Tag Archives: Heather

A Life Lived in Shades of Grey – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Fireflies”

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“Let [Scott] be the hero of his Black and White World.  Real survivors, you and I, we live in Shades of Grey.”

Ah, sweet Moral Ambiguity!  It’s a touchstone of every supernatural tale.  After all, these characters live in a world where monsters have the capacity to be heroes.

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Heroes sometimes turn out to be monsters.

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And, no matter how much evil you’ve done, during the course of your lifetime, your character’s likeability is almost always directly proportional to how good you look with your shirt off.

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Come to think of it, that’s pretty much true of every show I watch . . .

“Fireflies” saw four of the series’ main characters struggle with issues of morality.  Derek, Allison and Chris Argent each grappled with their instincts toward self-preservation, and shielding their families from harm, versus an obligation to protect innocents, and serve a cause greater than themselves.

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As for Stiles .  . .Poor Stiles!  Not only has his sixteen or so years of chastity left him incredibly sexually frustrated . . .

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 . . . now it might actually get him killed!

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What’s worse?  Stiles responsible decision to get a condom last week, might have actually ended up killing his old friend from PRESCHOOL!

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Geez, writers!  What kind of messages are you sending these young impressionable Teen Wolf watchers?

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Throw in some very smart fireflies, a couple of very unlucky in love lesbians, and the worst place ever to store a school supply cabinet, and you’ve got yourself another banner hour of Teen Wolf, wolfbangers!

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Let’s review, shall we?

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[As always, special thanks to Andre for the kickass screencaps.  He truly knows how to capture the hidden beauty of dead virgins . . .]

Thug Bug Life

In a town comprised of werewolf packs, suicidal cats, servile psychopathic lizards, and kamikaze birds, it doesn’t surprise me at all that Beacon Hills has a Bug Mafia . . .

If nothing else, the first two scenes of this episode illustrated that the insect organized crime contingent is a force with which to be reckoned . . .

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It’s 10 p.m.  Do you know where your children are?

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Because rest assured, if I was a parent of young kids in Beacon Hills, mine wouldn’t be allowed to leave the house after 5 p.m., at least until they turned 30.  I’d use straitjackets if necessary . . .

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The moon is high in the sky.  Two young kids we’ve never seen before (and, most likely, will never see again) are “innocently” catching fireflies in jars.

cATCHING FIRE

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It would be an adorable and relaxing scene, if we didn’t remember what show we were watching . . .

Sure enough, here comes the Big Bad Boyd Wolf . . .

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Hey, did they change Boyd’s Wolf Look, this week?  He’s looking a bit more Mr. T than usual.  Perhaps, they’ve been feeding him this in bank jail . . .

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Run into the poorly constructed shed, kiddies!  It worked for the Three Little Pigs!  Oh . . . wait . . . nevermind!

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HIding kid

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Boyd is just about to say, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff.  And I’ll blow your house down.”

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But then he decides, “Screw it.”

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He lifts up the dinky shed, and tosses it aside like yesterday’s trash . . .

Fear not, kiddies.  Help is on the way!  It’s that stealth band of fireflies you captured, and nearly killed, coming to your rescue!  (Talk about a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome!)

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While Boyd is literally distracted by shiny objects, the kids make their getaway.

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“I’m sure it’s perfectly safe to hug this strange man we found lurking in the woods late at night.”

Elsewhere in the woods, a pair of amorous young lesbians on a camping trip aren’t quite as lucky .  . .

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Not to criticize or anything, but if you knew your significant other was deathly afraid of snakes and bugs, why oh why, would you choose, THE WOODS, of all places, as the locale for your first sexual encounter?

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Gee Lover, is that a hideously disgusting spider crawling out of your crotch, or are you just happy to see me?

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A couple of voyeuristic bugs appear on the side of the tent (Free Porn!), and the ill-fated (Emily?) is out of that tent, faster than you can say, “Are you a top or a bottom?”

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Very smart, Emily.  You found a couple of bugs in your tent, so you decided to run outside WHERE ALL THE REST OF THE BUGS ARE!

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What happens next is pretty darn disgusting . . . but also oddly impressive.  An entire swarm of creepy crawlies completely engulfs poor dumb Emily and LITERALLY MAKES HER DISAPPEAR . . .

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Just like the scene with Heather, I’m pretty sure hallucination was at play here.  Last week, whatever took Heather, used her fear of broken bottles and glass stabbed bare feet to lure her to the window, where she was promptly snatched up.  This week, the same supernatural force seemed to use Emily’s fear of bugs to lure her outside her lover’s tent, using the classic “divide and conquer” strategy.

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It’s what happened after that, which confuses me a bit . . .

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What kind of creature has the power to make a person evaporate into thin air?  And why wasn’t the same thing done to Heather, who was bodily yanked from her home by something that, at least based on Heather’s expression, was at least partially corporeal?

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We all remember, from last season, the Stilinskis’ trusty rule.  “One times an accident.  Twice is a coincidence.  Three times is a pattern.”

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Pattern . . . here we come!

Omigod, you killed a Jonas Brother!  (You bastard!)

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You know, everyone assumes this season’s serial killer is committing its crimes, because it hates virgins.  But maybe it just really, really didn’t like Camp Rock 2.

DEMI LOVATO, JORDAN FRANCIS, ANNA MARIA PEREZ DE TAGLE

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Poor Lydia!  Apparently, all her screaming has given her just as bad of a headache as it’s given all of us . . .

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She calls out to her mom, to tell her that she’s going to the pharmacy.  But her mom, of course, doesn’t answer.

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No surprise.  I mean, this is the woman who failed to notice her daughter had a tatted up man in her bed, on the first day of school.

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My new theory is that Lydia’s mom is actually dead, and has been for quite some time.  I think Klaus from The Vampire Diaries killed her . . .

