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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Teen Wolf S5E4: Condition Terminal.

Teen Wolf
Series 5, Episode 4: 
Condition Terminal.

Hello!!! I've had four hours sleep!!! Exclamation marks!!! I am subsisting off very strong coffee and those really nice fresh-baked Sainsburys cookies!!!

I hauled myself out of bed early this morning to blearily watch the latest Teen Wolf episode, because cynical about this series though I have generally been, I still find Teen Wolf genuinely enjoyable to watch - and that's not something that I can say about every show after four series. Some shows wear out their welcome and become tired quicker than others - Once Upon A Time just finished its fourth series, but it feels like it's been airing for twice as many years as Teen Wolf, because they exhausted everything interesting they had to offer about halfway through their second series; Supernatural was definitely beginning to show wear and tear around the fifth series too, which was particularly damning given that it wasn't that great in the first place; halfway through its third series, I have totally lost patience with Hannibal, as, apparently, has everyone else; when Merlin was still airing, by the time it hit its fifth series I just wanted it to die and leave me alone.

So, Teen Wolf's longevity, and its ability to remain relatively fresh, is quite impressive to me - the fact that it can still make me excited at the point where most shows have me wishing that either myself or they be granted the sweet release of death is a sign of strong writing. This episode is, perhaps, not the one that most aptly shows that, though, because it suffers from a problem endemic to this series: Nothing happens in it. 

Apologies for the abysmal image quality in this post, incidentally.

Okay, that's not entirely true. In this episode, picking up immediately after the end of the last, Lydia is rushed to hospital, where she hallucinates the Doctors and appeals to Parrish to help her learn how to fight. Parrish himself is having problems, as he's seeing Lydia's face on playing cards and having dreams of the Nemeton. Liam and Mason, meanwhile, go to a gay strip nightclub (FOR GOD'S SAKE, GUYS, YOU'RE LIKE FIFTEEN) where they attract the attention of another of the Doctors' experiments: A scorpion-werewolf. In the Doctors' hideout, Theo approaches Donovan. 

If that sounds like a rather bare bones description, it's because in many ways this episode feels like a holding pattern - like they can't progress on the plot until a certain point, so they're just burning up time until then. The introduction of Lucas the Gay Scorpion Werewolf comes pretty much completely out of the blue, without even any of the set-up given to Tracy, and everything else could have either been cut entirely or shortened.

Parrish is stealing bodies and taking them to the Nemeton? Could have been cut shorter by removing the odd playing card schtick that never really goes anywhere. Theo seducing Donovan into a life of evil? Entirely unnecessary, Donovan was already inclined towards violence and already had motivation to go after Stiles - he didn't need a nudge from Theo, who is rapidly heading into 'why are you even here' territory. Liam and Mason going to nightclub? Okay, I actually have questions about that: They're let in by a girl in their class, who works there, but why does she work there when she can't possibly be older than sixteen? What kind of lax employment standards does Sinema (which I originally heard as 'Sinnamon', a name I much prefer) have? 

Is this really considered advanced in the US. Really. This and everything they
talked about in this class was GCSE level.

As with the last episode, this episode seems like it basically has the cast and plot jogging on the spot - kind of vaguely emulating movement, but never actually going anywhere - and that's really not great. The one big spot of plot movement is Scott, Liam, Mason and Kira encountering the Doctors, who stand ominously up on a balcony before vanishing in a shower of sparks. Which is - a thing? It doesn't add a great deal to the plot when you consider that Malia's already seen them, but it adds something, so there's that.

But, yeah. Not a fantastic episode, to be honest, and while I think this current series has a lot of potential, it really hasn't hit its stride at all yet, and that's terrible.

Kira's having a bad day, I guess?

The next episode looks a lot more promising, with Weird Third Eye Doctor making a reappearance (we saw him in the first episode, sans hole in the head), Scott and company catching on that someone is stealing dead bodies (which will probably lead them to Parrish - one thing that I can comfortably say about Teen Wolf is that the writers aren't a fan of dramatic irony), and Donovan being generally sinister and dangerous as a new wendigo-something chimera with handmouthes to feed. 

That should be a plot heavy episode, so with luck we'll see something worth being enthusiastic about there. Here's hoping, at least.


God, I need more coffee.

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