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Tuesday 30 July 2013

Teen Wolf: The Girl Who Knew Too Much.

Previously on Teen Wolf: "Visionary".

Before we move onto this week's review, I've gotta mention that immediately after posting last week's, I heard a theory that I reeeeally hope is true. That is, that the "Derek" we saw in last week's flashbacks is actually Peter Hale. I hope this is the case because otherwise Derek is a pretty terrible character, both writing-wise and as a person. However, if it does turn out to be Peter Hale then I'm still not going to be enormously impressed, because the clues/foreshadowing in the episode were kind of nonsensical. But I'll discuss that in more detail if/when we learn more in future episodes.
"The Girl Who Knew Too Much" was back on classic Teen Wolf form, featuring multiple scenes in the boy's locker room for no reason whatsoever. How many people have died there, now? Not to mention all the fight scenes. Murdering each other in the highschool boy's locker room in the middle of the night: the favourite hobby of Beacon Hills citizens. What I don't understand is why the lights weren't on at the beginning of the episode, because there were clearly a bunch of kids in the school for that music practice. My personal theory is that nobody switched them on because nobody in Beacon Hills has the natural mammalian survival instinct of being afraid of the dark. At last, an explanation for why so many of them wander off into the forest to die! It must be something in the water. Alternatively, they're all were-lemmings.
Re: this week's crop of hilarious murders, I'm sooooo annoyed that Stiles didn't immediately open his werewolf explanation with Cora wolfing out. Doesn't he read fanfic?? HELLO. Also, I was waiting and waiting for Sheriff Stilinski to say that he thinks Stiles is a serial killer, because this episode was like the cherry on the cake of Stiles showing up at every murder scene ever. But emotionally, the final straw was when Stiles was trapped on the opposite side of a door while his father was in mortal peril. THIS IS THE KIND OF "THIS MIGHT HURT" THAT I WAS HOPING FOR THIS SEASON. Anything happening to Stiles' dad = maximum agony. Maximum agony. Particularly since the Sheriff is gonna make excellent bait for Stiles next week, since Stiles is a virgin and a guardian and a warrior and a philosopher. (I'm not sure how he's a healer, but just let me run with this theory until it gets Jossed, OK?)

