There were some really interesting ideas and plot devices at work this week, but ‘Required Reading’ had a hard time keeping everything straight.
The investigation into the Dread Doctors and the fallout that happened after everyone read the book was the main focus of the episode, and it was where this episode excelled. Those flashbacks were incredibly affecting, both visually and emotionally. Lydia’s stands out as one of the more disturbing ones, visually at least. Her grandmother screams to me as a character that would have a really rich backstory, so hopefully we see her again. Finding out how she ended up in Eichen house drilling a hole into her skull would be interesting, to say the least.
It was Stiles’s emotional trauma at the hands of his own mother that made the biggest impact, and it’s interesting that it was the most human one of all. The book dredging up painful memories was a very clever way to explore some past horrors without it seeming completely unrelated to what’s going on in the present. Witnessing one of the worst moments of his mother’s illness didn’t feel gratuitous or unnecessary, and thanks to good timing it fell nicely into place with the doctors’ assault, and Stiles’s subsequent rescue by Theo.
The rivalry between those two is being milked for all its worth, with some potential chemistry between Theo and Malia being introduced, and with news that Theo knows all about what Stiles did to Donovan and is forcing Stiles to keep quiet about him killing another chimera, it seems like it’s going to go into overdrive from here on out. I hope the writers stick to the mistrust between these guys, and don’t use Malia as another reason to intensify the in-fighting. This plot has potential to be better than that, and Malia has more interesting things to do on her own without being a clichéd plot device.
A lot of other things were at work here, too, but some of it felt a bit pointless. Liam felt tacked on for the majority of this episode, and his angsty sexual tension with Selena Gomez isn’t making me want to watch it any more than I do right now. The revelation that she might be a chimera doesn’t do much else to get me interested either, save for that fact that we know one of the victims a little bit more than the rest of the cannon fodder that’s been running around all season.
Lydia has started going hard at her training with Parrish. How long until we see those super sonic screams in action?
The Japanese translation for what Kira has been muttering in her sleep is “I am the Angel of Death”. This news came from Theo so it could be false, but it doesn’t look good for her, does it?
I like that this show hasn’t forgotten that Scott has asthma. The faux asthma attack was a nice call back to the old days.
He Said, She Said
Mason: “I’ve been doing some reading on Kitsunes.”
Kira: “How come?”
Mason: “’Cause I met one?”
It’s funny that this newb has more info on what Kira is than she does. Get your shit together, girl.
‘Required Reading’ was definitely one of the most eventful episodes of the season so far, and when it was on, it was really on. Unfortunately it failed to make all the disparate elements work together well enough for it to be a decent episode all around. Maybe if there was less of an effort to make things work that clearly don’t, we’d see more of what we want to see, and consequently more of this show at the top of its game again.
3 out of 5 glow sticks
Originally posted at PandaTV.
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