The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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ep: teen wolf 2.11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Dude. Dude.



That first dialogue with Stiles was possibly one of the best I've ever seen, and God for once, no one pulled a fucking Joss to downplay it by throwing in stupid humor to make it less than utterly seriously awesome. Especially when that particular narrative device was used effectively--really effectively--with mid-discussion throwing in the lacrosse. That, my friends, is how you do it when you want humor as emphasis.

(I have a lot of issues with Joss' dislike of tropes in fantasy to the point where he undermined his own storylines with that shit. It made it impossible to ever completely invest emotionally when you knew the funny was coming immediately to completely fuck the mood.)

1.) Peter is fucking terrifying. Mostly because he's kind of good at persuasive, but mostly because I kind of agree with him because due to viewer privilege, I know what's out there for Derek. I know this is a bad idea, and it's an evil idea, but at this point, I'm honestly not sure I'd die just for the sake of being a good person. To save someone else literally, maybe, but just to make an ethical stand that would literally have no bearing on anything, I'm not that noble. OTOH, the question is, if Derek is. I don't know, and I think that's the point; Derek doesn't either.

2.) Derek - the thing is, I really don't know where this is going. For Derek, this is an easy decision and a complex one at the same time, because he's balancing personal survival against reality (as he sees it), and in general, the problem with Derek not trusting anyone personally is a very emotionally charged segue into not caring about consequences to others in his decisions. Up until now, he's made bad decisions, but they were not all only self-interest driven and did and was willing to put that aside when it was shoved in his face the consequences of what he was doing were actively harmful. He was stupidly careless, but there was no active disregard of other people. Peter's not just the devil offering a kingdom, because that's easy and not Derek's weakness enough to make it a real consideration. He's offering him someone who is loyal to his interests (being his continued existence) and cuts off the automatic are you fucking with me trust issues by linking their own interests as practical reasons for this to work. That shit is tempting. From Derek's pov, no one out there cares whether he lives or dies, and most of them have or will screw him over or kill him; he has no reason to feel particularly interested in the consequences to them. Cause, feelings. I'll get back to that.

3.) Scott - you are totally back in my good graces right now. That pretty much made up for everything, and a part of me loves, loves, loves that when Grandpa Creeper spelled it out--you get Allison!--Scott actually did the math just fine on where this was going and it wasn't anywhere he wanted to go, or even could go without losing something important. Mom McCall totally nailed it in the end. I don't blame her at all for her immediate reaction to being held up in the air by a kanima, but once the panic-horror-wtf cleared, of course she told Scott to do the right thing. Fuck this bullshit blackmail; bring it.

4.) Allison - so in view of Stiles excoriation of Matt being drowned at nine but not justifying killing people at sixteen, Allison's actions are officially Max Redux. Which was interesting, not because it's not obvious, but because it's really hard to not justify it by saying BUT MOMMY and EVIL GERARD and BUT HER PAIN. That works fine in theory, but it stops pretty much the second you go to torture by arrow.

You can justify losing it and going to the police station in a fit of rage and grief. Here's where it becomes problematic:

a.) Actively setting up a plan to trick a couple of teenage werewolves into thinking there is another pack.
b.) Waiting around for it to work.
c.) Waiting around for them to show up.
d.) Stalking them on a four wheeler through the forest.
e.) Shooting one.
f.) Aiming again.
g.) Another one shows up and does not threaten.
h.) Shoot them.
i.) They do not attack.
j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q.)Repeat above two four times.

Also, there was begging for lives and screaming. I suppose it's necessary to say, but they didn't kill her mother. In fact, they haven't killed anyone. They did try to kill Lydia, but they thought she was a kanima and actively killing people, so Allison actually doesn't do as well as Matt did as far as willingness to accept casualties. Allison will take out people that are not directly responsible for her pain AND are not an active threat to her, whereas Matt at least required them to be responsible for his pain or an active threat to him.

I'm also going to espouse a really unpopular opinion, that I get Allison can't see but does bear mention--Allison's mother killed Allison's mother. She had reasons, and they were legit to her, but I have no problem not feeling that she's a murder victim because her reasons were it is better to be dead than werewolf and that's a stance that bears a lot of personal responsibility in choosing what stupid shit you believe.

