TV Recaps

‘Teen Wolf’ Season Premiere Review: A Much Needed Reset

Tyler Posey (Scott McCall) in Season 3 of MTV's 'Teen Wolf'

The season 3 premiere of Teen Wolf aired last night on MTV. I’ve been waiting months to jump back into my favorite supernatural soap opera and the wait was well worth it.

Season three picks up four months after the events that nearly ended Jackson’s (Colton Haynes) life and resurrected Peter Hale’s, when teen werewolf Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) and his friends Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), Lydia (Holland Roden) and Allison (Crystal Reed) begin their Junior year of high school unaware that a new threat has arrived in Beacon Hills: a deadly pack of Alpha werewolves intent on bringing Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) into their fold.

Tattoo,” feels like a reset more than anything. With werewolves known to Scott’s circle of friends, that burden frees them all from the secret they’ve been carrying since season one. After last season’s battle with the Kanima, the Argents on a murderous warpath and Scott’s life being blown to bits, it was nice to see how everyone progressed during the four month time jump. It was like their lives went back to…normal.

The appearance is the new werewolves is what sets the tone for the episode. This pack of Alpha are not to be messed with. Already powerful from their status as an alpha, by aligning with each other, they tip the scales and give them an unlimited advantage over their foes. They’re ruthless but also calculating. They’ve infiltrated the hospital and Beacon Hills High School but why? Led by Deucalion (Gideon Emery), the other members of the pack, Aiden & Ethan, Kali, and one whose name we don’t know, each played a role in attempting to isolate Isaac from his pack, and eliminating the girl helping him.

“Tattoo” begins with Isaac (Daniel Sharman) getting electrocuted saved by a mysterious girl on a motorcycle. As they flee from Alpha werewolf twins Aiden and Ethan (Desperate Housewives’ Max and Charlie Carver), they wind up almost having a confrontation in an abandoned building. The twins end up merging into some sort of freaky super werewolf, but is shot by the mysterious girl before they can do any damage. “I thought I told you to hold on,” she snarked.

Meanwhile, Scott’s with Stiles at a tattoo parlor, about to get some new ink. Stiles wants to know the significance of Scott’s choosing two bands but gets nowhere. Stiles provides the comedic relief, passing out during the inkage. Afterward, Scott’s arm heals while they’re in the car, undoing the tattoo. Allison and Lydia, who are on their way to meet someone. Lydia reassures Allison that she’s over Jackson, and it’s why they’re going on a double date. Scott and Stiles run into the girls while driving, and it gets awkward. When the exes finally notice each other, they try to hide and avoid the glances. How cute. More comedy ensues until a deer unexpectedly smashes into Lydia’s car.

The first day of school provides a new set of goals and challenges for our heroes. Scott’s independence and freedom has led to some personal growth. Let me just get this out of the way, Scott gets hotter with ever new season. Not content with just being a pretty face, he’s also found the time to pick up a book (or a hundred) over the summer. He’s also learning to expand his vocabulary with a “word of the day.” His word of the day is ephemeral, which means “lasting for a very short time.” He ends up using it at least 3 times in the episode. It’s kind of cute. Scott is determined not to repeat the mistakes of last year – that means focusing on school, being a better friend, son and boyfriend (if given the chance).

Lydia subscribes to the saying that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else – and she does with some nameless hottie that she leaves on her way to school. “I don’t want a boyfriend, I want a distraction,” she tells Allison at their lockers. No shit. After the emotional trials she went through with Jackson, Lydia needs a boy who won’t complicate her life. Unfortunately that’s not what she’s going to get – especially if she gets involved with Beacon Hills’ newest set of twins, Ethan & Aiden.

Isaac is hospitalized as a result of his attack, becomes the target of the Alphas’ plan to prevent him from exposing their plans. New werewolf Kali (Days of our LivesFelicia Terrell) drugs him to get him out of the way. The final thing he sees before passing out is that werewolf bitch’s demonic mug.

Much like in season one, animals in town are freaking out, sensing danger is coming. Stiles is obviously onto something, but as usual, he’s ignored simply because he’s stiles. He tries to question Lydia but she brushes off his comments. In a scene lifted straight of the movie “Birds,” a flock of angry birds smash into the school, breaking windows and attacking the classroom with Stiles, Lydia and Allison. In the aftermath, dead birds and feathers are everywhere! Ew.

Meanwhile, Scott’s mom summons him to the hospital. Before he leaves, he’s chastised by his new English teacher, who doesn’t want him to slip back into new habits. Scott promises things won’t be like last year, “Resolutions are only good if you stick with them Scott.” At the hospital, Scott’s mom tells him about the recent attacks and says she didn’t tell him sooner because she didn’t want to disrupt the progress he’s made. Scott’s had a lot of time to process his life as a werewolf, but this is all still new to his mom. It’s nice that she’s looking out for him. He reassures her that things will be different. “It’s not gonna stop. I’m going to be better this year. A better student, a better son, a better friend, everything. I promise,” he tells her.

