Teen Wolf (Season Two, Episodes One and Two)

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Teen Wolf on MTVStarring Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Dylan O’Brien, Colton Haynes, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, JR Bourne

Directed by Russell Mulcahy

Created by MTV Networks and MGM

For those of us out there who fell in love with MTV’s unexpected breakout hit “Teen Wolf” last season, it has been a painfully long wait these last nine months for the second season premiere. Thankfully, our patience will pay off when the first two episodes of the new season premiere in a two-part event that starts next Sunday, June 3rd, after the “2012 MTV Movie Awards” and wraps up during its regular timeslot on Monday, June 4th, at 10/9 pm CST; and if the first two episodes are any indication of what fans can expect for the new season, “Teen Wolf” is on track to blow last year away and then some (which the series’ fans know is no easy feat).

Season Two picks up right where the first one left off; Scott (Tyler Posey) and Allison (Crystal Reed) are still very much an item and dealing with the ramifications of their forbidden love as well as Scott’s werewolf tendencies, which are now out in the open. Stiles (Dylan O’Brien, who dons the best Jaws-related t-shirt ever in an episode) is also an integral part of Scott’s lycanthropic adventures and now is tasked with keeping an eye on his long-standing crush Lydia (Holland Roden), who is dealing with some very big changes after being attacked by the Alpha in last season’s cliffhanger.

Scott’s nemesis, Jackson (Colton Haynes), is also facing some changes himself after getting ‘the bite’ from the newly crowned Alpha Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin). And with his new status in the world of wolf packs, Derek is forced to step up and deal with a new war brewing with the local werewolf hunters (led by Allison’s dad, played by JR Bourne) so he sets out to build up his werewolf army, which means we’re getting a few more cast members and a lot more lycans this time around, revving up to some potentially huge and bloody showdowns between the two groups.

In addition to new werewolves, we’re also introduced to another Argent family member in Season Two- Allison’s grandfather, who has a penchant for slaying lycans in brutal fashion and also manages to become a factor in the lives of the entire younger cast in a very unexpected way, setting up for some rather intriguing storyline possibilities throughout the rest of Season Two of “Teen Wolf.”

After a successful first season, it seems like showrunner Jeff Davis and director Russell Mulcahy have decided to embrace the darker aspects of “Teen Wolf” in Season Two if the first two episodes are any indication. We get some great kills, a couple of bodies chopped in half in what feels like an homage to Mulcahy’s Highlander and a few clever jump scares as well. As someone who doesn’t necessarily creep out all that well, I found it remarkable just how effective the atmosphere in “Teen Wolf” is as a few key moments managed to crawl right under my skin while watching.

Teen Wolf Season 2

The entire “Teen Wolf” cast seems to be feeling more confident as well; we get to see Scott finally embrace his darker side in these first two episodes and have some fun (and sex!), too. Last season Derek was definitely one of the ‘stiffer’ characters, but thankfully Davis addresses this and gives Hoechlin a lot more to do in the first two installments, which allows the actor to show off his more charismatic and hilarious side during a few comedic scenes he shares with Stiles.

Both Roden’s and Haynes’ newly developing storylines are given significant attention in the first two episodes, elevating the pair beyond the clichéd characters they both started out as last year; seeing how each deal with their werewolf attacks respectively certainly feels like they’re leading to some mythology defining moments of this upcoming season, and it’s great to see both get some more screen time this go around.

As far as second season debuts go, “Teen Wolf” lives up to the hype and then some; it plays faithfully to the core mythology and characters while subtly incorporating new storylines and faces seamlessly into the mix. Davis does an admirable job at amping up the horror elements of the series but also allows everyone a little more space to play around this time, and the results are fantastic. If “Teen Wolf” can manage to sustain this kind of momentum for another ten episodes, Season Two is shaping up to be one hell of an experience for fans.

And for all those hardened horror fans out there who may have written the show off as a Twilight-style remake of the beloved 80’s classic flick without ever giving it a shot, these two installments of “Teen Wolf” may be enough to change your mind on the matter.

4 out of 5

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