She has reasons for this, I get that, and emotionally, it makes sense, but truthfully, while I'm sure if she ever regains perspective she'll feel terrible and that's bad, one, good, and two, I also won't feel bad for her then at all, because right this second, on the show, Boyd has eight arrows in him so she could have feelings. The reason in essence why you shouldn't kill people is not to avoid regretting it, it's because killing people is fucking wrong, and I'm sorry to say how you feel about it isn't and shouldn't be part of your decision table.

I'm grumpy right now about this development because it hit me out of nowhere how they frameed this. Allison taking people out in rage in a battle sitch without mercy--even the pack defending Derek or themselves--would have justified a lot, or enough that it was the result of attack/defend. This really didn't qualify; the show carefully stripped out all possible justifications by making them both completely harmless to her--there was no attack--and she had to trick and stalk them to even find them. Dude, when Chris fucking Argent calls you off because you're acting like rabid dog, you have a problem. My real problem is I'm not convinced the show will follow through on this particularly well.

5.) Jackson, Isaac - I could break into fucking song about what happened. Isaac came back to take care of shit--bring it on--and Jackson hurt himself to avoid hurting anyone else. I have no words but so much love.

I love a lot, lot, lot of this ep was about a watershed moment, a crossing the Rubicon if you will, because while no one knows if they can actually conquer Rome, that didn't stop Caesar either, and you don't get to have a thing you do become a common saying over two thousand years after the fact unless you get around to trying it. Scott made a conscious, informed decision under immense pressure and chose the path of trying; Isaac made a conscious, informed decision under immense pressure and personal trauma to ignore the path of least resistance and do; Jackson fucking stabbed himself with his own claws because he was asked something that he would and could not do, and chose the path of assuring that it did not happen.

Derek's pretty much up in the air; Allison decided, but she hasn't hit the point of no return, so she can still turn back and see where this could go and more importantly, choose not to go there. They're both being driven by feelings, but dude, if Isaac, Jackson, and Scott were too, and feelings are feelings and they affect you, but when you weaponize so they affect others, it's a choice you make and one that has no justification, and may have atonement, it will never be erased.

Minor points: Boyd and Erica running through teh forest holding hands. I mean, if you wanted to set that entire scene up to be more hideously painful for them and the viewer to just break our hearts, add a fucking unicorn and some flowers, I would have been crying hysterically. Puppy with cancer. Dear Show, what the fuck was this ep? Add some rain in for everyone and this would be a goddamn country song.

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Allison's mother killed Allison's mother. She had reasons, and they were legit to her, but I have no problem not feeling that she's a murder victim because her reasons were it is better to be dead than werewolf and that's a stance that bears a lot of personal responsibility in choosing what stupid shit you believe.

This so fucking much. Victoria made that choice because apparently being a werewolf is so horrible you kill yourself and leave your family, rather then learning to live with it like other people they actually know. I get that Allison is devastated, but its disappointing to me that she's allowed Gerard to get into her head enough to turn her into this. But I also wonder what they told her (just about how she died, not even the details about how she got bitten), I don't get how she's not pissed at Gerard for making it seem like its the only choice, Victoria for wanting to do it, and Chris for helping her shove that knife home.

SO MUCH THIS. Dude, Allison's feelings and everything, but she's banging a werewolf herself, so it bears some mention she intellectually knows people live with this pretty well.

I am willing to change that stance if Allison literally believes her mom was killed by a werewolf, but considering they were at the hospital, cause of death would be slightly difficult to hide.

I keep thinking about what she knows, and I just can't get a handle on it. Clearly Chris is the only Argent that actually follows the code - and even he took some convincing to hop on the kill Derek train, so does he know that it was (essentially) self defense and is only doing this because the "women are the leaders"? And if so, did he tell Allison that or something else? Or does she know exactly what happened, but that little speech Gerard gave her flipped the Crazy!Kate! switch in her head (since she seemed fine wallowing until he came in with that letter - which I bet he wrote)? Idk, yes she's grieving but she should know better.

I just can't deal with what she did to Boyd and Erica - was so cruel in so many ways. And if Stiles gets hurt I will freak. I don't know how the show will follow through but I keep thinking Chris will be the "hero" in the end of the next episode (since he's the only Argent thinking straight), and hopefully even if Allison realizes she's been acting crazy, the repercussions go into next season.

