MTV’s Teen Wolf did what a number of high-episode-count cable shows have done this year, splitting its season into two halves. The episodes that aired last summer have already been released on DVD, and now the most recent run has its own three-disc set with Teen Wolf Season 3, Part 2. These 12 installments aired from January through March of this year, and arrived in stores just ahead of season four, which premiered this past week.
For those unfamiliar with the show, well, you probably don’t want to jump in here. It’s a highly-serialized story, with long arcs and constant character development. It’s about a boy, in his teens, who becomes a werewolf, of course. But it’s also about growing up in general, accepting responsibility, and figuring out who you are. Plus, there are lots of battles and sneaky enemies and special effects and romantic interludes that satisfy the target audience of the network. It is much better than most MTV fare, and while not genre-busting, is good enough to watch, even if you’re past the typical demographic. So start at the beginning, not with this set.
The back half of season three focuses a lot on Scott (Tyler Posey), of course, now the Alpha of a pack. It’s not a role he slips into easily, but it’s definitely one he’s been building towards for some time. We know Scott will make a fine Alpha, but I’m glad Teen Wolf decides to chronicle his rocky beginning in the job, as that’s only natural for someone so young stepping up into such a powerful position. As he tries to be a better person alongside this, one wonders how he will eventually prioritize his life and the warring parts of it.
This is not made easy when Scott’s best friend, Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), is turned against him. This makes it much harder for Scott to do what he needs to do, needing to stop a villain, but reluctant to hurt a friend. It also lets O’Brien play another side of the popular no-longer-just-a-sidekick kid, probably why his face is in the middle of the DVD cover, not Scott’s. It certainly makes for some very tense moments.
For those who’ve already seen these episodes, you will know a major death shakes up the end of this season. (I won’t spoil who it is, so if you haven’t seen it, you’re safe to keep reading.) It’s really unprecedented for Teen Wolf to take out someone so important, and if I didn’t know that the performer wanted to leave, I’d be shocked the writers would do such a thing. Creatively speaking, this will breathe new life into the narrative direction going forward, and really lets Teen Wolf dig into some deep emotion, but it’s also sad to lose a beloved part of the fabric.
Season 3B is a time of consequence. Often, in an action-based show, there are big developments, but the pacing is such that it quickly moves on. Teen Wolf Season 3, Part 2 tries, and often succeeds, in telling a tale where the ramifications of one’s choices are felt. This may not seem like a novel concept, and it isn’t completely, as the best TV shows always do this. But for a program like Teen Wolf, the inclusion is not a given, and I like how things come back to haunt our heroes. It makes them more well-rounded individuals.
If you’re not one of those that go for feelings, there’s still plenty of excitement and freaky-deaky stuff. These installments are full of supernatural powers and new races. Scott, Stiles, and Allison (Crystal Reed) have to deal with visions from their “open” minds. Were-coyotes join the fray, there’s a banshee to contend with now, and mass murderers pose a threat. Kira (Arden Cho, the recent Tomb Raider video game), a kitsune, which is a mythological Japanese trickster, is introduced, and she’s only part of the Asian lore in these episodes. So buckle in and enjoy the ride.
I complained about the sparse extras in the first half of this season, and this latest release is even worse. The only thing included is a featurette called “Following the Pack: The Fans of Teen Wolf.” It’s eight-plus minutes of footage from the Supernatural Fan Expo, including brief clips of interviews with cast members talking about their audience. There is little substance, designed more to show us that people like the show. There’s also a booklet of some fan art included in the package. Some of it looks kind of cool, but it seems a bit amateurish for a hit show to include such things. I see this is completely unnecessary, and wish the production had put together something to give us more insight to the series, being deeply disappointed by the lack of extras here.
Teen Wolf Season 3, Part 2 is available now.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00JF5G8WU,B00ED2IBXE,B008X6N8KW]