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En route to the pharmacy, Lydia ends up taking a detour to the local pool, where the lifeguard is still on duty . . . sort of . . .  This is how you know Jeff Davis and co. have pretty sick senses of humor.  You see, this “guard” may have been a pro, when it came to guarding chastity.  But guarding lives?  Not so much . . .

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“If only he had screwed me.  I would have turned into a Real Boy just like Pinocchio.”

Lydia immediately calls Stiles for help . . .

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 . . . causing Stydia fans the world over to cheer . . .

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As for Stiles, he’s just jealous that she dialed 911 first.  Damn those pesky authorities!

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Stiles may have missed that first call.  But he’ll be damned if he lets some slimy 911 police escort walk his lady up to her bedroom . . .

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That’s a job for Stiles, and Stiles alone . . .

The writers tease fans into thinking Stiles wants to ask Lydia a “Relationship Question,” when he really just wants to know why she still seems to be drawn to dead bodies like a firefly to a rabid werewolves face . . .

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Stiles and Lydia both wonder if Lydia is being controlled by Peter again.  But I’m pretty sure this a red herring.  On one hand, I do believe that Lydia’s “connection” to dead bodies Banshee .  . . she’s clearly a banshee. is what enabled the then-dead Peter to possess her, in the first place.  However, the kills she was drawn to last season, weren’t Peter’s kills, they were the kanaimas.  Likewise, I’m pretty sure this season’s victims were murdered by something other than Peter  . . .

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That said, there does seem to be some connection between the fear hallucinations the victims are experiencing prior to their deaths, and the hallucinations the Scooby Gang experienced at the party, care of Lydia’s Mysterious Wolfsbane Juice . . .

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Speaking of jumping to conclusions, Stiles immediately assumes that the Lifeguard was murdered by rabid Boyd and Cora.  So, he warns Scott, that the two must be taken down, ASAP, or more innocent people’s lives will be at risk.  Though Stiles’ conjecture ultimately turns out to be wrong, the assumption that Boyd and Cora are already cold blooded killers is necessary to make the rest of this episode work.  It raises the stakes, and makes the characters’ decisions seem bolder and more impactful than they would otherwise . .

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Werewolves and Hunters Unite!

Poor Isaac!  The guy has been chopped up, freeze-dried, nipple fried, and pretty much tortured in every way imaginable, these past two episodes, for the sake of “the team.”  And he’s still seems to have red shirt status, among his ever dwindling pack . . .

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Scott doesn’t even consider Isaac to be “real help,” when it comes to subduing Boyd and Cora.  Then again, perhaps, that has something to do with Isaac’s insistence on wearing that oh-so-fashionable scarf, on the escaped werewolves trail.  This is Werewolf Hunger Games, not Project Runway, honey . . .

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Still  . . . I must admit, the scarf does look pretty damn good.

Anywhoo, Scott suggests the wolf pack commandeer expert werewolf hunter, and erstwhile enemy, Papa Argent to help with the search.  Derek doesn’t think its a good idea.  So, he lingers behind Scott in his new, uber intimidating, Soccer Mom Minivan, to make sure Argent doesn’t try any funny stuff.

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“Pimp my ride, please?”

Come on, Derek.  You’re 24.  What’s with the 45-year olds car?  At least get an option for a sun roof, so you could stick your head out the window, while in wolf mode?

Isaac hopes to use these precious in-car moments with Derek to talk about their “feelings.”  Needless to say, it doesn’t go well . . .

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Though his attempt failed miserably, I respect that Isaac tried to get Derek to open up about his sister, Cora.  If anyone can relate to have complicated feelings about your blood relations, it’s the guy whose dad used to shove him in an icebox, but suffered an untimely death, due to lizard mauling …

As for Papa Argent, after giving Scott a warm welcome . . .

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I’ve seen that facial expression somewhere before . . .

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He tells his daughter’s ex, who his wife tried to have killed, in no uncertain terms, that he is OUT of the hunting business.  Of course, as Papa Argent is about to learn, the werewolf hunting business is like the mafia.  Everytime you try to get out, THEY PULL YOU BACK IN . . .

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. . .  you know by casually getting you to drive by teenage corpses, wearing purity rings . . .

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Now comes the educational part of our program, where we learn all about hunting werewolves in the woods . . .

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 . . . you know . . . just in case any of you viewers have an interest in taking on that sort of career.  (By the way, was that Papa Argent’s full time job?  I wonder what one gets paid for catching-but-not-murdering-unless-they-REALLY-ask-for-it supernatural creatures that most of the world doesn’t believe exist.)

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In other not important to anything other than this show news, did you know that fireflies in California (at least the ones not involved in insect organized crime) don’t typically glow?  They have no “fire.”  I guess that makes them just . . . you know . . . flies.

Scott helps out the cause by putting little strobe lights everywhere  (Because werewolves like disco?), and doing completely random flips in the air, for no logical reason whatsoever.

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But at least he’s not doing that ridiculous crab walk thing anymore.

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“Show-off!”

As for Allison, having been traumatized once by chilling in a cleaning supply closet with this . . .

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BabyScared

And again by learning that her mom nearly succeeded in murdering her boyfriend . . .

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Allison decides to cope with her Massive Case of the Sads, by doing what she usually does when she’s feeling blue . . . namely shooting up sh*t .  . .

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The difference is that NOW she’s shooting sh*t for GOOD, and not for evil . . .

Perched high above the world, Allison uses her bow and arrow to lure Crazy Cora and Boyd right into the Scooby Gang’s trap . . . an “empty school.”  You know, because the Scooby Gang has had so much luck battling baddies at the school, in the past . . .

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Isaac notices Allison’s handiwork, and is impressed . . . almost impressed enough to lend her his awesome scarf .  . . but not quite.

