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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Teen Wolf S5E20: Apotheosis.

Teen Wolf
Series 5, Episode 20

Whew, we're at the end of the series. With a sixth series already confirmed and seemingly already at least partly filmed, it doesn't look like we'll have to wait long for more Teen Wolf, either - potentially only a few months, in fact, if you can believe that. But one of the things I took away from this episode is that it could very easily have been the end of the entire show, managing to tie off several character arcs while also pitting the heroes against a villain that's been looming since the first series.

Surprisingly, it also managed to deal with all of this series many, many extant villains, so that's nice.

In this week's episode, with Sebastien on the loose and looking for the pike, revealed to have been turned into the Surgeon's cane, the various characters converge on the tunnels beneath Beacon Hills to stop him. Gerard, Chris, and Parrish, now in possession of the pike, seek the Beast out to find and kill him; Theo steals the power of the last of his pack and, with Deucalion, heads out to steal the Beast's power; and Scott, Liam, Stiles and Lydia set out to save Mason, something they believe can be done if Lydia uses her banshee powers to call his name.

Oh, and Malia steals the Desert Wolf's powers, so that's a thing.

One nice thing is that we find out pretty early on who the Surgeon is, and in so doing find out what the Doctors' motivations are - this has always got my goat a little, since prior to this I'd been very confused at what the point of reviving the Beast was. It turns out the Surgeon is Marcel, Sebastien's best friend who was possibly in love with him, which explains entirely both why he wanted the Beast back and why it was so important to him that Sebastien remembered himself.

The scene makes the Surgeon come off as fairly pitiful, as below his mask he appears withered and deformed, barely human or alive, and all he can do is gasp out in short, concise doctor-speak that the Argents have the pike, before dying.

One thing that doesn't ever get explained is why the Beast is a shadow creature when no other werewolf is. Nobody even references it in this episode, and the only hint we get is that he's apparently capable of telepathy that other werewolves (and the Doctors) can hear, which is a very small point in favour of the 'he's the progenitor of all werewolves' theory. The smoke monster-yness is even made more explicit when, once Mason's been restored, the Beast continues to live on as a creature of living smoke, only dying when impaled with the pike-sword-cane.

They couldn't film in the desert again, it seems, so they did a terrible greenscreen
effect instead.

The Beast and its true nature was one of the things that interested me most about this series, so I am incalculably disappointed that we've not gotten aught explanation on it. This is one of those situations where a mystery just doesn't work, because nobody's treating it like a mystery, everyone's just treating it like a normal thing.

As far as the rest of the episode goes, every story thread is wrapped up pretty well, with a final battle in which, surprisingly, everyone gets a chance to shine - Malia and Stiles take out the Desert Wolf with teamwork, Lydia restores Mason so that Scott and Parrish can take out the Beast, Liam stands around doing nothing, and Kira deals with Theo. Even Allison gets a shot at the action, with Scott's memories of her causing Sebastien to hesitate just long enough for him to escape - something which Stiles brings up in a fairly tearjerking scene later.

The reveals that Deucalion and Chris were both working with Scott both feel very true to form as well, tying in with the fact that Deucalion got a redemption arc already and Chris isn't an idiot. Gideon Emery does some of his best work as Deucalion in this episode, pulling out all the stops to seem both menacing and charming at the same time. 

Sebastien is very French, and that's quite sinister.

It's actually one of the best series finales we've had since - well, since the Nogitsune arc, which I am constantly bring up as the best arc in the show. It had gravitas, drama, action, and it ended on a note that would feel perfectly adequate as the end to the show as a whole, but still leaves things open for a sixth series (which we are going to get, we know).

The big sequel hook we got was the Nazi Alpha Werewolf the Doctors used to keep themselves alive and to prompt Mason to become Sebastien crawling out of his tank, apparently ready to cause havoc, but I'd be surprised if he was the main villain of the sixth series - after the Alpha Pack and Deucalion the Aspiring Demon Wolf, the Darach, the Nogitsune, and the Actual Demon Wolf, a regular old werewolf with terrible socio-political views would be a massive step down.

A nice promotional shot of Parrish.

Still, I am looking forward to the new series, and I will be doing it as an ongoing. I especially hope the people saying it should be starting in June are right, because that would be great.

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