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Teen Wolf - 5.15 - Amplification - Review and Episode Awards

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Previously - Stiles asked Lydia to wake up and save them, Argent found a bunch of bodies, the pack and Gerard exposited the beast, Theo betrayed Malia, Malia and her mom had a showdown, Deaton told the Desert Wolf that she cannot take Malia's power until the full moon, Stiles realized they shaved a piece of Lydia's head for trepanation, and the pack planned to get Lydia back.

On a dark road, the slightly smoky smoke monster aka La Bete growls into the camera while I just shake my head and chuckle. Still not loving the CGI but I adore the fact that Scott, Stiles, and the Jeep are all part of the police chase and the Jeep doesn't even break down. Woo hoo! She's alive! Since he has more info and supernatural experience than all these police officers put together, Stiles gets on the police radio to give them advice. Sheriff is NOT appreciative. Sheriff: "Stiles, get off the radio." He does of course confirm Stiles' command to not engage La Bete though. Through different reports, Stiles and Scott realize that La Bete is heading to the hospital so once again Stiles gets on the radio to warn them. Once again, Sheriff is not amused. I am though. Of course I'm not Mama McCall, who has to get all patients transferred to Hill Valley Hospital in the wake of a possible beast attack. Seriously people, why even start at BHM? Just go directly to Hill Valley and skip the bloody hospital death all together. BHM should be a strictly outpatient facility or close altogether. The lights start flickering and it sounds like La Bete is taking up clog dancing overhead so that is the perfect time for Mama McCall to head towards the guttural beast sounds. What? Are you kidding me? You know better than this. Run. Everyone knows the hospital and pack would fall apart without you, so no unnecessary chances on your part. The Hellavator starts to open and finally she flees. Just in time for Sheriff wonder where Deputy Parrish went off to. That's never a good sign. The dispatcher calls in a man on fire going into the hospital and Sheriff immediately cancels the request for Parrish. Only in Beacon Hills is a burning man NOT a cause for alarm. Get out of this town, people!

Somehow Scott and Stiles end up at the hospital first (hmmm) only to be startled by a gun being cocked right next to their ears. Loving the in tandem brother reaction almost as much as I love Sheriff backup. He reminds them to be quiet but there is no sign La Bete's werewolf powers are wonky so the point's moot. They head to the trashed fourth floor where an armed Sheriff takes point in front of the boys even though the situation is more suited to Scott's claws. Awww. They pass a burning wheelchair only to see La Bete toss Fireball Parrish into the wall. Totally awesome visual! Sheriff snaps Parrish out of his dream state while Scott tracks La Bete's bloody footprints which somehow go from werewolf claws to sneaker imprints. What? Shouldn't that be bare feet? Did La Bete stop to get dressed? This makes no sense, which means it's time for Deaton to be cryptic. Oh joy. He shows them pictures of Valack's time as leader of Eichen House. Wait a minute! Valack ran Eichen House before he became Eichen House? Did we know that? Scott and Stiles obviously did because it doesn't stun them like it does me.

They're too busy being stunned by pictures of Valack's human experimentation portfolio. Deaton says he drills holes in their heads to intensify their supernatural powers but since Lydia's already powerful, it will kill her. Worst yet, it will turn her scream into a nuclear bomb that takes out the local population. Say what? Lydia's an A-bomb? I know this whole story is based on way out there storytelling but this gets a raised eyebrow from me. How exactly does that make sense? I'd think penetrating someone's skull would make them weaker. Stiles, though, is in full on panic mode and demands his dad do something. What? Who knows because it's not like he has jurisdiction over ScienceMom. Sheriff explains that a court order would take too long and trepanation is still a valid medical procedure. Where? Even in Beacon Hills that should be ruled out. Stiles: "Okay, so you're saying there's nothing we can do." Sheriff: "I'm saying there's nothing we can do legally." Woo hoo! I'm loving this reversal from season 5A. Sheriff keeps getting better and better.

