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Teen Wolf Recap: Galvanize

If there’s one thing I’m confident about when it comes to Teen Wolf, it’s that it really gels when it finds inter-character dynamics that work and then plays with that for all it’s worth. This is, in large part, probably why I liked this week’s “Galvanize” as much as I did. It might also have been the escalation of story for a new character who’s quickly becoming one of my favorites, the discovery of a new power involving electricity, and the fact that this episode was actually pretty good at balancing the constant forward momentum of this week’s driving thrill. All in all, it was a pretty solid episode of Teen Wolf, and it left me intrigued and rearing for what’s next.

The episode opens at the Beacon Hills hospital — this place has gotten a lot more play since the day they realized Melissa McCall was one of this show’s MVPs — wherein the FBI and the Sheriff’s Department are arguing over whether giving a murdery guy from the local jail proper medical treatment is something they can pass on. Because she’s a recurring character on a supernatural show, the responsibility of a chunk of that treatment falls to Mama Melissa McCall. I just hope this Murdery Dude (Editorial Note from Rebecca, who can’t not freak out because DOUG JONES) knows that if he hurts her both I and her devoted son will beat his face off. “He’s a former electrical engineer who decided to walk onto a school bus with a shrapnel bomb. He left four students dead, and a fifth with no legs.” Oh, Scott’s Dad, you bring such joy wherever you go!

Murdery Guy has a tendency of leaning too close to people’s faces, but apparently that’s the least of what we should be concerned about. Because apparently he killed those kids because “[he] saw their eyes, and their eyes were glowing,” which almost definitely means supernaturals, which almost definitely means this unbalanced hunter guy is going to find himself a way to escape from this hospital and wreak some havoc in 5, 4, 3, 2… Oh, and he’s on the operating table and spewing flies out of an open body cavity. And oh look, he’s stabbed the doctor and is amscraying right outta there, stealing an ambulance and heading towards the school. Right on time.

One of the results of a murder dude escaping from the hospital is that we get a little more action of Lydia As Banshee. She’s still hooking up with Aiden, which is disappointing given that there is no love between Aiden and I whilst Lydia is my forever girl. But I’ll breeze right by that for now because I will take every moment of banshee exploration that I can get, you guys. And even though this episode wasn’t exactly full of exposition on the matter, it did deal again with Lydia’s relationship to her powers and her desire to tap into and learn more about them.

We also get to see a bit of Stiles and Scott doing actual teenagery things for once instead of trying to save someone’s life! It’s almost like this was a teen show once! It is apparently Mischief Night, wherein every Halloween everyone messes with Coach. Everyone, that is, except Greenberg, who gave the Coach a #1 Coach mug which Coach immediately destroyed, because the world is not kind to Greenberg.

The Alpha Twins show up in the Beacon Hills High parking lot and ask Scott to be their new alpha because being a leader was just too much. This moment’s got two ups to it: 1) We’re apparently acknowledging now that these two are in no way high school freshman, and 2) Isaac responds to their request to join the pack with a big ol’ “HEY REMEMBER WHEN YOU GUYS MURDERED OUR FRIEND BOYD,” to which I say “YES THANK YOU, ISAAC.” I am very grateful for Isaac’s new personality trait of casually reminding people of all the atrocities that have occurred. Nevertheless, the Alpha Twins are rather determined to find their way back into a pack, and so they head back to the high school to try to slowly win over the people whose friend they helped murder.

Another thing that was said this episode that was very accurate, this time by Stiles: “C’mon, Scott, you’re an alpha, you’re the apex predator. Everyone wants you, you’re like the hot girl that every guy wants.” I wouldn’t care about this line except for the fact that everyone in this show wants Scott to love them so badly, from Stiles and Isaac, to Allison, to Kira, to poor old Derek who probably spends every second he isn’t tied to something shirtless taking sad jogs in the woods and wondering what fundamental flaw he has that made Scott not want to join his pack. “I’m the hot girl,” said Scott, contemplating this. “Yes you are,” replied Isaac, launching a thousand fan fictions.

