Saturday, June 8, 2013

Wolf Lake, Season One, Episode Two: The Changing

Sarah is wearing a pendant and she is strapped to a bed and is clearly in pain. Vivian enters the home and asks is there is any blood or if  Sarah is in estress. Vivian orders a bathtub to be filled with ice but before that can happen, Sarah jumps out a window after hurting the man who was watching over her.

John is sitting in a diner and he is listening to a scanner using his computer, when Sophia approaches and offers him more coffee.  She asks to hear what he is listening to but he says no, believing that her father the sheriff would not approve.  This of course peaks Sophia's interest and John says that he is thankful that he doesn't have a teenaged daughter.  When Sophia leaves, John goes back to listening to the scanner and hears the police asking for a perimeter because they are searching for a suspect.

Miranda  sits down next to John and asks if it has occurred to him that nothing interesting happens in well lit places.  Miranda then dips her hand in his pie and John continues to listen but stands up sudenly when he hears that the suspect that the police are looking for is on the run.  John tosses some money on the table to pay for his pie and coffee and Miranda picks some of it up.

The sheriff is in pursuit and John is following behind on his motorcycle.  He pauses to look at a map when he hears that the suspect is headed for a creek and hears wolves howling. John shows up at a Joe's farm and then heads to the barn were the suspect was reported on the scanner. John turns on his flashlight and enters the barn where he finds a necklace with a pendant, with same markings as his girlfriends.  A girl is up in the haystack and he hears her but is attacked from behind by the cops and is dragged outside.  He threatens to kill Donner and Donner tells him not to threaten him one more time.  John says that he knows Ruby is in there and Donner says that he is sadly mistaken, as the deputies drag John to the squad car.

The next morning, Donner tells Willard Cates that the girl is at station 12 and is safe. Donner then says that John showed up on the scene and they were able to extract him before he got a visual.  Donner adds that five seconds later and it would have been the lead story at 7 o'clock. Tyler enters the room and Donner is not at all pleased to see him.  Willard tells them the story of the day his father died and asks what he is supposed to do.  Donner says that John is breaking the law and Willard points out that it's their law.  Donner argues back that it's his law.  Willard says that they all respect that Donner wanted to abandon his blood but the rules remain the same as they have been since the beginning. Willard tells Donner to bring his quarrel to him.  Donner tells Willard that Tyler is selling drugs to high school kids and when Tyler denies this, Donner says that Tyler is using an intermediary to sell drugs to high school kids.  Tyler asks if Donner is making this up as he goes along and Donner points out that the man in question has not been seen or heard from in over a week. Tyler asks if Donner is implying that he is a murderer and Donner responds that all he said is that the man is missing. Willard asks Tyler if he knows the whereabouts of this man and Tyler says no. Willard then asks Donner if he can substantiate his claims against Tyler and when he says no, Willard tells Donner to back off and adds that Tyler is to keep his nose clean.

Sophia and Luke are sitting down in a lab and she asks him how old he was and he replies 13.  Luke tells her that the first time is freaky because you don't know what to expect. Sophia asks if it hurt and Luke replies that it's all about the way your mind chooses to interpret it. Sophia then asks Luke how it was for him and replies that it was like somebody ripping the bones from his back. Brianna then enters the lab and starts to massage Luke's shoulders noting that he is tense. Brianna asks Sophia if she is making him tense and she grabs her things and leaves.

Donner is sitting down with John, who is in a cell and tells him that he interfered in a police pursuit, impersonated a local officer and resisted arrest. John asks where Ruby is and Donner tells him that what happened last night has nothing to do with Ruby Cates.  John shows him the necklace he picked up and asks him to explain it.  Donner blows it off as just a necklace but John says that it's a pendant, which just happens to match a pair of Ruby's earrings.  John asks what the odds are and Donner says that two girls from the same town with the same jewellery would never happen in a million years. John is not put off and asserts that the girl last night must have been Ruby. John suggests that Ruby is being held against her will and adds that she must have gotten away and that the local police force are tracking her down. Donner asks John if he has any idea of how crazy he sounds.  Donner then tells John that he is free to go as a gesture of good faith.  John argues that Donner had no reasonable grounds to hold him any longer.  Donner again says that it wasn't Ruby.  John asks who it was and Donner replies that it's none of John's damn business. John then asks what a runner is but does not wait for Donners reply.

In a medical facility, Sarah is in a cell and is screaming.  John is back in the diner on the phone and he tells Walter that the symbol reminds him of that wiccan case they worked.  John then asks if he is on forced sabbatical and Walter replies that the young co-ed is continuing to press charges. Walter says that the weird letters are called ruins and promises to run them down if John sends him a jpeg.

