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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Teen Wolf: Chaos Rising.

Previously on Teen Wolf: Tattoo.

Character 1: I just had a really terrible idea.
Character 2: Great! Let's do it!
-- Teen Wolf
On the bright side, this episode showed us that most of Teen Wolf's main characters are learning from past mistakes. I say "bright side" because as always, everything in Beacon Hills is terrible.
The main thing Allison has learned is how to be genre-savvy about living in a horror movie. Like for example, if the bruise on your arm looks like a mysterious symbol? Chances are it's a mysterious symbol. Lydia is doubtful, but that's mainly because she's a very rational person, and isn't used to the kind of gut feelings that Allison, Stiles and Scott have honed after two seasons of exposure to weird supernatural bullshit. Too bad Derek doesn't listen to Allison -- he's the one character who NEVER LEARNS, both in this episode and in general. Which is probably because he's a 50/50 split between "traumatised teenage boy" and "30-year-old hardened criminal": he never got a chance to, you know, learn how to think things through and make sensible decisions like a real adult. More on that later.

Scott and Stiles' party scene is extremely important because SHANTAL RHODES. Shantal is living the good life, somehow managing to go to teen parties in Beacon Hills and not get involved in any werewolf gang wars. I think she must go to the "other school" (the source of Stiles' new love-interest, Heather), which is presumably where all the human, relatively teenage-looking teens hang out. Anyhow, she and Heather are awesome, and have one of those rare teen TV show sex talks that bridges the gap between "ridiculous sex fantasy" and "actually kinda realistic".
Too bad Heather immediately gets punished, horror movie style, for wanting to lose her virginity. Out the window she goes! Interesting fact: this is actually what happens if you break your Silver Ring Thing chastity pledge. Invisible demons show up, fling broken glass at you, and drag you directly to Hell. NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE. Poor Heather. Meanwhile, I'm screaming into the void because Stiles has just told her that he hasn't turned 17 yet. STILES? IS? STILL? SIXTEEN??? Tumblrites: You're all going to jail.
I'm pretty excited that we get to see Derek's new loft in this episode. Despite the fact that it's ostensibly an actual apartment with furniture and running water and everything, it's almost less realistic than when he was living in the burnt-out shell of his family home, or on the mysterious (but similarly charred) subway-car-without-a-subway. Continuing with Beacon Hills' ability to simultaneously be a sleepy Californian town and a sprawling haven of urban menace and a dangerous supernatural forest, Derek's loft looks like it's located in either Gotham City or a post-apocalyptic steampunk video game.
Later in the episode Peter Hale makes fun of Stiles for assuming he lives in an underground werewolf cavern rather than "an apartment downtown, duhhh", but honestly, is that even fair? Especially since in this very episode, we learn that the Alpha Pack are chillaxing in an abandoned bank vault made from inexplicable werewolf kryptonite, with a corpse propped up in the corner. Also, Peter, if you're gonna try to raise the profile of werewolves are normal people, getting an apartment is the least of your worries. Maybe try to stop kidnapping innocent teenagers, or seeming 100% Hannibal Lecter whenever you talk to anyone.
That being said: gotta love Peter Hale. When he strolls into Derek's inconceivably gigantic aircraft hangar of a loft apartment, he's accompanied by an instantaneous KAPOW of guitar riffs. I'm pretty sure that's the actual real sound he makes when he walks into a room. "Boys," he smirks, flinging his leather jacket onto Derek's steampunk hat-stand. "What the Hale is going on here? Don't all take your shirts off at once." (Side note: what happens when Peter Hale and Deucalion inevitably meet? Do two become one??)
Back at school, Scott and Stiles are attending METAPHOR CLASS. The three classes we always see in teen TV shows are as follows: 1) that one bio class where you have to dissect a frog, 2) analysing a novel that has huge significance to the show's plot and the emotional journey of the main characters, and 3) nonspecific metaphor class -- in this case a business lesson where Scott has to decide between hard work or taking the easy road. The most important thing here is that the class is taught by Finstock, ie Jeff Davis' crowning glory when it comes to totally fuckin' weird side-characters. Meanwhile in the library, 27-year-old high school juniors Allison and Lydia are checking out two 23-year-old high school freshmen. Also, in a moment of stark realism, Allison uses a butcher's apostrophe when looking up a Mysterious Symbol Clue. Luckily she isn't using Google, so at least the NSA won't know about it.
Chaos Rising was particularly exciting for me because we got a whoooole bunch of Deaton. Deaton originally struck me as being rather bland, partly because he's been landed with the unenviable role of playing distant-yet-helpful mentor figure to a bunch of people who don't want him to be their mentor. Also, half of Teen Wolf's storylines would collapse if he was always around to explain what's going on. However, as soon as you realise that Deaton is kind of a troll? All this shit becomes awesome. He's like the Peter Hale of people who actually have a moral centre.
This week on Deaton's Puppy Sanctuary for Troubled Teens, he decided to reenact the scene from Inception where Leonardo DiCaprio bursts out of a bathtub full of water. Except instead of using a PASIV device to access Isaac's memories, they're just gonna refrigerate him like a giant margarita until he goes into a "trancelike state". On the bright side, Isaac is a pre-Raphaelite beauty, so he looks great while they're doing it. If you plopped me into a bucket of ice water, I'd probably turn bright purple and then throw up on your shoes. Isaac Lahey, however, has creamy skin, inch-long eyelashes, and generally looks like a cherub. Additionally, we're now two-for-two on scenes where Isaac is in agonising pain for no good reason. Teen Wolf knows its audience, and Isaac Lahey turns most of us into serial killers, whispering "You're beautiful when you cry" into one of his pale, shell-like ears. (BRB, going to jail.)

