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Burning Up for Your Love – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “The Fox and The Wolf”

the photo

Memories, like the corners of my mind . . . misty water-colored memories, of the way we were . . . before you got burned alive by grandma, and had to wear toilet paper around your head . . . and I accidentally got you possessed by an evil fox spirit . . . and killed you with my big ole sword .  . . and you came back to terrorize the entire cast of Teen Wolf . . .

Hey there, Werebangers!  This week’s installment of TeenWolf took us back in time to 1943, in order to finally “unwrap the bandages” on the Nogitsune’s sort-of origin story.  Turns out our evil villain was simply following orders from Kira’s mom????!

worst

“I’m kind of The Worst.”

We also learned that the Nogitsune’s tendency to possess attractive likeable boys with good hearts didn’t start with Stiles.

my balls

“Hey Kira’s mom?  Wanna play with my balls?”

But hey, now that we see what happened to the Nogitsune’s previous host, I’m starting to think our loveable hero has it easy.  At least Stiles gets to keep his pretty face for all his troubles  . . .

stiles upward looking

 A face that’s too pretty to be wrapped in Charmin. . .

It wasn’t my favorite episode of Teen Wolf.  I’m not going to lie.  While I appreciated the cinematic beauty and standalone-quality “The Fox and The Wolf” offered, I’ve never been one for flashback episodes that are focused almost entirely on supporting cast members.  While I feel like the episode was important to Season 3B in its reveal of the Nogitsune’s “humble beginnings,” and its finally tying the ever- pervasive theme of Japanese internment camps (and the Nemeton, for that matter) to the Story Proper, part of me feels like the narrative could have been condensed to one or two scenes, leaving more time to focus on the present-day dilemmas of our Scooby Gang, as they prepare to wage war against the Nogitsune.

let me out big

(I mean, Dylan O’Brien literally had no lines in the entire episode.  All he got to do during the entire hour was wave at the camera for two seconds.  What the f*&k was that about?)

Nevertheless, I appreciated Arden Cho’s impressive efforts in an episode that fell almost entirely on her shoulders, as she tackled the dual role of both Kira, and a younger version of her nearly 900-year old mother (Now , that’s some GOOD plastic surgery!).  And hey, I like looking at pretty soldier boys as much as the next girl.  So, who am I to complain?

handsome thank you

Let’s review, shall we?

nodding oh yeah

[As always, special thanks to Andre my screencapper, for whom I would totally steal a baseball, if we were ever stuck in an internment camp together.]

Why I’ll Never Look at a Bottle the Same Way Again . . .

head snappy

excedrin

Let me start by saying that the Nogitsune will likely go down in history as my favorite Teen Wolf villain ever.  He’s crafty.  He’s terrifying.  He took Dylan O’Brien’s acting to a whole other level . . .

dont trust the fox

But one of the things that always pissed me off about him was his insistence on spouting off those annoying childish riddles.  He’s like the only kid in your elementary school class who still found knock-knock jokes funny after age 5, and continued to spout them off annoyingly to anybody who would listen all through middle school.

gay dancing riddler

But now we know that the Nogitsune’s reliance on riddles is merely ironic.  He’s just making fun of his first (scratch that second  .  . . ) victim (who was kind of an asshat, anyway, truth be told).  And that makes him SO much cooler . . .

YOLO

“YOLO!”

The episode opens in 1943.  Two mildly attractive soldiers are disposing of dead bodies.  One of them keeps trying to annoyingly pepper his comrade, who is clearly unamused, with stupid riddles.

Q: “What has teeth, but doesn’t bite?”

A “A comb.”

Q:“What has a neck but no head?”

A: “A bottle”

What has two hands

“OK. I’ve got one.  What has two thumbs, a really bad sense of humor, and is about to be killed in the most ironically awful way possible? THIS GUYYYYY!”

