Teen Wolf season 5 episode 14 review: The Sword And The Spirit

The mission to rescue Lydia is the focus of this week's Teen Wolf season 5B episode, The Sword And The Spirit...

This review contains spoilers.

5.14 The Sword And The Spirit

If season 5A was all about the break down of Scott’s pack, then 5B has been all about picking up the pieces and slowly putting them back together. The gang is almost all back, as the final scene powerfully reminds us. The miscommunication is over, and everyone is on the same page, which reads ‘let’s rescue Lydia’.

Not one to be a damsel in distress, Lydia attempts her own rescue. We may have waited fourteen episodes for it, but the opening of season five now finally makes sense. Was it worth it? I’m on the fence. It’s definitely a cool and compelling scene, so I understand why they used it in the premiere, but I have not been a fan of all the time jumping in regards to Lydia’s plotline. For the most part, it’s been confusing with little pay off. Did we learn anything new seeing the scene again, now that we have context? Not really. In the first episode we understand that she has banshee powers, and when she states that all her friends are going to die, we are still as mystified. We don’t really know how yet.

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What was interesting, and that I only picked up on re-watching the first episode again, was that Aiden is the reason Lydia’s escape fails, which is not shown in the shorter fight version of The Sword And The Spirit. Aiden tells Lydia that her treatment is not done. Is he working with Dr Valack, referring to her need to hone her powers? Teen Wolf is already balancing a lot of characters, but hopefully they will be able to integrate him into the plotline.

Although Teen Wolf may have Scott as the lead, it’s really the female characters that shine on this show. Not to be outdone by Lydia’s kickass scene, Malia has her own meaty plotline this episode. Driven by her desire to kill her mother, Malia teams up with Theo, and surprising no one, it backfires on her. These two have undeniable chemistry, so although Theo is clearly evil, it’s always interesting to see them together. Even if it’s watching him convince Malia to stick eye gouging goggles onto her face, or shooting her with a shotgun. (Theo might need some lessons on how to tell a girl you like them.)

However, the real scene is the confrontation between Malia and her mother AKA the desert wolf. Both trying to kill each other, it’s not your usual mother-daughter reunion. Some of the dialogue is brutal. “I killed them because of you”. This line perfectly encapsulates Malia’s need to do away with her mother. Not only does she want revenge, but she also wants to purge her guilt. Corrine also tells her “you don’t have a name,” right before she tries to destroy her. It is very rare to show a mother figure this remorseless and cold on a TV show. Generally it’s okay to show ruthless or complicated father figures, but normally TV mothers, even the evil ones, are shown to love their children. Teen Wolf’s decision to make Malia’s mother bad is almost revolutionary, but really it shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the diverse number of female characters represented on this show.

With the Beast still roaming free, Theo enlists the help of an old familiar face, Deucalion. A stand out villain from season 3, his delivery of “I want his eyes on the tips of my claws, I want the eyes of Scott McCall” was wickedly evil. Although the show should really focus on paring down its list of characters, having Deucalion around will help make the baddies more interesting, as after 14 episodes and not a single word out of the Dread Doctors, they’re getting boring.

With Scott’s pack on the mend and new blood pumped into the villains, 5B is on the right track. 

Ron Hogan is away. Read his review of the previous episode, Codominance, here.

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