Speaking as a wordsmith and a journalist, I would describe Jennifer's character progression in this episode as a transition from "LOL" to "WTF". We began with another of those deliciously unrealistic English classes of which teen dramas are so fond. Is she teaching everyone an important Metaphor Lesson that will Come In Useful later in the show? Are she and Lydia flirting with each other? We may never know, because it's now been revealed that Jennifer Blake is Gary Oldman's skinless psycho character from Hannibal, and is therefore almost certainly not going to get hired to teach at Beacon Hills High next term.
I have decidedly mixed feelings over the demise of Cute Girlfriend Jennifer Blake. On the one hand, it was fairly clear from the start that she'd end up either evil or dead, because there's no room for any more "normal people" in Teen Wolf's main cast. However, I do find it irritating that all the misogynist anti-Dennifer fans will now get to feel vindicated on their theories that Jennifer was ~bad news all along~. I feel I should preface this with the admission that most of my favourite ships are slash ships, but I've seen this time and time again in multiple fandoms, and it's always dismal: People get invested in a slash pairing, and then get monumentally enraged when one of the main two guys get a female love interest in canon. After that, the only possible reaction is to decide that the female love interest is a poorly-written evil whorebitch from hell, and that she should drop dead. And it doesn't help when canon turns around and seemingly proves them right.
Jennifer's reveal was disappointingly lacking in nuance. Rather than showing her as a more interesting "shades of grey" character who did some bad things for a reason, she's both an evil seductress and a hideous monster. Her motivations and personality seem simultaneously less complex and less rational than those of the notoriously evil Kate Argent. Kate tortured people, seduced a teenage boy and burned an entire family alive in their own house because she believed that werewolves were unequivocally evil, and because she was raised by a psychopath who taught her that ends always justified the means. Jennifer killed a bunch of people because she worships a bloodthirsty pagan god, and also (possibly?) because she gains their power/life-force when they die. And she disguised herself as a cute schoolteacher and seduced Derek because... of reasons...?
source: @MTVteenwolf
I mean, I don't doubt that there may be some good reasons for her to be an evil mass-murdering monster, but at the moment all we really have is the possible explanation that she was mutilated as a child. And that she's Secretly Evil. I'm just disappointed that rather than developing her into a three-dimensional villain, this revelation has almost reduced her as a character. Plus, it's yet another disastrous relationship for Derek Hale, the king of manpain. Oh, and I don't understand how she can instantaneously heal a bullet wound and disguise her appearance to the extent that she could have sex with a werewolf, but she can't heal her facial scarring. Although this is Teen Wolf, so I can let that shit slide.
Aside from the whole Jennifer business, this was a relatively good week for the main gurlz. Lydia was fantastic -- or at least Holland Roden was fantastic, because Lydia's life is 100% terrible, up to and including screaming "I'M PSYCHIC!" at a roomful of people who clearly think she's unhinged. I'm glad they finally got round to mentioning that she's a banshee, because OBVS. And Allison! Someone leave me to die, because that Allison/Scott/Isaac threesome NEEDS TO HAPPEN, now more than ever. Isaac needs to spend every episode looking worried and being saved by tough ladies, because wow. Also, I loved Allison's coat in this episode. Very classy.
Finally, I can't help but mention that the Cora/Derek situation continues to be dire. I think the bedside scene was meant to strengthen their onscreen relationship, but IMO Cora's entire character arc and relationship with Derek continues to be utterly baffling. WHY DIDN'T HE REACT WHEN SHE CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD? Why do they never interact in a way that makes sense? And I don't mean like, "These people are emotionally damaged and find it impossible to express their feelings." I mean in the sense that there's been no evidence up until now that they are anything other than casual acquaintances who are forced to share the same apartment.
It's a bizarre counterpoint to Cora's reaction to Boyd's death, in that she cares wayyyy more than people like Scott and Stiles who have known him for months/years. Particularly Scott, who you'd think would at least get one scene of being upset because one of his fellow Teen Wolves have kicked the bucket. Hint: If one of your characters is saying things like, "Why don't you care that Boyd's dead?" it only points out to the audience that it's weird for people to not mention their recently-murdered friend. Stiles had more of an emotional reaction to the deaths of Rachel and the Sheriff's deputy than to Boyd. Considering the fact that Teen Wolf was given a 24-episode season this year, I find it really strange that so many important things like the Derek/Cora reunion and the apparent Boyd/Cora friendship take place offscreen, when we still get scenes like Scott and Ms Morrell glaring at each other for three solid minutes and explaining stuff that we already knew.

  • Chris Argent is... HOT DAD TOMB RAIDER.
  • Nothing has ever been more convincing than Ethan adjusting Danny's tie so that his top button is undone and the tie is two inches below it, and then declaring it "perfect". TEEN GAYZ.
  • "Voltron wolf." 
  • Of course Derek and Jennifer meet in a romantic deserted underpass. Derek can ONLY go on dates to derelict and/or abandoned buildings.
  • Seriously though, that scene with Ms Morrell was stilted and pointless. WHY.
  • At the beginning of the episode, my brother was all, "Who's that?" when the Sheriff's deputy showed up, and I was like, "Intern Dana from Welcome to Night Vale". I felt SO VINDICATED when we got to see her doppelganger. Kill your double!! Kill your double!! (N.B. Do we actually know why she saw herself as a corpse before she died? Or was that just a weird camera thing? Or was she a ghost?)
  • How did Jennifer get hold of Aiden's phone? Do her Darach powers give her control over cellphones, as evidenced in episode 1?
  • That concert scene was MAXIMUM HILARIOUS. The entire orchestra went nuts and started playing a cross between the Dark Knight Rises chanting soundtrack and, like, ritual drumming, but the audience just sort of looked around uncomfortably until someone actually died onstage. BEACON HILLS. Why hasn't everyone left town yet. How is anyone still alive.
  • Why didn't Lydia tell anyone where she was going when she followed that fake text from Aiden? Y'ALL NEED TO LEARN ABOUT THE BUDDY SYSTEM.
Previous Teen Wolf posts.

