This week’s Teen Wolf was a heist movie wrapped in a police procedural drama wrapped in a monster movie all tied up in a pretty MTV bow. To put it simply: it was awesome (even though they totally failed).
The episode began with what I consider a perfect teaser. Police cars followed by Roscoe sped, chasing after the still unnamed and humungous monster that has been casually terrorizing Beacon HIlls for the past few weeks. Deputies seemed unfazed by the idea that they are following a huge unknown creature, just merely anxiously pursuing it without question. No biggie. Stiles alerts the whole department via his in car police radio (because OF COURSE Stiles has a police radio) telling them it is heading straight for the hospital.
Scott, Stiles and Sheriff Stilinski arrive at the now evacuated hospital to find Parrish thrown across the hallway in a ring of fire, smashing into the wall, burnt. Before I continue though, I want to take a moment to point out a very quick, nearly unnoticeable but important action.
From day one Stiles and his father have had one of the most genuine and honest relationships on television. With the death of Claudia, we have learned over the course of the series about not only the toll it took on Stiles and his father individually but also on their relationship. While some may have grown apart, these two realized they are all they each have left and would break without one another. There are layers to their bond that exceed the textbook definition of father and son. While his father continuously asserts that he is the father, the caretaker for his son, Stiles knows (as do we all as viewers) that it is not a one way street. Stiles shows his love for his father in many different forms. It could be as small as not wanting him to eat unhealthy curly fries to not giving up for even a second to save his father from a threat that could easily kill he himself. But the action I wanted to take a moment to point out? After Parrish blasts past them, sparking flames throughout the entire ward, we see Stiles is holding onto his father’s arm. As the Sheriff steps closer to check on Parrish, Stiles reluctantly lets go of him. It’s a perfect display of that two way street only we and Stiles understand. Is he holding onto him in fear, like a child would to their father? Or is he holding him to protect him, to keep him from harms way? It’s both. Stiles is both the fearful son and heavy hearted protector here, as he has been since the passing of his mother. A very subtle action, I know, but revealing nonetheless.
The pack later convenes at Scott’s house to plan the “#EscapeFromEichen”. This scene had a flare of season 1 humor which was truly refreshing. Like the freshman 12, Scott and Stiles were not succumbing to the pain and hardships but rather viewing the world in a positive light, as confident heroes rather than the rundown warriors we have seen lately. The music that accompanied only reinforced the early Teen Wolf vibe (this is Music TeleVision after all), giving the first half a very youthful glow. On top of this, the style of directing made it look and feel like a fun action flick with the swooshing cuts, fast pacing, the ticking clock, evading guards and tip-toeing through Eichen.
The Pack pairs off – Scooby Doo style. Malia and Kira practice controlling electricity. Stiles recruits the indestructible Parrish to man the getaway car. Scott and Liam head to the hospital to gather intel and body bags, with Mama McCall delivering the line of the night to Liam:
“If you try to kill my son again, I’ll put you in one of these [body bags] myself”
Scott and Stiles run into Theo (or who I like to call the “Were-Asshole”). He wants in on the escape plan but our boys know he is as shady as that Chemistry teacher from season 1. Be gone, Theo.
Thanks to a conveniently timed naked runaway patient, the pack commences Operation Banshee at Eichen House. Parrish sneaks the boys in in body bags (aka my worst fear) with them stealthily walking though the creepy halls of the supernatural ward. The comedic tone of the episode came to a close but not before we got a hilarious Pack disagreement between Stiles and Liam. We all know Stiles has never been Liam’s biggest fan…
…but their relationship has evolved as they became fellow betas. They have an older brother/younger brother camaraderie now with Stiles being so over Liam’s childish impulses and Liam overcompensating to impress him (and Scott). Scott plays the father role in this scene (much to my delight) responding to young Liam’s suggestion that they take out the guards with a stern “no ones taking anyone.” On the other hand, Stiles responds with utter annoyance of Liam’s presence in this big boy mission.
