Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Teen Wolf, Season 4, Episode 7: Weaponised

So we have a creepy scientist doing creepy things to a captured werewolf that apparently causes him to die. He plays a sound file which recites how to claim money from the Benefactor for kills

The same file that Scott and Stiles listen to on the tape they found in the money last week. Scott starts to pack up the money to give to Derek – it is, after all, Derek’s money. And Stiles kind of agrees, of course they should tell Derek about his money; but some of that money is Peter’s. Homicidal killer, Peter. Peter to whom they owe nothing. Not that he’s saying they should keep the money, buutttt…

Malia arrives to tell them about her and Derek finding Satome’s pack before Stiles has to complete that thought. She says the entire pack is dead – but the survivor Derek found?

That’s Braeden – he carries her to the hospital. She’s been shot.

Outside the vet clinic, at night, in the dark – someone attacks Deaton. Who draws an asp and pulls out some pretty awesome fight moves. Deaton, where have you been hiding these skills?! His attacker, with all the martial arts skills, is Satome (of course). This appears to be how she says hello.

To school where there’s an exam and Scott actually makes a really great point that yes they have to do tests because they’re fighting to survive so they can live and have actual lives – he does want to go to college et al; it can’t all be about surviving day to day.

They fingerprint tests in the US? Anyway, before the exam can start they need 2 teachers – Natalie (Lydia’s mother) and Coach. Who is unconscious in his office; she thinks he’s fallen off the wagon after 15 years sober and has a great sad/disappointed/frustrated voice.

The exam isn’t fun for anyone, least of all Malia (Lydia isn’t taking it because she already took it being awesome and all) and one of the girls, Sidney, falls out of her chair. Natalie helps her up and notices a rash on her wrist – though they both set it aside to get back into the test. Natalie hurries out the room and checks the unconscious coach – he has a similar horrible rash all over his back.

Natalie acts promptly, chases out new students arriving and locks the door. She settles down the people in the exam attracted by her screaming, then calls the CDC (overheard by Scott’s super-ears) Whoa whoa, shouldn’t she call a doctor first? She sees two people who are ill and she calls the CDC? Isn’t that… excessive? If four people sneeze she’s going to call on the WHO! And can a non-medical professional just do that? Call in the CDC? I would think that would be vulnerable to crank calling

The CDC arrive and set up big plastic things with lots of lock down and quarantine and people looking all worried. Sheriff Stilinski is set up outside the perimeter to help keep people leaving and stop new people arriving. Creepy exam operator says they can’t call out because the CDC will block all outside communication to stop a panic…

Seriously? That’s ridiculous. Like the CDC could make such a dramatic quarantine and not have it splashed all over the news anyway!

Meanwhile, Satome tells Deaton about the plague that hit her pack – one that slowly destroys a werewolf’s control and causes blindness before killing them; she brings a member of her back who has reached that stage. Deaton thinks he needs to go to a hospital which she thinks is impossible. But she doesn’t know about MELISSA MCCOLL (Dramatic entrance music for Melissa, Beacon Hill’s only medical professional!)

She’s treating Braeden and decides to wake her up because of the quarantine. Braeden tells them that Satome’s pack was infected by a virus designed to kill werewolves. Satome and Deaton arrive with her pack member, but before they can even get him to a room he dies from the virus.

This does give Deaton and Melissa chance for an autopsy – after which Deaton recognises the illness and declares that Scott and the others will die without an antidote. Since it just wiped out Satome’s pack, I don’t think you needed an autopsy to tell you that.

To the school – after a grossly awful attempt at being coy, Malia asks Kira what Scott and Stiles are hiding under Scott’s bed (she noticed the big bad of money). Kira stresses out over the idea of secrets and Scott’s bed – mainly Scott’s bed; her stresses causes her to accidentally shock one of the CDC.

Rafe and the Sheriff are stressed still – the sheriff realises it’s another assassin. Rafe has heard a rumour of small pox.

Small pox? Ok, yes that would get the CDC running.

Inside, Scott and Malia are both having trouble with their shifts, Malia can’t get rid of her claws, Scott has fangs and red eyes. The gang worries about hiding them – and securing them in case they lose control: to the Hale Vault! Via a secret entrance they assume is around. And everyone is getting sick, Stiles has a rash and is dizzy and Kira, while having not obvious symptoms, also failed to even fill in the dots on her exam paper.

They find the entrance to the vault and need Malia to open it since Scott can’t control his claws. So she demands to know what they’re hiding – but assumes they’re trying to “protect” her from the knowledge that she’s on the list. They run with that and tell her she is on the list – she takes it well. After all, her price tag is lower than Scott and Kira so the killers will get them first.

Oh Malia. (Stiles still insists this is progress).

Inside they talk about the money that was stolen – and both Stiles and Scott reveal the money troubles that are plaguing their families. Scott and Stiles also discuss telling Malia that Peter is her father – but Stiles points out that Peter is actually the only supernatural they know who isn’t on the list. Stiles also adds that while everyone treats Peter as part of the gang, he is not one of the good guys

Scott and Malia are getting sick much more so than Stiles and Kira – they realise it means another assassin. After a beautiful scene with Malia, Stiles leaves the vault. Upstairs he has his own realisation – the Coach is the only adult who was infected.

