Friday, May 24, 2024

Teen Wolf Begins The End With A Thrilling Return

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Teen Wolf started the final half of its final season yesterday with “Said the Spider to the Fly”. It certainly did its best to convince us it would be worth it.


The summer is ending, the ex-seniors are preparing to leave for college, and new danger emerges in Beacon Hills.

No, seriously.

It starts with a wolf that appears at lacrosse practice. There’s some Liam-issues before that. Apparently he’s stressed because Scott is leaving and Hayden moved to protect her sister. He struggles dealing with that, and so he has trouble with control. He begins to shift during lacrosse practice. The wolf sort of takes everyone’s attention away from that, though. Scott intimidates the animal away with his alpha eyes, and the werewolf duo follows it to the forest. There they find a bunch of dead wolves. Also spiders.

Lydia tries to convince Malia to help with the issue, but Malia refuses, insisting she has a plane to Paris to catch, even though the plane is delayed and she technically has time to give just a little help. But she is so done with this shit. Elsewhere, Liam helps Scott pack for college and Scott helps Liam calm down and meditate to help with his control issues.

Scott also tries to convince his mother to take a taser. And tase him. She refuses both, instead showing him where she has stashed supernatural healing remedies. It’s in an empty mortuary slot. Seriously, this hospital has no oversight.

Next, the new seniors (Liam and company – I thought they were two years under Scott, but apparently not) are registering their schedule. The schedule lady is seriously weird, and clearly trying to get information out of Mason, who tells her nothing, and another guy, who tells her a bit more.

Two random guards in Eichen open a prison cell, the senior one insisting the prisoner inside is completely safely inside and frozen. Surprising no one at all except the guard, that turns out to be not quite true. The prisoner is a hellhound and he explodes out of his frozen form and escapes the prison.

Liam and Mason go to the library and find out someone checked out all the books on mythology and superstition. Then they hear screaming and discover rats pouring into one of the classrooms. There is an all-around panic. The new hellhound stands around with a creepy expression that would have him locked up within minutes in a real high school. But this is Beacon Hills, of course. Gerard bloody Argent was the headmaster of this school for a time. Nothing phases them. Except for rats.

Malia agrees to give Liam two minutes of her time to study the rat problem. She finds out the rats were terrified. The boys try to bring the biggest rat carcass that survived intact to Melissa for autopsy, but there’s an emergency at the hospital and Melissa has no time for this shit either.

Creepy hellhound killed a cop to listen to police radio. He finds out about the emergency and goes to the hospital. Parrish spots him there, but it’s just a fleeting vision. Two random guys have an argument though, and when Liam tries to stop it from getting physical, he gets punched and begins to shift. He runs away, but the creepy hellhound spots him and makes to pursue. Fortunately, the convenient elevator doors, our favourite aspect of Beacon Hills Hospital, close in time.

Lydia goes to pick up Scott to drive to college, and has a vision of spiderwebs everywhere and a voice saying that something was meant to ride with the Hunt forever, but that they let it out. Meanwhile, Liam and Mason go back to school for night study. Parrish is there too, to confront the creepy hellhound. They fight and Parrish loses, because obviously the guy who has been frozen for a century or so would be in a better fighting condition. Liam is there to step in though, and defeats the creepy hellhound. Weird schedule lady hears the fight and gets out a gun and some special tonics.

Scott prepares to leave when Lydia stops him and tells him they can’t. They come to pick up Malia, who is just leaving for the airport. She is extremely reluctant, but in the end agrees to stay and help. Lydia explains that there is a price to be paid for saving everyone from the Hunt, and it’s going to be high. They all track the creepy hellhound to the forest, where they come just after his fight with weird schedule lady, who turns out to be an Argent agent, or at least has their bullets.

Lydia, Scott and Malia sit on a bed and discuss calling Stiles. Lydia is absolutely against it, on account of him almost being lost last time. In the end, Scott decides to just “listen to the voicemail”.

