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Monday, August 24, 2015

My Review of Teen Wolf 5.10- Status Asthmaticus

In the summer finale of Teen Wolf, we learn why Theo is in Beacon Hills and what Parrish is, Scott and Liam face off, and we prepare for what promises to be an epic clash.

Well, Theo being a chimera was unexpected.  Looking back at the season, it does make sense.  His being a chimera explains his link to the Dread Doctors and why he can fully transform into a wolf.  My only question is why the Dread Doctors can't replicate the success they had with him.  He has been able to pass as a normal werewolf for so long and managed to completely undermine Scott and his pack.  And given the fact that he has revived all of the chimeras at the Nemeton, he is obviously preparing for something.  My only question is if this new pack of his was planned by the Dread Doctors or if this is something that Theo came up with himself.  If this was the Dread Doctors plan all along, then they would have to have known what Parrish is and that he would gather the bodies in one place for Theo to revive.  And if Theo manages to wipe out Scott and his pack, then the Dread Doctors would have access to all the power present in Beacon Hills without interference from any protectors.  If this is Theo's own plan (which is my suspicion), then he is either trying to protect himself from the Dread Doctors or he harbors a serious grudge against Scott.

Theo's plan all season has been to weaken Scott's pack in order to gain them as his own.  The only thing is that he wants the twisted versions of each of them.  He wants the coyote who will kill, Void Stiles, the dark kitsune, the banshee, and the werewolf with anger issues to be his own pack.  Scott was simply in the way because, as a True Alpha, he could not be controlled or subverted.  I can only assume that Theo or the Dread Doctors have been poisoning Scott with wolfsbane for a good portion of the season, which could explain why he has needed the inhaler so much and so suddenly.  What Theo and the Dread Doctors don't seem to have entirely counted on is the presence of the more peripheral humans: the Sheriff, Melissa, and Mason.  Scott is still around and he is bound to be seriously pissed at what Theo has done.

Hopefully Scott can learn from his failures this season.  He lost control of so much that he tried to grip onto things even harder in order to control them and so lost everything.  Kira is gone away, Malia is hunting the Desert Wolf, Liam has suffered the loss of his first love, Stiles is estranged from him, and Lydia is apparently in a coma.  Scott need to pull everything together and gather his strength so that he can fight the pack of chimeras that Theo has assembled.  I have the feeling that Parrish will be a key in the fight against the chimeras.

The reason for this is that Parrish is a hellhound, which was completely off my radar.  In Teen Wolf, the hellhound appears to be sort of a supernatural scavenger, cleaning up after the supernatural.  Hellhounds have generally been closely connected with death and the afterlife, which would explain the connection between Parrish and Lydia.  If she can sense impending death, Parrish can take care of what's leftover.  I suspect that his appearance in Season 3B was connected to the "deaths" of Allison, Scott, and Stiles, which Deaton warned would attract all sorts of supernatural creatures.  I have to say that I am glad that the police were smart enough to listen to Stiles when he warned them to let Parrish go as he was leaving the station.  Given how easily he was able to subdue the police in the hospital, I don't think they would have stood a chance.  If Parrish can learn to control his supernatural powers, I think he would be quite the force to reckon with.  I am going to go out on a bit of a limb and suggest that Parrish is meant to act as a balance in the supernatural world.  He cleaned up after the chimeras but not after other supernatural deaths, which suggests that there is something about the chimeras that attracts his attention.  It may be that the Doctors messing with the supernatural is throwing the supernatural world out of balance and he is a part of restoring that balance.

Theo's "pack" is going to cause Scott some serious trouble in the future.  What is going to be very interesting is the fact that it includes Hayden.  She shares a serious emotional bond with Liam, but was revived by Theo, which could cause quite the case of divided loyalties.  I think the weakness of this "pack" is that they are not really a pack the way Scott's is.  Theo may be the alpha, but he is not an Alpha.  And the chimeras may be powerful, but they can be fought by the wolves.  Throw in Lydia's new abilities and Parrish and this could prove very interesting.

I really hope that Liam doesn't suffer too much from what he did to Scott.  He has so many anger issues as it is and it was the night of the Super Moon, so his werewolf side was heightened.  Add to that the fact that his first love was dying and it is enough to drive almost anyone off the rails.  Fortunately, he was stopped by Mason.

