Teen Wolf 5×04 Review: Condition Terminal
If it seems like this review is a little on the disjointed side, with no strong flow, it’s only because that was the feel of this episode. It just felt busy, too many characters, too much happening. There were gratuitous naked guys galore, crazy fights, and new creatures, all the factors of a standard Teen Wolf episode. Yet, it did not invoke much of a response for me, even with the cliffhangers that concluded the episode.
Parrish is still having weird hallucinations about Lydia. That guy has a serious fixation. Someone should probably remind him that he is a deputy and maybe shouldn’t date high school girls. Parrish is part of a teaser that was so forgettable that I kept waiting for the credits after the dread doctors play dentist. I pointed this out to a friend that mocked me because, “Naked Parrish on fire surrounded by bodies was forgettable?” I had to admit to myself that, yes, it was. This is largely due to the way it frames an episode that then moves into moments after where the last episode left off.
One of the strongest moments of the episode is when Stiles is left frozen in place as he sees Lydia bleeding on the floor after the attack from the kanima, even as Theo and Lydia’s mother rush to her side to join Kira. In this moment, I couldn’t help thinking back to the season two finale “Master Plan” in which Stiles tells Lydia that if anything were to happen to her, he would “literally go out of [his] freaking mind.” He says, “You see, death doesn’t happen to you, Lydia. It happens to everyone around you.” I loved this moment, the fear in his eyes when he sees her. I wanted this to be addressed, yet, sadly, it wasn’t.
With this reaction, it would have made more sense for Lydia to wake up to find Stiles in her room, waiting for her recovery like in season two. I’m not asking for a romantic relationship between Stiles and Lydia. I’m not interested in any sort of love triangles or anything, I just want the same strong relationships between the central characters that have been building and changing since season one.
Instead of being at her side, Stiles weirdly spends half of the episode napping in the library while all the fun stuff goes down. There’s a throwaway comment later about how he tried to see her, but she’s in the ICU and can’t have visitors, but it’s frustrating to see that now that they are actually friends, Stiles isn’t willing to camp out in the waiting room for her. It was amazing in the last episode to see Lydia working alongside of the pack, because so much this season has already been about isolating Lydia from the core group, and the budding romance between her and Parrish is only working to further separate her from the others. I wanted Malia, Kira, Stiles, and Scott there at her side like they should have been.
After being ordered in the last episode by Scott to save Tracey, but failing, Malia desperately wants everyone to know she didn’t kill the girl, even though no one seems to believe she did. This is a storyline that worked well and I hope will be explored more as Malia struggles more with her humanity vs animalistic nature. But can I just say that Malia wouldn’t have to work so hard to convince people she didn’t kill someone if she wasn’t suggesting murder as a solution to their problems every five minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I usually agree with her, but it does make it harder to appear innocent when standing alone next to a dead body. Was I supposed to take her erasing the question “who is the desert wolf” as her wanting to distance herself from her murderous mommy?
One of the characters I’m having the most trouble understanding this season is the Sherriff. Why is he being so stubborn about doing things by the book? Don’t enough people in Beacon Hills know about the supernatural already? And, as Stiles points out, he’s “already crossed the line…more than once.” This just feels like conflict for the sake of conflict.
The dread doctors are still up to their shenanigans of appearing with a soundtrack of mechanical insect noises to experiment on people. They’re apparently looking to make their own line of designer supernatural creatures. This should make for an intriguing rest of the season.
Deaton runs around being mostly unhelpful, offering up that he is terrified because “the rules have changed,” which would be a whole lot more meaningful to viewers if the rules had been fully established in the first place instead of feeling like they are being made up along the way.
This is not the time to find a date, Mason! But, let’s be real, the only reason for the club scene is the fact that the series is just recreating fan favorites with new characters in a way to endear them. Though it was very cool to see Night of the Living Dead playing over Mason’s white shirt at “Sinema” which I can only assume is the hottest new gay club after “The Jungle” closed down when most of its patrons were paralyzed during the last kanima attack.
Scott actually asking “Why did you do that?” to the dread doctors after they kill their latest experiment is so…Scott. After five seasons of monsters, he is still such an innocent puppy. I will say, I like Scott taking more pain this season. This has always been an interesting device to me and I’m hoping it comes into play in some significant way in later episodes.
Some random questions I’m left with from this episode: Why does the AP bio teacher hate her students so much? Is she related to Harris? Why is Melissa the only competent person in the hospital? How can teenagers constantly get into these clubs?
I appreciate the direction of this season, but I’d be so much happier with fewer drawn-out fight scenes and less new characters. Instead, I want to see Stiles slowly unraveling with anxiety. I want to see Malia trying to become a hero like her friends. I want to see more of whatever is happening with Kira. I’d gladly sacrifice naked Parrish for this any day.
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