Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Teen Wolf, Season 5, Episode 10: Status Asthmaticus

Scott said no to biting Hayden – because he thinks it will kill her. And while arguing about it with Liam he has another asthma attack. It doesn’t help when Theo points out she is definitely dying from whatever the Doctors are doing

Call in a medical professional – go go Melissa. And things are tense because it’s not just a full moon but a Super Moon. Theo tries to play confidante to Scott – and how Liam is going to need a lot of Pack help to support – but the Pack is in ruins and Scott is hyper depressed and doubtful. Theo says he will help bringing everyone back together.

Liam glares at Scott all glowy eyed and wrathful while he’s asleep. Hayden doesn’t get any better – and she begs Scott bring her sister to her. Hayden continues to deteriorate – Melissa takes her to the hospital.

 Stiles is also not having a good night, first his fight with Scott and then his jeep dying on him again with lots of angst over the wrench Scott thinks he beat Donovan to death with. Then his jeep gets towed away – it’s probably broken beyond repair as he tells Malia when she picks him up. (The jeep has always been pretty important to Stiles and is another hefty kick when he’s down). In his depression he also offends poor Malia. Who also knows all about Malia – because she is a lot more observant and a lot smarter than anyone gives her credit for. She never mentioned it because it never mattered to her….

…but that’s not much comfort since it matters a lot to Stiles.

Meanwhile there’s a police call to dispatch who hears that a suspect is “loping” and too big to be human. Ah policing in Beacon Hills. It’s heading towards Beacon Hills School (of course) and menacing Clarke.

The sheriff runs there to find Clarke – still alive. And a whole lot of impressive wreckage. It’s the night of the full moon – and the Dread Doctors ominously declare that success is “imminent”.

When the sheriff returns to the office he checks a note Clarke left him several episodes – that confirms that Stiles was the one in the Library when Theo claimed he killed Donovan.

Lydia is in the prison cells where Parrish is locked up where they vaguely speculate that he also has a death related power – like her. It’s more flirtiness (and I add further “do not want” again). As well as the benefit of knowing exactly what kind of supernatural you are, being less unsure about everything. He also talks about how Lydia once scared him because of her Bansheenesss. She also ominously talks about the Wild Hunt (which has been occasionally mentioned from time to time).

This inspires Lydia to go research in to the Wild Hunt (Odin’s hunt) and his Black dogs – fiery beasts… damn I was so sure he as a phoenix! A Guardian of the Supernatural, a harbinger of death – a Hellhound. Parrish’s eyes glow red and Lydia has a vision of death: broken by Theo. He tells her he can’t let her tell anyone because he wants her – he wants all of them. Well that’s suitably creepy – and he then hits her, knocking her unconscious.

Parrish goes all fiery, burning the way out of his cell and setting off the police station fire alarms. The other police try to stop him but Stiles tells them to all stand back and let him through (wise – what does it say that they’re willing to listen to him? That they respect Stiles or are just too used to freaky stuff). For some reason on Stiles decides to follow the half-naked Parrish (alas, only half) seeing Parrish steal more Chimera bodies.

Malia is in her hideout in the woods examining some of her childhood friends and looking angsty when a coyote appears and turns into Theo… a full canine coyote at that. Malia questions how he can do that. He promises to teach her (I presume to turn at will since she can change into coyote) and, again, reveals how he knows everyone’s secrets – in this case how Malia wants to kill her mother. He’s totally non-judgemental about this and willing to help, unlike Scott who he knows is super judgy. Which is why Theo would be a much better leader – and he encourages Malia to go to the hospital to help them with Hayden.

I think he locks her in a room there, throwing away the key. Malia doesn’t stay locked up for long and runs into another Chimera – a savage blood drinking one. He and Malia fight and she doesn’t do well… until she’s rescued by Braden with a shotgun

Braeden! Where’d you come from? She’s here to warn Malia that the Desert Wolf knows Malia is alive and she’s heading toe Beacon Hills.

Scott gets a text from Lydia telling her to go to the library (Ignoring all the desperate calls from Liam) only to find Theo laying down a circle of Mountain Ash – yes Theo, a werewolf, can touch Mountain Ash. Because he isn’t a werewolf, he’s the first Chimera, part coyote as well. He was close to perfect – but not totally because he’s not True Alpha, not perfect. He leaves Scott trapped with a cell phone blocker so he can’t call out. Trapped and waiting for the ominous super-moon.

He fights ineffectually against the Mountain Ash – and fails, only having an Asthma attack. Instead he finds another way out of the library that Theo may have missed. Except not, because I think he Mountain Ashed the whole damn school. In fury, Scott destroys his inhaler… full of wolfsbane. Theo has been poisoning him.

Which is when he is confronted by a raging, furious, Liam, pumped up on the Super Moon. He attacks, unable to listen to reason and they fight. Scott is too reluctant to fight back but after Liam keeps attacking won’t listening, he embraces the moon himself.

Scott still tries to reason with him. Only Liam can take the True-Alphaness from Scott (because he’s pack?) but when Liam becomes Alpha, then Theo can take it from him. Of course Liam doesn’t listen to the exposition and continues to try and kill Scott

Melissa calls in Mason to help her treat Hayden in a hidden room – because they can’t waste time for some of the mythical medical personnel in the hospital to treat her like she’s a conventional sick person. But no matter what Melissa does, Hayden is dying – she sends Mason to find Liam.