Malia has teamed with Braeden in order to find the Desert Wolf and presumably kill her.  This could be very bad.  She has already proven herself capable of killing Malia in cold blood, so this can really only end with one of them dying.  Given how Scott reacted when he found out that Stiles killed Donovan, I can't imagine him reacting well to Malia purposely hunting the Desert Wolf.

I think we can safely assume that whatever it was that Theo did to Lydia is why she was in Eichen House in the season premiere.  He appears to have somehow triggered a vision and overloaded her system.  I sense a rescue attempt in order to get her out of Eichen House in the second half of the season.

What exactly was the thing the Dread Doctors were looking at in the end?  I didn't get a great look because my DVR paused because it stopped taping.  I am still trying to figure out exactly what they want.

The show is coming back in January, so I will too.  And I will continue to review The Vampire Diaries and The Originals when they come back in October.  Until then!

Monday, August 17, 2015

My Review of Teen Wolf 5.09- Lies of Omission

Sciles implodes spectacularly thanks to Theo who is also busy insinuating himself into the Sheriff's trust and making demands of the Dread Doctors, Malia and Liam are losing their faith in Scott and his leadership, and Lydia brings Parrish into the investigation of his supernatural identity.

I have to start with Theo because his motives are becoming simultaneously clearer and more murky.  He is clearly trying to undermine Scott and Stiles but he also seems to be looking for his own pack and wants Hayden in it.  I think this makes him really interesting.  The Dread Doctors are over the top, unstoppable villains, but Theo is much greyer.  From what I can see, he is not evil, he is just desperate to have his own pack and has aligned himself with the Dread Doctors in order to get it.  He is also clearly secondary to their plans, much to his chagrin.  If anything he seems to be like a younger version of Peter only not quite as psychotic.  He is out for himself above all else, but he also seems to have something of a conscience.

He also has managed to masterfully insinuate himself into Scott's head.  Telling Scott that twisted version of how Donovan died just to split up Scott and Stiles was brilliant, albeit in a twisted way.  Scott's head is so screwed up at this point that he has managed to psychosomatically give himself asthma again and drive most of his pack away.  His relationship with Stiles, which has always been central to his life, is shattered at this point.  I am sure they can put it back together, but it is going to require both work and Scott regaining his confidence.  Scott's insistence that they not kill anyone was understandable given what Theo told him, but I was really upset that he never let Stiles really explain what happened.  Instead, he passed everything Stiles told him through the mental filter of the story that Theo told him.  This is not good.

Refusing to bite Hayden is another symptom of Scott's lack of confidence.  I also suspect that his clinging to what he views as moral imperatives is his attempt to maintain control in the face of everything that has been happening to him.  Scott has lost Kira and Stiles, had protectees, and is facing an enemy the likes of which he has never contemplated before.  His strength and abilities aren't doing him any good and he can't come up with any ideas that will work against them.  Aside from Theo being in his head, Scott's other big problem is that he can't give himself the emotional distance he needs to come up with any sort of halfway decent plan.

Unfortunately for Scott, I suspect that he is going to lose both Malia and Liam soon.  Malia is tired of having people die and Liam is undoubtedly going to be furious that Scott won't bite Hayden.  Between this, Scott's confidence being shattered, and the loss of Stiles and Kira and you have a recipe for the complete implosion of Scott's pack and the subsequent weakening of the defenses to Beacon Hills.  All in all, not a good thing at all.

As for Parrish, I was hoping we would find out what he is tonight.  We didn't, but we did get some fairly big clues.  He seems to be a creature that ensures that the supernatural world is hidden from the natural world.  That would seem to indicate that he is acting as a balance of some sort.  He is clearly a guardian of the whole supernatural world, which would seem to indicate that he is more of a neutral creature rather than good or evil.  The problem is that he locked himself up with two new bodies that he will probably be compelled to cover up.  Given what he did in the hospital, I have little doubt that he could force his way out of the jail cell if needed.  And that would be problematic, to put it mildly.

Until next week!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Falling Skies Reviews

I have decided that I will write no reviews for the last couple of episodes of Falling Skies.  I'm going to finish watching the show, but I am getting seriously fed up with the way this season has been wasted introducing all sorts of new elements rather than a tight story to finish the series.  I may do a series wrap up after the series finale in a couple of weeks, although I haven't decided yet.  I really hope that the rest of the season gets a hell of a lot better and stops wasting time and story recycling old stories or introducing new elements at the last minute.

