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Teen Wolf - 3.08 - Visionary - Recap / Review

Note: It finally happened. For the first time in 3 seasons, Teen Wolf actually bored me. I look forward to it never happening again. Usually Teen Wolf is fast-paced and action-packed. This was more of a tragic teen love story with adult political machinations overlying it. Basically it is Teen Wolf's take on Romeo and Juliet, but Romeo lives on broodingly with glowing blue eyes.

Previously - Derek got laid, Derek stood in the lacrosse field, the Hales all burned to death in a fire a decade ago (or not since they keep coming back), Peter tricked Lydia, the Argents hunted werewolves, Gerard is psychotic, spirals mean revenge, Duke predicted Derek or Deaton's deaths but instead Boyd died by Derek's hands literally, and Derek was distraught. The previouslies had the most action of the episode.

Jumping straight into flashback a teen werewolf, fleeing through the woods, horror-story trips, causing him to roll down the hill right into one of Argent's nifty lighted dog whistle spikes, which were introduced in the Cora and Boyd freak out episode. Not sure why they acted like they had never seen them before if hunters have been using them so long. The kid literally runs into another teen werewolf and we find out the runner is Derek. The other teen is Dead - shot through the throat with an arrow. The hunter shoots another at Derek but teen Peter catches it. (See any Arrow forum for why this is ludicrous.) They run. One of Gerard's men confirms Dead killed 2 hunters so Argent gives the order to find Derek and Peter, but not kill them. He stresses the code. The Hales hide for 2 days in a cave-like burrow with a huge tree growing in it to out wait the hunters. Non-flashback Cora tells Stiles werewolves "hide and heal" when it comes to hunters. This talk apparently began because Derek has disappeared. Cora asks why Stiles cares so he recaps the season. Stiles: "Why do I care? Let's see, because over the last few weeks my best friend's tried to kill himself, his boss nearly got ritually sacrificed, a girl that I've known since I was 3 was ritually sacrificed, Boyd was killed by alphas, I…you want me to keep going because I can alright…for like an hour." It has been an amazing, action-packed season Stiles, but no worries. This one grinds to a complete halt. Cora says Derek can't do anything about events so far, since he's different now. Pre-family-killing fire Derek was, according to Peter, "A lot like Scott actually. A lot like most teenagers - unbearably romantic, profoundly narcissistic, tolerable really only to other teenagers." Ouch! Shouldn't MTV be more sympathetic? Peter says a girl changed him. Stiles: "You're telling me some girl broke his little heart. That's why Derek is the way he is?" Peter says it's all in the eyes. Stiles figured the Hale blue werewolf eyes were genetic but alas no, it's a long, mostly pedestrian story of lost love Peter will spend 37 more minutes telling. Here we go….to Gerard's Room of Black Goo. Huh? Allison walks in with Scott. Grandpa Evil wants Scott to take away his pain in exchange for his own story. Oh goodie. We get both the liar and the psycho versions.

Uber annoying Krissy from Supernatural plays cello until she's rudely interrupted by the basketball dribbling of….you guessed it, Teen Derek. SPNKrissy: "I'm pretty sure basketball practice takes place in the gym." TDerek comes off as a stereotypical jock, running the school. He'll stop if SPNKrissy can take the ball away from him, as he tries to impress her with his skills. Instead of kicking him where it hurts and taking the ball like Krissy from SPN would, she walks away disdainfully. He of course follows her to the music room where she resumes practicing. TDerek asks her name but she won't tell him unless he can play any instrument in the room. Smartly, he chooses the triangle. One ping later and SPNKrissy is now Paige. She already knows Derek. Back in the Black Goo Room, Gerard and Allison talk human sacrifice. The third dead doctor was found right after Scott rescued VetBoss. Gerard: "Almost like it was expected he'd survive." Hmm, good point. Gerard continues, "How do you know that your dark druid isn't your wise veterinarian himself? Maybe he knew you'd find him. Maybe he planned it that way." Yeah I admit it's suspicious. VetBoss is still on my list but this makes it more likely that Morell, his sister, is Darach to me. Scott is less than happy with the insinuation, since VetBoss isn't the human sacrifice type. Gerard counters that people would go to great lengths to rid the world of Deucalion. Allison: "Or someone like you." Ha! Allison snark tonight. Woo hoo! Grandpa Evil boo hoos about his goo situation, but does he really expect sympathy? He brought it on himself. Once his pity party ends he says Deucalion can't be stopped. He knows; he tried. Allison calls it a waste of time and heads out, forcing Grandpa Evil to spill the Deucalion story….

