Unordered List

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Teen Wolf: "Motel California".

Previously on Teen Wolf: "Frayed".

If there was an award for "most arbitrary reason for a shirtless scene", Teen Wolf would be a shoo-in. This was a genuinely good episode, but I couldn't help but LOL at all the ab-cameos. While there were a couple of relatively legitimate shirt-removals (ie, for sex), some were... less so. Like for example, when Boyd tried to drown himself in the bathtub, but stripped his shirt off first. (But not his pants.) Even in the flashback to Uncle Moustache's 1970s suicide, we got an ab shot. WELL DONE, TEEN WOLF. Well done.
Anyhow, this was a really great episode of Supernatural. Luv cursed motels. Luv cameo appearances from Stephen King's creepy old aunt. Luv totally arbritrary reasons for every character in a TV show to be in a new location. "Athletics meet"?? Since when is Lydia an athlete? Is everyone an athlete? Why do they have to take an overnight trip, and why does Chris Argent barely seem to know where his daughter is, and why? Oh, it doesn't matter. For Reasons, everyone had to stay overnight at the Scooby Doo Haunted Motel, chaperoned by the world's worst authority figure, Coach Finstock. "No sex, kids! But if I hear screaming during the night, I won't notice or do anything about it, because that would interfere with the plot!" Repeat after me: Just Go With it.

Have you ever noticed that whenever the camera pans over the full moon in Teen Wolf, Drama Noises appear? I like to imagine that in Beacon Hills, that happens in real life. People look at the moon, and then the soundtrack from Psycho swells in the background, to add Important Drama. But I digress from the more important topics at hand: ie, that MTV is breaking new ground by showing a male/male nipple kissing scene on teen television. Emmys all round for Danny and Ethan, who at 37 and 26 respectively, are still high school juniors. (NEVER FORGET.)
My favourite aspect of this episode was how goddamn sensible everyone is -- while remaining within the bounds of traditional horror movie idiocy, of course. Like, obviously they're not going to leave the haunted motel. That would be too easy.

I particularly enjoyed Stiles' list of Suspicious Characters, headed up by Mr Harris. "IT'S SNAPE AGAIN," shouted Ron (Stiles), as Harry (Scott) rolled his eyes in the background. "SNAPE IS DEFINITELY TO BLAME." Plus, of course, there's the agonizing pragmatism of Stiles suggesting that hey, maybe Lydia's at it again. Unlike Allison and Scott, who tend to be far more biased (both positively and negatively) about people they know, Stiles is ruthless. Yes, he has a crush on Lydia, but also she might be killing a bunch of people. Somehow, Stiles manages to combine this level of assholic cynicism with the ability to look like a) a muppet, and b) a sad-eyed cartoon baby deer. BRB, mailing Dylan O'Brien his third EGOT of the season.
Aside from the fact that people really need to start listening to Lydia, Team Human did pretty well this week. Like, they did kind of listen to Lydia, you know? Admittedly they didn't actually avoid the mortal peril, but Allison did at least support Lydia when she started hearing imaginary murder noises in the room next door. Specifically, instead of saying something like, "Maybe we should just stay indoors," or "I didn't hear anything," Allison says, "Maybe we should find out." Which is, incidentally, the ideal way to help small children who think there's a monster under their bed: investigate the monster. How do we deal with problems like this, Allison? Clinically and unemotionally.
It's official: Ethan is a complete and utter nightmare. I kind of thought he was gonna be ~swayed by the power of love~ or whatever, but no. He's still a total psycho. "I hope you don't get brutally murdered in my unnecessary werewolf gang war," he says to Danny, looking 1% concerned about Danny's wellbeing, and 99% not giving a shit. WHEN IS SOMEONE GOING TO EXPLAIN TO DANNY THAT HIS BOYFRIEND IS A MURDEROUS CREEPAZOID? The Alpha Pack are just beyond me. Deucalian is clearly straight-up Voldemort evil, but Kali and the twins more or less seem to be just... following him...? Like, presumably they enjoy power, but... is this ever going to be explained? WHAT IS THEIR MOTIVATION? I mean, it's pretty clear that Danny is not Ethan's equivalent to Allison, because he's not actually doing anything to put him in any less danger. He's just expressing a vague sense of regret that Danny might end up being a civilian casualty in Ethan's joint quest to kill a bunch of people for really spurious reasons. In summary, Ethan: not a nice guy.