Until Teen Wolf tomorrow!

Monday, August 10, 2015

My Review of Teen Wolf 5.08- Ouroboros

Scott and the gang go to rescue Liam and Hayden, the Sheriff and Melissa have a falling out, Kira makes a discovery, and Deaton has a horrifying confrontation with someone from one of our character's past...

Ouroboros.  A symbol of cyclicality and eternity shown by a snake eating its own tail.  Given the fact that the Dread Doctors have been in Beacon Hills before, we have an obvious reference for the title.  However, if you think about it, there are a couple of other references in the episode.  In his haste to rescue Liam, Scott is coming perilously close to making some of the same mistakes that Derek made which made him such an awful Alpha.  Then there is the repeated cycle of a dead body disappearing and being taken to the Nemeton by Parrish.  We also have the very strong possibility that Parrish is a phoenix, which is a symbol of cyclicality on its own.  Then there is the underlying theme that Liam is much like Scott when he was first turned, which implies a cycle all of its own.  Am I reading too much into this? Possibly, only time will tell.

As I sad above, Scott is coming perilously close to repeating the leadership mistakes that Derek made.  Much like Derek with Erica and Boyd when the Alpha pack was holding them in the bank vault, Scott rushed into a situation without taking the time to think it through, despite what Stiles and Lydia were saying.  While I do understand where Scott is coming from, he needs to start keeping his head about him.  The repeated losses to the Dread Doctors is starting to take a serious toll on him, as is his uncertainty about what is happening to Kira.  His talk with his mom at the end of the episode and his near breakdown in the tunnels with Mason and Malia are not good signs.

Speaking of Kira, she had her own disturbing revelation this week.  First, she blacked out and apparently killed a chimera (the one from last week) and then she reads the Dread Doctor book backwards and remembers the Dread Doctors pulling her out of her parents car and jamming a device in her eye, which caused lightning to come into it.  I can only assume that is what caused her powers to start going haywire.  It is almost as if the Doctors jumpstarted the fox within her so that they could use her for their plans.  Interesting note: we know that the Doctors play with electromagnetism and elements.  What if her powers as a kitsune could somehow be important to defeating them?  Jumpstarting the fox made it harder for her to control her powers, which would lessen her threat to them.

Well, we found out why Melissa slapped the Sheriff.  She called him to her house to deal with the chimera body and he called it in after promising her that he would not deal with this as a sheriff.  In retaliation, she put all of the supernatural details she knows into her statement, presumably to remind him that there are some things he can't deal with.  I'm not sure if he doesn't have as much faith in Scott and the gang as she does, or if he feels that (as sheriff) he has to do certain things to protect everyone.  Given how much he has helped Scott and the gang out, I suspect that his breaking his word has less to do with a lack of faith and more to do with his needing to walk the line between being sheriff and helping Scott out.

We have seen most of Lydia's vision from the first episode so far.  Last week we saw Stiles in the ruined jeep, this week we saw the slap.  We have also seen Parrish in a fire and Kira leaving Scott in a car.  The only scenes we haven't seen yet are the fight between Scott and Liam or Theo and Malia huddling as she meets the Desert Wolf.  Given the look Scott was shooting at Theo at the end of the episode, I would wager that we see the two of them fight.  And we also know that the Desert Wolf said that she'll have to kill Malia if she finds her, so that should be next week.

Speaking of the Desert Wolf, why does she want to kill Malia?  Could that be the reason that Talia had Peter's memory erased so that he would forget Malia, as protection for her?  Whatever he reasons, this not going to be a pleasant experience for Malia.  Given the damage that the memories have done to her, I can't imagine how meeting her mother face-to-face will affect her.

Given the way Parrish was acting, I don't think he is in control when he steals the bodies.  He had a very blank look on his face, which leads me to suspect that either his supernatural side takes over or he is under the control of another force which is using him.  Could the Nemeton itself somehow be controlling him to get him to feed it power?  Remember that Paige dying is what reactivated it in the first place.  It is entirely possible that having the bodies burn there are continuing to feed it power.  What if Parrish is connected to the Nemeton somehow and feeding it empowers him as well?  Too many questions until we learn more about him.

