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DVD Review: ‘Teen Wolf – Season 3, Part 1′

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TWMTV’s Teen Wolf is back! Before the network can even air the entire third season, the first 12 episodes have come to DVD in a three-disc set. With a handful of special features, this is a relatively sparse release for the purpose of getting the most recent installments into the hands of the fans as quickly as possible. Or maybe, cynically, it’s just to make more money.

I’m rarely a fan of the partial season release. Sometimes, it can seem justified, such as when Battlestar Galactica took a year-long hiatus mid-season, since there was a huge break before new episodes. But Glee, Royal Pains and Doctor Who have been known to rush partial seasons out when the hiatus is short, and that usually seems like it comes from a place of greed. Teen Wolf is in this latter category, having gone off the air in August and slated to return in January. However, MTV is bad about changing their TV listings constantly, making reruns hard to find and record, so perhaps this will help some people who missed some episodes.

The third season kicks off roughly four months after season two. Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) and his friends are now juniors. It’s not an easy start to the year, as Scott and Allison (Crystal Reed), whose family has given up werewolf-hunting, are still broken up, making for some awkward moments. Lydia (Holland Roden) and Jackson (Colton Haynes, who is now on Arrow instead) are also split, but Jackson has moved to London, which makes things for Lydia a little bit easier. With Jackson gone, Lydia has some free time on her hands, and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) is only too happy to fill it playing detective with her.

But fans know that Teen Wolf not about tame puppy love. There’s fresh danger afoot in town, as a gang of Alphas led by Deucalion (Gideon Emery) wants Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) to join them, and just to make sure there’s no going back, they plan on slaughtering the rest of Derek’s current pack. To start, they take Boyd (Sinqua Walls) and Erica (Gage Golightly) captive, and things spiral out of control from there.

Even worse, a Darach (basically an evil Druid) is also hanging around, and they aren’t the most non-murderous people on the block. Meaning, lives are in danger when a Darach is near. If only Scott and the others could figure out who the Darach is, they might be able to put a stop to the terrible deeds being committed.

It all ties together as allegiances shift, secrets are revealed, and relationships are changed. Teen Wolf does a good job of connecting dots, even quite a bit down the road, letting an important bit come out at just the right moment. It’s a skill others of its peers have also figured out, so it’s not alone in this regard, but it provides the draw that keeps viewers coming back week after week.

Well, that, and the body count. Teen Wolf has not shied away from getting rid of characters when the story calls for it, or even sometimes just to pump up the excitement level, and Season 3, Part 1 is certainly no exception to that. With the monster population dense and human sacrifice part of rituals being performed, quite a few people die over these twelve episodes, making for higher stakes danger and plenty of scares. Good thing the show boasts a large recurring cast!

As far as extras go, there are deleted scenes, a gag reel, another shirtless montage for the female (or guys who like guys) fans, and a single featurette entitled “Back to the Pack.” The latter is a TV special that aired prior to season three in which the cast discusses the first two years and previews what’s coming up in the third. It may have been beneficial to watch back in June, but if you plan on viewing it with this DVD, I recommend watching it before the included episodes.

Teen Wolf Season 3, Part 1 is available now.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com