Then Mr. Toilet Paper Head himself appears out of nowhere in the middle of the field.  Non-joke loving comrade tries to shoot him to no avail.  In fact, Mr. Toilet Paper Head wrenches his gun from the put-upon shoulder and shoots him, multiple times, in the chest.

a hug

“Kiss me, Sweetheart.”

Bad Riddle Teller tries to run, but it isn’t long before Mr. Toilet Paper Head Nogitsune’s got him by the throat as well.  “What’s got a neck, but no head?”  He asks slyly, before decapitating the annoying soldier, and holding his blood dripping face toward his disembodied corpse.

holding the head

potato head

Now, that may very well have been the first riddle I actually enjoyed.  Does that make me a bad person?

nodding oh yeah

Probably . . .

The Older the Tail, The Stronger the Oni

Having broken free from the nuthouse, a slightly sleep-deprived, but still sexy scary Stiles pays a visit to everybody’s current favorite history professor, Kira’s dad.  Why is it that history professors are constantly put in mortal danger on these supernatural teen shows?  Did all the writers of these television series flunk history, back in high school?  Because, personally, I did fine in history.  If I wrote a teen television series, it would be the math teachers, who’d be in serious trouble . . .

feeling kind of dead

kind of dead

reading lessons

“Oh, hello Stiles.  Let me guess.  You want me to teach you how to read again.”

books bad

“No way!  Books are bad!  I hate you and your stupid books.”

He knocks over a few books with his long, oddly erotic fingertips,  as he opines the location of Kira’s mom’s hidden tails . . .  the tails that, when broken create the Darth Vadery-looking Oni, the Oni that are out to murder Nogitsu-Stiles, but, so far, haven’t been all that successful.

the tale

have a tail

It appears that a Kitsune obtains a new tail for every 100 years of life, and Kira’s mom has already lost seven of hers attempting to eradicate Nogitsu-Stiles.  But there is one left.  And it’s the oldest, and therefore, strongest, one of all . . .

darth vader

When Kira’s dad won’t willingly give up the location of Tail number 8, Nogitsu-Stiles makes him swallow a bug, which gross, but an entirely effective method of torture.

gulp

I mean, I’d auction off my first born to not suffer the indignity of having to choke on bugs in front of a sexy evil Dylan O’Brien.  So embarrassing. . .

Picture Perfect

Last week, we saw Stiles’ first possible sex partner escape the Loony Bin, in order to offer up a photograph as payment to Scott McCall, the one person with access to the knowledge Kira needs to turn back into a coyote forever.  (Hey Kira, are you sure this is what you really want?  Because, last I checked coyotes, only got to screw other coyotes . . .in other words, no more Stiles Sex for you!)

sexing

coyote

This week, we see Scott studying the photograph recently retrieved from the Nogitsune’s pocket.  The woman in the photograph looks just like Kira, herself, though the black and white photo was clearly taken before Kira’s birth, and the man in it is unknown to her.  Suspecting the photograph is of her a relative of hers, Kira takes Scott to the high school for a long-overdue confrontation with her parents.

help daddy

By the time they arrive, Kira’s mom is already there, helping her husband un-choke on a bug.

hack pooey

“I don’t get it.  He wanted me to talk, but then he made me swallow a bug so that I couldn’t.  He must really hate books.”

Kira’s mom immediately cops to being the woman in the picture, and the true reason for the Nogitsune’s appearance in Mystic Falls.

stupid bitch chasing the ghost

In other words, it’s HER fault Stiles might die.  KILL HER!!!!!!

4 8 thendie hoyt full dead

Reap What You Sow . . .

Back in flashback era, we see Kira’s mom stealing apple crates and baseballs from soldiers at olden-day Eichen House, and are SOOOOO not amused.  That Stiles killing biatch!

less apples

gotcha balls

“I’ve really got you by the balls!”

