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“A Tale of Two Kanaimas” – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Venomous”

Knock, Knock.

Who’s there?

Kanaima.

Kanaima who?

I Kanaimake sense of what Lydia wrote on the board. 

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Oh . . . that’s better.

Howdy, Werebangers!  Five episodes into the season, and we’ve already solved one of Teen Wolf’s biggest mysteries: Who’s the Kanaima? (Hint: It’s not This Guy . . .)

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You know, one of the things I love most about this show . . . well . . . aside from the obvious . . .

. . . is its willingness to challenge TV conventions.  By all estimates, “Venomous” was a high – octane hour of whodunnit-type television that could have easily served as a season finale.  Like many finales, “Venomous” offered action, intrigue, and a mass murder mystery, which resulted in a standoff that pitted nearly every major cast member against one another.  And of course,  it ended by answering a HUGE question that had been plaguing the series since the first episode of this season.

“You mean to tell me I’m that asshat lacrosse-playing douche!  Thanks, a lot!” 

But perhaps the best thing about “Venomous” is that it WASN’T a  finale.  And that is a very good thing . . . because for every question this episode answered for us Teen Wolf fans, it posed about three more.

Let’s review, shall we?

[As always, special thanks to Andre, my own personal screencapping genius, for everything you see here.]

Who’s the dumbbell, now?

The episode begins with a very (sexually?) frustrated Jackson struggling under the weight of a seemingly puny barbbell.

“Come on, Jackson.  You can do it!  Lift that five-pound weight!”

This, understandably confuses Jackson, who, just a day or so ago, had been able to lift up a car with his bare hands.

It’s just another one of those things that sets Jackson apart from his wolfy companions, who, even in human form, can exhibit bouts of superhuman strength, pretty much, anytime.  Jackson’s “strength” on the other hand, only seems to come out at night, and is sporadic, even then.

When Danny grows bored with his wimpy cranky friend, he exits stage left.  (Can you blame him?)  This gives Derek’s lame-o wolfpack members, Tweedledee and Tweedle dumb boobs, an opening to perform their kidnapping of the Lacrosse Co-Captain, who they obediently cart off to their maker.

“I don’t want to join your Mickey Mouse Wolf Club, OK?  So stop asking.”

“Are you sure?  All members get a free t-shirt!” 

Suspecting Jackson (the pack member that never was) of being the Kanaima, Derek feeds him a drop of venom that he somehow collected from the poolhouse.

“Open wide for the choo-choo train!”

“Good boy.  Now, play dead.” 

Derek’s (WRONG!) theory is that, if Jackson is immune to the venom, he must be the Kanaima.  Unfortunately for Derek, Jackson is not-so-much immune, and spazzes out on the floor, before becoming completely immobile.  Oops!  I guess that means it’s back to the drawing board for our good pal, Derek.

Wolfy Isaac, who’s kind of been put to waste as a character, having been given little to do on the show, aside from make weird faces . . . and repeatedly get his ass kicked . . .

 . . . however, is not quite through with Jackson.  There’s still the little matter of the latter recanting his story to the cops about seeing Isaac and his father fighting on the night of his father’s Kanaima-inspired murder.  Conveniently enough, this little favor allows newly free man Isaac to return to school, so that he can do Derek’s bidding out in the open.  How nice for him!

“It’s a Matching Leather Jacket Party, and you’re not invited!”

Someone help Lydia . . . please

Also at school, Lydia is still suffering from waking Alpha nightmares.  This most recent one, involves the Alpha scribbling strange circular messages for her on a chalk board, while all her classmates look at her, like she’s nuts.

“It’s funny how in Lydia’s daydreams I’m really good at math.  Because, in real life, I didn’t even know how to read.” 

“Awk-warrddd!” 

Unfortunately, for Lydia, it turns out that last part isn’t exactly a dream.  She returns to real time to find that she’s written “Someone help me” backwards across the chalkboard instead of the math equation she was SUPPOSED to solve.  Hey Lydia, it could be worse.  You could be naked . . . like last time.

Things become crystal clear (Maybe .  . .)

