TEEN WOLF 1.03 ‘Pack Mentality’

Scott makes a deal with Derek to learn if he attacked someone while he was a werewolf.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Title: "Pack Mentality"

Writer: Jeff Vlaming

Director: Russell Mulcahy

Previously on "Teen Wolf":

Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) found a dead girl in the woods and he was promptly bitten by the giant wolf that killed her. A few days later, Scott started developing wolf-like abilities and wooing the new girl at his high school, Allison Argent (Crystal Reed). And yes, because this is a series called "Teen Wolf," Scott did in fact become a werewolf. After fighting with his apparent wolf-sire, Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin), Scott and Derek were attacked by a band of werewolf hunters led by Mr. Argent (JR Bourne), Allison's dad… who seemed to recognize Scott the next day.

But who can worry about that when there's a big lacrosse game coming up? Seriously, that's what the last episode was about: Scott attempting to play lacrosse and not wolf out and Derek threatening to kill him unless he pulled out of the game. So, naturally Scott and his friend Stiles Stilinsky (Dylan O'Brien) attempted to get Derek arrested for the murder of the girl in the forest. However, the girl turned out to be Derek's long missing sister and the medical examiners determined that she was killed by a wild animal, releasing Derek from jail in the process.

Story:

Late at night, Scott and Allison sneak onto a school bus and begin making out. But Scotty's wild teen hormones kick off his wolf transformation and Allison sees for herself that she's been dating a hairy beast. And when she tries to run away, were-Scott thrashes the bus and drags her clawing and screaming back to him before he finishes her off. Psych! It's a dream and Scott's really in his own bed. But he's not convinced that it wasn't real until he finds Allison safe at school later that day. Scott starts to relay his dream to Stiles when they see the police investigating the damaged school bus from Scott's dream; which is covered in blood and broken glass.

The police soon find the victim still alive and Scott recognizes him as Mr. Myers, his former school bus driver. Around the same time, Scott and Allison's plans for a first date are ruined by Jockass Jackson Whittemore (Colton Haynes) and his clingy girlfriend,  Lydia Martin (Holland Roden); who invite themselves to a night of bowling with the new romantic duo. But first, Scott goes to see Mr. Myers in the hospital and he's shocked when the old man not only recognizes him, he also goes into immediate shock. At a loss, Scott approaches Derek for help dealing with his wolf senses and memories. Derek agrees to tutor him for a price to be named later.

Taking Derek's advice a little too far, Scott breaks into the police lot with the help of Stiles and uses his wolf senses to confirm that he was there when Mr. Myers was attacked, but that he attempted to save the older man. Stiles hypotheses that Derek was there as the other wolf and that the kill was meant to mark an initiation into Derek's wolf pack. Later, on his "group date" with Allison, Scott is exposed as a very poor bowler. And yet when Allison tells him to imagine her naked in order to focus, he taps into his wolf powers and lands several strikes in a row. Across town, Mr. Argent and his fellow hunters corner Derek at a gas station and try to intimidate him before busting up his car.

Back at the bowling alley, Scott attempts to make peace with Jackson. But instead, Jackson vows to uncover whatever it is that makes Scott a freak. For his part, Scott was probably wondering why Jackson's hair looks like something a yak pucked up, but that's a mystery for another time! At the hospital, Derek pays a semi-threatening visit to Mr. Myers, who recognizes him and dies shortly afterwards under suspicious circumstances. Upset over the death of Myers, Scott confronts Derek at his home and attacks him despite Derek's denial that he hurt Myers.

In response, Derek transforms into a werewolf as well and he begins fighting Scott. For a while, it seems like Scott might win. But Derek eventually gets the upper hand and slashes Scott's chest; which causes Scott to revert to human. Changing back as well, Derek reveals that he didn't turn Scott into a werewolf and he didn't kill Myers. It was an Alpha Wolf who Derek has been trying to find, since the Alpha Wolf also killed his sister. He finally tells Scott the price for his assistance: help him find the Alpha Wolf. Outside, the Alpha Wolf watches as his two favorite pawns converse.

Breakdown:

Now that was more like it.

The previous episode of "Teen Wolf" was a pretty big disappointment, but it's starting to show some of its potential again. The mythology aspects of this episode are actually pretty good. And I like the revelation that there's a villain on the show that we just haven't met yet. Or maybe we have met him… I do have a theory about that.

The Alpha Wolf angle is a lot more interesting now that we know it isn't Derek. The show also addressed why Scott and Derek's wolf transformations are more human-like than the Alpha Wolf's form. They're Beta Wolfs, which suggests that they can become Alpha Wolves at some point down the line. Because Scott and Derek both have a reason to go after the Alpha Wolf, it actually makes their inevitable team up more believable.

As for who the Alpha Wolf is, it's entirely possible that his human identity hasn't appeared so far. But of the existing characters, I believe that there's only one guy it can be: Mr. Argent. Yes, Allison's father, the werewolf hunter.

Does that sound plausible? 

Think of it this way, what better cover story could an Alpha Wolf have than as a leader of werewolf hunters? It's a perfect way to eliminate his rivals and it would explain Mr. Argent's strange interest in Scott in the previous episode. It would also confirm that Argent did recognize Scott in the woods, but he hasn't acted on that because he's stalking his new recruit. If my theory holds up, it also suggests that Allison might be a werewolf by birth who just hasn't found out yet. And weirdly, that would actually bring the premise back closer to the original "Teen Wolf' movies.

The opening sequence between Scott and Allison on the bus was really well shot and even compelling. I almost didn't mind that it turned out to be a dream sequence… Almost. It would have been a pretty bold storytelling decision to let Allison witness Scott wolf out so early in the series. We know that's going to happen at some point. It's just a matter of when.

Ironically, "Teen Wolf" main faults lie in its attempts to depict Scott as a teenager in high school. All of Scott's school scenes play out just like any other film or TV related high school show. And Jackson and Lydia are really annoying side players. They have so little definition as characters that even calling them one dimensional would be giving them one more dimension than they actually have.

But this episode did respark my interest in this series. I hope it pays off.

Crave Online Rating: 7.5 out of 10.