Teen Wolf "117" Review: Safe Zone (PHOTO RECAP)
Where is your underground vault and what do you keep in it? I probably shouldn't print this on the internet, but my underground vault is located under a cell phone kiosk at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. As for what I keep in it, that's between me and the ten thousand terra cotta jerks who stand in silent watch over my valuables, which at this point are mostly just Starburst wrappers to be honest. But still, it's important to have a secret underground vault and to maintain it even if, like, the city decides to build a high school on top of it. You can't just go storing $117 Million in low-yield investments just anywhere, like in a tube sock or in a Swiss bank account. Plus, whenever you need a fresh infusion of bond notes, it gives you an excuse to go hang around high school students without looking like too much of a creep, you know? Guys, I do not have an underground vault, this lie has been eating away at me since the beginning of the paragraph. I have no money or resources or investment savvy and I'm currently typing this thing on a Dell that I found by the creek. [Long sigh.] Sure do wish I had an underground vault.
Friends, "117" was an episode of Teen Wolf that aired this week and it was our first taste of post-Mexico high school life! Not only that, but it showed us tons of new monsters or villains or just b-holes in general, while also making us LOL with the revelation that the Hales have a secret vault under the local high school. Also Derek spent most of the episode as a small boy and Aunt Kate licked all over his face and inside his mouth! I truly hope there will be an episode where Sheriff Stilinski arrests her and she has to go on trial for this and it's all very Notes on a Scandal with the whole town screaming at her in the street. But anyway, "117" was a fun episode, right? All the money got stolen!
Let's talk 'bout it.
Like, I said, we were back in the realm of Beacon Hills! But whoops, we were also BACK IN TIME.
Oh, it was just a young Derek dealing with his werewolf puberty or whatever, and then his teen uncle ran in and started shouting at him about using werewolf voodoo.
Oh, young Peter Hale. Remember when Lydia made out with him? Even when he's a dead teen ghost he can get it. Anyway, Teen Peter Hale gave Teen Derek a Teen Amulet with the same Teen Tattoo that Derek currently has on his back when he does shirtless pull-ups. You know the one. I guess it helps him keep his werewolf urges under control, which, fine. So that's what that was about.
Meanwhile it turned out this was an often-rumored but rarely seen DOUBLE COLD OPEN, as we then cut to a modern day gas station where the employee dude was upset about some lady screaming in the bathroom too much.
AAAAAAH!! Aunt Kate did not look so good here. But whereas before we had reason to believe she could happily shimmy in and out of her were-jaguar face it turned out she was having major troubles with it. And a guy got ate. Typical were-jaguar problems.
Meanwhile the kids arrived back from Mexico and brought Teen Derek to their favorite druid veterinarian.
I love Lydia, but isn't it slightly strange to see her be all involved with the guys without Allison around? From the beginning she's always been the most reluctant participant in everyone's shenanigans (mostly because she's the smartest) but would mostly tag along with Allison. Even as a banshee she never seemed very enthusiastic about being involved, yet here she is, the female front of this particular team. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying it's strange to see how much her context has shifted. Anyway, she decided to stay the night with young Derek, which sort of implied that maybe she had feelings for Derek, but maybe she just didn't want to go home and get hassled by her mom too much, I don't know.
Because Scott definitely got hassled when HE went home:
Oh gosh, Scott's dad is getting so sad. He's sleeping on the couch for some reason. Just get an apartment or something? Why is Mrs. McCall allowing this? Anyway, for an FBI agent in a town with a 85% murder rate, he sure does have a lot of time to whine about his son neglecting him.
This was gross:
Cool experiment, doc! Derek definitely heals. But like, what if he didn't heal and you just sliced open his vein? Do you know any druid magic to fix that? Needless to say not long after this Teen Derek woke up and was NOT happy to be lying on a pile of dog fur.
Haha THIS is how he saw Lydia and Deaton. WHY? I don't know. But if I had seen a couple of ghouls staring at me with demon eyes then I would have reacted in exactly the same way Derek did:
Meanwhile at school we got Stiles explaining to Scott that Malia likes to sneak into his room at night and scratch his hind quarters.
I loved that she makes him be the little spoon. But also I REALLY love that Funny Stiles is definitely back now. As compelling as it was to see him be front-and-center with his mental problems last season, it meant he was nowhere near as Stilesish, you know? But he was very, very funny in this episode. Phew!
Meanwhile guess who didn't know who Abraham Lincoln was?
