We know the fire awaits unbelievers. All of the sinners the same.
Girl, you and I will die unbelievers, tied to the tracks of the train.
-Unbelievers by Vampire Weekend
Belief . . . in our causes, in our selves, in our family, friends and lovers. Believing in something is essential to our survival as human beings. It gives our lives direction and meaning. It gives us hope, and the strength to get out of bed each morning, and face another day.
Sure, this week’s episode of Teen Wolf was about revealing the
not particularly surprising identity of the Darach, and the even less surprising explanation of Lydia’s gifts. But it was also about the Scooby Gang struggling to believe . . . in one another’s good intentions and abilities, and in their own capacity to become heroes, and defeat evil.
For a show steeped in fantasy and the supernatural, “The Girl Who Knew Too Much” sure did see a lot of characters being forced to face Reality . . .
Brush up on your Druid chanting, and artistic representation of Oak Trees, Wolfbangers, because it’s time for another recap . . .
[As always, special thanks to my awesome screencapper Andre, who I know would be kind enough to spare my life, if he ever forced to engage in the ritualistic sacrifice of obscure bloggers . . .]
Death Becomes Her
Can I just put it out there that I believe the TV Trope of Anonymous-Unimportant-Character-is-Introduced- and-Subsequently-Killed-Off-in-the-First-Five-Minutes-of-Your-Teleplay should be banned for all eternity?
Yeah, yeah, I know. Anonymous Character deaths are a necessary evil when your main story plotline is Serial-Killer-Murders-Three-Vaguely-Related-Characters-Each-Week. I mean, there’s only so many “Important Characters” you could eviscerate in a single season, without causing fan revolt, right? (Sorry Boyd!)
And I also recognize that, in this particular case, the “entertainment value” of these scenes has much less to do with the murders themselves, and more to do with figuring out what “theme” will tie them together, so we know which of our main characters is currently in danger of not making it out of the episode alive.
I just wish the writers would change it up a bit. You know, instead of having the character get introduced and die in the first scene . . .
Why not start with a lighthearted scene featuring the main characters, to lull the viewers into a false sense of security, and THEN bring on the random violent death . . .
Or maybe you introduce the random character in the first scene, but, in a surprise twist, you let THAT character survive, and kill off the main character nobody was worried about . . .
A third option? What about making the anonymous character / assumed victim ultimately turn out to be the villain of the episode . . . kind of like the Teen Wolf writers did themselves, when they introduced Kate Argent, back in Season 2?
My own petty grumbles notwithstanding, this week’s “Opening Kill” was actually pretty masterfully done. For one thing, I found the victim’s stupidity maddeningly engaging. Girlfriend looks about 100 pounds soaking wet. And she still decides to wander around an empty school alone, even after she sees an unidentified being dragging a HUMAN body across the floor, with as much ease as if it was a cotton blanket.
It takes a lot to get me to scream at the television, these days. So, the fact that I am yelping, “GET OUT OF THERE!” and “CALL FOR BACK UP,” and finally “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUUUUUU!” throughout the entire cold open is actually pretty impressive.
Then comes that deliciously meta moment where the soon-to-be victim finally encounters the corpse she’s been watching the killer drag across the floor all this time, only to find that . . . wait for it . . . IT’S THE VICTIM HERSELF. She’s been chasing her own dead body, this ENTIRE TIME!
“At least I died clean . . .”
Now, that’s gotta hurt . . .
You know what else has to hurt? This . . .
“Oh no! Lord Voldemort is going to kill me. Where’s Harry Potter when you need him?”
Speaking of meta, I love the self-referential nature of the scene that follows, during which Lydia gripes about how annoying it is to constantly be the one finding the all the dead bodies. So, Scott graciously “finds” this one for her . . .
(Speaking of Angels of Death, wouldn’t this be a slightly cooler thing for Lydia to be than what she ultimately ended up being? Angels of Death are awesome!
Banshees just give you a headache.)
Small town cops . . . always sleeping on the job . . .
This show is quickly becoming the “Where’s Waldo” of Druid Sacrifices . . .
