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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Teen Wolf S5E11: The Last Chimera.

Teen Wolf
Series 5, Episode 11
The Last Chimera.

My big complaint about the first half of this series was that there wasn't very much plot movement, with the plot being artificially padded out by somewhat lacklustre episodic plots. Well, I'm pleased to say that episode eleven was full of plot, brimming with it, even if it did also have an episodic plot sharing the spotlight.

Picking up immediately after episode ten, when Liam tried to kill Scott, Theo kidnapped Lydia and resurrected the dead Chimeras, and Stiles discovered his viciously mauled father, episode eleven sees Sheriff Stilinski slowly dying from an unknown toxin. To save him, Scott tries to drag together a reluctant and broken pack to hunt down the final failed Chimera, the Sheriff's attacker. Meanwhile, Liam searches for Hayden, who he believes is alive, only to fall into a trap set for him by Theo's pack. In the not-too-distant future, meanwhile, Lydia is questioned by Valack, who wants to know why Theo left his sister to die as a child, and what it was about him that put the Doctors on the path to success.

In a way, Scott's storyline feels like the worst of a good bunch in this episode. It was enjoyable, definitely, and we got plot movement in terms of Scott's mysterious non-healing wound and his tendency towards collapsing (some side effect, perhaps, of dying?), and in terms of Chris Argent returning, but it's definitely the most episodic of the bunch, even having a 'Chimera of the week' of sorts. To be clear, I don't think Teen Wolf is at its best when it's doing episodic plots, which is why I feel the need to bring this one up.

Anyway, heres Scott and Malia.

Interesting (and slightly painful) to watch is the new distrust between Scott and Stiles. While Scott is clearly eager to start patching up their friendship, Stiles is doing his best to push Scott away, which makes sense - Stiles was the one betrayed, after all, in that Theo's manipulations of both of them led to Scott pushing Stiles away, rather than the other way around. Given how important Stiles' remaining family (which in this instance is pretty much just his father and Scott, who the show has told us multiple times is essentially Stiles' brother) is to him, it would make sense for him to be feeling burned by it.

The episodic plot with them had some great moments, like Argent returning and slightly ineffectually trying to fend off the Doctors, but it's the weakest plot of the bunch, and not helped by the fact that in an episode crowded with plotlines, it was kind of forced to be a little bit rushed.

The Liam plotline, meanwhile, was probably the smallest plotline of the episode, but had some good stuff: It's nice to see Liam and Mason interacting, and seeing Liam actually feeling guilty over that whole thing where he pretty much murdered Scott is important, I think, if his character is meant to have any chance of redemption. The episode goes out of its way to point out how Liam wasn't in his right mind and there were extenuating circumstances, but I don't think viewers are going to be swayed by that.

Vexed Stiles.

The turn at the end, with Hayden basically selling Liam out to the police and framing him for multiple homicides, caught me by surprise, as well.

By far the best part of this episode was the slightly-in-the-future segments with Lydia and Valack. They build atmosphere extremely effectively, as a barely conscious Lydia converses with Valack, who is desperate to know why Theo killed his sister and why the Doctors were interested in him. It seems like the writers know these sections were the strongest parts of the episode, too, since they chose to end on one, having Theo arrive with his pack, only to be interrupted by a now fully Hellhound'd Parrish.

Oh, and there was a creepy shower scene, too, that was a thing.

It's a really strong start to the second half of the series, and my hope is that they can keep up this level of quality. While always enjoyable, Teen Wolf does tend to struggle somewhat with consistent quality, so I'm a little apprehensive to see how this all pans out. I'm also a little apprehensive because I don't see this series ending without at least one of the main cast having left the show, through death or otherwise, and I'm worried that it'll be Dylan O'Brien, busy as he is with the accursed Maze Runner films.

Still, there's a lot of potential here. Now they just need to bring back Kira (as soon as possible, if you would, guys) and have Stiles reveal secret Nogitsune powers like we all want him to, I mean, seriously, you're missing a trick there, guys.

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