Teen Wolf “Amplification” Review (Season 5 Episode 15)

Previously on Teen Wolf . . .

– The shadowy Beast posed a threat to all of the people still foolishly living in Beacon Hills.
– The Desert Wolf challenged Natalie Martin for worst mother of the year.
– With Malia, Liam, Stiles and Kira finally at his side, Scott declared that it was time to get Lydia out of the cesspool of misery, negligence, Mountain Ash and regrettable decisions otherwise known as the Eichen House.

An Incredibly Large Something
The episode opened up with the police in hot pursuit of the Beast, who has no chill whatsoever. Stiles, who also fails to find chill or practice restraint when it comes to meddling in his father’s professional affairs, followed the cops and warned them that the Beast was heading towards the hospital.

A trip to the hospital means a little time with Melissa because momma got bills to pay, so she basically works around the clock. To be fair, the writers did spend a lot of time in season 4 reminding us of how everyone was financially strapped. It is fitting, I guess, that Melissa works around the clock to make ends meet and remains employed at the hospital despite the very credible, potentially fatal occupational hazards. Of course, I’m sure she also continues to stay there because she knows that her beloved Teen Wolf will frequently show up as a patient, visitor or son in need of unauthorized access.

Thanks to Stiles’s warning and Melissa declaring a Code White (?), the hospital was evacuated. I would love to know exactly where the patients go under such circumstances. After all, if there was any other alternative in town you would think everyone would go there considering the large number of murders and unexplained phenomena in that facility. But hey, if you’re brave enough to even live in Beacon Hills, the hospital’s sketchy history is probably not a big concern for you.

On an unrelated note, kudos to the special effects team, as both the Beast and Parrish looked much better in this week’s episode.

Tales Of Medical Malpractice At Eichen House
Deaton, who is so damned resourceful when he’s actually around, showed Scott and Stiles pictures from Dr. Valack’s tenure as the head of Eichen House. Thanks to the flash forward and some exposition by Deaton, we know that Valack tries to amplify powers by drilling holes in the heads of unwitting supernatural patients.

Amplification is not an exact science, so there is a risk of the powers becoming too unwieldy. According to Deaton, another banshee who had the misfortune of being under Valack’s care screamed herself to death. The takeaway point: Lydia, you in danger girl.

And BTW, others could be in trouble, as Lydia’s dying scream could kill them if they are in the vicinity. After several seasons watching Lydia have no agency, I want all the nice things for the lovely banshee. However, to the extent her scream causes harm to anyone, Theo is at the top of my list – followed closely the members of his little rag tag pack. Except for Corey, because I want Mason to have nice things (and boys) too.

The Master Plan That We All Know Will Go Horribly Wrong
There are few things more entertaining on Teen Wolf than when the gang gets together, devises a plan and we watch as the plan goes tits up. Interestingly, the more successful plans are typically those we do not see devised on screen. Scott has had a few victories, like the time he Mountain Ash-ed Gerard. Come on, what’s the worst that could happen with Kira, who cannot control her foxiness, and Liam, who is an angst-ridden, unpredictable, easily angered wild card. Sure, this plan will go smoothly.

So the plan, from what I could gather, was:

– Hide in a body bag. Let me repeat, hide in a body bag. If this is the first step of your plan, step two should be coming up with a new plan.
– Break into Eichen House by having Parrish drive them in a van carrying the body bags.
– Using Kira’s abilities, create a brown out, which would reboot the system and allow Stiles to use the key card he stole in last week’s episode. I cackled so loudly when it was revealed that there was no device on which to use the key card.
– Had there been a key card reader, the plan was for Scott, Stiles and Liam to use it via the reboot for access to the floor where Lydia was being held, which happened to also be surrounded by mountain ash.

Valack – Doctor, Driller Of Head Holes, Violator Of Patients And Steampunk Cosplay Enthusiast – Maybe
Valack, for some reason, had a spare Dread Doctors mask. I guess this is not a huge shock, given the vague details we’ve received about his history with the dreadful lot. Of course, Valack could also just be into Steampunk cosplay and he realized the mask he wore at the last Steampunk Con he attended might be of some use. Who knows. I was delighted to see him place it on the nurse, who has been nothing but bitchy and annoying in her handful of scenes this season.

BTW, what happened to that book Valack told everyone to read? Is it still a thing?

Do Your Thing
Malia was just starting to grow on me this season and then the writers had to give her that odd scene in which she tried to “encourage” Kira to work on her brown out abilities by “doing her thing.” That is not helpful and it is writing that does not make for entertaining scenes. Telling someone to “just do it because it’s going to work this time” it’s just . . .

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This kind of writing for Malia did not work when the writers paired her with Lydia in season 4, so it’s baffling that they would make this choice again. Moreover, the scenes were a wasted opportunity to actually hear Malia and Kira talk about their respective predicaments. Both characters have some pretty menacing foes who could pop up at any time and I would actually like to hear that discussed, rather than watching Malia’s clumsy attempt to “encourage” Kira.

