Review | Teen Wolf 2×06 ‘Frenemy’

Where other, lesser, shows would have dragged the mystery of the Kanima’s identity out for weeks, we actually found out that the weird lizard creature was Jackson last episode, and the special effects involved thankfully look miles better than they have in past appearances. But that’s not the end of the story, as Stiles and Scott have to find a way to keep him contained, until they find out what the hell to do with their favourite jackass jock.

This mission, though the pair have absolutely no idea what they’re doing, occupies most of the episode, and gives us a bit of breathing space before next week’s inevitable kick-off. We start the hour in the thick of the action, however, as Derek and Scott attempt to bring Jackson down. He finds his way into a gay club, which is pretty much as ludicrous as that description sounds. A side effect of this location is a bit more charactisation for Danny, a potential fan-favourite usually shunned to the periphery.

Even after witnessing her ex-boyfriend turn into a Kanima, on top of all the other crazy shit she’s been experiencing lately, Lydia isn’t allowed in on the big secret. This seems unnecessary, and comes across as more to do with Allison’s insecurities than Lydia herself. You can understand why, as Allison has a fragile, yet oddly secure, world built around Scott and Stiles. Things might change now that Lydia has proven her worth, adding to her huge bag of contradictions with an ability to translate archaic Latin.

Now, when was the last time the sexpot girl on a teen show was allowed to offer anything of her smarts? It’s a terrific moment, as she explains to Allison how she became bored of classical Latin and moved on. Like with Danny, whose profile as the only gay character on the show apparently means absolutely nothing to the writers or the characters they create.

Equally refreshing is the ambiguous nature of Jackson’s problem, as the formerly supporting character has stepped up into Derek’s vacated spot of sympathetic antagonist. While Derek has disappointingly descended into straight-cut villain, it’s hard to know how Jackson’s story will play out. If someone is controlling him (as revealed by the translation), is it the same person who was in the car during last week’s final moments? It’s also revealed that he only targets murderers, with all past run-ins with the central cast possibly misunderstood.

Whatever happens, we can’t believe Scott and Alison’s romance will remain this rosy for long. In the episode’s best moment, their artfully shot sex scene is intercut with Jackson’s surprisingly graphic transformation, and if that’s not telly language for ‘danger ahead,’ then we don’t know what is. All in all, this is another cracking instalment of season two, which is shaping up to be better than the show’s great debut season. Tell us what you thought in the comments below.

Caroline Preece

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