Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Teen Wolf, Season 3, Episode 4: Unleashed

We’re at the vet with Dr. Deaton and Scott (who, if you remember, works as his assistant), treating a sick dog called Bullet and his worried worried owner. They think he’s eaten poison; after some treatment, owner and scrappy little dog leaves while Scott examines the sample (reason #9076785 I could never be a vet or a doctor) and finds mistletoe. Definitely poisonous

The dog acts oddly and gets away from the owner who chases the dog into an alley. He searches under a dumpster for what he thinks is the dog – and is bitten by ominous hissing creature that tells him to come closer. He does – which means either it has hypnotic power or this guy is quite possibly the stupidest man on the entire planet. He gets nommed and when Scott comes out, he’s disappeared, leaving his car behind

And this is why cats are better than dogs. And also why you need to get laid when there’s a virgin hunter about.

At the school Ms. Blake is clearly a little shaken from her experience in the basement, hears something in the school and runs into a class room. Right into Derek. She threatens him with a stick and asks if he’s here to intimidate/threaten/kill her. Derek has an excellent “you’re kidding me, right?” look. He has a very good one and works both for the idea he will kill her and for the very very silly stick she’s waving. He’s actually here to check up on her (yes, she is so his love interest) to which she begins babbling about her therapist and already being emotionally unstable. Nervous babbling, a sure sign of romance to follow. More babbling an awkward flailing and an exchange of first names.

Scott and Stiles discuss the disappearing man and Stiles asks if he was a virgin. To which Scott jokes “definitely not, Deaton makes me have sex with all of his clients.” Uh-huh, I’m just going to leave this link here. Stile is not amused and very much panicking since something’s killing virgins which makes Stiles a target. He panics and rambles as he does declaring repeatedly that someone has to have sex with him right now, today. Danny volunteers “plan to stay the night, I like to cuddle”. Uh-huh, I’d be happier with this joke if it wasn’t all Danny was used for. Time for the coach to come in with his own joke – complaining about his lacrosse team members getting out of shape in the offseason (while the guys take off their shirts to reveal the sculpted bodies of Greek gods for the camera).

Time for crosscountry running with lots of dramatic music because Isaac has seen the Alpha Twins. The twins quickly clear the rest of the pack and Isaac chases after them – not the wisest thing you’ve ever done Isaac.  When they’re alone the twins grab Isaac and say menacing things – I’m actually more struck by the fact they actually talk! Scott to the rescue! Time for posturing and growling

Probably thankfully for Scott and Isaac, given the twins being alphas, a woman screams and they’re distracted. Going to her scream they find the guy who disappeared from the vets – strung up from a tree by his neck like the other victims.

Sherriff Stilinski is called and the coach tries to help clear the crowd in his usual awesome style (the coach is a severely underrated character). As they leave Isaac thinks the twins were involved (despite the twins looking at each other in utter confusion) but Stiles is still pushing human sacrifices. Which Scott has a hard time believing to which Stiles has the most awesome line of any show ever, pointing out that Scott has glowsticks for eyes, grows hair that magically disappears and heals instantly – but human sacrifice is a stretch for him to believe? Isaac isn’t hearing reason, he just wants to kill the Alphas

And joining him in that sentiment at the Wolf Loft is Cora, Derek’s sister, who wants revenge and is all kinds of angry and disappointed in Derek. Said disappointment is short lived because the alarms sound and the Alphas invade – 2 of them anyway. One of them, Ennis, easily pinning Cora and the other, the female alpha, Kali, attacking Derek and impaling him with a metal pole. Ouch. That gets everyone settled for Deucalion to arrive (evil British accent! Ah, good to know we still make the best bad guys).

Time for some school scenes; Alison falls asleep in French class with Ms. Morrel and they both have a little “what were you doing at the bank” glarefest ending in an impasse. In another class Scott tries to convince Isaac not to do anything hasty – and Isaac leave the room. To run into the Alpha twins in the corridors; the teacher doesn’t let Scott follow. But the Twins don’t attack Isaac – one of them repeatedly hits the other, their smiles never stopping – throwing the bloodied twin at Isaac’s feet just as the class breaks out. The twin says Isaac attacked him.

