Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Teen Wolf - 3.09 - The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Recap

Note - This episode is Teen Wolf at its best - smart, fast paced, creepy, and intense. Way to bounce back, writers and kudos to everyone involved. It might be the best Teen Wolf episode yet.

Previously - Darach was a creepy, human-sacrificing, serial killer of virgins, healers, and warriors. Almost everyone one was a suspect including VetBoss, his sister, and Allison's dad. Lydia was…well we didn't know, but she screamed a lot. Shortest previouslies ever.

Deputy Tara walks into a darkened school highway and I wonder if Beacon Hills High even has locks. What is up with the people stalking the high school, especially given all the people that have been taken from there recently? Yes, she is a cop but Ms. Blake is there until wee hours of the morning and on weekends. Students roam around whenever they feel like it. Get some security! Tara apparently feels the same way because she snaps at Danny and crew, who just finished music rehearsal…in the pitch dark. Tara spouts about a 911 call and tells them to leave, but seriously if she thinks they're in danger, shouldn't she escort them out? It's telling that kids from Beacon Hills no longer question emergencies or danger. They just get out. Tara hears a noise, draws her gun, and walks further into the now (maybe) abandoned building. For those not certain before, background chanting means she's going to die. Nice knowing you Deputy. A body is dragged into the locker room, as I wonder why she has no backup with a serial killer on the loose. This isn't The Following. Darach is not impressed with the Sheriff's Department and sees no reason to come out with its hands up. Tara however sees herself dead on the shower floor. Creepy. Especially when Darach comes behind her with a garrote. She stumbles to the shower wall making her vision a reality. Bye Deputy! Scott and Stiles arrive on campus shortly after, tipped off by Lydia who trance drove to the school. Stiles and Lydia weirdly banter. Stiles: "Lydia, you're supposed to call us after you find the dead body." Lydia: "Oh no, I'm not doing that again. You find the dead body from now on." Ha! Stiles points out Lydia's penchant for tracking the dead, but the point is moot because Deputy Tara is draped over the school sign for all to see. Have I mentioned how much it sucks to live in Beacon Hills.

The next day, Stiles tries to covertly eavesdrop on his father who is at the school. Backpack over the head doesn't work. Sheriff recaps the murder in three's concept for those just tuning in and they bond over the loss of Tara, before he sends Stiles back to class. Allison and her dad enjoy non-bonding time too as Allison pretends to be too distraught to go to school much less the memorial concert. Nothing quite says we miss you like gathering everyone in the same place they went missing from. Nothing quite says target like it either. Argent says to take as much time as she needs and the second he leaves, she pops out fully dressed and arms herself. At the same time, Isaac crashes through her window. No parent has hearing that bad. Scott sent Isaac to check up on Allison but she's a kick butt female who needs no help. Lucky them - they both get to skip English 101 about idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes. I taught this to 5th graders so what's Lydia doing in a remedial class? Certainly not paying attention as she draws the ancient druid tree from last week. She overshares big time about her talents and Blake incorrectly calls it an idiom. How'd she get this job again? While Blake shares the SAT prep lesson, she stares at Stiles and Scott so we get the subtext. They all share a secret. Blake: "There are phrases that only make sense if you know key words." Stiles talks chess idioms but Scott talks Ethan. Stiles: "Okay first of all I cannot believe that we've gotten to the point where a sentence like, 'What if the Darach was an emissary to the Alphas?' actually makes sense to me." Gold star for today's lesson, Stiles. He mentions the Alpha Twins are inseparable these days. But apparently not on the same page, since Aidan threatens to tear Danny's face off and eat it if Ethan doesn't stop seeing him. Jealous? Aiden: "What do you think we're doing here? You know we're not actual high school students, right?" Finally! They call Danny harmless and Lydia a threat and Ethan admits he likes Danny. The only point to this is to setup Ethan as the good alpha who could be persuaded while Aiden is dangerous. I can never tell which is which and they were never interesting enough before to bother.

Back in remedial English, Stiles and Scott turn to look at Lydia. She's no fool. Lydia: "What now?" I would heavy sigh too Lydia. The plan involves her getting Aiden into yet another empty room and making out. This seems pretty typical but apparently there's been no canoodling since Boyd died. Nice to know Lydia DOES have some standards. Aiden says Kali killed Boyd and he didn't have a choice because alpha packs are not a democracy, making him slightly more sympathetic. Plus he thinks Derek killed Ennis first. They talk revenge and Aiden did his homework. He knows Derek and Boyd tried to kill Lydia last season. Hmm, before we get answers a revenge symbol appears on the classroom window. Drums pound and we….head to a hallway for Ethan's sad tale of werewolf woe. Huh? Ethan: "Why are you even talking to me?" Great question! A werewolf fight's about to take place one level down. Ethan continues: "I helped kill your friend. How do you know I'm not going to kill another one?" Stiles: "Are you threatening me? You know what I'm going to do. I'm going to break off an extra large branch of mountain ash, wrap it in wolf's bane, roll it in mistletoe and shove it up your…" Scott breaks in as I applaud Stiles for such a specific threat. Well done sir. Scott conjectures that Ethan didn't want to kill Boyd and wouldn't do it again. Ethan puppy eyes about the sad life of an omega in a vicious pack and says he owes Deucalion everything. Duke taught them how to fight against the abuse. He taught them how to combine to make Super Alpha and take down their leader. Apparently he didn't teach them to avoid the cheap shot though, as Cora aka Brainless, not Derek, jumps Aiden. I swear if it wouldn't lead to more Derek angst, I'd root for Ethan to kill her. She never learns. Ethan feels Aidan's pain and they all head to the fight, after learning most emissaries are dead. So much for that idea. Cora's plan isn't going swimmingly either. Aiden brains her with a weight but Ethan sadly gets there before his brother finishes her off. Ethan: "Kali gave Derek until the next full moon. You can't touch him or her." Well that's too bad.

At the Argent's Soundproof Pad, Allison suspects her dad is Darach leading Isaac to sum up: "You hope he isn't a serial killing dark druid who's been slashing people's throats." I hope that too. Argent is too cool to be that evil. Allison blacklights the map again but Isaac looks at the whole picture instead. Underneath the map if the same druid five-fold knot on the sacred tree last episode. Allison and Isaac both hold the black light over the knot for no reason at all and it looks very uncomfortable. In each spot is a word: virgins, warriors, healers, philosophers, and guardians. It's the groups Darach took and I still do NOT believe Argent is Darach. He does have awesome knowledge he should be sharing though. Meanwhile Cora the Brainless has a seeping head injury, but she powers on to tell them they all suck for not avenging Boyd's death like she couldn't do. "Suicidally crazy" doesn't quite cover it Stiles. She calls them stupid teenagers, a pot and kettle situation if there ever was one. Cora: "All you really do is find the bodies." Yikes! Harsh, and yet she is correct. Stiles offers to take Cora home, because he's nicer than I am, and Allison calls to give him the news. They all agree that Sheriff needs in the loop. I cheer. It's about time someone tells him. Scott's not around, so Cora gets to be the visual show and tell instead. This is going to go over really well.