In chemistry class, Derek’s pack (except for Boyd, who always seems to get a pass from these lame Wolfy Games) torments Scott, Allison and Stiles, while keeping an eye on Lydia,  who has now become their top Kanaima suspect.

For about the 18,000th time this season, Erica aggressively throws herself at Scott . .  .

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. . .  and totally “Regina George’s” her nemesis, Allison.

Poor naive, Erica.

I have a book you might find interesting .  . .

Speaking of rejection, it seems poor Isaac has a little angry hard-on for our friend Lydia, ever since the latter rejected in middle school, and made him cry.

“You wouldn’t reject me, would you, Stiles?”

Lydia’s protector and perpetual unlikely hero, Spiderman Stiles has something to say about that . . .

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Sadly though, no amount of words can protect Lydia from a lying-in-wait Derek, when she unwittingly ingests venom, during chemistry class, and experiences none of its paralyzing side effects.

“Gnom-nom-nom.  Mmm . . . venom cystal.  Yummy!” 

“Grrrrr.” 

Uh oh, Scooby Gang!  It’s time for Plan B!

Operation: Save the Butterfly

During her shrink session, Lydia stubbornly tells Dead Maya from Pretty Little Liars / Dead Emily from The Vampire Diaries that every inkblot picture in her Rorschach Test looks like a butterfly, even the one that OBVIOUSLY was made to resemble a wolf, and the one that sort of/kind of resembles her recently deceased Alpha “boyfriend.”

“Butterflies are pretty.” 

“That one might still be a caterpillar.” 

Meanwhile, in a surprise move,Jackson joins forces with, as he calls them “Testicle One” and Testicle Two” (How fitting!) . . .

“Believe it or not, you two actually do vaguely resemble my testicles.”

 . . . to protect Lydia from the Wrath of Derek, which he was unlucky enough to recently experience for himself.  Of course, Jackson still has his own selfish motives in mind.  He’s still using Creepy Photographer Guy and Danny to uncover the lost footage on his sleepytime not-so-sex tape, which he suspects Lydia might have “edited” for him.  After all, she DOES have a key . .  .  (How else could she regularly sneak into his house and watch The Notebook?)

As far as plans go, Scott’s plan to save Lydia from Derek and Co. is surprisingly well thought out, despite the fact that Scott, while a nice guy, has always been a bit of a mental midget.  The first part of the plan involves attempting to prove to Derek that Lydia ISN’T actually the Kanaima, before school lets out.  It is randomly determined that shrinkypoo reads Latin.  So, Allison goes to her, in an attempt to translate the Bestiary page on Kanaimas.

How come the kanaima in this book, looks like the werewolf in last season’s book? 

Now, this seems like a throwaway scene, but it’s actually important.  Shrinkypoo notes that, while wolves seek pack affiliation, Kanaimas are always on the hunt for a single “friend,” to make them feel less lonely.  And thus, the theory of the two Kanaimas is born .  . .

Elsewhere Derek tries (and fails) to talk Derek out of wanting to kill Lydia.  Why?  You ask.  Well, for one thing, Scott really has no way of proving that Lydia isn’t actually the Kanaima.  For another . . . ummm . . . Derek just REALLY seems to like killing people  .  . .

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Scott’s theory, like the one Jackson, himself, had earlier, is that Lydia is somehow immune to wolf bites, and passed that immunity on to Jackson.

Cocky Derek doesn’t like the idea of ANYONE being immune to his sexy saliva.  Derek has a different theory, and here it is: some people who are bit by werewolves, become OTHER TYPES OF SHAPESHIFTERS, that better reflect their personality.  You know, like Isaac becomes a wolf with no eyebrows.  Erica becomes a wolf that isn’t really a wolf, but still has pointy teeth.  And “Lydia” becomes a rather masculine looking snake . . . because she’s a b*tch.

Interesting theory, Derek . . . it would kind of fly in the face of traditional werewolf lore, though . . .

When Phase One of the plan fails, it’s time for Phase Two: bring Lydia to Scott’s house (his mom’s never home,  anyway), and hide the accused lizard there .  . . without telling her why, of course.