I don't think it's necessary for Gerard to have written the letter (which supposes that either she can't recognise her mother's handwriting or Gerard has previously unsuspected skills of forgery). After all, I certainly wouldn't put it past Victoria to deliberately use her own death to motivate Allison to step up to the plate properly, as she'd see it.

But it certainly wouldn't surprise me if Allison does have a Crazy!Kate switch in her head.

The other thing that makes me sad is that once again Derek is in danger of losing his life and pack to the Argents. I get that Allison is grieving, but Derek's whole family was slaughtered by Kate, and never once did he try to get revenge. Allison lost her mom by her own hands, and she's out hurting innocents. I like the story for Allison, but man I am having a hella hard time being anything but angry at her

it does make a point about which one of them is 'human', and the way i see it Argents vs. werewolves/monsters on the human point, it's 0 x a lot (Derek did NOT hunt down the Argents to kill one by one for murdering his family, Boyd did NOT hurt the hunters to defend himself, and he is much faster than them, but he chose to stand there, Jackson hurt himself so that he would NOT hurt others...the hunters r so down on the human scale the rabid dog analogy Chris used once upon a time starts to describe them rather well)

I just have no coherent feelings about this episode because it made me cry three times in the space of forty minutes and apparently I cry easily or something.

Just. Ouch, all over. But still beautiful and amazing and terrifying.

Also, I am in a state of how does Stiles' dad NOT know what is going on by now. And, at the same time, I am just awed and filled with emotional turmoil about how much he loves his son. Sheriff Stilinski shouting "where's my son?" at the end pretty much did me in.

Love the amount of conscious choice in this episode that you talked about; Jackson's choice to hurt himself rather than be used as Gerard's weapon, Scott's choice to stay and help, Isaac's choice to come back to help, Melissa McCall's choice to encourage her son do to whatever he could. I think that is a real separating line between the characters right now, who is acting on instinct and emotion and who is acting on a thought out choice about what they want to do and why.

And the opening with Stiles was beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time, and I'm really digging the water motif they have running this season (now that I think about it, starting right with Jackson in 2.01 when Jackson pops out of the water in his shredded shirt, the pools (the school pool, the pool in Lydia's yard, the pool at the Lahey's where Matt drowns), and just the general idea of being trapped under water and panic). Damn I love this show.

Dude, I was wibbly in the beginning, during the game, when Boyd was getting shot I was falling apart....

Also, I am in a state of how does Stiles' dad NOT know what is going on by now.

The one reason that this still actually works is how the show is covering a really, really short period of time. I mean, really short. And even more interesting in this case is the speed of events happening on top of each other is literally masking how weird they are or that they're even happening. It makes sense in the context; there are so damn many weird trees falling that there's no real way to see they're part of a very strange forest.

Yes, the time distortion in this show is super tricky. It's interesting to imagine what it must look like to Sheriff Stilinski, and at the same time so difficult as well because of how informed we are of what is happening.

I think the thing I'm really having a hard time wrapping my head around is the invasion of the Sheriff's department. The deaths they can blame on Matt, but the extreme damage to the station where the windows have been blown in by Hunters, I'm not sure how they're pinning that on him if they indeed are.

Also, my feelings on this are colored because I so much want him to know so that all of the conflicty stuff from Stiles and Scott kidnapping Jackson can be resolved. Seeing how defeated he was and how frustrated that he had no idea what was causing Stiles' to act this way is heart breaking to me, especially since we know that Stiles is doing everything in his power to keep people alive and safe. For some reason the relationship between Stiles and his dad is really interesting to me, especially after the scene in 2.09 showing how Stiles fears that his dad sees him. (Actually, on a side note in which personal experience colors the way we see everything, for about the first five or six episodes I was a little bit scared that Stiles' dad was not a nice guy at all. But now, when I rewatch, I'm not sure where I even got that idea from.)

And the opening with Stiles was beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time, and I'm really digging the water motif they have running this season (now that I think about it, starting right with Jackson in 2.01 when Jackson pops out of the water in his shredded shirt, the pools (the school pool, the pool in Lydia's yard, the pool at the Lahey's where Matt drowns), and just the general idea of being trapped under water and panic). Damn I love this show.

You nailed this so much, and that in a sense right now, everyone is drowning. I love this.

But who's making the choice not to inhale?