Since one Hale is never enough, Derek returns…under an overpass at the school to nosh on his ladylove Blake. She rails, "Where the hell have you been and don't say that you needed to be alone for awhile because that is the single worst excuse ever." Ha! I agree. Too bad she backtracks in the arms of Derek's sexiness. She could have made a good point here. Instead they talk Alpha Twins and Derek reassures they won't hurt her before the bell peels and Blake heads back. She's got 3 classes and the memorial concert before they can be together. They have great chemistry here and it's not even a huge momentum killer. That's next. Leaves gust as Blake walks away and I go with a powerful wind blasting through the tunnel…for now because Morell is my first guess for Darach. Scott's too as he confronts her. Morell: "Come on Scott. Shouldn't you leave the interrogation to someone like Stilinski?" Ha! Something tells me Stiles has already questioned her. She talks in a weird staccato, telling Scott to listen to her heartbeat. No offense lady, but if the Darach can control bugs it can control a heartbeat. I am less impressed. Scott should be too since he had this conversation with Grandpa Evil last week. Morell says she's keeping Duke from killing everyone, expositing the plan we've already heard. Morell: "He wants a true alpha in his pack. He thinks it's you and a little distraction like a few human sacrifices isn't going to dissuade him from the prize." Scott and Morell bark at each other before she espouses psychology. Morell: "He's an obsessive. He both desires you and is threatened by you." Duke wants Scott or no one can have him. To be honest, this conversation is creepier than anything in the season thus far. It's also sucking the momentum dry and bringing nothing new to the table. In brief if Scott kills, he can't be a true alpha. Duke wins. Throw in a chess analogy, in which Scott needs to step up his game or all is lost, and we finally leave this scene to watch people walk past Scott in slow motion as he stares blankly. FILLER, bad filler.

Erm..thankfully(?) a history teacher gets snatched and the action is back. Lydia finds his chalk but no way she's Darach. NO WAY! Even if she draws a creepy 2 on the board and starts shrieking. Lydia freaks out to Blake while Ethan comforts her, which is weird. But Blake isn't buying it even though Lydia is adamant. Lydia: "Okay fine, I'm psychic." Blake: "You're psychic?" Lydia: "I'm something!" That's obvious and needs explanation tonight. Aidan and Scott look on, not sure what a deputy and teacher have in common. Stiles could tell them but he's too busy pacing, trying to tell his dad that Scott's a werewolf. He goes with a 3 season recap to no avail. Sheriff: "Stiles, the last thing I need right now is a job performance review from my own son." True, so Stiles goes with chess analogy, color coding people by their roles: werewolf, hunter, kanima, darach. Let's just say Sheriff gives Stiles the same look my friends give me when trying to explain the show. Sheriff: "So who's the kanima?" Stiles: "Jackson." Sheriff: "No, Jackson's a werewolf." Stiles: "Jackson was a kanima first and then Peter and Derek killed him and he came back to life as a werewolf. Now he's in London." Ha! No, now he's rocking Arrow. Still this is an excellent time for a visual Stiles. Have Cora turn. They tell Sheriff they don't know who Darach is yet, which is where his patience ends. Sheriff: "And what shape would an increasingly confused and angrier by the second father take?" Alas when Stiles finally does ask Cora to turn, she faints instead.

And still Stiles' plan is a bit better than Allison's, which includes heading to the place where a teacher might be killed to stop her dad. Isaac, aka the voice of reason, thinks they should call Scott. Allison, taking a page from Cora, disagrees. I love Kick Butt Allison but I can't stand the brain dead Allison who shows up here. Going to stop a serial killer is definitely cause for backup. Allison: "Stay behind me and stay quiet." Isaac: "Oh this is so not going to end well." Ha! People should listen to Isaac too. After giving the order to stay quiet, Isaac and Allison banter about defending themselves before Isaac smells blood but can't figure out what direction. Say what? Oh why bother. The teacher is hanging there in plain sight anyway. Darach appears and Allison rushes headlong without any plan whatsoever. Thankfully, her dad is more prepared. Yes, Allison and Isaac did just ruin his trap to take out Darach. Great! Argent does impressive (yet funny) gun maneuvering, which all ends in a big, fat zero. The teacher is dead, Darach escaped, and Allison and Argent play hypocrite and liar, liar. Isaac again saves my sanity. "Hey just a thought. Maybe right now is not the best for a little family meeting. There's still one more teacher." True so they play telephone tag where Stiles says Deputy Tara was a former middle school teacher. Since all other teachers are at the memorial concert, that's where Darach and the team go. They pan in on Blake. My live tweet: "Ms. Blake has the power to make wind. Leaves are always blowing by her feet. Suspicious? Maybe. My bet is still Morell." Alas since we can't get answers for at least another 4 minutes, Stiles and Sheriff fight in the hospital about VetBoss' rescue after dropping off Cora. Sheriff: "Stiles, I have seen a lot of things that I can't explain in this town. That doesn't make them supernatural and it doesn't make them real." Sheriff finally loses it and Stiles gets defensive. As Sheriff walks away, Stiles says, "Mom would have believed me." Ouch!

Breaking for product placement in the midst of family angst, Ethan helps Danny get dressed at the concert. Of course that naturally means Ice Breakers mints. Ethan stops flirting long enough to seriously tell Danny to find him first if anything happens. I'm going to hunt Aiden down myself if anything happens to Danny. Fair warning. Scott looks on as Lydia joins him, finally not running from the weird but firmly embracing it. Lydia: "I don't know why I'm the one that keeps finding the bodies. Maybe if I just stop trying to fight it, I'd find them before it happens…maybe with enough time for someone like you to do something about it." Scott: "You get me the time and I'll do something about it, I swear to God. I will." Scott and Lydia clasp hands, a solid front against evil. Sadly, Derek is at the hospital, clasping Cora's hand. My tweet: "Derek, your sister is brain dead. Before she went into the hospital." I stand by it, but as Derek silently angsts Cora whispers his name. She asks why she's sick and Derek answers solemnly, "I don't know but I'm not leaving okay? Not again." He kisses her forehead and yeah, I'll admit it. It got to me. Something about a big brother-little sister scene gets me every time. Luckily we move to my favorite pair, in a completely non-shipper way of course, Melissa and Sheriff. What Stiles said obviously stabbed Sheriff's heart and he asks about a woman mauled near to death at least 10 years ago. Melissa, being awesome, breaks the rules to get him info. A Jane Doe, whose picture we have never seen before, arrived at the hospital barely alive. Hundreds of birds flew into the hospital walls and windows while she was in the OR. Melissa: "Like they were committing some kind of mass suicide." Sheriff: "Or like they were sacrificing themselves." Melissa: "For what?" Sheriff: "Not what…who." Awesome scene! There needs to be more of these two in future episodes.

While they hunt down info, a billion other things happen. Argent, Allison, and Isaac arrive at school to hunt Darach. Lydia gets a text supposedly from Aiden and heads off for a "life or death" emergency. It screams trap. Scott, how can you get there in time if you don't know where Lydia is? Meanwhile Aiden tells Ethan he lost his phone as Lydia enters yet another still unlocked, empty hallway door and classroom. Chanting begins in the recital and Blake pops out, scaring Lydia. Uh oh! Surprise! She knocks Lydia out and stares with black eyes. My tweet: "I am willing to believe Blake is possessed right now. I am willing to believe she is Darach. Answers please." I could see it going either way and that's the hallmark of a great scene. Finally people realize Lydia is missing so Scott and Stiles rush out, yelling for her to no avail. Lydia awakens for our word of the day lesson - sacrifice. It's Latin for, "Are you seriously giving a SAT prep lesson before you kill her?" Well according to me. Lydia isn't impressed either. Blake says Lydia isn't a sacrifice, just a girl who knows too much (title alert). Blake puts a garrote around Lydia's throat but she puts her hand in between and screams…loudly. So loud every werewolf in the county hears, even Derek at the hospital. Strangely, no one else hears a thing. Blake is impressed. Lydia is a banshee, aka the Wailing Woman. Blake says they're alike but I'm going with no. Far as I know, Lydia isn't murdering people. For reasons unknown, Lydia sits by and lets Blake duct tape her to the chair before trying to garrote her again. But not before the last teacher dies. Bye bye piano teacher. That's one mistletoe piano string across the throat. Some people question how Darach timed it so perfectly. I question what high school band doesn't have a kid who plays piano. Chaos ensues either way.