OK, now for the serious shit. I was hoping for an actual heist scene where Derek and Scott rappelled down into the bank vault, but for obvious reasons (the fact that each episode of Teen Wolf is filmed in 4 days on a budget of $12 and some energy drinks), we only got to see Derek punch his way through a cardboard wall. Which happens maybe twice per episode anyway. But once we're in there? HOLY SHITTTTTT. First of all, we actually got to see Erica's corpse, which was beyond horrifying -- particularly for Allison. But mostly? CORA!!
Ever since we learned that All Of Dereks' Family Are Dead™, I've been waiting for one of his dead relatives to show up. Of course, it's never gonna be a happy ending. In shows like this they always turn out to be a shapeshifter, a hallucination, or an evil clone. In this case... well, we don't really know yet. But Derek's already had to fight her, and she's now run off to god know's where, to maul some innocent bystanders (if there are even any of those left in Beacon Hills). Whatever happens, it's 100% agony because even though Derek is a proven idiot and occasionally an accidental moral sinkhole ("I'LL JUST PUNCH MY WAY THROUGH IT," he growls, glowering at a crowd of civilians, a pile of rubble, and a dumpster. "I'M THE ALPHA."), he doesn't deserve this kind of emotional torment. First his sister is given back to him, then she's torn away again, and I can only assume Jeff Davis is going to vomit up some further horrors for them later in the season. Don't kill her off!! Just let Cora and Derek move into a nice suburban house and go to therapy! THERAPY!!
I mentioned earlier that this episode was partly about how much everyone has learned. Well, Derek has learned nothingggggg. While part of Scott's season 3 makeover is a newfound ability to strategise ("Maybe we should find out what's going on before we climb into an underground full of werewolves??" he wonders. "NO," Derek replies through clenched fangs. "PUNCH THROUGH WALL."), Derek's self-destructive streak is reaching Harry Potter levels of bad decision-making. Presumably next week will see him locking himself in an enclosed space with his rabid sister, out of sheer desperation. Meanwhile outside, Scott phones Stiles: "Maybe we should Google something?" he says, wondering if they should take Cora to a medical professional rather than tying her to a plank of wood in Derek's kitchen. "Or make a plan??" Well done, Scott. Well done, Allison. Well done everyone except Derek, pretty much. For god's sake, somebody just give him a hug.

  • Ms Morrell is hanging out with Deucalion?? Is she undercover?? I DON'T KNOW IF I EVEN CARE ABOUT THIS. There are so many characters now that I barely even recognised her when she first came onscreen. Same with Cora, who I briefly mistook for Allison. This is the eternal Teen Wolf problem: everyone is so good-looking and symmetrical that sometimes I can't actually tell them apart. Whatever happens, I'm still holding out for the big reveal that she's still Kendra the Vampire Slayer, and The Girl from 3x01 is her apprentice. 
  • I can only assume that the Celtic knotwork symbol on Allison's coffee cup will come back to haunt us. Everything is a symbol!! Everything is meaningful!! Beacon Hills' Generic Starbucks knock-off is a haven for demonic forces!!
  • Someone needs to make a montage of all the times the camera swoops down to hip level for a shot of a character revealing their Werewolf Manicure.
  • I saw a great Tumblr theory that all the school-age characters who look 25 (DANNY) are actually undercover cops. Now I'm imagining a Danny/Ethan relaysh like Maebe's love-interest in the new season of Arrested Development, where she thinks she's dating an undercover cop in a highschool, but really he's just an over-developed 16-year-old. You know you want it, Internet.
 Previously on Teen Wolf. 