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They kill Virgins, don’t they?

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Back at the hospital, Stiles makes a not entirely unexpected, but still massively depressing, discovery . . .

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Dylan O’Brien knocks it out of the park in this quiet moment that is truly heart wrenching, yet understated, and oddly beautiful   . . .

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A lesser actor would have chewed the scenery here, breaking down into loud sobs.  But Stiles knows that emoting won’t bring his friend back.  And he doesn’t feel as though he deserves pity from Scott’s mom, who happens to be with him at the time, or anyone else.  I imagine a part of him might even feel partly responsible for what has happened . . . and wonder whether he could have somehow prevented it . . .

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Yet Stiles doesn’t dwell on these things.  Instead, he composes himself quickly, and focuses on the matter at hand.  Upon examining the two dead bodies, which, by the way, just seem to be lying around the hospital . . . Stiles immediately determines that the way in which they were killed is inconsistent with a werewolf mauling.  Rather, the deaths, both of which having resulted from a blow to the head, a strangling, and a gutting, seem almost ritualistic.

And then, of course, Stiles figures out what these two sorry corpses have in common . . . THEIR ADVERTISED VIRGINITY.

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That’s right folks, in Beacon Hills the new rule of  to live by is apparently f*&k or die . . .

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Sure enough, our poor bug hating lesbian is revealed to be a virgin as well  . . . a dead virgin.

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“Is it Friday yet?’

Though virgin sacrifices are nothing new in horror fare, they actually fly in the face of the teen slasher trope of virgins being the sole survivors of the story.  The sluts always die first .  . .

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Needless to say, I’m betting Poor Stiles wishes he was in a slasher film right about now .  . .

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MTV’s Favorite Antihero Becomes More Hero (and less anti)

Meanwhile, the decidedly non virginal Peter and Derek meet outside the school to discuss the whole Boyd and Cora situation.  An apt pupil of the “Save Your Own Ass” school of thought, Peter advocates letting Boyd and Cora “kill a few homeless dudes” to work off their rage.  Doing this will prevent Derek from having to murder members of his own pack, in order to save virtual strangers.

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Derek seems to seriously consider Peter’s argument.  After all, saving his own ass first, has worked OK for him so far . . . it helped him to become Alpha.

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But when the crew manage to successfully trap Boyd and Cora in the boiler room, just a few moments before sunrise, it seems as though Derek might just be able to get away without making the choice.

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And he totally would have been able to do it too, were it not for two ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS PLOT OCCURRENCES . . .

(1) The new English teacher for, some reason, feels the need to hang out at school ALL NIGHT grading papers, despite the fact that school has only been in session for about two days   . . . and   . . . on the first day a flock of birds destroyed her entire classroom . . .

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and

(2) Some genius thought it would be a great idea to put the school supply cabinet in the BOILER ROOM.  You know .. . because it’s always wise to put large stacks of paper near things that have a tendency to EXPLODE and/or CATCH FIRE . . .

paper girl

So, long story short, Mrs. McDamselinDistress winds up locked in the boiler room with a very hungry, very pissed off Boyd and Cora.

What’s a Sexy Derek to do?

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Ultimately, Derek does the “right thing,” by allowing Boyd and Cora to tear him from limb to limb, so Professor Future Love Interest can live to inappropriately text her students another day . . .

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Then, this happens.  And suddenly, I feel like I’m watching a commercial for Axe Body Spray . . .

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So, yeah, it’s pretty obvious these two beautiful people are eventually going to bang one another.  And I’m glad, for the sole reason that Derek Hale is simply too pretty NOT to be getting laid on a regular basis.

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Of course, right about now, getting Stiles laid is much more important.  Screwing Stiles has officially become a matter of life and death.  So, what do you say, Wolfbangers?  Anyone ready to take one for the team?

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Next time on Teen Wolf . . .

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See ya then, WolfStilesbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com] [My Tumblr] [Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Teen Wolf

Risk and Reward – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Chaos Rising”

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Risk and Reward . . . according to that teacher with a SERIOUS case of the Crazy Eyes Coach Finstock, these are the two principals that guide the stock market.

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And while that’s true, I would argue that the concept of Risk and Reward guides every aspect of human existence. 

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Think about it this way . . . Throughout our lives, we are faced with about a million choices, everything from the small (What am I going to eat for lunch today?  How should I wear my hair?), to the huge (What career path will I take?  Do I want to get married, and have kids?)

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Some choices are riskier than others.  The riskier the choice, the bigger the reward you  reap, if you succeed in taking it.  But if you fail, the consequences you suffer from making a riskier choice, are inevitably much larger than the ones that stem from making a safe choice . . .

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This week on Teen Wolf, the members of our Scooby Gang all engaged in some pretty risky behaviors.  Did their risks pay off?  Would you have made the same choices they did?  Are you feeling lucky, Wolfbangers?

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No?  Well, on to the recap, anyway . . .

[As always, special thanks to Andre, for the awesome screencaps . . . and for instinctively knowing things like that I’m going to make fun of Allison for misspelling “logos.”  And making it about ten times easier for me to do that.]

Stiles Stilinski: Sex with a minor in a room filled with glass bottles, and expensive wine?  YES.  Unprotected sex?  NO!

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Stiles’ perpetual celibacy, and frustrating . . .  shirtfulness (?) . . .

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. . . particularly in a world where all his male co-stars seem to REALLY love the ladies, and HATE cotton .  . .

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. . . have pretty much become a running gag on the show.

But in the opening moments of Episode 2, Season 3, it seems like Stiles might be able to FINALLY cash in that much-treasured v-card . . . or at least show us a little peek of skin, while attempting to do so . . .

