Wolf Pack 1×06 “After Party” is, as far as the series mythology goes, a complete game changer. In addition to the surprise twist (of sorts) at the end, the mysteries surrounding the arsonist and the weird phone call guy also get some pretty big moments here. And while other installments may have overdone it along the way, this episode strikes a good balance between that faux horror/suspense film feeling and some more personal moments.
That’s not to say that the characters always make the best choices, of course. Some are bad in an interesting way, while others are just plain abusive. Actually…let’s start with that last one. Spoiler alert: Gaslighting is abusive, and it really, really can destroy a person, deep down to their very core. So, let’s talk about that, and a few other key points, as we break down Wolf Pack 1×06.
In which the after party gets toxic
For a few episodes now, it’s been very obvious that the traumatic experience on the freeway really took a toll on Austin. Arguably, though, all the gaslighting he’s experienced since that day has been significantly more harmful. So, the actual after party that goes along with this sixth episode’s title is…not exactly a place where the pack sets a shining example. Sure, it’s understandable that they’d want to protect their secret. It makes sense that, even with Luna’s silent approval, Everett ultimately decides to go with the usual “it was a bear” lie. But just because the motivation is right, that doesn’t mean lying is the right thing to do. Not after all that buildup. And especially not when Austin has already been on the receiving end of plenty of dishonesty surrounding this experience, specifically.
Feeling like you’re living outside of reality while everyone else is actually either avoiding or simply denying the truth, when they’re making you question what you’re seeing with your very own eyes and processing with your very own mind, is not something anyone should ever have to experience. And it’s bad enough when people who didn’t have the same experience as you try to convince you you’re wrong. When they tell you it’s all in your head, that you’re just imagining things — when they make you believe there’s something wrong with you.
But when people who know what’s going on suddenly parrot to the same abusive lies as everyone else, when the person who once said they believed you suddenly stands idly by while a friend (acquaintance?) further poisons your mind with that unreality, though? It’s that much more painful. Infuriating. Depressing, even. And yeah, that whole feeling can be pretty scary, too.
So, again…It makes sense that Everett kind of dangles confirmation of reality in front of Austin, only to rip it away. But it doesn’t make it right. Therefore, all other parts of this episode aside, let’s be very clear on one thing: Justice for Austin. Add that to the shock and horror over what happens to Phoeobe…and yeah. Justice for this guy. Is he kind of an asshole sometimes? Yes. Can anyone really blame him at this point? This viewer certainly can’t be bothered to.
Can’t wait for everyone to get even worse if/when he tells them what he saw happening to Phoebe, though. That should make for some “fun.” (Helpful hint: That was sarcasm.)
On the case
We continue to have know idea WTF with Kristin Ramsey — and we’re loving every second of it. Following her big “it’s a werewolf” moment with the security guard, she’s back to being secretive AF in Wolf Pack 1×06. Which, considering what happens to people when she tells them the truth, that’s…probably for the best. We kind of like having Garrett around and all that good stuff. But still, trying to figure Kristin out is a ton of fun.
As far as the series’ ongoing, yet more subtle, commentary on policing goes, there’s something really intriguing to be said for Kristin and Garrett’s conversation in the car on the way to the party. What, exactly, are we supposed to take from “try to remember my teenagers are in there, too”? Does that mean Garrett’s otherwise fine with Kristin, or even Officer Jang for that matter, “going armed into a house full of inebriated teenagers”? Considering he admits that he’s also armed — and not just with a business weapon. He’s got a personal one, too — that certainly seems to imply, sickeningly enough…yes. Then again, we all know the extra weapon is there in case of a werewolf-type emergency. So, gray area?
If nothing else, it’s a conversation that should make people think. And if the answer for most of us is “no, I wouldn’t want folks rushing in, guns blazing, when someone I care about could be at risk,” then why is it that so many people seem to be just fine when it’s someone else’s loved ones at risk?
