Teen Wolf Afterthoughts — 6x13: ‘After Images’
Tyler Posey’s directorial debut is bogged down by the weak plot, but offers small moments of reprieve.
After two uninspiring episodes, expectations were low for Teen Wolf’s eighth last episode. Fortunately for ‘After Images’, whether it was a planned move or sheer coincidence, the man in the director’s chair for the episode was none other than leading man Tyler Posey. Such was the reason many long-time fans tuned in on Sunday night.
Good news: Tyler Posey can direct.
Bad news: plot-wise, the episode was boring.
In my opinion, the A and B plots should have switched roles. The main storyline this week was the race to find an injured and dying Brett, while the sub-plot was about the exposure of the supernatural to Beacon Hill’s common citizens. Seeing as the latter is supposed to be the driving conflict of the season, it’s odd that it seemingly takes a back seat until it ties in with the A-plot at the very end. In contrast, the hunt for Brett ended up being fruitless and led us to nowhere.
Liam shines under pressure
Picking up from last week, Brett is trying his best to evade Gerard (the returning cameo no one wanted) and Monroe. He can’t pull the arrow he was shot with out from the front, so he impales himself against a tree until it comes out through his back. That is really painful to watch and unnecessarily gory. He leads the veteran and wannabe hunter around the woods for a while before retreating into the underground bunkers/tunnels. In another show that might have been a good move, but he forgets that this is Teen Wolf and the bunker belonged to the Argents.
I completely forgot that Lori (Lily Andrew, daughter of producer Tim Andrew) is Brett’s sister. Being an amateur actor who got her recurring role because of her father’s position, she gets a surprisingly big role in the episode. Anyway, the search for Brett starts when Lori, having found her brother’s broken lacrosse stick covered in blood, approaches Scott. However, as the night wears on, it is Liam who takes over in leading the search. The dynamic between Liam and Brett is an underrated aspect of the show. They went from being high school enemies to having a kind of inter-pack alliance.
The hunters set of smoke bombs inside the tunnels and plant a dozen of those thingies that let out the siren that drives wolves crazy. Liam fights his way through to disable all of them, which is pretty impressive. Meanwhile, Brett and Lori try to get above ground and climb out through a pothole into the middle of a street where they are promptly rammed by Gerard. Liam leaps out onto the road but he is too late. Brett dies on site, making most of the episode a waste, and it is unclear if Lori succumbs to her injuries as well. A distraught Liam lets out a howl in the middle of the road and is caught in werewolf form by several passers-by in their cars, exposing werewolves to the common BH citizen.
If you think about it, Liam once ran around wolfed out and stark naked. Corey turned invisible IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ONGOING CLASS. The junior pack are lucky they haven’t been caught earlier. Also, why are so many residents of Beacon Hills out and about in the dead of night??? Have they forgotten about their town’s mysteriously high unnatural death rate?
“We need Stiles.” And Allison Argent.
Halfway through the episode Scott gets impaled with a spiked pole, and the scene is eerily similar to a certain hunter’s death. Furthermore, Malia struggles to take his pain, to which Scott replies “It’s okay.” Doesn’t that sound familiar?
The references to Allison are very welcome, especially since this stabbing otherwise seems like a contrived event to force Liam into a leadership position and shove in some moments to advance towards Malia and Scott’s eventual romance.
Malia, ever the pessimist, thinks they should change their stance on not calling Stiles back. They need all the help they can get, and Stiles would kill them if he found out what they were doing without him. Personally, I think he would first lecture them about not going to school and wasting a flight ticket.
The development of Scott and Malia’s relationship is kinda klunky, with Scott suddenly mentioning an “us” when the two wolves never talked about their relationship specifically before. It’s better written on Malia’s part, how she obviously cares a lot about Scott, maybe a bit too much, but brushes it off as a general loyalty to her pack.
Melissa teaches Chris bio
Melissa is trying to dissect the dead body found last week, which already looks like it has been skinned then dissected then had its internal components glued back together in the vague shape of a human body. It’s super creepy so she calls Chris for backup. Chris points a pistol at the body, which seems pointless since it is dead, except that it isn’t really dead. Instead, it can breathe. It also amplifies fear tenfold — Melissa has a scientific-sounding explanation for this.
Anyway, they finally manage to slice off a small sample about the size of a coin. When Melissa examines it under the microscope, she finds no cell structure or DNA, which is not possible.
Later we find out that the two parents haven’t been in contact since the events of last season nor have they acted on the development in their relationship (aka the kiss). No one really cares because we just don’t fell this ship. RSS Melinski all the way.
Lydia sidelined again
Seriously, it seems like our leading lady doesn’t get to play an active role in anything. Instead, she’s more like an on-call banshee. Someone needs saving? Lydia goes to Eichen to bust them out. Need to find someone? Your friendly neighbourhood banshee will meet you at school (which shouldn’t be open this late at night) to get some premonitions.
This week, she is summoned to the high school by Mason and Corey, who are hoping to get some banshee clues on Brett’s whereabouts. For a while we get to enjoy Mason and Corey drawing Lydia’s ire by distracting her from hypnotising herself with their not-so-subtle whispering. Eventually, Lydia banshee-scribbles ‘sixty-eight’ in different languages, then goes off searching for the number in the high school…ALONE.
Meanwhile, Mason and Corey return to the library to study. Mason, bless him, is concerned about Lydia’s welfare. He is the only person to realise how lonely Lydia is sometimes, since he’s found her alone on several occasions. I really wish to see more interaction between these two characters.
Amongst the other students in the library (because staying in school past midnight in a town where people keep mysteriously dying is not a bad idea at all) are Aaron, the random creepy kid from last week, and Nolan (Froy Gutierrez). Aaron, possibly influenced by the not-so-dead body/the spiders, preys on Nolan’s suspicions about Corey’s behaviour. Honestly, can you blame him? Corey hasn’t been subtle in using his powers, often turning invisible/visible in the presence of people. It’s a wonder no one has noticed. Nolan decides the best course of action is to stab Corey’s hand with a pen then wave the miraculously healed hand around while YELLING. OUT LOUD. IN A LIBRARY. Then he comes to and realises that not only did he just act like a total lunatic, he broke one of the library’s most sacred rules, so he runs out into the hallway and into Lydia, who has been creeping around locker number 68.
Lydia notices Nolan’s lacrosse number — 68 — and yells at him then grabs his wrists. Nolan, who looks like he has been in a perpetual state of shock since he first appeared, understandably freaks out even more and realises Lydia is “one of them”. Then he very sensibly runs out of the building.
Mason and Corey meet up with Lydia, and the other students stare at them very rudely as they pass. If Stiles were here, he would punch everyone with his new FBI combat skills. No one stares at Lydia Martin like that. Lydia realises that everyone else will turn on the pack and the supernatural community.
I don’t know how to judge director work, so I can’t grade how good Tyler Posey’s direction was, but nothing looked terrible (besides Teen Wolf’s usual lack of brightness). Seven more episodes to go. Next week we have a double-feature. Linden Ashby directed episode 14 and episode 15 will hopefully have Stiles.
Teen Wolf Afterthoughts is the writer’s review column for MTV’s Teen Wolf.