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Invited to the party of a childhood friend, who he hasn’t seem in quite some time, poor Stiles’ eyes seem in danger of popping out of his skull, when the same girl with whom he once played Power Rangers, is now mauling his face with her tongue, pushing him into a basement wine cellar, and aggressively propositioning him for no-frills, first time, sex.

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Since Stiles is arguably the moral backbone of this show, I instantly feared that our hero would end up going all “After School Special” on Heather, lecturing her about the need to make ones first time “special,” by doing it with “someone you love” . . .

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Yes, yes . . . I know, that’s technically the “right answer.”  But Stiles is a hormonally charged teenage boy, for crying out loud . . . a teenage boy, who has just been offered sex with a hot teenage girl!  For Stiles to act any other way than exactly how he did (excited, yet fumbling and ridiculously awkward), would be unrealistic for the character . . .

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Stiles’ “I’m about to get laid” dance . . .

But lest you think Jeff Davis and co. have NO sense of moral responsibility, condoms instantly enter the scene . . .

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Indeed, both Heather and Stiles agree that there is “No Glove, No Love,” as far as they are both concerned . . . even if the only “glove” available, might well be about ten sizes too big for Stiles . . . and might just fit around his weiner like a Where’s Waldo hat . . .

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Stiles took a risk coming down to the cellar with Heather.  And in running back upstairs to collect the condom, he juggles between two more risks: (1) the risk of STDs and/or Heather prospectively appearing on the next season of Teen Mom versus (2) the risk of her getting brutally mauled by an unseen supernatural creature, in the two minutes it takes him to retrieve a condom from her upstairs bathroom.

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“NOOOO!  Now, I’ll never get to learn what it feels like to have sex with Dylan O’Brien!  Thanks a lot, Unseen Bottle Breaking Killer!”

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Sorry Stiles . . . no reward for you . . . not this time, anyway . . .

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Now, about that mauling . . . On first glance, it appeared like some unforeseen force was breaking all the wine bottles at Heather’s feet.  (Would someone tell me again, why she was barefoot?)

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(Does NO ONE wear shoes on this show?)

But, if you recall, after Heather was taken through the window, Stiles returned to a squeaky clean cellar.

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This scenario presents the possibility that (1) the broken bottles were merely a hallucination, inflicted on Heather, to cause her to move back up against the window (making her easy pickings for whatever was on the other side); and (2) since, as far as we know, Heather is a human, with no relation to the wolfpack world, there may be another big bad lurking in Beacon Hills other than the Alpha Pack .  . . possibly the one that is exerting its influence on all the animals in the area . . .

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But really, all that’s just plot filler.  The importance of this whole scene, for me anyway, was that poor Stiles, still remains sans popped cherry . . . and we never got to see him take off his shirt.  A moment of silence, please, dear Wolfbangers, for another chance to see Stiles pects, crashed and burned . . .

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But hey, look on the bright side!  Thanks to Heather (well, actually, Heather’s “big boned” brother . . . though it’s probably best we don’t think about that) now every girl (and guy) in Stiles’ economics class, thinks he has an extra large package . . .

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Perhaps, there’s some hope for our unlucky-in-love hero yet . . .

Isaac Lahey: Trust undead psycho hipster? NO!  Willingly get spine-raped by undead psycho hipster? YES!

I’ll confess I wasn’t exactly on Team Isaac last season.

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But I must admit, the kid is growing on me . . .

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For an abused child with MAJOR daddy and trust issues, Isaac comes off as surprisingly innocent and childlike . . . a guy who is so deathly in need of a father figure, that he is seemingly willing to trust any weird wolf man, or hot biker chick with advanced weaponry, who shouts orders his way.

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Well . . . almost anybody . . . There are some folks even Isaac doesn’t like . . .

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And while Isaac’s bizarre innocence, in the face of a life filled with literally nothing but sh*t, is risky and dangerous, it’s also oddly refreshing . . .

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Because Isaac could have just as easily become a sullen broody loner like Derek, or a sassy sociopath like Peter .  . .

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Instead, he’s Ronald Weasley with fangs . . .

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Though Isaac clearly has qualms about being molested by Peter, so that the latter can “read his mind” regarding the possible whereabouts of Boyd and Erika, he quickly agrees to do it, simply because Derek told him it was cool  . . .

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“Whatever you say, Sexy!”

And what about Peter?  The big bad of Season 1 (and half of Season 2), who made his grand entrance to a THEME song, now sports super tight hipster pants, walks with a sassy swagger, and has the mustache of a gangster from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire?

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It seems that Teen Wolf is following in the TVD tradition of converting former Big Baddies into uncomfortable allies, just in time for the Bigger Bad to come along . . .

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My theory?  By the second half of this season The EVIL Alpha Pack will also inevitably join forces with Derek & Co., just in time to battle whatever the heck it was that pulled Heather from the window of her wine cellar . . .

But I’m getting ahead of myself here . . . The important thing is that “EVIL” Peter Hale is back.  And though he’s not nearly as evil as he used to be, boyfriend looks goooooood . . .

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OK . . . so you know, when you were a little kid, and you’d go to the doctor to get shots.  And the doctor, or your mom, or whoever was standing next to you at the time, would always say something like, “This hurts me, more than it hurts you?”

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And, even as a little kid, you knew that was a load of crap, because THAT PERSON, wasn’t the one getting BLUDGEONED WITH A NEEDLE IN THEIR ASS!

Well .  . . in this case, mind raping Isaac really did seem to hurt Peter more than it hurt Isaac . . .

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I mean check out that facial expression . . . That is most definitely the opposite of an “O” face, if you catch my drift . . .

More like an “OH NO!” face . . .

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Based on doing . . . whatever the f*&k it was Peter did to Isaac, he figured out that Baby Wolf had, in fact, stumbled into the Alpha Pack’s lair, and located Boyd and Erika!