Present day repercussions aside, we learn that Kira’s mom was actually a bit of a Robin Hood, stealing from the soldiers to give to the hungry and deprived in her WW2 Japanese Internment Camp.  She even stole a baseball for a little boy, something that would have seemed out of character in her cold-hard, present-day incarnation.

broken katana

“I eat small children for breakfast.”

A grandma type warns Kira’s mom, who is about 800 years old at the time, that she is “young and reckless” and itching for a beatdown, if she doesn’t become more careful about what and when she steals.   Kira ‘s mom just blows her off.  After all, what do people who age naturally know about getting ahead in the world?

dont mess with granny

“Botox is for pussies.”

Especially, Granny here.  She does nothing to save her friends in the internment camp but sit around and play that wanna-be chess game, Go.  And Go has absolutely nothing to do with defeating the villains of this season . . . or does it?

game of go

Besides, Kira’s mom will never get caught . .  . not as long as she keeps boning the enemy. . .

love story

dropped the ball

Someone’s balls are about to drop about to drop the ball.

Save Stiles

Back at jail, Papa Stilinski breaks Derek and Papa Argent out of jail in the hopes that they will help rescue his son from Evil Fox Mind Control.  With a couple of brain scans in his arsenal, Papa Stilinski reveals what many Werebangers have already surmised, that Stiles’ supposed brain legions were nothing more than a trick perpetrated by the Nogitsune to break down Stiles’ emotional defenses to mind control.    He’s not brain damaged!  He’s just possessed.  SOOOOO MUCH BETTER, right?

brain scan

This is your brain on Nogitsune. .  . Kind of looks like a frog, doesn’t it?

glee frog

Kira and Scott want to save Stiles too, but Kira’s mom insists that murdering him is their only way out?  Why?  Because that’s what she had to do LAST TIME . . .

The Ring of Fire

When the entire internment camp comes down with pneumonia, and the medics find themselves without the medication required to cure it, Kira and her American boyfriend discover that the army doctor and those two dorky soliders who died in the beginning of the episode, have been selling the stuff on the black market at the expense of their patients.

44 mad eric

The little kid with the baseball dies and his dad is furious.

dead kid

sad daddy

The entire internment camp readies itself for revolution.  Of course, angry sick prisoners with sticks are no match for well-armed soldiers, right?  Unless, of course, one of those well-armed soldiers messes with grandma . . .

beating ladies

not cool romeo

NO ONE BEATS UP GRANNY (the secret werewolf), AND GETS AWAY WITH IT!

Sorry sexy American boyfriend.  It looks like this Bud is for you!

ill take that

“I’ll take that.”

dont ruin his balls

“Don’t ruin his balls!”

fire crotch a whole

“This takes the term fire crotch to a whole new level.”

why did she hit that one

“Why did she waste my flaming beer on the only nice soldier in this episode?”

feeling hot hot hot

my pretty face

“Give me back my pretty face!”

Then, Kira’s mom gets shot a couple times, and decides to play dead long enough to get shipped off to pasture with the other actually dead bodies, including her boyfriend’s.

not sexy

not an orgy - Copy

Back in the present day, Allison cries to Stiles’ dad in the elevator at the hospital, for no conceivable reason.

got the sads

“I’ve got the sads.”

hugsies al

“And I’ve got a really inappropriate boner.”

But it fits the mood, and Papa Stilinski is relatively sweet about it (especially considering that HE is the one with the possessed son).  So, we don’t think much of it . . .

Nogitsune Rising . . .

Back in Beacon Hills, the Nogitsune makes his next move, right from the bedroom of his host . . .

hi dad

“Where the magic happens . . .”

But in 1943, the Nogitsune has not yet arrived, because Kira’s mom has yet to call it.

sleepy kira

“Catching a quick nap, before I do something REAALLLLLLY stupid.”

Then, she does call him, unwittingly offering up to the trickster spirit an entire truck filled with the bodies of potential hosts.

nogitsune teeth

“It keeps my burnt crispy skin Charmin soft.”