I mean, first of all, come on. This is hilarious. But I also loved the look on her face when the rest of the class knew the answer and she didn't.
That is basically my reaction to anything anyone ever asks me. But what makes me love Malia so much in this scene is that she WAS studying super hard, even while the teacher was talking. Just furiously trying to catch up to her classmates on basically her entire education. As though she weren't already loveable for literally every other reason, this baffled yet hard-workin' 'tude just made me love her even more. Ugh, Malia's so good.
Meanwhile, bad news for Teen Derek, but also bad news FOR US:
The burnt down haunted house was bulldozed! Man, that was one of my all-time favorite locations, especially when Derek was still living there. It obviously looked way cooler when it was located in the woods of Georgia, but oh well. Now it's gone and Teen Derek was NOT happy about it, especially when some deputies showed up to hassle him.
So obviously Deputy Parrish is dreamy and nice, but his partner seemed like a little bit of a jerk, what do you think? Luckily Sheriff Stilinski FINALLY arrived and served his patented handsome befuddlement.
In this case, why did Teen Derek have the same fingerprints as Derek Hale? It was a mystery that could only be explained via time travel, which was an idea that Sheriff Stilinksi found VERY upsetting.
I always say this, but I love so much that most of the parents know what their kids are up to, supernatural-wise. In this case Sheriff's Stilinski's first instinct was to check with Stiles about what was going on with Teen Derek, and that's just so cute. Same with that earlier scene in the classroom where Lydia straight-up called Kira's dad on the phone in order to reach Scott. Because he knows the kids are probably up to some very important supernatural business, Kira's dad didn't bust Scott and Lydia also probably didn't get in trouble for ditching school. You know? I like that sort of parent-child camaraderie.
Then Scott used an old werewolf trick to get Teen Derek to cooperate: Lying.
Oh, poor Teen Derek. Most of his family got burnt up BAD and also his sister is in Reign.
Another thing this show's still figuring out now that Allison's gone is how to get the ladies talkin' about their men. In this case Kira and Lydia were out for a drive for some reason and they awkwardly talked about Scott, and whether Kira's participation in his torture in Mexico was a boner killer for him or not.
Lydia seemed to think Kira still had a shot with Scott, but I don't know. It seemed like he and Allison had a passion that could heat a flame and he was always sneaking over and he put his entire life at risk just to see her, but meanwhile Kira doesn't seem to have that effect on him. But then again now that he's an Alpha maybe his libido went away, who knows how it works with Alphas. As far as I can tell the second your eyes turn red you turn into a super serious warrior and you do NOT have time for good times or the sensual touch of a woman. Good luck, Kira!
This was creepy: They'd ostensibly arrived at the gas station for gas, but Kira realized they had a full tank, so what exactly was Lydia doing bringing them there?
OH RIGHT. Banshee. See, as much as I complained last week about the randomness of Lydia's powers, I do really love how creepy they are when they do work. Like, how not even SHE knows where she's being drawn to or why. There's just something so disconcerting about showing up somewhere for no reason and finding a corpse. Probably the least fun powers of anybody on the show, but creepy has h*ck.
This is probably my favorite teen supernatural drama product placement of all time:
Haha, so good. Hope you liked what you paid for, Samsung!
Okay, I KNOW for a fact you loved this part. In many ways the Miguel scene from Season 1 was the moment people stopped being mean to Teen Wolf and started LOVING it. Mostly because a no-big-deal gay or gay-friendly TV moment just felt so refreshing then, and it was even rarer to see two ostensibly straight characters behaving gay around each other to seduce an actual gay character. So yeah, when Stiles had Derek change shirts in order to seduce Danny it was some next level gratuity that endeared this show to us forever. Hi again, Miguel!
Meanwhile this guy was up to his old tricks:
Oh, Agent McCall. Join a bowling league or something?
So THIS scene was pretty loaded:
Because OH YEAH, Peter Hale is Malia's father and neither of them know it yet! It was funny that he took the time to compliment her good looks and it felt more like vanity than anything else. Unless he recognized her mother's eyes or something? Anyway, I'm dying for these two to start hanging out. They are probably going to be the best together. Just like Peter Hale and v-necks. (The "satan in a v-neck" line was a good one, I didn't even mind the suggested hashtag for that one.)
