Episode Title: "Second Chance at First Line"
Writer: Jeff Davis
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Previously on "Teen Wolf":
At the behest of his best friend, Stiles Stilinsky (Dylan O'Brien), Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) headed into the local forest to locate the body of a recently murdered girl. And Scott found her, along with the giant werewolf that killed her. Escaping the wolf with only a bite, Scott soon found himself blessed with strange superhuman abilities, including enhanced hearing which helped him woo the new girl at his school, Allison Argent (Crystal Reed). Scott also had a strange encounter with Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin), a young man whose sister perished under mysterious circumstances years before.
After Scott woke up in the forest having apparently eaten a deer, Stiles tried to convince him that he was becoming a werewolf and told him to cancel his date with Allison. However, Scott refused and nearly wolfed out in front of her before he ditched her at a party. When it seemed like Derek might have harmed Allison after he left, Scott fully transformed and fought Derek. Although Derek explained that he didn't harm Allison and that the wolf bite was a blessing, they were both attacked by werewolf hunters. Escaping with Derek, Scott met up with Allison the next day and got her to forgive him for running out on her. Scott also caught a glimpse of Allison's day, Mr. Argent (JR Bourne); the leader of the werewolf hunters who tried to kill him.
Immediately after, Scott is convinced that Allison's dad recognized him despite his lack of fur and the fact that he actually had a shirt on this time. Stiles eventually talks him off of the proverbial ledge and they engage in their mutual love of lacrosse. But during practice, Scott is actually leveled by the jock king, Jackson Whittemore (Colton Haynes). In response, Scott unleashes his wolf strength and plows into Jackson, separating his shoulder in the process. Scott runs off to the locker room and fully wolfs out, but Stiles delouses him with a fire extinguisher until he changes back to human form.
That night, Scott and Stiles are video chatting when Derek bursts into Scott's room and attacks him for almost wolfing out in front of everyone. He threatens Scott unless he pulls out of the lacrosse game. Scott actually tries to fold and tells the coach (who looks disturbingly like Adam Carolla), but the coach refuses to let him sit out. At around the same time, Allison finds her jacket from the night Derek gave her a ride home; which Scott interprets as a threat against her as well. When he goes over to Derek's dilapidated house, he notices the smell of a dead body.
Later, Scott and Stiles return to Derek's house and dig up a fresh grave only to find half of a wolf. They also find Scott's kryptonite in the form of Wolf's bane. When the Wolf's bane is removed, the wolf's body reverts to a young girl. Horrified, Stiles and Scott have Derek arrested for murder. But Derek gets out of jail when the authorities determine that the girl was killed by a wild animal and they identify her as Laura Hale, Derek's sister who was thought dead years ago. On the night of the big lacrosse game, Scott plays extremely poorly and a recovering Jackson orders his teammates to keep the ball away from Scott.
However, Scott eventually gets his wolf up and essentially wins the game almost single handedly. He also starts wolfing out on the field, freaking out the defense on the opposing team. Once again Scott retreats to the locker room and transforms into his werewolf form. Allison almost runs into him in this state, but Scott finally suppresses the change and gets his first kiss from Allison. Scott then tells Stiles that he was able to control his wolf side. But on the field, Jackson finds Scott's lacrosse glove with clawed out fingers from the inside while Derek watches from the sidelines.
Do you remember after the first episode of this show I said that "Teen Wolf" had the potential to be one of the best new series of the summer?
Yeah… I might have been wrong about that.
The setup was actually pretty good coming out of the first episode. But this episode was a dropped pass, no question about it. This was the MTV style drama I expected in the first place. Light, fluffy, (furry?!) and with the lowest of stakes possible. I actually played lacrosse in high school and I still found this obsession that Scott had with the game to be way over-the-top.
Seriously, this episode was so lacrosse heavy it almost ventures into comedy at times. And it was actually kind of funny to see the opposing team start to freak out when Scott gets more wolf like. The original "Teen Wolf" also had sequences with the lead character playing sports while he was a werewolf. But that was a campy '80s comedy. What's the excuse here?
The best thread from the first episode was whether Allison's werewolf hunter dad recognized Scott and whether she was in the family business. Aside from Scott's meltdown at the beginning and two scenes later on, it was largely glossed over. Mr. Argent did seem a little too interested in seeing Scott's lacrosse game considering that Scott and Allison had just met from his perspective. There was also a creepiness to Mr. Argent's reaction to Scott which suggests that he does know about Scott's true nature and he's willing to use his daughter as bait. The only real question for me is how much Allison knows about her dad's plans.
As far as the mythology of the episode, the identity of the dead girl as Derek's sister was kind of predictable. But it was interesting that her wolf form looked more advanced than Scott's and that the Wolf's bane actually kept her from resuming her human form after death. Of course, that doesn't explain why her lower body was still human in the morg. I kind of suspect that Jeff Davis is being a little fast and loose about the rules.
I still think that "Teen Wolf" could work as a series if it can establish some actual stakes. This lacrosse BS isn't going to cover it. When a show can't be bothered to deliver a stronger episode premise than that, it's definitely an early warning sign that it can't live up to its promise.
I certainly hope I'm wrong about that. But we'll find out pretty quickly whether this wolf has legs.
Crave Online Rating: 5.5 out of 10.