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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Teen Wolf S4E2: 117

You know, I expected a lot of complaining about my angry grumbling last week. Instead, several people were like 'Oh, man, I had no idea, that's really good to know,' so consider my faith in humanity somewhat restored.


Teen Wolf
S4E2: 117.

[Trigger warnings for mentions and a picture of non-explicit dalliances
between a teenager and an adult woman.
Also, spoilers.]

 Oh, look, we're starting this episode with a group of carefree young men swaggering and prancing through a dimly lit corridor in an abandoned building, laughing and whooping with the hubris of youth.

This will end well.

… Wait, they're not dead? That was just an establishing shot to set up a flashback of young Derek's basketball aspirations being ruined by his uncontrollable werewolfyness, and chanting to a wooden plate inscribed with a triskelion on Peter's orders.


As we flash back to the future, there's a man wearing a jacket with his name on it so that we'll form an emotional connection, wandering out into the rain on his own with only a few be-petrol-ing cars around. He's sure to perish. Why does that petrol station sell tiny flags?

He follows a set of noises he's hearing, taking him to Kate, who's struggling to control her transformation. He whines for a little while, then manages to open the door, which turns out to be a mistake as Kate, now out of control, immediately kills him. Cue credits. 

What a delightful looking lass.

Scott and co take the now extremely tiny Derek to Deaton, because if anyone's going to know what's afoot, it's him. He doesn't, it turns out. He has no idea what's afoot. He recommends leaving Derek there, though, as Kate won't be able to pass through the mountain ash gate and get in for whatever her evil and, let's face it, creepily far from responsible-adult-oid plans are, they're probably not good news for anyone. Lydia offers to stay, since her grades aren't likely to suffer if she sleeps through class, while Scott and Stiles head home. Reluctantly, in Stiles' case.

Aw, look at them all concerned.

(At home for Scott, his house is apparently suspiciously run down and his mother doesn't appear to be anywhere in sight, although she can't have gone far, since she has a – oh, right, yes, night shifts, that's a thing she does quite often, okay. His father's there, though, sleeping on the sofa, and there's the vague suggestion via dinner plans that they're a little less at each other's throats nowadays. Still quite awkward, though.)

Deaton tries cutting Derek as an experiment, and he heals ridiculously fast. Wanting to try another experiment, which I strongly suspect involves injecting him with poison, acid, wolfsbane, or all of the above, Deaton foolishly turns his back on Derek, who wakes up and, confused and suffering from sensory overload, scratches him and flees.

The next day, high school! Stiles is talking about how Malia keeps coming through his window and into his bed at night. He shows Scott something – I'm presuming scratches – on his back and says they usually end up just spooning, with him as the little spoon, always. Neither of them seem entirely sure if this means Stiles and Malia are dating, which seems fair, as Malia is Coyoteface McCoyote and has probably very little concept of dating.

In class, Mister Yukimura asks Malia a question about a US president in history that apparently everyone knows and she doesn't. I feel you, Malia, I can only name about nine US presidents (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Herbert Hoover, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr, George Bush Jnr, Barack Obama), and only really tell you about the reigns of six of those – and two of those are ones whose reigns I've lived through, one of which is currently still in office.

Yukimura gets an understandably embarrassing moment when he gets a phone call, which tells him to tell Scott to call Lydia.

At the vet's clinic, Deaton and Lydia explain that Derek is not just younger in body, but also in mind, and so doesn't remember Kate burning his family to death. Scott and Stiles set off after him to tell him the truth.

At the former site of the Hale house, Derek is confronted by two sheriff's deputies, including the Worst Deputy In Town, who yells at an obviously confused teenage boy and then attempts to tase him. So good job, dude. Good job. Sterling work there.

At the Sheriff's Station, Stilinski becomes moderately alarmed by the fact that the prints match Derek's, and as Scott and Stiles arrives, drags them aside to ask in that concerned tone of parents everywhere who know that sometimes during your teenage years you get up to strange stuff: 'Are you time-travelling?'

They explain that no, of course not, they found Derek de-aged in a tomb in an Aztec temple underneath a church. 

I think he'd rather they were doing drugs.

Scott and Stiles talk to Derek, and Scott ends up lying about his family, saying that they're elsewhere and they'll take Derek to them. Scott, naturally, wracked with guilt about this. Stiles, less so.

Lydia and Kira arrive at the Petrol Station of Death, where they share a sweet moment in which Lydia re-affirms that Scott isn't angry with Kira, and also that Kira is awesome. They are not there for petrol, though, as Lydia discovers when she goes to get some and her bansheellucinations instead lead her to the bathroom where the man was mauled, now covered with blood and gore.