Anyway, it was time to ask Peter Hale the big questions:
Again, such a funny moment when he initially denied the possibility of creating a werewolf via fingernail scratches only to have it dawn on him mid-zoom-in that Aunt Kate was still alive. So good. Also those two have TONS of old business in that she murdered his family and he murdered her, so this should be a GOOD showdown. (Spoiler alert, it strangely wouldn't be?)
In the tradition of Season 1's famous dinner scene, this one was also very awkward and funny:
Except WHOOPS! The cat was suddenly out of the bag when it came to Derek's murdered family. Guess what? He was not happy about it.
Sterek shippers, does this count as an intimate moment? Is this one single shot going to be stretched into a 3-min slow-mo video and set to a Sam Smith song? I never know these things.
So then some lady walked out of the bathroom and stole Derek like a thief in the night!
Stiles was very sad and alarmed about it. You had ONE job, Stiles.
Then this happened:
I truly can't. Jeff Davis, you are hilarious.
And that was before THIS happened:
Oh my word. So this whole story was about how Aunt Kate wanted the voodoo medallion or whatever it was that helped Derek control his werewolf impulses. And so she turned him into Teen Derek so that he'd trust her (even though he must have thought he was surely losing his mind) and then she made out with him to get him to open the family vault which was located under the Beacon Hills High School sign. In other words it was the most perfect scheme of all time.
Then Peter Hale showed up and it wasn't even that tense between him and Kate, but he WAS very annoyed that she was trying to use the medallion, considering he admitted he'd bought it at Party City or something and it was just a placebo for Derek to focus his anger on. Or something like that, it was hard to hear anything over that v-neck. Also a few minutes before, a MAJOR brawl had just started going on upstairs:
Malia!! I love that her first instinct is always to run directly at a monster. Personally I don't share that instinct but more power to her, I will laugh every time.
But then whoops, there were TWO Berserkers and suddenly these two very powerful teen heroes were way out-matched and getting thrown all over the place like rag dolls.
At some point Lydia and Stiles showed up with a bat but they wisely side-stepped the Berserker drama and went looking for the vault instead. Fair enough! Kira had other ideas though:
But whoops! Everybody knows that the rotten bones of an animal carcass are stronger than a samurai sword, so despite her bravery Kira was quickly lying on the concrete like the other two.
Ugh, Berserkers. They look awesome but just imagine the stench. Also, are they humans? Just very strong guys who work out at Gold's Gym and dabble in taxidermy? Or are they supernatural? Fill me in, show.
Whatever the case, they suddenly got their asses handed to them by a confused teenage boy:
It was Derek! But how weird was it when he kept morphing between young and old? All the middle versions made him look like a total goon. Anyway, I guess anger at Berserkers was the one thing that could bring Derek back to his modern day face, and it worked!
Welcome back, Mature Derek! Why are your eyes yellow? Why is it Season 4 and I still have no idea why anybody's eyes are any color? Do all the wolves have different rules? You know what, doesn't matter. Thrill me with your tantalizing mysteries, Teen Wolf.
Okay, so then FINALLY Peter Hale lost his temper at his former nemesis:
But then WHOOPS! Flash grenade! Someone flashed these critters so good and then walked into the vault in black boots and here's the shocking twist: It WASN'T Chris Argent. I was genuinely shocked, guys, I had been sitting there all smugly going "Well, here comes Chris Argent," but then it WASN'T Chris Argent? We didn't see his face, but I feel like we would have seen his face if he had been Chris Argent.
Anyway, the mysterious villain stole a briefcase out of the vault and Peter Hale didn't appreciate it one bit.
Because guess what was in the briefcase? Just $117 MILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS worth of savings bonds. Dang, the Hales are rich! Or WERE rich! Now they have to live in rusty lofts and abandoned subway stations and burnt down haunted houses out of necessity and not just because they're trendsetters. Sorry, Peter Hale. Go get that money back!
"117" set up a bunch of new dynamics for this story and managed to have a lot of fun along the way. Stiles is hilarious again, Derek's back, the parents are back, and Malia continues to amuse and amaze. No lacrosse quite yet, but what are we, gluttons? We gotta pace ourselves on Teen Wolf's delights or else we'll start looking like the spaghetti eater in Se7en. Yeah, I liked this episode.
OK BYE GUYS
... Is Kate controlling the Berserkers? Is the mysterious vault robber controlling Kate?
... Why hasn't Stiles' dad paid his Eichen House bill yet?
... What's Kira's mom up to? What's Scott's mom up to? Or Lydia's mom? Did they have a book club meeting?
... Why do the Hales keep bird skeletons in their secret underground vault?
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