Watching great action sequences is enjoyable. Observing the plight of a protagonist can be intriguing. Adding in-depth mythology to that fun and interesting world is what can make a series seriously worth watching. On Teen Wolf last night, "Heart Monitor" accomplished all of that and more.
With both the historical background of La Bete Du Gevaudan and the mystery of the spirals on Scott's car window and the dead deer, we learned a lot more about the world in which this show takes place. And that really helps the viewer get more involved.
The La Bete Du Gevaudan is an old French legend of a beast that killed over 100 people. So now we know this has been going on for ages and ages, and that the Argents have been hunting werewolves for a long time. The question then becomes: why have we been dropped in on this world right now?
Is there something special about this point in the history of werewolves? Maybe it's time for them to take out all of the Argent hunters. Or maybe it's time for them to die out as a species. Whatever the case may be, the historical background gives everything more weight. As do the mysterious spirals.In the early scene when Scott is frantically running from the Alpha Wolf, and then gets in his car only to sit there like a goon with the doors locked, the Alpha draws a spiral in the condensation on the window. Hey, Scott, why not attempt to drive away from the bad guy? It’s just a thought.
When he told Derek about the spiral incident, the mentor got a bit freaked out. He definitely knew what it meant, but obviously failed to tell his mentee anything about it. While really dumb of Derek not to just put all the cards on the table for Scott, it makes things more interesting for the audience, as we are now that much more interested in what the spirals mean.
Unlike what Derek originally thought, the Alpha Wolf sure seemed pretty strong to me. With or without a pack, that dude is HUGE and seemed difficult enough to defeat when he was gutting Derek like a fish. Per the usual, I did not watch the "Next on Teen Wolf" segment, so I have no idea if Derek is dead or just badly injured from that encounter. If he is indeed gone, it will be a sad day, as he is easily the most interesting character on the show.
Then again, congratulations to the series if it has the courage to kill off such a main focus halfway through the first season.
Derek or no Derek, the show is still about Scott. After all, he is the Teen Wolf. Here, he continued to exemplify the long stretch of lead teenage characters on TV and in the movies that get lost in love and are completely confused about everything. The kid is ridiculously insufferable. The scene in which he calmly mentions to Stiles that he loves Allison was brutal, but thankfully Stiles saved it by casually disregarding the entire thing.
Stiles had a couple of other great moments, including two that were mostly enjoyable because Scott was taking a beating. There were few funnier moments this week than watching the Teen Wolf get pelted by lacrosse balls and getting beaten to a pulp by a bunch of random dudes after Stiles keyed that truck.
The main arc of "Heart Monitor" was just what the title suggested. Scott needed to figure out how to control his heart rate when angry. This story wasn't all that interesting, except when it led to hilarious moments such as the lacrosse ball incident. Or the fact that Scott was trying to stay away from Allison while in school, but managed to purposefully hang out in the same room as her. Honestly, Scott, I'm sure there are plenty of classrooms or hallways in that school that you and Scott could have gone over your plans in. Watching the two of the sprint out once Allison spotted them was pretty hilarious.
The fact that I am just now mentioning the ridiculousness of what happened to Jackson in the mirror makes it clear how much actually happened in this episode. I really enjoyed "Heart Monitor." What do you think is Derek's fate? And how will anyone take down that Alpha Wolf?!?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.