Of course, nothing gold can last forever, and they’ve got a murdery man to take care of. And of course the bulk of the law enforcement officials are leaving the school in the hands of the teenagers, so we can expect some good Scoobie action while they try not to let Murdery Guy murder once again. And so Allison does some beastiary searching, the Alpha Twins investigate the basement (they find Danny making out with a boy who is not Ethan, and all I’ve got to say is geddit), and Lydia and Stiles figure out that Murdery Guy’s plan is to blow up the school using the boiler room.

Stiles and Lydia pull the fire alarm to get everyone out of the school, and even though Stiles gets a week of detention it’s OK because we get a sweet scene of Stiles helping Lydia feel less insecure in the ability of her bansheeness to help out. These two really are sweet when he’s not obsessing over her like he did up to the end of season two. The conscious departure from that obsession is really why one of the highlights of both 3a and 3b has been watching them run around solving things together. They also seem to have a nice balance going on: She reassured Stiles in his moment of emotional crisis last week; now it’s her turn to be reassured.

Stiles and Lydia head back to the school after their little bonding sesh to figure out some of the mystery stuff, and what they learn is this: Murdery Guy (whose real name is Barrow, but whom I cannot stop referring to as Murdery Guy, because that is all his appearance and overall demeanor says to me) is after Kira. This leads to Scott getting hit over the head with a crowbar, which is something I am never a fan of because no one should harm Scott McCall ever.

Speaking of the Yakimuras, we get to see another example of how great this show can be with parent-child relationships through Kira and her her father: Kira’s hanging out in Mr. Yakimura’s classroom instead of socializing with her peers (Kira: “The only one who has shown any interest in me is a coyote.” Mr. Yukimura: “Maybe you can date the coyote?”) and so Mr. Yakimura makes a point to invite Scott over for dinner that night because even he can see those two are barely capable of looking at each other without mooneyes.

The best part of the Yakimura storyline this episode, though? We’re quickly learning a lot more about their family (Mr. Yakimura is actually Korean and not Japanese, but he took his Japanese wife’s name when they were married because she was the last surviving member of her family), and I thiiink I’m gonna call it and officially say that Kira is there for more than to be Scott’s new love interest. Like, sure, they’ve obviously got huge adorable crushes on each other, but that was also the case with Allison’s introduction, and like the Argents this family seems to fit preeeeetty well within the framework of the Beacon Hills supernatural world. In fact, turns out Kira’s some sort of electricity creature, or something. An electricity bender? And now Scott knows about it! And so do we! Any which way the electricity bending cookie crumbles I am all in for next week.

Other things that happened that we should talk about:

Here are two stories I didn’t cover up there: Derek was elsewhere throughout this all sewing Peter’s finger back on without anesthetic, as ya do. The container Peter lost said finger for holds the talons of Derek’s mom Talia, by the way, and they’re gonna use it for some kind of werewolf seance. I mainly ignored this above because I have taken to the unfortunate habit of zoning out whenever Peter’s talking until, like, Lydia revenge-murders him (just a thought), so I missed some of the set-up for this last episode. My bad!

This episode we also get to see a bit more of the dynamic between Allison and Isaac, which is cute and full of jabs and generally works way better than I expected it to, I think at least partially because the show doesn’t seem to be pushing it. I especially like that part of their dynamic is this competitive drive to one-up each other, which means that a rejected kiss culminates in the two of them standing shirtless in Allison’s room, at which point Papa Argent bursts in and yells “ANOTHER WEREWOLF?” Which, well, fair.

This episode also had a couple really nice family moments, specifically revolving around surnames: After learning that Kira’s dad took Kira’s mom’s name, he calls up his mom and asks why she never changed her name back to Delgado after the obviously painful divorce from Scott’s dad. “Because it’s your name, too, honey,” she says, and everything is sweet and nice in that moment and I’m not thinking about when that Murdery Guy stapled himself shut at all.

A couple of other thoughts:

  • This show continues to be a giant commercial for phones.
  • One of my friends described Murdery Guy/Barrow thusly: “This guy is the f***ing creepy version of Mr. Crocker from The Fairly OddParents.” Fair.
  • Isaac got attacked by the things that came out of the Nemeton, oh no! Someone should probably rescue him.

What did you all think of the episode? Who are those Nemeton dudes? What is Kira, and when will she teach me how to make Scott McCall crush on me like I crush on him? How did Isaac get away with not wearing a scarf this episode? Do you think the Stiles/Lydia dynamic is more Ginny/Harry or Snape/Lily in the long-run, and do you think they should a) make out all the time and maybe date, b) stay platonic forever, or c) none/all of the above? I am honestly fine with any of those options, so I am interested in hearing your takes on these two.

