Ed. note– In reviewing the premiere of Season 2, I include some information from Season 1. If you haven’t seen Season 1, do not read this review.– P.F.
When I wrote my review of Season 1, I made note of how impressed I was with Teen Wolf. The finale left a dead hunter, a new alpha male in Derek, and plenty of new issues for Scott McCall, the show’s title character. Season 2 drops a whole number of new problems into the mix, and in doing so, manages to keep things lively. It’s an auspicious debut for the season, and keeps me wanting more.
The premiere picks up on the threads of last season and runs with them. Scott tries to get around the arrangement he made to avoid his girlfriend Allison Argent, who’s born into a family of werewolf hunters. Newly bitten Lydia disappears naked from the hospital, and body parts start to disappear from fresh corpses, including a liver. Stiles has a confrontation with a teacher. At Kate Argent’s funeral, a new member of the Argent arrives with vengeance on his mind. New alpha Derek has a new protégé. And Jackson’s body is having an adverse reaction to being bitten.
The episode accomplishes quite a task in balancing all these threads deftly. It’s a tribute to both the writing and the direction that all this doesn’t fall apart, but instead becomes a cohesive mix that’s deftly handled. Stylistically it’s beautiful to watch, with all sorts of visual flourishes from director Russell Mulcahy. I’m not surprised, considering he was the man behind HIGHLANDER. He’s adept enough to take all the action and keep things flowing. The writing by the series’ head scribe Jeff Davis is crisp, as he keeps the dialogue sharp and the action perfectly balanced. The show’s main writer makes a sweet fit with Mulcahy.
The weakest scenes in the show are still those between Scott and Allison. Tyler Posey just doesn’t have the chops to be a romantic lead, nor does he work as a gawky teen. Crystal Reed fares a little better as an actor, but even she can’t save these scenes. They grind the action to a halt, they’re all repetitive, and they’re incredibly sappy. If I weren’t watching it live, I’d have fast forwarded through them.
Sadly, the episode didn’t feature much of Stiles. With his limited screen time, Dylan O’Brien manages to steal the show again. The scene where he’s out cold outside Lydia’s hospital room, talking and kissing air in his sleep, is classic, as is his discussion with Scott about how the liver is the most nutritious part of the body. I need more Stiles. Because Stiles rules.
With its Season 2 debut, Teen Wolf hits the ground running. Anybody who enjoyed Season 1 should be content with the direction this episode takes the series. Fortunately MTV played episode 2 tonight, which proved that assertion. I said after watching Season 1 on Netflix that all the best horror is on television. These two episodes prove me right.