Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recapturing Teen Wolf: It’s Bestiary Not Bestiality

Previously on Teen Wolf… There’s a new monster on the loose in Beacon Hills also Lydia is immune and she’s probably going crazy. Derek has three new beta’s but Scott is not part of his pack.

Intimidating SUV’s make their way through Beacon Hills… Scott is at the animal clinic where Deaton is treating his wounds. Scott wants to know how and why he knows so much about werewolves, Deaton doesn’t say much (not that I expected him too) but he does say that he can help Scott’s kind.

This just gets worse and worse doesn't it Scott.
Deaton does not know what the creature is but he knows that the Argents will. They will have some kind of record – like a book – of all the things they have discovered. Poor Scott’s like what do you mean “all the things” how many things are there?

The Argents burst into the room and Deaton’s prepared to be his usual sassy self until Grandpa Argent enters. Turns out they know each other back in the day but something tells me they don’t really get along. Grandpa Argent was under the impression that Deaton had retired… apparently not.

Scott’s hiding in the closet listening as Deaton explains what he can about the creature. There’s a precise cut on the back of the neck that has to do with the spine – it releases a paralytic toxin potent enough to paralyze then it slashes them open using it’s claws. It’s fast, remarkably strong and has the capacity to render its victims essentially helpless in seconds. Be afraid, be very afraid because in the natural world creatures with paralytic toxins use it to catch and eat their prey… this dude wasn’t eaten which means it only wanted to kill. In fact killing might be it’s only purpose.

Also there is some tension between Hottie Hunter Argent and Grandpa Argent about the code that is probably going to become relevant later on. Oh Chris you and your silly little code. 

All is see is porn... I'm not sorry.
Moving on. A very sexy mechanic is fixing up the Jeep. Stiles wanders over questioning the amount of work the mechanic is doing and throwing around the few car terms he understands. The sexy mechanic throws it back in his face… it’s going to cost a lot to fix. 

And this is when Stiles says “but I can’t possibly afford to pay that” and the sexy mechanic replies “I’m sure we can work something out”… something about the big bad wolf because Stiles is stripping off his red hoodie… and what do you mean that’s not what happened?

What actually happens is that Stiles walks off to wait in the office saying: “I’ll be back here, seething with impotent rage.” That’s actually a pretty good summary of Stiles characterization throughout the first two seasons. He’s got a lot of anger and no way to actually use it… it really is a good thing he said no to the bite.

The door to the office has some kind of strange gell on it. Stiles is like ewe gross but ignores it until he gets inside and tries to use his phone except he can’t. His fingers won’t move. Then his body won’t move and then he sees it through the window; the creature. The creature climbs down the jeep and nics the back of the sexy mechanic’s neck. The paralysis sets in almost immediately and the sexy mechanic falls under Stiles jeep.

I take it back, I don't want to watch this show anymore.
By this stage Stiles has fallen to the ground. He desperately tries to move his hand to call 911 but can do nothing but watch as the creature cuts the cable of the jack holding up the jeep and it starts to descend on the helpless mechanic. The whole thing is pretty fricken awful to watch especially because it takes just that little bit too long to happen. We have to watch the sexy mechanic wait for his death and we have to watch Stiles watching this and I’m usually a fan of gore but this isn’t gore this is physiological trauma.

Opening Credits.

At the Argent abode, Allison is sneaking out again. There’s a message in the mist that says 9pm and it’s all ready 8.55, she’s cutting it a little bit fine. Without warning a wild Grandpa Argent appears he wants to have a little chat.

Oh Grandpa it's totally hilarious that you think I'm like my psychotic Aunt... please tell me more. 

There’s conversation is the usual cryptic nonsense those Argent men are known for sprouting (I can tell where Chris got his rabid dog speech). It’s about trust, Grandpa Argent trusts his doctor – he takes lots of pills (Chechov’s pills) and Allison reminds him of Kate (foreshadowing). Allison is going to have her loyalties testes but the trust you never question is family.

Then he drops a rather significant looking leather-bound journal and he’s all: “whoops I accidently dropped this red herring, I would want you to miss that”.  And damn Gerard is a scary bastard when he gets angry.

Meanwhile Scott waits patiently at their meeting spot but it’s 9pm and Allison is nowhere to be seen.

