Teen Wolf Season 6 Part One
Starring: Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, Holland Roden, Shelley Hennig, Dylan Sprayberry
Directors: Tim Andrew, Russell Mulcahy, Joseph P. Genier
Writers: Lindsay Jewett Sturman, Mark H. Kruger, Ross Maxwell, Antoinette Stella
A review by Christoph Staffl
At the beginning of season 6 we are introduced to the new bad guys: The Wild Hunt. Shame on you if you think they copied that from The Witcher III. Those creatures are capable of erasing people from existence. And by “erasing” I mean, that they don’t just kill them, they literally erase them: wiping memories, altering objects and rooms, and pretend they were never there in the first place. It is really scary, because that means, that everything you have accomplished, everything you have done, and everyone you were in contact with – your entire life, everything was for nothing and you are forgotten. Something none of us wants.
One of the best part of Teen Wolf‘s sixth season is by far the optics. By that I mean the world with its cool ideas and features on the one hand and the camera work on the other. Let’s talk about specifics: The design of the bad guys is amazing. The cowboy-like look of the Wild Hunt and how they use whips and revolvers to erase the people of Beacon Hill is intimidating. The western theme really improves the overall atmosphere and fits the premise well – this is the case because we don’t get to see western stuff a lot nowadays and it is a welcome change. The different locations and settings are well made too. I love how they use everyday life objects and make them seem horrific, like a simple wallpaper. This is especially the case if Lydia is involved. Holland Roden is such a great actress – definitely one of my favourites. As a Banshee she knows more about the things going on than everybody else. But I have to say, that her abilities can be a bit frustrating. This is especially the case, because she herself knows very little about them, how to use them and I don’t get the impression, that she knows the full potential of those abilities. Nevertheless, the frustrating moments are very rare and the suspenseful moments definitely make up for it.
Regarding the camera work, they use simple tricks to surprise the viewer. Objects suddenly appear as the camera angle changes and are gone just as fast. Slow motion is also something they use very very often, maybe a bit too often. It is not on a 300-Zack-Snyder-like-level, but sometimes it gets close. It is reasonable to implement this technique with you have fast action sequences or want to make something look really suspenseful. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work. But as it is with the powers of Lydia, the cool moments make up for the rest.
One of the big downsides of this season is the way, the characters interact with one another. Because they don’t. At least not if they are involved in different subplots. For example: in past seasons Scott always talked with his mother about the things going on, at least every once in a while (even if he had to lie, they at least interacted with one another). But in this season Melissa and Scott have maybe one scene together – two at the most. Melissa mainly works with Chris Argent and they are great together, I hope they get to be a couple and their subplot is a nice addition to the main event. But as Melissa is in danger and Scott sits alone in the big house, worrying and in tears – I just don’t buy it. Nothing built up to that moment. Maybe if you watch every other season before that one it has some kind of impact, but if you just consider this one, it doesn’t work. They life completely different lives. How am I supposed to feel any connection?
Season 6, part one has just 10 episodes and therefore I expect a very dense atmosphere. That’s unfortunately not the case here – at least not in every episode. The best ones are definitely those with Scott, Lydia and Stiles figuring things out. The detective work of those kids were always the best parts, because you as a viewer can make up your own mind and see if it fits there conclusions. Maybe the perception of a less dense plot has something to do with the fact, that there are not as many shirtless scenes of the main male cast to distract me or the lack of hot man-on-man-action. Because of that I focus more on the story and therefore realise how bad some of the dialogue is or how predictable some of the plot points are. Be that as it may, there is something missing in this season. It could be a real sense of danger or just the shirtless scenes. I cannot say for sure.
Let me give you another example (this time of inconsistency): Scott is supposed to be THE ALPHA. A true Alpha Werewolf, with abilities like no other (stronger, faster, dominant – a leader). But he is so easily defeated, I think I could handle him with a baseball bat and a machete. In one of the last seasons he forced one of the other Werewolf’s to transform back into his human form (at least I think it was him, but definitely an Alpha). Somehow he lost this ability. He isn’t as strong or fast as he used to be as well. His defeats just serve the plot and feel very displaced. After five years he should have learned some new moves and know how to handle dangerous situations.
Last but not least, we have the season finale. Some time this month season 6.2 will start. It will be the last season and therefore last ten episodes of the show. Unfortunately the final episode of part one feels like a very good ending to me. What is supposed to come next? Or are there any loose ends, I didn’t think of? Please let me know!
Wait and See! If you are a hardcore Teen Wolf fan or enjoyed the optics of the last seasons, go ahead and give part one of season six a chance. The villains are intriguing and it is always fun to watch Lydia figuring things out. But as I said, the story is not as good as it could have been. It is more like a 10-episode retrospective of the last five seasons (mainly from Stiles perspective).