Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Teen Wolf, Season 3, Episode 23: Insatiable

Dr. Deacon removes the nasty black nogitsune flies from the werewolves which is unpleasant to say the least before recapping Evil Stiles splitting in two and kidnapping Lydia while no-one was watching. Also confirming that this Stiles is the Good Stiles and not another Evil Stiles.

Which means an awkward check up from Melissa (probably remembering the secrets Stiles knows) and a meeting with Noshiko and her Oni, at Stiles’s invitation. The Oni check him – and let him go, leaving him with the “self” kanji. Stiles is actually Stiles. Now they have to find Evil Stiles and see what he wants with a bean sidhe’s power.

Lydia has been taken to Eichmen House, the mental hospital, in the tunnels where the nogitsune was stabbed by Noshiko before; the tunnels echo with screams and cries from all the bad things that have happened down there. Evil Stiles is still gloriously terrifying, asking Lydia what the voices tell her – and saying Stiles is dying

Noshiko can’t unleash her oni until nighttime and in the meantime she wants to teach Kira how to play Go. The nogitsune and Stiles were playing Go in Stiles’s mind – and everything is a game to him anyway, so they need to learn to fight him. There’s an abstract connection there, so I’ll run with it.

Derek and Chris have a nice “we’re totally friends now” moment and realise that Evil Stiles is really really powerful and is likely to be after them, not running and hiding.

At the police station, Sherriff Stilinski is worrying (and still needs a first name) and we get some info on the new deputy – Parish left his old station for reasons unknown and was “drawn” to Beacon Hills. Which means he has woo-woo of some kind. And Stiles arrives, Good Stiles – awwwwww touching reunion scene. As they talk, Stiles remembers an inmate at Eichmen house, Meredith, who seemed to have an idea what was going on (actually this is my very very very generous interpretation of an amazing leap of logic) – off they go to visit (she’s been moved to the secure unit because of endless screaming. Which is probably not a good sign).

At Eichmen House, the sadistic guard Barnes brags about how he likes to drug inmates – but Meredith got the better of the orderly and drugged him instead.

The twins are out in the woods randomly looking – when someone starts shooting at them, apparently with wolf bane. Aidan falls, badly injured while Ethan is pinned by gunfire. The injured twins try to stagger to safety – and Derek swoops in to get them to a cave and shelter. He goes to find help before the poison kills them both (and we’re reminded the twins have a huge list of enemies).

Scott and Alison find Lydia’s car and in between looking for clues they awkwardly talk about that time they had sex while Isaac was possessed by the demon bug – and does that mean Isaac wanted that or didn’t or even remembers it…. The answer to all this is of course that he remembers and wants oh yes – and they find a message from Lydia “don’t find me.”

After which Allison returns home to have a moment with her dad and officially graduate and make some silver ammo – arrow heads in Allison’s case. And they have a beautiful loving scene that screams “goodbye”…. That’s not good.

At school, the coach (who is awesome) is complaining about his medical bill over having that pesky arrow removed and would love to rant about it – but Meredith has gatecrashed the class (Danny cameo – blink and you’ll miss it!).

At Scott’s Stiles is having problems – he’s in pain and freezing cold. Examining this is interrupted by Kira calling them to tell them about Meredith – who Coach is trying to talk to in his startlingly inept manner. She says she can hear people screaming when someone’s about to die – and they’re screaming now.

Orderlies lead by Barnes arrive to collect Meredith and Kira begs the Coach to stop them (he asks who she is – I took that to be a comic lampshading of how little time the gang actually spends at school). Barnes mocks the Coach for being a teacher – yeah he’s an all round pleasant guy – and Meredith has escaped, of course.

When they track her down to where Meredith is communing with a piano and trying to communicate with the voices only she can hear, Barnes pulls out his taser with sadistic glee – and the Coach (who is awesome) uses it on Barnes. Scott, Kira and Stiles arrive and the Coach tells them to get Meredith out of there.

INTERLUDE while Evil Stiles reminds us how evil and scary he is and what a masterful plotter. He is evil and scary and a masterful plotter indeed. He wants more feelings to nosh on.

Scott, Meredith and Stiles arrive at Scott’s house - to find Isaac and Agent why-isn’t-he-dead-McCall lurking there. There’s a nice aside with Meredith expressing interest in Isaac when poor Stiles tries to pass Meredith off as his girlfriend to which Stiles says “great Isaac can come too”. Thinking on his feet. That leaves Scott alone with Agent Should-Be-Eaten

Scott and his dad have a talk since his dad isn’t taking the hint that this isn’t a good time. He points to where Scott was accidentally hurt when his dad grabbed him during an argument between him and Melissa; the impetus for Melissa kicking him out for drinking. Scott isn’t overly impressed – yes a bad thing happened – he recites a litany of the silly ways he’s been injured and healed in the house. The apology doesn’t make up for the years of abandonment.

