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Post-Traumatic Kanaima Syndrome – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Battlefield”

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OMG, Werebangers!  We are officially one episode away from the end of the season!  It seems like only yesterday that we watched Lydia take the Dirtiest Shower Ever, and we all made fun of Scott and his trademark Crab-Leg / Run-Waddle . . .

This week on Teen Wolf, Derek received some “Uncle-y” (Is that an actual word?) Advice, Allison proved that the Psycho Argent Gene might not have skipped a generation, after all, Stiles proved that he might actually be Batman (though, personally, the Spiderman analogy always made more sense to me), Isaac fondled an adorable puppy, and Scott spent the hour looking even more confused than usual . . .

So, strap on your helmet and brush up on your knowledge of the film Independence Day, because it’s time for another Teen Wolf-cap . . .

[As always, special thanks go out to my pal, Andre for his weekly dedication to Screencap Awesomeness!  Andre, just so you know, I would totally beat people up on the lacrosse field, for you, if you asked nicely. ;)]

Hyper-Vigilence

I hear lacrosse sticks are a good source of fiber.

One frequent criticism lodged at teen shows, in general, and teen supernatural shows, specifically, is that they tend to be purposefully blind to the long-term impact that repeated exposure to traumatic events would have on the average teen psyche.

Teen Wolf has managed to avoid this pitfall, with episodes like “Battlefield.”  These episodes directly address how the events of the series are impacting the main characters’ lives, in a way that actually adds to, rather than detracts from, the action of the story.

I guess we have Cryptic Counselor Lady to thank for that . . .

The episode begins on an unusually somber note, with everyone’s favorite ambassador of Team Human, nervously gnawing on his lacrosse stick (Mmmm!  Tasty!), as he describes to Cryptic Counselor Lady, in chilling detail, what the experience of drowning feels like . . . the way the water exerts pressure on the body .  . . the way the body struggles to keep itself from filling with water .  . . and the peaceful feeling that takes over right before death . . .

This doesn’t look so peaceful to me . . .

Woah,  Stiles!  Have you been chatting with Dead Creepy Camera Guy, lately?  How do you know all this stuff about drowning?  Did you look it up on Wikipedia?  Morbid much?  Whatever happened to teens who spent their free internet search time scouring for porn, like everyone else? 🙂

“So, basically WebMD says that little problem you’ve been having down there is totally normal for werewolves, who come back from the dead through weird hand-holding rituals.”

And yet, in a way, Stiles has experienced drowning, firsthand . . . though it’s drowning in the metaphorical sense, more than the literal one.  Like a drowning man, Stiles is feeling pressure exerted on him from all angles.  He feels responsible for his father’s sadness (But hey, at least thanks to all those dead cops, the dude got his job back!), Allison’s rage, Jackson’s and Lydia’s respective psychoses, and Scott’s confusion and loneliness.   He wants to help the people he cares about, but feels that his humanity makes him incapable of doing so.  He’s also pretty f*&kin’ freaked out that he might just end up getting eaten alive by a Big F*&kin’ Lizard Man .  . .

Cryptic Counselor Lady, as it turns out, has a medical  diagnosis for “pretty f*&kin freaked out.”  It’s called Hyper Vigilant.  (Take that, Freshman Psychology Class!)  She also has some advice for Stiles, courtesy of Winston Churchill.  “If you are going through Hell, keep going.”

Insightful?  Yes, definitely.  Inspirational?  Oh, I don’t know.  Personally, when I’m going through Hell, I prefer to stop and take a nap . . .

Either way, Dylan O’Brien and his puppy dog eyes absolutely KILLED this scene, adding an unusual amount of gravitas to a show about funny-faced werewolves, gorilla-looking Alphas, and Lizard People, who are afraid of their own reflections . . .  The actor is just awe-inspiringly talented.  And I for one, can’t wait for the time, when he’s off winning Oscars, and I get to brag to everyone I know, that I knew him back when he was on that little MTV show with the funny-faced werewolves, gorilla-loooking Alphas, and Lizard People, who are afraid of their own reflections . . .

Who’s with me on this one?

Cue the obligatory Scott Shower Scene in 3, 2 . . .

“Hey Ladies!  I’m the wolf your man could smell like . . .”

