I know I said last time that this show couldn't handle being funny during torture scenes. And generally speaking, it can't because it tries too hard. That said, I give Hoechlin full marks for his reaction shot when the chainsaw comes out; he really looks like his one regret in life was that he didn't just hold Peter down and rabbit-punch him until he threw up at least once. Derek is clearly a dude who has chosen to hold Peter entirely accountable for everything from the Fall of Man to the heat death of the universe, just to have all his bases covered.
Maybe it's my imagination, but I think Scott's “We shouldn't be in here” was more than just a practical statement on how they've accidentally driven Malia further out into parts unknown where she'll be harder to catch. I suspect he's wolf enough by this point to viscerally feel that invading someone's safe den and making it smell like stranger is an offense. Scott rarely just straight-up thinks like a canine, so I'm not sure why I have that distinct sense, but I do.
Heh, Scott is super startled by “That makes sense.” Which he's correct to be, because of course the Sheriff is lying. But I like that his reaction is “You admitting that this true thing could be true blows my mind!”
Okay, there wasn't a natural spot to fit it in last time, but: I like Kira. I like Kira a lot. I really, really appreciate that this show has gained a Dorky, Socially Awkward Girl to go with their core cast of Dorky, Socially Awkward Boys, because honestly that's an absurdly rare trope to find on tv. If a female character is at all awkward, she's usually portrayed as victimized or depressed, and hardly ever as the logical counterpart to all the many dude characters who are awkward in a flailing, funny, endearing way. I think it's just a factor of most writers' rooms being filled with dudes, who look back on their high-school years and think, “Well, I was a huge mess and surrounded by all these girls who had it so together,” and so they end up writing prettied-up fictional versions of that and think of it as authentic. When the reality usually is, they specifically remember the handful of quite together-seeming girls who captured all their attention, but either never noticed or have not bothered to retain the memory of all those teenage girls who were equivalently huge messes. Kira is the prettied-up fictional version of who I would like to look back and remember myself as being in high school, and I don't get that type of validation all that often. I'm going to enjoy it, and I would even if she didn't get to make out with Scott, but you guys, she gets to make out with Scott! Show, we are friends again. I'm going to cut way back on the mean things I say about you, pinky swear.
Do you really have extra fingers in dreams? I've heard that you can't read in dreams, and I've also heard the trick about looking at clocks twice, because the time they show will always change radically between glances, but I've never heard about counting your fingers.
I can't deconstruct why this is such an amazingly Sciles-y scene, but it really, really is. Yeah, Scott handles him very physically when he's getting him out of the classroom, but they touch a lot anyway, so the bar is pretty high there. Nothing about it is really odd or outside the normal bounds of friends who worry about and look out for each other – I guess it just jumps out at me more when it's Scott doing it for Stiles, since it's so much more frequently Stiles doing that sort of thing for Scott? That seems like an inadequate explanation, but all I can say is that this scene really sticks its fingers in my brain and presses on the Shipper Stem directly.
Why the hell is that school hallway totally empty and also dark? Didn't the bell ring like one minute ago? Even teenagers don't clear out of school that fast. Hell, teenagers don't get anything accomplished that fast. When I was teaching, I couldn't get them to move twenty-five feet without ambling around all directionless and distracted, like fucking Canadian geese.
Stiles is suddenly awfully defensive about Isaac, for the guy who's been living with Scott for months and not causing the slightest bit of trouble. I don't know what that's about, but I need to read the story where he's pissed because Isaac's gotten his scent all over Scott's den and Scott doesn't even seem to mind.
In all fairness, Scott's performance issues are not that he can't get his alpha up. I gather it's more a case of “consult your doctor if alpha persists for more than four hours.” Also, none of this is making me want the Stiles/Scott/Isaac catfight/love triangle story any less.
Once again, Allison's nightmares are...just really unfortunately pedestrian, I feel. I mean, sure, there's some nice creepiness there around helplessness and exposure, but “werewolves feast on your flesh” is the kind of fear that, while fully rational if you did in fact live Allison Argent's life, just doesn't advance a story very well. There's once again a hint of something interesting in Kate declaring there's “something wrong” with her heart, but it still doesn't really come to anything in the end.
Bear traps are a great obstacle for this show. I like how they fit into the general span of Antagonistic Shit in Beacon Hills – a scale that only runs up as far as “murderers,” as distinct from “evil spirits and the end of the world,” needs to have things down on the short-term-problem end of the scale that aren't life-threatening but still make us as an audience worry. It's just a really smart choice: a run-of-the-mill, reality-based obstacle that nobody wants to fuck with and can be deployed either as an effective setback (if a werewolf is in it) or something much scarier (if a Lydia is in it). The hardest thing about adventure shows seems to be coming up with bad shit to happen that's consistently new and doesn't keep forcing you to artificially inflate the threat levels, so I'm always interested in how they handle it.
Ha, I glossed past the whole doll plotline on my first watch, and so I really, really didn't notice the callback to the stolen flowers off Claudia Stilinski's grave from last episode. I'm not sure what purpose that all serves, but it makes you feel like the writers are paying attention...to something. Which is better than paying attention to nothing.
Okay, the whole “You're Stiles, you're too smart to tell me you can't figure this out!” thing works fine, except...when the plot needs it, Lydia is supposed to be a suuuuuper-genius herself, right? I get that she can't get down and look the mechanism over as closely as Stiles can, but it still seems like Lydia could suss out basically how the thing works on her own. I would've like it if instead she'd been yelping at Stiles to just turn the damn knob, the knob right there! But that's me.
We always know Scott is winning the plot when he lands on his hand like that. I'm clearly not the only person who likes that, because they really do use that shot just a fuck-ton of times.
Another thing I didn't catch the first time was that Scott's alpha-roar is also a power-up for Isaac, which I guess is part of the alpha package – your whole pack benefits when you're well and whole and doing your thing. All the reaction shots are interesting: Allison seems as much freaked out as anything, Stiles seems relieved that Scott's bumped over the hump and found his whatever again, but Lydia is the most interesting one to me, because she seems a little ferally gleeful about it, as if she's getting something out of hearing her alpha's voice in the same way Isaac is. I'm always interested in the way the dynamics of Scott's pack match up or don't match with what you might expect from a normal werewolf pack. There's never really enough information to know which things work the same and which his people are too human to get the full benefit of, but it's interesting to speculate wildly anyway.
I realize that nitpicking the fact that people on tv shows have hair and makeup is always a pointless frittering away of our limited time on this earth, but just this once, I want to make note of how absurd it is that Malia's eyebrows are so very carefully shaped at this particular moment in her life. Like, I mean, I know that this is television and they're not actually going to make Shelley Hennig look like she's been crawling in the dirt for eight years, but they are really pushing it there with the brow sculpting.
Stiles' little thumbs-up there at the end is a cool bit. It just seems very suited to the person Stiles has become that he's so low-key but also genuine about the pleasure he takes in saving someone. He's too aware that he hasn't saved a ton of someones to get smug about it; also it's ultimately a small thing in his life at this point, and he knows he can't take all the credit for it. But he feels quietly good about the role he played.
Wait – hang on, now. Do the writers think that “just mountain ash” refers to the ash-form in which they often transport the wood? Do they not know that “ash” is the kind of tree, not the actual ashy stuff in the portable pouches and shit, somehow distinct from “mountain ash wood”? Lord. I didn't want to know that.