An eye-opening discovery

While the rest of the Scooby Gang (even Jackson) whisk Lydia away, Scott gets accosted by Coach Crackpot for “not protecting Danny’s equipment.”  Coach Crackpot thinks that Scott should protect Danny’s equipment all the time.  Unfortunately, for some of you, I’m not actually talking about Danny’s weiner.  I’m talking about his actually equipment . . . as in “lacrosse uniform,” which was ripped clean in half, following the last game.

“That’s hot.” 

So, is DANNY the Kanaima, due to his miraculous fabric-ripping skills.  Apparently, not.  When Scott confronts Danny in the library, we learn that HE had lent his uniform to none other than Jackson, during the game, while he played the position of goalie.  Hmm . . .

Speaking of Danny, it seems everyone’s favorite Teen Wolf gay has developed a bit of a crush on Creepy Photographer Guy, who plays for his team (lacrosse), but may or may not play for his “TEAM,” if you catch my drift . . .

Together, the two manage to restore the lost footage from Jackson’s camera.  And it is . . . as I hinted before rather “eye opening.”

“Wazzzzzzup!” 

Of course, we still don’t know who edited the tape in the first place.  Though these two (Danny and Creepy) clearly have the werewithal to do it themselves . . .

Oh, P.S. Creepy Photographer guy just figured out that whole, “Scott can’t take pictures anymore, because he’s a werewolf” thing.  BUSTED!

Erica gets OWNED . . .

In one of my favorite moments in the episode, Stiles adorably barricades Scott’s house to protect Lydia from Derek’s pack, while the Scooby Gang waits for Scott to return home.

 However, try as they might, it doesn’t take long for Tweedledee and Tweedledumbboobs to enter the house.    (Again, how come Boyd never has to do the dirty work?  Is he too cool for this?)

Anywhoo, Wolfy Erica, who’s sole new personality trait seems to be “Slutty B*tch” takes this opportunity, once again to threaten Allison with stealing Scott from her, despite the fact that Scott seems like he’d probably prefer to make out with Derek or Stiles . . . or anyone else in the cast really, over Erica.  Earlier Erica teased that she was “a little bit psychic,” and that’s why she knew that Sallison wasn’t really going to work out.

But her psychic powers seem to have a bit of a blind spot.  Because she definitely didn’t count on Allison shooting her with a venom coated bow and arrow.  (Where did these guys get all this extra venom from?)

Within minutes, Erica is down for the count.

“This is the part where I have my way with you.”

 Now that’s some powerful venom!  Just a little bit on the fingers (or in the mouth . . . like Jackson), and wolves are apparently paralyzed from the neck down . . . which confuses me, because I thought the Kanaima needed to scratch the victim’s spinal column, in order to get that result (as he did with Hot Black Argent, Douchey Grease Monkey, and Derek).

After all, wasn’t Stiles still able to call 911, after HE touched the evil venom?

Anywhoo, you can imagine Derek’s frustration when Tweedledee and Tweedledumbbumbs, both incapacitated by Kanaima venom are haphazardly tossed out of Scott’s house, like yesterday’s trash . . .

“It’s naptime . . . again.” 

At some point, during all this, Scott finally arrives back home for the showdown we’ve all been waiting for . . .

The key to the Mystery

Meanwhile,  Jackson takes Lydia into Scott’s room to confront her about having the key to his house / possibly editing his Werewolf Porn video, while he slept.  Lydia denies having the key, or any knowledge of said video.  But Jackson’s newfound “powers” seem to enable him to sense that she’s lying, simply by staring at her boobs.  Impressive!

This, of course leads to the two of them making out, which is surprisingly hot . . . possibly because this is the first time I’ve seen Jackson show ANY emotion apart from “whiny and generally pissed off.”  I honestly didn’t know he had it in him  . . .

“Has anyone ever told you, your tongue is a little lizardy?” 

While the pair is making out, Jackson gets a bit of a rash .  . . a rash that looks suspiciously like Lizard Scales . . . Ruh roh!

“Remind me to stop rolling around naked in the poison ivy.” 

 I smell KANAIMA!

Alpha to Alpha, and Kanaima to Kanaima

In the final scene of the episode, Derek hits on Scott, by telling him that he is the Alpha to his own pack (referring, I guess, to Allison, Stiles, Lydia and Jackson).  Too bad flattery is useless on Scott, who just looks confused.

