MTV‘s Teen Wolf 117 TV Show Review. Teen Wolf: Season 4, Episode 2: 117 had me, as a loyal member of the Pack, still on the fence about how the season will turn out. There was quite a bit of hype about this season getting back more towards the roots it set in the first season, but so far with the mafia-esque Calaveras, Beserkers, and a de-aged Derek it seems like the writers are still reaching for that spectrum of strange by trying to include an overload of plot elements, as happened with the most recent season. This makes me very fearful for the continuity of previously established facts and the introduction of all of the new characters for the season, as both of these have been a problem before in the series (most prominently the timeline of the Hale fire, Derek’s age, and characters being killed off or written out shortly after being introduced).
In “117”, we get to see more of young Derek and an expansion of his background story, which turned out superbly with Ian Nelson being brought back. Ian definitely had the character down, everything was very reminiscent of Tyler Hoechlin’s portrayal, even the way he walks.
I thought it was a good move that the writers included a lot of parallels between young Derek and Scott when he was first bitten – both trying to play their sport of choice during the full moon, both having trouble with the shift, and both being involved romantically with a hunter. Moving on to that point, the reintroduction of Kate had a lot of the fan community in shock, mostly due to the on-screen kiss between Kate and young Derek. It seemed as though it was included for shock value more than anything, though it did help put in perspective just how unhealthy and manipulative their past relationship became.
There were lots of potential plot devices to be seen in this episode. The introduction of Malia to Peter, who obviously was trying to drop the hints about the identity of her real father, which ended rather anticlimactically and will most likely be put on the back burner until the greatest moment of. There was the allusion to financial problems following bills from Stiles’ visit to Eichen House in 3b and the McCall home being in need of significant repairs, which has been hinted by Jeff Davis (Wolf Watch 6/23/14) to be a big driving force towards the season’s main plot with “the list” and the Benefactor. Of course, the surprise heist pulled over on the Hales by Kate and possibly the mysterious Benefactor also has significant potential.
There were several light moments, which were welcome after the previously dark season. The budding relationship between Stiles and Malia is being handled better, not seeming quite as much of a forced romantic plot, but there’s the expected confusion and awkwardness that was previously absent and makes things a bit more believable. The developing friendship between Kira and Lydia was quaint, but due to the lack of mourning time after the abrupt death of Allison in 3b, it seems like Kira is her replacement, which tends to happen to female characters on this show. Addressing the developments in relationships, there has been a surprising lack of development between Scott and Kira, which I definitely find to be a pleasant surprise because it lends more believability and foundation to things instead of rushing things along as the show has done in the past (most notably between Allison and Isaac).
As per usual with the writing of the later seasons, this plot line stopped a bit short, Derek chooses Scott over Kate, even though he knows that Scott lied to him about his family’s death, doesn’t know that Kate lied to him about anything, and abandons her in the vault to fight Peter while he goes save Scott from the Beserkers. The conclusion felt quite weak, even for a cliff-hanger, and will be disappointing without explanation of exactly how he magically returns to his normal age and has yellow-beta eyes once more. The heist as a twist also felt weak, mainly due to the rapid introduction of this mysterious, never-before-mentioned Hale family vault and naturally the mass family fortune that had been hidden away, also never-before-mentioned.
Thus far, this season is showing itself to be just as overly busy with side plots, new characters, new creatures, and off-the-wall inclusions that I am left unsure how the overall product will turn out. Though it seems the writers have been trying for more believability and I hope that means these tangential plots and characters will be well fleshed out in the long run, as that is an area the show has failed in previously.
Patiently awaiting ‘Moonday’ for Episode 3: Muted!
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