This review contains spoilers.
The wolf pack is back! Or the two werewolves, werecoyote, kitsune and human gang. But wolf pack sounds better.
Amplification unfolds like an Ocean’s Eleven heist, although with considerably more skull drilling. Dr Valack wants to amplify Lydia’s abilities, which doesn’t seem too bad in theory, but as Deaton points out, the operation could kill Lydia and potentially the rest of the town if she screamed loud enough. Thankfully, Scott has a plan. It’s good to see Stiles and Scott back on the same page, bouncing off of each other. Scott may be the leader, but Stiles is his right hand man. Up until this season, they’ve always been there for each other, and now we know terrible things happen when you break up their bromance.
Part of their 100-to-1 chance of a plan working hinges on Kira learning to control her electrical abilities, which Malia tries to help with. Emphasis on ‘tries’. “So you’ve never worked for anything, and basically you’re a cheater”. Great pep talk. Malia is one of those characters that you love for her increasing bluntness; her borderline rudeness makes her all the more endearing. It was also fun to see Kira and Malia working together, which is not a dynamic the show explores often. They’re so different, but their friction leads to interesting scenes. It’s because of Malia’s second try at a motivational speech that Kira is able to control her powers briefly and reboot Eiken’s security system. I don’t quite buy Kira’s new ability to restrain her power; it seems unearned. This would have been a good opportunity to deepen her character and really get to the issue of why she lacks control. Focusing on helping a friend is a good one-off, but there should be something more at the core of it.
Every good plan has a getaway driver, and Parish reluctantly accepts the role. He’s probably not the best choice, considering he has previously fallen asleep at the wheel and has the ability to randomly burst into flames. Most recently, he set fire to the fourth floor of the hospital trying to attack the Beast. Parish’s supernatural identity has been a long time coming, with the show at times struggling to keep him relevant to the plots, but now it is revealed that he is the only one who has a chance of defeating the Beast. In this round he doesn’t win, but he also doesn’t die, which is pretty rare. The gang also learns that the Beast can transform back to being human with its shoes on, which is handy when you need to walk through a building you’ve completely shattered. Besides worrying about how it can defy the laws of physics, Scott and co. should use this information to determine the Beast’s shoe size and figure out if it’s a boy or a girl (Mama Scott points this out – women can be monsters too!) Who is the Beast? A more satisfying answer would be if it was someone we’ve already met, but each new episode rules out more potential characters. My money was on Deputy Strauss, but after seeing him during the car chase scene, he has been struck from the shrinking list.
Just as it looks like their ‘Rescue Lydia’ operation is falling to pieces, Theo shows up with his own pack (breaking into Eiken house is pretty easy when you don’t care about stealth), looking not for Lydia, but a hellhound. Now I believe we’ve finally seen all the flash-forward scenes connect to the present, and thank god. They were starting to use them as a crutch to build intensity in an episode to cover up the lack of stakes in the present plotlines. This isn’t Memento, remember.
In the best scene of the episode, Scott roars his alpha call in slow-mo, and we see one by one as his pack responds. Ending on a great cliffhanger, Scott takes charge of the situation. It’s time to get Lydia.
Ron Hogan is away. Read Alyce’s review of the previous episode, The Sword And The Spirit, here.