Taking Stock of Teen Wolf Season 5

Y’all know that I had to bail out of weekly Teen Wolf recaps this spring because, frankly, I got bogged down in the who, what, and most especially the when. The fifth season wrapped up last night, with its 20th episode, and whereas the predecessor Season 3 had 24 episodes and left me wanting more, this time it felt like plenty. We could have lost a couple of episodes here and there and told a tighter story.

The meandering plot this season combined Malia’s search for the Desert Wolf with the Dread Doctors and a (really) Big Bad that had long-ago ties to the Argents. That last one gave us a neat one-off that allowed Crystal Reed to come play (although not with any of her original cast) as Marie-Jeanne Valet, “The Maid of Gévaudan.” I never embraced the larger ickiness of the Doctors experimenting on teenagers, and the Desert Wolf thing got pushed way down in the queue until late into 5B.

There was also the whole “confining Lydia to Eichen and torturing her” for most of both halves of the season that could have been done a thousand other ways. That was above and beyond unnecessary. There were other ways to make everyone realize that Lydia was as powerful a weapon as Parrish. As for Parrish, we got the news that he was the Hellhound and, by the way, technically a dead man.

In short, it was a lot, and we had A LOT of characters on the board. So much so that sometimes I lost track of who was who in Theo’s pack. And Theo himself was more a nauseating menace than a genuine villain. As last night’s finale rolled around (which, by the way, my cable system did not flag as the finale), we’d found out that Mason had been consumed, so to speak, by The Beast of Gévaudan, and replaced by the millennia-old Sebastien Valet, who’d ostensibly been killed by a magical spike (which resurfaces as the cane of one of the Dread Doctors, who turns out to be the also millennia-old Marcel).

The goals were multi-fold — save Mason, defeat the Beast without killing Parrish and/or Lydia, and extract Malia from Scott’s house before her mother kills her and/or Braeden. Also in the mix, Deucalion had gotten the upper hand on Theo. who had decimated his own crew in a power-sucking spree. And Kira had thrown in with a trio of lady Skinwalkers to get her Fox under control and channel her abilities.

Jeff Davis has always been pretty expert at tying up all of his threads, so I’ll skip past the how of all of it and just say that he did it again. Scott, Lydia, Malia, Stiles, Mason, Corey, Liam, and Hayden survive and make it back to school to finish out the term. Kira goes back into the sands.

The Argents face off with guns when it’s revealed that Scott had thrown in with Deucalion to defeat Theo, and Chris knew. Gerard is none too happy and is shot, but survives. Kira opens up the earth and sends Theo back to his sister. But then we get the tease of somebody walking out of the underground lair with muddy feet. Who can it be? Oh, Jeff.

We — or I — still had some unanswered questions. In no certain order, here’s what I was left wondering:

  • Hayden’s now a werewolf (and kudos that it was done without a lot of fanfare) on top of all her other abilities. Does that make her more powerful than Scott?
  • We end with a lovely moment of Scott, Stiles, and Lydia in the library. Is that a sign of circling the wagons back to a smaller group? If so, I’m completely down with that.
  • Did Parrish survive? Where is he?
  • Did Braeden survive? Where is she?
  • Is Corinne human now, or dead?
  • What kind of shit hit the fan when Melissa saw the state of her house?
  • How has Lydia bounced back so fast from a near-lobotomy and having her throat slit? Have we established that as a Banshee she can heal fast — did I miss that? And where was her mom this time?
  • Why can nobody buy light bulbs for the hospital? (Tongue in cheek, but really.)

All in all, I loved the finale, because I’m always impressed with Jeff Davis’ ability to bring it all back to some sort of logical conclusion even though he can meander and get bogged down along the way. I really loved that Scott was saved because Sebastian saw his memories of Allison and mistook her for Marie-Jeanne and it gave Scott a window to get the upper hand.

The closing moment in the library, a round back to earlier this season when Scott carved Allison’s initials in the shelves, was a lovely touch, along with Scott sitting down with only Stiles and Lydia at the end. They (plus Allison) are where this story began. If six is the end (and we don’t know that yet), I like that we’re heading into that with them intact.

I won’t return to weekly recapping because, truth be told, it was much easier to watch without trying to parse it, but I did want to break down the finale, and the season.

Teen Wolf returns this summer. Here’s a sneak peek.



Photo and Video Courtesy of MTV

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