The mysterious girl continues to lurk around the hospital, desperately trying to avoid the pack after her. Isaac, who’s scheduled for surgery, miraculously heals (at least on the surface) and is taken away by an unnamed male Alpha. A chance run-in (only not so much) with Deucalion leads Scott discovering a drugged Isaac in the custody of the unknown male Alpha. Scott transforms and dives into the elevator to fight the Alpha, all the while, a drugged Isaac is comically rolling around in the wheel chair, hitting the wall. Derek comes to Scott and Isaac’s rescue.

Later, Derek and Scott return to Derek’s old abandoned house with Isaac in tow.  Scott learns Derek no longer lives there, Derek has something there that will help their friend heal from his Alpha wounds. Scott’s believes the wounds of healed, but Derek informs him that he’s still wounded internally. Scott tries to get information on the Alpha who attacked them, but Derek tells him not to worry about it, go home and be a teenager. Scott decides to use his favor with Derek.

The mysterious girl finds Allison and Lydia and demands to know the whereabouts of Scott. She grabs their arms when she notices the werewolf twins. She ends up leaving a bruise on Allison and Lydia’s arms, something that we’ll learn more about later in the season. Allison’s dad tells her not to worry about this situation. As per their agreement, they can stay in Beacon Hills but only if they stay out of supernatural matters.

Using his Alpha vision, Derek views Scott’s tattoos and asks what it means. Scott tells him he doesn’t know, then slowly opens up about why it’s important. He goes on to tell Stiles and Derek that in Samoan, tattoo means open wound. He says he always wanted to get a tattoo when he turned 18, but wants to get it now as a reward for sticking by his resolve to break communication with Allison, giving her the space she needed. Four months after, still seeing Alison feels like an open wound, hence the significance of the tattoo. It was a really beautifully acted scene. Tyler Posey’s really come a long way since the series began.

Derek tells him what he’s about to do will hurt like hell, and then he lights the blowtorch. Yes, I said blowtorch. I don’t understand Derek and Scott’s sadomasochist relationship and I don’t think I want to. Stiles tries to skip out but Derek tells him he needs him to hold Scott down. Good lord.  He then proceeds to BURN HIM WITH THE BLOWTORCH. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

Scott wakes up after being BRUTALIZED by Derek with a blowtorch. A freaking blowtorch. It was worth it though, the tattoo looks super awesome. While admiring his new ink, the mysterious girl is trapped in the locker room at the school by the pack. Unfortunately, she can’t hold off the entire pack and ultimately faces her demise at the hands of Deucalion. As a result, she’s unable to warn Scott of the danger he faces or why the Alphas are afraid.

Before leaving, Scott’s curious as to why Derek’s front door has been painted red…and only the front. Derek warns him off questioning it any further but he won’t let it go. Scott scratches the paint off the door to reveal an Alpha symbol. Scott puts everything together and realizes Alphas are in town. Derek finally tells him the truth and reveals there’s an entire pack. Turns out Derek, his uncle Peter and Isaac have been searching for searching for Boyd and Erica, who were kidnapped by the pack at the end of last season. Scott asks how to deal with them after they’ve been found. Derek replies with all the help he can get. Just then, Isaac awakens and asks where the girl is. You’re too late buddy.

While planning a re-design with Lydia, Allison notices the bruise on her arm and Lydia’s seems to form a symbol. The symbol then appears on the screen in the form of a design on a floor, of a building, where two people – presumably Erica and Boyd – are holding hands.

As I said earlier, the premiere was the much needed reset that Teen Wolf needed. With the past two years’ worth of arcs behind them, something needed to be done that really changed the canvas. The arrival of the Alpha pack is just what Jeff Davis needed to do to set things forward.

I’m intrigued by the dynamics Scott faces this season.  As much as he wants to have a normal life, his supernatural always seems to take priority. There’s also his complicated relationship with Allison. He loved her so much that he set her free, but he also loves her so much that it still hurts him to see her. Will they be able to work things out? Or will she find a new love interest?

What I love most about Scott (besides his charm) is his loyalty and desire to help those in need. This season, Scott becomes the hero he’s meant to be…and all hell will break loose as a result of it. I can’t wait.

About the author

Ryan White-Nobles

Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TVSource Magazine. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.

  • Queen Wilson

    Hugh fan of Teen Wolf,glad to see previews of Scott & Stiles’s gay friend Danny.