It’s hard to remember the show that Teen Wolf used to be, in light of this super-confident fantasy series that’s playing out in front of my eyes. Almost all of season one’s misgivings have been dealt with in some way, and new strengths have formed to boot, not the least of which is the strengthening of minor characters that, up until now, haven’t been given the chance to shine. Lydia’s unfortunate Beacon Hills night-time tour has given here more of a reason to shed her former queen-bee attitude, and continue her transformation into a multi-layered supporting player. We may not have learned anything more about said incident, but we at least got to see how much she’s changed now that she’s lost so much.
Jackson is also being used in some new and interesting ways. There was a clear opportunity for the writers to make him wolf, and milk Scott and his rivalry for all its worth, but the route they’ve taken is surprisingly fresh and not at all how I’d pictured it going, and that’s a good thing. Is his bite not taking down to some strange biological reason? Is he just not wolf material? It’ll be cool to see how his inability to become what he so desperately wants to be will affect him. I’m guessing Lydia’s in for some more douchebag treatment; poor girl.
Like Omega did by introducing new mysteries in the form of Lydia’s mysterious condition, Shape Shifter increased the depth of the show’s mythology by introducing us to a new, sinister creature. My best guess is a bizarre lizard, but we haven’t seen much of what this thing can do yet, so I’m not going to make any serious bets right now. I love the idea of introducing some new form of creature to battle the wolves. A lot of the creature conflict seems in-house, since the tension is forming very much among the ranks of the pack, but an outside force like this mysterious assailant could prove a great catalyst to milk that tension further.
The Hunters seem a hell of a lot scarier this season. Maybe it’s because Allison’s crazily intimidating mother has been getting more screen time, or maybe it’s just the arrival of Gerard Argent, but they seem a lot less bound by their moral code that Allison’s father was so attached to before now. He was hardly the poster guy for fair treatment, but he never seemed like he would go so far as to initiate the torture of an innocent public school principal. It’s hard to imagine why Allison hasn’t escaped that mad-house she calls home yet, but I guess helping Scott to avoid capture is all she can do for now.
The horror and comic relief are meshing as well as they ever have before, and this season’s second chapter continues to show strong scripting and an ease in its writing that's characteristic of a show just starting to reach the height of its potential.