Hills is the site of so much phenomena. Beacon. Geddit? Scott, Stiles and Allison must temporarily die, sacrificing themselves to save their parents. We also discover that popular girl and secret genius Lydia Marsh is a banshee and can predict deaths before they happen. Her prophecies are accompanied by a loud scream and black outs.
The second half of the third season is concerned with Japanese lore and introduces a new love interest for Scott in the form of Thunder Kitsune, Kira. Kira’s father is a teacher at the high school and her mother accidentally wreaks havoc upon the residents of the town by commanding a group of Oni (sort of ghost warriors) to hunt down and kill an evil trickster spirit called a Nogitsune which she unwittingly summoned during WWII, and is possessing someone in Beacon Hills. Stiles begins to experience symptoms which emulate those of his late mother shortly before her death of dementia, and has trouble distinguishing between waking life and dreams. It is discovered that Stiles is being controlled by the Nogitsune, and poses a danger to all his friends. When the Nogitsune gains control of the unstoppable Oni warriors, Allison manages to kill one, but is then killed herself, dying in the arms of her first love, Scott. Scott manages to exorcise Stiles of the Nogitsune by biting him, making the creature both wolf and fox, an impossibility according to an ancient scroll. The Nogitsune is forced back into the body of a fly and trapped, and Stiles makes a full recovery.