After Peter tells his of course. Stiles and I are curious about how old the werewolves are, but neither of us gets an answer except TDerek was a sophomore and Peter is coy about his age. Stiles gets frustrated and drops it for the saga of "Derek and the cello girl." Peter spins maddeningly complex emotions of teen love into "One minute it's 'I hate you; don't talk to me.' The next it's frantic groping in any dark corner they can manage to find themselves alone in for 5 minutes." Ha! Not sure why they hid their romance. Their favorite make out spot was an abandoned distillery and Stiles questions how Peter knows this. He says he was Derek's best friend; the story shows he was a Peeping Tom. Creepy even back then. Forward plot movement halts when Paige asks why Derek likes her. Blah, blah, he'll never stop liking her, blah. They go to kiss but Derek kills the mood by smelling blood. Not sure why he didn't smell it when they walked in. They slip out as the alpha-beta multipack mash up follows Elevator Alpha inside. EA is upset hunters killed Dead. Kali doesn't care since he's not of her pack. I only care because it promises more action than story A. Random chick says hunters don't care what pack you're in, but Deucalion plays peacemaker and says they only kill if they have motive. He correctly guesses Dead killed a hunter as Marco, Duke's 2nd in command, confronts EA about it. EA calls it an accident, but I highly doubt it. Gerard narrates the meeting, which he was not at by the way. He does know about them later killing their own packs to form an Evil League of Evil though. More importantly, he introduces Talia, Derek's mom. Her unique shape shifting powers make her the de facto leader of the area. Plus Deucalion seems to have a crush on her. Entering the meeting in full wolf form, with Peter spying by the way, Deucalion talks evolution while EA speaks revenge. Deucalion: "Ennis don't. Don't make us part of a historical cliché. With 2 such powers, it…it never ends at an eye for an eye." I see what you did there Teen Wolf. Duke: "And we end up no better than our enemies." EA doesn't care. He claws the revenge sign anyway.

Over at Team Derek, Stiles snarks, "Man you guys really take that revenge thing to like a whole new level don't you?" Cora explains losing a pack member is like losing a limb due to the power connection. Flashing back, Sheriff, a mere deputy at this point, keeps EA from seeing Dead's body as it's a homicide investigation and EA isn't technically family. EA: "He was family to me." Cora interrupts, asking what Derek has to do with this. True, but it promised action. Back to talk. Peter blathers about people seeing things differently. He says he saw profound loss in EA while TDerek found opportunity. Clearly the opposite was true. As Ave Marie plays in the background, TDerek pointlessly wanders through school before distracting Paige while she practices cello and they cute about hating each other. It's endless. They love each other. We know. 19 minutes in and nothing's happened. Peter says TDerek was obsessed with losing Paige but there's no evidence of that. In order to product place Reese's over Twizzlers this time, Peter joins TDerek at school. He snarks about Paige eating alone but TDerek explains she studies at lunch, making her the typical school loser with an entire John Hughes movie back story most likely. Plus Paige doesn't like his friends. Peter: "No one should like your friends. They're a bunch of hormonal halfwits." Ha! Even funnier, Peter gushes about TDerek and Paige being a "perfect combination" while waving a Reese's by his lips. Way to use the ad slogan so subtly writers. Peter insinuates that TDerek is constantly worried about Paige finding out he's a werewolf but TDerek has no clue what he's talking about and says Paige doesn't have to know. Peter: "But they always do, especially when they're perfect for you. There's really only one way to make sure you'll always be together. Turn her." Perfect. Peter was a master manipulator even back then.