... Hm. By that metaphor, Jackson has been inhaling up until now, but has finally decided to start fighting.

i love what they have done with alison. i don't explain or condone her actions, but i love the choice the showrunners made.

name me one other TV show - JUST ONE - where the little lady of the starcrossed lovers becomes a goddamn villain. they are in uncharted territory here, and i love that they were brave enough to go there. like... remember when chris argent showed up, and he was her father and also a werewolf hunter? everybody i have ever watched this show with said the same thing: of course he is. of course this contrived thing will come up to create pseudo dramatic tension between the male and female lead so they can't be together. boring. snooze. seen it a dozen times.

ever seen this? cause i haven't.

It's new and interesting adn stressful. Id' feel a lot less stressed if she'd villain on people I don't like, to be honest. Dude, holding hands and Boyd all stoic slaughtered me.

Though yeah, and I really want to know where they're going to place her in the end, too.

i am 100% shipping boyd/erica right now. GET IT, YOUR AWESOMENESSES.

re: allison... i don't know where they're going. and i LOVE that.

YES. ALL OF THIS, YES.

I love that that first scene was played straight, without dodges to break the honey-slow horror of it.

Allison's mother killed Allison's mother.

I have been screaming this at various screens every time it gets referenced. It's a complex situation and Victoria's actions were fascinatingly painful and I get why it's compelling, but if someone doesn't bring this up in the show I may actually explode.

I'm really just waiting to see how Allison's storyline plays out to know how I feel about it all, you know? I love the concept of it in general - her finally having to confront how much she's willing to sacrifice to feel strong - but hate that she's been manipulated into it. The difference for me will be whether the aftermath acknowledges that she has done something wrong. Not just uncharacteristic or morally grey, but outright wrong.

What I want more than anything is for this to finally bring that discussion of humanity that they've been toying with since the beginning to the forefront. It is not okay to decide someone is not a person when it becomes easier for you that way, breakdown or not. I want to go back to Stiles in that hospital scene calling Chris Argent on his bullshit, because no one else has, and I want it out in the open this time.

The way that they built the scene with Boyd and Erica gives me hope that they're finally headed there. I will be very disappointed, though, if Allison's arc from here is about coming to terms with her own violence without understanding the impact of it on other people.

I would also like them to stop pretending that there have ever been good choices for Derek to make. No question, he's gone about things in pretty terrible ways, but... well, like you said. It all comes down to whether he's willing to die for a principle. His whole story arc has been that in slow motion. It gets buried in the display he puts on through most of the season, but pretending he's ever been anything but just another kid staring down his own death doesn't change the truth of it.

All of this makes me sound like I am frustrated, when really I'm a little in awe of this show. How did they manage to get here, again? God, so much love.

Dude, I'm totally frustrated but in the best way possible. This is freaking magic. I WOULD TAKE THIS ANY DAY.

I have been screaming this at various screens every time it gets referenced. It's a complex situation and Victoria's actions were fascinatingly painful and I get why it's compelling, but if someone doesn't bring this up in the show I may actually explode.

But Feelings seems currently like it's everyone's excuse for everything. Victoria made a choice, and for me, I can go with the tragedy of it up until the point that she decided her choice involved post-mortem assassination for feelings. Then she's not a tragedy, she's premeditating murder after the fact by creating the motivation for it by killing herself.

I would also like them to stop pretending that there have ever been good choices for Derek to make. No question, he's gone about things in pretty terrible ways, but... well, like you said. It all comes down to whether he's willing to die for a principle.

Derek is so complex for me because I just love him beyond words and sanity, so every freaking bad decision drives me nuts. But but but--more nuts, I can't work out the alternative he could go with, and going with the drowning metaphor here, it's really not workable to say 'that lifeboat is evil' when there are no other lifeboats around, and none are going to come. Even hindsight doesn't give a lot of choices; I mean, we can say 'well he shouldn't have done that' but it gives zero on how he wouldn't be dead if he hadn't. Which in his case is actually really disturbingly literal. I hit a really uncomfortable ethical point with him in that right thing has never actually excluded survival.

I have issues with setting up a situation where saying the only right choice requires you to walk in front of a bullet just because potentially not at least voluntarily allowing someone to kill you would result in maybe something really bad happening. In Derek's case, that is--as the show has shown--something that seems to actually happen in real time.

