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Teen Wolf – 3.01: Tattoo – Recap & Review



‘Once Is Chance, Twice is Coincidence, Third Time Is a Pattern’

Well, season 3 of Teen Wolf is finally underway and I have to say the kicked it off with a bang. Per tradition we have our fearless leader Jeff Davis writing the premiere and Russell Lee Fine directing. I don’t know about you but this episode sucked me right in and didn’t let go. I found the pacing to be amazing. There were a lot of things that went down, so let’s just get to it.

The Recap

We open the season with some girl dragging Isaac to safety. He is in bad shape. The girl resuscitates him with her handy dandy car battery and some jumper cables. Isaac reaches for his neck painfully. The girl notices the scratches and tells him that’s how ‘they’ transfer memories. Isaac says he doesn’t remember anything. Well, ‘they’ can steal memories that way as well.

Isaac and the girl arrive at her motorcycle and she tells him, ‘No matter what just hold on.’ And off they go on her motorcycle. They are being chased by someone, make that two someones. It’s the Alpha Twins. After a very long chase, with near misses from a semi-truck and a brick wall they finally skid to a stop in an abandoned warehouse after crashing through a glass window and get cornered by the Alpha Twins who merge into one monstrous beast (hopefully we’ll learn the mechanics behind that). Just when things look bleak for Isaac who barely has the strength to crawl, the girl fires her handy dandy modified military stun gun at the Alpha Twins which separates them from their merged form and sends them scurrying away, for the time being.


Somewhere on the bad side of Beacon Hills (because tattoo parlors are almost always on the bad side of town) under aged Scott is off getting a tattoo. The tattoo artist is amused that Scott found it necessary to sketch his design, which was simply to just two bands. Stiles teases Scott and ask him if he’s sure he doesn’t want a tattoo the looks suspiciously like a kanima. We get out first etymology lesson on the word tattoo from the gruff tattoo artist, in Tahitian it means 'to mark. Scott goes through with it and as the first strike of the needle hits Scott’s skin, Stiles faints.


After that they jump in Stiles jeep and Scott’s tattoo is really hurting. Stiles thinks it’s normal for it to hurt because after all he did just stab his skin with a needle like a thousand times. Scott thinks it shouldn’t feel as bad as it does and rips the protective gauze off only to watch the tattoo heal and all that money go down the drain. Scott looks disappointed and Stiles says he relieved because he really hated the tattoo.

But the boys weren’t the only ones out on the town that night. Allison and Lydia were also out and heading to a group date thing, that was apparently really a double date thing to which Lydia admits later on. We learn that what’s left of the Argent family spent the summer in France and Jackson learned how to be a proper werewolf and his family moved to London. Stiles and Scott pull up to Allison and Lydia at a red light just as Scott was wondering whether or not Allison would return to Beacon Hills. Stiles notices the girls first and assures Scott, Allison would be back. Allison notices the boys and Scott and Allison lock eyes and the music plays and then they both panic and try to convince their friends to run the red. Stiles doesn’t run the red light but Lydia does.
Stiles waits for the red to chance but still ends up driving directly behind the girls. Scott worries about seeming like a stalker but this is long road with no turns that they’re on. But Scott insists that Stiles do something so he parks his jeep in the middle of the road.

Allison wants to go back and talk to Scott and notices that the boys have stopped too. Out of nowhere a terrified deer crashes through Lydia’s windshield. The boys rush over. Everyone is fine except Lydia, she's freaked out.


Our next scene finds Isaac and the girl that saved him in the Emergency Room. Melissa McCall spots Isaac and he tells her to worry about the girl not him. The girl keeps muttering about ‘the alpha’. Melissa thinks the girl means Derek but she means Scott. Too bad she got wheeled away and Melissa didn’t hear the most vital part of that conversation. But hey, at least we the audience are in the loop.


Meanwhile that same morning, all the kids were busy getting ready for their first day of classes. Scott was busy trying to turn over a new leaf. He’s improving his athletic abilities, he’s reading, he’s learning new words. But I still see the old Scott that pines for Allison. Dude, it’s time change your computer background, okay? It’s getting a little sad. We catch a glimpse of the Stilenski clan next. Stiles is obsessing on statistical data about deer related vehicular accidents. Papa Stilenski looks relieved that Stiles has to get out of the house. After that we see Chris asking Allison if she wants to skip the first day. Allison can’t because she promised she’d drive Lydia to school since her car is totaled. They hold hands and give each a sad and unconvincing ‘it’s going to be OK’ look. Next we see how Lydia is getting ready for her first day of junior year. There’s a shirtless guy in her bed! And he’s begging for another chance to hook up. Oh, Lydia you sly little minx.

