This review contains spoilers.
5.19 The Beast Of Beacon Hills
One of the reasons why the fifth season of Teen Wolf has been a little bit disappointing was the lack of humour. However, with the brief return of Coach, it seems like Teen Wolf has decided to add a little more comedy back into its mix of comedy and horror. It’s still a show full of rampaging monsters, blood splattering, and weird steampunk torture devices, but occasionally the show cracks jokes, too. This week felt like a bit more like what we got from the second season of Teen Wolf, right down to Stiles being a bit bumbling and adorable, with plenty of tension with Lydia.
Teen Wolf season 5 feels like something of a throwback (perhaps a last hurrah for some of the original cast members), and there’s a reason for that. We’re seeing a lot of the show’s previous elements come back into play. We’ve got a rampaging monster (season 1), an Alpha trying to get his power back (season 4), a kid who is secretly a monster (both season 2 and season 3B), an evil pack of monsters challenging Scott (season 3A), and the constant battle of teens versus their own powers. Gerard is back, Chris Argent is back, Deucalion is back… we’re just missing a Jackson cameo and we’d have the whole gang back together.
However, one of the fun things about this season’s collection of villains is that they’re not working together, they’re working at cross purposes. Well, the Dread Doctors were working with Theo, while he suited them, but now that they’ve brought The Beast back to life, they might find that their quest for true evil (over Theo’s banal evil) is the kind of thing that would get an electromagnetic head ripped off of a pair of steampunk shoulders. As is turns out, The Beast is something that not even the Dread Doctors can control, and that means all of Beacon Hills, no matter what their D&D alignment, is in serious trouble.
This week’s episode is split in lots of different pieces, stories clicking out in fragments and fits, some connecting and some remaining loose, ready to be worked in again. It all comes together in a fairly satisfying battle scene; we see the Argents, Scott’s pack, and Theo’s pack all coming together to take on Mason. It establishes the Beast as a legitimate threat, tossing around both Scott—who remains kind of a weak Alpha wolf—and one of the Dread Doctors, who are much more dangerous and much more capable fighters than any of our teenagers or our hunters. The more I see the Beast, the less I find the CGI distracting; either they’re making it look better as they get it established or it’s just more familiar to me so it doesn’t stand out.
Either way, Eric Wallace’s script does a fine job of working in some traditional Teen Wolf comedy with some of the tension and terror, and Tim Andrew knows his way around a fight scene. The invasion of the Desert Wolf into Scott’s house, hunting Malia and Braeden, was very well done, and Kira’s brief interaction with the Skinwalkers was also very tense, more tense perhaps than the Beast’s rampages were, if only because we know The Beast isn’t going to be killing too many people until Mason loses control to Sebastien Valet. It doesn’t seem like a whole lot of progress was made, but at the same time, bringing everyone together with a common enemy, be they the Doctors or Theo and Scott. If this truly is a dangerous threat, then it makes sense that petty differences like, say, trying to ruin the lives of a bunch of teenagers to make yourself into an alpha werewolf, can be forgotten. At a certain point, survival trumps anything else, as it should.
Still, aside from the death of one of the doctors, nothing much of meaning happens. People get beaten up and agreements are made for limited cooperation, but aside from that, it’s a lot of ineffectually hunting for Mason in the tunnels, which is really starting to get old. Maybe it’s my illness, maybe it’s my limited attention span, but my mind was wandering throughout the episode and I found it hard to focus.
After a couple of solid weeks in a row, it’s a disappointing step back. However, the season finale is next week, so that promises to be something crazy, and hopefully a stack of dead characters to leave off the call sheet for next season. Teen Wolf needs to be pared down. Time for a reaping.