What was that thing the Doctors placed in Liam's arm?  I wonder if it somehow interfered with his ability to take away Hayden's pain or if he simply needed to not be trying in order to do it.  How did Theo manage to open the electrified gates without being thrown backwards a second time?  And was I the only one creeped out by the look on his face as he look at Liam and Hayden kissing in the mirror?

Until next week!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

My Review of Falling Skies 5.07- Everybody Has Their Reasons

After two lackluster episodes, we finally get to a good episode, but it still feels like a retread of older stories.  The Masons, Weaver, and other members of the 2nd Mass find a military base under the command of an old flame of Weaver's and discovers things are not as they appear.  Meanwhile, Cochise and Dingaan try and move the Espheni communications device.

I have to say that this week's episode was a vast improvement (and sadly that's not saying much) over the past two weeks' episodes.  This is the sort of feeling the whole last season should have.  Things moved along at a brisk pace and built up to a good ending.  My only real issue is that this feels like what we've seen before in terms of the Masons not being trusted by other humans, albeit this time there is the twist that the leader is being controlled by the Espheni.  I am just wondering how they'll wrap everything up in the 3 episodes remaining without relying on some sort of deus ex machina.

I knew something was going to happen as soon as the soldiers started calling Ben a freak.  I honestly thought it was going to be a case of the soldiers going after him on their own rather than doing so on orders.  When Weaver's old flame (sorry forgot her name) had that bandage on her neck, I knew that the Espheni had done something to her, a feeling that was reinforced when people kept noting how she had changed in the last few weeks.

The sad part is that I can barely think of much else to write because this is all stuff that we've seen before.  Somehow Matt will bring people in to save his family (or most of them) and the 2nd Mass will continue on to DC.  I know that I've been really hard on this show recently, but that is mainly because the writers have been introducing new characters rather than having the final battles to kick the Espheni off of Earth.  Since they knew this was the last season, it should be balls to the wall action the entire season.  Instead, we've met and lost several characters and are no closer to figuring out how the Espheni will lose.

I'm not saying that every episode has to be chock full of massive battles, but the story should be always moved forward and (sadly) that hasn't been the case.  At this point, I don't see how the Espheni can lost sort of some sort of deus ex machina plot device at the last second.  I am wondering if they plan on having the last bit be a glimpse of the future after the Espheni lose or if the show will go seriously ballsy and have the humans lose.  Guess we have a couple more weeks to wait and find out.

Until next week.

Monday, August 3, 2015

My Review of Teen Wolf 5.07- Strange Frequencies

Scott and the gang try to save the next victim from the Dread Doctors, Theo and Stiles spend quality time together, the Sheriff and Melissa investigate, Mason does a little investigation on his own, Kira struggles to contain the fox within, and a beloved character dies....

Let us all bow our heads in a moment of silence for the departure of Roscoe, the beloved Jeep which was trashed by Parrish (or Theo) shortly before Parrish took another body.

Scott's plan was good as far as it went, but his lack of knowledge about the Dread Doctors and how they operate means that almost any plan he comes up with is almost guaranteed to fail.  He was trying to use frequency jammers to weaken the Doctors and that failed miserably.  Not only were the Doctors not affected by the jammers, they still managed to disable Scott, Lydia, and Malia by playing on their fears.  Not only that, but Scott lost both Hayden and Liam to the Doctors.  Right now, Scott's plans against the Doctor's have the same success rate as one of Derek's plans, and everyone knows how well Derek's plans always went.

I am still trying to figure out Theo's place in the Doctors' schemes.  He seems to think of himself as an equal partner, but they are withholding information from him about what is happening to the failed chimeras, which would indicate that they see him as less than them.  That can't sit too well with him.  Yet, he still continues on his quest to split Scott and Stiles up, which means that he is either seriously dedicated to the task at hand or he has reasons of his own for getting between them.  He also seems to genuinely want to figure out what is happening to the bodies, so there is that.  His reasons are beyond murky, so I guess we'll just have to wait to see what he is doing and why.