Cue - the plan. Having already been privy to the teen armored car heist plan, I brace myself for the worst only to find that this one actually has a shot at working. A slim shot, this is Teen Wolf after all, but a shot nonetheless and it's not even the penultimate episode. Basically they need Kira to cause a brownout to reactivate the key card Stiles stole. Malia will get Kira to the electrical box. Scott and Liam will get Stiles to the keycard reader in the basement. Stiles, being able to cross mountain ash, will get Lydia and they all meet in the morgue to escape. Stiles: "Any questions? Liam: "How do we get into Eichen House in the first place?" Malia: "What's our worst case scenario?" Kira: "What if I can't do it?" Ha! Stiles: "Okay admittedly a lot could go wrong." Liam: "Everything could go wrong." Bwah! I see he's heard about past Teen Wolf plans too. Scott: "Guys, if we don't do this we lose Lydia." Somewhat NOT sucky plan or not, that's the bottom line. They have to get Lydia out. Scott exposits that she might die that night and take out the block too, turning her into a "full moon" plot device that still makes no sense. It's not like she arrived in Eichen House yesterday. What took Valack so long? Speaking of, Valack apparently has his own steampunk scientist helmet which begs the question, "What the heck is Valack's history with them and what the heck's his end game?" He's obviously wielded the helmet before so did he create the steampunk scientists? The steampunk
scientists and Valack's motives have been too murky for too long. Honestly, we know very little more about Valack than we did 2 years ago when he showed up in season 4. You're starting to bore me, doctor. Pick up your villainous pace. He does put the helmet on Female Douche Orderly, who isn't shocked he has it so she's obviously aware of it exists. However she's not prepared to be turned into a steampunk scientist herself. If that's what actually happened. Who knows these days? Nothing about the steampunk scientists makes sense so if all you have to do to become one is wear the helmet, I'll just shake my head and move on.

Goofy logic aside, the real problem with the Operation Save Lydia plan is Kira doesn't know how to control her powers. I'm not sure Malia is exactly the right person to help her either. Her brand of encouragement is more like the Nike slogan - Just Do It. Malia: "You did it before. You had to learn how, right?" Kira: "Actually, no. It just happened." Malia: "How did you learn to fight with the sword?" Kira: "That just kind of happened too." Malia: "So you've never worked for anything and basically you're a cheater?" YES!!! Finally someone calls the writers out for their insane Matrix-style download approach to Kira's powers. It bugs me to no end and stole valuable character development away from Kira, turning her into a sustainable McGuffin for the better part of a season. Changing the subject, Kira asks how they'll get into the electrical room in the first place but no worries. Malia's got an inside man. Uh oh. Channeling her inner personal trainer, Malia tells Kira to get busy which leads to a light bulb breaking and sticking out of Malia's forehead. Oops. Several broken light bulbs later, Malia sports stylish safety glasses that makes me chuckle. Oh, Malia. Frustrated, Kira turns the topic to the Desert Wolf. Kira: "Can I ask you a question?" Malia, channeling her inner Derek: "No." Kira: "Did your mother really try to kill you?" Malia: "Did your mother try to leave you in the desert with skinwalkers?" Sucky mom choice discussion over, Malia takes off her glasses and pep talks Kira into trying again. Everything goes well until Kira takes out the electricity in the entire school and the entire block. The two flee, leaving the incriminating broken light bulbs behind as Peepster Screamer emerges from wall again, smiling. Okay, Screamer that trick is getting old and creepy. Take it back to Monsters, Inc.

Back at the hospital, Mama McCall filches body bags for Scott and Liam. Wait a minute. No one said anything about body bags in the initial debriefing. I might need to rethink the wisdom of this plan. Mama McCall ignores Liam's waiting arms to give the bags to Scott and makes him promise that he's not coming back in one when the plan's done. Scott vows to live while Liam asks every unanswered question in the book except for why he's even still on this show. Mama McCall agrees as she tosses more body bags at him. Liam: "Are you still mad at me?"  Mama McCall: "No, but if you try to kill my son again I'll put you in one of these myself." Woo hoooooo, Mama!! Finally someone calls Liam out for being an asinine douche. You hold onto that grudge! Liam: "She's still mad."  Scott doesn't have to say a word because his face is all the confirmation needed. Bwah!  This expression is classic Scott.

Meanwhile Stiles tries to get Parrish onboard with the plan. Parrish: "This is the worst plan I've ever heard." Oh buddy, not even close. Would you like to hear about the teenage armored car heist plan? You'll be crying with laughter.  Stiles defends the admittedly much better plan, which includes getting a real Sheriff's deputy to drive them into Eichen House via the body bags, but Parish wants Sheriff's approval first. Stiles: "How do you think I got the keys?" Parrish: "I thought you stole them." Ha! That was my guess too. Even Stiles isn't offended at the thought. Stiles: "While that's a perfectly reasonable assumption, I did not steal them." Parrish protests because his hellhound form is too dangerous but Stiles counters, "So is a giant murdering werewolf who's killed over 30 people, but somehow didn't kill you." Good point. Parrish is in.

