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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Teen Wolf S5E7: Strange Frequencies.


Teen Wolf
Series 5 Episode 7
Strange Frequencies.



Call me weird, but I think this might actually be the best episode of the fifth series so far. Browsing various people's reactions, it seems to be almost universally hated, but it actually had plot developments, which is something that's been in short supply in the series before. Plot developments on several fronts, even! Do you know how much I wasn't expecting that?

Do you realise how sad it is that we're seven episodes in, and I'm shocked that there have actually been plot developments?

In this episode, Scott, Liam, Malia and Lydia set a trap for the Doctors, intending to use Hayden as bait to capture one inside the school. Meanwhile, Theo and Stiles, now each with leverage over the other, guard the dead body of the chimera that Theo killed, hoping to find out who's stealing the bodies. Mason, working on his own, encounters another of the remaining chimeras. Meanwhile, Kira is confronted by her mother, who informs her that the fox side of her is overtaking her human side.

Okay, let's break this down plot by plot.

Mason's plot is probably the least meaty of the bunch - it basically consists entirely of him discovering a new chimera using his sharp observational skills, and doing the logical thing by calling Scott and telling him. While there's not much there, it is nice to see Mason doing stuff, and it's very nice to see him portrayed as being so smart and observant. My one concern there is that it feels like he's being primed to take over Stiles' role, which doesn't bode well for Stiles' eventual fate this series. We'll see, though. 

Still, I like Mason - I certainly find him about three times as interesting as Liam, who has always been incredibly boring and has only gotten worse in that regard in this series.

He's also very short. It's not normal. It's not right.

The next plot along, in terms of screentime, at least, is Kira's. I've seen it mentioned (justifiably) how weird it is that nobody was asking Kira's mother, the actual kitsune, what was going on with Kira, so it was nice to see Noriko actually being aware that something is wrong, and taking steps to both ascertain what it is and to correct it. Her efforts end in failure, obviously, with Kira fleeing the house after carving '115' into her bedframe. While Kira hasn't been found by the end of the episode, her sword has, having been used to impale a chimera - I am almost certain that Kira's not the killer here (remember, she said she lost her sword), but that everybody is going to think that she is. 

No clue as yet what 115 means, although I would note that the Oni, seen several years back, used the kanji 'ko' to mark people who hadn't been possessed by the Nogitsune - a kanji that looks like a reversed 5 and was presumed to be one by the cast for several episodes. The same kanji can also mean 'serpent', so there's that, I suppose.

Next up we have Theo and Stiles. They spend most of their storyline sitting in a jeep and chatting - a conversation that's full of really unsubtle attempts by Theo to get Stiles to trust him, and it's truly a marvel that Stiles doesn't just immediately see through those transparent attempts. Bonus points for Lydia being visibly concerned about the two of them being left alone, though, that was nice.

The big plot development with those two - apart from Parrish giving Theo a punch to the face while on fire and stealing the body - is both that Theo didn't see what happened to Donovan's body (remember, we haven't seen anything yet to suggest that he, a character with a healing factor and the ability to open mouths anywhere on his body, didn't just escape), and that Theo apparently killed or was complicit in the death of his sister.

Ooh, flamey fox Kira.

That last one raises an interesting point: Stiles insisted earlier in the series that Theo wasn't Theo - that the Theo who arrived in Beacon Hills wasn't the Theo he knew as a child, whose sister died, and that was corroborated in-story by 'Theo's' father having a different signature to the Theo Stiles knew, and by Theo's own discussion with his (fake) parents that they were meant to practice their roles perfectly. But now it's been revealed that this Theo actually was involved in the death of Theo Prime's sister, so - is he the Theo that Stiles knew as a child after all? That wouldn't make much sense if he was, but if he isn't, then the whole flashback to killing his sister (or at least not helping her as she died) wouldn't make much sense.

Blegh.

That leaves Scott, Liam, Lydia, and Malia. Malia's actually barely in this episode - the one scene she's in is a fairly brutal hallucination about her hands and legs being caught in bear traps and a spike sliding through her throat. In general, horrifying hallucinations are the bread and butter of this section of the plot - the guff about a plan to catch the Doctors in the school is unusually half-baked for one of Scott's plans. Yes, sure, the school is on a convergence of ley lines, just like Eichen House, and you've got cell phone jammers from Parrish - although you have no actual idea if those will even work on the Doctors, and indeed they turn out not to.

So why not set yourself up in a specific part of the school where you have control over the entrance? The Doctors can't pass through walls or doors, you've seen that already. Why not have some kind of wooden container ready so that you could stuff them into one, since they wouldn't be able to use their electromagnetic powers on it? As Liam quite rightly pointed out this episode, why did nobody consider that the Doctors have the ability to render Scott, the strongest member of the group, totally incapacitated?

Why on earth did you all split up? 

This is what happens when you split up.

It's a mess from start to finish, and the result - Lydia hallucinating her tongue being torn out, and Scott hallucinating Kira attacking him - is pretty unpleasant to watch, although bewilderingly none of the cast seems that bothered or shaken up by it all afterwards.

Naturally, both Liam and Hayden end up being kidnapped, as the Doctors decide to perform further experiments on both of them - which at this point I think is just them being personally spiteful, but we'll see.

We got smaller chunks of plot with the Sheriff and Melissa, as the two of them do some sleuthing and figure out that all the chimeras are, er, chimeras - they've all had implants of organs from other people. That's not all that surprising, but there you go.

Either way, plot advancements! Things moving forward! How absolutely stunning. Everything involving Lydia and Parrish is still massively creepy. Seriously, no amount of trying to distract me from how mundanely creepy that is by having Parrish hallucinate undead Lydia make-outs will actually make me forget that Parrish is a man in his mid-twenties in a position of authority and Lydia is a seventeen year old.

Ugh, I need a shower after thinking about those two.

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