That doesn’t even begin to break down Kristin’s little nod of recognition when Garrett mentions the “personal” weapon. Does she know what he has and why? She quite obviously knows a lot more than she lets on — to anyone she’s willing to let live, at least. And, regardless of what that barely-there gesture in the car was all about, “After Party” certainly expands on the great mystery surrounding this character.
To recap, she knows where the wolf is collecting all of his bodies because, well. See also: RIP, Mr. Security Guard. Then, there’s the very calm, very fearless way she puts her arm on Harlan’s shoulder out in the woods. She protects him and, arguably, has been doing so for a while now, what with her lurking around and keeping Garrett close — yet not close enough for either of them to say what they know out loud.
Then, there’s the scene where she manages to talk some kind of….sense? Awareness?
Soul? Not really sure what to call it…into the wolf. And the bonus factor of, assuming she was telling the truth, Ramsey also knowing how to help the wolf control itself. As we learn later, bringing the wolf back requires a name. But how would she know that name? Hm. With everything we now know about her, there’s still plenty that we most certainly don’t. Another case in point: The question remains whether or not she’s some part of Harlan and Luna’s family tree (extended or otherwise) or if she’s simply done her research. (Then again, considering how much Buffy always hated research…) Based on the way she screams at her backup and tells them to stay back when they show up, I’m going with pack member.
No matter what the answer winds up being, though, two things are for certain: First, the entire sequence with Ramsey out there in those woods, negotiating with the thing that goes bump in the night, is fantastic in a way that only Sarah Michelle Gellar can make it. And second, it is fascinating that viewers don’t find out who the wolf is until much later in the episode. It’s a purely brilliant way of playing up that mystery element, especially when we throw in all the doubt surrounding Cyrus and the extra layer of “???” with the kid who only Everett can see in the beginning…which brings us to…
“Call the werewolf by its given name, and it might remember who it is.”
So, to return to our early point about everyone making you doubt your own reality…How does it feel, Everett? Hm?
Ok. Done there. Now, where were we?
For starters, we spend a lot of “After Party” wondering exactly what it is about grazing the wolf in the woods with a silver bullet that really has Garrett so upset. In every scene that comes after the showdown in the woods, Rodrigo Santoro really emphasizes the fact that his character is very much not ok. And that’s especially in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, where he is the perfect picture of traumatized and regretful. Notably, it’s a huge difference from Gellar’s Ramsey, who’s just able to distance herself and act like nothing special happened.
So, taking us back to the earlier question about carrying those two weapons and what it says about Garrett, he’s clearly not ok with using those silver bullets. Gaining confirmation that Harlan and Luna are vulnerable was never going to be easy, but shooting the wolf and finding out it’s just another kid adds an extra layer of terrible. And Garrett very much feels that impact. Later, in the barn scene there’s that tense moment where the entire pack is about ready to shred Garrett. The scene hits all the right notes, and Garrett’s desperation seems to be focused solely on seeing the kids for who they are. There should be a lot more fear for his own safety, but there isn’t. And that says a lot.
Immediately following so much tension with all the emotion of Harlan remembering who he is and realizing what he’s done really hits hard. Arguably, the “it’s not your father” line can even be taken to have a double meaning, too. As we’ve kind of been a broken record on here, Garrett is Harlan’s (and Luna’s) dad. No one and nothing else. He’s raised them, he loves them…and he knows who they are.
Since the season isn’t over yet, and the folks at Wolf Pack are very good at creating a mystery, the end scene both answers some big questions and leaves behind plenty of new ones. Like, what is it about Everett, specifically, that makes him the one who can see this kid? Is he simply the only one who was paying attention, or is there something more to the connection? Not to mention, how does he just…randomly come up with a name? Hopefully, we’ll get those answers going forward. We’re certainly tuning in to find out.
More on Wolf Pack 1×06
- Interesting that, as terrified as Austin is, he’s also in front of everyone else and holding his arms out as if he’s going to protect them.
- “Fuck this. I’m leaving.” Me at life.
