Just when you thought it was safe to take your PSATs . . .
(Coming soon to a high school located on a Hellmouth Beacon near you . . .)
In a season that was in grave danger of becoming the Assassin of the Week, Teen Wolf decided to change things up a bit this past Monday, by . . .
. . . having another assassin of the week.
In all fairness though, The Chemist was not your run-of-the-mill One Episode Baddie. While his predecessors preyed on the viewers’ basic fears of things like . . . people without lips . . .
. . . and people who looked like the kid from Home Alone . . .
The chemist (who, by the way, so much resembled one of my high school English teachers, that it was truly frightening) taps into our more deep seated fears, the kind of fears we don’t talk about at parties . . .
. . . You know like the fear of catching some strange incurable disease for a reason completely unknown to you, and dying a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad death that is sure to leave you with a disgusting corpse no undertaker could fix . . .
In short, this was basically the Cabin Fever of Teen Wolf episodes . . . (Google it. ;))
Let’s review, shall we?
[As always, special thanks to Andre, who is ten times better than your run-of-the-mill Benefactor assassin, because he gives me “visual confirmation” of all the supernatural kills, without ever requesting payment. ;)]
Caught between some rocks/ash and a hard place . . .
We’ve missed you, Mountain Ash . . .
Just when we think you’ve abandoned us for dead, you show up in some tea-drinking douchebag’s laboratory.
“That’s Sir Tea-Drinking Douchebag to you!”
(Screw recapping, I’m going to move to Beacon Hills and start a side business selling Mountain Ash to assorted evil-doers . . . and the occasional Scooby Gang Member. I’ll call it Mountain Ash R’Us, and it’s going to make me enough money to retire in two years tops . . .)
Now, I understand that this scene was meant to set the stage for The Chemist’s mass infection of our Scooby Gang with Zombie Werewolf Disease, but, logically, why was it necessary for our Assassin of the Week to use a random no-name wolf as his Crash Test Dummy? Hadn’t he already confirmed his virus a success after massacring an ENTIRE PACK OF WEREWOLVES in the open woods?
I’m going to guess the virus works . . .
One would think that letting the virus loose in an open space would be child’s play in comparison to that. Just saying . . .
Anywhoo, sucks to be THAT werewolf . . .because he’s looking ROUGH.
Needless to say, I don’t think this scene will make it on to this actor’s Sizzle Reel . . .
Meanwhile, back at the McCall house, Scott has stolen his mom’s old cassette player, so he and Stiles can listen to instructions on how to murder half the population of Beacon Hills, while staring at a sh*t ton of money in a duffelbag, and contemplating stealing $500,000 from one of their closest friends.
Just think about how many t-shirts with whimsical sayings on them Stiles could buy with half a million dollars!
(Remember the good old days, where a night of fun for teenagers was a good old fashioned keggar at the house of a kid whose parents are away for the weekend, the possibility of underage sex, and a night filled with generalized debauchery and really bad choices? *sigh* Kids today . . . they just don’t know what they are missing.)
Evil Planus Interruptus
Malia runs up to Scott’s room unannounced to tell Scott and Stiles that Satomi’s back is mostly / almost all dead, and that Derek is currently carrying future love interest Braeden to the hospital like the BAMF he is. (You’ll have to excuse Malia for not calling or texting first. After all, she has been a coyote for the last eight years of her life.)
“I used to hump trees. I don’t judge.”
Meanwhile over at everyone’s favorite veterinarian’s office . . .
“Thanks, but I’m pretty much the only veterinarian on TV, since that sitcom starring the talking monkey got cancelled after two episodes.”
It is a dark and stormy night . . .
Beacon Hills . . . the only place where the entrance to the local vet’s office, looks just as ominous and foreboding as the entrance to the nuthouse . . .
Deaton is trying to lock up shop for the evening when he is attacked by a black hooded avenger skilled in the art of Samurai . . .
Cue the slow-mo Matrix homage to techo music . . .
But who is this Black Hooded Avenger?
Is it another assassin?
A teenage mutant ninja turtle?
Nahhh, it’s just this senior citizen . . .
. . . apparently, “trying to hack your weiner off with a sword” is a traditional Japanese Werewolf Greeting.
(You’ll have to excuse Satomi for not calling or texting first . . . she’s really, really old.)
With Daraches, Kanimas, Death Destroyers of Worlds, Assassins without Mouths, and Evil Japanese spirits on their tail each week, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Scott, Stiles and Co. are just your average mid twenty-somethings, who have been playing high school students for the last five years of their lives (two and a half of which has been spent on their ridiculously long junior year).
Enter the PSAT episode . ..
It’s a rite of passage for many a high school drama . . .
Most of those high school dramas, however, don’t start their Very Special PSAT Episodes off with a massive outbreak of a deadly virus . . .
Not a hickey . . .
Definitely not a hickey . . .
Perhaps, Worst Banshee Ever, Lydia should take some lessons in Death Intuition from her Mommy Dearest, who showed some surprise brilliance in being the first person to determine that the rashes that were appearing on students and teachers alike were, in fact, the trademark signs of a deadly disease. (And then showed some surprise stupidity, by fondling all the infected with her bare hands . . .)