Outside the mechanic’s Stiles and the Sheriff sit in an ambulance as Stiles tries to explain what happened without actually saying what happened. He swears he turned up afterwards and all he saw was the mechanic’s body. The Sheriff doesn’t believe him (because he’s lying) and Stiles looks absolutely broken when he has to reassure his father that he’s telling the truth. Sheriff Stilinski lets it go because what else can he do but he does tell Stiles that’s worried about him and these men will be the death of me. I’m not crying I get have Stilinski family feels in my eye. There is literally nothing more heart breaking on this show than watching this relationship break down.

Pretty sure I love these men more than my own family at this stage.
Oh and the Sheriff’s impounding the jeep on account of it’s got dead guy all over the bottom of it. Fair enough really.

Back at the lovers meeting rock, Allison is too late – Scott’s already gone (I think that’s a metaphor… probably). He couldn’t wait and Allison couldn’t make it on time. This is beginning of the end.

At least Scott has a good reason for not waiting, he had to pick Stiles up from the place where he just witnessed a gruesome murder because Stiles not longer had his jeep on account of it was the murder weapon. It’s a pretty cute broment, Scott’s worried about his friend and he knows that Stiles is not okay even though he says he is.

Let’s just take a moment here to talk about how much I love the character journeys in season 2. They are all so well done. For Scott it’s all about becoming the hero, for Allison it’s all about gaining power and Lydia’s losing control of herself. Derek has to learn that he can’t do it on his own and Jackson needs to find his family… but Stiles journey is the best (and by best I mean the most heartbreaking) because everything that happens to Stiles purely to break him.   

It’s not the start of a hero arc, like Allison, Scott and Derek nor is his pain a plot device like Lydia and Jackson. There’s no big event, no huge catalyst like all the other characters – but by the end of this season he is well and truly broken and it is amazing to watch.

Back to the discussion at hand, Stiles tells Scott what he saw about the creature. It was reptilian and there was something.

Stiles: You know when you see a friend in Halloween mask but all you can actually see are their eyes and you feel like you know them but you just can’t figure out who it is?
Scott: Are you saying you know who it is?
Stiles: No but I think it knew me.

In Derek’s lair (aka the abandon train carriages he lives in now that the burned remains of his family home is occupied by hunters) the beta’s are having a little bit of a training session, which apparently involves running at Derek and letting him toss them to the ground. Coincidently this is a pretty accurate representation of what would happen if I ever saw Hoechlin.

Can I please?
Derek’s pissed and it’s not because Boyd isn’t part of the training it’s because his beta’s suck – does anyone want to try not being completely predictable? At that Erica launches herself at Derek kissing him passionately. Derek tries kissing back for a bit but his hearts not in it so he throws Erica off him and tells her that that’s the last time she does that. Erica looks as though she thought it was worth it (and I'm inclined to agree with her). Also then Derek says that he has someone else in mind for her, which is uber creepy and super sexist so I’m just going to ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen okay?

"I've made a huge mistake"
Isaac complains about being sore and Derek breaks his arm because he doesn’t think they are properly grasping the severity of the situation. He’s not teaching them how to fight, he’s teaching them how to survive… also he looks like he thinks he’s made a terrible mistake. You did Derek but what’s done is done so deal with it.

Lydia’s room – Lydia’s mom opens the door telling Lydia that she has to get up otherwise she will be late for her appointment with the guidance councilor. Lydia insists she’s fine but when her mom pulls back the covers revealing blood stained sheets it’s pretty clear that’s she’s not. And no it’s not that time of the month; apparently she punched her mirror in her sleep.

At school Lydia is waiting outside the guidance councilors office next a cute hipster looking boy. He’s a bit chatty and he tries to get Lydia talking but she’s not interested, or is she? He seems to know exactly how to press her buttons it's almost too convenient.

Lydia: I have an acute phobia of people prying into my personal life. You?
Hipster boy: Compulsively drawn to cute but narcissistic girls. 

Lydia is lost for words but she’s saved by the guidance councilor who calls her into the office.

Scott and Stiles are sitting on the stairs like it’s a perfectly normal place to sit and Stiles is confessing his love to Scott… on behalf of Allison (yeah right). Stiles thinks that Allison and Scott should find a better way to communicate but Scott pulls out the puppy dog eyes and tells Stiles that he’s the only one they trust.

Scott tells Stiles what he found out from Deaton – that the Argents keep a record of everything they hunt.

Friendly reminder that this is what Scott looks like when he thinks about bestiality. 
Stiles: He probably means a bestiary.
Scott: What?
Stiles: A bestiary.
Scott: (laughs) I think you mean bestiality?
Stiles: Nope pretty sure I don’t.