Scott tries to keep Isaac calm but they both see more plotting from the twins – one of them flirting with Lydia (who reminds us how bright she is). And elsewhere in the school Stiles asks the dead guy’s girlfriend if they’d had sex and gets slapped for it. Oh Stiles, really? His dad isn’t impressed either. It turns out the dead guy, Kyle, wasn’t a virgin

Back to the Wolf Loft where Deucalion is cool and evil. He wants Derek to kill one of his pack members and then he’ll want to kill the others himself – just like he, Ennis and Kali did. He calls his pack a liability.

To the school – we have a brief appearance of Boyd who is surprised at Stile greeting him because they’re not friends. He only had one friend – and she’s dead. Beyond reminding us that Boyd is alive, I think this scene was also to tell us that Kyle was ROTC, a military guy. So this is probably the pattern we’re looking for. And in detention, Isaac isn’t thrilled to be working with Allison given the whole fact she stabbed him 20 times. With knives. She says sorry. We shall put this down as the most inadequate apology of all time ever. And someone locks them in the cupboard – and moves a vending machine in front of it. Isaac, claustrophobic after what his father did to him, starts to panic and wolf out. He’s only stopped from attacking Allison but Scott pulling away the vending machine, dragging him out and using his Wolfy Voice to get through to him. Allison is scratched but everyone acknowledges that it’s not Isaac’s fault and Scott realises the Alphas want to do more than annoying people – they want to hurt them.

Also doesn’t it point to them knowing an awful lot about the place? They had to know Isaac’s history to know he has a problem with close spaces. I mean, if Isaac weren’t claustrophobic, locking them in would be a nuisance, a silly prank, more than locking Allison in with a werewolf who is losing his shit.

To Stiles babbling away to Lydia about sacrifices and the Alpha twins (which is news to her that the twins are alphas, but she covers it well). Through lots of babbling this goes somehow towards Stiles trying to get her to get rid of her little dog (no, not happening) and mocks his pattern recognition and tells him to let the police figure it out.

Y’know I could watch an hour of them two talking. They’re that awesome.

Scotts revenge is to have Allison help Isaac steal the Alphatwins extremely expensive bikes and… is that sexual tension? Isaac/Allison? Anyway, she sends a picture of Isaac on the bike to Scott who is in class with the Alpha twins. From his bag he pulls out – bike parts. Then they hear a bike start – and Aidan (Alpha Twin #1) runs out – despite Ethan’s (Alpha Twin #2) protest. Aidan catches Isaac driving his bike down the halls and demands Isaac get off- he does and joins the crowd of students who have gathered to see what the noise is. Just in time for Ms Blake to see him with the bike – driving the bike in the halls? Definitely a suspension.

Much as I love the revenge, is it just me or is the school system messed up when beating another student until they’re bloody on the floor is a detention but riding a bike is a suspension?

Stile is not involved in high school antics. He is at Dr. Deaton’s office because he’s remembered something – Dr. Deaton is incredibly well informed about all the supernatural shenanigans around the place.

Back to Deucalion who continues to infodump. When he first went blind one of his betas tried to kill him, assuming he would win – and Deucalion found out something special; an Alpha can absorb the power of their betas on death, becoming stronger. He killed his whole pack and became far stronger. Then, after touching Derek’s face, he says Derek looks like his mother and Derek calls him a fanatic. This is time for Deucalion’s super villain speech with lots of stormy background. He is the Alpha of Alphas (I’ll give him that). He is the Apex of Apex predators (I’ll give him that). He is death, destroyer of worlds (wait… what? Back it up, back it up). He is the Demonwolf – ok fine with that - I think superwolf may be more appropriate since there’s nothing infernal about him we know of, but demonwolf works. Even the Alphas seem a little put off by his raving – and Deucalion, returning to his normal voice, says “hate it when that happens.” Not in control of his demonwolfiness? Deucalion and co leave and Derek collapses, the pipe pulled out of him.

Lydia is happily drawing a tree – which is fine but it’s music class. And she shouldn’t be there. The class files out when the teacher doesn’t show up and she looks a little lost and confused. Bemused she checks a phone left on the piano. On it is a recording of piano music then changes half way to the sound of large crowd of men shouting - chanting. For some reason it shocks and horrifies her.