Another nice touch is the later reveal that this particular “Anonymous Murder” isn’t quite so anonymous, in that both Stiles and his dad are personally acquainted with the victim. As the son of the local Sheriff, who also happens to be a single dad, it makes sense that Stiles would spend a lot of his childhood hanging around the police station, and would, therefore, know most of the cops that worked there. The fact that Stiles had a relationship with this female cop before she died adds some realism and poignancy to a supernatural series that can sometimes come across as a bit cavalier about its high body count . . .
Meanwhile, over at the Argent Apartment . . .
The Morally Ambiguous Father Figure Club
It’s a surefire sign that something is amiss in your parent / child relationship, if a series of brutal murders occur in your hometown, and your first thought is “Yeah, my dad totally did that.”
Unless, of course, your father is This Guy . . .
The fact that Allison was so quick to assume her father was the Evil Darach, says a lot more about her than it does about him, particularly since, I suspect that few viewers ever genuinely considered him a suspect . .
Then again, maybe all this cloak and dagger suspicion was just an excuse to get Allison rolling around on her bedroom floor with Isaac . . .
Because if anyone understands what it feels like to be the spawn of a possible sociopath, its the guy whose dad used to lock him in the icebox for sh*ts and giggles, when he breathed too loud at the dinner table . . .
For about two seconds, Allison seems genuinely annoyed that Isaac climbed through her bedroom window, simply because Scott told him to do so . . .
(Honestly, sometimes its hard to tell who Isaac has a bigger crush on, Allison or Scott. . . .)
But then she gets to straddle him on the floor, while he’s sporting what I’m sure is a massive hard-on, and, instantly all is forgiven . . .
Allison quickly fills in Isaac on the whole “My dad is probably the Darach” thing. And the two quickly head to Papa Argent’s lair, where they promptly find, etched into his desk, an artistic representation of all the Druid Sacrifices that have occurred in the town this past season . . .
OK, now I know I just said that Papa Argent never seemed like a legitimate suspect to me, but the whole desk art thing threw me for a bit of a loop. For one thing, etching a Celtic symbol on your desk, with words like “Virgins” and “Guardian” emblazoned across its center, pretty as it might be, seems like a tremendous waste of time for a detective, who could have just as easily gotten the information across, using a piece of notebook paper and a black magic marker. Secondly, it’s just plain illogical. Say you catch this Darach, and all the murders are over. Now, you are stuck having to buy an entirely new desk for when the next inevitable supernatural murderer waltzes into town . . .
Anywhoo, after calling Stiles and warning him that his “Guardian” cop father might be next on the Darach’s hit list, these two crazy kids figure out where the next body will likely be discovered. So, they head over there, pronto, for what they believe will be a Daddy / Daughter fight to the death . . .
Smells Like Sex and Plot Exposition . . .
Special congratulations go out to the two-weinered monster of Ethan/Aiden this week, for sprouting a second personality to match its second face and sexual preference!
“It’s like looking in a gay mirror . . .”
It all starts when Aiden tells Ethan that just because the Demon Wolf told him to have sex with Danny, doesn’t mean that Ethan should actually enjoy it . . .
But enjoy it Ethan does, soooooooo much! And better yet, now that the Alpha Pack has decided that nobody else on the show gives two sh*ts about Danny, Ethan can enjoy the sex guilt free!
Personally, I think Aiden’s just jealous, because HIS mandatory sexual conquest, Lydia, stopped f*&king him, after he used Derek’s claws to kill her sort of/ kind of / but not really pal Boyd . . .a total faux-relationship faux pas.
But Lydia’s “friends” force her to start screwing Aiden again, so that they can pump Ethan for more information about Deucalion, which should probably make Lydia feel a bit prostitutety. But it doesn’t . . .
Hmmm . . . I wonder if werewolves have the capacity to transmit venereal diseases . . .
Crabs . . .
Perhaps, they just transmit fleas like the rest of their species . . .
So, while one personality heads off to Pound Town, the kinder gentler one is punished with the much less glamorous job of Plot Exposition . . .
Apparently, before Ethan/Aiden were the studly two-headed Alpha Wolf that occasionally shared a brain and a pair of pants, they were just a puny pair of Omega Wolves, who suffered regular abuse at the hands of their pack.
That is, until one faithful day when a kindly Demon Wolf taught them to merge bodies, and become a Shrek-looking psycho killer . . .
Question: How did Demon Wolf know they could this? Is there some sort of a Werewolf Handbook out there that we should know about?