“Hot guy say WHAT?” 

 Then again, maybe that’s because there’s a Lizard Thingy on the roof of his house . . .

“Hey guys!  Miss me?” 

Seconds later, Lydia pops out, wondering why she wasn’t invited to this party, thereby proving once and for all, that she’s not the Kanaima.

“It’s Jackson,” mutters Captain Obvious Scott, just in case some of the fans of the show are particularly slow.

But wait!  You say!  Jackson was paralyzed by the Kanaima venom Derek took from the pool last week. And Jackson is a good swimmer, whereas THAT Kanaima fears water.

This, of course, brings me back to the “Two Kanaimas” theory.  A theory that seems all but confirmed in the final scene, in which Kanaima Jackson sidles up to a car, in which he seems to find the “friend” he’s been looking for, all along.

“Yo!  What up, dog!  Give me some skin!” 

But who’s the friend?  All we know about him so far, is that he has an Eisenstein bumper sticker, and wears black gloves.  Is it the Nerdy Chemistry Teacher, who hates Stiles, and loves quoting Einstein?

Is it the Kid Outside the Shrink’s office, who complimented Lydia’s pink gloves?  Is it Shrinkypoo, who knew the Kanaima needed a friend?  Or is it Creepy Photographer Guy, who seems the most likely editor of Jackson’s Wolf Porn video?

It looks like we may have to wait until next week to find out.

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See you then, Werebangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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A “Blast” from the . . . Other Past: A Recap of the FINAL Lost Season Premiere

In a recent recap for Grey’s Anatomy, I wrote that Grey’s was like an old friend to me. And, with 5 seasons under my belt, I also consider Lost among my dear friends. And yet, they are very different, these two buds of mine. You see, Grey’s Anatomy and Lost aren’t exactly hanging out together at parties. After all, Grey’s is that annoyingly pretty and popular friend you have that’s a little bit needy, more than a bit self absorbed, and always seems to be whining about her cheating boyfriend.

(“McDreamy is so going in my burn book . . .”)

Lost, on the other hand, is kind of a nerd. He likes to read comic books and obscure science fiction texts. He engages you in endless conversations about time travel and the philosophy of life. He’s constantly nodding and winking at you about inside jokes the two of you have together . . . even if you don’t really understand all of them. In short, he’s Hurley.

Tonight’s two hour season premiere of Lost did not disappoint. It introduced us to some new faces (the Other Others), and reintroduced some old ones (Boone! Yippee! Charlie and Claire! Yay! Flight Attendant Cindy and those kiddies from the tail section . . . ummm . . . OK). It answered some questions. (We know what was in Hurley’s guitar case! We know how they healed young Ben Linus! We know who the Smoke Monster is!).

It asked some others. (What’s the deal with Alt World? Where did Jack’s dad’s coffin and John Locke’s knife set go?) And, of course, it pointed and winked at us a lot, with inside jokes . . . some of which we actually understood!

(“Oh that Hurley, he’s such a jokester!”)

It would be WAY too ambitious for me to even begin to cover everything that went on in this episode. Therefore, I’m simply going to review a few key plot points, by highlighting some of the episode’s more quotable moments.

Juliet: “It Worked.”

For a few seasons now, we have known that time travel has a lot to do with the mysteries of Lost island. What we didn’t know was what theory of time travel Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof had chosen to dominate their universe. Is time linear, such that any change you make in the past, causes a ripple or butterfly effect in future?

(“Go away Ashton! They didn’t choose “The Butterfly Effect.” So there!)

Or is time fractalized, so that every potential outcome of every event in our lives is played out in full in some alternate world? Based on this episode, it appears that Lindelof and co. have opted for the latter theory. Juliet’s setting off of the hydrogen bomb during the 1970’s began a new timeline. 

In this new timeline, the island was never made electromagnetically volatile.  Therefore, Desmond was never needed to press the infamous hatch button to prevent explosions.  Subsequently, he never neglected to do so.  Hence, Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed back in 2004.

In Alt World, Hurley considered himself “the luckiest man in the world.” Boone tried to rescue his sister from her boyfriend, but “she didn’t want to be rescued.” And Desmond was a Flight 815 passenger. Quite a unique place, that Alt World.