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But . . . he had no clue where they actually were .  . .

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And the pair would pretty much be dead, in less than twenty four hours, if the Scooby Gang didn’t do something to rescue them . . .

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Yeah .  . . mind rape is totally overrated . . .

Derek Hale:  Accept help from the two pretty girls who tried to have you killed last season? NO!  Accept help from Stiles, and that new-fangled toy called the Internet?  YES!

If you are one of the five people who have read my Teen Wolf fanfiction, you know that I find the Derek / Allison dynamic interesting. I mean, think about it.  Allison was raised on fear and hatred of werewolves.   Derek was raised on fear and hatred of the hunters, who he grew up believing had murdered his family.  Allison blames Derek for the death of his mother.  Derek blames Allison for going psycho in Season 2, and trying to kill him, and his entire pack.

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There’s angst there . . . tension . . . a lifetime of hatred.  And yet, at their core, Allison and Derek are very much alike.  They are both products of tough and aggressive upbringings.  They mask angst and sadness, with physical toughness, and violence.  They are both trying to be better than those that came before them, but aren’t quite sure they have enough emotional strength, and “goodness” in them to accomplish that . . .

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That’s why, even though the scene during which Allison and Lydia confronted Derek with the matching marks on their arms, and were brutally rebuffed by him, was pretty much filler, it was also, oddly, one of my favorite scenes from the episode . . .

Crystal Reed and Tyler Hoechlin somehow managed to convey all that complexity in the two short scenes they shared with one another.  Derek, understandably, couldn’t bring himself to accept Allison’s help, or her explanations regarding the possible origins of the symbol on her arm . . .   (He needed to hear the same information relayed to him again, later, by Stiles, before he was willing to act on it . . . a decision, which arguably lost him crucial moments in the rescue of Boyd and Erika.)

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As for Allison, though she was willing to put aside her personal feelings to bring this information to Derek, she couldn’t do so without reiterating her disgust of what he represents . . .

But beneath all this, I saw something else growing between these two characters . . . grudging respect, and maybe, just maybe a hint of sexual tension.

derek dream 2 romy kicks ass

Do I think the writers will go there with Derek and Allison, this season?  Maybe not.  But the opportunity exists.  And the writers would be unwise to completely ignore it . . .

P.S. How did the Biker Chick manage to brand the bank logo on the girl’s arms, just using her bare hands?  Was she a tattoo artist from the future?  It would certainly explain that weird light saber-y weapon she de-wolfied the twins with, last week.

On a lighter note, I love that Derek Hale is a 24 year old guy, who . . . even though he literally may have been raised in a barn . . . at least went to high school .  . . and yet still seemingly has no clue how to search for things on Google.

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It looks like someone needs to get some private tutoring lessons from Stiles, STAT!  Am I right, Sterek fans?

Isaac Lahey: Risk death by allowing ones self to be submerged shirtless into a bath of ice water?  YES!  Risk death by allowing ones self to be submerged pantsless in a bath of ice water?  NO!

As if last week’s stomach splicing, and nipple electrocution, and this week’s, spine splicing weren’t painful enough, Poor Isaac was forced to endure even more torture, in the latter half of this week’s episode, when the Scooby Gang tried to DROWN HIM IN AN ICE BATH TO PUT HIM IN A TRANCE, just because THIS GUY told them to do it?

ep 11 vet man

no no on

Yikes!  Who knew werewolf hypnosis was so complicated?  Whatever happened to swinging a pocket watch in front of someone’s face, and telling them they were getting sleepy?

hypnotize

Anywhoo, with little encouragement from the rest of the gang, Isaac gladly took off his shirt, like the good little MTV Heartthrob he is destined to become, but kept his pants on . . . because . . . you know . . . shrinkage . . .

shrinkage

Perhaps, he felt self conscious, under the watchful eye of Stiles and his XXL condom stash . . .

xxl

Trance-fied, VERY cold, and shrinkage free Isaac reveals to the rest of the wolf pack some crucial information about Boyd’s and Erika’s whereabouts . . .

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wake up is

. . . but also that Erika might not be so much . . . um . . . alive . . . anymore.

soap dish smash

In other news, there appears to be another mysterious she-wolf incarcerated with Boyd . . .

cora capture

As Yoda would say, “Thickening . . . the plot is . . .”

Derek Hale and Allison Argent: Break into abandoned, Alpha Pack-filled, bank with little plan or forethought?  YES!  Heed the warnings of others? NO!

Stiles Stilinski is my hero, not only because he’s better at doing Fake Google Searches than Allison Argent . . .

web surf

logos

sookie laughs

But also because he somehow managed to make the logic leap, from a picture of his dad in a newspaper article about an old bank heist, to eventually getting the old floorplans for that bank, and being able to determine exactly how the crooks broke in, all those years ago  . ..

heist study

werewolves not bond villains

I’m telling you . . . in an alternate universe, Stiles and Derek are detectives in a crime procedural buddy cop comedy that my mom watches, after Law and Order SVU. . .

sterek next to eachother

Need proof?  How about this scene, where Derek proves to Stiles that he can break through a wall of concrete, simply by giving his more diminutive pal, a fist bumping high five . . .

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Now, that must have been some pretty impressive fisting . . .

morph

Not as impressive as this fisting though . . .

Yet, fisting or no fisting, Derek ultimately decides to bring Scott on his rescue mission, instead of Stiles, because “logical thinkers” tend to be major buzz kills on rescue missions .  . . even logical thinkers with big weiners . . .

abort

Allison also figures out that the Alphas are hiding Boyd and Erika in the old abandoned bank.  And how just she get in, you ask?  By walking in the front door, of course . . .

enter bank

stefan shrug

“That was easy.”

