This review contains spoilers.
Teen Wolf is a show that seems to add to its rogues gallery every season. It’s a bit like a superhero show in that respect; rarely will you get a villain who is completely and totally killed, if only because Scott is trying to do things a different way than other werewolves throughout history have done these things. In a sense, that’s been a very good decision for him; he’s showing compassion and winning over friends left and right because, at his core, he’s a good person in spite of his power and strength. Sure, that makes it a little difficult to defeat super-strong villains like The Beast, but where some would use pure brawn, Scott’s actually using his brain.
That’s right, Scott’s using his brain, not Stiles’ brain or Lydia’s brain. The Beast has proven, time and again, that he’s too tough an enemy to be taken down by a werewolf, or two werewolves, or a banshee and some werewolves, or a banshee and some werewolves and a couple of gun-toting hunters and a collection of chimeras. Everyone working together will be needed to stop The Beast, and that leads to some fun twists and turns along the way as other villains are dispatched in various creative ways, sometimes without being killed, and sometimes while being dragged into a nebulous demon space.
One of the criticisms I have had with this half of the Teen Wolf season is how scattered it felt. Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing, and there wasn’t much focus. After all, Theo’s whole goal was to get everyone separated, and it worked really well, both narratively and in universe. Everyone’s had their own problems going on for the bulk of the season, only for everyone to pull back together at the end for the big finale episode. The only outliers remain Malia and Braeden, stars of a spin-off show that I didn’t know I needed, but everyone else coalesces around The Beast in a very satisfying way that I didn’t expect.
I guess I have to give Jeff Davis credit; the twists and turns didn’t always make sense, but at the same time, it was satisfying to see Scott actually thinking ahead of people rather than simply following along with what other people were doing. The twist that Chris and Scott had worked together to use Gerard wasn’t telegraphed, but it felt natural; these two would be close after all they have gone through. However, the twist that Deucalion was working with Scott too was, well… that one came out of nowhere, but at the same time, Scott let Deucalion walk away and gave him back his eyesight. Why wouldn’t Scott have that favour to call in? Any excuse to bring back Gideon Emery is a good one. It’s also a nice development for Scott that he seems to be planning ahead for every scenario, and even is able to help out Malia and Braeden without losing focus on The Beast.
As always, Teen Wolf leads with its visuals. As strong as the writing was this week, and as fun of a season finale as this one was, and it feels like a step up from the last few episodes, it’s also a visual treat thanks to Russell Mulcahy. One of my favorite shots of the fifth season is the shot during the fight between Malia and the Desert Wolf. Braeden is injured, and mom and daughter are back to back on opposite sides of a wall, each ready for the other to turn the corner and neither willing to be the one to make the decision. The other action scenes feel cleaner, well choreographed and appealingly violent while still somehow being discreet. The way Theo kills Tracy is opening seductive, shifting easily from making out to murdering without even shifting positions.
The closing moments of the episode’s main conflict, as everyone turns on The Beast in an attempt to save Beacon Hills, feel very rewarding. There’s a happy ending, of course, with The Beast being vanquished by Parrish with a little help from Scott, Liam, Lydia, the Argents, and pretty much everyone except for Theo, who gets his neck broken by Deucalion and then ends up getting dragged off by the skinwalkers as part of some agreement with Kira, I think? The Dread Doctors seem mostly dead, save for the escaped ancient Nazi from the green liquid tanks, Deucalion was a good guy the whole time, and Kira wanders off into the desert to learn how to control her fox powers, presumably to come back by next season (or not). The closing moments, the three remaining original Teen Wolf characters, is a nice reminder of what the show ought to be focusing on: Scott, Stiles, and Lydia, with a nice little reminder that Allison used to be a very important part of the show.
I would love to see a more focused Teen Wolf next season, but I’m fairly sure that won’t be happen. So long as the show remains reliably crazy, then I’m all for it. For all its flaws, it remains one of the more entertaining television shows on these days, and if they can delve more into Scott’s darker nature and make him a little more willing to get his hands/claws dirty, so much the better. A little less romance, a little more comedy, and plenty of crazy twists and turns.