‘Teen Wolf’ recap: Someone’s changing the rules

14 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Teen Wolf’ Season 5, episode 4 recap: ‘Condition Terminal’.

The gang is finally zoning in on the Dread Doctors, with Malia’s encounter with them and Tracy bringing them to the light. The MTV show, returning for a fifth season on June 29, is one of the most popular and longest-running shows in the network’s history, particularly among teenagers. Scott’s (Tyler Posey) pack is heading back to Eichen House, the mental institution where Lydia (Holland Roden) was shown in the premiere’s flash forward. Yep, things got freaky in Teen Wolf this week, with “Condition Terminal” making Scott realize that his hero complex may be more severe than he initially thought. But although showrunner Jeff Davis (Criminal Minds) took the basic idea of the 1985 cult film—a high school kid is bitten by a werewolf, and craziness ensues—the tone is completely different: The original was a light comedy, while the series is a serious blend of horror and romance.

Yet, according to the episode 5 synopsis, the trip won’t be about the banshee. “The pack enters Eichen House in order to learn more about the Dread Doctors,” the synopsis for “A Novel Approach” reads. While the Scooby gang is distracted by a bleeding out Lydia at the sheriff’s department and finding Tracy, Donovan gets captured by the Doctors in his jail cell. Stiles hesitates at leaving Lydia (this is where my Stydia shipper heart comes out), but he follows Scott to the basement where they find Malia with a dead Tracy. In fact, one thing this week’s hour did that made me more interested was that it began to weave the Doctors’ story into the lives of some of our favorite characters.

Parrish tells Lydia about his recurring dream where he’s carrying a body toward a large tree stump, which Lydia immediately recognizes as the Nemeton. Last fall, The Wrap published a list of “27 movie-to-TV remakes in the works,” and several of them have been ordered to series for next season, including HBO’s version of Michael Crichton’s Westworld and a CBS action show based on the Jackie Chan vehicle Rush Hour.

Though Parish tells Lydia that he cannot remember anything after putting the body down near the tree, it turns out that he remembers much more than he is letting on: In the rest of the memory, he is on fire, sitting on the tree stump, with numerous burnt bodies strewn around him. Studios even remake movies that have already been adapted: Universal Pictures turned the John Candy movie Uncle Buck into a CBS sitcom in 1990 and, this fall, ABC is doing its own Uncle Buck half-hour. At the end of episode 4, he was being attacked, and in the promo for episode 5, it looks like he is with Lydia in Eichen House where they go to see Dr. But just because an idea worked as a two-hour movie doesn’t mean it will succeed as a weekly television series, and the creators of the adaptations—often referred to as “developers”—often have a difficult time figuring out how to make the new format work. Some writers actually wind up specializing in the tricky art of adaptation: Jason Katims created the TV versions of Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, and About a Boy.

As she puts it, “You can last longer than that.” [Insert inappropriate joke here.] On the second go-around, she tells him not to focus on the flame or the pain, not to even look at it. He can give people visions of the future, but it also seemed like he could torture people in the “Teen Wolf” Season 4 finale when he spent time with Peter (Ian Bohen). Stiles is adding to his X-Files conspiracy wall, and he and Malia kind of make up when she sees that he’s still looking for her mom, the Desert Wolf. Unlike a previous TV version of Parenthood, which stuck closer to the sentimental comedic style of the 1989 film, Katims’s Parenthood was more of a straightforward drama, and even changed the name of the central family. Downstairs, a “sweet” moment between Kira and Scott (who still have no chemistry whatsoever, I’m sorry) gets interrupted by Deaton, who shows them that all the teenage creatures they’ve faced recently are a mishmash of shapeshifters — they’re not supernatural, but were made with parts of supernatural creatures.

In that moment, she asks him what he was thinking about when his hand was burning and he recalls a dream he’s been having lately: Cut to Parrish walking through the woods carrying a burned body to the Nemeton. (Season 3 much?!) He then lays the girl’s body on the Nemeton, where he catches fire. A show that is actually set in the same universe as a film franchise, such as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has to court people who have seen the movies. Lydia wakes up at the hospital to Parrish sitting at her bed, and she asks Parrish to teach her out to fight — some set-up to Lydia’s sudden martial arts skills that we saw in the first episode this season. But Teen Wolf doesn’t face that pressure. “Our fans have probably never seen the original movie,” Davis said at New York Comic-Con a year after the show premiered. Back in AP Biology class, Scott and Kira get some Harry Potter-style exposition when their bio teacher tells them about the chimera, a hybrid creature made of different DNA strands.

