Teen Wolf Tuesday: Said the Spider to the Fly (6.11)

Welcome to the first of 10 Teen Wolf Tuesday posts — where I’ll spend the next 10 weeks delving into each of the last 10 Teen Wolf episodes the Tuesday after they air.

teen wolf

Said the Spider to the Fly was kind of a mixed bag. On one hand, the character stuff is — as usual — pretty great, but on the other, I already see Teen Wolf starting to fall into some of its old traps.

Seasons 4 and 5 were really good about introducing new characters that didn’t amount to anything. The Mute, The Orphans and a bunch of chimeras did their things and went away, feeling more like fillers than villains. And now a hell hound  was introduced and dispatched of in less time than it took to even contemplate what his purpose could be.

I was really looking forward to a dueling hell hounds story, too. If I’m remembering my Teen Wolf mythology correctly, hell hounds basically existed to keep the supernatural world secret from the rest of the world, a task that Parish has failed at spectacularly.

But outside of the 20 or so minutes that were wasted on the extra hell hound, there was some interesting stuff going on. Rats overran the high school, fleeing a gruesome sewer death, and it was kind of evocative of season three when all the animals were running from the forest (because of the alpha pack? The Darach? I don’t really remember, but the wildlife was terrified of something). But the rats in 6.11 also lead to one of the funnier, most self-aware lines of the series: As a bunch of students stand on their desks, screaming their fool heads off like a bunch of ninnies, one of them cries out “Why does this keep happening to our school?!!”

And really, Beacon Hills High does not have a lot of luck. This time it was rats, but they’ve also dealt with dead bus drivers, a bobcat, kamikaze crows and a giant monster wolf creature — and those are just what the general population of students at sort-of-reasonable hours has been aware of!

But that declaration also leads to what looks to be the season’s focal point: Beacon Hills is waking up to all the supernatural goings-on. And ever since the mantra that Satomi’s pack used to control their wolfy urges was introduced — “What three things cannot long stay hidden? The Sun, The Moon, The Truth” — I’ve been waiting for this to happen.

Because the truth stayed pretty hidden for a while there.

The trailer indicates that the threat this season isn’t necessarily going to be some otherworldly creature, but rather people (led by Girard) on the hunt to exterminate all things supernatural. We’re seeing a little of that here with the new guidance counselor — who seemed shady as hell from the moment she was introduced. But there’s also another thread, courtesy Lydia’s confusing banshee powers that seem to indicate that, once again, Pack McCall messed around with things they didn’t understand and something bad came back with them. First it was the nogitsune after they did their thing to find and save the parents from the darach, and now it’s who knows what from what they did to bring Stiles and the rest of Beacon Hills back from the ghostrider dimension.

Other than whatever’s going on with that is probably the reason Scott, Lydia and Malia hang around Beacon Hills for the season, I really kind of hope the focus stays on the hunters.

But thematically, that’s pretty much all I have to say about the episode. Here are a few more random thoughts I had while watching

Bite-sized bitThe magic flame retardant shorts that must be general issue for all hell hounds continue to amuse me.

*  I’d have to review previous seasons, but did Liam and Mason just skip a grade? Didn’t Scott make a big angsty deal about turning a freshman in season four? Not a big deal. Certainly it falls in the “shrug and move on” category, but it IS another sign of the sloppiness that’s been pervasive in these last few years.

*  And another sign: Where the heck is Deaton? Wouldn’t the veterinarian be a good place to take a dead rat you want to know more about?

* I’m not at all sad to see Hayden go. She was probably the single most useless character on the show. I’m just glad they addressed her absence.

*  Also: You know an MTV show is in its death spiral when the network no longer cares about making sure its shirtless guys have hairless chests.

* I really like that we still see Liam struggle with his abilities. Scott — and especially Boyd, Isaac and Erica (how I miss those three) — seemed to figure things out relatively quickly, and even when Scott had trouble with his alpha-ness, that struggle mostly took the form of taking second place for the title of World’s Most Useless Alpha. But seeing Liam continue to have difficulty with his shifts and his anger/violence is giving him a story I’ve wanted for Scott ever since the misleading teasers for season two. And I’m okay with that. Liam took a little while to grow on me, but I’m liking him now.

* And honestly, I love everything about Scott. He’s just so goodhearted and he tries so hard to be a great mentor both to his beta and to the regular students as assistant lacrosse coach. (Speaking of: Hi coach! Please don’t be a stranger this season!)

*I’m very interested to see why the FBI wants Derek for mass murder now, and am so excited that he’ll be back in some capacity.

*So…I find Stiles’ six-month FBI internship to stretch the bounds of believability, but whatever man. It suits the character and maybe this will lead to better Teen Wolf/Criminal Minds crossover fic.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Stay tuned next week and we’ll see if this is actually something I continue.

Teen Wolf airs at 7 p.m. Sundays on MTV.

Leisure Time is on Twitter! Follow @theLTtweet for post updates and smaller thoughts.

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