Sunday, July 5, 2015

Teen Wolf - 5.01 - Creatures of the Night - Recap

Previously - season 4 sucked out loud but Teen Wolf is now back to its former glory. Erhm, according to the show, previously Scott was a berserker for 2.2 minutes, Liam learned the pack's supernatural role call, Scott turned Malia back from pure coyote, she and Stiles hooked up, Malia's still awkward, Kira and Scott hooked up at Derek's loft, Triclops made everyone mental, Parrish was a supernatural ???, Liam became Scott's beta instead of tumbling off my screen forever (sigh), and Derek went all Sensei on Scott only to leave my screen all season (sigh). Like I said, season 4 sucked but we're back on track. Way to go, Jeff Davis.

On a stormy night at Eichen House (never a good start), a bruised Lydia stares vacantly in the shower. Um, say what? Lydia is now a resident of Eichen House? I hope they get a pack discount because they all seem to end up there. A brusque nurse gets snippy at Lydia's catatonic state while I wonder if being a world-class douche is a requirement for working there. Since the other orderly is the creepiest creepster who ever creeped, I guess so. Creepster gets great pleasure out of sticking Lydia with a needle and appears to be heading for pedophilia when Lydia suddenly screams, breaking the lights. As she runs out, she takes out 2 more orderlies in fabulous self-defense fashion. Wait a minute? Lydia knows self-defense? Hallelujah and check that one off the wish list. It's about time. She also utilizes her banshee scream as a weapon. That's another item off the wish list. Maybe Lydia went to banshee boot camp and finally has a grasp on her skills. It's awesome. Already this episode is better than anything in season 4. She races outside but, unlike last season, they no longer have an open door policy where patients can just walk out. Thanks Meredith. Lydia takes out security in the pouring rain with more smooth moves. Right until DeadAiden shows up. Ah man, I knew it was too good to be true. Dead Boyfriend Ghost Hallucination stops her in her tracks. He says her treatment isn't done as security guards tase her. Darn, she was doing so well. Lydia: "Please, I have to tell them. They're all going to die. My friends, they're all going to die." Now that's a premiere cold open that rivals 3B. Sadly the new credits do not include Tyler Hoechlin and I get nostalgic. It also doesn't assuage my fears that we will never get rid of Liam. The freakiness factor flies high though as steampunk doctors do creepy things. Basically this title sequence is meh. Not so the dedication to Cyndi Garcia-Posey, Tyler's mom who passed away a few months ago. Very classy, Teen Wolf. You got me in the heart with that one.

Looking over the Beacon Hills cliffs, Scott enjoys the peace while Stiles scours for 2-bedroom apartments in southern California. I'd blame the conversation on yet more money woes, but what do they expect? Of course it'll be expensive. Have they not heard about the housing shortage? It's the beginning of senior year and they're already planning for the future. Scott: "You're bringing the Jeep?" Stiles: "You know the plan. Okay, no one…no one gets left behind. That's the plan." Awww, he thinks they'll stick together by going to college near each other. Scott wisely suggests they get into college before looking for housing but Stiles has a vision and no one better mess with that. He's bound and determined to keep this pack together at all costs. I love the vision because it means I never have to endure a Teen Wolf without Stiles and Scott, my idea of a night terror. Scott is lost in his own thoughts though, pondering Deaton's pessimistic life view that since things have been going too well lately they're going to get bad soon. Dude, it's Beacon Hills. Kind of knew all that. Scott: "Things have been good right, but not amazing." Stiles: "Yeah but no one's tried to kill us in 6 months either." Um, say that again. We're in a 6 month time jump? That's like 2 seasons in Teen Wolf time. Guess you can't have pushing 30-year olds playing high school students forever. Scott jinxes them all. "Things are going to get really good again…" Stiles: "Or really bad." Their bromance conversation is halted by lightning and Liam chained to a tree. It's the full moon and they aren't sure Liam will keep it together since he ran through town naked last time. Yeah, I don't care. Liam lies about being in complete control so Scott and Stiles unchain him.