The voicemail is Stiles telling Scott how awesome it is to be interning at FBI and that he absolutely has to leave for UC Davis and not stay in Beacon Hills as he knows he will be tempted to do. As we listen to it, we cut to Stiles on his first day of internship. He disrupts the class continuously, and then ends up spitting up a lot of water. Not very surprising, though, considering that the FBI agent tells them they’re hunting a man for mass murder, and shows them a picture of a half naked, running Derek.

My life has meaning again.


Derek is back!!!

Okay, I needed to get this out of my system. But seriously, if they just mean this as a little Easter egg and it will be tangential to the plot, I’m going to riot. Also, there was something about Stiles spitting when he sees a half-naked Derek that just made my little shipper heart very happy. I’m actually aware Derek’s appearance wasn’t the main plot point of the episode, though – or we’re all pretending it wasn’t, anyway – so let’s move on to other things.

The sudden emergence of wild animals is reminiscent of the beginning of season 3 and Jennifer Blake’s involvement, but it’s unlikely we’re going to see another Darach. This all rather stinks of ‘ancient evil’ type of villain. That is an uncertain bet. Teen Wolf ultimately does better with more down-to-earth antagonists. Well, as down to earth as you can get in a supernatural show. As the first half of this season showed quite well, the end with the larger than life villains tends to be a little underwhelming. It is difficult to make the final victory convincing, and frequently it comes about by means of the antagonists suddenly and conveniently becoming much weaker.

It has to do with Lydia stating everything has a price. In actual reality Allison and the rest of the nogitsune period was the only time that has been true in Teen Wolf. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not eager for any of our protagonists to die, but the ‘nobody was hurt, everything is fine’ is becoming cheaper and cheaper the more monstrous the opponents are supposed to be. So while I don’t particularly want to watch it, emotionally speaking, intellectually, I hope they will find a way for Lydia’s statement not to be empty.

So far, the only one who paid the price was the creepy hellhound. Him not being the actual villain was a nice twist to the story, though I have not forgotten the dead cop on the ground. I’m not going to shed many tears for Creepy’s fatal injury.

Like I said, Creepy.

The other antagonist that’s being set up here is apparently the Argents. That is a little unnerving, but only in the best way. Teen Wolf is at its best when it deals with hunters as villains, allowing it to explore emotional depth and write stories that actually don’t break the suspension of disbelief much. As a result, though, they are also more dramatic. Apart from the nogitsune, no villain ever reached as deep as Kate and Gerard. So the reemergence of Argents promises an emotionally strong story, and could be a good counter-balance to the ‘ancient evil’ storyline, just as it was in seasons one and two. Especially if poor Chris gets to have some conflict of loyalties again, I expect this storyline to be entirely heartbreaking.

The theme of “we are about to leave Beacon Hills”, on the other hand, was rather exasperating. I understand it probably resonates with current seniors and college freshmen, it being summer and all, but come on. Everyone knew they were not, in actual fact, going to leave Beacon Hills. And not just out-of-universe, either. I pointed this out already last half-season, but this was never going to work. In universe, it made no sense. Alphahood isn’t just a set of fancy eyes. Scott always needed the actual power that went with it to protect the town. That, and all of his friends’ help.

How exactly were Liam, Corey and Mason supposed to manage it? Just the three of them, only one of them any good in a fight, and no alpha? (Technically Parrish is also available, but they don’t really seem to work with him much.) That’s less than the pack had in season one. And they were only going against a weakened and insane Peter at the time.

I would appreciate it much more if this half-season’s plot revolved around trying to actually constructively deal with the situation. Increasing Beacon Hills defenses, finding an alpha, Liam killing a bad guy alpha…anything. Or just gloss over the problem entirely. This kind of half-solution is only irritating.

I enjoyed Liam’s moments with Scott, though, as I usually do. Mason was entirely precious as well. His “I think a lot about everything” gave me life. Stiles’ exuberance was a little over the top for my liking, though, as happy as I was to see him back. Much as with Derek, I hope it won’t be just a cameo.

I enjoyed this episode immensely, and not just because of the end. The atmosphere was good, the flow was good, it set up the scene well, and gave us a glimpse of probably all the key players, except presumably Chris. I’m impatient to see where this goes. What about you?

Images courtesy of MTV

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