And have any of you ever stuffed an entire wad of wasabi in your mouth à la Scott this episode? If so, are you OK?

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  • OwlMouse

    B) stay platonic forever

    I want that awesome friendship where a dude and a lady can be FRIENDS. Nothing “just” about it. And not to have Stiles’s “Nice Guy” routine from when the show started be rewarded. Yes, he has grown tremendously since then and treats Lydia as an equal now. IT’S AWESOME. They are crime-solving buddies of win. They can open their own detective agency in the future that specializes in the supernatural.

    I, also, was pretty bummed out about Lydia making out with Aiden. You can do so much better, Lydia. Does Isaac need to remind you about Boyd? DOES HE? Because he will.

  • Lup Lun

    Everybody gets tripped up by wasabi the first time. I was tipped off beforehand and went light with it, but still wound up having to gobble rice to kill the heat. It’s a sneaky little thing, it doesn’t hit you until about two minutes later.

    By far the best part of last night was Allison and Isaac’s messing around.

    ALLISON: I am not kissing you!
    ISAAC: Oh yeah? Well, ABS!
    ALLISON: Oh yeah? Well, BOOBS!
    PAPA ARGENT: Oh yeah? Well, DAD!

    Classic. ^_^

    And then Isaac gets attacked by dudes in Oni masks and CLIFFHANGER! This show knows how to push its audience’s buttons.

  • cheesy

    My biggest issue with Stiles/Lydia as a romantic pairing, and the reason I hate that it is more and more obvious that that’s the direction the show is going, is that I hate-hate-hate relationships where one partner (usually a woman) is uninterested/openly does not want to be in a romantic relationship with the other (usually a man) who then pursues her with the intent to wear her down until she accepts him.

    It grosses me out and upsets me an enormous amount, and I loathe the fact that we’re getting yet another example of it, this time with two characters that I otherwise quite like.

  • cheesy

    I feel like Isaac has been killing it this season, and he excellently summed up my opinion of the twins, too! I swear, everything those two say/do only makes me dislike them and their smug, entitled, asshole faces more. So disappointed that of the boatload of new characters introduced in 3a, they are the ones that have returned.

    I did think it was hilarious that Scott spent the night when everyone else was worried about a crazed killer having an awkward date. Reminded me of season one. Kira and her family are great (I’m so glad she has a mother! One that is alive! Hooray!) Also great are Allison and Isaac, who have so much chemistry that I completely believed they were already hooking up. Their game of naked chicken was the best.

    How did you know those masked guys were from the nemeton, btw? Did I miss a line? I figured, with the oni masks, that they were related somehow to Kira’s mom, maybe, though idk why they’d be bothering Isaac (or Allison and Papa Argent never returned to help with the research, eh.)

  • delia

    i love that the show has now canonically confirmed the latino part of scott mcall’s heritage, which matches the actor, tyler posey’s heritage. he has said before that he thinks scott is half-mexican like him, and i’m glad the writers slipped it in there.

  • Lup Lun

    Honestly, I don’t see that at all. I might be misremembering, but as I recall Stiles was pretty much resigned to having an unrequited love for Lydia throughout the first season. He only really turned it up his courtship efforts once she started demonstrating some attraction to him, and he didn’t really turn it up that much. Plus, remember that for the first two seasons Lydia was already in a relationship with Jackson.

  • Lup Lun

    True, although it’s a little weird that a Latino teen has a mom who looks pretty white and a dad who’s about as white as they come. That’s Hollywood genetics for you, though.

  • cheesy

    Really? Well, different interpretations for different folks.

    But I look at the way Stiles treated Lydia at the school dance (I’m the only one who knows how smart you are so I deserve YOU and demand a dance, ugh). And the constant comments about how she was too good for Jackson. And the ridiculous presents he bought for her birthday. And his comments to Scott at the end of season two (before Jackson’s actor quit, when Jackson and Lydia had pretty much been declared in True Love by the show) that Stiles was going to have to extend his five year plan to make Lydia love him into a ten year plan. I look at all that and it just…bothers me. It smacks a little too much of women, you know, they just don’t know what they REALLY want/need, thank god they have a MAN around to tell ‘em, am I right, fellas?