Blake puts a knife to Lydia's throat but Sheriff is in the room and tells her to drop it. Either this classroom has two entrances or Sheriff is a ninja who got past both Blake and Lydia without being seen. Blake throws the knife into Sheriff's chest as Scott enters in full werewolf mode. There's your visual proof Sheriff. Scott and Blake face off. Winner - Blake with one punch to the chest. Scott goes down spitting blood. Next up, Stiles who is stymied when Blake shoves a desk in front of the door. Thankfully Sheriff grabs his gun in the distraction. He spouts the mauled girl story, which Blake confirms. How did the hospital get that picture if her face was slashed apart? Jane Does don't come with portfolios. Blake heads forwards, chanting her kill groups so Sheriff shoots her in the leg. It heals instantly. She painfully grabs him by the knife, causing his gun to fall and continues chanting her kills. Why? Who knows? Perhaps it was an excuse to kiss him when she got to virgin, which makes no sense thus far. We know he is not a virgin. Maybe it is so Sheriff can see Darach's true hideous visage in the kiss. Before Stiles or Scott can stop her, she takes Sheriff with her out the window. Chanting goes full force as they stare desolately into the night. No one better kill Sheriff. You hear me show!

This episode was awesome! There were only a few breaks in the action and a whole lot of answers. While I am not shocked by any means that Blake is Darach, I am glad it wasn't completely transparent. There were a cornucopia of choices from the start and they kept me skeptical throughout the episode. Most of all it leaves us in a very interesting position for the last 3 episodes before the midseason break. Will Darach go down before then? The other big reveal, Lydia being a banshee, makes me less excited though. My #1 criticism of Teen Wolf is that is sidelines Lydia from being an active participant in the action. She is often the pawn instead. If they go with a typical banshee approach, she's doomed to find bodies and scream a lot, neither of which is an interesting character arc. I hope they twist this plot line into something more proactive. The biggest plus of the episode is Sheriff finally knows the truth. Of course this only remains a positive if he remains alive, which I predict he will. Blake can't broker a deal if she kills Stiles' dad and I can't imagine the show will make Stiles an orphan. Melissa already has 2 teens living with her. Therefore I cannot wait to see the father and son reunion. It should be an awesome scene. Besides, they need him alive because the parents on this show rock!

Grade - A

Best reason to watch - answers
Horror scene - Tara sees her own dead body before Darach kills her
Most touching scene - Derek tells Cora he won't leave her alone
Most important scene - Lydia and Ms. Blake when we learn all the answers
Biggest momentum drain - Scott and Morell ending with Scott staring as students pass him by in slo-mo
Best scene - Sheriff and Stiles recap 3 seasons of Beacon Hills weirdness over chess
Coolest moment - tie - Argent reloads his pistols by clicking them together / Blake avoids Scott's claws
"The hills are alive" moment - Blake runs to Derek and they kiss and twirl
Best duo - Melissa and Sheriff
Most annoying duo - Allison and Argent
Scene stealer - Lydia
Voice of truth - Isaac

Best lines -

Stiles: "Lydia, you're supposed to call us after you find the dead body." Lydia: "Oh no, I'm not doing that again. You find the dead body from now on."
Aiden: "So if Deucalion asked you, would you kill him?" Ethan: "If Deucalion asks you, would you kill me?"
Lydia: "What now?"
Stiles: "Are you threatening me? You know what I'm going to do. I'm going to break off an extra large branch of mountain ash, wrap it in wolf's bane, roll it in mistletoe and shove it up your…"
Isaac: "You hope he isn't a serial killing dark druid who's been slashing people's throats."
Lydia: "Okay fine, I'm psychic." Blake: "You're psychic?" Lydia: "I'm something!"
Sheriff: "So who's the kanima?" Stiles: "Jackson." Sheriff: "No, Jackson's a werewolf."
Isaac: "Oh this is so not going to end well."

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Roundtable STV links

Links to all roundtable posts so far (SpoilerTV version):

1.05 - Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
1.04 - Teacher's Pet
1.03 - Witch
1.01 & 1.02 - Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer - STV Roundtable - 1.05 - Retro Review

Welcome to the 4th edition of the Buffy STV Roundtable. Today we're discussing Never Kill a Boy on the First Date. We will be taking a one-week break next week for traveling but will be back the following week for The Pack, one of my favorite standalone episodes from season 1. As always, we cut the conversation off after an hour so please add your comments to keep the conversation going and we hope to see you back in two weeks when we continue.

Spoiler Warning - Although we discuss specific episodes in these roundtables, all episodes of Buffy and Angel are fair game. There may be spoilers ahead for those who have not watched both series in their entirety.

Participants - Max, Robin, and Dahne

Link to past roundtables


Robin - Alright, I'll start with something minor this time. Was it just me or did it bother you how quickly Buffy got into her dress?
Dahne - Ha! I found it weird that she was changing with Xander in the room.
Robin - The bigger question I had about that scene is when did she put on underwear? That was a short skirt and Buffy isn't really the type to leave home without it. And Xander being there was totally weird.
Dahne - Another great point.
Robin - Thank you. It was the only big, big flaw I saw.
Max - Hah, never even thought of that really, but yea.. as close as I was with some female friends in high school, we never got changed together.. guess Xander should have taken the hint early on that Buffy clearly viewed him as nothing more than a friend, certainly not a guy she was into
Robin - Xander seems a little clueless on that front.
Dahne - Xander took a long time to realize that it was never going to happen with Buffy.
Robin - A couple of sources I looked at to find trivia said that there wasn't much of a plot this episode, which I was initially inclined to agree with, but the plot is that she's trying to balance work and not work so the action plot was going to be diminished.
Dahne - I agree that this episode was big on Buffy trying to figure out who she was going to be and how slaying would or would not define her. That may be why it is pretty forgettable.
Robin - It is forgettable but at the same time, it always feels like one that shouldn't be forgettable.
Dahne - Exactly. This episode always surprises me by how much I like it when I get around to rewatching it and yet it is never one I think of when I think of Buffy season 1.


Dahne - This episode always surprises me because I always forget about it but when I watch it again I pretty much like it. I like that we introduce the Anointed in this episode. Now creepy evil kids are normal but that was still kind of new to TV back then. In the movies, not so much.
Robin - I'm glad you added "in the movies" to the mention of creepy kids. Now that you mention it, I don't remember seeing creepy kids on TV before the 90s.
Dahne - I really liked the directing choice to show us Buffy and Giles looking into the vault of dead bodies from the vault side as well. It was interesting.
Robin - It was. The only problem is that all three drawers were in the same column.
Dahne - Another great scene was Giles' toy car pulling up to the Sunnydale Cemetery with their sign: "We'll take care of the rest." Nice pun there Cemetery Owner.
Robin - Should we tackle favorite lines?
Dahne - There are quite a few in this one. One that always makes me laugh is: Buffy: "Oh that's great. I kill them; you fence their stuff."
Max - There's the classic "if the apocalypse comes, beep me" which seemed to be pulled out in the media a lot
Dahne - The Apocalypse line is one of my favorite in the entire series. It is actually the quote I associate most with the show. Witty and sadly true about the Apocalypse. However as a librarian I also love all these great quotes: 1. Buffy: "See this is a school and we have students and they check out books and then they learn things." Giles: "I was beginning to suspect that was a myth." 2. Giles: "Buffy, while the mere fact of you wanting to check out a book would be grounds for a national holiday, I think we should focus on the problem at hand." 3. Buffy: "Yes, but I will return those overdue books by tomorrow." Giles: "Wait, you're not getting off that easily." Owen: "Man you really care about your work." 4. Xander: "He's going to be alright. He's like Super Librarian. Everyone forgets Willow that knowledge is the ultimate weapon."
Robin - Those are all great ones. Mine is: 'Buffy, when I said you could slay vampires and have a social life, I didn't mean at the same time."
Dahne - I also adore: Buffy: "Okay at this point you're abusing sarcasm." I've used this one in my real life.
Robin - But the one I always forget about is when she hides the book from Owen while telling him how much she loves books and Giles deadpans: "She doesn't love this one."
Dahne - Giles deadpan is always fantastic. He makes me laugh every time. There are so many fabulous quotes in this episode. Truly snarky.
Robin - This episode was A+ in the quote department. If we really wanted to, we could easily fill a page.


