A Werewolf Blog in Brooklyn

The Classic Werewolf Cliche | September 8, 2013

Clichés are classic there is no doubt about that. Every time you hear one it’s a bit like de-ja-vu, you know you’ve heard or seen it played out before and you know what to expect and yet, you still wait it out.

This is the theme of episode 3 in Teen Wolf. It starts with a lovely opening night scene of two little kids in a wood trying to capture fire flys. The music is uplifting and cheery, and the boy child is called of all things – Billy. This seems to me like classic story telling. Right up until the big bad (were)wolf starts chasing the kids through the woods.

I think to myself, has Teen Wolf finally redeemed itself? Could I actually be enjoying this episode?

The answer may shock you that it is yes on both accounts. Especially when the fireflys swarm the werewolf and the kids manage to escape.

Of course there are parts of Teen wolf that still bug me. Scott still comes across as a bimbo. Lydia appears to constantly be emotionally tortured – finding a dead body, forming a prescription drug addiction to help her cope with life. Bad cgi and the fake running scene of Derek and Scott, lets just move our arms on the spot and pretend the scenery is moving…yawn…

But all in all this episode is pretty good. It opens up an interesting mystery that brings together werewolves, humans, our heroes, the unsuspecting police and even the Argent family.

This episode works because it has a fairly logical flow to it.

I also like that Alison has stopped being a passive girl and has turned into a character worth paying attention to again and not because of her romance with Scott. Because of what she offers as a person to the story line.

The woods feature heavily in this episode and for once, I think that makes sense. Woods in story telling are often filled with danger, mystery and evil things. Seems like the perfect spot for a couple of psychotic werewolves to rampage and terrorise a couple of gay teens about to go on a make-out fest.

Don’t they know the rules of horror story telling – if you have sex and your not a virgin, you die! (Thanks Scream)

The clichés are laid on heavily but they help the viewer plot an obvious path through the story line on offer.

As Scott saves one teen girl from being werewolf souffle, he emplores her “You need to get out of here, you need to get out of the woods, you need to get out of here as fast as you can!” before running off and leaving said teenager alone, again. Thanks Teen Wolf for the lack of escape assistance!

I’m pretty sure there’s a rule in the horror movie genre of using drugs means your just putting your name on the kill me first list, too.

Stiles delivers as always. When Lydia says “I’m supposed to call you before I call 911?” and stiles replies “YES!” it slams home the horror movie cliché of logic and characters and what people normally do in the horror situation in movies – hint, its the opposite to what Lydia, very realistically does.

Even having Stiles mention the classic horror movie The Shining in this episode shows how much it is playing on trying to go for that cliché effect.

Comedy is clever once again, between Derek and Issac when Issac wants to talk to Derek about dating his sister. This car scene is perfectly delivered. And even the scene between Mr Argent and Scott in the same car park with the gun, is fun.

Dear god Teen Wolf, how did you suddenly come good? I really need to find out who wrote this episode!

The thing is, it gets better, the hunting and trapping scene with Mr Argent talking and the cut scenes with Alison is very well put together, along with actual wolf information and facts.

The clichés are laden and once you notice them you start noticing them a lot.

The classic group shot as the wolf pack and hunter walk up to the edge of the park reserve, is expected, as one team working together – (hunted and hunted) to eliminate the bad rogue werewolves and save Beacon Hills from more death and mayhem.

The attempt to stylize the fight scenes, is a bit over done, but I can see this improving.

I like Issac but as a werewolf, there needs a bit of work done on him because he’s a bit to thin and weak looking. Maybe the wardrobe department could layer him up in clothes to give him an effect of bulk and buff, that both Scott and Derek have.

Of course, Teen Wolf wouldn’t be Teen Wolf if it didn’t have multiple story lines going. The teens turning up dead in this episode, is a story line that is actually not werewolf related, as opposed to the wolf pack hunting the rogue werewolves. But what Teen Wolf does manage to do cleverly in this episode is make the story lines intertwine as our wolf pack thinks the two events are related. And it the misdirection, or misinformation and assumption of our intrepid heroes, makes sense! That’s why it works!

A big moment for me in this episode was the scene where Derek has to sacrifice himself at the rouge werewolves claws. As they slash away, madly at him and he gets chopped down to size (cliché)! I find myself feeling for Derek, but this is what it means to be the alpha werewolf, you are the one who has to do what others will not or can not.
Finally, does this mean Teen Wolf are addressing that?
This could be a reason to respect this werewolf!!

This episode of Teen Wolf makes me think that the first two episodes of Season 3, were a waste of time and that somehow, this episode should have been the season opener.

It showcases all manner of strength in the writing and scenery and storylines of its characters. And it’s “Werewolf centric”!! Huzzah!

Finally, a real reason to watch this show again, because it seems to be about werewolves!

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