Meanwhile the ladies made a beeline for the boiler room to cause the “Brown-out.” Kira was a fierce badass Kitsune last week and yet in this episode she was oddly doubtful. Before I over analyzed this unnecessary use of the “weak girl” trope, the ladies were redeemed with a conversation that passed the Bechtel test with flying colors. Malia gave Kira a pep talk, that while it seemed forced (she was doing her best human empathy impression), the result was a beautiful display of girl power. She tells Kira that she can do this not for herself but for Lydia and that she believes in her strength, in her power.
The boys on the other hand were not so empowering as they realized Eichen House hadn’t updated their software since 1952. I do love how millennials didn’t take into account the possibility of a good ol’ fashioned lock and key. Classic. Honestly this seems like an issue I would have if I was trying to break into a facility. Felicity, hack into the system! Oh, there’s no system in this prehistoric prison? Welp. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But wait, can’t you guys just use your long were-fingernails to pick that lock? Oh, you’re gonna beat young Liam up so he gets angry and stronger? Okay, sure, that works too. I have to admit I found Scott beating Liam to be strangely upsetting. It brought to light that deep seated disappointment Scott had in his beta and the anger he’s held onto all this time since the Library incident. Thankfully it was lightened by an intercut of Stiles being Stiles.
Their were-rage gives them enough power to break down the gate as Stiles races passed the mountain ash alone and into Lydia’s room. He’s totally Prince Charming saving the damsel in distress, right? Or is that just a nightly dream I have? *drifts into daydream* He’s Flynn Rider, I’m Belle 🎶A whole new world. A magic place I’ve never been🎶 …yes I am mixing up fairytales, can I live? And who doesn’t love a good crossover?
Stiles reaches Lydia, entering her room with such painful fear in his eyes. One second into this scene and my heart was already breaking for these two. Dylan O’Brien and Holland Roden haven’t shared a scene (where they both spoke) together in what feels like 10 years. This 20 second exchange reminded us that these actors not only have undeniable chemistry but also the innate ability to draw viewers into their world, into that room alongside them. Lydia is finally talking, which is good, but her head is bleeding: definetly not good. She cries “All of you are going to die” which understandably shocks Stiles. The loss of his friends is his worst fear, but even worse? The loss of the girl he has loved since the third grade. She pleads for him to go, using all her strength to urge her best friend to avoid certain death. She desperately doesn’t want him to die, or any of her friends, but most importantly Stiles- the boy who changed her life, gave her strength, stood by her, supported her. While the two have not shared a declaration of their feelings (Ok Stiles has but that was 4 years ago, A LOT has changed), I have no doubt that these two love each other. It may be unspoken but that doesn’t make it any less deep, any less real.
Stiles complies to her plea, leaving the room angry rather than upset. He’s not angry at Lydia but angry at himself. Many times he has had to leave her, worried sick of her fate, but this time he wasn’t going to let the werewolves save his girl, he was going to do it himself. Stiles has evolved just as much as his supernatural peers. While he hasn’t physically developed, he has mentally become an overall more confident and ambitious person, willing to fight, to go to hell and back for his friends and family. He leaves her room but lingers just beyond it, as the Doctor pokes at Lydia’s brain. Stiles listens, his eyes looking so full of disappointment in himself and pain that he has to stand still while Lydia is prodded. She says someone’s coming…
Were-Asshole and his band of misfits join the Party at Eichen strutting down the halls. Like any heist flick, the stakes are raised as clock nears its final hour. Without the brownout, security quickly finds Scott and Liam. Theo says they’re looking for a hellhound not a banshee. Wait, a hellhound you ask? Why there is one right here – enter flaming Parrish. The asylum goes into one serious lock down with steel panels shooting down across all windows and doors. Liam and Scott are now being viciously tased. The security guards don’t know they’re werewolves who will totally survive this and yet continue to electrocute these teenage boys? Police brutality much?
Scott, pinned to the floor, watches Liam suffer and just then alpha mode kicks into high gear. Scott ROARS with his entire pack hearing the call of their leader…
Side Note: I love that while Stiles is not a supernatural creature he is still supernaturally linked to his Alpha.
Scott takes out the guards and declares “We’re getting Lydia out of here.” *chills*
“Amplification” was jam packed with action, comedy and emotion; the ingredients for making one seriously great episode of Teen Wolf. Cannot wait for next week: Prison Break Take 2!