Hello? At least spring for some Purell?
(BTW, did anyone find it strange that Mama Martin, though clearly exposed to the virus, never showed any signs of illness, even though there was no evidence that she ever ingested the antidote? Later evidence in the episode suggests that Lydia may have gotten her banshee powers from her father’s side . . . more on that in a bit . . . but clearly her mother is no supernatural slouch, either.)
The Banana Men Cometh
Be honest, if the CDC weren’t obviously the terrifying harbingers of Death and Rare Inexplicable Sudden Onset Illness, you’d think they were pretty funny looking, wouldn’t you?
Yellow Space Suit is the NewBlack Big Bird . . .
Anyone who has been under the age of ten in the last century or so, undoubtedly remembers the concept of cooties, or as we used to call them the [insert outcast’s name here] Touch. The idea was not so much that having bodily contact with an outcast would cause your body to be infested with some sort of made-up bug, but rather that it would make you also become an outcast, which, to a ten-year old, was a fate far worse than any sort of real or imagined bug infestation.
Circle, circle, dot, dot, now you have the cootie shot.
Circle, circle, square, square, now you have it everywhere . . .
I mean, sure, on some level, I think most kids recognize that the concept of cooties is fake and mean-spirited bullying . . . that you can’t become like someone, just from touching them. But still most of us believed it enough to scoot over in our seats, when the supposedly infected walked past.
Fear is a powerful motivator. And while the common practice of Disease Control to treat all exposed subjects as infected, until proven otherwise (even if that means quarantining them together with the already infected, thus ensuring that their likelihood of actually becoming infected themselves is greatly increased), is definitely the smartest method of preventing the unnecessary spread of disease, it’s also super shitty for the uninfected quarantined, who undoubtedly are made to feel like nine-year olds wrongly classified by their peers as having “cooties.”
I think Jeff Davis did a nice job here of showing the impact an implied “accusation of infection” has on a heretofore healthy person, without beating us over the head too much with the point . . .
But then, everyone got sick anyway, so that point was made moot . . .
Sounds like some serious indigestion . . .
In Which Lydia Martin Talks to Stuff . . .
Poor Lydia, it feels as though she’s spent the entire season talking to inanimate objects and not getting a response . . .
“Hello, Record Player. You look extra special pretty today. Is that a new turntable? Does this ponytail make me look fat?”
“Poor box. Do you ever wish you were some other shape? Something less . . . I don’t know . . . boxy, like an hourglass maybe?”
“I bought you something, empty bottle of old lady perfume! Look, it’s dead flowers. I bet you both smell alike!”
Kudos to actress Holland Rhoden for taking a sort of crap storyline, that has pretty much permanently isolated her from the rest of the cast, and turned it into acting gold. You can truly feel the red-headed banshee’s anguish, disappointment and guilt as she ponders questions with no easy answers.
Meredith and Lydia were never exactly the kind of girls you’d imagine being fast friends with one another . . .
Socially awkward Meredith, with her strange taste, odd affectations, and general inability to relate to the general public, was undoubtedly the target of more than her share of “Cootie Rumors” in high school . . .
. . . and they were probably made by girls who looked and acted a lot like Lydia.
That said, the pair of banshees did share a definite connection in the few scenes they shared with one another. And that connection, if this photograph is any indication, is more than meets the eye . . .
Count on Meredith to cherish a sepia-toned picture of herself taken in the most dull and nondescript location possible . . .
The simplest explanation for Meredith having a photograph of herself taken at Lydia’s lake house, is that the two women share a relative. Could Meredith have been the secret lovechild of Papa Martin? I suspect we will learn the answer in the next week or two . . .
Suffice it to say, Lydia sadly missed out on the opportunity to use her magical powers to save Meredith. (And by Magical Powers I mean “talent for fashion and haircare.”) It might not have saved her life, but girlfriend’s corpse would look totally fierce . . .
Divide and Conquer
When Scott, Malia and Kira start showing signs of infection, it immediately becomes clear that their symptoms are not the same as the rashes, uncontrollable sweating, dizziness, fever and fainting experienced by the human population.
Notably, no humans suffering from the virus experience this . . .
. . . or this . . .
. . . and most definitely not this . . .
. . . which, of course, is precisely why The Chemist’s assassin strategy is more effective than that of his predecessors. He simply releases the virus into the air where he assumes supernatural creatures will be, and, before he knows it, they are literally “dying” to reveal themselves . . .
This is why Scott and Co. need to go into hiding, like, yesterday . . .
. . .not to mention the fact that allowing the werewolves, foxes and coyotes to mingle with the human population in their current state, seems like the most obvious way to expose their identities, not just to assassins, but to the rest of the natural world . . . something they are not quite ready to do.
Welcome back Weird, Creepy, Hale Vault under the high school! For about the third time this season, you have become the perfect plot device . . .
Weird, Creepy, Hale Vault has officially become the new Mountain Ash . . .
But who will open it to let them in?
I know . . . how about the girl who is a Hale, but doesn’t yet know she’s a Hale, because no one bothered to tell her about her true paternity . . .