    However, I am willing to admit that I am sensitive about that kind of behavior, and that other people take it differently, and so on and so forth.

  • Whitney Drake

    Real genetics, too. I’m Latina, and at a family reunion I’ll see a healthy mix of people who look whiter than white or a lot more tanned and “ethnic.” So it’s not all that outlandish.

  • Lup Lun

    Ah, the birthday presents. I’d forgotten about those. Yeah, that was a little creepy, something which I recall Lydia hanging a lampshade on. But it also sounded like the kind of thing a too-clever-by-half teenager would do. My mom teaches high school, so I’ve heard stories…

    To be perfectly frank, Lydia did deserve better than Jackson. He was an absolute asshole to her, and I don’t mean that he had a dark/troubled/abrasive personality. I mean it was obvious from start to finish that he didn’t care about her as a person. She was a sex object and a status symbol that he would discard at a moment’s notice with no remorse, as he did to go after Allison at least once. He may have also abandoned her to a monster at some point, I forget exactly. Telling Lydia that she deserves better is just telling it like it is.

  • Anonymous

    I think I get where you’re coming from, but I don’t need them to be platonic forever. I wouldn’t have felt that way if the friendship hadn’t been done well, though. And it’s something to celebrate that they now have an enjoyable friendship (edit: even if it never did go romantic). It has just been wonderful to see their equally one-dimensional initial assessments of each other change under the pressure of life-threatening situations that demanded nuanced and multifaceted skills from both of them. Thinking about the first season, it is really cool that Lydia now even hangs out at Stiles house, and that he wouldn’t (at least not on the face of it) be freaking out about what that might mean. At the same time, I must admit I get some warm fuzzies at small moments of pulling each other along by a hand, small bits of contact that I recognize as sometimes developing in friendships that go ‘that way’.

    I think that alternative to the ‘bing! bright arrow over new love interest’ thing (Kira *ahem*) is what I like about Stile and Lydia, despite the lingering bad taste of the ‘nice guy’ set up. Sometimes people do need to grow on us. Romance isn’t always a sledge-hammer to the head.

    Or maybe I’m just reacting to Kira/Scott and Alison/Isaac feeling a bit forced. Other people seem to love both pairs, so maybe I’m the only one on that.

  • Brittany K

    B. Stay platonic forever. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the dynamic that Stiles and Lydia have where they go all genius on each other and solve problems and whatnot, but this forced romantic tension’s got to go. I know Stiles had that huge crush on her but geez, he didn’t even know her then. They are better off as friends. Plus, with the way Scott/Kira and Allison/Isaac are going, it’s like the show has turned into a game of pair the spares.

  • Brittany K

    I was so surprised when it showed her mom! I had just assumed that she didn’t have one.

    I think the masked guys were supposed to be the figures that were forming from the fireflies that flew out of the nemeton at the end of last week’s episode.

  • AStirling

    Jackson was an asshole, but in fairness Lydia was one right back. She largely treated him as a status symbol as well. It was a pretty unhealthy relationship on both sides.

  • Mark Brown

    Well, a rock would be too good for Jackson.

  • Mark Brown

    This. I like the idea of them slowly growing into each other (let’s face it, the Stiles we’re seeing now isn’t really the same as he was a few years ago –and neither is Lydia).

  • cheesy

    Eh, tbh I think Jackson and Lydia were pretty equally terrible to each other. The using definitely went both ways. Amd Lydia was making out with Scott at the same time that Jackson was flirting with Allison. The really crazy terrible stuff Jackson did was when he was being mind controlled by Matt, so…

    (Alsoalso, if Stiles had been telling Lydia as a friend, that would have been one thing. He was only telling her because he wanted to be going out with her instead. Not…the purest motives.)