Max - This episode is really awesome in terms of the Giles / Buffy relationship, even if much of it is just funny banter
Dahne - I agree that Giles and Buffy get a lot of quality time in this episode. I really like the scene at the end when Giles says he doesn't have an instruction manual.
Robin - Giles is amazing. I liked the scene at the end with the instruction manual too but as I think John pointed out last time, why wasn't he more of a badass in the fighting department? These early episodes seem to be completely negated when the audience learns of Giles past. Also, the last scene failed the earring test.
Dahne - "Earring test"?
Robin - Anthony Steward Head's left ear is pierced. The earring test is whether or not they remembered to cover the hole. Sometimes they forgot to take the thing out.
Dahne - I like how we got the beginning of back story to Giles and how he is sympathetic to her wanting to fight her destiny, but yes, once we know who he was earlier it is hard to reconcile season 1 Giles with later on.
Robin - Although he does still get knocked out a lot in the later seasons.
Max - Giles does indeed get knocked out a lot.. "One of these days you're gunna wake up in a coma" - Cordelia, 'Gingerbread'
Dahne - Very true.
Max - That end scene does indeed have a great Giles quote & is an awesome moment that sticks out to me. The heart of this episode is not only Buffy struggling with the limitations of her life outside of slaying, but also Giles trying to help her adjust, and I think trying to figure out his own place in her life as well.
Dahne - That's a great way to put it Max. This is definitely a character-driven over plot-driven episode and it really works. They did quality Buffy-Giles serious and funny time and that's one of the reasons why I like this episode so much in the rewatch. One of my favorite funny times with Giles and Buffy this episode was when Giles builds up how important that night is going to be and then they sit around in the cemetery bored.

Larger Cast:

Dahne - I like how everyone was smart at some point too. Willow and Xander with their double date speak was hilarious and then Willow talking about Buffy looking for guards made perfect sense.
Robin - I liked that too.
Dahne - Xander also came in with the win when Buffy was freaking out about what she was supposed to say when she was late for her date with Owen and he says, "Or flat tire." Ha!
Robin - The only problem with that is that Buffy only ever drives in one episode.
Max - With a smaller core cast in the early seasons, I think it was a lot easier to sort of spread the wealth and let the entire crew really be useful to the mission at hand
Dahne - Agreed Max and I think that is something that the show really lost out on. A smaller cast is usually better for me because I like to see each member shine and have a vital role to play. Later on it felt like there were too many people and therefore characters like Xander got shunted to the side a bit.
Robin - Sometimes I think the show worked better with a smaller cast but then there are some epic episodes with the full cast. Xander definitely got short shrift in the expanded cast episodes.
Dahne - It felt like they didn't know exactly what to do with him as the seasons went on so they just kept adding female characters.
Max - Totally agree about Xander. His character clearly lost direction for me, though I always related to and enjoyed him
Dahne - Xander remained one of my favorite characters all the way through and I looked forward to episodes that let him really shine no matter how few and far between.
Robin - Not that female characters aren't great but there was a definite under population of men folk as the series hit about five and six. When Giles left, there was just Xander as a regular Scoobie and Spike tagged along occasionally.
Dahne - Buffy actually went overboard in the opposite way to most shows of that time. In other shows there was a distinct lack of females that made them feel unbalanced. Later years of Buffy unbalanced in the too many females direction.
Robin - But would we really have wanted to trade any of them out (I'd trade Anya but that's a personal matter)
Dahne - I liked Anya but I would trade out Dawn in the blink of an eye. I am in the minority too in that I think a lot of the time Tara was completely unnecessary to the episodes and could have been cut.
Robin - I agree on the Dawn front. She may have had her issues but they were not well presented in relation to the other characters. And as much as I liked Tara, I kind of agree with that statement because she didn't do much in the group. I'm not sure she needed as big of a role as she received. So I wouldn't write her out per say, more down.
Dahne - I feel Dawn was tagged in as part of the Buffy needs to be more part of the grownup world phase the show went through and that was part of what made seasons 5 and 6 so crummy to me. Buffy dealing with all the other things that happened to her would have been plenty without a made up kid sister thrown in the middle.
Robin - Plus Dawn was a total jump the shark moment. It would have been fine if she had left at the end of season five (not ideal but her arc was completed at the end of seasons five).
Dahne - I agree Dawn was jumping the shark.

Buffy vs. Normal Life:

Dahne - One thing I don't get in this episode is why Cordelia was interested in Owen. He hardly seems like the kind of guy she would like and so it seemed thrown in there just to have a "girls fighting over a boy" theme.
Robin - I think Cordelia was interested in Owen as practice. She saw herself as being able to get any man and him to be a challenge. Plus it annoyed the hell out of her that he liked Buffy.
Dahne - It felt like Cordelia wanted Owen before Buffy had anything to do with it but yes I do think that after she saw Buffy with him, it made her even more determined to get him.
Dahne - I think this episode was interesting in that it spoke about the common issue of people trying to change themselves in order to be more impressive to a date. Buffy went all "I read" and yet Owen did not seem to try to change himself. Oddly he was the most comfortable with who he was.
Robin - I don't know about in real life but the expectation on TV seems to be that the woman has to change for the man not the other way around. Cordy, who didn't really change herself, didn't get the guy at all. Buffy, who changed a little bit about herself, realized she did not want the boy.
Dahne - Or maybe realized that she couldn't have the guy because her career was too dangerous for him to be part of. That is actually an interesting angle that I never really thought of before. Buffy had the same 80's/90's dichotomy that many women faced about choosing home/family or career. Nowadays I wonder if that is primarily moot because women seem to have a more balanced view of life than they did back then.
Robin - That's what I meant, she didn't want him because she realized she'd end up getting him killed.
Dahne - I think we're talking on different semantics because I see it more as she still really wants him but she knows she can't have him. Same concept just slightly different emphasis. I also think Xander shows the tendency to try to change who he is according to whom he's dating too though. It's not just a Buffy thing. You are right that Cordelia did not seem to change though.
Robin - But Xander isn't shown as a successful guy in the date department. He doesn't conform and therefore remains dateless until Cordy.
Dahne - I think sometimes Xander tried too hard and that's why he had such a hard time.
Robin - Maybe Buffy didn't want a relationship but only did the date thing because that's what "normal girls do."
Dahne - I have a hard time believing that all the time Buffy spent pining for a relationship was all peer pressure. It seems to be on her mind a lot.
Robin - There are lots of things that are on people's minds as more of a curiosity than actionable thing. Maybe Buffy didn't want to date a normal guy but she still wanted companionship.
Dahne - I think part of Buffy's appeal and the reason she was relatable was because she did want things everyone else did. She did want a relationship, she did want to be popular (at least at first), she did want to have typical teen problems. However her destiny made many things impossible for her.
Max - It's a huge part of learning what being the slayer meant to her outside life, packaged in a standalone episode. Her relationships with outsiders simply never worked.. maybe she didn't try hard enough, but this was the first time we saw it
Dahne - It does become a recurrent theme that Buffy has to continuously balance - slaying and normal life. I'm not sure it ever got resolved to be honest.
Max - That's why I loved the final moment of the final episode - Buffy got what she had sought since the first season, throughout these early episodes, a chance at a normal life. We didn't see it, but the possibility was finally there. That moment was 7 years of payoff for me


