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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Teen Wolf S5E10: Status Asthmaticus.

Teen Wolf
Series 5 Episode 10
Status Asthmaticus.

I wasn't initially convinced that 'Status Asthmaticus' was an actual term, but apparently it is, meaning the severe condition of having several asthma attacks follow one another without pause. So that's good. I'm glad we established that.

In all honesty, this has not been my favourite series of Teen Wolf. I think it's been slowly paced, often even meandering, that it's suffered from not knowing what to do with its characters and, I think, that it's actually suffered from the departure of Derek. With the exception of Allison dying - which was a death, not just an offscreen departure, and thus had the ceremony and drama that the departure of a major character calls for, even if it did seem like the writers forgot all about it by the next series - Derek leaving is the biggest departure of a main character that the series has seen, and the show feels a little odd without him, all told.

But the pacing is the main problem, which is why I was absolutely delighted that this episode was so very fast-paced. We got Melissa being a badass nurse and struggling to save Hayden's life (ultimately in vain, but kudos to the show for having me on tenterhooks as to whether she'd actually succeed); the Doctors being generally ominous as they remark that their successful chimera is imminent (at least, I think they said 'success imminent', I'm not sure); we finally found out what Parrish is; and we had Theo revealing his true colours to everyone, and manipulating Liam into nearly killing Scott (as well as manipulating Stiles into - something? A lot of mention was made of Void Stiles, which sounds a lot more exciting than what it actually seems to be, which is just Stiles being a bit evil).

As opposed to Theo, who is more than a bit evil even when you don't add 'void' to
the front of his name.

I'm - not full of complaints this episode, to be honest, save that it was very typical of so-called mid-season finales in US television - a big, dramatic loss halfway through the series that leaves audiences on a cliffhanger so that they'll hopefully come back and watch more after whatever absurd long hiatus has been dumped unceremoniously between two halves of a show. The Doctors are on the verge of achieving their successful chimera, Scott's pack is basically gone (with Stiles who knows where, Lydia catatonic, Liam having nearly killed him, Kira absent, and Malia more concerned with the Desert Wolf), the Desert Wolf is on her way to Beacon Hills, Theo now has his own pack of undead(ish) chimeras (including Donovan, of all people), and there's suggestions of a fight brewing between the Doctors and the Wild Hunt. 

(In general, these ten episodes have left me a bit concerned about the future of the show. As the tragedians say 'Generally speaking, things have gone as far as they can possibly go when things have got as bad as they can reasonably get.')

That's a lot of loose threads left dangling for the next ten episodes, and if the pacing is anything like these ten, I am entirely unsure of how they'll even find the time to tie that all up. Apparently we'll be getting an episode about Kira and her family in New Mexico, which I am entirely down for, because I think Kira is one of the most interesting and underused characters in the show. Apart from that, it's pretty much just a massive mystery, and while I like that, it's going to take a lot of game-upping if they want to have the second half of this series be anything close to satisfactory.

Also, more Malia. Make it happen.

But this episode was good. I think almost everybody - including me - thought Parrish was going to turn out to be a phoenix, so the idea of him being a hellhound feels a little off - I mean, our introduction to Parrish' supernatural abilities was him literally emerging from the ashes ala phoenixes, after all. But they did foreshadow it with the mentions of the Wild Hunt at the beginning of this series.

It feels good to have everyone be aware that Theo is evil now, and no doubt he's going to wreak no end of havoc with his new chimera pack in the early parts of the next series (I - do not see that pack lasting all that long, admittedly, because I imagine every side, including the Doctors, who specifically wanted all those chimeras dead, will be gunning for them). That pack might make some of the most interesting villains we've had so far, given that they cover a pretty wide range of species (kanima, wendigo, some kind of werechameleon, werewolf, and werecoyote) and have both sympathetic characters (Tracy, Hayden) and total psychopaths (Donovan, Theo) among their number. 

(Also, Braeden's back! I adore Braeden as a character and I think she should be a series regular, as I said often and regularly in last year's set of Teen Wolf reviews.)


We're also finally getting some pay-off on those first episode flashforwards, too, as Lydia is now catatonic after Theo memoryjacked her, and is presumably going to be taken to Eichen House and end up in Valack's care (since he will, apparently, be back come the first episode of that series). 

These are the kinds of episodes I want out of you, Teen Wolf. Plotting. Momentum. A sense of energy. It was completely absent for the first seven episodes of this series and nearly absent in the eighth, so for god's sake, carry that momentum forward into your next set of ten episodes. I have no idea when those will start airing, to my knowledge it has not been announced, but I'll definitely be watching and reviewing when they do. 

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