  • cheesy

    I suppose I’m just waiting for Stiles to pull Scott aside and tell him that his plan to make Lydia love him has worked, and way ahead of schedule, or something.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been watching this show since the beginning of season two, but I have to say that this episode might be the first time I would say this show was actually good. In the earlier seasons I hated Allison/Scott and Lydia/Stiles. Mostly because the show was trying to force us to care about those relationships and those things just can’t be force. In season three, they’ve finally backed off and just let the characters flirt like normal teenagers would and now I see myself liking the pairings. Of course, I seem to like all the pairings now. Scott/Allison, Scott/Issac, Scott/Kira, Allison/Issac, Stiles/Danny, Stiles/Lydia, Stiles/Cora, Braeden/Isaac, Braeden/Derek, Boyd/Erica (RIP) and Lydia/No One Because There Is No One In Existence Good Enough For Her.

  • Anonymous

    Also, this is my theory about Kira. This is a huge shot in the dark. Kira’s parents made a point of
    mentioning that her Japanese lineage on her mother’s side is “very
    interesting.” One religion in Japan is Shinto and one part of that
    religion is the belief that spirits called “Kami” are a part of our
    world and represent different parts of nature. Amaterasu is the Kami of
    the sun and is often referred to as the Sun Goddess. In ancient Japan it
    was believed that Japanese royalty were direct descendants of
    Amaterasu. So, my theory is the Kira’s “very interesting” lineage will
    reveal her to be the latest descendant of the Sun Goddess which gives
    her powers controlling light and electricity.
    I think this is it mostly because I once had a story idea of a
    superhero who when she discovers that she has fire and light powers, her
    parents tell her that she is a descendant of Amaterasu. I put it on the
    back burner partly because of lack of motivation and partly because I
    was worried that someone using a religion he doesn’t partake in for his
    story would be cultural appropriation. If this is the explanation for
    what Kira did tonight, I hope Teen Wolf treats Shinto and those who
    practice it with respect. Especially, because Arden Cho is a wonderfully
    talented actress (and singer) and she deserves to play a fantastic
    character. So far, I am loving Kira and I hope to keep loving her.

  • Anonymous

    As much as I’m liking the way Stiles and Lydia interact /better/ I really don’t want them together. Actually, I don’t want Lydia with anyone right now, I think she hasn’t spent enough of the show being on her own, whereas Allison spent nearly an entire season solo as she tried to figure herself out. Either way I have this thing against the piner getting with the person they’re pining for (same reason I never liked the idea of Xander and Buffy, you know?) Still, it was a great episode nonetheless and I’m loving Kira so far.

  • Danielle Davidoski

    I think it’s been hinted that this season is supposed to have kitsunes(Japanese fox trickster/demon things) so I’m leaning towards tht option for Kira. I do really like her and I’m into seeing both Scott and Allison moving on in a healthy and gradual way. I want Lydia and stiles to stay platonic. The two of them are my favorite characters and I love their relationship, if it got romantic I would still love them. But I’d rather it didn’t. I’d like to see this partnership work and be meaningful and loving and powerful without necessarily being a romantic love scenario. Also I was happy to have Scott’s Latino status confirmed as well. I come from a huge family that’s a mixture of Puerto Rican and Irish and we have people ranging from dark brown skin and black eyes/hair to blinds with blue eyes and all sorts of other combos but and it’s nice to be represented. I know Melissa ponzio is a mix of Native American/Sicilian/French and isn’t Mexican like posey but she looks like my mom to me.

  • Troy Lenze

    So, I’m the only person who had the Mortal Kombat soundtrack start in their head when Kira sucked up all the electricity?

    And yay for having an actually creepy episode again. I miss the feel of the first season with Scott being stalked by something creepy.

  • Troy Lenze

    I’m thinking more Raiden/Raijin the god of Lightning and Thunder.

  • Cherry

    Waitaminute, how can Derek and Peter have Talia’s talons? All signs thus far have pointed to her having been killed in the Hale fire, and even if her body wasn’t too destroyed, every other werewolf in this show reverted to human form while dying (see Boyd, Erica and Peter). I mean, hell, did she get Derek to fetch the jar every time she broke a nail?

  • Troy Lenze

    Derek said they were all that was left her from the fire. And I’m sure they’d use the “she’s a master shapeshifter” excuse for her body not changing back to normal human.

  • Darci

    I loved the scene where Scott notices Kira at her locker and then Stiles sees that Scott is staring at her and chides him for it. I thought Kira was adorably awkward/clumsy there. Also thought it was cool that they used “Heartattack” by Lovett during this scene, I really love that song and also really love Scott/Kira as a pairing