Find me on Twitter @hello_tailor, and Tumblr at hellotailor


  1. Iiii don't actually watch the show -- is "darach" pronounced "Derek"? Because I hope it is.

  2. I'm becoming more and more convinced that Beacon Hills is Night Vale's Sister City.

  3. It seems they missed their chance, it sounds more like dah-rock to me, anyway.

  4. I really want Jennifer and Derek to team up at some point in their souped-up forms. He doesn't deserve another horrible-girlfriend-related-betrayal and she doesn't deserve to be knocked off cheaply (probably by him, the way this show goes) as part of his angst-vehicle. A cathartic mutual butchering of Deucalion is the clear answer! Then they could high-five afterwards and go their separate ways. (Preferably after she pecks him on the cheek, tells him he's adorably disingenuous in bed and that he shouldn't have a problem finding a nice girl or boy to cook him breakfast and hold him down in the future.)

  5. Triplets with Sunnydale! (Juste realised that "Sunnydale" really sounds like Night Vale evil twin... I know the place is already taken, but still. )

  6. I was thinking about this. It seems like she's in town to grind the Alpha Pack into itty-bitty pieces (are we to understand that she's one of the Alpha's butchered druids?) and so her hook up with Derek only really makes sense if she's A: trying to distract him so he doesn't interfere with her ~plans~, B: trying to make sure he has her back in the final showdown thanks to her ~feminine wiles~, C: actually likes him for some bizarre reason (he's the most harmless Alpha she's ever met!) or D: some mixture of the above.

  7. I'm torn on the Jennifer/Darach reveal. Neither Jennifer the Cute Girl or Jennifer the Darach have been given much time or consideration by the writers, but now she will maybe be able to develop beyond cute love interest. I'm at least interested in her again, which I haven't been since she met Derek. I had thought they were going to play up the ~enemy of my enemy is a friend~ thing and maybe not kill her off at the end, but I think her messing with the Sheriff signed her death warrant (and I cross my fingers hoping that she's hurt the Sheriff bad enough that the only way to save him to wo make a wolf out of him and all my werewolf!Sheriff dreams come true). What I'm wondering now is if her feelings for Derek are legit or if she seduced him knowing that she'd eventually need his help against the alpha pack. I dunno, I just think there's a lot more they can do with her now that she's a character with her own story and not just riding the Alpha Express and I'm interested to see how it plays out. Now, can someone explain why she killed virgins? Healers, philosophers, and guardians I get. What the hell did she get from the virgins? Innocence? Purity?

  8. I sometimes feel bad for the showrunners/writers, cause wow, fandom has predicted pretty much ALL of their intended twists and/or reveals this season. Lydia = Banshee, check. Jennifer as the darach, check. Ethan's nicely progressing heel face turn, check. I get the feeling they're trying to be clever/spring a nice surprise and everyone is kind of, saw that one coming months ago.

    Anyway, at least it makes sense now why Jennifer was so supremely un-bothered by banging Derek's bloody, shredded body.

  9. Yeah, I was trying to work out her motivation re: him too. It's interesting in retrospect that she let the alpha pack kidnap her as leverage the other week. I wonder if she's not at full power yet and needs cover in the meantime. And D. can be exploited as that cover having willingly 'saved' her before. Or whether she just knew he was part of the Alpha pack conflict and wanted to stay in the loop. Somehow I don't think it's true love.

  10. I just stumbled upon this and now I AM IN TEARS! Because of teh funny, that is. Oh, I am so going back to reading all of your recaps.