At another table, three teenage girls are gossiping about another 16 year old who is still a virgin. Sophia arrives at the table to deliver more food and she tells them that the girl they are gossiping about cannot stand Randy.  Sophia says that she could have taken care of urges herself and Brianna calls it gross and suggests that this is something Sophia should think about.  Sophia slams the food on the table and walks away.  John walks over to see Sophia and asks if the girls are giving her a hard time. Sophia tells him that if he is spying on her then he has really gotten desperate.  John claims that it was impossible not to overhear.  Sophia shakes her head and calls the girls cows and asks why they can't leave her alone.  John asks if the girl from last night was named Sarah and Sophia affirms that it wasn't Ruby. John asks if Sarah is in trouble and suggests that he might help but Sophia says that she has a four top waiting for coffee.  John stands and hands Sophia his phone number in case she changes her mind.

Sherman Blackstone is examining Willard's back and Willard tells him to go easy on him this time. Willard asks about the size of the lump and Sherman says that it's definitely in the golf ball territory but adds that there is no way to know if it has metastasized. Willard says that on the plus side, his old pants fit again and that people think that he looks buff. Willard adds that everyday he sees a new article about alternative medicine and Sherman says that he is not sure that temperance would be high on his list. Willard gets a drink for them both and asks how he should prepare.  Sherman tells him that after midnight is the best he can do. Willard asks what happens when he is gone and  questions if the town will fall apart.  Sherman tells him that it did the last time. Willard says that Tyler Creed is going to lead and adds that he has the requisite lack of conscious. Sherman asks who Willard expects will still be standing when the smoke clears and Willard responds his wife. Willard asks Sherman if there is anything he can do for him and Sherman says that he is just a science teacher.

Miranda is asking about getting Vicodin at the medial facility and she says that she is a responsible user.  The nurse says that she cannot give her 30 tablets of anything without a prescription. Miranda  then asks about muscle relaxers to get through the night but the nurse says no again.  Miranda walks away in frustration and John walks up and says that he is there for Sarah who was admitted last night.  The nurse asks for a last name and John says that he doesn't know it and flashes his badge.  The nurse tells him that the only person they handled last night was a 73 year old widow. John asks if she is sure and the nurse says that she is.  When John walks away,  Miranda stops him and tells him that he won't get any information out of the nurse because the real story doesn't start there.  John says he doesn't know where the real story starts in this town. Miranda  asks John if he is looking for a missing kid and if it is the one who was at the graveyard by the other side of the lake.   Miranda responds that the bones will tell him everything he needs to know.

Sarah is still in some sort of cell and Willard and Vivian are visiting her.  Vivian comments that it's good that Sarah is quiet but suggests that now that 30 hours have passed, that Willard should not let the girl or her parents suffer any longer. Willard says that he will never get used to this and Vivian asks if she should tell them that it's time but Willard responds that he will do it.

Sophia is standing naked in front of a mirror looking at her body when her father knocks on the door and asks if she is craving anything special for dinner.  Sophia tells him that she had a pizza at work.  Donner asks if she brought him any extra and Sophia tells him that she wasn't sure that he would be home.  Donner admits that he has to go back to work and Sophia asks if it's about Sarah and adds that Luke told her that she is in big trouble.  Donner asks if she is talking about Luke Cates and Sarah asks if she is supposed to hide every time she sees him. Donner tells Sophia that he gives her a lot of space but says that this is different because Luke is dangerous and that he doesn't want her hanging with him. Sophia argues back that she is not going to judge Luke until she knows more about him. Donner says that he will tell her everything she needs to know about Luke. Sophia replies that this isn't about who she sees, or what she does and that this is about DNA.  Donner says hopefully her mother's and Sophia points out that she is stuck with the waiting.  Sophia tells him that she needs 32.55 for class pictures and then walks into the bathroom.

Ruby is hugging a gravestone and crying when she is approached from behind by a man who tells her that it's time to go. Ruby kisses the gravestone saying happy birthday Amanda before getting up and leaving.  They get into a van just before John pulls into the cemetery and drive away.  John notices that the the cemetery is filled with people who all died young and then he takes a rubbing of a rune off of a tombstone.  He then kneels in front of Amanda's grave and picks up the rose that Ruby left behind.

John is in the shower when his phone starts to ring.  It's Walter who says that the symbol is an ancient norse artifact dating back to the 5th century AD.  John asks what it means and Walter says the one he sent him is called a raidho, which literally means journey. John asks if he means travel but is told that more often it's meant to represent a spiritual transformation or a religious conversion.  The whole idea is to protect the wearer. Walter then asks if he is in possession of the amulet and John says yes, he is told to investigate a safety deposit box because if it's authentic, it's worth quite a bit of money.

Willard is hitting baseballs when Vivian approaches.  Vivian tells him that he cannot hide out there all day.  Willard asks for good news and Vivian tells him that the Sarah passed the night heavily sedated. Vivian says that Sarah's body is starting to reject itself and Willard comments that he knows how she feels.  Vivian asks if he should be there now and Willard replies that he and pain are on a whole new level.