Lest we get too serious, too quickly, the episode then decides to dial up it’s camp factor to about 20 with a revisit to Naked Shower Scott.  You remember Naked Shower Scott,  right?  We met him back in the pilot, and he’s been having regular cameos on the show ever since.  After all, when you spend a good portion of your time running around the woods chasing squirrels, and running from lizard people,  hygiene is VERY important . . .

Naked Shower Scott not campy enough for you?  How about this doozy of an image?

“Just hangin’ out . . .”

Sadly, this is Mama McCall’s first date since Peter Hale . . .

That’s right, Werebangers! It appears the McCalls have unwittingly thrown themselves a private party, at which scaly green men, and wrinkly old men are the guests of honor.  Poor Mama McCall!  Not too long ago, she found out her son occasionally sports sideburns, a bad hairdo, and a pointy face that literally only a mother could love.  Now, suddenly, she’s hanging out on her werewolf son’s ceiling, spooning with a murderous kanaima.

I guess, when it rains, it pours, right?

Grandpa Crazy Pants reminds Scott that this is what happens, when the latter doesn’t return his text messages . . . his mom starts hooking up with lizard people.  Pops then goes on to explain to those confused by the events of last week’s episode, that his desire to avenge his daughter Wackjob Kate’s death,  is what made him capable of forging the Kanaima Master connection.

“‘S-up, Wolfie?”

I guess he’s right.   But, then again, what character on this show DOESN’T have at least one death to avenge?  Truth be told, Kanaima Jackson has so many options for a Master in Beacon Hills, he could star in his own reality dating show entitled: Can I be your b*tch?

Anyway, after Gerard and his b*tch exit stage left, a tearful Mama McCall begs Scott to do whatever Grandpa Crazy Pants wants him to do, i.e. provide Derek Hale’s head on a platter . . .

Clearly, Mama McCall has never seen the episode of Teen Wolf where Derek spent ten minutes doing push-ups and pull-ups to pop music . . .

Had she seen this, I’m quite certain she would have chosen differently.   After all, a six-pack and great pects are a terrible thing to waste . . .

Baby, I’m howling for you . . .

Here’s a new couple idea for you: Boyd and Erica . .  . the Absentee Werewolf and Tweedle Dumb Boobs.

We found love in a hairy place . . .

I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first.  But eventually, they won me over . . . holding hands in the middle of the woods, like high school sweethearts, finishing each other’s sentences, calculating the percent chance of certain doom, when they find themselves surrounded by a seemingly large pack of wolves that isn’t there own.  It’s a romantic comedy dream come true . . . minus the comedy, of course . . .

Love hurts . . .

And if these two crazy kid both wind-up surviving the season, which, under the circumstances, is highly unlikely, I think they just might make it as a couple . . .

After all, they did find love in a hopeless place.  Stay strong, were-cubs!  Help is on the way . . . eventually.

Who in their right mind would reject Derek Hale?

Scratch that, were-cubs.  Help was on the way, until you bit the hand that fed you.  So much for pack loyalty.  One creepy lizard thing controlled by a werewolf-hating sociopath, and a pack of potentially angry wolves, is all it takes to send Erica and Boyd literally heading for the hills.

“Honestly, we’re just not that into you.

“But I was on SEVENTH HEAVEN.  Doesn’t that mean anything to you ingrates?”

And as bad as I felt for Derek about being double-dumped, I was actually a bit more concerned about Erica’s and Boyd’s parents.  I mean, considering they were being referred to as “the runaways” throughout the entire hour,  they HAD them, didn’t they?  Perhaps, they assumed their sticking around would put their families in danger of becoming kanaima meat as well . . .

Upon hearing the bad news that, “it’s not you, it’s the kanaima,” a particularly sour grapes Derek warns his little cub-lings that once they start running scared, they will ALWAYS be running scared.  I suspect Derek knows a thing or two about that from personal experience.

That, and he looks really hot when he runs . . .

No matter, because,  as it turns out, Erica and Boyd don’t actually get to do much running at all .  . .

Because Grandpa Argent clearly laces his fake suicide notes with crack and Cult Kool-Aid . . .

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Katniss Everdeen does not approve . . .

Honestly,  I’m a bit confused about what exactly the “strategy” was that convinced an entire team of Argents, led by Allison and Papa Argent to drive down Erica and Boyd in a troop of ATVs.  Forgive me, if I’m wrong, but I thought it was established last week that “Derek got the Death Sentence priority,” and the were-cubs were only a target, if they got in the way. Well, I hate to break it to you Argents, but Erica and Boyd, are SOOOO not getting in your way!  In fact, they are saying, “Hey, Argents!  You go ahead and kill that hunky piece of man-meat known as our were-dad.  We sure as heck aren’t going to stop you!”