Apparently, Scott has a new dirt bike, good for him. But it looks ridiculous next to the two matching black shiny motorcycles that he parks next to. Scott is still wondering what the heck went wrong with his tattoo and is contemplating asking Derek about it. This annoys Stiles. But Stiles also makes a point that Derek might be a little too busy looking for Erica and Boyd as they pass the missing posters. As they continue walking they notice that the old principal is back, he wants to know what happened in the library and why there is a sword in his office.

Cut to Allison and Lydia talking about, what else, boys. Allison keeps offering advice to Lydia when really she is just saying what she thinks she do out loud and Lydia calls her out on it. There’s something going on with Lydia. She’s checking out freshmen boys. She’s a junior and I’m glad that at Allison states the obvious. Lydia doesn’t want a boyfriend though, she wants a distraction and just as she says that cue the alpha twins entrance.

Getting back to Isaac and the girl at the hospital, Melissa goes to check on Isaac and sees that his wounds are visibly healing. Melissa is freaking out a bit. She says called Derek and wonders if Isaac has any other wolf emergency contacts. Isaac asks her to call Scott.

We interrupt the myth arc portion of the episode yet again with another school related scene. The students are all seated and chit chatting away when everyone’s phone goes off all at once and I laugh because I get a Gossip Girl flashback. It seems Ms. Blake has a flair for the dramatic. She asks her students to their phones off and just as Scott does, his mom is frantically trying to call him to no avail. As Melissa is calling Scott a chick that looks like she is up to no good creeps into Isaac’s room and sleeps him a mickey. We notice her claws are out and she is walking around barefoot in a hospital but to make matters worse she has wolf paws for feet. How is no one in the hospital noticing this? As she sarcastically countdown to three as Isaac falls asleep we catch a glimpse of her eye and yes they’re red, she’s another member of the Alpha pack. Thanks for the anvil. Now we’re back to Ms. Blake’s English class and Allison decides to go low tech to communicate with Scott passing a note that reads: Can we talk? But before he can reply the principal comes in to pull Scott out of class. Ms. Blake follows him out and tells him she’s sure it must be an emergency but she doesn’t want him following back into bad habits and Scott assures her that his progress won’t be ephemeral (if you are keeping track this is the second time he’s says it, but not the last).

Back in the classroom Stiles notices that Lydia has a bandage on her ankle. He asks what happened. Prada bit her. This gets Stiles wheels turning and it has him convinced something bad is about to happen. Lydia dismisses it as she muses about the Rule of Three. But then a crow flies into the window and then we pan out and see hundreds of them and they begin to crash through the window and attack the students.

Protective!Stiles comes to Lydia’s aid.

As Scott arrives at the hospital that girl that rescued Isaac creeps away, barefoot, in a hospital gown, and again no one notices anything. Melissa tells him where to find Isaac and he heads for the elevator. Just as the door is about to close a blind man’s guiding stick catches it. He asks Scott to push the button for the second floor and Scott pushes even though he already had done so. As the elevator doors open and Scott starts on his merry little way the blind man asks for help and Scott obliges him.

Isaac’s surgery is cancelled when the doctor notices that there’s nothing wrong with him. The doctor gripes and heads out for a smoke break. The doctors and nurses disperse and one doctor particularly looks shady because his wolf claws are poking through his latex gloves and he’s the one wheeling Isaac away. Yep, we have yet another member of the Alpha Pack and this guy is kind of big. After Scott gets done helping the blind guy he happens upon the werewolf that was wheeling Isaac away and an awesome elevator fight sequence ensues. Just when things look bad for Scott, Derek appears and saves him.


The girl that rescued Isaac shows up at Beacon Hills High and is looking for Scott. She encounters Allison and Lydia and seems to know who Allison is. She wanders away and Chris comes over to usher the girls out of school. But she did leave a parting gift, a bruise on the girls' wrists.

Then we see Sheriff Stilenski with Deaton asking him for help on the strange animal behavior and Deaton said he nearly called the sheriff because of a strange incident that had occurred. All the cats committed suicide.

Scott gets the favor Derek owes him repaid by getting his tattoo. But not before we get another etymology lesson on the meaning of tattoo. This time we get the Samoan definition, it means open wound. Scott also gives us the reason why he wants the tattoo. Derek fires up the blow torch and Stiles manages to hold Scott still as he wolfs out a bit.