Over in the thrice (or one millionth) fixed library, Stiles asks the big question. How the heck do werewolf feet change into sneakers? Scott: "Argent said it would be unlike anything we've ever seen before." Stiles: "Did he say it was going to defy the laws of physics?" Ha! My glorious brother banter ends as Theo pops out to talk. Theo, I love your evil mind but you need to stop halting my bromance! Neither Stiles nor Scott is happy to see him either. Scott: "What are you doing here?" Theo: "I still need to graduate." Stiles: "No, no, what you need is to be beaten severely with a lead pipe wrapped in barbed wire." Bwah! That's so classically Stiles although I question the addition of lead pipe instead of bat given what happened with Psycho. Theo: "Okay, I admit that mistakes were made." Stiles: "Murders. Some murders were made." Good point, including the murder of Scott and attempted murder of Malia. I say start throwing punches. Instead Theo gives us a World War 2 history lesson on how a Soviet winter defeated the Nazis. I'm not seeing the correlation here. Theo wants to join the hunt for Lydia but Team Pack is Back won't bite. Good. They do make more vaguely ominous statements about Lydia, creating a great segue into her mom. Sheriff desperately tries to get ScienceMom to check on Lydia but she's adamant that she's doing the best for her daughter. She does bring up knowing her sister was in trouble once but given that it's her husband's mom who was the banshee, it's unlikely she's one too. ScienceMom: "These moments happen for everyone and you know what they're called?" Sheriff: "Undeniable proof of the supernatural?" SMom: "Coincidence." Sigh. She is not unaware of Beacon Hills phenomenon though. SMom: "I know how to survive in Beacon Hills." So do I, move. Why hasn't this been an option? Frustrated, Sheriff leaves his most damning proof behind -Deaton's pictures of Valack's experiments. That gets her attention and ScienceMom heads to Eichen House to save her daughter too.

Hopefully she'll have more success than the pack. Kira flat out tells them she can't cause a brownout while Stiles says they can't rescue Lydia without it. Time for Scott to chime in with a patented McCall pep talk. Scott: "I know you can do this. Anyone here think that she can't?" Liam, eager to be a team player again, chimes in first. Stiles sidesteps the question by mentioning that he made the plan. Malia's the holdout, even with Stiles coaching her on what to say. (Oh, the fun flashbacks) Malia: "I'm the one who's going to be locked in the electrical room with her." Ha! I love Malia truth. In the end she capitulates and says Kira can do it, but they're not fooling anyone. Kira: "You guys are all crazy. We're going to die." Bwaaahhh! Still the beginning of the plan goes flawlessly as Kira and Malia get inside and hide. Malia's distraction in the form of naked patient gets them into the electrical room. Parrish also successfully gets the others into the morgue, compliments of the nastiest body yet. The guard practically passes out from the stench, which means the other body bags with the very much alive Scott, Stiles, and Liam get through without further inspection. Everyone's in their places, although Stiles not so gracefully. He falls out of the body bag. Oh, Stiles. Kira: "We're in. We did it." Malia: "Don't get too excited. Getting out's the hard part." True and they only have 12 minutes to do so. Malia says Kira can do it but fear and self-doubt is written all over Kira's face. Plus the wires are covered. Malia goes for the scissors; Kira goes for the brains. "You want to electrocute yourself?" Malia: "I'll heal." Kira: "Not if you die." Malia changes to claws while I wonder why Kira doesn't just handle the scissors. After all, electricity can't hurt her. Still the job gets done but the clock's ticking and Kira's too nervous to even try. She grabs the wires but nothing happens.

Scott has better luck with his werewolf powers tonight and gets them safely past the guards…right until two of them are still around when they should have finished rounds already. This is why you need to build time into a plan. Nothing's going to go perfectly if you're down to the wire. Liam says he'll take them and hide the bodies. Scott and Stiles look at him like he's an idiot. Stiles and I: "Please stop." Even worse, a distraught patient sees them and wants help getting his meds. He's very adamant about his med schedule. They whisper back to him and I have zero idea why Eichen House is employing deaf guards. That's the only plausible reason for why they can't hear our face palm trio not 50 feet away. The patient gets louder so Scott mentally scars him for life by showing his glowing eyes and teeth to him. It works though and the guards go away, even after deaf people from 3 towns away could have heard Scott growl. Head meet desk. Apparently the Cone of Silence does work in Eichen House. Good to know.