Stiles rushes to tell Scott all about Parrish when he runs into Theo – who tells him how he covered up with the sheriff about the murder of Donovan. The sheriff is missing. And that cover is now shaking. He reminds them he came for a Pack – a pack made up of the worst of all of them:

The Werecoyote, the one whose first instinct is to kill
The Banshee: The girl surrounded by Death
The Dark Kitsune
The Beta with Anger Issues
And Void Stiles

It doesn’t include Scott. He does assay Stiles has blood on his hands and agrees to take him to the Sherriff if he won’t help Scott. Stiles hits him (which Theo considers “Void Stiles”). He taunts Stiles with having to choose.

Hayden dies in the hospital.  Liam continually attacks Scott… when Mason arrives and yells at him, seeming to get through to him. He tells Liam that Hayden is dead.

Liam runs to her while Mason tries to help Scott – when Theo arrives thoroughly pissed off that Mason interrupted. He knocks Mason out – then does his own Scott stabbing. Scott tells him he’ll never have his pack because they’re not like him – he calls Theo “barely even human”. He drives Scott down and tears into him… the light in his eyes goes out.

Stiles made his choice – he went to find his injured father, not Scott.

Liam reaches Hayden – and Parrish arrives for her body.

Melissa runs to Scott, trying to use CPR on him. Mason protests he hasn’t breathed in 15 minutes but Melissa is not having it (because she is awesome). She refuses to hear differently and demands he roars. And he does. Don’t Doubt Melissa.

In the aftermath Scott is consumed by the huge loss they’ve suffered – how they’ve lost, how he failed everyone. Melissa, of course, has a damn awesome pep talk for him because she’s Melissa and is, as I’ve said, awesome

That roar may wake up Lydia – who has been kidnapped by Theo who uses claws in her neck to read her mind and see her memories – and where the Nemeton is. He drags her there – Lydia is almost catatonic after he invaded her head – and he injects the bodies laid out on the tree stump with a green liquid – they all come back to life, including Hayden. He tells them all he’s their Alpha and they belong to him

Lydia remain cataonic on the floor

The dread doctors tear down a wall to reveal a nifty mural – they declare “success”.

I have to say, Theo’s masterplan is extremely good. I do appreciate a bit of evil genius and the way he’s torn everyone down is even better than Stiles when he was possessed by the Nogitsune (though Evil Stiles was far far far far more creepy). And the whole idea of a Pack made up not of evil them – but the them we always see but they normally balance out? I love this idea, it’s a great plot point

I am actually looking forward to the second half of the season (though, and I seem to be alone in this, I haven’t disliked the first half. It’s been dark and full of despair, but it has been well done for all that – and these actors have ALWAYS been able to carry awesome emotional conflict. They’re very very good at that). Simply because I expect a lot of gleeful epicness. C’mon that’s how this arc WORKS! Everything is all bleak and despair-y, Stiles and Scott are sad with each other, Kira can’t control herself and has left for more despair, everyone is beat up and unconscious and hurting and dying and we end in a very bleak place. So the second half is the resurgence when everyone decides they are super awesome and proves it. Yeah, it’s clichéd but I love that arc.

So yes we end a season of quite painful, unfun bleakness… but it won’t last and I was still impressed. I think I may be one of the few people who think Teen Wolf has actually got better through the seasons

So I did like the plot and I am looking forward to where this is going but now I’m going to have to poke some marginalised people which, on paper, Teen Wolf actually has a lot of: but they’re not always well used

One of the most frustrating element of Teen Wolf is the women. Not because it has no good female characters – but it has some absolutely awesome female characters it Does Not Use! Kira has a huge storyline fodder this season and we hardly saw any of it – where was all the exploration of being a Kitsune, her conflict over what that meant (beyond the brief, Scott-oriented, scenes we saw). Here was her talking with her mother? In fact, where was ANYONE talking to Noshiko – the woman who has lived for centuries and you’d think they’d talk to occasionally! And then she’s not even in the finale and has, almost literally, been put on a bus. Lydia, smart, funny, skilled, supernaturally powered and AGAIN no analysis or development or exploration – just flirting with Parrish and MORE victimisation. Melissa – Melissa is perfect in every way – she needs to be on screen more! Malia – she’s gone from coyote to human, has had huge life, culture, family upheavals and now she has this whole thing with her mother and we have explored NONE of it. Hayden can basically be summed up as “Liam’s love interest!”

It’s frustrating because so many of these characters are amazing. I can’t imagine a writer NOT wanting to write several episodes focusing on the – how can they just ignore them so?!

Much the same can be said about the POC. Scott is the most prominent by far – and certainly it’s a rare relief to have a POC protagonist (I think he may be the only Latino protagonist of any show we watch) and Scott is, of course, a character who is defined by being, above all, a very good person. And his interracial romance with Kira is not only rare in that it’s one I like and don’t want to go away (bring it back!) but is also an interracial romance that doesn’t involve a White character (inevitably when people think “interracial romance” we tend to default to White & POC).

But the rest did rather continue the previous patterns – I’ve mentioned Kira and Noshiko being so under-used. Deacon appeared at the beginning, dispensed some wisdom then disappeared to parts unknown. I don’t think Braeden coming back is likely to change her previous non-involvement patterns. Mason is there and appears in most episodes… briefly. He’s still very much in the outer orbit, the best friend of a secondary character without storylines or any real involvement. Introducing Liam (oh WHYYYY does this character exist?!) and Theo has increased the Whiteness of the main cast and Kira and Mason don’t have enough focus to change that much.

Which leads to the gay characters this season – Mason in the outer-reaches of the group (yet, at that, still more involved than most of the previous LGBT characters, which is just sad) and two new gay characters who were hyped up in the gay press. Again. And again they weren’t overused and were largely killed off (maybe they’ll come back? Not likely). The way Teen Wolf tries to promote these tokens to LGBT isn’t so much rubbing salt in the wounds as pouring acid on them while making us watch Falling Skies