Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Teen Wolf. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Deja vu and we’re back again! For those of you who remembered that for some reason Teen Wolf was airing its second episode of season five tonight, you’re in luck, because it had plenty to love.
It also, however, had plenty to dislike, and we’re going to talk about that first due to my cheerful disposition and because, quite frankly, tonight’s episode checked about all of the boxes of what I don’t like about this show. Firstly–and this part is integral–the newbies! Tracy is this new character who isn’t just suddenly appearing, she’s also the sole focus as the opener of the hour. The season five premiere already soured the mood by the first five minutes being abysmal, so why have this trend carry over into another episode?
I don’t mind when new characters are introduced on other shows, but Teen Wolf has had a rough go of making me care about any fresh face. Kira survives on Arden Cho being a fun presence, I’m only just accepting Liam as a thing (and that’s largely due to Dylan Sprayberry putting in some extra effort to be charming in this episode), and I never warmed to Isaac, Erika, or Boyd. I’ll begin to care about these newbies whenever the writers show that they’re capable writing fitting and strong narratives for their existing characters.
So not only does Tracy annoy me based on very existence of her character, she also has an unfortunate opening with Lydia’s mom (who I’m glad is still on the show), where the dialogue is dripping with such pseudo-philosophical nonsense that it’s difficult to take any of it seriously. The end result of her storyline, that she has in fact been awake throughout all of her night terrors, that they’ve been used as some sort of deranged coping mechanism, is suitably terrifying, particularly for a show that’s trod the “locked inside one’s own mind” territory before. However, the buildup could have used subtlety.
Then there’s the slow-motion, which may seem frivolous to some and even silly to complain about at this point due to the show’s affinity for it, but enough is enough! We do not need a slow motion pan up of Scott walking into high school and seeing people he’s never interacted with. It adds nothing!
Luckily, there were moments I liked, even if there were some aggravating pit stops along the way. As a general rule of thumb, I am team Stiles–if he believes someone is evil, I’m likely going to believe him at face value. Yet even I was beginning to feel my eyes roll to the back of my head as he continued yammering about how awful Theo was. Sure, he has a smug face, but that’s nowhere near enough evidence to incriminate someone on.
Of course, Stiles is right, with a scene at the end cementing that Theo likely is the worst, but what really came out of this was a pairing I didn’t know I’d appreciate in the form of Stiles and Liam, and a return to an old one in Scott and Stiles.
I think I can get behind this version of Liam. Season four spent a lot of his character growth on him moping around about the woes of being a teenage werewolf, and he’s much more interesting now being written as a dweeb of a younger brother to Scott and Stiles. Him tagging along with Stiles on his paranoia-fueled tracking of Theo worked wonderfully, and Sprayberry and Dylan O’Brian worked wonderfully off of one another, with both getting to be the voice of reason with the other.
This scene also leads to the absolutely delightful line reading by O’Brien, a simple “oh my god” when he realizes that Theo is out in the woods to mourn, not for anything nefarious.
We then get to see my favorite scene of the “Parasomnia” when Stiles and Scott confront one another about Stiles’ feelings about Theo, mainly his distrust. Stiles tells Scott in a moment of frustration that he can’t go around giving one everyone the benefit of the doubt because he needs to be there, making sure Scott’s good nature doesn’t allow them to trust everyone. Stiles punches his jeep (which once again isn’t working) and nearly breaks his hand and Scott, in a key moment, takes it and absorbs the pain.
It’s the little things.
In other news, Lydia is flirting with Parrish, which, ew, Malia is having bizarre visions, and Mason now knows that Liam is a werewolf, so that’s cool.
Another solid episode, if not successful all across the board. Stories are still meandering a bit, and I hope the moment where Stiles realizes that his dad is no longer wearing his wedding ring isn’t simply forgotten, but for now I’m confident at least that our leads will be given plenty to do.