Scott is upset that he doesn’t know anything about the supernatural stuff and Stiles is like it’s cool bro, I got your back, it’s kind of a priority (it also helps Stiles feel like he’s useful when he’s feeling increasingly useless).

Lydia’s being her usual guarded self with the guidance councilor asking about qualifications and making snide remarks. She’s just appeasing her parents so they don’t take her car keys away and he friends are totally supportive. She should still be cautious though because “sometimes the people closest to us are the ones holding us back the most” (wait I think I’ve heard that before).

Oh Boys Locker Room... there are no words to describe how much I love you.

Jackson grabs Danny as he’s leaving the locker room to ask for a favor. He needs him to look at this vid he made of himself in bed… and there is no way to write that that doesn’t sound like the start of a porno. Danny’s a bit disturbed, he’s like “Jackson remember all those times I told you you’re not my type” and now I want to know how many times Jackson has tried to hit on Danny because something tells me it’s a lot. Jackson smirks and tells Danny to just do what he asked.

Jackson, no means no! 

Jackson: FYI I’m everyone’s type.

And this is what Allison looks like when she thinks about bestiality.
Out the front of the school Stiles is telling Allison about the bestiary – she also get’s it confused with bestiality and now Stiles is a little bit concerned with his best friends sex practices. Anyway the book would probably be old and leather bound.

Stiles runs back to Scott to tell Scott that Allison has seen a book like that.

Back to Allison – where does he keep it?

Back to Scott – it has to be in his office.

Back to Allison – Stiles uses Scott’s inhaler and suggests disposable cell phones. And Allison they can get the book, if they can get the keys first.

Some time later Grandpa Argent exists his office – a close up shot of his keys in case we didn’t know they were the target. He’s heading to the lacrosse game with Allison and she’s going to have to be patient with him because he’s never seen a game before.

Danny and creepy-camera-guy Matt approach a rather pissed off Jackson – Danny wasn’t supposed to show anyone. Danny tells him to relax he just needed to ask some questions and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Danny wants to get into Matt’s pants. Besides Matt’s the one that found it, the video is looped – there’s two hours of footage missing.

I'm pretty sure Stiles is on the team so Coach can listen to his witty commentary. 
Lacrosse game time and the opposing team have a monster of a player that is knocking out the Beacon Hills team. His name is Eddie Abramowitz, they call him “the abramination”.

Jackson tells Scott to take that abomination down and Scott’s like I thought you said I was a cheater. Whatever Jackson just wants to win. Scott says he can’t not with Grandpa Argent watching.

Speaking of the devil – Allison feigns cold so her grandfather will give her his jacket and with it his keys. Allison hands the keys to Stiles who heads of to search Grandpa Argent’s office.

Creepy-camera-guy Matt is snapping picks and generally lurking – he has a chat to Mama McCall who is clearly also getting the creeper vibe from him. It seems like an accurate vibe too because he’s talking awfully close pictures of Allison.

Stiles runs through the parking lot towards the school when he spots Lydia crying in her car. He looks torn for a minute but ultimately decides to go talk to her. She winds up her window because she doesn’t want anyone to see her cry (umm Lydia, glass is transparent). Stiles says she has nothing to worry about because she looks beautiful when she cries. She opens the window, ready to let him in… then Stiles remembers that he actually had something he was supposed to be doing. He asks Lydia to give him a minute and she looks as though she’s about to slap him.

This is how I feel about everyone Lydia interacts with this season. 
I understand where both of them are coming from – Stiles does genuinely want to help (although I’m not entirely sure he doesn’t just want to prey on her vulnerability). But Lydia’s does not let anyone in, like anyone at all, so it is big step for her to open that window and even think about talking to Stiles and then she has it thrown back in her face because Stiles has something more important to do. We know that what he’s doing is actually really important and he can’t let Scott and Allison down but Lydia doesn’t know that, all she knows is that she took a risk and Stiles (who was supposed to love her above anyone) chose someone else.

Back on the lacrosse field, Coach Cupcake is running out of players and Stiles is gone. He throws Danny back into the game even though he’s clearly concussed and puts the call out to the crowd (I’m not sure you’re allowed to do that but whatever). Boyd takes the bait despite, or maybe because, that Erica says Derek won’t like it.

Damn boy why you hiding under all those clothes. 
Boyd takes down Eddie the abomination down easily but then he starts to lose control of his wolf. Scott is not happy.