But only one has a toilet paper head!  And boy is Nogitsu-Burned-Up American Boyfriend Pissed Off!

Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again . . .

Nogitsu-Boyfriend responds to his girlfriend’s call to action, by killing, not only those jerky soldiers, but also Kira’s mom’s internment camp friends.  Talk about biting the hand that feeds you with your gross pointy teeth!

teeth

Realizing that she pretty much brought about the deaths of everyone who croaked in this episode, Kira decides to take down her Nogitsu-Boyfriend once and for all.  And she does it with the big fat sword under her bed that nobody thought to find, despite the fact that (1) she lived in an internment camp, which was inspected daily for contraband, and (2) her internment camp friends REALLY could have used it during the revolution they lost miserably earlier in the episode . . .

dying nogi

yah

“Grandma, what big teeth you have.”

Long story short, Kira’s mom stabs Nogitsu-Reese with her big fat sword, and the help of the Wolf Granny responsible for burning him to a crisp.  She shatters her big fat sword in the process.

But then, just in case Kira’s mom hasn’t done enough stupid things in the context of this episode, she decides to do something REALLLLLLLLY stupid.

draco malfoy facepalm

A fly comes out of Nogitsu-Boyfriend’s mouth.  Now, let’s guess what Kira’s mom does with the evil fly.

holding fly

“My precious.”

Does she

(1)    Crush it with her fingers

(2)    Squash it with her heel.

(3)    Keep it alive, put it in a jar, and bury it underneath an ALL POWERFUL SUPERNATURAL TREE.

Did you guess 3?  Of course, you did.  Because you know that being really friggin old doesn’t necessarily make you smart.

fireflies

“This is a souvenir of my sex life.”

Back in the present day, Kira uses her electric fingers to put her mom’s Big Fat Nogitsu-Killing Sword back together.  Then, her and Scott rush off to “save” Stiles, by chopping up his insides with the largest sushi knife in the world.  Let’s just hope Kira is smart enough to bring along some bug spray . . .

big stick

Meanwhile, the rest of the Scooby Gang has found a little gift in Stiles room.  It’s a chess set with all the Teen Wolf characters helpfully labeled.  Derek is the king, of course.

on the board

looknig at the pieces

derek dream 1

“I’m the King of the Woooooorllld!”

(I smell another Kung Fu Fighting scene to the tune of Mortal Kombat at Derek’s house!)

hello folks

“You know, you really ought to consider getting more furniture in here.  At least a bed . . .”

Everyone else is pretty much pawns.  And Isaac’s already out of play.  Sorry Isaac.  It looks like having Allison grab your ass has done little to improve your chances for longevity on this show.

isaac scarf

It all sounds pretty ominous.  But what does it mean?

ephemeral

Only Nogitsu-Stiles knows .  . . and Jeff Davis, of course.

gives me joy

 

Until next time, Werebangers!

winky stiles

 

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Anatomy of a Trailer: Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

By now, you know that I LOVE television shows, particularly hour-long dramas.  What you may not know is that I also love movie trailers!  It’s a bit hard for me to admit this, but, sometimes, I find movie trailers to be the best part of the movie-going experience.

(Sometimes the movie trailers you see before the movie are even better than the movie itself . . . MUCH BETTER!)

Movie trailers are not just entertaining, they are also cost efficient.  Consider this: according to the National Association for Theater Owners, the average movie ticket price in 2009 was $7.50 cents.  And I live just outside New York City, where movie tickets can set you back as much as $13!  These are some pretty hefty prices to pay for ONE MOVIE that you may or may not actually enjoy. 

On the other hand, if I get to the theater early, I can sit through 20 minutes of trailers.  These trailers contain all of the best scenes (often giving away most of the plot and, sometimes, the ending) of some FIVE or SIX movies . . . ALL FOR FREE

If you don’t get to the movies early enough to catch the trailers, that’s OK, because movie trailers are also on television.  Then again, maybe you missed the trailer for  Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland on TV too.    Perhaps you fast-forwarded through it with your DVR.  Or, maybe, you were peeing during it.  Fear not, because this is where I come in . . .

