Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Teen Wolf Season 3, Episode 5: Frayed

School trip! Or possibly lacrosse trip. Either way a lot of the gang is on a bus, Ethan (one of the Alpha Twins) getting all antsy waiting for a text message. But Boyd and Isaac are clear winners of the random cryptic comment contest with Isaac urging Boyd “not to think about it” even though he can’t stop thinking about it either. Which sounds like so much more innuendo than it is (typical Teen Wolf).

Scott is busy being mopey and having ominous dreams while Stiles gives him vocabulary training (is it just me or is at least half of Scott’s attempt to “mentally improve” himself come down to expanding his vocabulary?). Stiles thinks that rather than learning what “incongruous” means, they should probably be talking about Darach, the evil human sacrificing druid. Stiles also thinks they shouldn’t have come on the trip – Scott protests there is safety in numbers and Stiles, only 3 minutes in, gets what must be the line of the week: there’s also death in numbers, it’s called a massacre. And Scott feels awful – because he has an Alpha wound in his side, 3 nasty claw marks, that are taking time to heal. Stiles asks how come Boyd and Isaac are fine – but Scott just can’t believe that Derek is dead.

Um… whut? He was injured last week, but dead? Why do I think that’s not going to stick? Methinks the writers are doing that silly chopping up the continuity thing and we’re going to have flashbacks plaguing us the rest of the episode.

Anyway, Lydia and Allison are following the bus, Lydia being sarcastic and awesome, accusing Allison of stalking her ex-boyfriend. Allison makes vague cryptic comments about something that just happened and leads us to our first flashback.

I would say I hate it when I’m right, but you can’t hate everything all the time.

Flashback – Scott returns Allison’s arrowhead from where she decided to take part in the herding of Boyd and Cora and they have a brief, flirty comparison of skills in the “should Allison stay out of things and stay safe” game (it amounts to “skills! Training!” while Scott responds with “superhuman!” Which I think is fair – especially since he didn’t call her out on her claim to be smarter – because in the last 3 seasons I think Lydia’s little dog Prada may be able to compete with Allison on that front). Allison tries her martial arts on Scott’s super speed, there’s flirting and sexual tension but Scott easily beats Allison and hurts her wrist. He apologises but she says not to – he made a point and she was the one who started the test. Allison mopes on the floor – whether from losing or from sexual tension, I don’t know, and Scott warns her how scary the Alphas were and how the twins were only playing. And in the lift, Scott runs into Deucalion

To the Wolf Loft! Where Scott finds that, since Boyd and Cora followed the twins, the pack already knows where the Alphas are. Ooh, Scott’s out of the loop. Scott thinks they know because Deucalion and co are setting a trap, Peter thinks it’s because they don’t really consider the pack a threat so don’t care if they know or not. Either way, they plan to launch a pre-emptive strike – including Scott

Cut to a fight scene of werewolves all slow mo and dramatic.

On the bus again and Scott’s still bleeding and we get lots of crypticness about the twin listening and Isaac and Boyd being ticking time bombs. Ok. Let’s have enough flashback to try and make sense of this

Planning the battle, Scott is all “murder bad, wooooe!” which is so not helpful. The plan is, apparently, to kill Deucalion, not the rest of the alphas because he’s the head of the snake. Peter almost agrees with Scott; they’re all alphas which means they’re all dangerous and they’re all leaders – it’s a hydra not a snake.

Back to the future – and yes this is getting annoying – and Allison is running out of petrol because she’s so myopically watching Scott. And, it turns out, Lydia, because she’s worried that Lydia and Alpha Twin Aidan are actually having a thing. I would say that Lydia is far too smart now she knows Aidan is part of the Alpha pack, but we have a flashback of them together reminding us that while Lydia may be very very very intelligent, she has a weakness of men who are beautiful arseholes. Even in that she’s flawlessly awesome, though.

Y’know what – all this flashing back and forward has been pretty easy to follow. Time to mix it up a bit – what’s the point of playing fast and loose with the time line if people can keep up. So, present, the bus is stopped in traffic and Boyd begins to lose it. Past, Scott in the lift with Deucalion (so before the battle planning) draws his claws by Deucalion says he’d have to be blind, deaf and quadriplegic for Scott to be a threat. Scott waves his morality around and Deucalion scoffs since at some point he will kill to protect people he cares about

Flashback, forward or possibly sideways, to the big werewolf fight were Derek and Ennis go over the edge of a building several storeys below. Apparently dying in the fall.

Peter and Cora examine where Derek fell (I have no idea if this is past, present, future or an entirely alternate time line) and this gives Peter and Cora chance for a family catchup – the whole, who killed who thing. And whether Derek got out alive

To the bus where Scott staggers towards Boyd, he mentally recaps a conversation he had with Dr. Deaton, asking how he could stop the pack, how he could save them even though they didn’t want to; and Deaton told him not to stop them – but to lead them. He reaches Boyd and asks him what his plan is, says he’ll let go so long as Boyd tells him an actual useful plan rather than just trying to murder Ethan in the middle of the bus. What calms Boyd down is Isaac noticing that Scott is hurt – gets him to listen to Scott wanting chance to plan something that won’t result in more deaths.

Crisis down, Stiles is curious about the message Ethan is waiting for – so he texts Danny, sat next to Ethan, to try and find out. A brief flurry of arguments while Danny tries to tell Stiles no, especially since he likes Ethan, but Stile sends him a gazillion messages a second to try and force him while Danny gets more embarrassed by his repeatedly beeping phone. Danny caves and passes the message to Stiles – someone close to Ethan is sick and may not live. Stiles and Scott assume he means Ennis, who may have survived the fall with Derek.

