Series 5, Episode 17
A Credible Threat
This episode was odd. The entire thing, from start to finish, came off as an odd reminder of how much this show has changed. Lacrosse games with the high possibility of people dying due to some kind of supernatural attack, comic relief from Coach Finstock, one of the characters going nonlethally berserk on the lacrosse pitch, Stiles trying to convince his father to do his job in a competent fashion? That's all kind of textbook series one or two, and seeing it again felt - weird.
In this week's episode, Mason realises that the Beast is being drawn and forced to change by high frequency transmissions. As the Beast becomes steadily more intelligent, remembering more and more the man it once was, the gang's attention falls on a charity lacrosse game - one broadcasted by local news networks and sure to cause a transformation in the Beast, putting hundreds of people in danger. Things swiftly go wrong, though, with Malia, in charge of taking out the news cans, ending up confronting her mother; Kira losing control on the field, with her fox side taking over; and Mason, left to search for a size eight shoe with a bloodstain on the heel that would allow them to identify the Beast, finding nothing. Meanwhile, Lydia, Gerard, and Chris try to reconcile Parrish with his Hellhound alter-ego.
Okay, let's start with the one thing that got my goat about this episode: Did I miss something, because I have no idea why a) The gang assumed that one of the lacrosse players was the Beast, and decided to have Mason search the locker rooms and the buses for this size eight shoe, and b) Why it occurred to nobody, nobody, that the Beast might have changed shoes. Or washed his or her shoe, because ew red gunk, not realising that they're destroying crucial evidence.
I am totally confused by this entire chunk of the subplot, and while the whole 'size eight shoe' thing is obviously going to pay off when it's inevitably revealed that Mason is the Beast (because he is definitely the Beast and his invisi-boyfriend is probably dead by now), it's an odd thing to have an entire subplot of the episode revolve around when there are literally hundreds of people who wear shoes at Beacon Hills.
The stuff with Parrish and Lydia was good, but felt kind of confused, as if the writers couldn't decide whether they were having the Hellhound say Parrish was dead in the literal sense (as in, he died in the explosion and the Hellhound is just wearing his body) or in the figurative sense (as in, he is fundamentally unimportant now that the Hellhound is there). If we could get some clarification on that, that would be great, but at the very least, it seems that the Hellhound is yet another result of Scott, Stiles, and Allison having that evil ice bath to stop Jennifer.
This entire episode also felt kind of unfocused. It didn't really build to any kind of climactic moment, or come to any real conclusion, it was just characters mucking around with a lacrosse game for a while. Whenever we had the Standard Lacrosse Episodes in earlier series, they were focal points for the plot, with people dying, character conflicts coming to a head, and so on. This just felt flimsy and filler-ish, like twenty minutes of content had been stretched to fill forty plus minutes.
And I say that as someone who didn't even like the lacrosse episodes in the first two series. They were not overly to my taste, but they were still generally more plot heavy than this one was, and we're very nearly at the end of the fifth series.
I am also officially starting to get weary with Kira's 'fox taking over' subplot. It has the potential to be interesting, but rather than being used in interesting ways, such as showing Kira trying to find ways to control or commune with the Fox, we instead just get her going berserk every so often at inconvenient times, and that's just not very interesting. The Fox is a trickster spirit, could we not get some more tricksy antics up in here?
Malia's plotline with the Desert Wolf also came a bit out of nowhere - while it didn't really go anywhere, either, I can forgive that, since it's clearly going to be carried on to the next episode with her trying to kill Stiles, who I think at this point we have to sorrowfully admit is not going to be whipping out Nogitsune powers.
|Featuring this scene involving a dude with lots of burns, and also Mason flirting.|
All in all, this was an episode. Clearly a set-up episode for the next (or possibly even next two) ones, but it was an enjoyable watch, even if it felt a bit aimless and floundering. The next episode will apparently have the Beast rampaging through the school, along with Gerard narrating a flashback to the first time the Beast died - when it was killed by the Maid of Gevaudan, played by a returning Crystal Reed. Man, I miss Allison.