For those of you who need a refresher, Lydia supplies one: The Nemeton is a sacred meeting place for Celtic druids; it’s a supernatural beacon. (Also, who noticed the druid-esque music in the background? Another thing these successful adaptations have in common is that they go darker than the original—the opposite of the way things used to work when TV was heavily censored. One doctor notes that “his condition looks promising” and proceeds to remove Donovan’s teeth one by one, causing him to shift into creature vaguely resembling a vampire. I still don’t get it.) Moments later, Scott, Stiles, Liam, and Deaton finally make it to the police station, where Stiles sees Lydia, who’s still lying on the floor bleeding out. He definitely has a better bedside manner than the Doctors, but he only uses it to manipulate Donovan to go after people that Sheriff Stilinski loves.

Genres that are out of fashion in TV, such as Parenthood’s family drama or Rush Hour’s action-comedy, can be smuggled in under the familiar titles. “I consider myself a creative person, but I’m also a businessman,” Davis told Film Review Online. “And you can’t dismiss the power of a branding.” So while Malia tries to tell Stiles about the people in masks, Deaton convinces Stilinski to let him take Tracy’s body, you know, so he won’t have to explain the severed reptilian tail to the coroner. Deaton is also perplexed by the fact that Tracy was able to cross the line of mountain ash, that no supernatural creature should be able to cross, which means that she is not completely supernatural. The episode cuts back and forth between the ’90s rave and the group doing book research in the library which is so Buffy-esque I could cry (I’ll stop making comparisons when they stop inviting them).

With that, Lydia’s mom goes with her daughter to the hospital — where she claims she saw nothing but a lunatic girl trying to kill everyone — and we check back in with another operating room, where the Doctors are pulling out all of Donovan’s teeth … to replace them with wendigo teeth … I think? Theo swaggers into the Dread Doctors’ dungeon, talking to Donovan about his psych evaluation (where he scored high on the on psychopathic/deviant scale).

Meanwhile, “The Doctors” kidnap Donovan from his cell and perform an operation on him, changing him into something supernatural. “The Doctors” also seem to be affecting Lydia, as she starts seeing visions of them during her surgery. As for Malia, well, she erases “Who is the Desert Wolf?” That’s one mystery she doesn’t need solved. (She’s got enough murderers in her life, amirite?) Deaton informs them that the creatures they’ve been dealing with were not born or bitten. Theo has been a suspicious figure since his entry this season, and we finally get confirmation that he is working with “The Doctors.” He walks into the room where Donavan is being held, and tells him that he shouldn’t waste his new found power attacking Sheriff Stilinski, he tells him that it would be wiser to instead attack someone the Sheriff loves.

Oh and remember that scene from the beginning of the episode where Parrish and Lydia were trying to decipher a recurring dream that he had where he was carrying bodies (while naked of course) to a burning bonfire around the magical Nematon tree stumps? How else would you get a werewolf with the talons of an eagle — shapeshifter! — or Tracy, who had the claws of a wolf but the venom and scales of a kanima? As they kiss, Lucas begins to transform into a scorpion, but Brett, who was also at the club, shows up just in time to save Mason and tell him to run. Outside Sinema, Kira trips an alarm but swiftly silences it, to which Scott responds “God, I love you.” The best part is that, as Kira points out, Scott once again did something to change everything but he didn’t even notice. Just when they thought that they could save Lucas, “The Doctors” show up and terminate him, and when Scott asks why, they say that it is because he “failed.” The question remains, what was the task assigned to Lucas?

When Scott admits he didn’t do last night’s reading, she continues to encourage her students to reach for the stars by handing out drop forms to the students she thinks are dumb. Looking at the results of Donovan’s psych evaluation — back when he wanted to be a deputy — Theo pretty much explains that Donovan is an angry psycho.

But when Liam senses that there’s another supernatural creature in the club, he gets so distracted that he knocks over Hayden’s entire tray of shots … $200 worth. At the morgue, Melissa gives Scott a motherly pep talk, and he walks away convinced that he’s going to find out who did this — you just saw them and didn’t ask any of the right questions —and stop them. It’s titled “The Dread Doctors.” As for Stiles, well, he’s busy duct taping his Jeep when Donovan comes up behind him, opens his hand to reveal teeth in his PALM, and then places said palm on Stiles’ shoulder.

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