“Wake us, when our maker is dead . . .”

I mean, I guess their idea was to use Boyd and Erica to get to Derek, either through interrogation or ransom.  But still, the “strategy” seems to pretty blatantly fly in the face of that whole “Argent Code.”  Don’t you think?

Oh, and ATV’S?  Not exactly the most stealthy hunting vehicles.  You might as well tracked down Boyd and Erica using monster trucks . . .

ALLISON: “Be very, very quiet . . . I’m hunting werewolves.”

CHRIS: “WHAT?!  I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE ENGINE!”

Anywhoo, Allison pulls out her trusty bow and arrow, and shoots Erica in the side, immediately immobilizing her.  Then, when Boyd (lamely) tries to come to her aid (HELLO!  YOU ARE WEREWOLVES!  DEFEND YOURSELVES!  SHAKE WHAT YOUR DEREK GAVE YOU!), Allison’s got an arrow for him too, multiple arrows, in fact.

“Heartburn . . . need . . . TUMS.”

Did I mention that Allison continues to pelt poor Erica and Boyd with arrows, despite the fact that they have long been immobilized,  and neither is a threat anymore.  It gets to the point where Papa Argent has to literally shoot the bow and arrow out of Allison’s hand to get her to stop having so much fun!

Now, granted, werewolves heal.  So, unless the bullets on those bows were silver tipped, Allison was in no danger of killing Boyd or Erica, no matter how many of them she wasted on them.   Still though, it was an uncharacteristically cold move on Allison’s part.  And when your wacky, “I kidnap my own daughter sometimes,  just to teach her a lesson” father, thinks you’ve gone too far, it’s a pretty safe bet that you have . . .

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Even more uncharacteristic of Allison was the surprisingly sleazy and arrogant joy she got out of capturing her two classmates.  This accomplishment she haughtily took full credit for, in front of her father, just before gleefully calling “Grandpa” to report the good news.  That’s right, I said “Grandpa.”  Allison used to distance herself from the loony tunes old dude who spawned her father, by coldly referring to him as “Gerard.”  Now, suddenly, she’s acting like their Mean Girl besties.

Daddy definitely does NOT approve . . .

My thoughts on this plot development?  Too much, too fast . . .

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved seeing the heretofore almost frustratingly even=keeled Allison come a bit unhinged in these past few weeks over the death of her mother.  And, acting-wise, Crystal Reed has really been “bringing it” in this regard.  But what made Good Girl  Allison’s slow descent in to Darth Vader territory seem so authentic and believable was that it was all anchored by a heart-wrenching sadness, and a lazer-like focus on Derek, the man she presumes to be her mother’s killer.

This week, Allison just seemed a little too happy for my liking.  Her sudden glee over repeatedly shooting her classmates, when they were already down, for no reason whatsoever, was a bit hard for me to swallow.

Whatever Gerard put in that faux suicide letter must have been pretty darn powerful stuff to get Allison to change her ENTIRE personality for it, in the course of a week.  Hey, maybe he laced it with that same crazy (“kill all the humans”) Cult Blood the vampires have been inhaling on True Blood . . .

A Hale Family Zombie Reunion

Back at the Hale house,  Derek’s day just continues to get worse,  as he finds himself faced with the Uncle he both killed, and unwittingly helped to come back from the dead.  (How very Shakespearean!)

“You can tell I’m more dignified now, because I have a soul patch, and use hair gel . . .”

The two family members “catch up” with one another, by tossing household items at one another, and basically beating the sh*t at each other for a few hours.  You know, just like old times!

Then, Peter (who, I’ll say this again, has been looking SUPER fine, since his reincarnation) decides to go all Yoda on Derek’s ass.  “Save Jackson, you will.  Teach you to stop being such a lame Alpha,  I can,” Yoda Peter tells his nephew, more or less . . .

Peter claims that Jackson only became the kanaima in the first place, because he lacked a sense of identity.  (That whole “no face” hallucination in the “Party Guessed” episode would seem to prove as much . . .)  He further explains that calling Jackson by his “Christian” name, should be enough to bring him back to himself.  (I guess being a burned-up corpse  in the ground gives you a lot of time to catch up on your Bestiary reading . . .)