“Can you open the vault?” Scott asks sweetly. “You are the only one here with . . . um, really long nails . . .” he offers, more or less.
Malia looks dubious, and a bit mistrustful, having determined by now, that, yes, her new friends (and boyfriend) are definitely hiding something from her . . .
. . . but she says nothing and complies.
Stiles decides to quarantine himself with his buddies, to ensure that they will have some form of human flesh to eat when they inevitably wolf out uncontrollably, due to the virus . . .
You’re Coming Back, Right?
While Derek drools over his new love interest’s bed at the hospital?
“That didn’t take long!”
Deaton finally discovers the source of the virus that is wreaking havoc on the wolf population of Beacon Hills. Apparently, it’s a weaponized form of canine distemper . . .
Thank you, Teen Wolf, for teaching me about a new dog disease!
Back at school, Stiles volunteers to leave the vault, and let the massive hordes camped outside the school know that Scott, Lydia, and Malia are OK . . . you know . . . apart from dying a painful death and stuff.
Malia makes Stiles promise to come back for her and he does.
All together now . . . awwwwww . . .
Back at the vet’s office, Derek has now arrived, just in time to reminisce with old grandma Satomi about this stinky tea she and his mom used to drink together.
“And it’s filled with vitamins, and antioxidants, and keeps me looking way younger than my 1,000 years of age.”
Hello, Derek! People are dying here. Save the Lipton Commercial for later Mmm-kay!
But wait! Apparently, the tea is (conveniently) the cure to canine distemper, it’s the reason Satomi managed to stay alive, while most of the rest of her pack croaked. (Take that coffee, soda and Red Bull drinkers!)
But how do we get the tea to Scott and co., before they all die, and this show has to change its name from Teen Wolf to Teen Nothing . . .?
Also known as The Stiles Show . . .
Of course, the Magical Tea is already in the vault! And why wouldn’t it be? Secret vaults are the absolute best places to hide everything! From $117 million in bearer bonds to useless medallions, to teens dying of Dead Dog Disease, to gross tea made out of mushrooms!
You know what else I bet is in the vault?
Meanwhile, Scott, Kira and Malia have all gone blind, which means they only have a few more minutes to find the stinky mushroom tea and snort it, preferably before the final credits roll . . .
Visual Confirmation Required
Stiles figures out that Coach caught the virus by “borrowing” the stamp pad used to fingerprint the PSAT test takers, after his red one ran out of ink.
“I was wondering how that idiot got sick?” The Chemist muses, having gone into full-on villain mode, now that we have less than ten minutes left in the episode, and it’s become clear he’s not going to be invited back for an encore . . .
Like this guy . . .
Might as well go out in a blaze of glory, right?
And apparently, this blaze involves a gun with a silencer that The Chemist easily snuck into Beacon Hills High, because Beacon Hills High has the Worst Security EVER.
“This day could have gone better. Not going to lie . . .”
Stiles threatens to shoot Stiles if he doesn’t tell the Chemist where his supernatural friends are dying . . . er . . . I mean, hiding. And Stiles, bless his heart, refuses to talk, even if it means giving up his life for the rest of the pack, when he is the only one for whom this virus is not deadly.
“At least now if I croak, I finally won’t have to worry about dying a virgin.”
The Chemist puts a gun to Stiles head and BLAM, Stiles’ face is covered in blood . . .
“Death is wetter and saltier than I imagined.”
. . . but not his own.
“Such a clean death . . . Must be from all the tea I’ve been drinking . . . *winks before dropping dead, as the Lipton logo appears over his face*”
All hail the Banana Man! This episode’s true hero, whose bullet magically managed to make it into the back of the Chemists brain and out the front, but conveniently dropped to the floor before harming our leading man, despite that the latter was standing mere inches away at eye level . . .
Unmask yourself, Banana Man!
“It’s MEEEEEE! YAY!”
Wow! Was not expecting that . . .
No time to discuss the years of therapy Stiles will undoubtedly have to endure throughout his adulthood, for what just happened to him (and . . . you know . . . the whole Japanese possession thing), Papa McCall has a message for Stiles from Deaton and Co. . . “Get the mushroom tea. Save the Werewolves! Save the World!”
Stiles rushes to tell his blind friends through the vault about how their cure has been sitting mere inches away from them this whole time! (Go figure!)
Fortunately for the Scooby Gang, only blindness (not deafness) is a symptom of canine distemper. And so Scott manages to “smell” the tea, knock it down and expose it to the air in the vault in just the knick of time. Everyone is saved . . .
Maybe . . .
More Money, More Problems . . .
Back at the hospital Satomi faces off against another assassin. This one is a plain old vanilla shooter, and as such, she is defeated easily by the little lady who is a few centuries her senior . . .
Less easily managed is the reaction no-longer-blind Malia has to finally seeing her name on the Deadpool list . ..
The good news is that Scott and Stiles no longer have to lie to her. The bad news is, it looks like they won’t be talking to her either . . .
Ouch . . . that’s cold.
Next week on Teen Wolf, Scott practices a skill most canines know well . . . playing dead . . .
Until next time, Werebangers!