The progress on the major storylines for the season are mildly advanced in Teen Wolf 2.03 “Ice Pick”. Once again Scott tries to thwart Derek’s attempt to accrue more social outcasts for his pack, while the show portrays adds another convincing reason why he should (so far as an Omega he’s unprotected in case the hunters attack and tonight he gets jumped by the pack). But who really thinks Derek would allow Scott to die? The side effects of Lydia’s bite are hallucinations this week. Leave it to the clichéd class scene that’s a not-so-subtle commentary on a character’s arc. Jackson discovers immunity in biology class, and in his twisted logic think’s he contacted it through Lydia’s saliva. Finally, Allison is the centerpiece for the Argents escalation into middleclass sociopaths as her father Punks her into embracing her inner Buffy.

The episode begins at a deserted gas station where Allison flirts with a random guy, and then is kidnapped. She awakes bound-and-gagged in the Hale’s basement, sitting across from her father. The entire thing was an elaborate lesson’s in Allison’s training setup by her dear old dad. Just when we thought he was going soft on werewolf genocide by trying to reason with Grandpa Argent he manipulates his daughters fear into an opportunity for this little gem, “Our sons are trained to be soldiers. Our daughters leaders.” I like the idea. I’m not sure if the show is trying to be smart, but the statement is a succinct commentary on American culture. The highest expression of masculinity is being a soldier. The once exclusively masculine domain allowed women to enter societal positions that were reserved for men. Now it’s commonplace for women to rightfully lead major social institutions.  However, I’m not sure how true the statement is in the shows universe. Kate wasn’t much of a leader. In fact she was even more of a soldier than Mr. Argent. Also, if women are the leaders, why is Grandpa Argent the one coming to town to give orders? Wouldn’t he be the soldier following the orders of a woman in the family? I’m not confidant the show even knows what distinction they’re trying to make.

Anyway, I was prepared for Allison’s growing strength to be the episode’s focal point, but unfortunately it wasn’t. Instead, besides the continuing arcs mentioned above, the episode was about the latest inductee into Derek’s pack. Here’s where the show is standing at the peak of a slippery slope: I appreciate the consistency with the idea that Derek is assembling his pack out of social outcasts or “weaker” individuals. However, the latest pack member had epilepsy thus the lack of nuance in the writing generalizes her condition as a weakness and reason for her social status. Meh. I understand what the show was trying to accomplish. They completely lost me once Erica is transformed from a modestly dressed girl into Pamela Anderson’s doppleganger (hence the title: Extreme Hoe Makeover). If the writers wanted to empower Erica the bite should have allowed her to find strength in her current appearance not externalize it so she looked like jail bate. It would have been more of a statement for her to exert the same amount of power as she looked when we first met her rather than becoming Wonder Woman as soon as she gives the Beacon Hill prostitutes a run for their money. Isaac didn’t alter his appearance upon joining the pack so I call gender politics.

Those are my major takeaways from the episode. Everything else was just the same, which is a little annoying in a 12 episode season. I feel stories should advance more significantly weekly. But all shows need their setup episodes, as I think that’s what “Ice Pick” was: jogging in place with the appearance of moving forward.

The Howling:

(cynical observations)

–Remember when I complained about the lack of recurring locations to give the show atmosphere? Well the gas station from season 1 reappeared again.

–Where in the world did Stiles disappear to when Lydia was hallucinating on the ice? He was gone without explanation then magically reappeared to comfort her.

–Scott’s boss (the vet) is confronted by Mr. Argent about his knowledge of the supernatural happenings in town. However, the scene features no follow through whatsoever. The scene was setup as though we’d return to it, but. . . .Yeah, it was never finished. Just like that sentence.

–Mrs. Argent butchers her arm just to be admitted into the hospital for stitches to talk to Scott’s mom. How idiotic is this woman? First, how did she avoid slicing every artery in her arm? Secondly, if she wanted to talk to Scott’s mom couldn’t she have just, oh I don’t know, called her? Or stopped by the hospital faking symptoms? Or just stopped by the hospital for a chat? The show wanted to be shocking, but it instead it was dumb.