A lot of juice for one trailer right.? Here’s what I saw . . .

:18 – Mia Wasikowska, who was absolutely awesome as the troubled gymnast, Sophie, during Season 1 of HBO’s In Treatment, will be taking the helm as the titular Alice.  My initial thought was that she looked a bit old to be playing the young child from Lewis Carroll’s novels.  Later, however, I read that Burton’s Alice will not actually be a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, nor its follow-up Through the Looking Glass, but, rather, a sequel of sorts.  Here, Alice revisits Wonderland 10 years later, with no memory of her experiences from the first two books.

This is an important fact to note for high school students who are assigned the Alice books as required reading, as I was during my junior year.  This movie will NOT HELP YOU!  (Unfortunately, neither will the original Disney cartoon).

“Oh dear!  If I knew I ACTUALLY had to READ, I wouldn’t have smoked so much with Caterpillar . . .”

:22 – Is it just me, or does the guy proposing to Alice look a bit like Ronald Weasley from the Harry Potter films?

:40 – Down the rabbit hole goes Alice . . .

:54 – CGI Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are really creepy looking.  They are the size of Oompa Loompas, wear clothing like Pugsley from Addams Family, and have heads like Uncle Fester (also from the Addams Family).  No me likey . . .

:59 – The Cheshire Cat is kind of cute looking, as is the White Rabbit.  I guess Disney needed something they could sell as a stuffed animal from this film that wouldn’t give kids nightmares . . .

1:03 – Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter looks like someone took Johnny Depp’s Edward Scissorhands, crossed him with Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka, and dropped the amalgamation in a vat of tie dye.  One day, I’d like to see Johnny Depp really push the acting envelope and play . . . an accountant.  Now that would be risky!  (I can’t hate on Johnny Depp though.  In a Hollywood world filled with divas and D-bags, sources tell me that he is a stand up guy, not to mention a big tipper!)

1:18 – The Tea Party scene was my favorite, both in the first Alice book, and in the Disney movie.  It looks like Burton did a great job representing it here.

1:25 – Here’s Helena Bonham Carter, as the Red Queen, doing what she does best: playing a character who is wacked out, crazy, and creepy . . .  but has awesome hair!  She seems to be playing croquet using a flamingo as a mallet, just as the characters did in the first Alice book.

1:41 – Piglets are adorable, even when they have Helena Bonham Carter’s feet on them.

1:52 – Here, it looks as though Alice is the rook in a giant game of chess being played out between the Red Queen and the White Queen.  In the second Alice  book, Through the Looking Glass, a chess game is the framing device for the story, with Alice playing the pawn.  If you buy the Cliff Notes for the book, (which I did) you will actually find a chess diagram that maps out Alice’s precise chess moves in the story from pawn to Queen.  Coincidentally, a life-sized chess board was also featured in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (both in the book and in the movie version).

1:58 – Anne Hathaway looks absolutely stunning as the White Queen.  In the past few years, Hathaway has really shown herself to be a brilliantly versatile actress.  She has definitely come far since her Princess Diaries days.  I suspect we will be enjoying her films for a long time to come . . .

2:17 – Here we get our first glimpse of the Jabberwocky, which is described, in a poem that Alice reads in Through the Looking Glass, as a dragon-type monster.  Burton has said that the Jabberwocky story will be the framing device for his film, just as a card game framed the first Alice book, and a chess game framed the second.  I think this is kind of a strange choice, seeing as the Jabberwocky poem is actually jibberish.  But I’ll admit that the concept is  intriguing . . .

2:24 – Ah, another movie in 3D . . . I am really glad I saved those goofy glasses I bought last month to see Avatar.  That’s going to save me $3.00!

So, those were my thoughts on the trailer.  What did you think?

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