Teen Wolf 2-05: “Venomous”

Jackson tries to bench press far too much weight in the locker room (it still seems odd that there are free weights in the locker room, but I’m just going to roll with it) while  Danny spots him. Jackson is being his usual driven, relentless, snappish self and keeps overdoing it, until Danny’s had enough: “I’m taking a shower. If I come back and you’re lying dead under a pile of weights, I’m taking the Porsche.” Danny is very, very good for Jackson.

Left alone, Jackson’s senses kick into overdrive, until little noises—rotating fans, dripping faucets—start driving him nuts. While he’s thus distracted, someone pops up and grabs him by the throat. I was hoping it’d be Derek, as we haven’t yet had a scene this season where Derek menaces Jackson in the locker room in a sexually-charged manner, but it turns out to be Erica. Eh, that works, too. Erica and Isaac drag Jackson back to Derek’s lair and grope him a bit while Derek sits back and supervises. One of the perks of being the Alpha, I guess. Remember the good old days when Derek would cheerfully harass and manhandle Jackson himself instead of making his werewolf underlings do his dirty work?

Derek demands to know what happened to Jackson on the night of the full moon. See, he’s been working on this theory that Jackson is the kanima. Jackson as a poisonous, vicious, inhuman creature? Hmm, yes, Derek, I do see where you’re going with this. Jackson insists nothing happened all night, and he’s got the video tape to prove it. Sensing that Jackson is telling less than the full story, Derek gets his own proof: He poisons Jackson with the kanima’s venom, on the assumption that the kanima would be immune to its own toxins. The venom promptly paralyzes Jackson. Ergo, Jackson is not the kanima.

As long as he’s got Jackson at his tender mercies, Isaac (who, with reason, really loathes him) forces him to do him one small favor: He makes Jackson go to Sheriff Stilinski and retract his statement about witnessing Isaac quarreling with his father on the night of Mr. Lahey’s murder. (Stilinski, upon seeing Isaac’s entire motive for the murder going up in smoke: “Aw, crap.”) As Isaac is no longer a suspect, the manhunt for him is called off, and he resumes his school attendance as usual.

In the hallway at school, Danny informs Jackson that he’s found a way to recover the missing two hours on the recording Jackson made of himself sleeping (which I keep reflexively wanting to refer to as “Jackson’s sex tape”, because pretty much everything Jackson does ends up having all these crazy sexual overtones), though it’ll take him most of the day to get it done. While Danny yammers on, Jackson’s super-hearing kicks in again, and he eavesdrops on Isaac and Erica whispering about how Derek now suspects Lydia is the kanima. They’re going to test his theory in chemistry class; if Derek is right, they’ll kill Lydia on the spot.

So Jackson finds Scott and Stiles and floors them by asking them outright about the kanima. (He also addresses them as “Testicle Left and Right”, which is crude and mean and yet almost affectionate). Jackson fills them in on Derek’s plans for Lydia.

In chemistry, Mr. Harris has some convoluted musical-chairs lab experiment thing going on, in which the students continuously switch partners while dumping various chemicals into beakers. He encourages them to eat the crystallized results of their experiments, and you know, I’m not at all convinced Mr. Harris is a good teacher. I like him, though. He’s attractive and spiteful, which is a powerful combination. While this nonsense takes place, Isaac and Erica try to poison Lydia with the kanima venom while Stiles, Allison and Scott run interference. Along the way, Erica threatens Scott, then gropes his thighs in an inappropriate manner, then informs Allison of her plan to seduce Scott right out from under her pretty nose, then gropes Allison’s thighs in an inappropriate manner. Props to Erica for her tireless attempts to sleaze things up around Beacon Hills. Despite the best efforts of Lydia’s amateur protection detail, Isaac successfully slips her the venom. She’s immune to its effects, which indicates she is indeed the kanima.

School library: Danny and Matt work together to recover the missing footage on Jackson’s tape. Jackson, in a rare playful mood, observes them and realizes Danny has a crush on Matt. The Danny-Jackson dynamic, by the way, never fails to entertain. It’s nice that Jackson has one person in his life he doesn’t consistently act like relentless, blistering prick around. Danny points out that whoever erased the section of the tape probably had access to Jackson’s house.

Derek and Boyd hover outside the school, waiting to kill Lydia when she leaves, while Erica and Isaac prowl around the hallways, hunting her down.

While Scott tries to reason with Derek, Allison brings a section of Gerard Argent’s bestiary to Ms. Morell to translate from archaic Latin. Per Ms. Morell, the kanima is similar to the werewolf in that it receives power from the full moon, but while werewolves seek packs, the kanima seeks… friends.

Midway through Scott’s chat with Derek about the kanima, it dawns on him that Derek tried, unsuccessfully, to make Jackson a werewolf. This realization, of course, puts Scott five episodes behind the viewers, which… seems about right. Scott takes this bombshell in stride. Granted, he’s got more pressing matters at the moment, but even still, it seems like the only appropriate reaction to this news should run something along the lines of, “Holy hell, Derek, really? Jackson?” Derek explains that sometimes the shape a person takes, post-transformation, reflects the kind of person they are, which is why it seems plausible to him that the kanima would be either Lydia (cold-blooded) or Jackson (venomous).

Jackson, Stiles and Allison smuggle Lydia out of the school, one step ahead of Derek and his pack. They head over to Scott’s home and barricade themselves inside. Right when you start thinking it seems unusually nice of Jackson to help protect Lydia like this, he takes her aside and snarls at her for never returning his house key after he dumped her. He’s pretty sure this means she snuck into his house on the night of the full moon and deleted the relevant section of his tape. Lydia denies everything, Jackson acts like a deranged jerk, Lydia tearfully returns his key, which she’s been wearing on a chain close to her heart because she still loves him, and somehow, these two crazy star-crossed lovers end up kissing. It’s a sweet, unexpected moment, which is totally ruined when scales begin spreading across the back of Jackson’s neck, because, yep—he’s the kanima. Of course he’s the kanima.

Isaac and Erica invade the house while Boyd and Derek wait outside for Scott to show up. Mayhem ensues. While Lydia calls the police, Jackson stealthily transforms into the kanima and slinks out the window. Allison paralyzes Erica with a kanima-poisoned arrow, then gets some payback for all the taunting and inappropriate groping in the chemistry classroom by doing some groping of her own.

By the time Scott arrives, things are pretty much under control. With the police on their way, Derek makes a big cheeseball speech to Scott about how Scott is the Alpha of his own ragtag pack. And then the kanima appears on the rooftop while Lydia is standing with the others on the porch, thus making it obvious to all concerned parties that it’s Jackson. The kanima scurries out to the road, where it approaches a stopped car with an Einstein quote on a bumper sticker. The kanima places its clawed hand against the driver’s side window; the unseen driver places his hand against his on the other side and holds it there briefly before driving off.

Great stuff. The reveal with Jackson was deftly handled by the show; from the start, he was the most likely candidate, but there were enough distractions and red herrings to make it far from a sure thing. Well done, Teen Wolf


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