So, this is the season premiere of Teen Wolf… or is it the midseason premiere? I’m gonna be honest: the long hiatuses in between Teen Wolf are really starting to confuse me. I literally thought that I was going to be watching the Season 6 premiere, but whatever. Anyway, this apparent start to the second half of Teen Wolf‘s fifth season was just kind of meh. I’m not as enthused about Teen Wolf anymore, and neither are many of the other writers here, which is why we won’t be reviewing every episode this season. And I really don’t know what to say about this episode, because other than a few stand-out moments this was really just a lot more of the same for Teen Wolf—and not in a good way.
Spoilers, and a trigger warning for continued mentions of rape and sexual harassment, after the jump.
This season of Teen Wolf kicks off with Lydia still being basically tortured in Eichen House where Dr. Valack, who for some reason went from being a prisoner in Eichen to a doctor there, drilled a hole in Lydia’s head to enhance her powers. He didn’t ask her—he just drilled a hole in her head. Lydia starts having visions about Theo, who regretfully is still alive, and discovers he killed his sister to get her heart for the Dread Doctors to give him as a transplant. Why? We don’t know yet. It’s a big spooky mystery that I don’t care about, because Theo’s motivations, at this point, mean nothing to me. He’s just a dick. Speaking of Theo, he and his little pack of chimeras break into Eichen to get Lydia while Lydia tells Dr. Valack what was happening to Scott and the pack.
The show flashes back to show us how Sheriff Stilinski is dying. After having surgery, he is seemingly being poisoned, though no one knows what is happening to him. Meanwhile, Parrish has a vision that Lydia is comatose out in the woods where Theo left her after invading her mind. His vision of course involves Lydia being naked and wet and in the shower with him. Okay, so I think Lydia is actually the first of the current gang to turn eighteen (I think) so technically it’s legal. However, lusting after a minor but waiting until that minor turns eighteen in order to avoid legal issues is still predatory and a huge problem a lot of people face. Lydia is still in high school. This probably would creep me out less if Teen Wolf didn’t have a history of basically saying it’s okay for adults to prey on underaged teens. We had Derek flirting with Erica in Season 2 to convince her to be a werewolf and that was never addressed. Ethan and Aidan, despite not having finished high school, were adults dating Lydia and Danny, and that was also never shown as being problematic. The only adults who hit on teens who are actually shown as creeps are Peter and Kate, but even then, their predatory sexual actions aren’t really ever called out. Yes, Lydia isn’t underage anymore, but it still sends a bad message overall that this is something acceptable. I think it would work better if there was some sexual tension between the two, but no real relationship as of yet, which would be believable. Let Lydia date one or two other guys in college before finally coming back to Beacon Hills and hooking up with Parrish. You could have all this same tension between them without making it weird. I guess the two characters haven’t officially hooked up yet, so that could still happen, but a lot of these Marrish scenes definitely make me uncomfortable.
Moving on, Parrish finds Lydia comatose and frozen half to death and goes to look for Scott. Poor Scott, whose wounds once again aren’t healing, literally passes out in the hallway before Parrish wakes him up and tells him about Lydia. After he gets up, Scott helps Parrish get Lydia to the hospital where Stiles is just now learning that his dad has some mysterious poison running through his veins that the doctors don’t understand. Stiles’s natural response upon hearing this and seeing Scott is to attack him. Because Stiles is being a little shit. I’m sorry, I love Stiles, I do, but literally every character but Scott and Mason are letting Theo play mind games with them. I still don’t feel like this conflict between Scott and Stiles is believable at all. I get that the writers wanted to test their friendship, but I just don’t think having them split up over misunderstandings is the way to go. Even if it did work, I don’t think it should last this long. It amazes me that Stiles is still blaming Scott for shit at this point. It’s just poor characterization. But eventually Stiles is pulled off Scott (who isn’t fighting back, mind you) by Melissa and Liam’s father (who is the Sheriff’s doctor) and then Stiles, Scott, Parrish, and Mama McCall try to figure out a plan. Stiles and Scott decide to confront Theo but keep from Theo that Scott is still alive to have an advantage. Mama McCall and Parrish stay behind to watch over Lydia and Sheriff Stilinski.
We do finally see what puts Lydia in Eichen House as Dr. Valack convinces Lydia’s mother to put Lydia there, saying she’ll be safe. We don’t know whether this is Valack mind raping Lydia’s mom, or if it’s Lydia’s mom’s own problems believing in and dealing with the supernatural (which she knows exists) leading her to make rash decisions, but it seems heavily implied that Lydia’s mom is being manipulated. Parrish comes by too late to stop Valack and declares he’ll get Lydia out of Eichen if he has to break through the walls. Because seriously, how does Eichen still have any support, patients, or funding? They are terrible.