Back at the breaker, Malia bottom lines it . "Stop worrying about what you might do. This isn't about you or me. It's about Lydia. We're here to save Lydia. We're here to save our friend." Awww, this speech right here is exactly why Malia has had the best character development on all of Teen Wolf. Just a couple of seasons ago she was advocating ditching Lydia to save themselves and talking about eating dead weight in a harsh winter. I love how they've given Malia time to process her coyote life and consciously move on to become the awesome person she is. It's been a pleasure to watch and it makes Malia the MVP of the episode for me. Most importantly, it works. Kira tries again and creates the brownout right before our hapless trio gets to the mountain ash door. Good timing, Kira.

Sadly though, there's no card reader. Stiles: "Are you telling me we came all the way down here just to be stopped by an ordinary key?" Are you telling me Stiles with his awesome criminal skill set doesn't know how to pick a lock? I find that totally unbelievable. Come on, Stiles. You'd save this episode a whole lot of pain if you'd just keep up on YouTube. Speaking of pain, we stop this exciting heist story for…Deucalion and Hayden? Ugh! Why, people? Why? I'll save you the pain and make it short. Deucalion's chained up in the steampunk scientists' lair. He wants to be free. Hayden isn't that stupid. Deucalion tells Hayden that if Theo puts on the claws he traded Malia for last week, he'll die because his body will reject them. I say go with that plan. Hayden can take over the psycho pack, who just happen to be breaking into
Eichen House themselves. Wave your hands in the air because FINALLY the timelines merge. Only took 15 episodes. Theo's merry pack takes down Creepster Orderly without killing him. Come on, Theo. What good are you if not to take out the trash? Doing so effectively traps Malia and Kira inside until the Brat Pack leaves but they eventually make their way to the rendezvous point at the morgue.  Good thing because Kira's powers are on the fritz again. She and Eichen House don't mesh. Scott's having even less luck. The mountain ash barrier holds tonight (how convenient) because it too thinks Liam is a Super Special Snowflake. Since they can't get the door down together, Liam tells Scott to punch him so that he can Hulk out. Ugh, I'm perfectly fine with Scott punching Liam after what he did; I am not good with Beta Liam being stronger than True Alpha Scott for any reason, even if Liam's a little psycho himself. Stiles has no such qualms, encouraging Scott to beat Liam for all he's worth. Stiles: "Hit him. Hit him." Liam: "I tried to take your powers. I tried to kill you. Hit me." Stiles: "He also left you for dead." Liam: "I wanted you dead." That does it. Scott goes all in on the plan with Stiles encouraging him to punch harder. It's a great vicarious thrill.

It also works. The door finally comes down and Stiles races to Lydia. Thankfully the whole brownout thing wasn't a waste because there's a key card machine to get into her room. Lydia, by the way, is fully awake and sporting a new hole above her ear. Stiles is aghast at the sight. Lydia is aghast that they're here. "You're going to die if you stay. All of you." Not the best news, Lydia. Stiles: "I'm not leaving you here." Lydia: "You have to." With Valack about to enter, Stiles has no choice but to hide while listening to Lydia exposit Scott's pack symbol to Valack. Why does he care? Who knows? I'm not even sure the writers do at this time. I'm also baffled by why it took ScienceMom so long to show up at Eichen House. She walks in over dead guard bodies - thanks Brat Pack - and it's obviously too late for her to be of any use at all. Parrish might be though as he gets to the basement in time to confront the Brat Pack as a full hellhound. Stiles also gets a front row view of Parrish's new look. I guess mountain ash doesn't affect hellhounds but it sure weakens Scott and Liam.

They try to break through, making reference to when Scott did so with Blake, but it's the least of their problems. Scott's still bleeding, the reboot timing is shot, and there's no way for Stiles to get Lydia out using the keycard. Liam: "And there's the four security guards." Scott: "What guards?" Liam: "Those guards." I guess mountain ash has depleted the werewolves' powers because no way four Eichen House guards should be able to take down Scott and Liam. The guards also trip the alarm, sending Eichen House into lockdown with ScienceMom trapped outside and everyone else trapped within. Let's just say they've increased security since Malia walked out the front door. Everything has gone to hell in a hand basket until…Scott remembers he's an alpha. Summoning his strength, Scott roars his way free and inspires the pack. Scott and Liam take the guards down, Malia's eyes go blue, and Stiles realizes the fight is just starting. Scott: "Come on. We're getting Lydia out of here." Now that's how I like my Scott. The boy's going to kick some butt in the name of friendship. Leader of them all.

