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TEEN WOLF 1.04 ‘Magic Bullet’

A new werewolf hunter comes to town and shoots Derek, forcing Scott to save his life by having dinner with his girlfriend's father.

Episode Title: "Magic Bullet"

Writer: Daniel Sinclair

Director: Toby Wilkins

Previously on "Teen Wolf":

Newly turned werewolf Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) had a nightmare that he killed his girlfriend, Allison Argent (Crystal Reed) on a school bus. However, it turned out that there really was someone badly injured by a wolf on the bus. Scott recognized the injured man as Mr. Myers, his former bus driver. Worried that he might have been the one to attack Myers, Scott sought out rogue werewolf Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) for advice on remembering his activities the night before in exchange for a favor to be named later. Following Derek's advice, Scott and his best friend Stiles Stilinsky (Dylan O'Brien) broke into the police impound.

Once he located the bus, Scott's wolf senses told him that he was there the night before and he remembered trying to save Myers from a larger werewolf who was also there. Stiles guessed that the larger wolf was Derek and that the attempted group kill was a way to bring Scott into his pack. Incensed, Scott attacked Derek and the two young men fought as werewolves before Derek got the upper hand. Derek then explained that he didn't turn Scott or attack Myers. Their mutual enemy is an Alpha Werewolf and Derek asks Scott for his help in finding the Alpha. Outside, the Alpha Wolf spied on his two pawns as his eyes peered through the darkness.

Story:

A woman named Kate (Jill Wagner) is driving through town at night when the Alpha Wolf attacks her in her car. She chases it off with some well aimed shots through her car roof and gets out to pursue it. Derek spots the Alpha Wolf and begins to chase it himself, but Kate shoots him with a special bullet which causes him to collapse in pain. Kate then calls her brother, Mr Argent (JR Bourne); which means that she's Allison's aunt and a werewolf hunter as well. Realizing that the bullet is slowly killing him, Derek desperately seeks out Scott at his high school, running into Jackson Whittemore (Colton Haynes) in the process.

Jackson assumes that Derek is Scott's drug dealer and he tries to get incriminating information out of him. Annoyed, Derek scratches Jackson on his neck and scares him off. Derek later collapses in front of Stiles' car and makes a big scene while asking Scott and Stiles for help retrieving the bullet that infected him from Kate. Scott separates from the two to keep his study date with Allison. Once alone with Allison, she and Scott begin to make out before she shows him her secret talent for archery. Scott also sees Mr. Argent's large cache of guns; which Allison believes are sold to law enforcement agents across the country.

Mr. Argent catches Scott and Allison and he is about to throw out Scott when Kate invites him to stay for dinner. Meanwhile, Derek has to repeatedly threaten Stiles to prevent him from running off as he continues to deteriorate. With nowhere else to go, Stiles brings him to the animal clinic where Scott works. Back at the Argent house, Scott attempts to get through an increasingly tense dinner with Mr. Argent, Kate and Allison. Mr. Argent even seems to hint that he knows that Scott is a werewolf but it isn't entirely clear. After dinner, Kate catches Scott snooping around while looking for the restroom.

Kate suspiciously sends Scott to the guest room, where he miraculously finds her bag with the magic wolf bullets within. The bullet that harmed Derek is revealed to have a special kind of wolf's bane in it. But just as Scott prepares to leave with the bullet, Kate accuses him of taking something from her bag. Scott insists that he is innocent and Allison stands up for him. Allison even reveals that she took a condom from Kate's bag, much to Scott's shock and embarrassment. Meanwhile, Derek's condition gets so bad that he instructs Stiles to begin preparations to cut off his injured arm.

Just when it seems like Stiles and Derek will have to go through with it, Scott arrives just in time. After one more complication involving Derek passing out and the bullet briefly slipping away, Derek somehow uses it to draw the wolf's bane out of his body. Angered by Derek's constant incursions into his life, Scott threatens to tell the hunters everything about him. In response, Derek brings Scott to a nursing home where his uncle lives. Derek explains that the hunters set his family's house on fire to kill his uncle, badly scarring him in the attempt. But it also wiped out most of his family, illustrating that the hunters can't be trusted to care about anyone besides themselves.

Back at the Argent home, Mr. Argent insists that they pursue the Alpha wolf by the code while Kate hints that she doesn't follow a code. And she may even have been the one who set the fire at Derek's home years ago.

Breakdown:

I have to admit that I laughed when Allison pulled out that condom. It may have been the funniest moment on the show to date. Well, intentionally funny, anyway.

Tyler Posey is actually pretty good at doing awkward comedy. And Scott's embarrassment really sold that scene. Posey is usually less convincing during the high school scenes than in the werewolf storyline, but he seemed to do a better job this episode. The main problem with Scott is that he isn't much of a hero. He's not particularly smart and he never drives the story forward in the way that a protagonist should. Scott only reacts to things around him. If Derek hadn't been shot, this entire episode would have been about Scott's study date with Allison!

You may have also noticed that Scott didn't wolf out once during the entire episode. Potentially that can be a good way to manage audience expectations. But it also means that the most interesting events are taking place when he's not around. This episode also shot a pretty big hole in my theory that Mr. Argent was the Alpha Wolf. For starters, he doesn't have the motivation to attack his sister and he's shown to be at home when his sister calls him in to pick her up. Without Argent on the top of the list of suspects, there's nobody on the show who's a legitimate suspect to be the Alpha Wolf.

I'm not current in my werewolf lore, but when a werewolf scratches a human, doesn't that create another werewolf? Because if that's the case, shouldn't that mean that Jackson is going to wolf out now? Or the show could simply say that that only werewolf bites pass the curse. However, turning Jackson would probably be the best move for that character. He keeps saying that he wants whatever Scott is using to get his edge. If the creators give Jackson what he wants, it may actually create a legitimate threat for Scott outside of the Alpha Wolf.

It's nice to see Jill Wagner back on scripted TV again. She was the best thing about the "Blade" TV series that came on a few years ago. This episode also sets Kate up as a potential spoiler within her own family, if she really is the killer of Derek's family. I kept expecting the episode to come up with an excuse to send her packing, but it looks like she might be around for a while.

This episode also seemed to definitively show that Allison doesn't know that her family consists of werewolf hunters. But her skills with archery suggest that they want her in the family business. I'm willing to bet that this means we'll get at least one scene this season where Allison points a bow and arrow at Scott while he's in his wolf form.

"Teen Wolf" is far from perfect, but for now I'm willing to go with it. There's definitely some potential in this show. I just don't know if it will ever find a way to fully tap into it.

Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.