  11. Still hilariously close!

  12. steeg of their own30 July 2013 at 13:02

    I sort of thought we were supposed to understand that Jennifer is Paige. The show actually spent more time developing Paige this season than Jennifer (I know that Paige played the cello and wasn't that into sports; I really don't know anything about Jennifer outside of the fact that she's a teacher), and Paige died under the Druid tree under hinky circumstances involving Peter, so I thought the Jennifer-Paige connection was supposed to come through. This gives Jennifer a reason to latch onto Derek and gives her a reason to know as much as she seems to know about Derek's wolfy-ness, and it also gives her a deeper motivation than just 'evil seductress' for the things the does to Derek and the Alpha pack. I mean, I could get Jossed on this next week, but there isn't really a better explanation for why 'Visionary' could be necessary to the storyline and or that justifies the amount of time spent with Paige just before the reveal that the Darach is Jennifer. It does make her character's motivation make more sense, if it turns out to be true.

  13. I totally had the same understanding that Jennifer is Paige is the Darach! But I thought the show made it almost-explicit when the Sheriff confronted Jennifer about being the girl found torn up in the woods 10 years ago...

  14. But the picture of her in the folder that Mama McCall gave Sheriff was really, really not Paige, seeing as it was an adult woman. Also, proto-Jennifer was apparently alive when she got to the hospital and Paige was dead (I'm hopeful that two werewolves would be able to tell if she was super sekretly still alive). And, unless Peter mauled her face/body (not out of the question!) then Paige wasn't anywhere near as mutilated as proto-Jennifer.

  15. I was so brutally concerned that Lydia might die (right after confirming that she is, in fact, a banshee) that I was totally blindsided by the Sheriff's kidnapping. (Given Lydia's research-fu, I imagine she will soon be tirelessly researching her condition.) Speaking of Stiles' pain, how heartbreaking is every mention of his mother? I could eat that up with a spoon, goodness.

    As for Jennifer… I like that she's the Darach. I like what they're hinting at with all the necessary evil stuff. But I completely agree that certain parts of slash fandom are going to run with this, and I don't like that.

    I can't even deal with Derek and Cora. I can, however, deal with Isaac in trembling, pale distress, being rescued by Allison. (Or Scott. I am generally just on board with Scott's pack including Allison as his werewolf huntress queen.)

  16. Ms. Blake being the darach doesn't make any sense to me, especially if she's the only one. Back when she was stuck in the basement office supplies room at the school in the middle of the night, why was she afraid of rabid Boyd and Cora? She clearly had the ability to smite them, or at least get away from them, and there was no one around (as far as she knew) to accidentally walk in on her using her dark druid powers. Also, when Lydia saw the darach at a motel several hours from Beacon Hills, Ms. Blake was back in Beacon Hills having magical healing sex with Derek at the exact same time. And when Chris Argent was shooting at the darach in whatever that building was where they were trying to save the history teacher, Ms. Blake was back at the school handing out concert programs. I'm not saying she's not the darach--she clearly is--just that it doesn't make any sense looking back on it.

    And speaking of the concert, was that supposed to be the Beacon Hills High School orchestra? Because I know we all make fun of the show and its 27-year-old high school students, but some of those people were clearly in their forties and fifties. Teachers don't generally perform in school orchestras.

  17. I don't read slash fanfiction so I could care less about pouty slash fans. But I personally could not bring myself to trust Jennifer from her very first introduction into the series-granted I didn't see her as psychotically deceitful. But the more screen time she got the more I saw of her and the less and less I trusted who she was and became suspicious. That and I have come to accept that Derek is just terrible at picking out girlfriends. His "self-mutilation of the heart" is probably driven by some subconscious guilt over Paige's death guiding him towards any girl with the possible capacity to destroy him both physically and emotionally.

    As for the Virgin Sacrifice thing, I think it's probably the power of attraction/seduction- as hinted at by her kissing Stiles dad before spiriting him away. She's probably working that power somewhat over Derek as well. It was the first group she sacrificed. This monster values sex appeal above brains, strength, and a mutant healing factor. I also find it hilarious that it's only after she sacrifices the last philosopher that she realizes doing the philosophers first would have been the more tactical smart thing.