Back at the police station, Parrish is frustrated since Sheriff sidelined him after the Mexico trip. Why? Who knows? He exposits the current Beacon Hills storm-related emergencies and Sheriff reluctantly sends him out on a noise complaint. Parrish is unimpressed, but dude it's Beacon Hills. You're likely to get eaten…or find someone Poe'd in a wall. What the heck, Parrish? Did you not learn anything? He actually starts demolishing the wall to let the thing out. Facepalm. Black goo, like the mess Grandpa Evil leaks, pours from the wall as Parrish leans in for a closer look. How did this guy survive a year here? Goo splatters on him, making him…evil? Possessed? Messy? I still say this is foreshadowing to some nefarious plot. As the wall crumbles from the inside an arm thrusts out, choking Parrish. A weird taloned werewolf breaks out, stabbing Parrish and making his eyes go yellow. Somehow the new threat takes Parrish's power and tells us Parrish is supernatural, which we knew, but not what he is, which we still don't, causing Twitter to blow up in outrage. WalledWerewolf (WW) has some nifty Day-Glo nails though so he'll be all the rage at the next inevitable Teen Wolf rave. Nice accessorizing. WW of course wants to know where Scott is because he's the hot girl but Parrish won't tell. No way Parrish dies in this episode so I'm not worried about him being sliced again and left for dead.

Stiles though is worried about getting to their senior event on time, especially when all their cell phones and the Jeep die. Sadly the engine is held together by 6 rolls of duct tape and a prayer. Wait a minute! Didn't they get keep Peter's money once he tried to kill them and Derek said it wasn't his? I guess not. Scott: "Do you have any tools?" Stiles brings out another roll of duct tape. Bwaah! Liam sees supernatural lightning and tries to warn Stiles and Scott, but apparently they cannot sense or hear anything because werewolf powers are wonky. Luckily another lightning strike zaps a foot away from them and handily jump starts the Jeep. Thanks, Mother Nature…or WW. On the other side of town, MIA Tate, aka Malia's dad, coordinates the downed tree brigade. Hello, sir. I thought you fled Beacon Hills last year. He spouts the "lift with your legs" advice but Malia's all "lift with your werewolf powers" and apparently no one calls her on it. Um okay. My theory is the folks at Beacon Hills just don't want to know anymore. They're counting the seconds until they can flee to someplace safer, like Detroit. MIA Tate comforts Malia on her cell phone withdrawal and properly threatens Stiles when Malia deep throat kisses him in front of her dad. Ugh, PDA! Tate: "You boys do remember I own a gun, right?" And the entire state supply of animal traps. He bizarrely winks at Malia as the most laissez-faire parent to ever raise a former coyote. In the Jeep, Liam exposits that Malia had to pass summer school to be a senior with the others. Let's just call shenanicanon right now and get it over with. Both Stiles and Malia are not happy after Liam rats him out. Stiles: "We should have left him chained to the tree." Or in the well, Stiles. Don't forget Timmy's moment in the well.

Over in the House Money Fled, Mama McCall rushes in before rushing back out for another shift. She na├»vely thinks Scott is home, but when is that ever the case. "Dinner's in the fridge…there's nothing in the fridge so I'm going to leave you money to order in…I don't have any money." Having to borrow money from your own kid is a low point. Time to use your leverage as the only working hospital employee in town to negotiate a raise. Or better yet, take DoucheDad to court too. As she leaves, WalledWerewolf steps out of the shadows to peruse Scott's plot device note about going to the high school. Thanks non-texting. At the same time, Kira stands on top of her parents' car waving her cell phone in the air like it's making alien contact. Kitsune or not, my parents would have grounded me for even thinking about it. She jumps off the roof in time to make eye contact with New Kid Psycho. Yeah I don't technically know he's a psycho but he's a new kid, so same thing. He's smiles; she doesn't care. Since they are stuck in traffic, it's time to exposit Senior Scribe. Kira: "I'm not supposed to tell you about it." HistoryDad: "Don't look at me. I don't know anything either. It sounds like they're supposed to write something or…" MamaFox: "It sounds like vandalism." Ha! Clever one, this mom. She's growing on me. Liam is not, largely because they are still forcing his super specialness down my throat. Just back off, Jeff. Scott calls out Liam on his control issues and asks what Liam uses to ground himself. It's music we blessedly don't hear or see product placed on the bottom runner. Scott reassures Liam that he is indeed the most specialest, most powerful snowflake because Sensei Derek told him so. Since Derek doesn't like anyone ever, it must be true. (Headdesk, headdesk, headdesk, headache.) Ugh!