Hmmm . . . maybe Stiles isn’t as great of a thinker as I thought.  After all, he just got bested by the girl who doesn’t know how to spell “logos.”

mopey stiles - Copy

Boy this bank is becoming a Teen Wolf Reunion special.  First, Allison runs into the school shrink from last season, who rushes her into a cleaning supply closet for her own safety.  Though, honestly, I’m not really sure how safe that closet is, considering the state of Allison’s new “roommate.”

dead erica

BabyScared

Ouch Erika . . . looking a little rough, aren’t we?  Someone’s in need of a SERIOUS makeover.

balls at nose

What?  She’s dead? NOOOOOO!  Not Erika!  Someone get that biker chick to jump start her nipples, like she did for Isaac?

soon dead

bloody

She’s dead too?  Ohhhh . . . never mind.  Nice knowing ya, Wolf Barbie . . .

Talk about Bad Timing.  Not two seconds after Scott and Derek arrive at the bank, do Stiles and Peter, back home, realize that the Alphas have actually lured Scott and Derek there, as part of an EEEEEVIIIIIL plan.

busted scott der

surprised-face

You see, this bank is made of some weird material that scatters moon light.  And the Alphas have basically been keeping Boyd, Erika, and . . . Mystery Girl there for three months (I hope they at least let them shower), preventing them from turning into a werewolf, just so Derek’s busting through the ceiling would expose them to the moonlight, making them go super apesh*t.

2 15 surprise

That’s a whole lotta work, just to kill a couple of wolves, you probably could have just pounced on and killed on your own, right?

Except, here’s the thing . . . last week, we learned that the Alpha’s ultimate goal is to have Derek snuff out Scott, as a potential threat.  And, perhaps, getting him to do that will involve manipulating Derek into joining their pack.  From what we’ve learned in the past, the Alphas in this pack, all murdered members of their entire pack, in order to become part of this one.  Perhaps, it was the Alpha’s intent to capture Derek’s entire pack, and make them all moon-crazed, so Derek would have to put them down, thus inadvertently rendering himself eligible for membership in the ULTIMATE Alpha Pack.

im the alpha

I suspect they didn’t count on Isaac getting away, or Erika . . . possibly committing suicide to save her pack, or getting mortally wounded while trying to escape to warn Derek?

erica and allison

I’m still guessing here.  But if the pack’s ultimate goal is to strong arm Derek’s loyalty, it makes sense that the other female wolf they captured, has even stronger ties to Derek than Boyd, Erika, or even Isaac . . .

She is  . . . wait for it . . . his BABY SISTER!

cora hale

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Huh . . . you say . . . but I thought Derek’s sister was DEAD?

nodding oh yeah

I thought everyone in Derek’s family was dead .  . . well . . . except for Derek . . . and now Peter . . . and well . . .

looking good peter hale

YOU THOUGHT WRONG!

You could just smell the sibling rivalry in the room  . . . along with the ammonia from the cleaning closet, and the stench of three-month unwashed werewolves.  This is going to be GOOOOD!

cora

cora get out

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Boyd and .  . .  CORA . . .  that’s her name by the way, warn Derek and Scott to leave, before they fully wolf out.

But then, someone traps them in place with a circle of MOUNTAIN ASSSSSSSHHHHHH  . . .

mountain ash

Who would do such a thing?  Who would betray our heroes?

counselor

oh hell to the no

Mrs. Morell, you traitorous hussy!  And after your friend the vet worked so hard to almost kill Isaac in an ice cold bath to help him find you!

traitorous

Some people just don’t know how to show gratitude . . .

Worry not, Wolf Friends.  Allison, fresh out of her ammonia closet / grave is here to rescue you.  She pushes aside the mountain ash, freeing those two rabid werewolves from captivity, and saving Derek and Scott from inevitable demise . . .

clap for bonus

I mean, so what if these two end up devouring all of Beacon Hills?  At least our two sexy stud muffins are safe, right?  Priorities . . .

trademark scott face

Derek, who has never exactly been one for subtlety, decides this is the perfect time to force Scott to tell Allison about that time her dearly departed mother tried to murder his ass . . . AWK-WARD. . .

free ali

“Whatchu talkin about, Derek?”

Meanwhile, back at the Martin House, Lydia wakes up screaming . . . again.

ahhhhhhhhhhh

thescream

sookie shut the fuck up

Oh no, Teen Wolf!   Are you trying to tell me that this entire episode was Lydia’s dream?  No?  Maybe she’s upset, because she just found out they canceled Smash?

ep 9 stiles hale tumblr going to die

lyd screams

“But I LOVE musicals!”

Tune in next week to find out.

See ya then, Wolfbangers!

hi stiles

[www.juliekushner.com][My Tumblr] [Fangirls Forever]

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Create Your Dream Cast – Vampire Academy Series

A few months back, I became absolutely obsessed with a little book called The Hunger Games by groundbreaking author, Suzanne Collins.  Upon hearing that Lionsgate had purchased the film rights to the book, I decided it might be fun to create a sort of “dream cast,” of actors I would “hire” if I had the opportunity to do casting for the film.

Writing the post was a ton of fun for me.  Plus, a lot of people really seemed to respond to it. 

So, now it’s a few months later, and I find myself obsessed with a brand new Young Adult book series.   In many ways, Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy is the anti-Twilight.  On the surface, yes, like that other series, Vampire Academy is about a girl in her late teens who is enmeshed in a world of supernatural creatures, most notably, vampires.  However, Rose Hathaway, the main protagonist who narrates the books, for lack of a better phrase, kicks ass!  She is a dhampir.  A half-human, half-vampire amalgamation, who is training to become a guardian of vampires.  That’s right, boys and girls, she protects vampires, as opposed to being protected by them! 