Luke and Sophia are in a car together and Luke asks how come he is giving up all this personal stuff and Sophia gets to be mysterious.  Sophia asks him if he remembers the xerox with a bare ass which said regulate this.  Luke is shocked that she did this and Sophia asks again what it's like. Luke says that it's hard to describe and that it's like a full on body rush.  Luke says that sitting at the stop light is like them and then he grabs her hand and speeds down the street saying that this is them. He speeds by Donner, who immediately flips his light and starts to pursue.  Luke pulls over to the side of the road and Donner asks him for his keys and demands Sophia get out of the car.  Sophia tells him that she is walking home.  Donner asks if she thinks these kids are cool, better, or in on a big secret.  Donner tells Sophia that she doesn't know them and ushers her into his car.

John is now at the school and asks Sherman why no one told him that Ruby had a twin sister. John then asks why Ruby didn't tell him what her real birthday was. Sherman shrugs this off and says that he doesn't know.  Sherman continues to search the floor for a lab animal that escaped.  John finds the rat and grabs it quickly.  He tells Sherman that Amanda Cates died of encephalitis but there have been 37 dead in the last five years of the same disease and that the cemetery dating back 200 years is filled with deaths like this.  Sherman says so and John asks if he finds this unusual considering that he is a scientist.  Sherman replies that as a scientist that John's evidence is pretty damn shallow because a few generations of inter marriage reeks havoc on the body's immune system. Sherman tells them that they are unis and that means that they don't believe in any kind of invasive medicine of any kind.  John asks if they follow through when they are dying and Sherman replies, especially when they are dying because a few more years of the mortal coil is nothing in comparison to an eternity of damnation.  John asks about the Cates and Sherman says them to. 

Donner brings Sophia to see Sarah who is screaming in pain.  Donner asks if this is what she has been looking for.  Sophia touches Sarah's hand.

Willard is in his office when he gets a call from Vivian, who says that it's past the point of argument. Willard hangs up and says that he is on the way.  Vivian then approaches Donner, who says that he and Sophia are just leaving. Sophia says that she is not leaving and adds that Sarah needs her.  Sophia then asks where the Hollanders are and Vivian tells them that they want to be alone with their daughter. Donner tells Sophia that it's time and Sophia stands promising to visit Sarah more often. Donner walks Sophia out and they pass by the Hollanders in the hallway. Sophia asks what's going on and Donner says that he made a mistake bringing her there. Sophia asks again what is going on and she tells him that he can stop them but Donner replies that he can't.

John is researching the ruin when he gets a phone call from Sophia saying that she needs his help.  John hops on his bike.  At the hospital, the Hollanders are saying goodbye to their daughter and Willard says that Sarah tried but just didn't make it.  Willard takes off his coat and draws the curtains around the bed.  John bursts into the hospital and right past reception as the nurse calls Vivian.  Willard starts the ceremony, as John rushes down the stairs.  Willard begins to strangle Sarah and a wolf begins shadowing John in the hallways. Sarah starts to scream, as her parents look on in horror and then completes her transformation into a wolf. When John enters the room, he confronts the Hollanders, as Willard walks out of the room with Sarah in his arms.  John asks what happened there and Willard says a miracle.  Vivian has caught up to them and is clearly out breath and asks John if he is lost.

At the diner, Miranda is singing as Willard and Sherman are talking about Sarah's change. They watch as a woman walks over and gives them a bottle compliments of Mr. Creed. Sherman says that it's good to be king and Willard replies that while it's good tonight, life is just getting interesting and that it's a shame to have to leave the party. Sherman says that he was treated better than most.  Willard says that he would have liked to have seen some of the world.  Sherman asks if Willard is looking for their next fearless leader.

John is back at the cemetery and is writing a note for Ruby but he keeps ripping up the paper.  Finally he writes saying that he still has all of her CDS and then places it at Amanda's grave.

The next day Sherman is handing out the tests, when Sarah walks into the room and the entire room applauds.  Sophia looks through the window on the door and smiles. 

Donner is waiting for her at the end of the hall and instead of talking to her father, Sophia turns and walks the other way.

Alright, between the over the top acting (yes, Paul Wesley and at times Lou Diamond Phillips) and the ridiculous music, Wolf Lake is camp.  I found myself giggling when I should have been taking it seriously.  We learned quite a bit about werewolf culture this episode. I do think the connection with Norse mythology is kind of ridiculous given that they are in nowhere America.

I like that it's clear that Vivian is the strong one in the relationship, though Willard is the leader of the pack.  The women over all seem to be strong, though I could have done without the mean girl conversation at the diner.  It felt entirely too cliche.  I was not pleased with the suggestion that female masturbation is gross either.  It's great that women are expected to be sexual but shaming a woman for being a virgin is not exactly progressive either. The bottom line is what women chose to do sexually shouldn't be questioned or shamed either way.

I am not pleased that Sherman is still being constructed as the magical person of colour. There is a part of me hoping that there is more to him than that.  He clearly has his pulse on what is happening in Wolf Lake but the role of the adviser without power just feels sort of token to me.  It is somewhat mitigated by the fact that Lou Diamond Phillips is the protagonist of the show.