At Dr. Deaton’s, Stiles continues to challenge the doctor with what he knows – all the symbology (from the Triskele to the Mountain Ash et al) are all Celtic Druidic symbols; and the threefold death (head bashed in, strangled throat cut) is a method of sacrifice that has been found in Celtic ceremonies. And now, they’ve found mistletoe – sacred to the druids. Stiles realises Dr. Deaton knows all about it and asks why he’s keeping it to himself – to which Deaton says he’s been trying to push it away, deny it, hide from it for years. Stiles asks if the murderer is a druid and Deaton says no – it’s someone copying a people who should have known better. Deaton says druids were wisemen, philosophers, scholars; in balance with nature, not serial killers.

Which is when Lydia calls telling them that the music teacher’s missing – she closes the piano lid to show blood and scratches. Dr. Deaton and Stiles arrive, pick up the recording and search the man’s desk; Deaton continues to info dump, theorising that each group of 3 would be linked. So the first 3 sacrifices could be virgins, the next 3 something else (which is pretty close to Stiles’s guess earlier) . In the desk the find a picture of the music teacher in uniform – yes that ROTC clue was obvious foreshadowing! Good job Boyd, you served an almost purpose! These 3 sacrifices are soldiers – which means the last sacrifice could be Boyd (also ROTC) or, according to Lydia, annoying teacher Harris.

If it’s Harris, can I suggest everyone kind of take their time and wait, see if they’re correct before doing anything drastic like stopping him?

And in Harris’s class room he starts hearing ominous whispers – and then the horde of men chanting. The three investigators arrive too late and he’s already missing (alas, my heart bleeds) and Stiles finds a test graded “R”. Wow, that must be really really really bad. Another is graded “H”. Looking through all the tests they find the word Darach, the gaelic word for Dark Oak – a bad druid. (It does? I thought it just meant oak. And it’s a name, I know someone called Darach).

Elsewhere, Scott and Isaac are revelling in their victory when they run into the very very angry twins in an empty corridor. They strip off their shirts and do their creepy Alpha Twins – UNITE thing. Isaac decides “we can take him”. Scott counters with RUN AWAY!!!!!!!!! Alas they don’t’ run fast enough and Megawolf (who isn’t that big really when you consider he’s 2 guys) grabs them, knocks them together and throws them to the floor. But then has to calm down because they have a little visitor – Deucalion. The twins split up again (and how come their trousers can transform like that?) and Deucalion tells them they’re naughty and takes them home.

Back at the Wolf Loft, Derek tells Isaac to leave because he needs to focus on Cora (that’s his excuse anyway). Which is harsh on Isaac who has nowhere else to go and, with all his insecurity, Isaac wonders if he did something wrong. Derek resorts to shouting at him, throwing a glass at him and telling him to get out. Derek’s trying to protect Isaac but it’s very reminiscent of how his father treated him. With nowhere else to go, Isaac shows up at Scott’s

And in the woods, Harris begs with his attacker that he still needs him – apparently they’ve been working together. It’s not enough to convince him and Harris gets garrotted.

I really wish Teen Wolf wouldn’t keep using Danny as comic relief. It’s a trope – and a poor one – and it doesn’t help that he is one of the most underdeveloped characters in this whole show. (And do not even try to play the "look Stiles is Bisexual!" card here - this was yet again more damn comic relief with dodgy gay jokes)

And, 4 episodes in, Teen Wolf doesn’t seem to have done much to develop the female characters who were already underdeveloped before. In fact, now that Scott and Allison are less of an official item, Allison’s participation has dropped considerably. And the awesome Lydia is woefully underused (and returning to screaming and being bedevilled a lot). Erica is dead, Cora is just angry. POCwise is weak – Boyd is alive- but that’s about all you can say about him. I’m hoping we’re going to see more of Dr. Deaton and Ms. Morrell but I’m leery – and, of course, Danny is still just kind of hanging around being comic relief.

If they can absorb betas, wouldn’t it be more of a power boost to just make more betas and eat them than recruit more Alphas? Or is Deucalion so powerful now that betas add nothing – so he creates an Alpha pack and then plans to absorb them?

And why Deucalion? It’s a rather obscure Greek myth and beyond being from Arcadia ruled by King Lycaon, I don’t think there’s any real link to wolves or mystical wolves or apex predators in the story.