Teen Wolf Review: “Visionary” (Season 3, Episode 8)

Teen Wolf

We’ve seen Teen Wolf use flashbacks to move the story along before, but this episode took that concept to another level. ‘Visionary’ gave us a brand new perspective on what it means to be Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin).

With every broody supernatural being we encounter it seems inherent that there is a super-sappy back story to go along with them. We’ve seen it in The Vampire Diaries with Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), and before that with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in Twilight, and pretty much with every related character since even before television and film existed.

This episode didn’t break down Derek completely, but it did give us a little more information to go off of. Before this we only had a vague sense of his character’s motivations. We could only assume that his prolonged teen angst was a result of a childhood abruptly cut short by the death of most of his family via a fire set in their own home. That incident, coupled with the murder of his sister, the event that essentially brought him back to Beacon Hills, seemed like enough of a reason for him to keep people at arm’s length. What we already knew about him only seems to be the tip of the iceberg.

With a new romantic interest on the periphery, it’s as good a time as ever to give us the details on Derek’s relationship history. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the way his first love ended paralleled tragic. It also means that Derek may try to protect Miss Blake (Haley Webb) to the extreme as a form of penance for failing the first time around. It also makes me more eager to see this relationship succeed just so he can have something that he’s kept from himself for so long – actual feelings.

It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine Derek in a committed relationship. The only thing we’ve seen him commit to so far is his pack, and that hasn’t exactly worked out for him. Most of the Betas he turned himself are now dead. The Alpha pack, which come to find out he’s encountered several of the members before, are staking out Beacon Hills. And, there are regular ritual sacrifices taking place on his turf. Where would he even find the time to date? Although, it probably makes it a little easier this time around since she clearly knows his secret, even if she can’t completely wrap her head around the details.

It’ll be interesting to see how the other members of his immediate circle react to this change in the status quo. Up until now we’ve only really seen one romantic relationship develop, Scott (Tyler Posey) and Allison (Crystal Reed). Anything else was pretty much part of the mythology of the show already in place. Scott and Allison’s evolution is something that has been intertwined with the plot the whole way through. It’s something that we have come to expect in all its up-and-down glory.

Derek and Miss Blake, on the other hand, continues to be a point of contention with fans. The illusion of an available Derek is sexy, but is it really doing the character justice? I am thrilled to see where they’ve taken him this season. The more we learn about Derek, the more invested we are in him. We had to adjust to Jackson (Colton Haynes) being a killer lizard last season, we will adjust to Derek having a social life. It actually seems fairly tame in comparison.

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