(See? Boone isn’t really dead. He’s merely turned into Vampire Damon from The Vampire Diaries . . .)

And yet, Jack and the rest of the Losties remained on the island after the incident . . . except in the present day. Thus, at least two distinct timelines are going on concurrently.

Before Juliet died after the “bomb incident,” she muttered some things to Sawyer about going out for coffee and “touching.” She had a big goofy smile on her face when she said all this. Juliet then told Sawyer she had something very important to tell him. Unfortunately, she never got the chance to say it . . . at least while she was alive.   When “I Speak to Dead People” Guru Miles communicated with her posthumously, Juliet reportedly informed him that, “It worked.”

My take on this? Somewhere in the Alt World timeline, Juliet, who perhaps, like the rest of the Losties, never made it to the island in this timeline, meets Sawyer and hits it off with him.  Because she was about to lose her life in her current timeline, Juliet was able to catch a brief glimpse of the alternative timeline, where she continues to exist.

Charlie: “I was supposed to die.”

In Alt World, Doctor Jack Shepard is called on to help an unconscious passenger in the airplane bathroom.  It ends up being Charlie, and when Jack clears out his airway passages to help him breathe, he finds a heroine-filled balloon.  Bad Charlie! What would Claire think? 

Once conscious, Charlie is by no means grateful to the Good Doc for saving his life, and utters the above-referenced line before being placed in handcuffs.  But why did he say this? Is it possible that people in Alt World retain some memory of their other existences? Juliet’s behavior back on the island, as well as Jack’s sense of déjà vu while on the plane, would seem to suggest that this is the case.  After all, on Lost island, Charlie too knew that he was meant to die . . .

 Jack: “Nothing is irreversible.”

In Alt World, Jack lands safely in L.A. only to find that his father’s coffin has not.  While waiting in customs, he comes upon a wheelchair-bound Locke, who’s knife collection was also lost mid flight.  When Jack inquires about Locke’s paralysis, the latter smiles ruefully, and explains that his condition is irreversible.  An unusually optimistic Jack passes Locke his business card before uttering the above-referenced line.  And perhaps he is telling the truth . . .

After all, in a single episode we have already seen any number of people coming back from the dead . . . which is, after all, the ultimate irreversible.

Head of the Other-Others: “Your friend is dead.”

With Sayid quickly bleeding out, Ghost Jacob, who was recently murdered by Ben at the behest of Not-Locke, informs Hurley that he must bring Sayid to “the Temple” in order to save his life.  Hurley and the gang comply and are met with the Other-Others and Cindy, the flight attendant from the plane.  We recognize the temple as the same place where young Ben, also near death at the time, was taken and revived. Other-Others want to kill the Losties until Hurley informs them that he is following Jacob’s orders.

To prove his point, Hurley shows them the guitar case Jacob left for him.  As it turns out, the guitar case contains a giant onyx with a message for the Other-Others regarding the importance of keeping the Losties alive.  Surprisingly, as Kate says, “These Others are actually trying to protect us.”  The question is how effective are they as protectors? Sayid is taken into the Temple and held under some muddy-looking water.  However, once the Other-Others have finished doing there thing, Sayid still looks pretty dead, and the Head of the Other-Others proclaims as much.  And yet, at the episode’s conclusion, Sayid miraculously awakens. But is it the same Sayid we know and love? Only time will tell . . .

Non-Locke: “I want the one thing the real Locke didn’t. I want to go home.”

After getting Ben to kill his nemesis Jacob, turning into the Smoke Monster and killing Jacob’s body guards, and decking the never-aging Richard Alpert, Non-Locke was pretty tired from his busy day. So, he took some time to wax poetic with Ben about the fate of the world.  In doing so, he discusses the sorry fate of the real John Locke, who in present day is dead and in Alt World is still paralyzed.  Either way, being the real John Locke kind of sucks right now.  For his sake can only hope that Jack is right and “nothing is irreversible.”

And there you have it.  The Final Season of Lost has begun in earnest.  And I don’t plan on getting much sleep until it’s over . . but that is a good thing!

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