And now, onto the most vital aspect of this week's episode: Dennifer. Was it cheesy as fuck? Did include a deeply cliched "I'm too dangerous to love" conversation, as I predicted two weeks ago? Yes and yes. But do I give a shit? Hell no. Against all odds, the Jennifer/Derek romance scenes managed to be genuinely engaging, party because Jennifer is super adorable (SUPER adorable), and partly because Derek is really, tragically in need of some love. Even if he is completely terrible in almost every respect.
I was super into the way they kept putting Derek into the passive role, with his primary facial expression being "OMG, I'm getting kisses :(((". Teen Wolf: good at ignoring gender roles. In other news, is having sex while bleeding from abdominal wounds the werewolf equivalent of period sex? THAT'S LOVE, BABY. That's love. "You're like one giant open wound," murmurs Jennifer, before telling Derek he looks like a corpse, and then having sex with him for the rest of the episode. Own your kinks, ladies! If you're into guys who bleed a lot, then Derek is a real good choice -- particularly since he apparently doesn't even own a first aid kit. And from a poetic standpoint, "giant open wound" is a pretty accurate description of Derek Hale's personality. Agonising pain on the inside; romance novel cover model on the outside. ~~perfect boyfriend material~~
Finally, I hope we all joined hands and wept in unison during that Scott/Stiles friendship scene. Sad emotions tears falling from Dylan O'Brien's glistening eyes! Tyler Posey somehow managing to make a deeply cliched self-sacrifice speech believable and emotional instead of embarrasing and Harry Potterish! FRIENDSHIP!!! Stiles and Scott's BroTP is deeply beautiful to me and if they ever break up then I'm gonna have to go to TV Rehab Therapy.

  • Are you fucken kidding me with this Coach Finstock whistle bullshit?? Someone hid wolfsbane in his whistle?? Don't worry, kids! The ghost was just the fairground manager in disguise all along! Thanks, Scooby Gang, for saving the day! (Except... what was that fire ghost thing? Oh, who even cares...)
  • The most implausible moment of the episode was the suggestion that Scott has never seen Star Wars. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Surely Stiles would have forced him to watch the original trilogy by age nine, at the latest.
  • Let's never think or speak about that Scott/Allison shower scene ever again. It was The Worst.
  • Finally some goddamn backstory for Boyd. Although he barely gets any dialogue. What is up with this show and not letting Boyd talk??? Still, at least he didn't stuff himself in the ice dispenser, which I was genuinely concerned was gonna happen towards the beginning of the episode.
  • Beautiful lovemaking cured Derek's fight wounds. TEEN WOLF SCIENCE!!
  • I'm getting the impression that last week's interminable mall fight scene must've been really expensive, because they are reeealllly getting their money's worth from all those pointless slow-mo flashbacks of people getting thrown into walls. Didn't we get enough of that last week? Do we really need to see Chris Argent go through it all over again??
  • Dennifer is clearly gonna end in blood and tears, so any Dennifer haters need to just chillax and wait it out. Nothing good ever happens in Teen Wolf. Especially to Derek.
  • Does Derek have electricity in his apartment? I'm pretty sure he did before, but maybe there was a power outage in Gotham City this week, or something.
  • Allison and Lydia's friendship makes me really happy. :))
Previous Teen Wolf posts.

Find me on Twitter @hello_tailor, and Tumblr at hellotailor.


  1. "Luv totally arbritrary reasons for every character in a TV show to be in
    a new location. "Athletics meet"?? Since when is Lydia an athlete? Is everyone
    an athlete? Why do they have to take an overnight trip, and why does
    Chris Argent barely seem to know where his daughter is, and why?"

    I assumed the athletics meet was the same one they were going to last week. So the real question is why Finstock was alright with Lydia and Allison showing up and getting on the bus halfway through the trip. That would also be why Chris didn't know where his daughter was, since I doubt she asked before stalking the school bus in the aftermath of a werewolf fight she also doesn't seem to have told him about.

  2. I have a friend who has never seen Star Wars, so Scott not having seen it is possible.

    And A++ indeed for passive!Derek. But I have a feeling that Jennifer might not be as Good as she seemed to be... hmm.. one ponders.

  3. The wolves face their fears for a arbitrary but gorgeously shot reason! I love you too, show.

    Allison and Lydia remain flawless; I sighed like a fainting maiden when Allison told Lydia that she believed her. They trust and respect each other. Go, my little huntress and my little banshee! Fight crime supernatural nasties!

    I think Ethan still has a chance to have Danny be a motivator for redemption. His fear appears to be linked to being both a twin and a Megazord werewolf and having no identity unto himself. Danny could help with that. (Did anybody else think that Ethan was dancing around offering the bite when he asked Danny if he could heal those scars?)

    Yeah, it seems odd Scott, being Stiles' best friend and brother (tears!), hasn't seen Star Wars yet or, even if he hasn't, that he didn't get the Obi-Wan reference. He's made a Yoda reference before in the show (see every Scott and Stiles gif set ever), so he's as familiar as any American kid would be from sheer pop cultural osmosis. I didn't see it until I was about fourteen myself, but I was raised by French wolves. Melissa seems like she'd enjoy the original trilogy.

    Jennifer, I realize why you are making this mistake. I respect your decision. But… honey, it's Derek Hale. Right now, he's all brooding, mysterious, and wounded, but soon you'll realize that he only hangs out with teenagers who don't respect him and he lived in a burned down house for an indeterminate amount of years.