At Derek's no longer flooded warehouse, Peter claims he tried to talk TDerek out of turning Paige to no avail - a direct reversal of the truth that just played. Peter: "I bet he even blames me. He's probably convinced himself the whole thing was my idea." Because it was. Peter badgers TDerek to have an alpha turn Paige since Talia won't. He tells TDerek he's running out of time since the packs will leave soon, and finally he agrees. Because he's a moron. And because Peter plays on his fears that she could get hurt. Still turning your girlfriend into a werewolf is not an ideal anniversary present. Instead of werewolf attack, the camera slow pans on Argent and Grandpa Evil heading down the stairs of TDerek and Peter's former hiding place. Argent has impressive Celtic symbol knowledge. It's a druid meeting place complete with sacrificial blood on the tree. It has a name but in a shocking twist, they do not repeat it when giving its etymology so no clue what it was. However myth has it that druids believed the tree was sacred and therefore harm to the tree causes harm to surrounding villages. If it harms Darach too, we've got a weapon to take down the Big Bad in time for the midseason cliffhanger. Anyone else thinking Supernatural's Scarecrow episode? No. Okay moving along. Allison asks the billion dollar question. "How does he know all about Celtic symbols and druids?" And finally, 22 minutes in, we're getting somewhere.

Grandpa Evil confirms a druid/werewolf connection, Scott verifies VetBoss is indeed a druid, and the word of the day is Lycaon. Scott uses it in lyncanthropy while Grandpa Evil fills in its word history. According to Greek myths, some people worshipped Titans over gods, taking on Titan names like Deucalion, the son of Prometheus and one of only 2 survivors when Zeus sent a flood to punish Lycaon, king of Arcadia. In Teen Wolf's version, when Lycaon served Zeus human flesh at a banquet in his honor, Zeus turned him and his sons into wolves instead. Lycaon sought druid help to undo the curse, since they were able to shape shift. Alas the druids couldn't reverse it but did teach Lycaon and sons to shift between human and wolf, creating the first werewolves. Ever since druids have advised the packs. Cora picks up the exposition and explains to Stiles that druids keep them "connected to humanity, but they're a secret even in the pack. Sometimes only the alpha knows who the emissary is." VetBoss was the Hale emissary, while Peter says Morell is Duke's. That explains a lot. She's even more my #1 Darach guess now. Stiles: "Our guidance counselor! Why the hell don't you people tell me any of this stuff, huh? I shared some really intimate details with her." I feel your pain Stiles. They've left us longer in the dark than normal too. Urgh! VetBoss and Talia advise Deucalion against peace talks with Gerard. VetBoss says the Argents are matriarchal. Talia: "Actually I was speaking about the fact that he's a complete psychopath." Finally, someone who has his measure. I wish Talia weren't dead. Deucalion preaches faith, but VetBoss brings up the scorpion and the frog fable where the scorpion gets the frog to trust him in crossing the river together, but then stings the frog in the middle, dooming both to die because of its nature. VetBoss: "All your faith in humanity might not matter if you underestimate Gerard's nature." Wiser words were never spoken! Talia reminds Deucalion to meet in a neutral place and bring backup if he insists on this plan.

Back at Beacon Hills High, students are still allowed to come and go whenever they please so Paige is alone at night when EA comes calling. Seriously TDerek, if you have to send an alpha after your girlfriend, must you choose the scariest one? Terrible plan. Cora agrees. Peter says it made political sense, proving it was Peter's idea, not Derek's. EA needed a new beta and doing the Hale's a favor always helped since Talia's queen bee. As Paige frantically tries to escape, TDerek sits in the locker room, dribbling a basketball. Stiles says Derek doesn't remember EA went after his girlfriend and Peter hedges. I call bull. TDerek runs right at EA to protect Paige, which of course goes badly. Doesn't matter anyway since Paige is already bitten. None of this scene makes sense. If TDerek didn't plan for Paige to be bitten, why does he stay in the locker room long after she starts screaming? If he did know but Peter arranged for EA to bite her, why does Peter look scared in the hallway? Why did Derek seem like he only knew the alpha pack by reputation at the season's beginning? I need to rewatch the elevator fight scene again for answers. This is a key problem with the unreliable narrator premise. They are unreliable. No clear answers ahead from Peter or Grandpa Evil, who picks up the story. He waxes poetic about enemies disguised as friends and tells the same scorpion story we JUST heard. Gerard calls it a trap and it is, his trap, much to Deucalion's chagrin. They meet at the distillery and after the science lesson on distillation, Gerard unleashes gas that makes both hunters and werewolves sick. He protects himself with serum. Proving how sadistic he really is, Gerard produces a homemade spiked mace and kills his own people. Gerard: "They wanted peace too. Look what you did to them." Of course he tells Scott and Allison is that the werewolves ambushed him, probably the story he told Argent at the time as well.

