Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Teen Wolf: Season 3, Episode 14: More Good than Bad

It’s Derek’s weekly torture (and Peter), how many times has Derek being tortured while half naked? You think they could at least put him in some different positions (or throw away the trousers. Hey, you’ve got to keep it fresh – each new torture scene remove another item of clothing. And more inventive torture could be ued, I have some… *ahem* ideas.) This time the torturer is a Latino group (oh you lot are so not going to live through this season) looking for “la lopa”(a female wolf). Unfortunately, Derek and Peter aren’t lying when they honestly claim ignorance. Boss lady stops the choppy choppy with the chainsaw (and shows she knows Derek’s name and lingual abilities). Derek’s still claiming ignorance of any she-wolf (Cora? His mysteriously disappearing sister perhaps) and Peter gets his finger cut off.

Oh, lady I thought you knew these guys? No-one on this show is going to care what you carve off Peter.

Scott and Stiles are still playing in the woods at night and find a cave – a coyote den – full of stuff, stuff that belonged to the missing Malia (she’s a coyote, not a wolf apparently. I don’t know, I’m a cat person – she’s lucky she didn’t get “miscellaneous smelly canine that drools” from me). Of course, she’s probably not going to return to her den now there’s werewolf scent all over it and Scott’s afraid to track her in case his face sticks like that (as everyone’s granny once warned them) so they get in the police to do some policey things. Sheriff Stilinksi-who-still-needs-a-first-name shows up and gets brought up to date with their pet theory that the car accident that killed Malia’s family happened when she shifted into a coyote in the car, which, let’s face it, is going to distract even the best drivers.

Realising that this explanation is not going to help him clean up any cases, the sheriff is hardly thrilled. And to make everyone’s day worse, FBI Agent McCall shows up. Alas nothing has eaten him. Yet. And he’s brought Tate, Malia’s bereaved and broken father to identify the missing items. Agent McCall is absolutely sure he knows what’s going on and how best to handle things and STILL nothing eats him

Why couldn’t he have shown up when the Kanima was still oozing around?

The next day they consult with Allison at school, discussing the crafty sneakiness of coyotes and Kira shows up to be awkward geeky and cute to Scott with extra fun babble (I appreciate people who can get babble right. Though it speaks volumes for the aesthetics standards of this show that someone who looks like Kira is both an outcast and awkward around guys). She’s done tons of research about Bardo for Scott – which her dad kindly hands to her while announcing her crush on Scott to all present: notably Scott. Kira, if you stab him repeatedly in the face, there’s not a jury in the world that would convict you.

Mr. Yukimura has an unerring talent for humiliation – because he asks Stiles to read aloud in class – it does not go well. Scott hustles him to the bathroom when Stiles’s panic about whether he’s in a dream or not hits (is anyone naked? Then it’s not a dream. Or it’s a poor dream), bringing him down by having him count fingers (apparently you have extra fingers in dreams? I never do. How come there’s no pinching going on?)

Kira notices Scott left his bag and decides to return it to him – in the suddenly dark and deserted school, where she runs into a werecoyote. She runs to the boy’s locker room (because they haven’t used that set yet). Scott rushes in to the rescue – I think the Coyote (Malia I guess) was after the doll Scott or Stiles took from her lair.

Back to the shirtless torture – but Peter’s snark is interrupted by the sound of gunfire and a woman bursting into the room beating up the guards. It’s Brayden! Wait, isn’t she dead? Apparently not, but she does have a scar. And she makes absolutely no attempt to hide the fact she enjoys the view. Apparently Brayden’s a mercenary – she was hired to save Isaac and now she’s been hired to save Derek (Peter? Not so much); this time her employer is Deucalion. The same man we thought killed her – I hope she charged him a really hefty fee. Get away is, alas, stalled because Derek won’t leave without a mysteriously undefined “it”. I will call it the Mcguffin, Derek, if you don’t elaborate and then I’ll be stuck calling it that until the season finale. Don’t do that to me.

The police arrive at the school and Stiles tries to convince his dad that the coyote is Malia and shouldn’t be killed – while Sheriff Stilinski is still adapting to this whole magical world thing and, while he believes, that doesn’t mean EVERYTHING has to be woo-woo related. I can kinda see that logic – except the whole reason he set Stiles and Scott on the case in the first place was because he was sure it was woo-woo related. The Sheriff normally has better thought processes than that; he does believe when told that Scott is sure though.

Tate shows up and sees his daughter’s doll and gets a little excitable until the Sheriff kicks him out for bringing a gun to a school.

Urgent action required – time for a plan. Get some animal tranquiliser from Deaton (who somehow knows the correct dosage for knocking out werecoyote because REASONS) which they plan to let Allison-of-the-shaky-hands-and-hallucinations shoot. I think I may have spotted a TEENY TINY flaw in this plan. Isaac points out the flaws and Stiles jumps on him for being negative and having a silly scarf – no Stiles, someone needs to point out when you’re plans are silly. Normally it’s Lydia’s job – where is Lydia anyway?

Anyway, Isaac has another good point that Malia has been a coyote for 8 years and no-one knows how to turn her back: memory lane, the Alpha that turned Scott (which was Peter pre-resurrection and de-alpha-ing – yes it was complicated) could make him shift back to human with just his voice. Maybe Scott, the super-Alpha, can do the same with Malia. If he weren’t terrified of shifting anyway. But he needs an Alpha tutor – and Derek’s missing, so is Peter leaving only the Twins – who aren’t even Alpha any more (apparently having your neck broken and living de-alphas you, conveniently leaving Scott as the only special one).