While these books definitely focus MORE on action and less on the romance, there are enough longing looks and steamy scenes in these novels to sate the desires of even the most sappy of romantics.  And don’t even get me started on these dhampir and vampire men . . .  (swoons and faints).

Even though there are currently no plans to convert the Vampire Academy books into a film or television series (SERIOUSLY?  What are you WAITING for, Hollywood?), I thought it might be fun to return to the casting couch, and select who I would cast in a hypothetical film or television show based on these books.  

I plan to try EXTREMELY hard not to inadvertently spoil any of the main plot points of these books, in the context of explaining my various “casting” decisions.  However, there ARE lots of jaw-dropping twists in this series, particularly in the first novel, that impacted my ultimate decisions as to which actors should play these characters.  So, if you are a MAJOR spoiler-phobe, please tread lightly.  And don’t say I didn’t warn you . . .

Rose Hathaway:

My pick: Nikki Reed

Why I think she’d make a great Rose:  In many ways, Rose is the toughest character to cast in this series.  After all, as the series’ protagonist and first-person narrator, her likeability and relatability will drive the entire story.  Rose is a fairly complex gal.   On one hand, she is tough-as-nails, extremely brave, and fiercely loyal.  However, she can also be prone to impulsive behavior, moodiness, icy sarcasm, and intense bouts of rage.  To top it off, at the start of the series, Rose is quite the popular party girl, one who has a reputation, whether deserved or not, for being “more than friendly” with many of the guys at her school.

In terms of Rose’s physical characteristics, Nikki Reed meets them to a tee!  In the novels, Rose is described as being of medium height, muscular, and slightly curvy (at least in the chest area).  She also has lightly tanned skin, dark eyes, and long dark brown hair.  Additionally, as an actress still in her very early 20’s, Nikki will have no trouble passing for a 17-18 year old girl, particularly one as mature beyond her years, as Rose.

Of course, ideal physical characteristics alone do not make a perfect casting choice.  Undoubtedly, many of you likely remember Nikki as the blond and beautiful, but slightly bitchy, Rosalie Hale in the Twilight series . . .

However, what you may not know is that Nikki Reed has been acting in films and writing screenplays LONG before Twilight was even written.  Nikki was not even 15-years old when she wrote, and starred, alongside Evan Rachel Wood, in the heartbreaking and highly disturbing film Thirteen, about two young teens who find themselves falling into an unforgiving world of drugs, crime and sex.  The film was critically acclaimed and even received an Oscar Nomination.

Aside from “looking” right for the part, I think Nikki Reed has the acting chops, intelligence, physicality, and natural sex appeal to pull off a role as multi-faceted as Rose Hathaway.

Lissa Dragomir

My pick: Julianne Hough

Why I think she’d make a great Lissa: In the novel, Rose’s best friend, the vampiric Lissa Dragomir, is described as being tall, thin, and pale-skinned, with blonde hair, and piercing green eyes.  In terms of personality, Lissa and Rose are almost polar opposites.  While Rose, is loud, and tough, and brash, Lissa, a descendant from a long line of royal vampires, is more reseved, a bit more fragile, and a lot more graceful and sophisticated.  She also excudes a certain innocence, and charisma (part natural, part magical) that draws others to her, making her extremely well liked at the Academy where she and Rose study.  On the other hand, whoever took on the role of Lissa, must be able to display intense emotionality, as certain things happen during the course of the series that cause Lissa to lose her characteristic cool.

Most people are familiar with Julianne from her role as a dancer on Dancing with the Stars

In that capacity, Julianne’s grace, innocence, likeability, and natural charisma practically leap of the screen.  The question is, “Can she act?” 

I would be inclined to say, “yes.”  Hough has already been slated to play the female lead, Ariel Moore, in the upcoming remake of the popular 80’s musical film, Footloose, which originally starred Kevin Bacon. 

 The role of Ariel in that film is a fairly meaty one, particularly for an actress making her big screen debut.  For the producers of the movie to cast Julianne in that role, she must have shown them something truly special at her audition.  If Julianne can pull off Ariel Moore, I have no doubt that she would also be able to pull off Lissa Dragomir.

Dimitri Belikov

My pick: Channing Tatum

Why I think he would make a great Dimitri: As Rose’s mentor, and main love interest throughout the series, 24-year old guardian, Dimitri Belikov is arguably the most important male role to cast in a film or television show based on this series.  In the books, he is described as being extremely tall, and impressively buff, with dark eyes and brown hair. 

Dimitri is basically every girl’s dream.  On one hand, he’s strong and amazingly tough.  He described as a “god” by many at the Academy.  And yet, he is also stern, secretive, and sensitive — a natural born-caretaker, one constantly torn between doing his job well and giving in to his desires.

Having starred in films like G.I. Joe and Step Up, we know that Channing Tatum has the physicality necessary for this role (And have you seen those abs?  WOW!).  Yet, Tatum has also had the opportunity to prove himself capable of taking on the role of romantic lead, as evidenced by his portrayal of John Tyree in the recently released chick flick, Dear John.  I’m just hoping he can fake a Russian accent . . .

Christian Ozera

My pick: Ed Westwick

Why I think he’d make a great Christian:  As Lissa’s main love interest throughout the series, Christian is probably the second most important male lead to cast.  The character is described as being tall and lean, with dark hair and pale skin.  Christian begins the series as a loner and an outsider, due to a questionable family history.  He has a dark sense of humor, a biting wit, and is not afraid to challenge authority.  Christian also can do very cool things with fire . . .

I chose Westwick, mainly because, aside from him being an amazing actor, I felt Christian’s relationship with Lissa, at least as it was portrayed in the first book in the series, dovetailed nicely with Westwick’s character Chuck’s relationship with Blair, during the early seasons of the CW series Gossip Girl.