Has Demon Wolf been eating Twins for breakfast, the way most athletes eat Wheaties?
Oh, and did I mention that Alpha Pack wolves have a very bad habit of murdering their trusty pet Druid Emissaries, along with the rest of their pack?
Sucks for you, Chick from Pretty Little Liars . . .
Also, now there’s a pretty good chance this Darach Thing is nothing more than an Undead Disgruntled Former Employee, which, in case you were curious, is kind of like a regular Disgruntled Former Employee . . . only smellier.
We interrupt this Plot Exposition to bring you More Sex . . .
And we interrupt More Sex to bring you this Pretty Picture of a Swirly Thingy . . .
Damn, Lydia and Straight!Wolf fogged up those windows FAST!
Oh, I’m sorry, did I say Pretty Picture of a Swirly Thingy? I meant MASSIVE ASS-KICKING BY DEREK HALE.
Oh, I’m sorry did I say MASSIVE ASS KICKING BY DEREK HALE? I meant Not Particularly Impressive Attempt at an Ass Kicking By CORA HALE . . .
Still girlfriend gets points for spunk, along with what is probably a concussion . . .
Fortunately, Ethan has the magic power of being able to “feel” when his brother is being a douchebag (which is pretty much all the time). So, he rushes in with the rest of the Scooby Gang to stop his brother from morphing from Pathetic Loser Who Beats Up Teenage Girls into Horrible Human Being Loser Who Kills Them . . .
“B*tch ruined my black wife beater shirt . . . All the coolest wife beaters wear them!”
Speaking of horrible, Cora is kind of the most ungrateful wench ever. She thanks the Scooby Gang for saving her life by telling them they suck at their job as Crime Fighters. “All you guys do is find the bodies,” Cora quips.
BRRRRRR! That’s COLD!
Rudeness aside, Girlfriend’s kind of got a point . . . It seems like each season, the series’ Big Bad successfully murders increasingly more Casting Extras, before the Scooby Gang can finally pull their heads out of their asses long enough to stop them . . .
Speaking of people with their heads up their asses . . .
We interrupt this Scene of Actual Character Development and Plot Significance to bring you this completely pointless Moment of Derek and English Teacher Making Out in the Middle of a Creepy Dark Tunnel . . .
Remember how I used to say the writers should hurry up and give Derek Hale a love interest, because watching a delicious male specimen like Derek Hale hump another human being would be a MAJOR turn-on, no matter who that human being happened to be?
Be careful what you wish for Wolfbangers . . .
Let’s add “Thinks Only With His Weiner” and “Occasionally Forgets What Show He’s On” to the ever-growing list of character flaws the writers have saddled poor Derek Hale with this season. Shall we?
We interrupt this makeout for yet another shot of Lydia Martin Screaming . . .
That’s right, Wolfbangers, it looks like some other random extra has been taken. It appears the Darach’s current target of “Guardians” is not actually “Cops,” as the Scooby Gang once thought, but . . . wait for it . . . teachers.
Apparently, the Episode’s First Victim was a Teacher, Before she was a cop, which is convenient news for the storyline, but really sucky news for her . . .
As promised, Isaac and Allison track the new body to yet another abandoned warehouse. (Sidenote: Beacon Hills apparently contains even more Abandoned Warehouses than it does werewolves and random assorted supernatural creatures. They should put THAT in the brochure . . .)
There, they encounter the body . . .
the Darach . . .
. . . and Allison’s dad, who, SURPRISE, isn’t a Serial Killer After All! Huzzah!
Truth be told, Allison’s Pops looks mighty sexy, as he came out of the shadows guns blazing to attach the evil Darach . . .
DILF . . .
And yet, considering the guy is supposedly this FABULOUSLY Talented Hunter, you’d think he’d be better at conserving bullets . . . or at least, actually hitting the target at which he was shooting . . .
Darach: 1, Papa Argent: 0
It looks like everybody’s favorite Druid is going to have to Die Another Day . . .
Speaking of dying . . .
Dying to Be Heard
At least as far as TV Parents go, Papa Stilinski is typically beyond reproach, working hard every day to support his son financially and emotionally, while keeping him (mostly) safe from the evils that seem to lurk around Beacon Hill’s every corner. The writers even allow him to solve a crime every once in a while!
