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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Teen Wolf S6E11: Said The Spider To The Fly

Teen Wolf
Series 6, Episode 11
Said The Spider To The Fly.

What an unwieldy title.

Anyway, hello, everyone. Teen Wolf has returned for its final stretch of ten episodes, and since we've been reviewing it as an ongoing almost since the creation of this blog (way back since series four, I think?) it seemed only right that we return to covering it for the duration of its swan song, however much of an unforgivable mess that swan song will be.

And oh, man, it will be a mess. Hamstrung by the same problems that faced the first chunk of series six (having Dylan O'Brien, one of its main stars, busy with other commitments, having several of its other more interesting cast members having peaced out, and struggling to combine the serialised storytelling it really needs with the episodic storytelling the showrunners clearly want), the second act of series six also has to deliver both a satisfying conclusion to the story and plenty of fanservice (of the wholesome 'having old characters return' type, with Derek, Stiles, Jackson, and Ethan all confirmed to be returning -- although not Kira, unfortunately). Interestingly, MTV has already announced that they intend to reboot the series very soon, so I guess that's a thing.

Picking up weeks after the end of episode ten, episode eleven sees Scott, Malia, and Lydia on the cusp of leaving Beacon Hills, and passing the torch of protecting it onto Liam, Mason, and Cody, much to Liam's displeasure. Their plans are derailed when animals start acting weirdly (again), Lydia begins having visions of spiderwebs and warnings of some new monster having escaped into the world when they stopped the Wild Hunt, and an ancient Hellhound -- who may be the key to figuring out what it was that has arrived in town -- reawakening in Eichen House. At Quantico, Stiles' classes for the FBI take a turn for the strange when Derek is identified as a mass murderer.

This scene was not this yellow-toned in the actual episode, I'm sure.

So, already, this series is shaping up to be rather all over the place, with this episode alone having Hellhounds, the return of Gerard Argent's hunters as a force to be reckoned with (apparently? I thought Gerard had died), and, naturally, high school shenanigans involving growing up and leaving home and all that stuff.

That last makes up the thrust of the first act of the episode, with the supernatural elements just occasionally poking their heads in to remind you that you're still nominally watching a show about werewolves -- the majority of the character conflict rests on Liam's uncertainty about his future, both in taking over for Scott and, more prominently, in terms of his mundane, non-wolfy commitments.

It's not brilliantly interesting, to be honest: The issues at play are relatively universal, but I don't think anyone really watches Teen Wolf for relatable teenage shenanigans, so much as we watch it for supernatural mystery and/or people hitting each other.

Halwyn, who's kinda pretty, but also quite dead by the end of the episode.

The second act delivers somewhat moreso in that regard, with Halwyn, the escaped hellhound from Eichen House, causing havoc as he searches for 'it,' which Liam and the others apparently released, and which was supposed to ride with the Wild Hunt forever. Much like the Beast and the Nogitsune, it appears that whatever 'it' is, there's a decent chance that it's replaced or merged with someone in Beacon Hills (which might be how Gerard is back, actually), forcing Halwyn to check every person.

We get a few cool fight scenes, first between Halwyn and Liam, Parrish, and Mason, and later between Halwyn and enigmatic new guidance counselor Tamora Monroe, but for the most part, this supernatural plot thread is just frustrating. Halwyn is established early on as knowing that Liam and Parrish, at the very least, aren't whatever beastie he's hunting for -- but rather than just calmly explain to them what the problem is, he continues talking in riddles, leaves, and then promptly dies. 

I realise that a certain kind of mystery is this show's bread and butter, but having a character who could easily just explain the situation and then having him act like a complete idiot (and not just him, either, since nobody else even asks him to explain) is incredibly annoying.

Anyway, here's Wonderwall.

We also get a very brief third plot strand, with Stiles at Quantico (basically confirming that he won't be in most of this series) hearing about Derek being a mass murderer, complete with a dramatic close-up on a picture of Derek's back. It's probably the best scene in the show, despite its silliness, and I suppose it's nice that they at least got O'Brien back for a few episodes.

Next episode, it looks like we might even find out what this mysterious new fear-related creature is, although it also looks likely that the bulk of the action is going to be focused on the newly re-formed hunters coming to kill off everyone in Beacon Hills. It'll be interesting to see how they spin that, because honestly, it's been a while since 'people with guns' have really felt like a genuine threat on this show.

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