Isaac and Stiles talk to Meredith to use her seer powers but she responds that Lydia doesn’t want to be found – as her message already said. It’s a confirmation that Meredith is a seer at least. They wonder if she’s a bean sidhe and try to ineptly train her on how to use bean sidhe powers (and they bicker, of course). While they fail, she uses a phone to get them the answer they need.

Allison calls Chris who is helping Derek get the Twins to his loft. They examine one of the shell casings and he apparently recognises them, calling it “impossible.” He tries to get Allison to wait, which never had a chance to work.

Kira and her dad discuss her mother disappearing again and the Go game she set up – Mr Yakimura sees something important in how Noshiko placed the stones representing the nogitsune’s play, apparently, but it’s all so vague.

Scott, Isaac and Stiles head off and Isaac notes, not very tactfully, that Stiles looks like hell, like he’s dying. Being split in two isn’t great for the health. Everyone arrives and Scott pulls out a big rousing speech; he and Stiles go inside

While Kira, Allison and Isaac confront Noshiko about taking Stiles alive. What didn’t we do this? Can’t you just murder the Evil Stiles? Either way it’s moot because Evil Stiles has an ace up his sleeve, using Noshiko’s last tail, he assumes control of the Oni, makes them his. He goes outside with them by his side.

FIGHT SCENE! (Noshiko cowers in a corner? Awww c’mon, she’s 900 years old, don’t tell me she didn’t pick up combat skills when Kira has woo-woo martial arts within seconds of picking up a sword).

Scott and Stiles reach Lydia who repeats that she didn’t want rescuing! She’s desperate to know who came with them. They run through the tunnels and Stiles collapses

Outside the battle continues, everyone fighting desperately against the outnumbering and unstoppable Oni. Kira is pushed back. Isaac is badly injured, slashed several times and driven to his knees. Allison takes out an Oni with her new arrowhead (which is epic and makes Evil Stiles worried).

And then she is stabbed in the chest. Lydia screams.

Evil Stiles leaves with his Oni as Scott arrives to catch Allison’s falling body. He tells her they found Lydia… and after telling Scott he was her first love and that she loves him, she dies in his arms.

Allison dies.

Well… damn. I’ve said it before – it’s not the plot that makes Teen Wolf, it’s not the world; Teen Wolf was elevated over it’s silly campy beginnings by the incredible quality of the acting on the show which made its willingness to go dark work.

I didn’t see Allison dying – didn’t even come close to seeing it. I knew someone was going to die this season – but the Twins, Malia and Isaac were all looking so disposable, I never imagined it would be a character as integral as Allison.

The death scene was incredibly acted, her value and impact is clear beyond words. The grief of it, the power of it was just a shining example of why Teen Wolf is great.

But we have a problem here. Teen Wolf has a lot of dead/disappearing women. Now the women have got a lot lot LOT better from what we spoke about in our last post on the issue; there are a number of strong, capable, amazing women on the show in large roles and small. But the reason so many have been introduced is in part to replace the large number who have been lost – Erica, Cora (yes that was an actress decision, but still), Mrs Argent, Kate (it’s notable that even the female villains die far more so than the male – Deucalion and Peter are still out there). They brought them back but even Ms. Morrell and Braeden seemed to die before being brought back to life in a move that was juuuuuust a little retconny. As we slowly head to the finale and the next season we still have Lydia, Kira, Melissa and, likely, Noshiko, Meredith and/or Malia; but introducing more great characters each season doesn’t change the fact they ARE stepping into dead women’s shoes.

And yes, I do know that the actress who played Allison wanted to leave so this isn’t all on the writers – but that’s part of the problem with when you establish a trope with marginalised people. Because Allison dying? Wouldn’t have been an issue – any more than Isaac dying would have been. What made it an issue with Allison dying on top of Erica, Cora, her mother, on top of all the dead female villains and on top of all the living male villains. Crystal Reed may have sort of forced their hand with Allison, but it becomes an issue because of the pre-established pattern.

Also, this is the last time Lydia can be kidnapped. Or menaced. Or think she’s losing her mind. Let’s draw a line under it and move on from the peril.