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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Teen Wolf S5E8: Ouroboros

Teen Wolf
Series 5 Episode 8

I was up into the early hours of the morning last night for reasons relating to Playstation 2 games, and I spent some of that time browsing the tumblr tag for Teen Wolf as the episode aired. From the reactions on there, I gleaned that people's responses to this episode are sliced cleanly down the middle, with one half thinking that it's the best thing since proverbial sliced bread, and the other half vowing never to watch the show again. So that's a thing. 

(Then again, it was also on tumblr that I found someone saying that the fifth series of the show was the best one yet, so clearly there are at least some users on that particular social media platform who have absolutely terrible taste.)

In this episode, Liam and Hayden, now prisoners of the Doctors, encounter another test subject, who was apparently given wings shortly before having them removed. Scott, desperate to find them, crosses a line when he uses his alpha powers to tap into one of the chimeras' memories, and starts to become more and more irrational and frantic. Meanwhile, Kira comes under suspicion of the murder of a chimera, putting her in the line of fire of a now suddenly draconian Sheriff Stilinski. 

I do actually think this is the best episode of this series so far, so there's that, although in a lot of ways I think that's damning with faint praise. 

Who's a pretty red-eyed boy.

We'll start with the Liam and Hayden storyline, since it's an exposition - well, not heavy, but it has moderate amounts of exposition. We learn in it of another chimera with wings, that bleeding mercury is the sign that the Doctors use to determine if a chimera is a failure and that homicidal rage if a stage all of the chimeras seem to pass through, and that the successful chimera will, possibly, be a combination of a range of mythical creatures, although that's speculation from a very unclear scene where Liam, Hayden, and Random Doomed Chimera Prisoner ascribe their own traits to the final chimera.

Liam and Hayden are still very boring to me, so I found myself not caring at all about their fates, but the exposition on the Doctors was nice, and it tied into a few short bookending scenes we had with Deaton, who's investigating - somewhere? A nuclear power plant, I think, which the Doctors apparently used as a base of operations for a while, and which they experimented on fetuses at. 

The Scott storyline, meanwhile, confused me a little. 

Not the whole idea of Scott being increasingly irrational and frantic - I think that while that could have been set up better, we've certainly seen the events that have led him to this point. We've seen his position as Alpha become increasingly shaky by virtue of chimeras that can steal his power without being part of his pack; we've seen an increasing amount of distance grow between both him and Stiles and him and Kira, who are his main supports in the group; Derek and Deaton, who were mentors and people he could go to for advice, are both absent; he doesn't know whether to trust or distrust Theo (remember, Scott was expressing suspicions about him to Deaton way, way back in the early episodes of this series); and he's faced with an enemy who can pretty much incapacitate him on contact with a painful reminder of his old life, which he was deeply dissatisfied with. 

Scott rather crossing a line here.

No, what really confused me was the whole water treatment plant thing. Is that a lair of the Doctors? It apparently wasn't the lair they were keeping Liam and Hayden at, which is the one we've seen them use all series, after all. For that matter, when Theo rescued those two from Lair Mk 2, did he do so with the Doctors' permission? They kidnapped those two for a reason, after all, and they clearly weren't done with them.

Which leaves us with the storyline involving Kira and the Sheriff. Mrlgh. I'm not happy about Kira leaving, even if it is clearly temporary (they would not write her out of the series in the middle of an arc with this little ceremony, and comments from Arden Cho very much suggest that Kira will be returning) - I think that her character arc and conflict this series is some of the most interesting plotting we've had, and I'd like to see it explored more. I'm also baffled by Sheriff Stilinski's sudden decision to arrest Kira, as if her killing a chimera is the one crime he can't tolerate despite the fact that Scott and company are constantly breaking laws. I mean, to be honest, Sheriff, if you're going to prosecute Kira for being possessed by her kitsune side and killing someone, you should probably prosecute your son for being possessed by his kitsune side and murdering a lot of people. 

The standout star of this arc was probably Melissa, who I think had the most reasonable reaction of anybody in this arc, slapping the Sheriff and writing him a brutally honest and totally unusable statement where she makes mention of all the supernatural elements at play here. I mean, if you're going to pull a 'the law is all' schtick you can't really ask people to lie in their witness statements.

Anyway, here's Stiles covered in Theo's blood.

All in all, while I did enjoy this episode, it's still falling victim to the big problem that this entire series of Teen Wolf has had, in that it's so slow, and it feels like almost nothing is happening with the plot - with the notable exception of Kira's plot, which has been a joy and a delight and I hope gets picked up again soon.

(Also, thank god, we finally got some pay off with Valack's book.)

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