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Teen Wolf – 3.11 – Alpha Pact – Review: A Bond Forged In Water

This week’s episode of Teen Wolf was absolutely amazing in so many ways. The most obvious things of course being the script which was written by our fearless leader Jeff Davis and the wonderful visual accoutrements provided by Tim Andrew’s skill, who is a perennial staple in our directorial pantry. But a huge shot out should also go out to Dino Meneghin, who is the Teen Wolf composer. With the creative gushing out of the way it’s time to get into the meat and potatoes of the episode.

I just can’t over how awesome this episode was. It was fast paced, well written and superbly directed. The strength of this episode for me personally was the fact that we didn’t a whole lot of the villains this week, the alpha pack or Jennifer. Heck, we didn’t even get a lot of Scott this week, which any other time I would gripe about but in the particular instance, it was stroke of sheer genius, it allowed everyone a moment to shine and break out of their usual patterns, which is the topic of this review.

Let’s talk about Stiles, first. He spends a lot of time bouncing around. First he’s with Derek, giving us that awesome opening scene in the elevator. Next he’s with that FBI agent, who turns out to be Scott’s dad. Then he’s with the Argents. After that he’s with Lydia. It’s been awhile since he’s been alone with Lydia and boy, Jeff Davis gave us something to talk about and fuel the Stydia ship fodder to be sure. Stiles is the glue (think about it, he’s the only one that had something to lose in each set of sacrifices, Heather, his best friend from early child hood, Tracy, a lady who helped him with his homework when he was younger, and now his father). He also functions as a go between, the one who fills everyone else in what’s going on. Not to mention Stiles is the planner, even Chris Argent knows that fun fact. Stiles big moment to shine is the panic attack scene. Which was some of the best camera work I’ve seen, that way it was shot was stunning and captured the shaky hands, the loss of breath, the slow, meticulous utter breakdown of Stiles losing it when he realizes that all the pieces are in place now and that his dad really might die and there’s nothing he can do about it. Stiles also brought in the comic relief when he interacted with Agent McCall. The disdain and sarcasm was just pitch perfect and when the reveal came it made complete sense.

Now, we’re going to talk about Isaac. While there’s nothing unusual about Isaac being around Scott’s friends, the way he waffles between Derek and Scott is interesting. We don’t really know much about werewolf hierarchy, it’s all speculation. But we do know that Isaac is Derek’s last beta. Peter “follows” Derek, whether that’s because they are family and it’s expected or Peter is waiting to take back his alpha status when Derek is at his weakest is really unknown at this point. Isaac called Derek out on being a terrible alpha. You can’t deny those facts. Peter says the anger is a cover and tool for Isaac’s decision to switch packs. Isaac has been spending a bit of time with both Argents as well over the last few episodes so it doesn’t seem all that out of place but I still find it odd that Isaac wants to hang out with Allison at all but hey, maybe that’s just me. Isaac’s moments to shine came in calling Derek out about why he chose to bit him, Erica and Boyd as well as his hero worship of Scott and wanting to be on the side that was at least TRYING to do something. Jeff Davis also made sure to give a little moment between Isaac and Allison in the bank vault.

The biggest character interaction shockers of this episode, for me both had to do with Lydia Martin. First of all, we caught a glimpse of the elusive Mrs. Martin. She was actually there for her daughter in the aftermath of a traumatic event. My jaw dropped. We as fans demanded and Jeff supplied it. Like the panic attack, not very believable but a well-crafted tender moment that was followed by a wonderful display of Lydia’s courage and strength. The next odd character interaction comes when Peter answers the door at Derek’s loft. It annoyed me because it was played for laughs. Lydia should have gotten angry or said something other than.

The coolest character interactions of the episode for me came in the form of Team Guardian Sacrifice. The story of Claudia Stilinski was a punch to the gut that they could have saved for another episode but hey we got a name. At least one of the Stilinski clan members has a name. I love that Melissa filled in the sheriff. I love that Chris had a backup plan. But I just want to know where he hid that thing, it seemed as though Jennifer did a very thorough search. Hopefully, Melissa, Chris and the sheriff can be emotional support for each other now that there are no secrets between them.