- “Oh, yeah. Everyone look at me. Like I’m crazy, right? I know what I saw.” When folks’ actions are at odds with the obviously-fake reassurances they’re giving and then want to tell folks they’re imagining things…Hm.
- Rio Mangini portrays all that rage and pain incredibly well.
- SMG said, “screw Buffy’s stakes. I’m now in love with bloody flashlight lenses.” Love that for me! (But seriously, what was that all about?)
- “Fuck you all. I hope it kills every fucking one of you!” Impossible not to relate, given the past three years.
- “To protect me from the rabid bear.” A+ sarcasm. And A+ flirting: “If you get killed, how are we supposed to go on a date?” Am I into them now? I think so.
- “Why do you hate me so much?” That really is the question.
- “You ghosted me. You went completely off the grid. No phone, no text, no email…It’s like you don’t even exist.” Can’t believe we’re on episode 6, this chick becomes wolf kibble by the end of the episode…and we got this moment. Because, you see, years later, there’s still nothing from those other characters on those other shows.
- “I exist.” “But I don’t. Not to you.” Honestly, everything about the Blake/Phoebe scene is very well done. It gives us time to breathe between the more suspenseful bits, and there’s a lot to be said for the depiction of how painful that feeling invisible really is. It is also alllllll Bella Shepard’s moment. Truly need her to be in, like, everything.
- Harlan and Cyrus hooking up in the woods, when there’s possibly something very dangerous out there and/or (at that point) Cyrus is possibly the arsonist, just works. It shouldn’t, but it does.
- Insert obligatory “omg Buffy was patrolling and talking back to the monster” here.
- “But if you come at me, don’t think I won’t defend myself.” Oh, we know.
- Ok, ok. One more. That whole “I can bring you back” part? Buffy, sweetie. You’ve been trying to re-ensoul monsters since high school. Take a break.
- “Someone put out the damn fires” is hilarious coming from the fire investigator who is…also something more(?).
- “Maybe you should try texting him.” Luna’s got jokes.
- “You blocked your number because you were getting calls from a blocked number.” — Tyler Lawrence Gray, deadpan expert.
- “What’d the voice sound like?” “Like a guy…?” Ok but this series continues to be a comedy.
- “They each serve a purpose. Especially this one. You know what this one’s for. I keep taking it, everything’s fine. Go a week without it, probably still fine. Eventually…well. You remember what happens.” “Yeah. I remember.” “You need to keep taking your medication, Everett. Even your good days.” Bang on with the commentary on mental health, as always.
- Blake and Everett continue to be adorable. Also, get you a significant other who’s like “you don’t have to tell me anything” like that. Nobody is entitled to your pain. You share when you’re ready.
- Oh, ok. He’s picking her up now.
- Is the buildup to the Phoebe attack a lot? Yes. But am I also here for it? Absofuckinglutely. And the way that wolf drags her bloody body across that glass and smears it all over…Good stuff. So, so good.
- “But if you want, we can call in a sketch artist. You can add another picture of your own to my wall.” I love when she goes full bitchy. Especially since we all know Garrett knows.
- “I’ve had crazy assholes calling me for years, telling me shit like aliens abducted my dad and the rest of the crew. Or…they’re all still alive and being used in a government experiment…” So much pain. So, so much pain.
- …and may the people who do that shit to people who’ve lost loved ones due to real-life tragedies suffer eternally.
- “I knew we were gonna be friends.” “Good friends.” The best.” Trouble in comedy duo paradise?
- “How about all you fuck off and let me do my job?”
- I can not stress enough how strong the performance was when Malcolm was telling those kids about how the wolf changed in the fire. That whole storytelling bit, with the way he’d dissociate in some places and actually have full-on flashbacks in others. Just…amazing.
- “No. I only heard it.” The voice work.
- I just need to know everything about the brother already.
- And also…Kristin….how do you fit in here????
Got a theory? Have thoughts on Wolf Pack 1×06 “After Party”? Leave us a comment!
New episodes of Wolf Pack stream Thursdays on Paramount+.