TEEN WOLF 1.12 ‘Code Breaker’

Allison hunts down Scott and Derek as the final conflict leads to a new Alpha Wolf.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Title: "Code Breaker"

Writer: Jeff Davis

Director: Russell Mulcahy

Previously on "Teen Wolf":

Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) was wounded and captured by Kate Argent (Jill Wagner), who used Derek to expose her family's werewolf hunting heritage to her niece, Allison Argent (Crystal Reed). Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) was also badly injured in Kate's attack, but he was saved and healed by his mysterious Veterinarian boss, who somehow managed to repel Peter Hale (Ian Bohen) aka the Alpha Wolf. In the lead up to the high school formal dance, Peter tried to get to Scott through his connection with Allison, but Scott intimidated his rival, Jackson Whittemore (Colton Haynes) into staying close to Allison to keep an eye on her.

While torturing Derek, Kate suddenly realized that Scott was the second beta werewolf. And at the dance, Jackson told Allison's dad,  Mr. Argent (J.R. Bourne) everything he wanted to know about Scott. Scott's best friend, Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O'Brien) scored a date with the girl of his dreams, Lydia Martin (Holland Roden). But the Alpha Wolf attacked her outside on the football field and he forced Stiles to help him find Derek in exchange for her life. Elsewhere, Scott declared his love for Allison and they went outside to make out in an empty bus. Out of nowhere, Mr. Argent and another hunter tried to run down Scott. He survived by jumping out of the way, but Scott revealed his werewolf side to Allison in the process.

Story:

Moments later, Scott leaps away as Allison freaks out over what she just saw. She practically collapses in her father's arms as she gets off the school bus. Meanwhile, Scott weeps in the woods. On the football field, Peter forces Stiles to abandon the injured Lydia, although he allows him to call Jackson to bring her medical help. Peter also notes that Lydia will become a werewolf if she survives the effects of the bite. At the Argent home, Mr. Argent lays into his sister, Kate for leaving so many clues for Allison to find and dragging her into their secret world. He orders her to leave town with Allison and get her safely away.

At the hospital, Sheriff Stilinsky (Linden Ashby) briefly suspects Jackson of harming Lydia until he learns that his son, Stiles brought her to the dance as his date. In a parking lot across town, Peter intimidates Stiles into locating Derek by tracking Scott's phone. Stiles even takes a moment to talk at length to Peter about Macs. Really, show? Was this the perfect time for product placement? Anyway, Stiles discovers that Derek is being held beneath the Argent home. In gratitude, Peter offers to make Stiles a werewolf but the teenager turns him down. As he leaves, Peter says he can tell that Stiles wants the power, he just can't admit it to himself.

Scott locates Derek on his own and he initially refuses to free him unless Derek aids him against Peter. To win him over, Scott shows Derek proof that Peter intentionally killed Derek's sister in order to become the Alpha Wolf. Enraged, Derek brakes out of his final chain by himself and agrees to help Scott. At the hospital, Stiles finally arrives to see Lydia and he learns new information from his dad that allows him to figure out that Kate set fire to the Hale home years before. Shortly thereafter, Jackson and Stiles are both held by Mr. Argent and his fellow hunters. But Stiles is able to convince Argent of Kate's murderous actions against the Hales.

Across town, Kate and Allison attack Scott and Derek with explosive crossbow arrows and briefly subdue them. Kate then announces her intent to kill both of them and she shoots Derek. Just before she can shoot Scott (over Allison's objections), Mr. Argent arrives and he forces Kate to stand down and spare Scott. Then the Alpha Wolf shows up and takes out everyone before dragging Kate inside. Allison follows them and she watches as Peter slits Kate's throat for murdering his family. Before Peter can turn on Allison, Scott and Derek confront him in a two-on-one battle.

Outside, Stiles and Jackson pull up just as the Alpha Wolf is tossing Scott around like a rag doll. Stiles throws a molotov cocktail at the Alpha, which Allison ignites with her crossbow arrow. Even Jackson gets in on the act by throwing his beer bottle at the flames. The Alpha collapses and transforms back into a badly burnt Peter Hale. Allison and Scott then kiss and recommit to each other. Over Scott's pleas to let him cure himself, Derek emerges from the home and kills Peter to become the new Alpha Wolf. Later, Jackson tracks down Derek and begs to be made into a werewolf. Derek smiles as he bares his fangs at him.

At the hospital, Scott and Stiles visit Lydia and note that she isn't healing quickly or changing into a werewolf. Back at the Argent home, Mr. Argent and his wife realize that they will be pariahs in the town now that Kate's crimes have been exposed. And there are more werewolf hunters on the way, but the Argents don't seem worried about Scott anymore. Outside on the roof, Scott holds Allison in his arms as they watch the stars overhead.

Breakdown:

To recap that final battle, the Alpha Wolf went down thanks to the molotov from Stiles, the arrow from Allison, the bottle from Jackson and died at the claws of Derek. Notice anybody's name missing from that sentence?

That's right, the "Teen Wolf" himself, Scott McCall played almost no direct role in the final moments of the Alpha Wolf. That is an unforgivable oversight by the writer and creator of this series, Jeff Davis. It's a basic rule of fiction: if your hero never actually does anything heroic, than he's not the hero! And a hero shouldn't constantly need to be saved by his supporting cast!

For a while, it seemed like Scott might actually get his hero moment in the fight with the Alpha. Scott even had a good character beat when he convinced Derek that his uncle intentionally killed his sister. If I'm being cynical, I'd say that the Veterinarian thought that out for him. But if it was something that Scott came up with on his own, then that's a start at least.

But giving Jackson a hero moment?! That was a completely unearned redemption from one of the least developed characters on the show. Jackson has no defining characteristics other than his antagonism with Scott and his desire to be a werewolf. And the end of the show certainly implies that Jackson will be wolfing out going forward.

I was hoping to see Lydia turned into a werewolf, but there's no mystery to me about what happened. Somehow, Lydia is immune to whatever it is that causes lycanthropy. She might actually be Scott's best hope for a cure if her immunity can be replicated in other people. But that's just a theory for now.

As the villain, I really enjoyed Peter Hale, but it's understandable why he had to be killed off here. Cheesy CGI and burn makeup aside, the last battle was still fun. Derek's decision to become the new Alpha could be a cool heel turn for him if he becomes the show's new adversary. I just hope that he transforms into the big wolf now and not just another hairy teen like Scott.

In terms of character deaths, the show played it safe by only writing out Kate and Peter. If Davis wanted some real tension, at least one of the core cast members should have perished.

Which brings us to the biggest "WTF?!" moment of the episode… aside from Stiles' pitchman scene with Peter. Are we to believe that Mr. Argent is suddenly okay with Scott because there's no proof that he's harmed humans?! Because that just doesn't fly with his portrayal in the previous episodes. When he saved Scott from Kate, that could have worked. But using the vague werewolf hunter's code as a reason fell flat.

The ultimate test of this finale is whether the audience wants to see more. And I have to admit, I will watch "Teen Wolf" when it comes back. The Alpha Wolf revenge story was well done. But Scott McCall needs a lot of character development in the next season. Preferably off the lacrosse field.

Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.