Teen Wolf 3.05 “Frayed” TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writer: Angela L Harvey
Director: Robert Hall
THE ONE WHERE It’s a flashbackarama as Deucalion continues his rampage and Scott has a close shave.
VERDICT Teen Wolf is really starting to grow up. Based around a bunch of teenagers, it’s worked really well as a platform that tackles those difficult years between childhood and adulthood; they’re hard enough without all the wolfiness. From the often cringe-worthy coming-of-age storylines in season one, to the stomach-churning romantic antics of season two, the show seems to have learnt what works well - molding it all together for season three.
It’s worth noting that this episode sees Angela L Harvey taking the reigns for her first full episode. Starting off as a writer’s assistant, Harvey certainly proves her worth as “Frayed” continues this season’s stellar track record, albeit with a few cheesy moments.
Starting off with the lacrosse team on a bus on their way to a “meet”, Scott (Tyler Posey) is notably injured. As Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) complains, “It’s completely incongruous that we’re on our way to a stupid lacrosse meet after what just happened,” it immediately begs the question, “What has happened?” Has the killer gone on another rampage? Nope. Scott clears it up for us as he whimpers, “I can’t believe he’s dead. I can’t believe Derek’s dead.”
HOLD UP! What?! Okay, okay. After worrying that somehow we’d skipped an episode, it soon becomes clear that “Frayed” is structured as a flashback affair. A tricky premise to get right but thanks to some darker, sepia tones, it’s clear what’s in the past and what’s happening in the present.
So, in the present, Allison (Crystal Reed) and Lydia (Holland Roden) are closely following the bus to keep an eye on the boys. Meanwhile, in the bus there’s plenty of tension thanks to one of the evil alpha twins sitting right aside from Boyd (Sinqua Walls) and Isaac (Daniel Sharman). Placing these wolves in the tiny, enclosed environment is a brilliant move, as the strained atmosphere makes for some nail biting moments – not to mention some pretty effective claw digging tools. The twin continues to check his phone, which cues the first flashback of the episode.(opens in new tab)
Scott visits Allison in her bedroom to confront her about her continued hunting. Despite Papa Argent wanting to lead a normal life, Allison continues to help the pack with her ass-kicking archery. As Scott tries to prove to Allison that she’s in deeper than she can handle through a flirty play fight, the scene hints at the pairs past love life with some close-to-face moments. When he leaves the apartment, Scott comes face-to-face with Deucalion in the apartment block’s elevator. Not to worry though, he’s not there to hurt Scott – turns out, he lives in the pent house suite.
Then we’re faced with a slow-mo, all-out-action fighting scene between Derek’s pack and the alphas. There’s no explanation – just a load of them going at it in an abandoned mall. This flashback fight continues in small bursts throughout the episode and only starts to make sense towards the end of the episode. Continuing with the flashbacks, Derek and his pack are back in the Hale quarters planning an attack on the alphas. As they’re no match for a batch of bloodthirsty big boys (and girl), they decide to target Deucalion (Gideon Emery) and Deucalion alone. A perfect plan, right? Wrong.
We next witness a tumbling Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) and Ennis (Brian Patrick Wade) falling to their deaths. Surely Teen Wolf can’t kill off one of the show’s best-loved characters? Well, if recent events in TV are anything to go by, anything could happen. Back in the bus, Scott isn’t getting any better but thanks to some nifty detective work from Stiles, the boys find out that the twin keeps checking his phone because a loved one is injured and may not make it through the night. Meaning only one thing – Ennis isn’t dead. However, that doesn’t give us any answers to Derek’s fate.(opens in new tab)
Ennis is indeed, very, very injured and the alpha pack has only one place to go – Dr Deaton’s surgery. The show is getting really rather good at obscuring Dr Deaton’s intentions; subtly placing him in short bursts in every episode helping one pack one day and then the other the next. This time, Ms Morell (Bianca Lawson) heads up the convoy, further proving her ties to the alphas. Lawson does a brilliant job as badass little sister to Dr Deaton – we just won’t ever mention that awful accent back in her Buffy days. Despite Deaton saving Ennis’ life, Deucalion waltzes into the surgery and squeezes Ennis’ eyes so much that his head bursts into a pool of blood. Bravo Teen Wolf – that was disgusting.(opens in new tab)
Back on the bus, Scott is still not healing and thanks to a hilarious interaction between Stiles and Coach Finstock (Orny Adams) – more scenes between these two please! – the bus stops and Allison and Lydia hurry Scott into the gas station toilet to sew him up. Lydia and Stiles leave Allison to do her handiwork and despite her best efforts, she can’t quite thread the needle. Cue the hallucinated return of a barking Victoria Argent (Eaddy Mays). She’s as scary as ever, and the scene gives Crystal Reed a chance to flex her actress muscles.(opens in new tab)
Whilst we’re all worried about the fate of Derek, the episode finishes with an-ever screaming Ms Blake in her car. Derek isn’t dead! He managed to put his bloody hand on her car window! ( we think he’d been watching UNder The Dome and thought it was cool – ed. ) A little obvious for the ending but Derek’s alive, so we can forgive Harvey.
The pace of “Frayed” is brilliantly executed – whilst the slow-motion flashbacks are a little cheesy, there’s enough tension to keep you on the edge of your seat. What’s more, we get to witness Scott’s full transformation from boy to wolf, which shows that the make-up team has come a long way since season one. Every actor has settled comfortably into their roles and portrays their characters better than ever – especially O’Brien, who provides some much needed laughs every week without fail. Thanks to intelligent direction and clever writing, season three continues to be a blinder.
BEST BIT Scott barks at Isaac to stop hitting one of the twins. Isaac instantly stops. Further proof that Scott is alpha material.(opens in new tab)
JOLLY GOOD SHOW OLD BOY Why are most baddies in American shows English? Deucalion fills the pompous boots perfectly.
GHOST TOWN Seriously, how many abandoned buildings are there in Beacon Hills?
BACKSTREET’S BACK Did anyone else notice Boyd’s rather fetching body warmer in the first flashback? Boybands eat your heart out.
FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD Teen Wolf is loving its blood this season. Deucalion squeezing Ennis’ head until blood bursts out is one of the show’s horror highlights so far.
Peter Hale: “Do you know what happened when Hercules cut off one of the heads of the Hydra?”
Scott: “Two more grew back in its place.”
Peter: “Someone’s been doing their summer reading!”