Lydia is out of all the infection drama, she’s at her parents’ cabin, trying to talk to Meredith and really torn over her banshee abilities and truly sad and sorry about not helping Meredith. Then she notices the picture of Meredith she has was taken inside the cabin.

After which she joins the sheriff around the quarantine. The sheriff asks for her woo-woo insight and she has banshee insight – someone inside is going to die.

Back to the hospital: Derek is holding a vigil by Braeden’s bedside (there’s definitely something going on there) when he’s called to join Melissa, Satome and Deaton. He calls the virus a weaponised version of a canine disease – and focuses on the face Satome is not sick. When Derek and Satome reminisce about the pack (she and his mother were friends) Deaton is still on mission and asks about the tea they conveniently brought up – yes, it’s healy immune tea and this is why Satome is not ill (and flip to our assassin in the beginning drinking the healy tea).

How convenient they remembered to mention it. Oh Teen Wolf stop plastering over your plot holes

This special tea is also very conveniently found in the Hale Vault

In said vault, Malia finds a letter in Stiles’s jacket which he so romantically gave her. Scott panics about the secrets she’ll learn reading it – but instead Malia tells him she can’t see. Blindness is closely followed by death with the virus. Kira and Scott also begin to lose their vision.

Upstairs Stiles ransacks coaches office to see why he’s sick - and finds that the coach used the ink pad (and got some on his skin) that the students had to use to record their fingerprints.

Creepy examiner guy is the assassin! Who is also in the office with a gun, see he’s not happy that Scott, Malia and Kira have all hidden away because he needs pictures to prove they’re dead to the benefactor.  He puts a gun to Stiles head and says he’ll count to three then shoot him. Stiles closes his eyes and prepares to die – he is not going to give up his friends. As he reaches three, someone else shoots the killer, spraying blood all over Stiles

Rafe has entered the building in a Haz Mat suite and shot the assassin. He also has a call from Melissa about the antidote in the vault. Stiles, shaking in shock, hurries to the vault.

In the makeshift ward, all of the humans make a full recovery (I have to snark that everyone is in separate plastic containment tents that Natalie happily wanders in and out of – and nothing stops them leaving the tents at all)

Stiles hammers on the vault door, yelling to Scott where the cure is. He can’t get in, he doesn’t have claws. Scott is on the over side of the door, but he’s too sick to move. He manages to stagger to the shelf – and he knows which one because his alpha vision kicks in. He can’t see normally but he can see perfectly with the red lens – also the cure glows in this vision. Ok, Alpha vision comes with quest sparklies – like on computer games to tell you where the important objects are. He smashes open the jar with the very very old tea in it – and the mere dust from the jar swirling into the air is enough to cure them all. Scott opens the vault.

In the hospital we’re reminded that the examiner wasn’t the only assassin – a gunman was also shooting at the pack (and hit Braeden). She appears and points a gun at Derek and Satome, shooting at them. Satome attacks in a scene of sheer beauty, dodges the bullets and kills the woman with her little spike thing – which she then dramatically twirls as she does.

At the school we have reunions as the quarantine is removed. And Malia isn’t happy with Stiles – she’s read the death list in Stiles’s pocket – and seen that her name is Malia Hale.

Ok this episode had a lot of logical leaps – like assuming there would be an entrance to the vault, finding this hidden entrance quite quickly, to say nothing of Natalie seeing a rash and yelling “SMALL POX!” (and if she didn’t yell “small pox” I don’t see why the CDC would have rushed in so quickly for a couple of rashes). And Alpha quest object vision, the convenient healy tea whose very dust can cure illness… But, on the whole, I can live with it. Of course, it could be that Falling Skies has overloaded my bullshit detector.

I’m really glad to see Stiles reminding us that Peter isn’t good – but it’s all a little belated. Peter has been running around for a while and everyone’s kind of forgotten he is the big bad from season 1, or that he’s never been a particularly good person. I can’t get entirely on board because Stiles is only bringing this up now after we’ve already seen Peter make nefarious deals with Kate. Also, they’re using Peter’s badness as an excuse to “protect” Malia by keeping her ignorant – a paternalistic and patronising form of protection just about everyone could do without.

Braeden and Derek look like they’re heading into a relationship. I’m torn – on the one side that will mean more screen time for Braeden. On the other – she’s already Black and female which means her chances of dying are high on this show – throw in Derek the Angstmonster’s love interest and we might as well start carving her gravestone.

Satome is a martial arts expert… just like every Asian character in the show. It’s a beautiful scene, but it’s building up a lot.

While the plot line was a little monster-of-the-weeky I also liked it. It’s interesting to see an assassin attacking them from such unconventional means especially since they’re all so strong and dangerous. It brings us a killer who is terrifying and able to bring down even the super strong and super dangerous werewolves without having to be strong and lethal himself. It’s an extra terrifying twist

And, as ever with Teen Wolf, it’s the acting that sells it. This show has always had excellent acting that pushes every emotional and dramatic scene. the acting even manages to go a long way to make all the “oh my god everyone is dying” “oh my god they’re going to kill Stiles” moments actually work rather than become tired and repetitive as we know there’s no damn way their plot armour will break