Dahne - We've got 8 minutes. Any last words on this episode?
Robin - Cordy's crimped hair = so, so bad.
Dahne - That hair was a huge fashion mistake. So much so that it made the clothing pale in comparison.
Robin - I didn't even notice her outfit to be honest.
Dahne - It was more the outfits while they were in school. Nobody wore those clothes.
Robin - I consider the fact nobody wore those to be a good thing.
Dahne - Absolutely a good thing! Buffy's wardrobe department probably should have gone to the Midwest to see how much kids were NOT wearing those styles.
Robin - (teases) California people are weird!
Dahne - I think that though this was mostly a standalone episode, it did bring in the Anointed and the return of the Master which made it pretty important mytharc-wise as well.
Max - I think while far from being a best episode of the series, it is a pretty stellar episode. It explores a lot of issues that sort of snowball throughout the series but in a way that isn't too heavy-handed
Dahne - I do love the episodes that take a subtle approach. That was one great thing about Joss. He generally did not go too heavy handed on anything. I also loved the beginning of the Giles back story. When I first saw this episode I wanted to know so much more.
Robin - I still want more Giles back story. There was talk of doing a Ripper series awhile back. Officially it's still on the table but in the same way Doctor Horrible 2 is.
Dahne - I would love a Giles series. Let's face it. There is never enough Anthony Head.
Robin - There is never too much Anthony Head, I will agree with you there.
Max - I don't think Ripper will ever happen, and I sort of don't want it to. The Buffy universe seems pretty complete to me as is.. I wasn't a fan of the Giles we got in season 7, maybe that's why I'm opposed
Dahne - I would like to see a prequel much more than a continuation. Of course that means a different actor so it might be hard for me to handle.
Robin - I think it was pitched as a prequel at one point (the concept changed like four times) but still with AH as the lead. Now it's been too long but maybe as an animated or something.
Max - I loved how it was explored in season 2 & 3 mostly. Most notably in 'The Dark Age' and then hilariously in 'Band Candy'
Dahne - That's kind of what I think of when I think of Giles prequel. Band Candy was awesome.
Robin - Band Candy is one of the few episodes I will drop whatever I am doing to watch every single time.

Don't forget to leave your comments about the episode below. We'll be back in 2 weeks with 1.06, The Pack.

Screencaps by Buffyverse Dialogue, Rose Watches BuffyBuffy Wikia, Spectaculacularmoosekeeter, Buffyverse Stills, Dan's Media Digest, and Vunzooke.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Supernatural - Ultimate Quotes - 3B - Poll

Most quotes won big time in the last set of polls, more than usual. The fan favorite quip about how Dean always loses in rock-paper-scissors because he always picks scissors came the closest with 45% of the vote. Fans complaining a lot and "poke her with a stick" were also close with 45% and 44% of the vote respectively. Today's polls are chock full of awesome quotes, so much so that I really wish they had gone against the last set of quotes instead. I want all but 3 of these to continue to the next round. So many winners ended up in this part of the bracket that it is the most difficult day of voting for me. Hope it is easier for you. Happy voting!

Screencap by Home of the Nutty

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Supernatural - Ultimate Quote - 3A - Poll

This one's for you rehabber. Enjoy!

As we go into round 3, I just want to remind folks that this round will be sporadic, appearing whenever the SpoilerTV Favorite Show contest takes a break. Check back at STV every day so you don't miss anything. Let's also take a moment to mourn my favorite quote "No chick flick moments" which barely lost by 8 votes. Other very close races were Dean's "Eat me" to the Benders and Sam telling Dean to use his upstairs brain, which lost by 7 votes. It was a sad day for me. Here's hoping round 3 is better. For this round we will be taking it 8 polls at a time, with long quotes dominating today's. Happy voting!

Quotes Too Long for the Contest:

Poll 3 - Dean: "You know what, screw this." Sam: "Whoa, whoa, whoa Dean, come on." Dean: "No, I mean come on Sam, what are we doing?" Sam: "We're hunting a ghost." Dean: "A ghost? Exactly. Who does that?" Sam: "Us." Dean: "Us. Right, and that Sam…that is exactly why our lives suck. I mean come on, we hunt monsters. What the hell? I mean normal people, they see a monster and they run. But not us. No, no, no, we…we search out things that want to kill us. Yeah, huh. Or eat us. You know who does that? Crazy people. We are insane. You know then there's the…the…the bad diner food and…and the skeevy motel rooms and then the truck stop waitress with the bizarre rash. I mean who wants this life Sam? Huh, seriously. I mean do you actually like being stuck in a car with me 8 hours a day every single day. I don't think so. I mean I drive too fast and I listen to the same 5 albums over and over and over again. And…and…and I…I sing along. I'm annoying. I know that. And you, you're gassy. You eat half a burrito and you get toxic. I mean you what, you can forget it." Sam: "Whoa Dean, where are you going?" Dean: "Stay away from me Sam okay because I am done with it. I'm done with the monsters and…and…and…and the hell hounds and the ghost sickness and the damn Apocalypse. I'm out. I'm done. I quit." (Yellow Fever)

Poll 6 - Dean: "Get out of the car." Sam: "I'm going with you." Dean: "You're just going to slow me down." Sam: "Tough." Dean: "This is dangerous and you could get hurt." Sam: "Yeah and so could you, Dean." Dean: "Sam…" Sam: "Look whatever stupid thing you're about to do, you're not doing it alone and that's that." (WiaWSNB)

Poll 6 - Dean: "All of them…everyone you saved, everyone Sammy and I saved. They're all dead, and there's this woman…haunting me. I don't know why. I don't know what the connection is, not yet ayway. It's like my old life is like coming after me or something, like it doesn't want me to be happy. Course I know what you'd say…well not the you that played softball, but you'd say, 'Go hunt the djinn. It put you here. It can put you back. Your happiness over all those people's lives…no contest.' Right? But why? Why is it my job to save these people? Why do I have to be some kind of hero? What about us huh? Mom's not supposed to live her life, Sammy's not supposed to get married? Why do we have to sacrifice everything dad? It's…yeah." (WiaWSNB)

Poll 7 - Dean: "You know when we were little, I mean you couldn't have been more than 5, you just started asking questions. How come we didn't have a mom? Why do we always have to move around? Where'd dad go? I mean he'd take off for days at a time. I remember I begged you, "Quit asking Sammy. Man you don't want to know." I just wanted you to be a kid just for a little while longer. I was trying to protect you, keep you safe. Dad didn't even have to tell me. It was just always my responsibility you know. It's like I had one job…I had one job, and I screwed it up. I blew it…and for that I'm sorry. I guess that's what I do. I let down the people I love. I let dad down and now I guess I'm just supposed to let you down too. How can I? How am I supposed to live with that? What am I supposed to do? Sammy…gah, what am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do?" (AHBL2)

Screencap by Home of the Nutty

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Teen Wolf - 3.08 - Visionary - Recap

Note: It finally happened. For the first time in 3 seasons, Teen Wolf actually bored me. I look forward to it never happening again. Usually Teen Wolf is fast-paced and action-packed. This was more of a tragic teen love story with adult political machinations overlying it. Basically it is Teen Wolf's take on Romeo and Juliet, but Romeo lives on broodingly with glowing blue eyes.

Previously - Derek got laid, Derek stood in the lacrosse field, the Hales all burned to death in a fire a decade ago (or not since they keep coming back), Peter tricked Lydia, the Argents hunted werewolves, Gerard is psychotic, spirals mean revenge, Duke predicted Derek or Deaton's deaths but instead Boyd died by Derek's hands literally, and Derek was distraught. The previouslies had the most action of the episode.