Scott and Stiles learn from Theo that the Sheriff was probably poisoned by one of the remaining chimeras. Scott calls Malia, against Stiles’s wishes, to help track the chimera down. Apparently the weird distance between them in their meeting last episode was Malia and Stiles breaking up. I’m glad they knew that, ’cause I didn’t. Don’t you have to say the words “we’re breaking up” or some variation of that? Is that not how the kids do it these days? I just assumed the two had a fight. Scott is apparently just as confused as me and tells Malia he thinks he and Stiles broke up too, breaking my heart and my OTP. He tries to let Malia know that he’s there for her if she wants to talk, but Malia yells at him, because again, everyone but Scott and Mason have pretty much allowed Theo to win at this point. And again, this is all drama that could be solved by simple communication, which Scott seems to now realize, but no one else does. Ugh!
They find the chimera and discover that one of the poisonous stabby bone things from his arms broke off in Sheriff Stilinski. Stiles calls Melissa who has the doctor (Liam’s dad) operate, and Papa Stilinski is saved! Malia and Scott, however, are facing down the Dread Doctors who are after this last chimera, but Scott, being smart, called for backup and Papa Argent shows up to save the day. And I cheered because finally we get some more adult supervision. Poor Melissa was holding down the fort all by herself earlier in the season, especially with Deaton MIA, and Ms. Martin and Sheriff Stilinski being difficult. So it’s nice to see Chris Argent around again. Though if trailers for this season are to be believed, he hearkens Gerard Argent coming back to the show. Yuck! Like literally, I’d take anyone but boring-ass Gerard. As much as I hate Peter, he fits with Malia’s storyline. Hell, even Derek should return with Braeden, but instead we get Gerard. Again I say, yuck!
During all this, Mason and Liam are being awesome. Liam feels bad about what he did to
his daddy Scott, but is more concerned about what happened to Hayden, and the two begin a search to find her body, which means they have to find the Nemeton. Mason is amazing and finds a map with the ley lines in Beacon Hills showing where the Nemeton should be, but the Nemeton doesn’t want to be found so even with the map they can’t find anything. But Mason then realizes the tree attracts magical creatures and tells Liam to look with his werewolf eyes and the two find the Nemeton almost instantly.
Wait! Hold up! Mason who just this season learned about the supernatural figured out how to find the Nemeton in a day? In just a few hours, really? But fucking Deaton, adult and trained emissary who knows about magic and magical creatures, suggested ritual fucking sacrifice to find the Nemeton? You know, the same thing that brought the nogitsune into the world and killed Allison? Is this a plot hole? Did we go through all that shit in Season 3A and 3B just for someone to come along and say, “you just need a map and werewolf vision, actually!” I’m just… I’m beyond words.
My biggest problem with this episode, though, is the continued torture of Lydia. She gets attacked physically all the time, bad guys make rapey comments and do rapey things around her all the time, and everyone at this point has used Lydia or invaded her mind somehow. Now she is being tortured in Eichen and has a hole drilled in her head only to deal with fucking Theo again. The show is just torturing Lydia. Worst still, it seems that her exploitation is almost built into her powers. Lydia is never empowered to be a banshee. She can rarely ever use her abilities when she is feeling well and confident, but she can almost always use them when someone is torturing her or manipulating her. I’m sick of it. I’m just done. The episode ends with Theo about to steal Lydia, but mentions what he really wants is a hellhound, only to have an angry looking super-powered Parrish break down the door to Eichen presumably to save Lydia.
Overall, the episode, while really problematic, ableist, sexist, and riddled with plot holes …was just also kind of boring for a season premiere. It didn’t feel like the show had a big opening to hook us on the second half of the season. We didn’t even get to see the supposed big bad monster that the Dread Doctors cooked up. My main disappointment with the direction and writing of the show in general is that everything is so dark and serious now. Remember when Scott was confused by Jackson’s juice comment, or the time when the characters went to gay bars to find a giant lizard and Stiles made friends with some drag queens? Or even when usual relationships and high school shenanigans interfered with werewolf business and vice versa? I liked when the show didn’t take itself so seriously, and I liked when it wasn’t trying to be so dark and edgy. The premise of the show is so silly. It’s about teen werewolves. That’s awesome. Can we go back to that? I like certain things about these newer seasons, so don’t get me wrong, but the show isn’t fun anymore. It’s just upsetting.
See you at the season finale, Teen Wolf fans.