Stiles Is Me
Of course, no episode of Teen Wolf this season would be complete without Theo’s smug face inserting himself into a situation and annoying the bejeezus out of me. As much as I relish the idea of an episode without him and his stupid face, I was thankful for Stiles telling Theo exactly what he needed:

What you need is to be beaten, severely, with a led pipe wrapped in barbed wire.

Yes, Stiles! This is exactly what he needs and it is what I need as retribution for having to watch that mother smugger Theo-ing it up every episode. Also, how dare Theo creep the halls of Beacon Hills High School? That is strictly reserved for Derek Hale.

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For an unprecedented second week in a row, the Mama McCall slap will go out to more than one recipient this week. Congratulations, Liam. You are a two-time loser winner. Liam sheepishly asking Melissa and Scott if they were still mad about his attempt to kill Scott and steal his powers was ridiculous. I understand that asking is part of Liam’s continued effort to make amends and it is understandable that he would feel the tension in the room as the group set out on their mission to free Lydia. Fair enough, but just shut up about it. I loved everything about Melisaa’s reaction to the question.

The Teen Wolf writers will join Liam as repeat recipients of the slap. With each plot-driven manipulation of the show’s canon, the writers erode the significance and power of being a True Alpha. Scott still has not healed completely. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Is it a testament to Liam’s strength? Is Scott going to magically heal once Lydia is safe? If it’s the former, fine – I’ve still got questions. If it’s the latter, it seems like an extreme manipulation of Scott’s whole “I can’t heal because I’m altruistic and riddled with guilt” thing. Scott’s inability to heal felt much more meaningful when it was the result of his genuine belief that Derek was dead. Is Scott now going to fail to heal fully every time there’s an argument with a pack member or when he fears someone is in danger? And if you buy into that theory, how do you explain all of the other times people were in danger and Scott healed just fine? Stiles damn near got wiped out by a kitsune and Scott had no trouble healing.

Returning back to Liam, he and Scott looked pretty convincing in their effort to break through the Mountain Ash at Eichen House. Although it did not work, the effort spoke volumes about Liam’s brute strength. I would be interested to see what breaking through the Mountain Ash would mean for Liam. For Scott, it was his ascension to True Alpha. Indeed, Scott “rose” to Alpha status because of his virtues, blah, blah, blah, but the Mountain Ash was clearly the focal point of that transition, as we saw the first flicker of red in his eyes when he tried to save Deaton. Would breaking the barrier have any greater meaning for Liam or are we just supposed to say “dang, he’s strong” and think nothing more of it?

Sadly, I no longer expect any clarity on the matter, given the writers’ penchant for changing the rules when the plot demands it.

Other Supernatural Thoughts, Questions and/or Observations
– I hate the word brown out. It’s just wrong.
– I love Gideon Emery’s portrayal of Deucalion so very much. It pains me to see him saddled to this stupid storyline. Deucalion’s job tonight was to sit and give us a heaping pile of exposition, which I guess I don’t mind quite as much when it is done in Gideon’s lovely accent. According to the former Demon Wolf, the special talons the Desert Wolf got for Theo were created by the Dread Doctors. Theo thinks he can fit them on like “press-on” nails to siphon the power from the Beast. Decualion explained that the Dread Doctors set the talons to a specific frequency for a particular individual. The talons will kill Theo if he puts them on and now Theo getting a deadly manicure courtesy of the talons is what I want most. This is WONDERFUL news!
– Is it bad that I got a kick out of Scott knocking Liam around? That was several episodes overdue.
– The Eichen House flash forward from several episodes ago was not only unclear, but ultimately unnecessary. This is not the most egregious thing the writers have ever done, but still a questionable decision nonetheless. Seeing the full optics of the flash forward was interesting, as we learned the context and were able to see all of the parties involved. I just don’t think the flash forward added anything to the storytelling.
– This “Escape from Eichen” could have easily taken place in a single episode. I will not be thrilled if it drags out next week. I’m ready for answers and substantive plot movement now. Admittedly, I’m not very optimistic about this based on the previews.
-The best part of this plan completely going awry is that it prevented Natalie from entering Eichen House. There is nothing good that would come from being there at such an inopportune time.
– We saw the Beast transition back into human form – well we saw animal prints transition into sneaker prints. Who do you think the Beast is and how did he get his hands on sneakers so quickly?

Until Next Moon Day!
Overall, this episode felt like a big ol’ pile of filler. Filler can be entertaining at times and “Amplification” was just that. I quite liked the “news team assemble” moment at the end when Scott finally mustered up all of his True Alpha strength in response to seeing his poor werebaby Beta getting the business end of a pretty nasty taser.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Teen Wolf? Sound off below!

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