You’ll have to excuse me, I’m having a skeptical day. Both episodes of both of these shows are getting a little obvious. It makes me wonder if ABC Family and MTV are under the assumption that all its viewers are ignoramuses (ok, yah, I probably should have realized this sooner.. I mean… look at their other programming). This is a distinct possibility, but it’s a bit condescending. I generally don’t like being brow beaten by clever story lines, because it means that they’re not all that clever to start with, but then again, maybe it’s because these are fantasy shows designed for people who don’t like fantasy. I’ll have to consider this possibility before I watch next week.
In this episode of Teen Wolf we learn a little bit more about each of our teenaged characters and get to speculate about who the Alpha is! And lies fly left and right, but so do uncomfortable truthes. Unfortunately, this is the absolute worst episode of the season (so far), with overly dramatic scenes designed to be paired with appropriately emo music. I wanted to kill myself and suddenly felt embarressed to be watching the show in the first place. Gag.
We start with another murder, this time at the local video store, where Jackson finds a dead body and is nearly killed by the Alpha – only he isn’t, because the Alpha stops when he finds the still open wounds inflicted by Derek just last week. Does this mean that Jackson is going to become a werewolf? Please say no! Jackson would make a terrible Eddie Muenster. Jackson and Lydia are freaked out (she was waiting in the car, after all) by their encounter, which leads to one of the worst parenting moments ever seen in TV – Mom leaving a boy (Stiles) in with her completely drugged daughter. Parent of the year!
Then again, who cares about Jackson, Lydia and Stiles when Scott is busy being pissed off that he’s not in control of his life anymore and is skipping school with Allison instead of dealing with his problems? That’s really the important story here, after all.
We do, however, also learn that the Argent family didn’t kill Derek’s sister, but perhaps the Alpha did. Kate Argent does almost kick Derek’s ass in the process of revealing this secret, which really makes me doubt his inevitable ability to take on the Alpha if a mere human hunter can barely deal with it. However, we do want more Kate, especially since she’s guiding Allison towards figuring out the family secret. Plus, by the end of the ass-kicking, it’s almost as if Kate and Derek used to have a thing. Fascinating!
The best part of the episode is the parent teacher conferences – each set of parents (or single parent) is sat down with a teacher, who then discusses the psychology of the student instead of the grades – weirdest parent teacher conferences EVAR. Not to mention I swear they didn’t have those when I went to High School. Regardless, we learn that Jackson is obsessive and driven (to the point of self abuse); Lydia’s parents think she’s a drama queen flake and let her drug herself, but her teacher recognizes that she’s a genius and has leadership qualities; Stiles is exceedingly intelligent but has no attention span; Allison’s parent should be prepared for rebellion, because of all the moving around, yanno; and Scott? Well Scott’s parent teacher conference gave us another hint that the Alpha might be his chemistry teacher.
I’m really rooting for the Chemistry teacher, because I love it when geeks get to be badasses. Plus, there would be something hilarious about the Alpha being the guy who has to give Scott an F in Chemistry because he decided to turn Scott into a werewolf.
Teen Wolf 1.6: Heart Monitor
This episode had a bit less of the dramatic music scenes, thank goodness, and I almost felt help for the show again. We learn a little bit more about the Argent family, which goes back a few hundred years in the Werewolf hunting business. Scott trains to control his powers and discovers that love is the key (cue gagging sounds) and Jackson gets creepy.
Seriously, I was starting to wonder how long it was going to take Scott to just deal with the fact that he’s a werewolf. This episode ALMOST makes up for the last few weeks of wanting to smack him, but I’d say he’s still got a ways to go. Derek sucks at training, but that’s what Stiles is for! Stiles, the intrepid sidekick who has all the tricks up his sleeves. He figures out that Scott’s heart rate and power shifting business are connected – if his heart rate goes up, his control goes down, but guess what? Awww.. All Scott needs to do to keep his heart rate under control is to hear Allison talking! That’s so sweet and inevitably probably the WORST possible way to control himself. I mean, what if she goes on vacation? He’s hosed.
Derek is trying to figure out what the Alpha is up to – this weird spiral symbol keeps showing up and it must mean something! Uncle might know, but he’s a vegetable. Luckily, the director wants US to know that the Alpha has some sort of connection to the family and the fire. No clue what, but this episode they’re also trying to tell us that the Vet is the Alpha! Ok, now we’re just confused. Chem teacher? Vet? Which is it?! Just tell us already!