    Also, where were Peter and Cora during all of this? Just… out? Looking for Derek? Derek, is this how you get your family out of the house so you can have sex? By faking your death? Use your words, Derek.

  4. I've always liked reading your reactions to the show, especially because you are very sensible about some of the insane shipping that goes on TeenWolfVille, but one thing I get tired of hearing as a criticism for this season is that the episodes haven't been advancing the plot, especially this episode.

    It always irks me when I hear this, because I get the sense the people who write it have no idea what the meat of an actual story is. This episode was filled with important story details and developments.

    We got some nice details (finally) for Boyd, which lends a really creepy element to the fact that he worked at an ice rink. Isaac continued to have his abuse and abandonment issues with his father fleshed out, which is good, because when the time comes for him to confront and maybe overcome those issues, it makes for a much more satisyfing scene. Lydia and Stiles continued to get closer as they worked on the darach mystery together and you can see it changing both their characters -- Lydia was clearly horrified by Stiles' suggestion that her powers are somehow involved, but she's starting to take him seriously and Stiles' has grown to the point where he's much better at communicating and dealing with threats rather than spazzing out in sarcastic bombast. We're shown how Papa Argent is being drawn back into the werewolf conflict, even though he was reluctant to do so before. Ethan's inner demons hint that he's got something of a conscious, even if he's still despicable. Scott and Stiles' dialogue at the suicide scene gives us some inner working on how the two think of each other -- Stiles thinks of Scott as his brother and seems to have fully accepted he might die in trying to protect him, which seems to have been the peace he's come to in this morass he's been dragged into. And we go a little deeper into why Scott feels so bad whenever he's of no help to anyone

    Even in the realm of the overall plot, they made some important advancements here. They're getting closer to figuring out the darach stuff, especially with the whistle hint; Lydia got some important hints on what her powers are; the Argents as a creepy cultish family of doom came back into the spotlight and in that one part, we have perhaps a very important clue to why there are supernatural agents around Beacon Hills in the first place with the 1977 suicide.

    This is the real stuff that the story is made of. The whole thing about a creepy blind cannabalistic megawolf who is trying eat other doggies is just the framing for the really important character interaction, just like the fights in the show are much more important for what happens to the characters or what they think about them, then the actual act of the fighting itself.

  5. vicious_seagull9 July 2013 at 09:00

    Great article, as usual. I think this is a typo: "Emmys all round for Danny and Ethan, who at 37 and 26 respectively, are still high school juniors. (NEVER FORGET.)" Pretty sure Kahuanui is 27?

  6. Healing vagina, is all I'm saying.

    (Actually, I'm also saying that Jennifer Blake is darach.)

  7. fyi neither keahu nor charlie are 37

  8. it was a joke

  9. yes they are

  10. This - "Did anybody else think that Ethan was dancing around
    offering the bite when he asked Danny if he could heal those scars?" - THIS is exactly what was going on, I'm shocked not many people have understood it.

    Ethan talked about healing scars, then jumped straight into "I hope you survive...", clearly in this content he meant "...the bite"

  11. I do like the buzz of Sterek (even if a large part of me is consistently dubious it will ever happen, sorry Sterek fans it's only my sole opinion remember, keep fighting the good fight!).

    BUT that's not the reason for my Dennifer hate. They have only had TWO brief encounters and already its practically love, the shoe horning of the few scenes they had was very suspicious to me. Maybe it does work, but to me surely we should have been with Scott's perspective, i.e. Derek might still be dying somewhere? Making us wonder what was happening with the pair (but knowing we'd have to wait until next week to find out), like when Lydia took entire episode breaks with her cliff hanger storyline last year.

  12. Crying and laughing for the rest of my life at 'OMG, I'm getting kisses :((('

  13. I'm still wondering what happened to their car that they abandoned in the traffic scene when they joined in on the rest stop bathroom shenanigans last week. Is it still on the road? Maybe towed away?

  14. Actually that scene about the murder suspects and Scott not having seen Star Wars was co-written by Dylan O'Brien.

    Tyler Posey (Scott) has not seen Star Wars in real life and it drives Dylan nuts because it is one of his favorite movies. At one of the conventions the fans gave Tyler shit about not having seen the movies and Tyler shouted, "Who cares?" to the audience and Dylan said, "I care for you." So that bit of conversation in the episode is based off of their real lives and relationship.


  16. Your articles are my favorite thing.


  17. Oh, that's lovely! Thanks for the heads up.

  18. betterwithpuns17 July 2013 at 02:16

    The 'oh you are tragically wounded, now I must sex you up' isn't just a Teen Wolf thing. A really similar thing (similar wounds and everything) happens in The Amazing Spiderman had a scene where Peter Parker's chest has been slashed open, and Gwen Stacey decides it means it's time to make out. I guess it's the same sort of thing that plays into hurt/comfort fic?

    Also the shower scene made me go NOOOOOOOOOOO until it was over.

    P.S. I am 24 and I have never seen a Star Wars film.

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