Scott, bless his heart, is such a sweet kid. I felt like he was looking for the good in Deucalion when he asked him about killing innocent people only to be disappointed by the response. But hey, at least Deucalion was honest about his agenda. While it’s my least favorite interaction, I can appreciate why it was written in. Seriously, though, we had to see another luminescent firefly?

Another one of my least favorite interactions was between Ms. Morell and the Alpha Pack for several reasons. They now know that Ennis was not killed by Derek (I mean they all must have been listening to her heartbeat, right?). But all that revelation got was a snarl from Kali. My biggest dislike is the breaking of canon when Deucalion hurls his walking cane toward the mountain ash circle and it manages to penetrate and stab Ms. Morell. We’ve previously been shown that can’t happen, specifically when a chair is thrown towards Deaton in his office and it bounces off. What can I say? I’m a stickler for continuity and laws of canon. But the good that came out of it, we finally know the name of the girl who saved Isaac.

Time to talk about the Hales. Peter is so wishy-washy and shady that it drives me mad. At first it seems like he wants Derek to save Cora. Then it seems as though he doesn’t. I desperately want to know his end game is. Peter knows just enough to be dangerous, never forget that. Derek decides he doesn’t want power which annoys Peter (and probably half of the fandom as well). Cora is family but at the same time a pawn (or maybe the Queen, who even knows at this point) in the Darach’s game of chess and even though it’s the penultimate episode, I highly doubt we’ve seen the whole board. Cora is kind of a non-issue. We haven’t really gotten a chance to know her. Every time we have caught a glimpse she has been brash and hot-tempered. Derek is just resigned to the fact that he’s not alpha material but at least he could save his sister. I think Derek willing to become a beta to save Cora was his moment to shine.

The last interaction that I want to talk about is with Deaton and the gang. Deaton knows so much more than he’s letting on and I just don’t know why he is holding his cards so close to the vest. Deaton warns but not well enough for someone to really understand the consequences, sure granted Allison, Scott and Stiles would do anything to save their parents, I just think he should have thrown in some more doom and gloom to give the surrogate sacrifices more cause for pause. I think the pairings made absolute sense by the way. It’s very obvious that Isaac cares about Scott and knows that Allison is important to Scott and vice versa so it’s a kind of tertiary connection between those two, coupled with the few intense bonding moments they’ve had that forged the bond. Allison’s moment to shine came during this time when she explained about the silver bullet. But she also provided a little comic relief when Stiles was watching the Argents gear up as she twirled her throwing knives. Deaton is a father figure to Scott and their admiration, respect and trust in one another practically leaps out from the screen when they are in scenes together, so not a problem there either. But I have to say Deaton scooping Stiles out of Agent McCall’s clutches was awesome. As for Lydia and Stiles that’s self-explanatory. Stiles has been there for her in her times of need even when Allison wasn’t. Deep down, Lydia knows that and is grateful for that and wants to explore her feelings for Stiles, there is definitely something there between them.

My Favorite Stuff

• Stiles slapping Derek awake in the elevator
• Allison twirling her throwing knives as they gear
• The looks exchanged between Allison, Scott and Stile before they get immersed

• Isaac: Not to bring up uncomfortable memories; wasn't the last time you saw them the time you killed Kate and they burned you alive?
• Stiles: "All right, how about this? Next time I see him, I'll give him a field sobriety test, okay? We'll do the alphabet, start with 'F,' end with 'U.'"
• Isaac: You can sit here and perfect the art of doing nothing.
• Chris Argent: Retired yes, defenseless no.

• The surrogate sacrifice
• Mrs. Martin actually being there for her daughter after a traumatic event
• Sheriff Stilinski talks about the night his wife died
• Stiles being interrogated by Agent McCall at school

Shut up Scott Award
Scott: Like a TATTOO?

Fun Fact: The name Claudia means ‘lame’. Hmmm, just going to leave that tidbit right there.

Grade: A-

Feel free to sound off in the comments.
Don’t forget, next Monday is season 3A’s finale, so be sure to tune into MTV at 10 PM.

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