This week, however, Papa S has a bit of a setback, character wise, when Stiles, after weeks of procrastination and hand-wringing, finally decides to come clean to him about the fact that the two of them are actually characters on a supernatural teen television series, despite the sheriff’s belief that he is the star of CSI: Beacon Hills.
No amount of carefully-crafted chess metaphors are going to make an average blue-collar guy like Sheriff Stilinski take this information well . . .
“You see, Allison’s the Queen. Scott’s the King. Danny used to be the pawn. But now, I guess Lydia’s the pawn. Isaac’s the Rook. And I’m the Knight that actually gets sh*t done . . .”
Disbelief is one thing, but Papa S’s anger at Stiles for revealing this information makes the scene particularly hard to watch.
But wait . . . there’s hope! Stiles has an ACTUAL WEREWOLF, on hand! Show him your funky wolf face, Cora Hale! Make the man a believer . . .
. . . or just fall on the floor, and take a nap . . . whichever you prefer . . .
After taking Cora to the ER, Stiles tries again to get through to his father, who is now thoroughly fed up with his son’s “overactive imagination.” But Stiles has one final hand to play, and it’s a doozy.
Stiles’ mother’s untimely demise has always been an emotional lynchpin of this series. The revelation of Stiles’ panic attacks, his belief that he somehow played a role in his mother’s death, his father’s struggles with alcoholism, all of these little peeks into the collective Stilinski family psyche have made these characters so much more complex and interesting than they otherwise would have been. So as much as I love nerdy, jokey Stiles, Dylan O’Brien’s seamless ability to convey the character’s darker, more vulnerable side, never fails to impress me. And we got a nice glimpse of that in this episode . . .
That said, Papa Stilinski and I are kind of in a fight right now . . .
No one makes my Stiles cry, without incurring my WRATH . . .
Speaking of people who refuse to be silenced, Mama McCall helpfully recounts to Papa Stilinski the tale of a female patient mauled by animals a few weeks back, who somehow managed to get an entire flock of birds to mourn her death, by committing suicide against her hospital window?
There aren’t any birds at Cora Hale’s bedside though, only one very guilty-feeling big brother . . .
Meanwhile, back at Beacon Hills High . . .
Concert of Horrors
You know your town suffers from way too many, untimely, unexplainable by traditional science, deaths, when you start foregoing the tradition funeral / memorial service, and start paying homage to your dearly departed by just throwing them a high school band concert, every once in a while. You know, because nothing says “I’m sorry you were hung from your wrists and gutted like a fish,” like a bunch of sweaty 16 year olds playing a bad rendition of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” in a smelly gym . . .
Our entire Scooby Gang converges on the school that night to watch a lame concert, and protect their beloved teachers from being the Darach’s next victim. Danny is one of the players. So lovestruck Ethan wishes him luck by giving him a breathmint, before he goes on stage . . . a gift which not only implies that the poor kid has bad breath, but also is REALLY dangerous to be sucking while you are PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. Hasn’t this kid already choked enough on foreign substances to last a life time?
Though really dumb about the art of playing musical instruments, Ethan is smart enough about supernatural killers to know that something SUPER BAD is going to go down at his concert. So, he tells Danny to find him, the minute things start to go wrong . . . unless of course he’s under the control of the Darach at the time, and chanting in Druid . . . in which case Ethan will just see him later, Mmm-kay?
Meanwhile, in the audience, Lydia has a surprisingly sweet moment with Scott, during which she promises to find the dead body BEFORE it dies this time around. Scott promises her that, if she does that, he will put an end to the Darach. They hold hands and silently remind the audience that they once sucked face, back in Season 1 . . .
Then, Lydia gets a text to meet Aiden, in private for a matter of “Life and Death,” which in Aiden-speak is code for “Blue Balls.”
Lydia goes to meet him, around the same time Aiden complains that he lost his phone. Ruh-ROH!
Upon hearing that telltale chanting once again, Lydia finds herself face-to-face with the ever elusive Darach, who is . . .
