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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Teen Wolf S5E13: Codominance.

Teen Wolf
Series 5, Episode 13

Alas, alack, that with the start of The Flash, this review has been shunted to Thursdays. Or, at least, sometimes shunted to Thursday - I'll probably vary my schedule a bit. Anyway, so I noted last week that I was quite excited for this episode, since it was set up to be a Kira focused episode that would bring her back into the fold, and I'm quite happy to say that I wasn't disappointed in that regard. Kira got plenty of stuff to work with in this episode, along with a decent amount of main plot shenanigans brewing in the background, and hints of another Kira focused episode in the near future. 

In this episode, Kira and her mother meet with a group of skinwalkers in Mexico, who say that they will test Kira. If she passes, they will spend the next few months or years training her to control the Fox, but if she fails, she will become one of them for all eternity. Meanwhile, in Beacon Hills, Mason and Luke continue to have fraught personal relations with Theo's pack, while Theo approaches the Dread Doctors to ask for their help - only to be turned down and come face to face with the Beast of Gevaudan. Scott and Stiles set out on their own trip to Mexico, intending to help Kira. In Eichen House, Lydia learns from the vision of Meredith how to channel her screams into destructive force.

We'll start by talking about Theo's plotline, because that has a genuinely interesting turn - the Beast of Gevaudan still isn't that interesting to me, but the idea that the Doctors are trying to get it to remember its true identity is. Even more interesting is the assertion that the Beast's 'host' is probably a student at the school, and probably doesn't realise they're the Beast at all.

Fire is nice.

I say that that's interesting because, going by mystery plotline rules, it has to be somebody we know, and there's really only one person it can be. Anyone who's a part of Theo's pack is ruled out; anyone who's directly encountered the Beast (such as Liam) is ruled out; anyone who is definitely absent from Beacon Hills or engaged in a fashion that would make any change noticeable during appearances by the Beast (Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Kira, Malia) is ruled out - which leaves Mason as the only viable candidate, I think.

Which works, in a way. We've never seen Mason and the Beast in the same place at the same time, and we've never been shown Mason doing anything anywhere else while the Beast has been operating.

We also get a nugget of backstory from Stiles in his and Scott's plotline that the Beast's original identity, the one the Doctors are trying to make it remember, presumably to supercede whichever teenager the Beast is currently possessing, was a serial killer who boiled his victims. That's - not as scary a piece of backstory as it could have been, all told.

Moments before Scott and Stiles arrive.

Lydia's plotline is nice, and obviously building up to her escape attempt in the near future. There's not a whole lot to say about it, but it was very atmospheric, so that's all good.

Kira's plotline was the major draw of this episode. The skinwalkers, who I fully expect that we'll never see again, were set up as being actually quite sinister, speaking in layered, unnatural voices and making ominous, cryptic remarks about how Kira will become one of them if she fails. Admittedly, the whole idea that she might be stuck with them for years even if she succeeds would have carried more weight if we knew she wouldn't be back in Beacon Hills by the end of the series at the absolute latest, but both Kira's reaction and her mother's felt very true, with her mother noting that as a kitsune, Kira has centuries left to live - a few years is just a drop in the ocean.

The test itself was fine too. I would like to see television, when it writes itself into a 'test of spirit' corner, actually give us something other than 'you've gotta fight an illusion', because while I recognise that that's an easy, dramatic way to show an internal struggle, it's also pretty overdone at this point, and just feels a bit lazy. Since Kira accidentally lets loose her Fox powers to defeat the illusory Oni she's fighting, the skinwalkers declare that the Fox passed the test, not Kira, and so Kira will have to stay with them forever.

Liam continues to be quite boring.

Her rescue from that fate seems surprisingly easy, with Scott and Stiles showing up in a jeep and them all driving off, but I suppose it's no skin off the skinwalkers' back if Kira goes out of control and ends up murdering a few people.

We have an episode called 'the Sword and the Spirit' coming up in a few weeks, so it looks like after Malia's focus episode next week, we'll have another Kira focused episode where she'll finally learn to deal with the Fox. That'll be nice. I do like Kira as a character.

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