Well, here we are. Season three of Teen Wolf aired it’s finale and it was likely the best finale the show’s done to date, managing to wrap up storylines, open up new possibilities for the upcoming fourth season (which we only have to wait until June 23rd 2014 to see-we’re so spoiled) as well as tossing in some emotional beats and well executed action sequences.
Well played, Wolf crew, well played.
There’s a lot of stuff to get through and while the first half keeps the momentum going and allows Allison’s death the gravitas that it deserves, it’s undoubtedly the second portion of the finale that deserves the commendations. So let’s do a quick run-down of the first portion.
Still reeling from Allison’s brutal death Chris Argent goes into steely hunter mode and tells Scott to not forget his mantra while speaking to the police, to keep on repeating that it happened so quick-to play the part of the shocked, naïve teenage boy who just saw a girl he loves die.
When we watch Isaac, Scott and Lydia sit stunned in the station it isn’t too hard to believe that none of it’s an act.
More so later when Isaac and Chris arrive back at the Argents home, emptier now with a noticeable absence and Isaac asks for comfort and emotion from Chris that he’s learned to compartmentalize a long time ago. It’s a touching scene that allows for the grief to be acknowledged.
The gang now must press forward for the time being because chaos still reigns absolute and there is a town to save. Stiles plans with Kira and her family about the Divine Move-a move in the game of Go that is unthinkable, that out plays the opponent. Lydia and Scott speak with Deaton about their options and realize what they need and Derek proves himself as Scott’s number one fan as he rouses Aidan and Ethan into helping him protect Scott and his friends.
So that’s done-now for the real fun.
Void Stiles is up to no good as he and a pair of Oni stops by the hospital to turn it into a war zone. “Bad Moon Rising” by Morning Ritual begins to play and the Oni take down anyone in their path, including Melissa McCall who gets cut through the leg and stuck in the elevator with her dweeb of an ex. It does allow Melissa Ponzio some nice moments as she fights for breath as the poison from the blade runs through her. She tells Scott’s dad that he needs to be back his son’s life, that she kicked a drunk out of her home, not a father out of his sons life. It’s well acted and some of the finest writing the episode has to offer.
The police station falls under a similar assault as well as Deaton, everyone being cut down to prolong the deaths just long enough for the gang to save the day.
Which appears to be nearly impossible.
Derek and the twins face of with the Stiles nogitsune and the Oni as Scott, Stiles, Kira and Lydia approach the other side of the school. Just before they enter Stiles tells them that if he has to die to put a stop to the nogitsune than to let it happen, to follow the plan. Scott tells him that the plan is to save him and it’s the one they’re sticking with.
As they open the doors to the school we see where the majority of the shows budget has landed as we look upon a courtyard that’s been transformed into a garden of sorts. Snow covers the entire scope and our heroes face off with some Oni of their own as well as the bandaged nogitsune from Stiles’s hallucinations. He tells Stiles that he’s following through with his promise, the one where everyone he loves will die. Why? He asks. The nogitsune tells him because he wants to win the game-the game that he obviously has the upper hand on. He tells Stiles that he should just end it here-commit ritual suicide like the ancient samurai who would rather die than lose their honor, and if he couldn’t finish the job then allow his leader, Scott, to finish it for him.
Scott won’t allow it though and begins to fight, Kira by his side and boy is the cinematography just gorgeous here. They really went all out on wanting there to be an epic atmosphere to the last fight scene and it’s effective as we watch, enthralled with what’s going to happen next, the show having rid itself of its predictability. I only wish the entire episode had held the same quality.
Stiles begins to lose hope, not wanting to see anyone hurt because of him and grabs Kira’s sword-ready to kill himself to spare everyone else. He’s being taunted by the nogitsune to do it, begged by Scott not to and it’s chaotic until Stiles’s catches a reflection in the sword and reaches a moment of clarity.
This isn’t real. It looks it, it feels it, but it isn’t-they just need to reach the school doors.
And when they do they’re surprised with how easy it was until nogitsune Stiles shows up to face them down directly. He throws Scott and Kira to the side and starts to move upon Stiles and Lydia. Dylan O’Brien gets one last bit of evil acting here and it’s fantastic and genuinely frightening as he advances with a feral intensity, confident that he will in fact win until Lydia informs him that he can’t win if his bodies transformed.
He can’t be a wolf and a fox at the same time.
And Scott gives him the bite, just as Kira stabs him and he falls and turns to dust. Another baddie done with.
I’ll be honest; I’ll miss the nogitsune if only because it allowed O’Brien a season to cement his breakout status. I can only hope that the writing team continues to provide their actors scripts that allow their acting muscles to stretch a bit.
For a moment everything seems okay-as okay as it can be-until they come upon a sadder realization. Aidan has died, run through with one of the Oni’s swords and unable to heal like the others. It’s a surprisingly effective scene as the actors sell the pain of losing a brother.
There’s a melancholy ache of sadness to the parting minutes of the episode as people look forward. Scott breaks down in his mother’s arms after putting aside his pain for so long, a nice scene for Tyler Posey, Lydia watches as Malia becomes the new, new girl at school, giving her a nod of recognition that’s an echo of when Allison and Lydia first met. The Sheriff sees Stiles removing pictures and notes from his walls as he says he’s clearing his head-a nod to the insanity this teen has faced and Deaton tells Scott that while things won’t always be good, they also won’t always be bad-there’s a way of reaching stability.
However, I’d be remiss to not mention the BIG reveal of the episodes last minutes. Kate Argent-season one baddie extreme-is back and sporting some fangs of her own. What could season four possibly have in store for us next?
The second part of season three was a show that I enthusiastically looked forward to each week, gave us one of the shows strongest villains, took a beloved character away and upped the stakes. There were some duds but the strengths of the season were enough to outweigh the missteps.
I can’t wait until June.
Episode Grade: 8/10
Season Grade: 9/10