Teen Wolf is back, and with one of its best episodes yet. Recovering from a patchy Season 3A, Anchors sees Scott, Stiles and Allison deal with the fall-out from last year’s actions in an episode that is as spooky as it is entertaining.
The Nemeton is affecting Scott, Allison and Stiles in different ways. Stiles is trapped in a sort of semi-conscious state, never sure if he’s dreaming or awake. This is evident by the fact that he’s no longer able to read, as people are unable to read in his dreams. He’s plagued at one point by a half-conscious hallucination of his entire class repeating the same phrase in sign language, and it’s definitely eerie. Even Coach, the show’s hammiest, most comic relief character, has an air of the sinister about him.
If Stiles’ predicament is quietly dreadful, Allison’s is downright horrific. She’s unable to steady her hands, which for an archer, is downright dangerous. Not only that, she’s being stalked by visions of her evil, dead aunt, Kate Argent. First, Kate is crawling for her in a morgue, then chasing her through the woods. In an attempt to protect herself, Allison finds herself firing an arrow at, and almost killing, Lydia. She is only rescued only by Isaac catching the arrow in time. Later still, while Allison is having a sexually charged dream about her an Isaac, Kate shows up again and strangles Isaac while Allison has accidentally stabs him in the chest. It’s not real, but it’s nonetheless harrowing.
With all this going on, the other events in Beacon Hills are a little glossed over, but nonetheless important. There’s a new girl in school, Kira, along with her teacher dad (who looks set to be pretty cool) and Scott is pretty taken with her. She’s also pretty fantastic, finally being the person to point out how loudly our gang discuss the supernatural in public. She seems to have some knowledge of it herself, but how and why is still unknown. Also, Scott’s douche FBI dad is trying to get Sheriff Stilinski fired for the high number of unsolved murders, and Scott and Melissa are not cool with that, even though they can’t tell Agent McCall that Beacon Hills is pretty much full of werewolves, druids and giant lizard men. Sheriff is on a mission to solve one last cold case before he is fired, and ropes Scott and Stiles into the investigation. In investigating the disappearance of a young girl called Malia and the death of her entire family, Scott discovers a werefox, or kitsune, and believes it to be her.
And where are the Hales? Well, God knows what’s happened to Cora, but her appearance wasn’t explained either. Even so, we’re treated to a double dose of Hale Family Shirtlessness as Derek and Crazy Uncle Peter are chained up, shirtless, and being tortured via electrocution. Peter sasses his way through it while Derek’s expression seems to read “not again!”
Season 3A had moments of brilliance amongst a confused and overly-complicated storyline, but in Anchors, Teen Wolf finally finds its feet again in an episode which is exciting, terrifying, and wisely puts its three leads at the centre of the action. Despite a few issues, this is a strong, self-assured episode that sees a fantastic return to form for the series.