Oh, and here’s the kicker,  Peter claims that the Hale’s should use Lydia to save Jackson, since he looooooooves her so much.

Is it just a mere coincidence that the person Peter wants to incorporate into their grand Kanaima-Away plan for Jackson Wittemore, just so happens to be the same girl Uncle ex-Alpha has been mind-raping, and using as his zombie slave all season?  I think not  . . .

Because, here’s the thing, I don’t care how hot he looks lately, I’m totally not buying Peter’s whole “I just want to be part of a pack again,” act.   A few episodes back, the Vet explicitly told Derek to watch out for Peter’s attempts to mentally manipulate him.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what’s happening here . . .

Good Old Animal Magnetism

As much as I pick on Scott, I’m actually really enjoying the Scott / Isaac bromance that’s been percolating throughout the season.  So, I hope that continues, and they don’t decide to .  . . you know . . . kill the guy, or something.

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One thing that was never really addressed with Isaac were his thoughts about the whole “Matt Thing,” especially since we learned that the two were childhood friends, and that Matt was playing at his house, when the whole “drowning thing” occurred.  So, presumably, Isaac knew about it.  I wonder if that aspect of the story will ever come up again . . .

Anywhoo, I found it interesting that while Boyd and Erica decided amongst themselves to abandon Derek, and escape Beacon Hills, Isaac came to world-beater Scott at the Vet’s office for advice.

You could say THAT again . . .

Of all of Derek’s wolf pack, Isaac actually had the least to lose by leaving, since he LITERALLY has no one keeping him in Beacon Hills.  And yet, I still feel like he’s grasping for some connection, or reason to stay in town.  Derek Hale wasn’t that connection.  Neither was Erica Reyes.  Scott might be.  Except, Scott’s already got a whole Scooby Gang to wolf-sit.  Is there room for one more?  Tune in next week to find out . . .

“We can have slumber parties, and paint eachothers’ nails . . . just promise you won’t invite the swim team over, K?”

Oh, and did I mention that Werewolf Isaac has the power to fondle puppies and take their pain away.  Does it get much cuter than that?

“He can ‘take my pain away’ anytime!”

Too bad I’m pretty sure this power is going to be used to take the pain away from a dying human next week.

But for now, we can just enjoy the adorable puppy love-ness of it all . . .

Because lacrosse games are exactly like Potentially Apocalyptic Alien Invasions . . .

It’s time for the Big Game. Jackson the Lizard Slave is in attendance, looking eeeeevvvill.  Pal Dann wants to know why Jackson hasn’t been returning his calls.  Maybe it’s because Hallmark hasn’t started selling: “Sorry, I became the kanaima and accidentally / on purpose paralyzed you, while going on my killing spree” cards just yet . . .

“Is this because I watched your sex tape?”

“That depends.  Did you enjoy it?”

Regardless, Danny’s reaching out and calling to Jackson seems to break him out of his kanaima-fueled trance (just like Lydia was able to do last week) long enough to tell his best friend to RUN, if he sees him coming toward him at the game.  Solid advice, Kanaima man!

Meanwhile, Coach Crackhead is inexplicably quoting the 1996 classic Alien Invasion Film, Independence Day (starring Will Smith and Bill Pullman as . . . wait for it . . . the President of the United States) — a movie that the entire locker room is way too young to have possibly seen in theaters — in order to rev the team up for their big game.

“That Bill Pullman is SO dreamy!”

(Well, I guess the kanaima is kind of alien-looking, when you really think about it.  So, perhaps, the film reference isn’t quite as out there as it initially seemed.)

“Who you calling an ALIEN?”

Speaking of out there,  what the frack is Scott’s mom doing in the gym locker room, ogling naked teenage boys?  I mean sure, we needed to see her go tell Scott to “be a hero” or something, and tell him that she no longer thinks he’s hideous, just because he sometimes gets sideburns and a pointy face.  But couldn’t this have waited until the team got to the field?

“You can’t fight it, Stiles.  I know if I wait here long enough,  eventually you are going to have to take off your shirt.”

Then again, along with the Coach himself, and Grandpa Argent, Mama McCall is probably the only one old enough to get the Independence Day reference.  (I mean, Stiles got it.  But that kid has “film geek” written all over him.)

Speaking of pep talks, Grandpa Crazy Pants Argent pops in to slyly tell the lacrosse team to MURDER the opposition.  Of course, we all know full well he doesn’t give two craps about the game, and is only there to command Jackson, and seriously freak out Scott.  But hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?  Well . . . nevermind.