Jackson is freaking out and hallucinating werewolves clawing out of his mouth. The wound inflicted by Derek still hasn’t healed, which can’t bode well for Jackson’s future. Not sure why he’s trying to get all touchy feely with Allison, but he knows something is up and I guess going through Allison is one way to figure things out. NOT. It does let him be super creepy and display the best scene of acting thus far in the series. That’s not really that hard a task, but I was impressed. What is our beloved Jock up to?
Oh and Allison is learning more about the family! Kate tells her a little story about La Bete de de Guevenon or some such. Basically, it killed a lot of people in France a few centuries back and an Argent hunted it down. Not really all that much of a reveal, except that the family seriously needs a new hobby.
Much better episode than 1.5. Nothing particularly amazing came out of it and next week looks like a cheesy horror film set in a high school, during which everyone gets to learn all the secrets, but I’m going to stick it out at least until I find out who the Alpha is, because I’m pretty sure that’ll be the most interesting thing to happen on the show.
The 9 Lives of Chloe King 1.3: Green Star
We finally get to meet the Mai leader! At least she’s the Mai leader of San Francisco. I’m wondering if that means each city gets their own Mai leader of if there’s only one in the big cities and if there’s a leader for each state, or just each region. Inquiring minds want to know, if only so we don’t get really bored with this show.
Turns out Leader Mai is Jasmine’s mom and she’s a bit of a hard ass. Chloe doesn’t really like that she has to give her life up, but if anyone could convince her it’s Valentina (played hoitily by Alicia Coppola who I loved in Jericho)! Again, we’re not really learning anything that we couldn’t figure out on our own about the Mai. Supposedly Valentina will answer all the questions, but I’m struggling to figure out one question that she answered that hadn’t already been answered in the previous two episodes. Except that supposedly each time Chloe dies it will be more painful than the last and each life will be more complicated. Whatever that means.
Sadly, this is the episode that Chloe gets reminded that her life is not her own… well, this and the next one. Mostly in this one she gets to worry about her friends getting killed and pull a bone head movie that luckily ends up in Scarface’s death (thank goodness, he was way too exxagerated a character to be taken seriously). First he takes mom’s phone, then he stalks Amy & Paul, then he sets a trap. Worst Assassin ever. Although mad props for figuring out that drowning would be the most efficient way to kill Chloe 8 more times (I wonder if they should change the title to The 8 Lives of Chloe King and then The 7 Lives of Chloe King and so on and so forth – just to stay accurate).
The 9 Lives of Chloe King 1.4: All Apologies
Finally we get some training action going on! And yes, we are noticing that the same things seem to be happening in both teen paranormal shifting animal shows. Regardless, that’s what this episode is about. Also, Amy is jealous, bitter and selfish.
So, Alec and Jasmine are trying to train Chloe to take control of her powers. She’s got catlike reflexes, super hearing and a number of other tricks up her sleeve, but to survive she’ll have to learn how to use them properly. For instance, super hearing isn’t very useful if you can’t hear people sneaking up behind you in the middle of a crowded room (it’s also bad to eavesdrop on your best friends, just sayin’) and super leaps are only super leapy if you don’t trust yourself to not die in the process.
There’s also some other stuff about her empathy and being all super hero-ey for her manager, Lana, who has a violent ex-boyfriend, but what I’ve realized about this show is that it only uses plot points in order to reveal important things about being the Uniter! For instance, she’s empathic and wants to help people because.. that’s what the UNITER is for! Apparently, nobody actually pays attention to that word though because it seems to be taking Valentina (and probably other Mai) a while to figure that part out.
Meanwhile, the Order is pissed at Brian’s dad for merely revealing to the Mai that Chloe is the Uniter rather than just murdering her. Brian’s dad is waxing nostalgic and Brian is trying to figure out who killed his mum! Which he probably wouldn’t be doing except that someone conveniently sent him a secret key and a note that said, “Do you really know what happened to your mother?” <sarcasm> I definitely couldn’t see that coming </sarcasm>.
At least Amy and Paul are dealing with the fact that Amy might not be there for them all the time anymore. Paul does get my vote for sidekick as the writing they’re giving him is some of the best in the show.
To be honest, 9 Lives is doing a great job dealing with their core – Chloe, her mother, Amy, Paul, & Brian. Unfortunately, the show struggles with everything beyond that as if they don’t know how to deal with genre story lines or characterization. Chloe is essentially written as a normal girl without any of the pesky Mai stuff, which is why it works. Everyone who is written as Mai or Order first suffer from overdramatization. They’ll have to fix this if they want to be any good.