"Lunar Ellipse," the summer finale of Teen Wolf Season 3, was incredible.
It felt like a beginning of sorts, more of a full season finale than a halfway point. I'm more interested in what's going to happen this winter than what happened tonight, but since it was so damn fun to watch, let's start where we should be and then think about what comes next.
Kudos to the writing team for tying Tyler Posey's real life tattoo into the mythos of the story because we all learned at Comic-Con that he just sprung that upon them. Tying its meaning back to the Nemeton - and therefore back to the initial episode through flashbacks - was brilliantly played out. It was also just plain fun seeing what two years has done to these "kids." Our protagonists are no longer children, but young men and women, and it shows not only on their faces but in their acting and through the growth of their characters.
I guess I misunderstood the whole plan Dr. Deaton had for our fearless threesome to make contact with their parents' spirits and and to find the Nemeton, as I thought they were to go under for a short while and if they didn't come back their "person" on this side would bring them back. Instead, 16 hours later everyone was kind of dozing just letting whatever happened, well, happen.
We have learned that our Beacon Hills Brat Pack works best under pressure, so it's a good thing they only had four hours left until the eclipse. With too much time on their hands, they probably would have screwed things up. Instead, it all played out like a well-tuned instrument.
Lydia's skills were needed in the fight to save Derek, and Aiden was on his side. Love really can conquer all when one half of a super alpha will go against his pack work to for the other side. Of course, once Lydia started back-talking pedi-bitch, even Ethan couldn't take it any longer and the brothers became one.
While they weren't fighting for their initial cause, they were fighting against a common enemy: the Darach. Jennifer was having a great time showing Kali how much power she had gained since she was left for dead and in thrilling Teen Wolf style summoned all the glass she had recently plunged through up off of the floor and shot it into Kali and killed her, leaving the twins no choice but to fight for their lives.
It seemed they were killed by Jennifer in relatively short order, but no....
Derek and Cora (who left such an impression upon me I kept calling her Nora in my head) had long since driven off at the urging of Peter, but they didn't get very far. Good ole Peter. After that twinkle in his eye last week, we knew he was up to something, but outside of saving Derek's ass by throwing him out of town, he seemed to settle back and just watch the affair.
Scott thought he needed Deucalion to fight off Jennifer. She just wanted Derek to be her guardian so that she could kill Deucalion. There could only be one right side - which was it?
Lydia and Cora helped Dr. Deaton attend to the twins while Allison, Scott and Isaac went looking for items that would help them catch the scent of their parents and find the Nemeton. Scenes like the one that followed rely on the details. Mr. McCall was shooting in the dark, trying to understand anything that might make sense to help the missing parents, but nobody was talking. Isaac was casually sucking on an Icebreaker mint and reminded Mr. McCall that both of his parents were dead. There's never a poor time to point out how much Daniel Sharman adds to the cast. It was just enough of a literal icebreaker to give Allison her moment to start talking weaponry and toss a smoke bomb their way. Poetic.
Plans started to disintegrate from this point onward. Allison and Isaac made their way to the Nemeton. It started to collapse, but we were never worried there was going to be a calamity surrounding that many characters. Plus, Stiles was still unconscious after wrecking his Jeep. He showed up with an aluminum baseball bat and propped the whole place up. Simply a minor annoyance, that crumbling Nemeton.
Jennifer and Derek had their moment to face off against Deucalion and Scott. Duke took the minute before the Eclipse to try to get Scott to kill Derek and become the alpha he was meant to be. Apparently he thought Scott missed the memo and didn't know he was already a true alpha. Scott had gotten the other memo from Gerard about Duke's blindness, and just before the eclipse used a light trick to blind him so that he couldn't see, even though seconds before he could.
Everything was thrown into chaos. Jennifer wanted to kill Duke, but Derek said he had never seen what he did to her, and she healed Deucalion. Duke saw her true form and after the healing she was too weak to kill Duke on her own. She turned to Derek to do it for her, but he just isn't the killing kind. That's something we should have all noticed about him. He'd really prefer to talk things over rather than turn to violence. With Deucalion, he recalled the things his mother had said about him and how he was once a man of vision.
Jennifer did not give one hoot about any of this and threw up one of her spell walls, but this time Scott's true alpha powers were able to penetrate and break her walls. He threatened she return the guardians or he'd kill her but it didn't matter, Duke pushed him aside and sliced her throat. As with all things on Teen Wolf, nothing is ever as it seems.
So let's chat a bit about where this leaves us going into Teen Wolf Season 3B.
Derek is no longer an alpha and left town with his sister to start life elsewhere. I assume it's to save face so he didn't have to be a beta to Scott's alpha, although I don't think Scott would ever have held it against him. Maybe he'd just like to forget for a while that he's a Hale. Really, who wouldn't?
Since the twins didn't die, I wonder if maybe Jennifer killed their super alpha, and they've lost the ability to meld together. Now that they are each happily established with Lydia and Danny, I don't know why they would want to get together as much any more.
Isaac and Allison are most assuredly on love train, and I don't think Scott minds. Someday things may change, but they went through so much and too much of it was bad memories. Forcing a relationship from wreckage isn't the answer.
Allison, Scott and Stiles all have parents in the know right now. With Scott's dad staying in town, he and his mom now have a secret to share from him, so not everybody will be privy to what's happening. Lydia's mom is another outsider who, given Lydia's new-found talents, will likely play a more important role on the rest of Season 3.
Because, let's face it, our big bad is going to be Peter. Oh, how I loved seeing him roar at the end of that hour. Earlier, when he was asking Lydia what she felt, he wasn't asking because he wanted to know or had a hunch, it was because he knows her. There is still a connection there that has to be explored and with his chest pounding "I'm the alpha" behavior we should net us some great material from this winter. There's no end to the talents of Ian Bohen and I hope he'll make Deucalion look like a caricature of the first season Peter Hale.
There's really no worse place to leave off than walking happily through high school, thinking the worst is behind you and you're getting a fresh start. That's like an invitation for trouble. Scott mentioned his pack. Who is his pack, exactly? Isaac? Derek and Cora left. Aiden and Ethan are alphas. Is Scott's pack the Scooby gang? I don't think they're going to do a lot if faced with a terribly big bad, but they managed quite well so far, so I won't count them completely out.
Not by a long shot.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.