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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Teen Wolf S6E1: Memory Lost

Teen Wolf
Series 6, Episode 1
Memory Lost.

Once again, I've been caught by surprise and left with four weekly ongoings -- this has happened before, and I think the last time it happened, it also involved Teen Wolf, actually. Either way, with this being the last ever series of Teen Wolf, I didn't want to forego it, especially as I've been doing it as an ongoing since series four. So here we are! Ready to tackle another twenty episodes of that one show about the wolf people.

I've been watching Teen Wolf since a few weeks after it first started airing, and it's definitely had some high points (the Nogitsune arc, and even, in a lot of respects, the Darach arc) and some very low points (the bounty hunters arc). It's lost several of the characters that really make the show what it is, like Derek and Allison, and for the most part, while it's also had some great cast additions, like Kira and Malia, it's always felt a little less every time it's lost a cast member. It's seen its main characters progress from looking like teenagers to looking like grizzled forty-somethings but still inexplicably being in high school.

Still, I have show loyalty, so here we are.

In the series opener for series six, as the gang prepares for Scott, Stiles, Lydia, and Malia soon moving away to go to university, they end up taking on the case of a boy whose family have all gone missing. As they search, however, they realise that it's not just that they've gone missing -- all traces of their existence have vanished. As they realise that the Wild Hunt are to blame, Stiles encounters a member of the Hunt, and soon finds that everyone he knows is forgetting about him.

Which is hopefully not Jeff Davis predicting O'Brien's career path after this series.

Honestly, blame it on the fact that I had zero hype, as I wasn't expecting this series to start until -- well, next year, really -- but this episode didn't make much of an impression on me. I mean, it was fun enough, and it had some great moments, and some really emotional moments, but I left it neither hugely excited for the remaining nineteen episodes or dreading them.

But here's one big thing: Has Kira been out and out written out of the show now? I was given to understand when she went with the Skinwalkers that it was meant to be a temporary thing, and that she'd return sooner rather than later, but nobody even mentions her in this episode, and worse, she's not in the opening credits sequence, which also seems to have basically no room for her to show up in. Kira is one of the few successful additions to the main cast the show has had, and a really interesting character whose absence will, I think, be felt pretty keenly if she doesn't appear at all, so you can understand that I may be more than a little vexed here.

Of course, in an ideal world, I'd like to see not just Kira return, but Derek and Jackson, too, but I understand that those last two are maybe more pipe dreams, especially since Tyler Hoechlin has a sweet Superman gig now and Colton Haynes is, er -- not actually doing anything, apparently, according to IMDB. Okay, good.

School is fun! Apparently.

This is only compounded by the fact that this episode also sees Stiles abducted, with everyone forgetting him, and he's probably going to be absent for a significant chunk of the series. In his case, though, there's a degree of necessity: At the time of shooting, Dylan O'Brien was still recovering from his injuries, and moreover, the boy has a pretty active film career now that does necessarily preclude him spending too much time on Teen Wolf, and may well have been a contributing factor to the decision to end the show.

If it seems like I'm talking more about cast changes than the episode itself, that's because there's not a lot to say about the episode. It chugs along quite happily, being entertaining but not compelling, doing its best to hype people up for a villain who lacks anything to make them interesting, having neither the personal stakes of the Nogitsune, the mystery of the Alpha or the Darach, or the aesthetics of the Dread Doctors.

Oh no, men with hats, my worst nightmare.

The episode does hit something like greatness during its final section, when we follow Stiles as he slowly comes to realise that people have forgotten about him, and moreover, begins to realise that all the strange incidents he's been having all day have been because people have been forgetting about him one by one. It's a beautifully shot and written scene, and O'Brien's acting really sells it, making it easily the high point of the episode.

But still, that's Memory Lost: Fun but unremarkable, save in how it's lacking one of the most interesting characters on the show. Maybe she'll turn up eventually. Maybe not.

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