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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Teen Wolf S5E15: Amplification


Teen Wolf
Series 5, Episode 15
Amplification.



I almost can't believe that after this, we'll be just five episodes away from the end. There's so much still to wrap up: Lydia's got a hole in her head, Valack's at large, the Doctors are at large, the Beast is at large and also probably Mason, Kira can't control her Fox, Scott has his mysterious unhealing wound, Theo and his pack are still at large, Deucalion and Gerard are both back, the Desert Wolf is still at large, and Parrish is a loose cannon who is at genuine risk of burning everyone around him to death.

Just to illustrate exactly how hectic this series is getting, that's no less than seven separate villains (two of whom are groups), with two more antagonists on top of that. That's a lot of villainy going around, and if they want to end the fifth series on a satisfactory note, they have to wrap up all of them. That's not going to be easy in five episodes. 

In this week's episode, the pack sets out to break into Eichen House and rescue Lydia, with a plan that requires Kira to exercise fine control over her powers. They aren't the only ones with designs on Lydia, however, as Theo's pack has also set out to capture her back from Valack, who has a sinister plan to use trepanation to enhance Lydia's abilities - a process that will very likely kill her and take down a lot of people with her. Meanwhile, Parrish succumbs more and more to his Hellhound side, and Hayden guards Deucalion.

Harsh.

This is probably the best episode of the fifth series so far, being essentially a heist episode with added Valack being creepy at things - and good god, is he creepy. Much of this series has been devoted to setting him up as a kind of antiheroic character, who may have done no end of evil things in the past but who is genuinely concerned with stopping the Doctors and the Beast - and all that might still be true, but this episode also tells us that those evil things in the past involved brutal experimentation on supernatural beings, and makes it fairly clear that he is well aware that what he's doing to Lydia will kill her and everyone else. 

(I am not sure how well Theo's threats against Valack will pan out, since we don't know if his powers - which as you might recall, apparently cause people to spontaneously die in unexplained circumstances - are still around now that he doesn't have his third eye anymore.)

We also see him attach an old Dread Doctors' mask to a woman's face, which is interesting for two reasons: Firstly, it indicates that the three current Doctors are not the only ones to have been around - there was at least one more prior to the series starting, who's presumably dead. Secondly, this means that we may or may not have a fourth Dread Doctor now - and the second female Doctor, since the Geneticist, played by a female actor, is presumably also a woman.

Also harsh.

Like any good heist stories, the meat and bones of the episode is a delicate, complicated plan going horribly, horribly wrong. Actually, it's a little baffling how complicated their plan - involving keycards, brownouts, and stealth - is, when Theo's equivalent plan is 'walk in the front door and knock out or kill anyone in the way.' I mean, I realise you guys are against murder, but you're not against unconsciousness, just knock them over the head and walk in. 

As it is, we get a pretty charming story, actually, involving Scott, Stiles and Liam sneaking through Eichen House, Sheriff Stilinski and Parrish giving them an opening to get in, and Kira and Malia training with Kira's powers and bonding and later executing their part of the plan to perfection. It's a heist plot as put together by people who do, obviously, enjoy heist films and the heist genre, and it's been put together with a lot of enthusiasm and passion - which is probably why it comes off so well.

Extremely harsh.

We're also finally getting proper plot movement, by which I mean 'we're finally getting the events of the flashforwards', so I'd say it's fair to assume that from this point on, the plot's going to kick into high gear. I've said that before and been wrong, but surely, at this point, it has to: With so many villains and plot threads, the series can't much stand to drag its heels any longer.

Next week, we should have the conclusion of this plotline, with everybody trying to get out of Eichen House, a Theo's pack versus Parrish fight, probably the culmination of what's been happening to Lydia, and - in all likelihood - the Doctors and the Beast making an appearance to wreck things, as they've been suspiciously absent in this episode. That in and of itself should be fun, but I think that next episode is the cut-off point for messing around with foreshadowing and suchlike. Give us some meat. Something to work with. Teen Wolf is at its best when it's following through on its foreshadowing, and with only a quarter of the fifth series left, now's really the time to start doing that.

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