Returning to the soap opera, Peter says Paige did not turn and Stiles realizes the bite would kill her. TDerek takes her to the magic tree, while Peter looks on. Operatic music swells to defcon levels as we switch from a dying Paige to a defeated Deucalion. He struggles to crawl out of the distillery with Gerard right behind him. When he can go no longer, he begs, "Don't. Don't do this. I had a vision, a vision of peace." Gerard: "A little short-sighted wouldn't you say." Dramatic death music and puns don't blend well. He stabs both of Deucalion's eyes with firework arrows and for reasons unknown, Grandpa Evil looks stunned. In fact, he kind of looks like Lydia awakening from a trance. I have NO IDEA what that means, but he backs off, leaving Deucalion screaming instead of dead. Hmm, very suspicious. Meanwhile, TDerek holds Paige's bloody hand, taking the black goo pain away from her the same way Scott did earlier with Grandpa Evil. Sadly, it doesn't work for long. Paige monologues about how she always knew in her heart TDerek was different, so his being a werewolf doesn't surprise her. Guess you didn't need to turn her after all. She confirms her love before whimpering in pain and says she's going to die. TDerek nods yes. She asks TDerek to kill her to take away her pain. He kisses her forehead as tears flow. TDerek: "It's alright baby." He cradles her, goes yellow eyed, and then breaks her neck. TDerek: "I'm sorry." It's all so tragic. Peter makes sure her body is found and declared an animal attack. Cora: "What about Derek?" Peter says killing an innocent turns a werewolf's eyes blue. I wonder how any but the youngest have yellow eyes then, because it seems like most of these guys have taken a life.

Back at VetBoss' clinic, Deucalion's eyes will heal, but not so much his vision. Talia and Marco look on as Duke roars and demands they leave him alone. Even his voice is a deeper tone. Talia and VetBoss leave, but Marco stays to attack. He doesn't know that Duke still has infrared sight and Duke savagely kills him. Scott interrupts the story for confirmation. Grandpa Evil: "He's not always blind." That's a great trick to get an opponent to go for your "weak" spot. Alison and Scott plan to use it to fight Duke and head to leave, but Grandpa Evil demands Scott take more goo away. Not sure why Scott complies, but he does. Better watch out because a Gerard NOT in debilitating pain is an even bigger threat than he is now. He starts monologuing about the past to excuse himself. Thankfully Scott buys none of it; Grandpa Evil's heart rate stayed flat throughout the story. Scott calls him a good liar and then, woo hoo….IntenseScott appears. He grabs Grandpa Evil's hand and threatens to kill him if people die because of his lies. It's the first time I can actually see Scott as an Alpha and tension mounts from the screen. Great acting! Even Grandpa Evil looks scared.

On the other side of town, Stiles has his doubts too. Cora goes all Lydia (who is sadly missing all episode), demanding Stiles explain his look. Stiles is stymied by what she means, while the music of operatic death crescendos again. Stiles: "What look?" Cora: "The kind of look that makes me want to punch you." Stiles: "Oh my God, you are so Derek's sister. I forgot." No, she's Lydia. Stiles doesn't believe Peter's story, given he actually paid attention in English class. Just in time for the SAT's, Stiles defines the unreliable narrator. Thanks Stiles. We actually knew not to trust anything these two say beforehand. Stiles: "I don't think we got the whole story." Cora asks if Stiles has the guts to ask Derek about his tragic love saga, and he shows incredible bravery/stupidity by saying yes. That will be one intense future scene. Just like this one between TDerek and his mom. TDerek: "I did something. Something terrible." Talia: "I know." Derek's eyes turn blue. Derek: "My eyes, they're different." Talia: "Different but still beautiful. Just like the rest of you." Aww, great mom pep talk. I doubt he ever bought it though because present day Derek stands in the distillery looking at a vengeance symbol. Even on Teen Wolf there's no way the original would still be standing today, especially rust-free, so the conclusion is that Derek put it there. It's war folks.