Jumping straight into flashback a teen werewolf, fleeing through the woods, horror-story trips, causing him to roll down the hill right into one of Argent's nifty lighted dog whistle spikes, which were introduced in the Cora and Boyd freak out episode. Not sure why they acted like they had never seen them before if hunters have been using them so long. The kid literally runs into another teen werewolf and we find out the runner is Derek. The other teen is Dead - shot through the throat with an arrow. The hunter shoots another at Derek but teen Peter catches it. (See any Arrow forum for why this is ludicrous.) They run. One of Gerard's men confirms Dead killed 2 hunters so Argent gives the order to find Derek and Peter, but not kill them. He stresses the code. The Hales hide for 2 days in a cave-like burrow with a huge tree growing in it to out wait the hunters. Non-flashback Cora tells Stiles werewolves "hide and heal" when it comes to hunters. This talk apparently began because Derek has disappeared. Cora asks why Stiles cares so he recaps the season. Stiles: "Why do I care? Let's see, because over the last few weeks my best friend's tried to kill himself, his boss nearly got ritually sacrificed, a girl that I've known since I was 3 was ritually sacrificed, Boyd was killed by alphas, I…you want me to keep going because I can alright…for like an hour." It has been an amazing, action-packed season Stiles, but no worries. This one grinds to a complete halt. Cora says Derek can't do anything about events so far, since he's different now. Pre-family-killing fire Derek was, according to Peter, "A lot like Scott actually. A lot like most teenagers - unbearably romantic, profoundly narcissistic, tolerable really only to other teenagers." Ouch! Shouldn't MTV be more sympathetic? Peter says a girl changed him. Stiles: "You're telling me some girl broke his little heart. That's why Derek is the way he is?" Peter says it's all in the eyes. Stiles figured the Hale blue werewolf eyes were genetic but alas no, it's a long, mostly pedestrian story of lost love Peter will spend 37 more minutes telling. Here we go….to Gerard's Room of Black Goo. Huh? Allison walks in with Scott. Grandpa Evil wants Scott to take away his pain in exchange for his own story. Oh goodie. We get both the liar and the psycho versions.

Uber annoying Krissy from Supernatural plays cello until she's rudely interrupted by the basketball dribbling of….you guessed it, Teen Derek. SPNKrissy: "I'm pretty sure basketball practice takes place in the gym." TDerek comes off as a stereotypical jock, running the school. He'll stop if SPNKrissy can take the ball away from him, as he tries to impress her with his skills. Instead of kicking him where it hurts and taking the ball like Krissy from SPN would, she walks away disdainfully. He of course follows her to the music room where she resumes practicing. TDerek asks her name but she won't tell him unless he can play any instrument in the room. Smartly, he chooses the triangle. One ping later and SPNKrissy is now Paige. She already knows Derek. Back in the Black Goo Room, Gerard and Allison talk human sacrifice. The third dead doctor was found right after Scott rescued VetBoss. Gerard: "Almost like it was expected he'd survive." Hmm, good point. Gerard continues, "How do you know that your dark druid isn't your wise veterinarian himself? Maybe he knew you'd find him. Maybe he planned it that way." Yeah I admit it's suspicious. VetBoss is still on my list but this makes it more likely that Morell, his sister, is Darach to me. Scott is less than happy with the insinuation, since VetBoss isn't the human sacrifice type. Gerard counters that people would go to great lengths to rid the world of Deucalion. Allison: "Or someone like you." Ha! Allison snark tonight. Woo hoo! Grandpa Evil boo hoos about his goo situation, but does he really expect sympathy? He brought it on himself. Once his pity party ends he says Deucalion can't be stopped. He knows; he tried. Allison calls it a waste of time and heads out, forcing Grandpa Evil to spill the Deucalion story….

After Peter tells his of course. Stiles and I are curious about how old the werewolves are, but neither of us gets an answer except TDerek was a sophomore and Peter is coy about his age. Stiles gets frustrated and drops it for the saga of "Derek and the cello girl." Peter spins maddeningly complex emotions of teen love into "One minute it's 'I hate you; don't talk to me.' The next it's frantic groping in any dark corner they can manage to find themselves alone in for 5 minutes." Ha! Not sure why they hid their romance. Their favorite make out spot was an abandoned distillery and Stiles questions how Peter knows this. He says he was Derek's best friend; the story shows he was a Peeping Tom. Creepy even back then. Forward plot movement halts when Paige asks why Derek likes her. Blah, blah, he'll never stop liking her, blah. They go to kiss but Derek kills the mood by smelling blood. Not sure why he didn't smell it when they walked in. They slip out as the alpha-beta multipack mash up follows Elevator Alpha inside. EA is upset hunters killed Dead. Kali doesn't care since he's not of her pack. I only care because it promises more action than story A. Random chick says hunters don't care what pack you're in, but Deucalion plays peacemaker and says they only kill if they have motive. He correctly guesses Dead killed a hunter as Marco, Duke's 2nd in command, confronts EA about it. EA calls it an accident, but I highly doubt it. Gerard narrates the meeting, which he was not at by the way. He does know about them later killing their own packs to form an Evil League of Evil though. More importantly, he introduces Talia, Derek's mom. Her unique shape shifting powers make her the de facto leader of the area. Plus Deucalion seems to have a crush on her. Entering the meeting in full wolf form, with Peter spying by the way, Deucalion talks evolution while EA speaks revenge. Deucalion: "Ennis don't. Don't make us part of a historical cliché. With 2 such powers, it…it never ends at an eye for an eye." I see what you did there Teen Wolf. Duke: "And we end up no better than our enemies." EA doesn't care. He claws the revenge sign anyway.

Over at Team Derek, Stiles snarks, "Man you guys really take that revenge thing to like a whole new level don't you?" Cora explains losing a pack member is like losing a limb due to the power connection. Flashing back, Sheriff, a mere deputy at this point, keeps EA from seeing Dead's body as it's a homicide investigation and EA isn't technically family. EA: "He was family to me." Cora interrupts, asking what Derek has to do with this. True, but it promised action. Back to talk. Peter blathers about people seeing things differently. He says he saw profound loss in EA while TDerek found opportunity. Clearly the opposite was true. As Ave Marie plays in the background, TDerek pointlessly wanders through school before distracting Paige while she practices cello and they cute about hating each other. It's endless. They love each other. We know. 19 minutes in and nothing's happened. Peter says TDerek was obsessed with losing Paige but there's no evidence of that. In order to product place Reese's over Twizzlers this time, Peter joins TDerek at school. He snarks about Paige eating alone but TDerek explains she studies at lunch, making her the typical school loser with an entire John Hughes movie back story most likely. Plus Paige doesn't like his friends. Peter: "No one should like your friends. They're a bunch of hormonal halfwits." Ha! Even funnier, Peter gushes about TDerek and Paige being a "perfect combination" while waving a Reese's by his lips. Way to use the ad slogan so subtly writers. Peter insinuates that TDerek is constantly worried about Paige finding out he's a werewolf but TDerek has no clue what he's talking about and says Paige doesn't have to know. Peter: "But they always do, especially when they're perfect for you. There's really only one way to make sure you'll always be together. Turn her." Perfect. Peter was a master manipulator even back then.

At Derek's no longer flooded warehouse, Peter claims he tried to talk TDerek out of turning Paige to no avail - a direct reversal of the truth that just played. Peter: "I bet he even blames me. He's probably convinced himself the whole thing was my idea." Because it was. Peter badgers TDerek to have an alpha turn Paige since Talia won't. He tells TDerek he's running out of time since the packs will leave soon, and finally he agrees. Because he's a moron. And because Peter plays on his fears that she could get hurt. Still turning your girlfriend into a werewolf is not an ideal anniversary present. Instead of werewolf attack, the camera slow pans on Argent and Grandpa Evil heading down the stairs of TDerek and Peter's former hiding place. Argent has impressive Celtic symbol knowledge. It's a druid meeting place complete with sacrificial blood on the tree. It has a name but in a shocking twist, they do not repeat it when giving its etymology so no clue what it was. However myth has it that druids believed the tree was sacred and therefore harm to the tree causes harm to surrounding villages. If it harms Darach too, we've got a weapon to take down the Big Bad in time for the midseason cliffhanger. Anyone else thinking Supernatural's Scarecrow episode? No. Okay moving along. Allison asks the billion dollar question. "How does he know all about Celtic symbols and druids?" And finally, 22 minutes in, we're getting somewhere.