Time to use Lydia to pull the twins out the plot box and travel to the werewolf loft – where they both start beating up Scott. This is apparently part of the teaching process – to control super-alpha-ness you need to give in to it. They beat him until he turns then he beats them and then all is good, bar the odd broken bone, but hey, they all have super werewolf healing. (“School of hard knocks” joke goes in here. I think the same philosophy characterised the English public school system for a while). Of course the downside to this whole embrace the Alpha thing is you could lose control entirely and become an animal, a monster or worse – Peter. Thankfully they insert a flashback here as to what Peter WAS, because that would have been a little bemusing (“I become REALLY REALLY sarcastic!? NOOOOOO!!!”) Aidan (I assume) goes a little far in the beating-Scott-to-help-him game and Ethan (probably) has to intervene

Time to leave the brutal educational beating and join Isaac, Allison, her shaking hands and her hallucinations (completely ruining Isaac’s flirting opportunities) – this time of evil Aunt Kate autopsying an alive and aware Allison  - who then eats Allison with a whole pack of fanged doctors. Allison, you need to have a word with your subconscious.

She returns to her senses looking down the sights of her gun at… Isaac. Y’know that’s twice now. Maybe, just maybe, we can move to a plan that doesn’t involve Allison and dangerous weapons. Isaac helps comfort her by making a joke about the time she brutally stabbed him over and over in a truly sadistic fashion. Awww, it’s memories like these that form the foundation for a relationship.

Twins back to their plot box, everyone else to the woods to implement a dubious plan that they can’t even implement because Scott hasn’t even mastered the roar thing. Isaac helpfully points this out and Stiles snarks him for not joining them on planet wish-and-it-will-be-so.

Sherriff Stilinski pays Tate a house visit over these lethal bear traps he’s been scattering around the woods – when they notice the screen is cut – the coyote is in the house! Tate grabs a gun and charges

Scott bikes off at the sound of gunshots and over the phone with the Sheriff they learn the coyote took the doll – and that the woods are full of nasty traps and an angry, distraught man with a big gun.

While Stiles is busy having an epiphany over this doll, Isaac runs through the woods and puts his foot in a bear trap. Ouch (his scream also upsets Scott’s alpha senses and knocks him off his bike). Allison runs to him and they see Tate, raising his gun; Allison has to tranquilise him (with the gun full of werecoyote tranquilisers which, thankfully, are the same dose needed to take down a grown man without permanent harm) to save Malia. With some encouraging words from Isaac she manages to make the shot

Now can someone please get the guns away from Allison?

Stiles passes on his doll revelation to Scott (it’s Malia’s sister’s doll and she puts it and the pretty flowers on the car-wreck-that-no-one-has-moved-because-REASONS as a tribute) just as Lydia steps on a trap – it doesn’t crush her leg but it will if she moves her foot from the pressure plate. Damn, these woods are going to be death traps for WEEKS. Thankfully instructions are written on the trap, after all animals can’t read. Except… nor can Stiles. Lydia pulls out some awesome (with some excellent tearful, amazing acting) and tells Stiles he doesn’t need instructions, he never needs instructions, he’s too smart to ever need instructions (this is roughly on par with Melissa’s awesome speech last week and yes the acting sells this show).

He gets it wrong and she loses her leg! Hah, no, course not.

Scott chases Malia to the backing of dramatic music, slowly shifting until he leaps over the car to land in front of her. Malia snarls and Scott unleashes the Alpha Roar (which gives Isaac the power to just rip that trap off his leg). Malia transforms to human form. Her first time in 8 years.

Sherriff Stilinski takes her to her father – who recognises her despite her being much older (oh that’s going to be a learning curve): he’s watched from the car by Stiles who can suddenly read again.

Agent McCall and his minions leave – I assume they’ve found insufficient evidence of Sheriff Stilinski’s incompetence rather than one solved case being sufficient to exonerate him.

And back to Peter, Derek and Brayden. They find a box which is protected against werewolves – which bothers Brayden not even slightly. Inside it is a cylindrical box with the triskele carved into it.

At the Nemeton, the tree stump has sprouted a tiny sprig of greenery. A black clad figure destroys the tiny growth which apparently annoys the Nemeton. It spawns a swarm of fireflies that coalesce into three figures…

The three main couples are definitely being reinforced this episode – Scott and Kira, Stiles and Lydia, Isaac and Allison; our main characters aren’t so much foreshadowing their relationships as carving them in stone.

I take it they’ve all closed the doors in their brains? Alison managed to shoot straight, Stiles can read, Scott shifted – they’ve covercome their barriers. Is that the end of that plot line? I hope so because we’ve got a lot more coming – and that’s aside from Scott fitting into his alphaness and the three love stories. The Nemeton and its spawn, Brayden – and Deucalion (am I suspicious of this? Yes yes I am – please make Brayden more than a paid tool of the man who tried to kill her), the mysterious box that they found, the “she-wolf” (is this Cora? Or did she fall into the plot box?) and the new batch of hunters… there’s a lot going on or hinted at at least.

And that’s aside from Lydia’s banshee-ness.

I think “pointing out harsh reality” may be a good role for Isaac, because he has a brackground that would instil a sense of harsh reality – and it could lead to better writing since it prevents the writers creating elaborately silly plans that SHOULD fail if they weren’t in their control. You can’t easily lampshade the silly then go along with it anyway

A little element of canon I like – non-alpha werewolves, we were told, get blue eyes rather than conventional yellow when they suffer the grief of killing an innocent person. The twins killed their packs at Deucalion’s insistence and, now de-alphaed, they have blue eyes. Nicely remembered Teen Wolf. (Also Malia has blue eyes – pointing to her accidentally killing her family as the truth).