Scott leaves Liam behind to help Stiles round up the group. Stiles is extra insistent they all be there and his anxiety rubs off on Scott by questioning Scott's word choices when Kira left for New York. Apparently "go and have fun" now means have sex with anyone you want. Really? Malia confirms it. Stiles: "Malia, if you were going away and I told you, 'Don't worry. Go have fun.' what would you think I was talking about?" Malia: "Fun like bowling or sex with other guys." Scott: "Okay yeah, now I'm worried." This awkward conversation is interrupted by bodies streaming in from the accident that's stranded Kira on the road. Stiles: "Okay, there's only one way back into Beacon Hills from the airport." Really? In a town like Beacon Hills, you need 25 escape routes just to flee from whatever is trying to eat you. Stiles frowns that his plans are ruined but Scott is determined to save his girlfriend from traffic and bad parting word choices. Stiles: "How are you going to get to her in the middle of a traffic jam?" Think Stiles. One, he's a werewolf and she's a kitsune. They can just run. Two, he has a dirt bike. Anxiety is making you daft. For reasons completely unclear, the scene shifts to some punk caught burglarizing with a gun. Sheriff tells him that means jail time and he threatens to kill Sheriff. Moron! This must foreshadow something big but I have no idea why it's in the premiere. Back at his house, Scott has fun with magnets before a minor earthquake hits. He better hurry because Kira's impatient. HistoryDad: "You know there's a legend for a storm like this." Kira: "Dad, please don't turn a 3-hour traffic jam into an educational experience." Ha! Mama Fox exposits the Wild Hunt, a great ghost story, if she didn't foreshadow imminent danger every time she speaks. Yep, it's definitely a turn for the worse. Kira hears Scott's dirt bike so she jumps out of the car, not even waiting for the story to end. You might rue that later. Ah, the young lovers race to each other in the pouring rain, kissing their worries away. Aww, let's get back to the story.

Stiles and Malia wait impatiently at school still with no cell service. Malia doesn't want to be there unless she's actually a senior but Stiles is too distracted to pay attention, prompting Malia to sniff his anxiety literally. Stiles scratches nervously at his neck (good continuity) and explains how Sheriff told him that he lost touch with all his high school friends, which freaks Stiles out. Stiles: "So I started thinking about things like I always do." Malia: "Obsessively." Ha! She knows him so well. Stiles: "Yeah and so I'm thinking what if…what if Scott's my best friend now, you know, but he's not my best friend for life." Oh no, no, no! Do not even go there. Scott and you are the foundation. There is no Teen Wolf without your bromance and it is depressing to think of a fictional world without you two being best friends. While I get as depressed as Stiles, Malia makes nothing better. "Well doesn't that just happen sometimes?" Stiles: "Yeah but only because we let it happen. You know that…that's what I'm saying…how come when we graduate, we're just expected to go our separate ways. If I've already found the best people in my life, why am I not trying to just stay with them, you know?" You go, Stiles. Fight for your bromance! Malia: "Yeah I thought that was the plan, the…the…the dream?" Stiles: "The vision and don't mock the vision." Malia: "I…I like the vision, especially if I'm part of it." Awww, good save. Malia: "So that's why you wanted everyone here tonight. Because you don't want to lose all your friends after senior year." Stiles: "And I hope they don't want to lose me either." Awww Stiles, I don't want to lose you either. Don't you know you are the center that keeps this pack together? My heart can't take this hurt. They won't lose you…or else I riot with pitchforks. Fair warning, Jeff Davis.

Parrish suffers a more physical hurt and is unable to call for help, so he hallucinates Lydia in a totally inappropriate way. Lydia's still in high school and he's an officer of the law. Blech! Just blech. Luckily Sheriff rescues us by getting Parrish to Mama McCall, who exposits their plan to keep him on desk duty. Well that explains it. Sort of. Um, not really. Parrish leaps up yellow-eyed, prompting Sheriff to pull his pistol until Mama McCall gently makes him put it down. Skepticism runs in the Stilinski family. I approve. Parrish explains that Walled Werewolf with his freaky talon claws is looking for Scott and WW has the ability to take supernatural powers away. Sheriff protests that Scott's true alpha powers are different, but Parrish disagrees. Liam overhears the discourse and goes to warn Scott. Too late. WW has already found Scott at school mid-make out session. Malia and Stiles also make out until Liam delivers the bad news. They all converge on WW, where Kira stands in the only place rain pours down (seriously, everywhere else is covered) and whips off her belt, which…turns into a sword? Say what? What kind of Harry Potter land are they living in? Since when do any of them have the power of transformation? Call me confused. Very confused. It doesn't help anyway because they both get their butts kicked. WW stops to recap season 3, big villain mistake, which prompts Scott to attack. WW takes down Scott and Kira before monologuing again, allowing Random Traffic Kid to wolf out and come to Scott's aid before going down himself.

