Teen Wolf 3.07 “Currents” TV REVIEW
Writer: Jeff Davis
Director: Russell Mulcahy
THE ONE WHERE Dr Deaton is captured and we say goodbye to one of the wolves.
VERDICT This season so far has transformed Teen Wolf from a whiney teenage nightmare to a fully-fledged drama series that deserves attention from anyone that loves the supernatural. Where the cast once had to hide from the wrath of Comic-Con attendees, they’re now accompanied by security before sitting at a sold-out panel. How things can change within a year.
From the beginning, show creator Davis and head director Mulcahy have been nursing the series to develop into the beast it is today – it’s pretty much their baby. Whilst every episode this season has proven a worthy addition, when these two are put in the creative ring together, magical things happen. This week’s episode sees them bring together everything Teen Wolf does well – comedy, tension, pacing and of course, a few moments of romance and bare torsos for the less demanding amongst the teen audience.
After a handful of location episodes, we’re back in Beacon Hills. Opening in the hospital, there’s been a 10-car pile-up and Scott’s mother Melissa (Melissa Ponzio) is run off her feet. The doctor hasn’t turned up and whilst they wait for the on-call doctor to arrive, Ethan (Charlie Carver) rushes Danny (Keahu Kahuanui) into the emergency room. He can’t breathe and there’s only a matter of minutes to save his life.
After throwing up a load of mistletoe (remember when Dr Deaton saved a dog after it had eaten mistletoe a few episodes back?), it’s up to Melissa to thrust a huge needle into his chest and save his breath. It’s a hugely tense moment that thrusts us right into the pace of the episode. Plus, it gives Melissa Ponzio some much-deserved extra screen time, which is great to see. The relevance of the mistletoe isn’t obvious yet (except the druid connection) but Davis will no doubt clear that up in the episodes to come.
The three-of-a-kind killings continue, with some pretty laughable CGI butterflies taking out the on-call doctor. This week, the sacrifices are all “healers”, so it’s unsurprising that Scott (Tyler Posey) is desperate to watch over his mother. He does so in a scene that also allows Isaac (Daniel Sharman) to flex his comedic timing muscles, when the two of them argue about who fell asleep during watch duties. Sharman is fast becoming one of the most underrated characters in the series but with the tease of romance with Allison (Crystal Reed), hopefully we’ll be seeing the focus shifted onto him.
After Dr Deaton gives Scott a heartbreaking yet remarkably calm phone call to Scott that he thinks he’s about to be abducted, Scott races to the surgery to find the Sheriff already there… but Deaton is long gone. Although Tyler Posey isn’t the strongest actor on the show, his reaction to the news is an understated, emotional affair that makes for a heart-breaking watch. After all, these kids are mostly coming from single parent households, and Dr Deaton has proved to be an important part of their lives.
Meanwhile, Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) is fully healed and just as well, as a huge symbol painted on his window means that alpha-pack member Kali (Felisha Terrell) is on her way to do some serious toe-scrapin’. Thankfully, Isaac and Boyd (Sinqua Walls) have an idea: learning from his time with the Argents, Boyd floods the flat with water then lobs in a live electricity wire. A sure-fire death for anyone with bare feet, right? Wrong. The guys clearly didn’t think that Kali would be clever enough to switch off the electricity at the mains.
( To be honest, I think the whole electricity thing is a bit of a red herring; it feels more like Mulcahy just wanted the have a big fight scene with the combatants ankle-deep in water because it would look cool, and they had to find a plot reason to justify it… not that there’s anything wrong in that! – ed. )
Shooting these neon dark fight scenes is where Mulcahy shows off his talents. They’re brilliantly choreographed and it’s great to see such a strong female character. It’s just a shame that it’s juxtaposed with a screaming Ms Blake, once again playing the damsel in distress. Something’s not quite right with her – surely, she can’t just turn up, provide Derek with a few kisses and have no significance other than to provide the Alphas with some hostage opportunities.
It’s during this fight that we say goodbye to one of the show’s recurring characters. The electricity is turned back on and before he can reach a higher surface, Boyd is left paralysed along with Derek. Kali is quick to take Derek’s clawed hand and plunge it into Boyd’s chest, making Deucalion’s wish – that Derek should kill one of his pack – come true. Although Boyd isn’t one of the show’s most popular characters (and sadly, Sinqua isn’t one of the best actors) it’s sad to see him go. A quick scene change also undermines the impact of his death. Give it time to sink in, guys!
Throughout “Currents”, Scott, Stiles and co desperately try to search out Dr Deaton. There’s a particularly hilarious scene with Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), Lydia (Holland Roden) and Cora (Adelaide Kane) as they try to unlock any supernatural senses Lydia might have that could help locate the doctor – automatic writing, ouija, clairvoyance, that kind of thing. Lydia once again draws a tree that reinforces her connection with the druids, but totally fails to provide any clues.
Thankfully, Allison has found a map on her father’s desk, that when put under UV light shows a number of markings; firstly, where people are taken and secondly where the bodies are found. There have only been six sacrifices so far but the map shows twelve markings, which begs the question: what is Chris Argent playing at?
Thanks to the map and a but of clue from Deucalion (the “currents” of the title), Scott heads over to the vault to find Dr Deaton hanging from his hands with only a few moments until his almost certain death. However, any sigh of relief is immediately stifled, as he’s circled with mountain ash – creating a supernatural force field that Scott can’t walk through. His pained attempts at reaching his father figure are upsetting to say the least, but in trying, Scott’s eyes turn red – the sign of an Alpha. As Deaton explains to Scott, that this has happened because he is a special kind of Beta, who can become an Alpha spontaneously, gaining the power through strength of character alone, rather than by killing. Something tells us that this can’t end well for Scott, especially as it seems he could be Deucalion’s true target, not Derek.
A thoroughly tense and perfectly-paced episode, “Currents” is worthy of raucous applause; not just from die-hard Teen Wolf fans but also from anyone who enjoys clever scripting, careful camera work and a tasty cliffhanger.
BEST BIT Sheriff Stiles finds Dr Deaton without any help from the supernatural – just plain old decent detective work.
CHECK MATE Scott and Stiles were certainly rockin’ the checked shirt, black t-shirt combo this week. Did one not tell the other to go home and change?
SEXUAL HEALING Things are certainly “hotting-up” this season. Erection gags? Oh, do behave Teen Wolf . Though we can’t help thinking that when Allison and Scott are in the cupboard, and she turns her back to him, and he says that’s just making him even randier, it has to be a “doggy fashion” allusion, surely?
BEST LINE Dr Deaton explains what a Beta is to Scott.
Dr Deaton: “It’s rare; something that doesn’t happen within 100 years, but every once in a while a Beta can become an Alpha without having to steal or take that power. They call it a true Alpha; it’s one that rises purely on the strength of character – by virtue, a sheer force of will.”