Because Every Woman Who F*&ks Derek Hale Turns Out to be Dead or Evil (sometimes both)
DEREK’S F*&K BUDDY
MAGIC COOCHIE THE ENGLISH TEACHER! SURPRISE! Not surprised This reveal reminds me of the time, back early in the season, when a disgruntled Sterek fan wrote publicly to Jeff Davis, about how much she hated the Dennifer pairing, a ship that seemed to come literally out of nowhere, caused Derek to behave in a manner that was entirely out of character, and had about as much substance as one of those bad romance novels my grandma used to buy for $2.50 at the local Shop Rite . . .
Jeff Davis cautiously replied that he hoped the fan didn’t give up on the show, because there was more to Dennifer than met the eye . . .
Clearly, this is what he meant. And while the Jennifer-as-Darach plot conceit mostly exonerates Davis for what appeared to be the poorest written romance in Teen Wolf history . . . (It was SUPPOSED to be SHALLOW, GUYS! She’s EVIL! It’s like writing Lord Voldemort as a romantic lead in Harry Potter . . . Dude just doesn’t do hearts and flowers.)
Be my Valentine?
. . . it does present to viewers another, much larger problem, one which I like to call the “Dumbification of Derek Hale.”
The two or three of you that have actually been reading these recaps of mine since Season 1 know that Derek was MY GUY . . .
(I didn’t jump onto the Stiles Bandwagon with you smarter, less shallow, viewers until somewhere around late season 1 . . .)
He was the “Bad Boy” . . . the “Brooding, Morally Ambiguous Anti-Hero” with the dark past, who was battling his own personal demons . . . and (as all TV Bad Boys do) just really needed the good love of a nerdy TV Recapper to solve all his problems . . .
But as the series progressed, I learned, much to my chagrin, that Derek is not an anti-hero because he’s morally ambiguous . . . he’s an anti-hero, because he fails miserably at heroism . . .
Let’s face it, in the past two seasons, the writers have made Derek terrible at solving crimes, lousy at battling big bads, unskilled at choosing pack members, uninspiring as an Alpha, inexperienced as a leader, not so hot at being a big brother, and an absolutely HIDEOUS judge of character, when it comes to the women with whom he chooses to share his Little Dog . . .
Having Derek, a guy who supposedly has SERIOUS trust issues, fall so quickly for an evil vixen like Jennifer, who most of the fans pegged as being bad news, since the day she creepily texted all her students a quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, does terrible, horrible, no good very bad things for a character, who was already in serious need of image rehabilitation.
And I’m just not sure the writers are going to be able to put the proverbial Humpty Dumpty back together, this time around . . .
Oh, and I almost forgot. Lydia’s a Banshee . . .
Jennifer tells her so, in one of those frustrating scenes where the Big Bad has it’s nemesis by the claws, and then proceeds to talk for 12 minutes, rather than just . . . oh . . . I don’t know, killing her, like she promised to do in the first place.
“I know I was supposed to be doing something right no. And I just can’t seem to remember what it is . . .”
(Here’s a fanfiction idea for you guys. I think Stiles should have been the one to tell Lydia of her true nature. I just think the reveal would have been a lot more poignant coming from him, given all the two have been through together, with respect to Lydia’s “gift.” Start writing now! ;))
Meanwhile, back at the concert, the entire high school band becomes possessed and starts that creepy chanting, as one of the teachers, a piano teacher, quickly falls dead of Mistletoe poisoning . . .
But hey, at least Danny’s breath is super fresh!
Poor Stiles’ Dad. He should have baby stepped into the world of Supernatural Knowledge, when Stiles gave him the chance. Instead, in a matter of about two minutes, he (1) watches a Concert of Evil; (2) hears Lydia Banshee Scream; (3) sees Scott Wolf Out; (4) Gets kissed by a hot teacher, who turns into Lord Voldemort mid tongue lashing;
(5) gets staked in the stomach with a flying knife thingy; and (6) probably gets kidnapped as the Darach’s next Guardian Sacrifice, while his son watches in horror from behind a locked door, in the episode’s chilling final cliffhanger moments . . .
“Is it Friday yet?”
Methinks someone is going to be needing A LOT of therapy, after this all is over . . .
But hey, at least now, he knows his son is not a liar . . .
Next week on Teen Wolf , Peter Hale finally comes out of retirement! Stiles and Lydia MAKE OUT . . . and I’m sure some other stuff happens with that pesky Darach . . .
Until next time, Wolfbangers!