In both relationships, the male lead is instantly sure of his feelings for the object of his desire, while the female will ultimately take a bit more convincing.   Like Chuck and Blair, Christian understands Lissa in a way that nobody else does, not even Rose.  To win her heart, he uses his intelligence and wit, as opposed to any sort of brute strength or macho bravado.  Christian’s and Lissa’s relationship has a fun, and undeniably sexy, push and pull, in its early stages, that I would love to see play out screen.  And who better to exemplify the “push and pull” of young love than Chuck Bass?

Mason Ashford

My pick: Douglas Smith

Why I think he’d make a great Mason:  As Rose’s best guy friend and fellow guardian, who just so happens to harbor a not-so-secret crush on Rose, Mason doesn’t play a particularly big part in the first book of the Vampire Academy series.  However, he DOES play a major role in Frostbite, its sequel.  In the books, Mason is described as being tall (Am I the only one noticing a pattern here?), and red-headed, with boyish good looks.  In casting Mason, it is important to find a guy who is likeable and fun enough, to function as a reasonable, if not exactly heart-stopping, alternative to Dimitri, to fulfill the role of Rose’s boyfriend.  Douglas Smith’s portrayal of Ben Henrickson in the HBO series Big Love is so genuine and inherently likeable, you almost want to reach through the screen and give him a hug.  Yeah, that’s our Mason!

Mia Rinaldi

My pick:  Ashley Benson

Why I think she’d make a great Mia: Every high school series needs a mean girl.  And, in the Vampire Academy series, those shoes are filled, at least initially, by Mia Rinaldi.  Rose’s and Lissa’s nemesis, Mia, is one year younger than they are.  She is described as being short (YAY!  FINALLY!  Short people represent . . . too bad it had to be the bitchy one . . .), with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a childlike cherubic face that belies her catty and manipulative nature.  And yet, there is also a vulnerability to Mia.  Behind that cold facade, Mia hides a few dark secrets, ones that make her actions, if not necessarily justifiable, at least understandable.

Best known for her role as Carson in the fourth installment of the Bring it On film series, and for her upcoming turn as Hanna in the new ABC Family teen drama, Pretty Little Liars, premiering this summer, Ashley has plenty of experience playing the girl you love to hate.  And yet, there is always a soft-side to her portrayals — one that allows the “love” part to dominate just a bit more than it would otherwise . . .

Natalie Dashkov

My pick: Tina Majorino

Why I think she would make a great Natalie: In Vampire Academy, Natalie is more or less described as a plain-jane.  Natalie is the quiet, sweet, and socially awkward friend of Rose’s and Lissa’s.  Unlike the others, she seems to care little about the politics of high school.  The actress who plays Natalie must be sweet and inherently likeable, but have sufficient acting chops to pull off a major dramatic turn toward the end of the first installment of the series.  Majorino’s recent portrayals of Heather in Big Love and Mack in Veronica Mars, have shown her to be precisely the right girl for the job.

Jesse Zeklos

My pick: Michael Trevino

Why I think he’d make a great Jesse:  In the novels, Jesse is described as being a tall, dark, and handsome, spoiled rich kid.  He is popular, D-baggy, manipulative, and rumored to have slept with multiple members of the cast.  Now if that doesn’t SCREAM Tyler Stratton from CW’s The Vampire Diaries, I don’t know WHAT does!

Eddie Castile

My pick: Chris Lowell

Why I think he’d make a great Eddie:  Admittedly, at the start of the series, Eddie is little more than Mason’s friend and sidekick, and, therefore, a sort-of adopted member of the novels’ “Scooby Gang.”  However, by the second and third installment of the series, Eddie comes into his own, as a loyal friend and strong protector of those around him.  In casting Eddie, the producers would need someone relatable, who has a sense of humor, and isn’t afraid of getting knocked around a bit (and bitten?).  Seeing as Chris Lowell’s character Dell on Private Practice recently died of a brain hemorrhage, I’m thinking the actor’s schedule is WIDE open . . .

Adrian Ivashkov

My pick: Jason Dohring

Why I think he’d make a great Adrian:  OK, this is sort of cheating, seeing as Adrian doesn’t appear AT ALL in the first book of the series.  However, the character plays such a major role in the subsequent books, I just couldn’t resist trying my hand at casting him.  The novel describes Adrian as tall and fair haired with penetrating eyes that see EVERYTHING.  He is more muscularly built than most vampires, but leaner than super-buff dhampirs, like Dimitri.  At first glance, 21-year old Adrian might appear to the casual reader as just another spoiled rich vampire — a hard drinking, heavy smoking, womanizing, cad, with too much money and time on his hands. 

However, as we get to know Adrian throughout the series, we see that he is much more than that.  He is smart and often scarily perceptive, instantly knowing things about Rose that she might not even understand about herself.  Adrian can also be surprisingly generous with his money, his time, and his soul.  He quickly develops a friendship with Lissa, and harbors an as-of-yet unrequited MAJOR soft-spot for Rose.  More so than Mason, Adrian could wind up being a major contender in the battle for our main protagonist’s heart.

So why Jason Dohring?   Basically, a few years back, I fell in LOVE with a character by the name of Logan Echolls!  On Veronica Mars, he too was a spoiled womanizing rich kid bad boy.  Or, at least, he started off that way.  That was before he fell in love with Veronica Mars, who like Rose, was a kickass, hardcore, take-no-prisoners, protagonist, who began the series, despising Logan. 

In my opinion, Veronica’s and Logan’s relationship remains one of the hottest and most compulsively watchable couplings in television.  Please forgive me for wanting to see my Logan again, even if it has to be with another leading lady . . .

So, there you have it, my Dream Cast for the Vampire Academy film and/or television series.  Now we just have to find someone willing to buy the media rights . . . Any takers?

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Filed under Book, casting, Vampire Academy