Grandpa Evil confirms a druid/werewolf connection, Scott verifies VetBoss is indeed a druid, and the word of the day is Lycaon. Scott uses it in lyncanthropy while Grandpa Evil fills in its word history. According to Greek myths, some people worshipped Titans over gods, taking on Titan names like Deucalion, the son of Prometheus and one of only 2 survivors when Zeus sent a flood to punish Lycaon, king of Arcadia. In Teen Wolf's version, when Lycaon served Zeus human flesh at a banquet in his honor, Zeus turned him and his sons into wolves instead. Lycaon sought druid help to undo the curse, since they were able to shape shift. Alas the druids couldn't reverse it but did teach Lycaon and sons to shift between human and wolf, creating the first werewolves. Ever since druids have advised the packs. Cora picks up the exposition and explains to Stiles that druids keep them "connected to humanity, but they're a secret even in the pack. Sometimes only the alpha knows who the emissary is." VetBoss was the Hale emissary, while Peter says Morell is Duke's. That explains a lot. She's even more my #1 Darach guess now. Stiles: "Our guidance counselor! Why the hell don't you people tell me any of this stuff, huh? I shared some really intimate details with her." I feel your pain Stiles. They've left us longer in the dark than normal too. Urgh! VetBoss and Talia advise Deucalion against peace talks with Gerard. VetBoss says the Argents are matriarchal. Talia: "Actually I was speaking about the fact that he's a complete psychopath." Finally, someone who has his measure. I wish Talia weren't dead. Deucalion preaches faith, but VetBoss brings up the scorpion and the frog fable where the scorpion gets the frog to trust him in crossing the river together, but then stings the frog in the middle, dooming both to die because of its nature. VetBoss: "All your faith in humanity might not matter if you underestimate Gerard's nature." Wiser words were never spoken! Talia reminds Deucalion to meet in a neutral place and bring backup if he insists on this plan.

Back at Beacon Hills High, students are still allowed to come and go whenever they please so Paige is alone at night when EA comes calling. Seriously TDerek, if you have to send an alpha after your girlfriend, must you choose the scariest one? Terrible plan. Cora agrees. Peter says it made political sense, proving it was Peter's idea, not Derek's. EA needed a new beta and doing the Hale's a favor always helped since Talia's queen bee. As Paige frantically tries to escape, TDerek sits in the locker room, dribbling a basketball. Stiles says Derek doesn't remember EA went after his girlfriend and Peter hedges. I call bull. TDerek runs right at EA to protect Paige, which of course goes badly. Doesn't matter anyway since Paige is already bitten. None of this scene makes sense. If TDerek didn't plan for Paige to be bitten, why does he stay in the locker room long after she starts screaming? If he did know but Peter arranged for EA to bite her, why does Peter look scared in the hallway? Why did Derek seem like he only knew the alpha pack by reputation at the season's beginning? I need to rewatch the elevator fight scene again for answers. This is a key problem with the unreliable narrator premise. They are unreliable. No clear answers ahead from Peter or Grandpa Evil, who picks up the story. He waxes poetic about enemies disguised as friends and tells the same scorpion story we JUST heard. Gerard calls it a trap and it is, his trap, much to Deucalion's chagrin. They meet at the distillery and after the science lesson on distillation, Gerard unleashes gas that makes both hunters and werewolves sick. He protects himself with serum. Proving how sadistic he really is, Gerard produces a homemade spiked mace and kills his own people. Gerard: "They wanted peace too. Look what you did to them." Of course he tells Scott and Allison is that the werewolves ambushed him, probably the story he told Argent at the time as well.

Returning to the soap opera, Peter says Paige did not turn and Stiles realizes the bite would kill her. TDerek takes her to the magic tree, while Peter looks on. Operatic music swells to defcon levels as we switch from a dying Paige to a defeated Deucalion. He struggles to crawl out of the distillery with Gerard right behind him. When he can go no longer, he begs, "Don't. Don't do this. I had a vision, a vision of peace." Gerard: "A little short-sighted wouldn't you say." Dramatic death music and puns don't blend well. He stabs both of Deucalion's eyes with firework arrows and for reasons unknown, Grandpa Evil looks stunned. In fact, he kind of looks like Lydia awakening from a trance. I have NO IDEA what that means, but he backs off, leaving Deucalion screaming instead of dead. Hmm, very suspicious. Meanwhile, TDerek holds Paige's bloody hand, taking the black goo pain away from her the same way Scott did earlier with Grandpa Evil. Sadly, it doesn't work for long. Paige monologues about how she always knew in her heart TDerek was different, so his being a werewolf doesn't surprise her. Guess you didn't need to turn her after all. She confirms her love before whimpering in pain and says she's going to die. TDerek nods yes. She asks TDerek to kill her to take away her pain. He kisses her forehead as tears flow. TDerek: "It's alright baby." He cradles her, goes yellow eyed, and then breaks her neck. TDerek: "I'm sorry." It's all so tragic. Peter makes sure her body is found and declared an animal attack. Cora: "What about Derek?" Peter says killing an innocent turns a werewolf's eyes blue. I wonder how any but the youngest have yellow eyes then, because it seems like most of these guys have taken a life.

Back at VetBoss' clinic, Deucalion's eyes will heal, but not so much his vision. Talia and Marco look on as Duke roars and demands they leave him alone. Even his voice is a deeper tone. Talia and VetBoss leave, but Marco stays to attack. He doesn't know that Duke still has infrared sight and Duke savagely kills him. Scott interrupts the story for confirmation. Grandpa Evil: "He's not always blind." That's a great trick to get an opponent to go for your "weak" spot. Alison and Scott plan to use it to fight Duke and head to leave, but Grandpa Evil demands Scott take more goo away. Not sure why Scott complies, but he does. Better watch out because a Gerard NOT in debilitating pain is an even bigger threat than he is now. He starts monologuing about the past to excuse himself. Thankfully Scott buys none of it; Grandpa Evil's heart rate stayed flat throughout the story. Scott calls him a good liar and then, woo hoo….IntenseScott appears. He grabs Grandpa Evil's hand and threatens to kill him if people die because of his lies. It's the first time I can actually see Scott as an Alpha and tension mounts from the screen. Great acting! Even Grandpa Evil looks scared.

On the other side of town, Stiles has his doubts too. Cora goes all Lydia (who is sadly missing all episode), demanding Stiles explain his look. Stiles is stymied by what she means, while the music of operatic death crescendos again. Stiles: "What look?" Cora: "The kind of look that makes me want to punch you." Stiles: "Oh my God, you are so Derek's sister. I forgot." No, she's Lydia. Stiles doesn't believe Peter's story, given he actually paid attention in English class. Just in time for the SAT's, Stiles defines the unreliable narrator. Thanks Stiles. We actually knew not to trust anything these two say beforehand. Stiles: "I don't think we got the whole story." Cora asks if Stiles has the guts to ask Derek about his tragic love saga, and he shows incredible bravery/stupidity by saying yes. That will be one intense future scene. Just like this one between TDerek and his mom. TDerek: "I did something. Something terrible." Talia: "I know." Derek's eyes turn blue. Derek: "My eyes, they're different." Talia: "Different but still beautiful. Just like the rest of you." Aww, great mom pep talk. I doubt he ever bought it though because present day Derek stands in the distillery looking at a vengeance symbol. Even on Teen Wolf there's no way the original would still be standing today, especially rust-free, so the conclusion is that Derek put it there. It's war folks.