  2. Heh, I'm pretty sure Stiles is 16; the joke was that Heather was turning 17 and losing her virginity, neither of which Stiles has done.

  3. yes i know! i had a typo where i had "16" instead of "17" for his next birthday, but i was expressing a surprise that he WAS 16, rather than 17, which was the age i thought he was...

  4. Laura is his other sister - the one that was killed at the beginning of season 1. Derek had a big family :u

  5. I think you judged Derek unfairly - he did learn. For example, he learned how to have conversations, using long sentences, without threatening anybody. Like, he talked to Allison about Victoria in a very assertive manner, and he never once pushed Stiles. So, yeah.

    Also, Derek's loft is obviously located in the same building as Norman Osborne's apartment and I'm beginning to suspect that Beacon Hills is located in a hub of dimensional portals (for example, last week we had brownstones and huge magazine areas, and then there's a reserve, and tall buildings, and yet they still have one sheriff!) - which would explain everything nicely.

  6. "Someone needs to make a montage of all the times the camera swoops down to hip level for a shot of a character revealing their Werewolf Manicure."


  7. I'm still waiting for the Deaton & Peter spinoff with Stiles & Lydia cameos. /o\ All this twentysomething highschooler thing is strange & makes me feel like a pervert (unlike actual kink?) but I will be here as long as they make Isaac cry and stage Derek's Family Is Worse Than Dead Hour'', tbh. (Laura's younger then Derek? So she became alpha at 15-16? Time out for all the writers.)

  8. Your recaps are gold. I can't wait to see the Hale fire (HA!) next week and meet Cora, now that we're down Erica. (I ADORE the fact that they brought Gage Golightly back to play a corpse for five seconds. Oh, show.)

    Watching Scott develop and grow contrasts with Derek, who cannot move past the death of his family, thus remaining forever a grumpy teenager. I have a feeling Isaac will be switching alphas soon—he was relying much more on Scott than Derek while being gorgeously drowned in ice.

    Ms. Morell has got to be undercover. Right? She didn't kill Allison in a plausible way when she could have?

  9. I can't actually make it through an episode of this show, but I love reading your fantastic commentary!!! You're great!

  10. does anyone actually think that the cast of teen wolf are actual teenagers??

  11. haha, thanks! :) maybe try playing the teen wolf drinking game?

  12. ERICAAAA, one of my friends told me she might actually be back later, for realsies? because in the original cut, her corpse was an actual corpse, but gage golightly's pilot was dropped so now she's available again.


  14. many astute points.

    please steer clear of norman osborne, derek. unless peter hale and norman osborne are the same person. which is a definite possibility.

  15. "Presumably next week will see him locking himself in an enclosed space with his rabid sister, out of sheer desperation." Oh hey

  16. Beth Rasmussen19 July 2013 at 09:48

    "...they're just gonna refrigerate him like a giant margarita until he goes into a "trancelike state". On the bright side, Isaac is a pre-Raphaelite beauty, so he looks great while they're doing it."
    *I totally snorked when I read the marguarita bit.* There was an interview with the crew online - Revalations -- hosted by Crazy aunt Kate. Apparently the water was warm -- but the ice around his face was real! (For like 4 hours!) Love his real accent BTW.
    As to Sciassic -- did you notice it was Scott's arm he grabbed for reassurance when freaking out in the tub? Although it could just be a right/left hand dominance thing. :)

  17. sunshineditty .22 July 2013 at 21:08

    It wasn't that Derek didn't believe the girls - he recognized the brand (how could he not since it was put on the door of his burned down house last season?) and he was trying to keep them out of it. It's the same reason why he never asked for help from Scott or Stiles to help look for Erica and Boyd - though in Scott's case, I can see why Derek would refrain from hanging out with him given the whole "MOUNTAIN ASSSSSSSH!" fiasco. Derek, for better or worse, tries to do everything himself and wants the "kids" to just be kids and forget their connections to the supernatural so they don't turn out like him.

    Also, I think the point of the symbol on Allison's cup was more to spark her thought processes - it made her think of the burn being an icon instead of just some random crap burned into her skin. I'm sad Kick Ass Girl is gone - she was pretty badass.

  18. I think mtv needs to cut back on commercial. Really sucks and hard to get into show when u only get 5 mins of show at a time and ten mins of commercials. Boo it sucks makes me not want to even watch the show , though i love it.

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