While this could be the worst Teen Wolf episode for me and it's certainly the most boring, it did have some highlights. We confirmed that Grandpa is indeed EVIL (unless he was controlled somehow) and Peter has always been manipulative. We also know VetBoss and Morell are druids instead of speculating. Still the real revelations are: Deucalion's back story, Talia's introduction, and the druid/werewolf connection. For all of Teen Derek and SPN Krissy's sad search for true love in a cold, harsh world, it is Deucalion's story that is the most interesting. What a shock to learn Deucalion was the peacemaker and believer of the group. It turned his characterization on its head and helped flesh out a fairly cardboard villain. Watching him fall to the insane Gerard was an unexpected revelation and really worked. I also liked his transformation to future villain Duke after VetBoss said he wouldn't see again. I will rewatch season 3 a different light now. The second best revelation was Talia, with whom we did not get enough time. If they continue the flashback theme this year, I hope she's a part of them. The full on wolf transformation was cool, but mostly I liked her standing as head werewolf in the area and the humanity she showed as Derek's mom. The two aspects made me want to learn more. She also showed real intuition abut Gerard as well as restraint as leader, acknowledging that she was not the boss but giving good advice. I don't think she survived the fire because first, too many people already have to be believable and second, I thought Derek's older sister became alpha when momma died. I certainly don't need her to be alive, but it would be cool if Derek and Cora traded stories about her. Better yet, MTV could make webisodes during hiatus. The number one thing this episode did right though was finally creating a concrete connection between the two main storylines. I love that druids created werewolves and continue to be their active advisors. This allows them to deal with Darach and Duke together, making the stories intertwined and giving the season better cohesion. I'm anxious to see if they wrap one of the stories up in the midseason finale or if only the audience will know Darach's true identity next week, not the characters.

Speaking of Darach, here is my ranked list of suspects. I'm probably wrong but it's been fun guessing.

1. Morell (by a lot) - She is a druid working with Deucalion and therefore knows how evil he has become. Most importantly, I still believe that as guidance counselor she's the only adult who might actually know which teens were virgins or not. I can't see the others being privy to that knowledge. She also works at the high school and could have put wolf's bane in Coach's whistle. Finally, Deaton didn't die.

2. Blake - She appeared in Beacon Hills when the murders started and has just as easy access to the victims and Coach's whistle as Morell. As a substitute in Harris' science class, she could have seen Danny's paper and thus tried to kill him too. Mostly though, she is far too laid back about the supernatural. She's definitely hiding something but that doesn't necessarily mean it's Darach.

3. Deaton - Good old VetBoss has been a fount of no information for years. He's a druid and his rescue last week makes him seem more victim than villain, which is always handy. He too knows how out of control Deucalion is and would definitely know of the sacred tree. He has no connection to the high school though, and maybe it's wishful thinking but I don't believe he would try to kill Scott.

4. Gerard - The man is evil with no problem killing people for his own purposes. He's a master manipulator and is patient enough to create a long-term plan. His physical condition isn't a barrier since Peter used that charade before. Plus Gerard has a score to settle with Duke (although not as much as Duke has with him). I could see Gerard donning the Darach identity as a way to kill all werewolves in his personal crusade.

5. Lydia - She only makes the list because she's easy to control in a trance state. I do not believe she is the
mastermind behind killing everyone. However she could be compelled to act against her will if Darach is just the puppet with a bigger puppet master putting this all together. Lydia has the high school connection and knows a lot about human sacrifice. Mostly though, the show seems ready to reveal her as a druid too.

6. Random student we barely know a la Matt last year - Hey, they've done it before. If this is the case, I choose Jared because he was at the motel, has the high school connection, and for someone we hadn't met, he was name checked a lot. However it would be fabulous if the "always yelled at, never seen" Greenberg was actually Darach.