While this could be the worst Teen Wolf episode for me and it's certainly the most boring, it did have some highlights. We confirmed that Grandpa is indeed EVIL (unless he was controlled somehow) and Peter has always been manipulative. We also know VetBoss and Morell are druids instead of speculating. Still the real revelations are: Deucalion's back story, Talia's introduction, and the druid/werewolf connection. For all of Teen Derek and SPN Krissy's sad search for true love in a cold, harsh world, it is Deucalion's story that is the most interesting. What a shock to learn Deucalion was the peacemaker and believer of the group. It turned his characterization on its head and helped flesh out a fairly cardboard villain. Watching him fall to the insane Gerard was an unexpected revelation and really worked. I also liked his transformation to future villain Duke after VetBoss said he wouldn't see again. I will rewatch season 3 a different light now. The second best revelation was Talia, with whom we did not get enough time. If they continue the flashback theme this year, I hope she's a part of them. The full on wolf transformation was cool, but mostly I liked her standing as head werewolf in the area and the humanity she showed as Derek's mom. The two aspects made me want to learn more. She also showed real intuition abut Gerard as well as restraint as leader, acknowledging that she was not the boss but giving good advice. I don't think she survived the fire because first, too many people already have to be believable and second, I thought Derek's older sister became alpha when momma died. I certainly don't need her to be alive, but it would be cool if Derek and Cora traded stories about her. Better yet, MTV could make webisodes during hiatus. The number one thing this episode did right though was finally creating a concrete connection between the two main storylines. I love that druids created werewolves and continue to be their active advisors. This allows them to deal with Darach and Duke together, making the stories intertwined and giving the season better cohesion. I'm anxious to see if they wrap one of the stories up in the midseason finale or if only the audience will know Darach's true identity next week, not the characters.

Speaking of Darach, here is my ranked list of suspects. I'm probably wrong but it's been fun guessing.

1. Morell (by a lot) - She is a druid working with Deucalion and therefore knows how evil he has become. Most importantly, I still believe that as guidance counselor she's the only adult who might actually know which teens were virgins or not. I can't see the others being privy to that knowledge. She also works at the high school and could have put wolf's bane in Coach's whistle. Finally, Deaton didn't die.

2. Blake - She appeared in Beacon Hills when the murders started and has just as easy access to the victims and Coach's whistle as Morell. As a substitute in Harris' science class, she could have seen Danny's paper and thus tried to kill him too. Mostly though, she is far too laid back about the supernatural. She's definitely hiding something but that doesn't necessarily mean it's Darach.

3. Deaton - Good old VetBoss has been a fount of no information for years. He's a druid and his rescue last week makes him seem more victim than villain, which is always handy. He too knows how out of control Deucalion is and would definitely know of the sacred tree. He has no connection to the high school though, and maybe it's wishful thinking but I don't believe he would try to kill Scott.

4. Gerard - The man is evil with no problem killing people for his own purposes. He's a master manipulator and is patient enough to create a long-term plan. His physical condition isn't a barrier since Peter used that charade before. Plus Gerard has a score to settle with Duke (although not as much as Duke has with him). I could see Gerard donning the Darach identity as a way to kill all werewolves in his personal crusade.

5. Lydia - She only makes the list because she's easy to control in a trance state. I do not believe she is the
mastermind behind killing everyone. However she could be compelled to act against her will if Darach is just the puppet with a bigger puppet master putting this all together. Lydia has the high school connection and knows a lot about human sacrifice. Mostly though, the show seems ready to reveal her as a druid too.

6. Random student we barely know a la Matt last year - Hey, they've done it before. If this is the case, I choose Jared because he was at the motel, has the high school connection, and for someone we hadn't met, he was name checked a lot. However it would be fabulous if the "always yelled at, never seen" Greenberg was actually Darach.

7. Peter - He keeps falling on my list the more we learn about druids and werewolves. I doubt druids are keen on sharing their secrets with werewolves. However if any wolf is Darach, my money's on Peter. He's manipulative, has been absent for long stretches of time, has past history with Duke, and loves power. He could the brains behind Darach and was trancing someone (Lydia or otherwise) to do his dirty work.

8. Mysterious Motorcycle Chick from the premiere - Yeah it looked like Duke killed her, but why introduce a character like that if she isn't going to be important. Plus she kicked butt. Bring her back.

9. Coach - It will break my heart if he is but he has the same high school connection as the two prime suspects. Plus we already know he's crazy. But Druid crazy? Yeah not sure about that. I could see him string Harris up though. I doubt they liked each other much unless they bond over disdain for students.

10. Chris Argent - Although he has the skills, druid information, and supernatural know-how, I'd like to think there's 2 sane members of the Argent clan. Plus Allison would be in the exact same position she was last year and I don't think the show would be that redundant. Surely they won't leave her under Grandpa Evil's care and I don't see her having to hunt to her own father.

11. Cora - The only reason it's even remotely possible Cora is Darach is because her past is so mysterious. The timeline would be a little hinky because the first kills began when she was supposedly mad from not turning into a werewolf for so long.

Final thoughts - I hear some in the fandom are making very good cases for why this episode was a big red herring in itself. Many theories believe Paige was actually Peter's girlfriend and not Derek's but this does not make sense to me. One, why would Peter tell the story at all? They asked why Derek was different, not tell us a bedtime tale. He could have said anything. Unless this story somehow fits into Peter's larger plans, and I'm not sure how it would, he has nothing to gain from this storytelling. Second, and more important to me, neither Gerard nor Peter told the truth to their audiences, however we as the true audience saw those lies were false on the actual screen. It makes no sense at all to show us some of the lies but not all of them. That would make what happened on screen the 3rd unreliable narrator and that's going way overboard. Third, if this does end up all being fake, this episode is even more of a waste of time than it already was and it will cement it as the worst episode in all of Teen Wolf to me. It would be the epitome of a filler episode. I do however buy that Peter was in love with Paige too and that there is much to the story we still don't know.

Grade: D

MIA: Lydia, Isaac, Coach, Alpha Twins, Danny, Blake, Morell, Melissa

Best reason to watch - tie - Talia / the druid-werewolf exposition
Biggest shock - tie - Deucalion as peacemaker / music choices in the episode / Intense Scott at end
Biggest Suspension of Belief - werewolf anti-aging potion that they must have shared with Sheriff since no one looked one day older in the present than they did over a decade ago, except of course Peter and Derek
Best action - shot through the throat with an arrow
Sickest moment - firework arrows to the eyes
Biggest Psycho - Gerard
Biggest filler - Ave Marie school walking montage and accompanying "I hate you"'s
Most Improved Player - Allison - she brings the snark and manipulates Grandpa Evil in this one
Best cameo - Sheriff
Best transformation - Deucalion
Best acting - Ian Nelson, young Derek

Best lines:

Peter: "No one should like your friends. They're a bunch of hormonal halfwits."
Talia: "Actually I was speaking about the fact that he's a complete psychopath."
Stiles: "Why do I care? Let's see, because over the last few weeks my best friend's tried to kill himself, his boss nearly got ritually sacrificed, a girl that I've known since I was 3 was ritually sacrificed, Boyd was killed by alphas, I…you want me to keep going because I can alright…for like an hour."
Peter: "A lot like Scott actually. A lot like most teenagers - unbearably romantic, profoundly narcissistic, tolerable really only to other teenagers."
Gerard: "How do you know that your dark druid isn't your wise veterinarian himself? Maybe he knew you'd find him. Maybe he planned it that way."
Stiles: "Man you guys really take that revenge thing to like a whole new level don't you?"
Derek: "My eyes, they're different." Talia: "Different but still beautiful. Just like the rest of you."

Worst line:

Peter: "If you want to know what changed Derek, you need to know what changed the color of his eyes."
Peter: "No one would ban me from anywhere. I'm too good looking."
Deucalion: "I'm an alpha. I never walk alone."

Screencap by, Hypable, and Cute Bookworm

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