Introducing Erica as the "NO HOMO" girl. 
Stiles searches Grandpa Argents office but he can’t find the book. He messages Allison and he’s about to leave when Erica turns up and drags him to the pool where Derek is waiting to meet him. Stiles is not impressed, he’s got somewhere to be but Derek doesn’t care he wants to know about what happened at the garage. Derek deflates a basketball menacingly and Stiles starts to talk.

On the lacrosse field Scott is trying to tell Boyd to calm down because otherwise someone (namely Grandpa Argent) is going to see his wolf eyes. Boyd doesn’t really care. It works out in the end because Scott gets the ball, scores and they win the game but Scott gets knocked down at the last minute breaking his leg.

Scott has the worst fake-innocent face ever. 
Allison runs over and helps Scott up so he can pretend that he’s fine – even though there was bone sticking out only moments ago. It looks like they’ve gotten away with it until Grandpa Argent says he has one more thing to ask Scott.

Stiles is describing the creature to Derek and Erica. Its eyes were yellowish and slitty, it had a lot of teeth and a tail.

Stiles: You have this look on your faces like you know exactly what I’m talking about.

They do, the creature is right behind them. Stiles jumps behind Derek and Derek tries to go Alpha on the creature but it doesn’t work. The creatures knocks Erica out of the way and turns its attention back to Stiles and Derek.

Feminism I know but also boobs. 
Before we move on can we talk about poor Erica because she deserves so much better than this. She’s actually a really cool character – a determined vixen with a bunch of added snark. She could have been a fantastic addition to the cast but it’s pretty clear they have no idea what to do with her. Like in this scene, why is she there? Her soul purpose was to bring Stiles to Derek after that she says nothing then gets knocked out and totally forgotten about. That’s not fair. Sure Derek would care that his new beta got knocked out… but even before that she didn’t need to be there for the interrogation. It would have made a lot more sense if Derek had just dismissed her as soon as she brought Stiles in she could have gone back to the game to watch out for Boyd. Instead she’s this loose end that never really gets a resolution.

The only reason I can think for Erica to be in this scene is to prevent there being too many dicks on the dance floor. Basically she’s the “no homo” girl. Now I know some of you are going to accuse me of being a bitter Sterek shipper but I swear this has nothing to do with the fact that I ship Sterek. This is a role that gets forced on far too many female characters and it really pisses me off… and this rant is over sorry.

Anyway while pushing Stiles out of the way and telling him to run Derek gets scratches on the back of the neck and the paralysis starts to set in. Stiles grabs hold of him and starts carrying him out harms way while trying to call Scott. But this is Stiles so naturally he drops the phone and then he drops Derek… into the pool. Then he has a choice, he can grab his phone and try to call Scott or he can drive into the pool and save Derek from drowning. He chooses to save Derek, but he doesn’t look happy about it.

He's here for the pie.
Meanwhile at the Argent abode, Mr and Mrs Argent are getting dinner ready but when Allison and Grandpa Argent arrive home with an unexpected guest… it’s Scott. Welcome to the most awkward family dinner ever part 2. Everyone sits around the table in silence, and it’s not a comfortable silence. Mama Argent looks like she wants to murder someone but she’s not sure who, Allison looks like she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry and Scott just looks really confused.

Back at the pool, Stiles is holding Derek above the water. The creature is circling the pool keeping them trapped with nothing to do but sass each other and it’s perfect. I would watch and entire series of these two and their witty banter.

I can still hear the echoes of the fangirl's cries. 
Stiles: You’re worried about drowning did you notice the thing out there with multiple rows of razor sharp teeth?
Derek: Did you notice that I’m paralyzed from the neck down in 8ft of water?

Back at the most awkward family dinner ever part 2 it’s time for traditional Argent family threatening metaphor. Grandpa Argent is questioning why Scott and Allison broke up, Chris says it was probably for the best and Grandpa Argent’s like what do you know, they might have been like Romeo and Juliet.

Gerard: How do you know they weren’t as passionate as Romeo and Juliet?
Chris: Romeo and Juliet committed ritual suicide. They could’ve used a little less passion.

He has a point… are you listening Scott and Allison? Probably not. Chris asks Scott to come help him get desert and when they get to the kitchen Chris slams Scott against the cupboard.

Chris you really have to stop manhandling the teenagers. 
More metaphors meaning stay away from my daughter or you will die and they grab the desert in the most aggressive way ever… the fandom is still laughing about it now. 

That one time Scott and Chris aggressively picked up desert. 