  18. I believe the reason laid out in the ep for why Jennifer Blake is the Darach (and ritually sacrificing dozens of citizens, etc.) is that she was Deucalion's pack's emissary, in much the way that Ms. Morrell and Magical Vet serve for the Alphas and Derek - he attacked her when he killed the rest of his pack and left her for dead, but she was found in time and her magic kept her alive, barely (the birds "sacrificing" themselves for her by throwing themselves against windows/walls/etc.), and now she's out for revenge and to destroy the Alphas. Not exactly the most original storyline ever, the direction in the reveal scene was rather hamfisted (and I'm still not sure why, if it's revenge that she wants, she hasn't *done* anything yet besides sacrifice a bunch of people not connected to the Alphas), but the gathering of power does have a purpose, even if it's a purpose that hasn't been acted on yet.

  19. I agree with you on so much level it is not funny. This season has a lot of disjointed storytelling, that requires us viewers to fill in the blanks ourselves.

    I think the producers haven't done Cora any justice, maybe they thought they should replace Erica with another female character since they have the money? Zero character develop then the fact that she doesn't think before she acts (Attacking Aiden, when clearly she would have died if Ethan did not stop him).
    And where had she been for the past 6 years, and where on the werewolf grapevine did she get the news that the Hales are back in Beacon Hill?

    Anyway...I thought I the FBI is already here? at least isn't that what the Sheriff said in the 4th episode after Stiles got slapped after asking the gf of the victim whether he was a virgin? Maybe after the Sheriff gets kidnap they will start appearing.

  20. One little question: Why did Lydia leave the room to meet Aiden in response to his text when she could see him sitting in front of her and he hadn't left? Also, he didn't say where to meet so where was she heading?
    This episode was unusually full of such foolishness. Still, Danny and Ethan = adorable.

  21. OurHousePlantsTeam31 July 2013 at 09:57

    I really liked the last whole ten minutes of "reveal" scenes although, yes I pretty much knew it was her too. Can't decide though if:

    1) I would have twigged if I hadn't read the arguments for it on Tumblr,

    2) If the Teen Wolf fans are just getting closer to the showrunners/writers mindset.

    3) The set up for the big bad this season has just generally been poorer compared to seasons 1 and 2.

  22. I'm loving this idea that Stiles is a linchpin because he embodies all of the things the darach is looking for. I don't know if someone else has proposed an idea for how he fits as a healer because there are a lot of comments (holy wow, a lot of comments) but maybe because laughter is the best medicine. Also, he looks after his father's health, hounding him about what he eats.

  23. I totally agree with you on Stiles being all five of the categories. He is a healer, not so much in the literal sense like Melissa, but more in the figurative sense. He pulls Scott back from the brink of suicide, he listens to Lydia in a way that no one else does, etc.
    On the whole Jennifer/Darach thing: I didn't like her relationship with Derek because they wrote her as such a "refrigerator girl" and used the most cliched techniques to force their relationship. I would prefer her to stay evil as the Darach, but based on promos that doesn't seem to be happening. Overall, the show just needs to focus on some decent character development. For everyone.
    People from Beacon Hills took their ignorance policy from their neighbors in Sunnydale (before it became a crater).

  24. Yeah, that's what I thought. I don't know if she was Deucalion's (my friend said she was Ennis' emissary but I need to rewatch the episode to make sure lol) but either way, it does make sense, even if it's a bit cliche.

  25. There was ridiculously bad communication in this episode, what happened to phones?

  26. I don't think the flashbacks of last week have to be of Peter for Derek not to be a giant shit. If we believe the flashbacks but take the narration as lies it is possible that Peter arranged for Derek's GF to be turned and sent her a note supposedly from Derek. That would explain why Derek tried to stop the attack when he saw it and would mean Derek was guilty of no worse than falling for a girl, fretting about lying to her and mercy killing her when she was dying in agony.