Now that's an episode. I love how the episode opened with action and never let up. When a pack member is on the line, they step up and risk everything to get to them. They've done it every season and it's why Theo's B Pack is no match for the McCall one. It's about loyalty and knowing that your friends have got your back no matter what. That's a stronger bond than mere survival any day. Not that I think it will be easy next episode because the plan's completely shot. Still I look forward to the confrontation over Lydia and who ends up successfully freeing her, preferably healing her too. What good does it do them to break her free if they can't keep her from going insane and then nuclear? This would be a good time for Deaton to actually be useful. It would also be a good time to clarify a few things like what Valack's relationship to the steampunk scientists is and why any of them wanted an epic supernatural smackdown anyway. Go watch wrestling and leave Beacon Hills alone. It has enough problems without you. Super Special Liam was the biggest problem of the episode and if they had not put that part in it, I might not mind his presence here. He was actually funny before he became a plot device. Some logic issues like why Argent wasn't part of this plan also knocked the grade down a bit but for the most part this was an excellent episode. I adored Malia and Kira's scenes although I think the self-doubt in Kira has been way overplayed. Time for her to get some confidence. Also Scott stepping up and finding his true alpha again was awesome. This season has been rife with good leadership moments from him and I hope that continues. In the end though, I am with Scott. It's far past time to save Lydia.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - the plan works, mostly, for the first time before a final in forever
Best Scene -Mama McCall takes down Liam
Best Continuity - Scott and Stiles in tandem again
Best Action - Scott and Liam versus the orderlies when Scott remembers he's an alpha
Best Character - Malia
Best Moment - Scott flashes his alpha eyes to get the patient to shut up / Scott becomes his full alpha
Best Reaction - Scott when Liam says Mama McCall is still mad at him
Most Likely to be Scarred for Life - the kid that Scott shows his fangs to
Most Likely to be a Personal Trainer - Malia, who isn't afraid to get tough and can still pep talk
Most Interesting Reveal - Stiles was there listening to Lydia talk to Valack
Most Vicarious Thrill - Scott punching Liam
Most Fashion Forward - Malia's safety goggles
Biggest Woo Hoo - the Jeep joins the police chase and does NOT die on the way
Biggest Bwah - Nelson's naked distraction
Biggest Face Palm - Stiles falls out of the body bag
Biggest What the Heck? - all the plan works until there's no key card and no one knows how to pick a lock
Biggest Hmm - Why did Valack wait so long to drill into Lydia?
Biggest History Lesson - Theo talks Soviet survival in World War II
The "Not Even Close" Award - Parrish says this is the worst plan he's ever heard. Oh Parrish, you weren't privy to the utter genius of the teen armored car heist plan. Nothing beats that.
The "You Know Him So Well" Award - Parrish just assumes Stiles stole the keys
The "We Interrupt This Broadcast…For No Reason at All" Award - Why were Deucalion and Hayden even in this episode? The big reveal could have waited until next time.
The "Are You Deaf?" Award - How is it possible that these guards can't hear these three clowns whispering?
The "Are You Kidding Me?' Award - Trepanation is still considered a viable treatment? Where?
The "It's About Time" Award - the 2 timelines have finally merged
The "Save Yourself the Time and Death" Award - just head straight to Hill Valley hospital. Do not detour at Beacon Hills Memorial. Do not pass Go.

Best Quotes-

1. Liam: "You still mad at me?" Mama McCall: "No, but if you try to kill my son again I'll put you in one of these myself."
2. Theo: "I still need to graduate." Stiles: "No, no, what you need is to be beaten severely with a lead pipe wrapped in barbed wire." Theo: "Okay, I admit that mistakes were made." Stiles: "Murders. Some murders were made."
3. Malia: "You did it before. You had to learn how, right?" Kira: "Actually no. It just happened." Malia: "How did you learn to fight with the sword?" Kira: "That just kind of happened too." Malia: "So you've never worked for anything and basically you're a cheater?"

4. Stiles: "My dad's got the lab working on the shoeprints but we're both kind of mystified about how giant clawed werewolf feet turn back into pair of sneakers." Scott: "Argent said it would be unlike anything we've ever seen before." Stiles: "Did he say it was going to defy the laws of physics?"
5. Parrish: "Is the Sheriff on board with this?" Stiles: "How do you think I got the keys?" Parrish: "I thought you stole them." Stiles: "While that's a perfectly reasonable assumption, I did not steal them."

Screencaps by Wolf Donovan, Teen Wolf Tumbler, Official Teen Wolf Tumbler, Matthew Daddarios, Hypable, Forever Young Adult,

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, The 100, Grimm, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts The 100 "Red-Shirted" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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