Teen Wolf 3.04 “Unleashed” TV REVIEW
Writers: Alyssa Clark, Jesec Griffin
Director: Tim Andrew
THE ONE WHERE The twins start to cause trouble at school and the "virgin" killer is still on the loose.
VERDICT The great thing about Teen Wolf is that it’s educational as well as entertaining. This week, Dr Deaton (Seth Gilliam) and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) provide some thought-provoking Celtic Druid factoids that will enable the show’s teen fan base to learn a little summa-summa. That’s if they can take their eyes off the abundance of bare chests on show this week.
What we know so far – the killer is still on the loose and seems to have a taste for virgins. It makes for a tense atmosphere from the get-go in “Unleashed” and let’s be honest; Teen Wolf rarely has an episode that sees the gang relaxing for more than five minutes. Opening at Dr Deaton’s surgery – and no, we still don’t quite trust him – a handsome young chap brings in his little dog, lovingly named "Bullet" (the family are in the military don’t you know). Scott (Tyler Posey) is on hand to help out and finds that the dog has swallowed some Mistletoe; a plant that is poisonous to dogs and werewolves. As the guy leaves with Bullet, the dog is quick to run down yet another smokey, abandoned alleyway - seriously, how many of these are there in Beacon Hills?
Of course the dog causes problems – much like Lydia’s (Holland Roden) little mutt last season – and the guy winds up dead. There’s a particularly well executed moment where writers Clark and Griffin make us believe that Bullet is under a dumpster, biting his owner, when in fact, he’s been observing quietly across the alley. So, what was under there?! Setting the theme perfectly for the episode, you can be sure it’s going to get bloody.
Last week, there was a whiff of romance between Ms Blake (Hayley Webb) and Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) and the writers seem to be honing in on the flirtatious tension. After all, it doesn’t seem like Scott and Allison (Crystal Reed) will be getting back together any time soon and it’s about time Derek got some action of his own. His tactics seem to involve staring blankly at Ms Blake while she rambles on like a damsel in distress: “Emotionally stable?” she asks. “I guess that presupposes that I was emotionally stable before any of this and according to my therapist, that’s been debatable for a long time.” It would be nice if the writers wouldn’t be so quick to go down the fragile, unstable woman route and after a host of brilliantly strong female characters, it’s a decision that's a little disappointing. Let’s hope she turns out to have some tricks up her sleeve.
As Stiles continues to play the mini-me of his detective father, he finds out that the guy killed at the beginning of the episode wasn’t a virgin. Although Teen Wolf has a tendency to milk an idea for a little too long, it’s nice to see them throw a curve ball here and as Stiles tries to figure out the pattern, the school’s music teacher goes missing; or as we know it in Beacon Hills – dead. We find this out through Lydia, who has once again gone walkies and landed herself in the music room, sketching a tree (this may be important for future episodes). As the class leave after the 15-minute rule, Lydia finds the teachers phone placed on the piano with a recording ready to play. As she listens, the piano recording comes to an abrupt, cheesy-horror-piano-whack end before a load of chanting ensues. Lydia does her usual freaking out face (wide-eyed, open-mouthed, about to have another breakdown) and calls Stiles. The pattern starts to emerge – the killer works in threes and this week, it’s all about the military.
While all this is going on, the teen wolves are full of teen angst. The twins decide it’s time to wind up Isaac (Daniel Sharman) by starting a fight during a cross country lesson. Despite Scott’s attempts to calm Isaac down, he storms out of class and is faced with one of the twins beating the other up. Of course, Mr Harris (Adam Fristoe) finds just one of them before Isaac and promptly puts him in detention. The twins probe further by locking Allison and Isaac in the janitor’s closet during detention and as we know from season two, Isaac doesn’t do well in small spaces. Thankfully, Scott comes to the rescue before Isaac really hurts Allison. Speaking of Scott coming between the two of them, it seems there’s romance a’brewing for the pair. From being locked in a closet to especially close faces during a motorbike scene, this is how love blooms in TV land. Let’s hope it’s not too awkward.
The twins get their just-deserts as Deucalion (Gideon Emery) gives them a quick slice on the face for their bad behaviour. He’s been busy this week – paying a visit to Derek’s lair along with his trusty wolves in crime. It’s a little surprising that the Alpha pack haven’t visited Derek before and as Kali (Felisha Terrell) plummets an iron bar through his back, it seems they mean business. Thankfully, Deucalion only wants to talk to Derek and proposes that he kills one of his own pack - this later results in Derek asking Isaac to leave and find somewhere else to live.
Sadly, “Unleashed” is a little all-over-the-place. The premise for the plot is decent and the execution often works but some overacting and poor placement makes scenes such as the action between Deucalion and Derek seem mighty slow. The fights this week also seemed a little too over-the-top and unnecessary whereas before they’ve given the episode just enough action. The focus should have shifted more towards Stiles’ aim of finding out more about the killer and Dr Deaton certainly deserved a little more screen time. It looks like he’ll get it though, if the writers finally decide to show us who he really is.
BEST BIT Allison and Ms Morrell have a heated discussion in class. More of this and less rambling Ms Blakes please.
WORST BIT Deucalion announces that he is the "demon wolf" with plenty of thunder and lightning. He could do with toning it down a bit.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON Stiles seems to be becoming a right little detective these days – Daddy would be proud. Obviously, he just finds it annoying.
PEP TALK The coach barks that he doesn’t want the lacrosse team to become fat asses. Queue a load of bare chests, smug faces and perfect comedy timing.
PRODUCT PLACEMENT An especially cringe-worthy moment as the camera zooms in on Lydia using Dropbox for the piano recording. Subtle guys, subtle.
BEST LINES Dr Deaton goes to give Bullet an injection. Once again, the writers imply that Dr Deaton knows more than he’s letting on.
Kyle: "It’s not going to hurt him is it?"
Dr Deaton: "Just a little. But I often find that it’s the owners that feel the most pain."
Teen Wolf season three currently has no UK broadcaster.
Read our previous season Teen Wolf reviews
Read our other season three Teen Wolf reviews