7. Peter - He keeps falling on my list the more we learn about druids and werewolves. I doubt druids are keen on sharing their secrets with werewolves. However if any wolf is Darach, my money's on Peter. He's manipulative, has been absent for long stretches of time, has past history with Duke, and loves power. He could the brains behind Darach and was trancing someone (Lydia or otherwise) to do his dirty work.

8. Mysterious Motorcycle Chick from the premiere - Yeah it looked like Duke killed her, but why introduce a character like that if she isn't going to be important. Plus she kicked butt. Bring her back.

9. Coach - It will break my heart if he is but he has the same high school connection as the two prime suspects. Plus we already know he's crazy. But Druid crazy? Yeah not sure about that. I could see him string Harris up though. I doubt they liked each other much unless they bond over disdain for students.

10. Chris Argent - Although he has the skills, druid information, and supernatural know-how, I'd like to think there's 2 sane members of the Argent clan. Plus Allison would be in the exact same position she was last year and I don't think the show would be that redundant. Surely they won't leave her under Grandpa Evil's care and I don't see her having to hunt to her own father.

11. Cora - The only reason it's even remotely possible Cora is Darach is because her past is so mysterious. The timeline would be a little hinky because the first kills began when she was supposedly mad from not turning into a werewolf for so long.

Final thoughts - I hear some in the fandom are making very good cases for why this episode was a big red herring in itself. Many theories believe Paige was actually Peter's girlfriend and not Derek's but this does not make sense to me. One, why would Peter tell the story at all? They asked why Derek was different, not tell us a bedtime tale. He could have said anything. Unless this story somehow fits into Peter's larger plans, and I'm not sure how it would, he has nothing to gain from this storytelling. Second, and more important to me, neither Gerard nor Peter told the truth to their audiences, however we as the true audience saw those lies were false on the actual screen. It makes no sense at all to show us some of the lies but not all of them. That would make what happened on screen the 3rd unreliable narrator and that's going way overboard. Third, if this does end up all being fake, this episode is even more of a waste of time than it already was and it will cement it as the worst episode in all of Teen Wolf to me. It would be the epitome of a filler episode. I do however buy that Peter was in love with Paige too and that there is much to the story we still don't know.

Grade: D

MIA: Lydia, Isaac, Coach, Alpha Twins, Danny, Blake, Morell, Melissa

Best reason to watch - tie - Talia / the druid-werewolf exposition
Biggest shock - tie - Deucalion as peacemaker / music choices in the episode / Intense Scott at end
Biggest Suspension of Belief - werewolf anti-aging potion that they must have shared with Sheriff since no one looked one day older in the present than they did over a decade ago, except of course Peter and Derek
Best action - shot through the throat with an arrow
Sickest moment - firework arrows to the eyes
Biggest Psycho - Gerard
Biggest filler - Ave Marie school walking montage and accompanying "I hate you"'s
Most Improved Player - Allison - she brings the snark and manipulates Grandpa Evil in this one
Best cameo - Sheriff
Best transformation - Deucalion
Best acting - Ian Nelson, young Derek

Best lines:

Peter: "No one should like your friends. They're a bunch of hormonal halfwits."
Talia: "Actually I was speaking about the fact that he's a complete psychopath."
Stiles: "Why do I care? Let's see, because over the last few weeks my best friend's tried to kill himself, his boss nearly got ritually sacrificed, a girl that I've known since I was 3 was ritually sacrificed, Boyd was killed by alphas, I…you want me to keep going because I can alright…for like an hour."
Peter: "A lot like Scott actually. A lot like most teenagers - unbearably romantic, profoundly narcissistic, tolerable really only to other teenagers."
Gerard: "How do you know that your dark druid isn't your wise veterinarian himself? Maybe he knew you'd find him. Maybe he planned it that way."
Stiles: "Man you guys really take that revenge thing to like a whole new level don't you?"
Derek: "My eyes, they're different." Talia: "Different but still beautiful. Just like the rest of you."

Worst line:

Peter: "If you want to know what changed Derek, you need to know what changed the color of his eyes."
Peter: "No one would ban me from anywhere. I'm too good looking."
Deucalion: "I'm an alpha. I never walk alone."

Screencap by Screencapped.net, Hypable, and Cute Bookworm

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