Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Teen Wolf. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
The penultimate episode is better than what’s come before it, enough so that there’s a chance this entire first half of season five won’t seem like a waste, but it still leaves more questions than answers and a hell of a lot to wrap up in the finale next Monday.
The beginning strikes the balance between the good and the bad of the episode. It’s one of the better opening sequences, despite being all telling and not showing, but doing it in a way that at the very least is engaging and stylish, largely due to the direction. Despite the theme and main villains of the season, this is the first episode where visually we can see the dread and despair haunting the Beacon Hill High halls. Teenagers are dying brutally and the pack can’t do anything to stop it. It also, in its own dramatic little way, is showing how teenages drift apart as they get older. Sure, it’s typically not supernatural-inspired and it seems like a way to have roundabout moment of friendship later, but it’s one of the better uses of the supernatural of Beacon Hills affecting the lives surrounding them.
I do wish the reveal of who Scott had been talking to hadn’t been Theo;I got my hopes up and thought Derek was making a surprise appearance.
Also, I get the significance of Scott needing his inhaler: it places him back at square one and it incapacitates him in a time where he needs all of his strength to face his foes, leaving him all the more vulnerable. I get it, I do. But I do not need ten, focused, up-close shots of it to register the significance. Trust your audience, Teen Wolf. Unless, of course, this is all building for a triumphant Scott moment where he crushes his inhaler in his hands because he’s a “True Alpha.”
There are some shenanigans that take place with the baby wolves, and there’s a part of me that wants to be charmed by Hayden and Liam (and isn’t), but it’s all moving too fast. A week ago they were sworn enemies because of a sixth grade scuffle, now Liam is risking his life for her. Their storyline is also now linked with Theo’s, as his master plan comes to light–he’s trying to build his own pack, and in doing so he needs support from Stiles and for Liam and Hayden to distrust Scott. He’s tearing apart the pack from the inside out, and it’s already tethering. Malia is being secretive and is unable to handle the growing tally of deaths she’s seen and is barely able to express this to Stiles. Lydia, meanwhile is on an entirely different show as she flirts via kung fu with Parrish in the woods, looking for the Nematon.
And that there is possibly the most bizarre line I’ve ever written.
It is, however, nice to see someone being reasonable about the threat they pose, as Parrish takes the realization that he’s been taking the bodies as a bad thing, and puts himself in lock-up to keep him out of harm’s way.
Now that the distractions are over, however, let’s get back to the instigator.
Listen, admittedly, Theo /Cody Christian became more interesting this episode (a little late, considering it’s the penultimate episode of the front half of season five, but oh well), and him worming his way under Scott’s skin is entertaining if not frustrating to watch. However, him turning Stiles’s self-defense against Donovan into a story of ruthless, inhumane rage is terrible to watch. What’s even worse is Scott’s apparent belief.
Theo, you dick.
My sister and I watched in genuine annoyance as Theo stole what should have been a well-earned moment from Stiles and his dad. From repeating Stiles’ story as his own, to his fears about telling people based in complete uncertainty and worry of losing his loved ones, he takes what should have been Stiles’ confession down to the Sheriff’s comfort.
But this doesn’t touch the blow-up he causes between Scott and Stiles.
Let’s talk about the break-up because holy hell, Scott’s being dumb. Sure, we have the privilege of point of view, being an omnipresent spectator, of knowing what other characters don’t, but don’t you think you’d listen to your best friend over Theo? Don’t you think you’d understand why your human best friend had to kill someone, a sadistic creature made in a lab, in order to protect himself or his dad from being killed? I mean, cut the kid some slack, Scott! I know you’re having a tough week, but chill.
Also, something that needs some major addressing: the writing for this scene was abysmal, which is such a shame considering the potential behind it. It’s not so much that the dialogue is cringe-worthy (it really isn’t), it’s the justification on Scott’s end and his inability to listen to his closest confidant, it’s Stiles seemingly refusing to try and explain himself. What worked here was that Stiles’ anger and his blowout at Scott’s holier-than-thou attitude is well justified, and reasonable. His bewilderment at Scott not believing him, and then his desperation at wondering how to fix it, all rang true.
This doesn’t, however, take away from the overall power of the moment, even if it comes off a bit rushed, beginning two minutes away from the credits. Dylan O’Brien gets to cut loose as Stiles runs the gamut of emotions, and he and Tyler Posey always bring out the best in one another. It’s easily more effective due to the work the two put in.
I don’t know entirely what to make of this episode, but I enjoyed it, and maybe sometimes that’s enough.