Matt's actions and everyone's response seriously throw a very, very hard light on what's going on. The end result is there's no justification for killing people vis-a-vis Feelings. It's a lot of what made what Allison did no longer sympathetic or sad but devastating and horrific. She's not just Matt, she's Matt with a distinct carelessness regarding who her casualties are because Feelings. If someone dies, it's unforgiveable period, and I hope to God the show stops that shit there, because bringing back someone from that is really, really problematic, and for viewers, they have to love her already to go there, and I love her, but I'm not sure I love her that much. That Boyd with arrows in him thing seriously fucked with me as a graphical representation of Oh God No. That bothered me. For some reason, that's where I just could not deal with what she was doing. Six to eight arrows while listening to people scream is territory where you expect clown paint and call yourself Joker.

Even hindsight doesn't give a lot of choices; I mean, we can say 'well he shouldn't have done that' but it gives zero on how he wouldn't be dead if he hadn't.

EXACTLY. I HAVE ACTUAL FLOWCHARTS ABOUT THIS. They contain many literal dead ends. Derek's life from the time Laura dies (and possibly going as far back as the fire) is just a series of paths that diverge into ever-shittier moral territory or getting killed. It's like the longest Groundhog Day episode ever, and the time-loop of horror never ends.

The end result is there's no justification for killing people vis-a-vis Feelings.

I keep seeing discussions about how Stiles isn't being honest about his feelings regarding Matt, or that if he is, his genuine lack of empathy for him makes Stiles a bad person, and it just does not compute. That Stiles researched drowning says it all about him being bothered by it, but it's not a contradiction to also hold Matt accountable for what he did. Which was, you know, to stalk the hell out of Allison and kill a whole bunch of people whose biggest collective crime was to be kids that were too drunk to realize he was in trouble when he needed help. (Isaac's dad notwithstanding.) Given that Matt then followed that up by actively harming everyone Stiles loves most, I have to say, I'm with Stiles on this one.

(Then again, it is entirely possible that I over-identify with Stiles. Frequently. Stiles and John Watson, these are my people.)

That Boyd with arrows in him thing seriously fucked with me as a graphical representation of Oh God No.

Yeah. Erica screaming, and not just the fear in it but that it was Allison's name... and Boyd making a stand, the wolves making the most honorable of choices out of anyone there... God. It was awful all by itself, but then I have issues with that particular kind of setup. I still cry every damn time Boromir bites it. :/

If someone dies, it's unforgiveable period

I've got a bad premonition that Gerard's going to kill someone, and that will be the catalyst for Allison waking up to how horrible he genuinely is. That makes it really easy to sweep her part in it under the rug, with a convenient excuse that she didn't know anyone 'innocent' would get hurt, and damn it I want there to be consequences. I love Allison to little pieces, but if they're going to kill anyone, I want it to count for something more than an 'Oops, my bad. I had Feelings.'

This really didn't qualify; the show carefully stripped out all possible justifications by making them both completely harmless to her--there was no attack--and she had to trick and stalk them to even find them. Dude, when Chris fucking Argent calls you off because you're acting like rabid dog, you have a problem. My real problem is I'm not convinced the show will follow through on this particularly well.

YES, SO MUCH YES. I really struggled with Allison's actions in this ep and I worry the aftermath isn't going to be dealt with properly, but the show has surprised me in the past so maybe they're up to the task.

I'm hoping that Allison is going to get the story trope of hero who has done bad things in the past and must atone for them - the cool thing about that would be that that's been almost entirely a male trope in TV/movies. If they do it right... It requires that she be held accountable for her actions both by herself and by others, and that's always a sticking point for TV shows.

I can't get over that opening scene and how good Dylan O'Brien is as an actor when he came into this role with (according to Davis) literally only 2 self-made YouTube videos on his resume. They wrote that scene purely because they knew he could pull off the emotional resonance, that's a level of trust in an actor that's amazing.

Victoria did kill Victoria, but I hate her for not taking the time with Alison to say good bye.

Alison will think back to that night and the fact she did not seek her mum out and hate herself for it, for the rest of her life. It was not her fault. Her mum knew what was going on and did not make Alison come and talk to her.

Probably because trying to explain to your teenage daughter that you are leaving her all alone rather than fighting this to be with her is really hard.

But the way Victoria did this. Telling Alison she had something to say and "come find me tonight" is just cruel.

agree with every single word esp about the Argents and Allison and Issac and Scott and...everything u said really.

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