Flash to Dr. Deaton (and we learn his first name at last, Alan) and Ms. Morrell arrives leading Kylie and Aidan carrying the badly injured Ennis. They ask for Dr. Deaton’s help and he refuses – Kylie tries to threaten him and he makes it very clear that she really can’t back up that threat. He finally agrees to help Ennis only because Ms. Morrell says the Alphas will hunt the other wolves – including Scott.

On the bus, Coach Finstock has the most awful way of dealing with Jarrod’s car sickness. Scott has been trying to call Deaton and getting nothing so Stiles decides to call Lydia and Allison (who he knows has been following them which he calls pathetic). Lydia tries briefly to pretend not to be before giving it up. Stiles tells them Scott is getting worse and his cut is now oozing black goo (ooooh, my guess is this is Scott becoming an Alpha). Allison tells him to get the Coach to pull over at the next rest area so Scott can get off the bus – but Coach Finstock is not someone you can convince. Ever. Stiles tries to talk to the Coach for a rest stop and he just blows his whistle at him (not an innuendo).

This leaves Stiles with only one choice. Jarrod, the poor car sick guy. This is going to be awful (but Stiles has the best evil grin ever). Everyone rapidly leaves the bus and they manage to half carry Scott out of the bus.

His wound is black and crusty and just plain nasty. Lydia (after dumbing it down a little) suggests Scott isn’t healing because it’s psychosomatic – he won’t let himself heal because Derek is dead. And to help him believe it’s healing, that wound needs stitches (Lydia has a portable sewing kit to go with her vast intelligence and good ol’ common sense. Because Lydia is awesome). Allison has the field medic training so begins sewing him up while Lydia and Stiles go delay the bus. Allison’s shaking hands stops her threading the needle – and she hallucinates her mother lurking over her, mocking her and driving her – and coaching her until she calms down and can thread the needle and treat Scott. But Scott passes out – and doesn’t respond to her calling his name. He has another flashback of Isaac pulling him back from the edge of the hole where Ennis and Derek fell – before Allison manages to rouse him

She helps him leave and Scott flashes back to before the battle where he goes to reason with Deucalion in an abandoned building – Isaac going with because he won’t let Scott leave alone and doesn’t believe his lies about getting food. But when he arrives Derek, Boyd and Cora have followed him to the meeting, knowing what Scott would do. Derek is confident they can take Deucalion on  his own but Deucalion points out he, a blind man, could not have navigated this ruined building on his own. The other Alphas are there.

Back to the present on the bus and Isaac has lost his temper now and launched himself at Ethan. The coach can’t stop him beating Ethan – but Scott stops him with a word.

At Deaton’s clinic, Peter and Cora arrive outside and Peter realises that the clinic is odd and that the Alphas are there. Inside, Deaton is treating Ennis and Deucalion arrives. Deaton tells him Ennis will live – and Deucalion impales Ennis’s brain. Probably won’t live now. Outside, Kylie screams in mourning and Aidan holds her.

Back to the abandoned building and battle begins, going predictably badly for the pack since they’re not Alphas – including Scott getting clawed by Super Merged Alpha Twins. Deucalion tells Derek, the only pack member not pinned or on the floor, to kill one of his pack – Boyd - so he can join them and save Cora. Kylie’s not impressed by Derek but gives him a chance. Which is when Allison rains flashbangs down on them.

Flashback still further to Allison telling her father they need to help the pack and her dad pushing for a normal life. She doesn’t see how she can stay out of something trying to kill her friends and views it as cowardice (I view it as a convoluted way to make threading needles a theme). He tells her the pack isn’t her family and she counters that with the family she’s lost, she needs friends (also it’s a good thing they’re not family because if they were they’d be evil murdering monsters).

Her flashbangs give the pack chance to get up and Scott charges Ennis – they collide head on and both get knocked back. Scott’s eyes briefly flare Alpha red before returning to normal beta yellow. Derek attacks Ennis and they struggle near the edge – Isaac staggers forwards and slashes Ennis’s leg and both Derek and Ennis fall.

On to the bus, Scott and Allison are sat together now (Allison having abandoned her fuel-less car) and Lydia is sat next to Stiles – Stiles and Lydia talking about the Darach and Lydia raising the possibility that the Darach is sacrificing people in preparation for battle. Allison and Scott have a moment

And at Dr. Deaton’s he tells Ms. Morrell she doesn’t know what she’s got herself into and she tells him it’s late to be playing protective big brother.

Ms. Blake (the teacher)  gets into her car – and the injured Derek collapses outside of it. Told you he wasn’t dead.

Did I ever mention how much I hate it when shows start in the future then spend the rest of the episode flashbacking to bring us up to date? Call me old fashioned, but I quite like stories to be told in chronological order. I’m silly like that. I don’t understand why beginning with an episode spoiler is somehow a good idea.

The episode itself was wonderfully, powerfully dramatic, but I feel almost cheated by the format of it. Which is a shame because there was a lot of awesome here. Change the format and it could have been a 5 fang episode

While we’ve never seen Deucalion fight – yet anyway – it’s clear that Deucalion is considered a physical threat not just a mastermind as is usually the case with disabled villains. The whole blind person using super hearing to fight awesomely well is hardly an unknown trope – far from it – but at least any super senses Deucalion uses to compensate for his eyesight are derived from being a werewolf and not from being blind. By him carrying his stick and still asking for guides on occasion it’s apparent that Deucalion does still need accommodations for his disability – his disability isn’t completely removed or rendered non-applicable by his woo-woo.