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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Teen Wolf S6E10: Riders on the Storm.

Teen Wolf
Series 6, Episode 10
Riders on the Storm.

At last, this arc is over. I did wonder whether the next arc might not just start immediately, but apparently it won't be airing until summer -- and unless they pull some way to have Stiles and Lydia return from Washington and Massachusetts respectively, it will be doing so without two of the series last interesting characters. We've lost a lot of compelling characters over the years: Derek, Alison, Kira, Danny, and the idea of ten episodes with Liam and Hayden as our two leads does not appeal, even if it does seem possible that Scott and Theo will also be involved.

(I do really like Theo.)

Speaking of Liam and Hayden, it finally hit me in this episode that the showrunners have even less faith in their romance than I do. Every single time they kiss, it's in slow motion with dramatic music, as if to use bombast and cinematic cliche to account for the total lack of chemistry. So, I guess we can look forward to ten episodes more of that?


In this week's episode, with Stiles back, the gang is finally reunited. At the same time, Douglas uses Cory's power and begins merging the worlds, causing the Wild Hunt's ghostly train station and Beacon Hills to overlap with each other. With people increasingly able to move freely between the worlds, the Wild Hunt sets the last of their plan in motion: A train out of Beacon Hills, to a place where all the kidnapped people will become Riders. While Liam, Hayden, and Mason try to find Cory and free him, Scott, Stiles, and Lydia attempt to divert the train and ensure it won't reach its destination.

So, this episode made no sense. None at all. But you know what, that's fine: It had a story that I could roughly follow along with even if the whys and wherefores were completely incoherent, and intermixed into that story (well, story of a kind, at least) it had some nice action sequences and some pretty good emotional moments.

The emotional cores of this episode are very much Stiles and Mason -- Stiles gets heartfelt reunions with his father, Scott, and Lydia (although suspiciously not with Malia) at different times, and the chance to get something like closure with the ghostly Wild Hunt version of his mother, and even a kiss with Lydia that managed to not make my eyes roll back into my head. Mason, meanwhile, gets to have his relationship, and also the fact that he is far and away the most interesting member of the Junior Pack, reaffirmed.

Meanwhile, there's not much to say about Douglas and the Wild Hunt, because they remain very, very boring villains. The worlds-merging plan at least gave us some interesting cinematographic moments and set design, as elements of train stations were juxtaposed against the familiar scenery of Beacon Hills, and as elements of Beacon Hills appeared in the ghostly train station between shot transitions. So that was nice, especially for a show which usually has absolutely dire cinematography.

As mentioned before, the episode ends on the characters all going their separate ways -- Scott going to UC Davis, Lydia to MIT, and Stiles to a pre-FBI course at some Washington university or another. This is an odd choice, since it requires an almost one year time skip and gets most of the cast out of Beacon Hills when there's still ten episodes to go, but honestly I suspect it's just a vehicle to get Dylan O'Brien out of the picture, since he has a busy film career now and probably can't commit much time to Teen Wolf.

I guess we'll know more when the previews come out, but at the moment, I'm just kind of -- sighing a little. I don't much like Liam or Hayden or Cory, and while Scott and Malia will probably be back next series, neither of them are especially compelling, especially when they're sans Stiles. Mason and Theo (not that Theo is confirmed to even be appearing) are interesting, but again, Theo's at his most interesting when near Stiles. It's just not shaping up to be a very compelling series, unless they find some way to bring Stiles and Lydia back -- maybe they could set it over summer break or something, I don't know.

Well, that was the Wild Hunt arc of Teen Wolf. Was it a good arc? No. Was it enjoyable at any point? Maybe once or twice. Am I looking forward to the next arc? Absolutely not, but I'll review it anyway. My hope is that the show can at least find its way to a good, dramatic ending, one that will at the very least contextualise the rest of the series as a flawed but ultimately worthwhile experience. Maybe I'm asking too much here.

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