Speaking of Theo, it was interesting to see him in the car with Stiles.  What I found especially interesting is that his eyes are still yellow despite the fact that he has killed, which could indicate that he is not a true werewolf.  Couple that with the fact that he can transform into a full wolf, and I feel fairly certain that he is a successful chimera.  If he is, why was he successful and later ones not successful?  But, if he is truly a werewolf, why aren't his eyes blue?  He claimed that because the life he took was not innocent in his eyes, the color didn't change.  That's possible, which would indicate that killing itself doesn't affect a wolf, but rather it is the remorse of taking a life acts in a psychosomatic manner to punish the wolf such as when Derek killed Paige, which stripped him of his potential True Alpha status.

The Sheriff and Melissa discovered that all of the chimeras so far have received a graft of some sort and that seems to be what allows the Doctors to do what they want.  The question is whether the the Doctors did the grafts themselves (or through a lackey) or if they simply used the graft as a portal which allowed them to create the chimeras.

Mason found a chimera on his own.  The good news is that he brought the information to Scott and managed to pull Scott out of his Doctor induced hallucination.  The bad news is that he arrived too late for Scott to prevent Liam and Hayden from being kidnapped.  And this after Scott used Hayden as bait and promised Liam that he would do everything he could to protect Hayden.  That does not bode well for their future relationship.

Kira is in trouble.  She is most definitively having trouble controlling the fox, to the point that she almost killed her mom during a faux fight.  I think she made the right decision to try and make sure that she gets everything under control before trying to help other people.And who was that pinned with a sword in the McCalls' kitchen?  Couldn't tell.

Until next week!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

My Review of Falling Skies 5.06- Respite

It might not be saying much, but this week's episode was better than last week's disastrous waste of time episode.  It was nice to see that the writers managed to (sort of) rescue last week's episode with what happened this week.  Then, of course, there was the whole Maggie storyline, but more on that in a bit.

About the only important thing that happened last week was the Tom going after Hal and the resulting storyline. That continued this week with Tom being cared for by a family that has been fortunate enough to sit out the war and with Hal and Isabelle looking for him.  I think Tom did need the reminder of what the war has been about and what he is looking to do.  I also think he made the right decision by encouraging the son to stay behind.  Was the mom right to hide everything from her kids?  Honestly, I get it.  She lost her husband and her mom in a short period of time and didn't want to lose her kids too.  I think there was also a certain amount of denial going on about what was truly happening.  I am sincerely curious about how that area has been completely overlooked by the Espheni.  Just luck is seriously pushing credibility.  I'm glad they didn't repeat the Season 1 storyline about the group working with the Espheni, but that explanation was completely unsatisfactory.

My biggest problem with last week's episode was the fact that so much time was spent on the  guy who lost his family.  Had that been a side story or if it had some big payoff this week, it might have been marginally acceptable.  Yes, the guy did discover the Espheni communications device, but literally anyone else could have been substituted in there with no interruption to the logic of the storyline, so it doesn't count as a big payoff.  Honestly, most of this weeks storyline with the 2nd Mass could have happened last week and nothing would have been lost.  That is a surefire way to know that time was just wasted.

Now, about Maggie.  Did she make the right decision?  While I can see perfectly legitimate arguments for both positions, I have to say that she didn't.  While I understand her point about wanting to control herself, there is a larger point to consider.  By removing the spikes, she not only took away one of the more powerful weapons (albeit with some massive flaws) in the humans arsenal, but she also risked killing herself, therefore depriving the 2nd Mass of her skills as a soldier.  I know that her and Ben's susceptibility to Espheni control due to the spikes is potentially a big issue, it is more than made up for in their usefulness as scouts and warriors.

Anne was very clear that she would remove the spikes, she just wanted to delay the procedure.  That was not an unreasonable request.  Ben's response, on the other hand, was somewhat childish.  Like Hal, Ben is upset that Maggie isn't falling in line with his wishes and desires.  Like Maggie, he was being more emotional than rational.  That being said, there is the issue that Maggie was raped by Pope and his men and that she is obviously reacting (in part) because of that.  It really does make sense and it does make the whole issue rather thorny.  Do you force her to keep the spikes in the name of the greater good or do you remove them (as she wants) and harm that good but allow her personal freedoms?  Normally, I would come down squarely on the side of letting her control herself, but in wartime, rules sometimes need to be bent in the name of the greater good and I think this is one of those cases.

Until next week!