Once Scott recovers from the tattoo he Stiles share a moment together and Scott utters that word ephemeral again (that’s three times, how cute). It seems as though Stiles is finally on board about the tattoo. Just and they are about to leave, Scott notices that the door has been painted but only on one side. He whips out his claws and scratches away all of the paint to reveal the alpha pack symbol.


Scott demands to know what is going on and Derek spills the beans, much to Stiles dismay. Scott panders out loud the same thing that I’ve been wondering, just how does a pack of alphas work exactly? They have a leader named Deucalion. Well, thank you for the vagaries but I’m going to need some details. But we won’t get any in this episode so moving on…

The girl that rescued Isaac is in the locker room and all the members from the alpha pack that we’ve met are there and she is holding her own until Wolf Paws McGhee roundhouse kicks her in the face. As she slumps against the lockers a man, that blind man from the hospital, the man who it turns out is none other Deucalion himself, saunters over and has a chat. The girl reveals she knows that he’s afraid of the man Scott will become. He dismisses his fear and simply states that he is going to remove the threat by having another do it and by another he means Derek.


Allison and Lydia are in Allison’s room decided on paint colors and notice their bruises match up and form a symbol.

Cut to that same symbol on the floor where Boyd and Erica are being held. The last thing we see in the episode is Erica (I’m assuming here, not real sure, there was buzz that it could be Cora) reaching out for Boyd’s hand.


The Review

Stuff I liked:

• The pacing was amazing. We’re all caught up about what went down over the last four months in Beacon Hills for the most part. Good thing too because I believe exposition should be used sparingly.
• Everyone in the alpha pack got a chance to shine.
• Scott is trying to be a better everything. I want to like Scott but Stiles upstaged him for the most the last two season. This is a Scott I can get behind.
• The awesome meta reference of an American Werewolf in London (don’t you judge me, I love good 80’s campy fun).
• Melissa is in the loop is actively helping the werewolves. That’s awesome because it really annoyed on Buffy that it took so long for Joyce to find.
• Derek seems a whole lot more chill (actually not sure if that’s a good thing or not just yet).
• The girl who rescues Isaac was one tough chick. I really liked her modified military stun gun, smart weapon and it builds upon what the Argents have taught us about electrical current and the werewolf state.

• My favorite moments of the episode all go to Stiles
1. When he faints at the tattoo parlor
2. When he pulls the feather out of Ms. Blake’s hair
3. When he stops his jeep in the middle of the road

• My favorite lines of the episode all go to Lydia
1. its Stiles and Scott, do you really want to try and apply logic to those two?
2. And seriously, an American werewolf in London? Like that’s not going to be a disaster.
3. I don’t want a boyfriend, I want a distraction.

• My favorite scenes were:
1. The elevator fight
2. The birds crashing through the classroom window
3. The new and improved Scott McCall


Stuff I Didn’t Like
• Lydia is turning into some kind of sexual predator.
• MTV played the ‘How many songs can we jam into an episode’ game. The answer is 10 songs.
• Ms. Blake and I swear I’m not saying that because she is going to be Derek’s love interest I’m not even a shipper (yes non-shippers do exist in the TW fandom).
• No Peter Hale. Yes, I like Peter Hale. I feel like Peter Hale and Deaton and that guidance counselor are the only ones that really know what the heck is even going and I guess that’s why we don’t spend much time on them.

Totally Obvious Stuff
• The blind guy being a member of the alpha pack.
• Scott is destined to be an alpha and there’s something ‘special’ about him.
• Scott and Allison are totally getting back together again (but will break up by season’s end, it’s a tradition)
• Allison and her dad are going to HAVE TO get back into the hunting game; it is the family business after all.
• All the new characters we meet this season will be dead by season’s end.

Miscellaneous
• The credits have been slightly tweaked; I’ll leave that as discussion for another day.
• The area code on the missing posters was 925, which puts Beacon Hills roughly in the area of Alameda or Contra county area.

Eye Roll Moment of the Episode

Scott reading ‘Call of the Wild’ by Jack London and seeing ‘White Fang’ by Jack London in his pile of books, and yes ‘The Sea Wolf’ by Jack London was there as well.

Burning Questions
1. Where are Lydia’s parents?
2. Why does no one listen to Stiles when he says bad stuff is about to happen?
3. Are we all on the same page that Grandpa Argent is pulling the alpha pack’s strings somehow?

The Grade: A

Be sure to sound off in the comments to let me know what you think.



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