Walled Werewolf claws Scott and starts draining his power. For some reason neither Liam nor Malia join the fight and Stiles just watches his best friend go down. It is completely out of character. I don't care what they wanted for the climax, no way these characters just stand around and watch Scott get beat. Poor execution! They should have had WW take the rest down too before giving Scott his big moment. And it is a big moment. A defeated Scott, whose eyes no longer glow, looks down for a moment and then grabs WW's arm, slowly standing up with the light in his eyes growing stronger. He breaks WW's arm and tosses the talons out of him like they are nothing. Scott: "I don't know who you are or what you thought you were going to do, but I'll give you a choice. You can stay and I'll break something else or you can run." Stiles: "I'd run." Most definitely and he does. Random Traffic Kid introduces himself as Theo from the 4th grade. Stiles immediately does not trust him because he's smart that way. Theo came to join Scott's pack and apparently also knows everything that occurred in season 3. Did they make a movie? The werewolf gossip vine is top notch. Nothing escapes them…except the whole freaking other pack in town when the alpha pack rolled in. Someone in Scott's pack needs to subscribe to Werewolf Weekly because they are the only ones NOT in the know. As they head to Senior Scribe sans Theo, Stiles voices his concern. "Look we haven't seen this kid in years. You don't find that highly suspicious?" Scott: "I'm kind of more concerned about the guy who just tried to kill me." They both make a good point but before they can discuss it, Malia learns she's officially a senior because apparently summer school ends the day before the new year begins in Beacon Hills. (Still available as educational consultant.) They all celebrate as Lydia joins them.

All happily seniors together, they proceed to the Beacon Hills High Library (of the teeny tiny sign on the outside of the building, ha) to become part of a tradition. As senior year traditions go, this is pretty awesome. They remove a section of books from the library shelves and write their initials on the shelves. What an awesome record of all the kids who've gone there, although I'm not sure how there's still that many kids left in Beacon Hills High. That place is packed. As Stiles makes his way to the front of the line, he sees Derek's initials. Aww. I wish we saw Derek himself, but this is nice. Stiles, Lydia and Kira sign, as Kira questions if they are vandalizing school property. Ha! Lydia: "No…technically." Um, yes technically but I don't think the school minds since they obviously let you into school at midnight the day before school starts. You'd think this tradition would happen earlier in the week. Malia signs MT and officially declares herself a Tate instead of a Hale. Smart girl, but the real waterworks come with Scott. After he signs his own initials, he writes AA for Allison Argent. Sniff, sniff. Awwwwww!!! I love how this show doesn't forget the characters who have gone. It's a great touch and exactly what seniors would do to commemorate a lost friend. Scott goes and hugs Kira. Stiles: "She would have been with us." Scott: "Yeah." Lydia: "She still is." Awww, again. This show, getting me right in the heart just like in seasons 1-3. No idea why we need the slow motion walk down the stairs though. Maybe it's to give viewers time to grab the Kleenex and weep for the lost potential of Allison Argent.

Or maybe it's because going directly from poignant to gross would be too startling. Walled Werewolf returns to the steampunk scientist lair, begging them to increase his power so he can kill Scott. They're more of a one and done kind of group. No second chances here, as they put a sword through WW and birds burst out of him. Apparently time is of the essence in their plans so that's never good. Transitioning back to Lydia, DeadAiden questions her. Again, huh? She calls him on it and he transitions into….Triclops? Yikes, that can't be good! A Triclops without the third eye either. Nothing suspicious there. The biggest shock though is that the opening is clearly a flash forward. Everything in the rest of the season is a great mind twist flashback. Triclops leads Lydia through a spoiler alert so avoid the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to know. Seriously MTV. You flash stupid music banners on the bottom of the screen all the time. You couldn't flash a spoiler alert warning? Anyway Scott fights a werewolf, likely Theo. Mama McCall slaps Sheriff. (No rifts in Team Parent, please.) Kira drives away, leaving Scott in the ever present rain. Parrish looks scary evil surrounded by flames. Malia meets her mom in the most terrifying way possible. Stiles lies unconscious in his overturned Jeep with flames around him. (Stiles dies; the show dies.) Meanwhile Lydia tells Triclops that she can't remember what happened even though she obviously does. He tells her not to worry because he's going to give her his own version of a lobotomy. Oh Lydia, I fear for you.