  27. I wondered the same thing. Personally I liked Jennifer from the beginning. I think we didn't learn a lot about her because we saw her through Derek's eyes and he couldn't understand why he was so drawn to her. Maybe there is something to be said for "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". I'm not clear on the whole Darach angle? A 5 year old could have figured out the writers intentions all along. Duh! Very predictable. In the past seasons, the players weren't aware of what we saw. In the alone time of the bad guy we saw that they were ... well bad. In S2 we knew there was something hinky going on with Lydia...we just weren't sure what, but given her behavior in her alone time, we knew it. At no time in Jennifer's alone time did we see anything that suggested that she was a dark druid. I can't imagine an evil as hell druid cowering in the corner when the werewolves fight, or being afraid of a hallway when she hears sounds, or the shock on her face when Derek showed up at the car. Maybe there are two of them? I'll be disappointed if Davis choses to show that she deliberately went after Derek for evil reasons. I'm going to see it like this: She at one time was a wise druid, not like Morrell who is thisclose to being a darach herself. 10 years ago something happened that changed who she was. She became so consumed with rage against those that I think we will find out betrayed her, that she has spend years waiting for her chance to get even. I think when Derek rescued her, she saw what she didn't see then. Someone coming to her rescue. For a moment she wasn't on her own and defenseless. This time when the werewolf came at her, he held out his hand...not his claws. I think the good that is still in her responded to that. I think every time she was with him she remembered more and more the Jane/Jenny and pushed Jennifer/Darach away, but that only lasted for so long. I don't think dark druids can heal. I think only druids can because of the purity of their heart (or some such idea) and that's why she was able to heal Derek. I think in a lot of ways she has been a healing palm for him. They could have spared Derek the foolishness and guilt he will feel over this. They could have made her the last sacrifice and which time full of anger and rage he would finally tear someone's through out (with his teeth of course). I'm hopeful that they don't take the easy way out and make her Villian #1. Did she kill people? Yeah, but they were sacrificed which sounds odd, but we all forgave Jackson when he was just murdering people...lots of them. I assume Jenny will die. I have a feeling we will find out that it was a Derek/Paige storyline and not a Peter/Paige storyline and Derek will hold the only other woman he has ever loved while she dies. This time when she begs him to end her pain...will he? I hope in the end that somehow the opportunity for Jenrek will end on a note where she is not seen as pure evil. Depending on how S3A ends will depend on whether I will watch S3B. Rumor has it there are to be three more deaths by epi 12. I assume Cora will be one of them (she is not coming back for 3B due to a prior movie commitment). Rumor has it Peter will die before the end of epi 12? Not sure. I'm sure we'll see the end of Jenny/Derek...either because she dies or leaves to return to be a good druid or something. Sheriff and Melissa? Can't imagine that. Either both twins abdicate to Derek's side or they split and Ethan comes over. I think/hope we'll see the end of Kali. I have a feeling Ducalion will be around in 3B or just escapes leaving the option for him to return. Rumor also has it that this will be the last season. It hasn't been picked up for a 4th season yet...and Davis isn't sure he wants to keep writing it. I think that actually would be a good thing. Maybe that whole Darach debacle wouldn't have happened.
    Wow...Long post. Didn't mean to be that soap-boxey.

  28. Indeed, I'm a slasher. Then again, I enjoy pairings that make sense, so I'm all for het pairings as well. Jackson/Lydia in the S2 finale was heartbreaking. I'm all for any combination with Allison, Scott and Isaac. (does that count as het? Sometimes.)
    But Jennifer.... From the start, my best friend and I (she's the Lydia to my Stiles, really), we agreed that she wasn't interesting AT ALL unless she proved to have some huge secret. Either she was a Deaton-like secret emissary (which, huh, kinda, past tense) or she was the bad guy.
    You CANNOT, in a world and in a show like Teen Wolf, have a character that looks so dman... Twilight-esque and isn't twelve. While all our teens are jaded old traumatized souls that handle death and mahem on a daily basis, the older teacher goes 'oooh... the monster has pretty eyes. He's bleeding to death but all I can think about is his lips.'.
    Also... how on Earth is it even Derek's style? A girl for him would be... a kick as chick like Faith (although, not a hunter, again. poor thing). Hell, if we count the sass and the kickass, Lydia would be the best for him. As a girl. Naturally, Stiles' his soulmate.

    As for the Peter flashback theory, I have had the same idea from 3x08 on. I am SURE of it, or else so many characterization points have stopped making sense.
    So my only question is... why aren't we told the truth from the start? (ergo, why is it important?) and... why would Peter even tell the story? Damn, Jeff Davis, you're playing with my emotions!

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