'Teen Wolf' Season 3 Premiere Recap: 'Tattoo' Is an 'Ephemeral' Episode of Signs and Symbols

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'Teen Wolf' Season 3 Premiere 'Tattoo' Recap: An 'Ephemeral' Episode of Signs and Symbols
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Aiden (Max Carver) (left) and Ethan (Charlie Carver) (right) Season Three

The "Teen Wolf" Season 3 premiere episode "Tattoo" was a mishmash of confusion. It all makes sense when broken down into pieces, but it was a little much to cram into one hour. Still, it set everything up for the remainder of the season.

Isaac needs help

The episode starts with Isaac (Daniel Sharman) bloodied and barely able to move. A mysterious and beautiful woman comes to his rescue, carrying him on the back of her motorcycle as they are chased by twin werewolves (played by Max and Charlie Carver). The two wolf-men are faster than the bike, and Isaac and the mystery girl end up crashing in a warehouse.

Then something freaky happens: The twins are able to merge their bodies into one larger beast, but that means less work for the savior girl as she blows the thing away with a single shot from her rifle. Of course, the twins' disappearance is only temporary.

Scott is trying to be a student

Scott (Tyler Posey) has decided to take learning seriously, reading books and studying for the SATs while working out. His "word of the day" is "ephemeral," which seems to fit Scott's life perfectly at the moment... and also fits the action-packed episode.

Poor Scott. He just wants to have a normal teenage life, but even his mother (Melissa Ponzio) can't resist calling him out of class when Isaac shows up with wounds that are healing faster than the time it will take him to get to surgery.

Isaac is dying

The surgeon isn't too happy about it either. He angrily kicks Isaac out of the operating room by telling his helpers to wheel him out. Unfortunately, it's a werewolf who wheels him out, and Scott spots him just as they enter an elevator.

Scott jumps into the elevator just before the doors close, and a fight ensues. The other werewolf is an alpha, and he wipes the floor with Scott until Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) arrives to save the day. Apparently, Isaac is dying on the inside, and Derek has a lot of work to do in order to save him.

Scott wants a tattoo

Meanwhile, Scott inexplicably wants what seems to be a meaningless tattoo of two bands around his arm, and Stiles (Dylan O'Brien) is the first to pipe up and explain how dumb that sounds. But there is a deeper meaning here, as the bands represent a symbol Scott sees in his head. It is also his reward to himself for not calling Allison (Crystal Reed) after their sort-of breakup. Too bad his tattoo heals about 10 seconds after spending the time and money to get it.

Later, while Issac is dying, Scott tells Derek about his desire to have these two bands that mean so much to him emblazoned on his arm. Derek suggests using his special blow-torch technique that inflicts the most profound pain Scott will ever experience. All for a tattoo. All while Isaac is dying a few feet away.

There are signs and symbols of doom

There are three ominous symbols depicted in the episode: Scott's tattoo; a symbol on Derek's door that represents alphas; and a symbol that the mysterious woman leaves on the arms of Allison and Lydia (Holland Roden) in the form of bruises just before the alpha pack kills her. There are also signs in the form of suicidal animals -- such as a deer running straight into Lydia's car, a multitude of birds crashing into the teens' classroom window, and the friendly neighborhood werewolf veterinarian's cuddly pets eating their own insides.

All the signs and symbols point to impending doom in the form of an alpha pack of werewolves. These aren't like other alphas who operate on their own. With the joining of forces, they are nearly unstoppable.

 

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