Anyway, mission accomplished, old man.

In which Stiles plays well (both with himself and others) . . .

Beacon Hills . . . we have a problem.  You see, Scott McCall is our star werewolf lacrosse player.  He’s also our co-captain, and resident super-hero, tasked with protecting the WORLD from Kanaima Jackson the Killing Machine, who just so happens to be the team’s other co-captain.  So, what’s the problem, you say?

Well, basically the problem is that Scott CAN’T PLAY!

He can’t play because he’s a moron.  his grades don’t meet the minimum requirements to participate in high school sports . . .

This means that, not only is there a good chance the Beavers are going to LOSE this game, there’s also a good chance . . . wait for it . . . THEY ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!

This sounds like a job for Superman   Batman  Wolverine  Isaac Lahey?

“You were expecting someone taller?”

So, what’s his big plan?  Simple, he’s going to beat the crap out of everyone on his own team, so that the Coach has no choice but to play Scott, or risk forfeiting the game.

Wait . . . what?

Correct me if I’m wrong, because I don’t know jack about lacrosse.  But doesn’t kicking your own teammates asses constitute some sort of a penalty, as in the kind of penalty that would get you thrown out of a game, before you REPEATED THE PROCESS ON ABOUT SIX PLAYERS?  It’s still kind of fun to watch, though . . .

Eventually, Isaac himself gets a taste of his own medicine (presumably from the Kanaima, himself, though he gets un-paralyzed surprisingly quickly, all things considered), and is pulled out of the game on a  stretcher.

That’s bad . . . (well, unless, of course, you were one of the players who didn’t end up getting beaten up because of it).

You know what’s very, very good, however?  STILES GETS TO PLAY!!!  (And not just with himself either, because he already did that twice today.)

And that causes Proud Papa Stilinski to have this reaction . . .

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Initially, Stiles kind of stinks up the joint on the field, which causes his personal cheering section to have this reaction . . .

But then, all of the sudden he’s AWESOME, which makes Lydia do THIS . . .

Seems like, if these keeps up, Stiles might be scoring in more ways than one, next season.  Hey, Lydia!  It’s high time you recognized the awesomeness of Stiles.  And, should you have any doubt in your mind that he is the right guy for you, might I remind you of the . . . size of his package?

*clears throat*

Hey Grandpa Crazy Pants!  I think it’s time to go back on your meds . . .

You see . . . it’s a pill container, and also a sundial . . . You gotta love old people and their trusty gadgets . . .

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t really understand how the Supersonic Werewolf Hearing Power works.  I mean, is it like a set of quality headphones, allowing you to drown out all crowd noises, in favor of the old geezer whispering sweet nothings in your ear from across the field?  And what about Grandpa himself, I mean, presumably he was speaking at normal volume.

He’s totally eye-f*&king you right now . . .

How come no one but Scott had to listen to him threaten to kill Coach Crackhead, Scott’s mom, and assorted others, if Scott didn’t deliver him Derek in a handbag (which would be a really great Christmas present . . . just saying. ;))?

I won’t dwell on this too long though.  What’s important here is that Beacon Hill WON THE GAME, even without Hero McCall!

This, of course, might prompt you to wonder where our hero had scampered off too, after Mini Hulk Isaac went through all that trouble to beat up his teammates.  Well, as it turns out he went to SAVE ISAAC from Gerard.

“You totally thought you were going to get to shove that up my ass, didn’t you?”

In short, it was a really nice case of You Scratch My Hairy Werewolf Back, I’ll scratch yours . . .

But I guess now you are wondering who Gerard ordered Jackson to kill at the end of the game.  And here’s the kicker, we still don’t know!  Because after the game ended all of the lights went out in the field!

And then, get this Jackson KANAIMA’ED HIMSELF!  (Way to take one for the team, Jackson . . . literally.)

So, does that mean everyone is safe then?  Well, maybe, maybe not, because, wait for it . . . STILES IS MISSING . . .

Talk about a cliffhanger, right except not really, because we all saw Stiles very much alive in the promo, and we all know that the writers would all probably rather cut their right arms off than kill Stiles, which is entirely understandable given the sheer extent of his awesomeness?

And that was pretty much, “Battlefield,” in a nutshell.  Soooo . . . what did you think? 😉

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever – Now with Team Stiles t-shirts!]

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