Episode Title: "Wolf's Bane"
Writer: Jeff Vlaming
Director: Tim Andrew
Previously on "Teen Wolf":
Following the attack by the Alpha Wolf at their high school, Allison Argent (Crystal Reed) broke up with Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) because she no longer trusted him. And as the next full moon approached, Scott began to lose more and more control over himself, forcing his best friend, Stiles Stilinsky (Dylan O'Brien) to attempt to chain him before his next transformation. At school, Scott's rival Jackson Whittemore (Colton Haynes) began making romantic overtures towards Allison and he even persuaded her to go on a drive with him. During the full moon, Scott broke free and attacked Jackson's car before Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) subdued him.
Because Scott thought Derek had been killed by the Alpha Wolf, he had basically thrown Derek under the proverbial bus for the Alpha Wolf's murders, making Derek the most wanted man in town. Scott pleaded with Derek for a cure for his condition and Derek told him that if they can kill the Alpha Wolf, it will free Scott from the curse. Meanwhile, Jackson noticed that the claw marks from his car matched the claw marks from Scott's discarded lacrosse gloves.
At the high school, Professor Harris is confronted by the Alpha Wolf, which speaks to him (!) and mentions the list of people made by Derek's sister. Derek bursts in and saves Harris' life, but the Alpha escapes just in time to leave Derek trapped by the police. The Argents are also hunting Derek down, as Mr. Argent pursues him on foot and Kate Argent (Jill Wagner) incredulously follows Derek's car, unaware who the driver is. Inside Derek's car, Scott and Stiles rendezvous with Derek and save his life. As they drive off, he shows them the note that the Alpha Wolf gave Harris; which has the symbol from Allison's necklace.
Derek orders Scott to get Allison's necklace despite the fact they aren't on good terms. Elsewhere, Jackson gets the cuts on his neck (from Derek) examined and he has a fever dream that the doctor is pulling wolf's bane from his neck. After some further research, Derek comes to the conclusion that Scott is a werewolf. He confronts Scott by his locker and indirectly threatens to expose him. And later he taunts Scott in the cafeteria by whispering his threats so that only Scott can hear him. Scott also tries to charm Allison by reminding her of their good times, but she asks him not to talk to her.
Derek hides in Stiles' house, just as Sheriff Stilinsky (Linden Ashby) leaves to interrogate Harris. Realizing that the text that lured Allison to the school during the Alpha Wolf must have been made by the Alpha himself, Stiles invites his gay classmate Danny (Keahu Kahuanui) over and he tricks Derek into constantly taking his shirt off to entice Danny into helping them track the text. But to their surprise, they find that it was sent by Scott's mother. In the woods, Allison enters the abandoned Hale house and finds her Aunt Kate close behind her. Allison says that she never wants to feel as helpless as she did during the school attack and Kate tells her that she may be able to help.
During the Sheriff's interrogation of Harris, we learn that Harris unknowingly supplied the information needed to hide the arson of the Hale home and that the arsonist was most likely Kate Argent. At the big lacrosse game, Derek isn't quite as smug when Scott explains that werewolf hunters are after them and he indicates that the Argents are the hunters. Meanwhile, Derek and Stiles head to the convalescent home where his crippled uncle, Peter Hale (Ian Bohen) resides. However, when they find the home empty, Derek realizes that Peter is the Alpha Wolf. Just before Peter can kill Stiles, Derek transforms and confronts his uncle.
Unfortunately, Derek is no match for the Alpha Wolf, who heals his scarred features at will. Peter even offers to compromise with the badly beaten Derek because they are family. Back at the lacrosse game, Kate spots the scratch marks on Jackson's neck and points them out to Mr. Argent. They theorize that Jackson is the second beta wolf assisting Derek; which Scott overhears and realizes that their suspicions might lead back to him as well.
For all of the issues that I've had with this series, this was a really good episode with some genuinely exciting sequences. The battle between the Alpha Wolf and Derek was one of the best scenes in the entire series to date and it was a good way to finally reveal the Alpha's identity.
However, I don't think that the series gave the audience enough information to guess that Peter Hale was the Alpha. It couldn't have been Professor Harris or Scott's Veterinarian boss because they were too obvious. If Peter Hale is the Alpha, that means he basically spent the majority of his time as a human pretending to be comatose. That's kind of hard to swallow. But the Alpha Wolf's desire for revenge tracks with what was revealed in the earlier episodes and Harris' explanation makes a lot more sense in that context. Whoever the people on that list were, they all had a connection to the hunters who burned the Hale home and slaughtered most of their family.
I'm still not clear on why Derek's sister was killed or why the Alpha seemed to be hunting for Derek instead of attempting to recruit him. Peter mentioned something about not killing Derek's sister on purpose, but it's not clear how much of his personality remains when he's the Alpha Wolf.
There's also something oddly hilarious about this show's constant homoerotic moments like Derek's inadvertent seduction of Danny. It literally doesn't get more overt than that. For about a minute, Derek seemingly had the IQ of Jason Stackhouse from "True Blood." It was also pretty amusing when Derek smacked Stiles for essentially turning him into an Abercrombie and Fitch model.
I've never been sold on Jackson as a real threat to Scott, but there was something creepily effective about his whispered threats in the cafeteria. He also seems weirdly more prepared for being a werewolf than Scott is. I mean, who doesn't know that Argent is French for Silver? It's Jackson's courtship of Allison that I find unbelievable. He's so open about being a smug a**hole that it's hard to see Allison falling for him. Lydia and nearly every other high school girl, sure. But that doesn't seem right for Allison.
There was also another really strange moment when Mr. Argent caught Scott after he broke into his home and invited him inside. It's like he was saying "Hey Scott! It's totally not suspicious at all that I find you hanging around my house after my daughter dumped you! Come on in and have a beer!" Even Argent's interrogation of Scott wasn't quite as forceful as it should have been if he really wanted to know what Scott knew about Derek.
Minor problems aside, I'm now very interested to see how this story plays out over the next three episodes. The Alpha Wolf was a great villain when we didn't know who he really was. Let's see if "Teen Wolf" can maintain its momentum now that he's been revealed.
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.