Back in the dining room Scott and Allison excuse themselves from the table to “study” and run upstairs. The best part is that at the top of the stairs Scott turns towards Allison’s bedroom because apparently he actually though they were going to “study”. Instead Allison pulls him into Grandpa Argent’s room to look for the bestiary. It’s not that easy because Grandpa Argent has a safe – never fear though Scott can use his wolfie powers to open the safe only to find that the book they thought was the bestiary was actually a cook book.

Smug bastard. 
Back at the pool, Stiles is still treading water and the creature is still circling the pool – apparently it can’t swim. Stiles eyes his phone sitting on the side of the pool but Derek says don’t even think about it. Stiles asks Derek to trust him, just this once but Derek can’t do that because he has serious trust issues.

Derek: You don’t trust me, I don’t trust you but you need me to survive, which is why you’re not letting me go.

I'm sorry you're drowning Derek but tummy. 
The worst part is that he genuinely believes that. Derek honestly thinks that the only reason anyone would ever save him is because they might be able to use him in some way and that’s just really sad. So Stiles let’s go, more out of spite than anything else. He swims to edge of the pool beating the creature to his phone and dialing Scott’s number. Unfortunately Scott hangs up because he’s in the middle of searching Grandpa Argent’s bedroom.

Stiles stares shocked at his phone and there’s a moment when you think he’s going to forget Derek and try calling someone else. In fact I think that’s what he wants to do but he can’t so he throws the phone and dives down to pull Derek back to the surface.

Scott and Allison are trying to work out where else the bestiary could possibly be. It has to be something he keeps close, and suddenly a light bulb goes off in Allison’s mind. What if it’s not a book... what if it’s a USB drive? Like the USB drive that happens to be attached to the keys that Stiles still has. Scott and Allison rush down stairs where Scott excuses himself saying that he has to pick up his mother.

Scott drives to the school and calls Stiles who doesn’t answer of course because his phone is at the bottom of the pool. Scott finds the keys in the door to Gerard’s office but Stiles is nowhere to be seen.

Speaking Stiles he can’t stay afloat any longer he needs to grab onto something. He drags Derek along the pool towards the starting blocks. He tries to grab hold but he can’t grip it. Stiles hand slips, he and Derek start to sink but Scott grabs them just in time pulling them out of the water.

If I could pick one screencap explain season 2 this would be it.

Scott fights the creature and it’s not going well until a mirror breaks and Scott holds up one of the shards… the creature, whatever it is, is confused by it’s own reflection and runs off.

Outside Scott and Stiles look through the bestiary but it’s not in English they are about to give up when there hear a voice behind them. Derek tells them that the creature is a Kanima. Stiles is upset because he thinks Derek was withholding information (especially during the two hours they just spent together) but Derek insists that he didn’t know until it was confused by it’s own reflection.

The Kanima is a shape shifter, like werewolves but something went wrong in the transformation… it’s almost like – an abomination.

Derek, if you don't want us to think you're in love with Stiles you have to stop looking at him like that.
Look shipping aside this is a bonding moment between Stiles and Derek. Sure they’re not friends, not even really allies and they are both on different sides of the pack divide but you can’t go through something like that and not have any kind of connection. Especially for Stiles and Derek, it made both of them to work outside their comfort zones. Derek was forced to rely on someone else and Stiles was forced to be the hero – this is big step for both of them character wise so don’t ignore it even if you don’t ship them as a couple.

Back to the moment at hand – BTW Erica is just standing around in the background again. Scott tells Derek that they need to work together, which Derek is excited about until Scott suggests working with the Argents (Scott you need to lead up to something like that – Derek has very good reasons to hate the Argents). Derek’s like you’re going to trust hunters over me.

Scott: Nobody trusts anyone, that’s the problem.

And that’s it, that’s the show. All the drama is built around the mistrust if everyone actually sat down and explained how they felt about something then most of their problems would be solved. Derek’s not interested in Scott’s touchy feely mumbo jumbo, he’s going to find the Kanima and he’s going to kill it.

Talk about shock value! 
At Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital, Scott is picking up his mother when out of nowhere Grandpa Argent stabs him in the stomach. And wow! This is one of my favorite moments of season 2 – it’s just like wow. I knew Grandpa Argent was a baddie but stabbing a high school kid outside a hospital while people are looking on, that’s a whole new level of evil.

They talk about playing the part and how Gerard is better than Scott then Gerard threatens Scott’s mother. Scott’s going to have to do Gerard a favor one day or innocent people are going to get hurt.  

The episode ends with blood dripping from the stab wound Scott’s onto the camera blow and it’s epic.

To be continued indeed!