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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Teen Wolf S6E9: Memory Found

Teen Wolf
Series 6, Episode 9
Memory Found.

Nothing happens in this episode. I'm actually left in a slightly awkward position, because this episode is basically 20% recap of previous series, and 80% people not really doing much. It exemplifies all of Teen Wolf's problems with slow pacing and large swathes of action that really have no point to them and do nothing to advance the plot, and that makes it very difficult for me to review -- which is why I chose to review it today and save The Flash for tomorrow, when I'll have less time.

In this week's episode, as Scott, Malia, and Lydia gather at Parrish's Hellhound healing device thing, intending to use it to lower their body temperatures and enter a trance-like state, hoping that by doing so, they can remember Stiles and make a rift to pull him back through, because that's a thing. Meanwhile, Liam and Theo attempt to hide from the Wild Hunt while also drawing them off Scott, Malia, and Lydia's trail.

Okay, we'll start with Liam and Theo's storyline, which basically serves exactly no purpose and takes up a lot of the episode. The only thing that happens in this storyline is that the two of them spend a lot of time running around, telling each other how much they hate each other, and then Theo gets ghosted while Liam escapes. It's meant to serve as a culmination of Theo's redemption arc, but it falls short because Theo hasn't done much to warrant redemption at this point, and also because Liam was never really the target of the worst of Theo's attacks.

Theo was largely focused on Scott and Stiles during his stint as a villain, especially Stiles, and as the only one who remembers him, wouldn't it make more sense for Theo to take a step towards redemption by offering to help Scott, Malia, and Lydia? Maybe even taking the role as 'one who walks them through their memories,' since none of the others remember Stiles and thus shouldn't be able to do so?

The power trio. Apparently.

Liam and Theo's storyline also has the show completely forgetting its own rules for the Wild Hunt, as all of Sheriff Stilinski's deputies have been taken, and yet he still remembers them perfectly, so that there can be a dramatic reveal to that effect. Similarly, there's no indication that Liam doesn't remember Hayden or Mason, and we don't get a moment where his memory of Theo vanishes after Theo is taken.

That storyline takes up a large chunk of the episode, with the so-called A plot -- Scott, Malia and Lydia trying to remember Stiles -- arguably having even less going on with it. Scott and Malia each enter the freezy-healy thing in turn, with Scott having no success at all and Malia managing to briefly open a rift, even though that makes no sense, since Scott and Stiles are lifelong friends akin to brothers, and Malia, while close to Stiles, has known him far less long and has a less deep connection to him.

Ultimately, Lydia has to be hypnotised, and she manages to open the rift for them.

Now here's how that storyline could have been condensed to half its length and been more interesting. Scott, Lydia, Malia, and Theo gather at the school. There's no Parrish freezy-heal-box, only the same hypnosis techniques that are used by Lydia in the episode itself. Theo hypnotises them -- thus requiring that they trust him, tick off a box on the redemption checklist, as you can have him try to convince them that he's on their side -- and they all start going through their memories of Stiles at once.

That hoodie looks very soft.

Meanwhile, the Wild Hunt is getting closer and closer. After going through several memories, they all manage to find memories of a close connection with Stiles -- Scott gets memories of Stiles being like his brother, and Malia gets memories of Stiles being a safe person for her, and Lydia gets memories of her romance of sorts with him. The Wild Hunt is briefly repelled, and a rift opens, which Stiles emerges from.

See? Shorter, covers most of the same points, less tiresome, probably more impactful. Also, you could cut out the entirety of the Liam and Theo plot. Easy. Condensing this show is so easy because there are so few plot points per episode that you can basically wrap up everything relevant in a forty minute episode in, like, fifteen or twenty minutes.

Next week, Douglas is coming back and doing things, Stiles is back, presumably the Wild Hunt are getting dealt with, and then this terrible, terrible arc will be over and done with. If we're very lucky, the next arc will be a lot better -- at the very least, it should have Stiles back as a regular, which is always a plus. Maybe they'll bring back Derek and Kira, too. Maybe even Jackson. The sky is the limit, I guess. I'm not holding out much hope, though.

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