Scott visits Peter, and finds Malia waiting for him outside Peter's flat – for obvious reasons that she sums up by saying that she heard that Peter is Satan in a v-neck and Scott could probably use all the help he can get. Once they get inside, Peter spends a little bit of time being schmoozy and creepy, and a little bit of time being angry over people just not staying dead in Beacon Hills (calling the kettle black there, rather, pot), before surmising that Kate's de-aged Derek back to an age where he still trusted her.

As this is afoot, Stiles, Derek and Scott's Dad have a ridiculously awkward dinner in which Stiles' lies pile on top of each other like layers of volcanic rock in an igneous formation. The lie about the Hales still being alive comes tumbling down, and Stiles and Derek end up in Scott's room, with de-aged Derek holding Stiles against a wall, which is – well, I strongly suspect that more than a few pieces of fanfiction have reached a middle with that image.

Stiles leaves, Kate turns up, and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh ensues. She's very aaaaaaargh, and Derek is aaaaaaaaaaaaargh, and it's all incredibly creepy, because he's a confused and alarmed sixteen year old and she's, like, thirty. Creepy as all get out, but you know, it's fine, it's clearly meant to be creepy. Kate is a terrible, terrible person, and it's fairly strongly implied that their relationship was – at least somewhat marked by a massive age difference before, and even that Kate may exclusively be attracted to teenage boys, possibly on account of being terrible. 


She's after the Triskelion, the artifact we saw young Derek chanting to in the first scene, as we learn through a combination of Lydia and Kira's CSI skillz and Peter's knowledge. She needs Derek to take her to it, and her means for making him is to – to - …


The vault is under the school, and activated through the power of fake nails and 90s CGI. As Derek and Kate head down there, Scott, Peter and Malia's close pursuit is interrupted by the arrival of the skull monster – or another skull monster very much like it – from the last episode. Peter recognises what it is from the sound it makes: A Berserker. 

What a charming looking lad.

Folklore time! The Berserkers, from whom we derive the word 'berserk', were Norse warriors who fought in a trance-like fury, purportedly by taking drugs before battle. They were said to dress in the pelts of wolves and act like wolves, and were immune to iron and fire. They were attested to in various poems and records, and often associated with Odin. There is some disagreement among scholars, though, as to whether the Berserkers were truly a sect of warriors who fought in a trance-like state of sheer rage – which would be a little at odds with the Norse notion of battle as personified by Odin, who is warlike but also wise and measured, not unlike Athena in Greek mythology – or if they represent an early Norse understanding of PTSD.

Peter's response is to flee, and as the chords of a dark and twisted version of 'Brave Sir Robin' from Monty Python and the Holy Grail plays, the three flee in slow motion. It's in vain for Scott and Malia, who find themselves trapped between two, and are forced to fight – also in vain.

Peter finds Derek and Kate in the vault, and – Hey, has anyone ever noticed that Peter kind of looks like a very flamboyant fish? Just a thought. 

I can't put my finger on what it is.

He finds them in the vault, and says that the Triskelion isn't magical, it's just an object to focus on, and Kate has been wasting her time. Kate inquires after confirmation from Derek, but he's heard that Scott is in trouble and flees to help.

Back amidst the Berserkers, Kira arrives and has slightly more success, but nearly goes the way of Alison, who come to think of it, has been barely acknowledged as having died this series. C'mon, guys, I know you have a lot of plot to get through, but you should be finding more ways to hammer in the fact that, you know, a close friend of theirs died recently. In traumatic fashion.

Derek, the only one with a legitimate reason not to remember Alison right now, joins the battle, and as he fights begins to age back up to his adult form. When the Berserkers flee, after a scene I'll describe in a moment, he's fully aged back up, and now has yellow eyes. I'm not sure why, but he does. 

I mean, they suit him, but.

Meanwhile, in the vault, Kate and Peter – who, I'm sorry, looks more like an extremely flamboyant fish that went to art school or something like that the more I look at him – prepare to throw down when someone lobs a few smoke bombs down the stairs. A pair of smart feet enter the vault, remove a suitcase, and leave.

Peter is less than happy about this. Stiles and Lydia head in and ask what was taken, and Peter's response is – bail bonds? I actually thought I'd misheard at first, and that he'd said barrel bones, but no, he said bail bonds. One-hundred-and-seventeen million bail bonds. Welp, that's terrible, but not exactly the plot twist I was expecting.

I didn't like this episode as much as the last one, to be honest. It left me a little underwhelmed, while not exactly being bad in any sense. Still, last week was a very strong series opener, so living up to that was always going to be a bit of a steep task.

Next episode, the arrival of Tiny Superman Lacrosse Player, werecheetahs (possibly), Melissa showing up and screaming, and a man with no mouth who may nevertheless be able to talk. He kind of looks like David Cameron, who I wish had no mouth and wasn't able to talk.

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