Now that's the way to start a season. I came into this preview hesitantly confident that Jeff Davis would turn the show back to its former glory, having more time to prepare for this season. He did not disappoint. The storytelling is tight, the pacing superb, and some of the biggest failures of last season seem to be fixed. I love the action, which was sorely missing on large last season. Lydia having kick butt ninja skills is a dream come true and we actually get a bromance scene with mostly only Scott and Stiles, something that was definitely missing last season. Let's face it. They gave the ending bromance scene to Liam last year instead of Stiles. What was up with that? Jeff Davis continually says this show is centered on the Stiles and Scott bromance, so I hope he remembers that this season and gives us plenty of those moments to chew on. I don't need Scott and Liam or Stiles and Liam or Mason and Liam or New Kid and anyone taking up my Scott and Stiles time. If that relationship goes back to the center and they keep the action up, I will be one happy season 5 viewer. As it is, the twists like it being a flash forward in the cold open have whetted my appetite for this season and have restored my enthusiasm. In that, this premiere did everything I asked of it and I thank Jeff Davis for making that happen. Now if they can only get over their money woes and fix Stiles' poor Jeep. She deserves better, much better.

Grade: A-

Episode Awards:

Best Reason to Watch - Teen Wolf is back after a disappointing season 4
Best Scene - either the name signing or Stiles explaining his fears to Malia
Best Action - Walled Werewolf versus Scott
Biggest Shock - the whole season is a flashback
Biggest Douche - shower orderly
Biggest Creeper - needle orderly
Best Change - Lydia can kick butt and takes out the orderlies and the security guards
Worst Change - no Tyler Hoechlin in the title sequence
Biggest Plot Device - Scott writes a note instead of texting that he's at the high school so the monster knows how to find him. Although if this is a super werewolf, shouldn't he be able to track Scott's scent?
Biggest Foreshadowing (Probably) - Mama Fox talks about the Wild Hunt
Best Conversation - Stiles explains to Malia why the night is so important to him
Biggest Meteorological Mystery - Forget the lightning or magnetic shifts. I want to know why it is always, always raining in a Beacon Hills outdoor fight scene. Did someone curse the town with terrible weather?
Biggest Awww Moment - the episode is dedicated to Tyler Posey's mom
Biggest Awww Scene - Scott puts Allison's initials with theirs
The "Maybe You're Not a Douche" Award - Malia's MIA dad is back and apparently did not abandon her. Not sure how he's okay with her sleeping at Stiles' every night though.
Biggest Hmmm - Is there a Werewolf Weekly whose writers have a crush on Scott? How does everyone know about Scott's true alpha status and season 3? More importantly, if there is such a gazette, why didn't Scott know about Satomi's pack during the alpha threat? Are they too poor to buy a subscription?
The "I Don't Want to Lose You" Award - I'm not sure who's more nervous about Teen Wolf's senior year, Stiles or me. I don't want to lose them, especially Stiles and Scott, and I refuse to watch a Teen Wolf that is largely Liam.
The "Did You Lose All Brain Cells in 6 Months?" Award - Parrish hears noises in the wall and starts to tear it down
The "Way to Keep Your Secret Identity" Award - Malia lifts up the downed tree with one hand in front of everyone
Biggest "What the Heck?" Moment - Kira's belt becomes a sword? Say what? I don't get it.
Best Reference to Former Characters - Scott signs for Allison and Stiles sees Derek's initials
Best Threat/PDA Warning - Malia's dad after Malia probes Stiles' throat with her tongue in front of him
Best Choice - Malia signs as Malia Tate instead of Malia Hale
Biggest Parental Woes - Melissa McCall with no money, no food, and a job that keeps calling her back in
Best Continuity - Stiles scratching at his neck when he's worried
Most Random Thing to Make Me Laugh - the teeny tiny sign outside the building that says BHHS Library

Best Quotes -

1. Stiles: "She would have been with us." Scott: "Yeah." Lydia: "She still is."
2. Kira: "Dad, please don't turn a 3-hour traffic jam into an educational experience."
3. Scott: "Things have been good right, but not amazing." Stiles: "Yeah but no one's tried to kill us in 6 months either."
4. Stiles: "Don't mock the vision." Malia: "I…I like the vision, especially if I'm part of it. So that's why you wanted everyone here tonight. Because you don't want to lose all your friends after senior year." Stiles: "And I hope they don't want to lose me either."
5. Scott: "You're bringing the Jeep?" Stiles: "You know the plan. Okay, no one…no one gets left behind. That's the plan."
6. Liam: "What's at midnight?" Stiles: "Your bedtime."

Screencaps by, The Geekiary,  Forever Young Adult, Fan Girl's Guide to the Galaxy, and The Thieves' Den

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, The 100, Grimm, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, The Last Ship, Younger, Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts The 100 "Red-Shirted", Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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