Teen Wolf “Condition Terminal” Review (Season 5 Episode 4)

Welcome back, fellow Teen Wolf fans. This week, the writers continued to explore what appears to be the supernatural connection between Parrish and Lydia, as he is now seeing her face in cards. Where Parrish belongs in the bestiary continues to be a fiery mystery, although phoenix continues to look like a very likely option. The special effects team sure is getting a lot of bang for their buck with the orange effects this season. I found myself somewhat frustrated with the episode’s start, as I immediately wanted to know how Lydia was after the kanima attack.

Deaton continues to be a bright beacon of common sense and wit. He interrupted a poorly timed kiss between Kira and Scott to reveal evidence of a werewolf with the talons of an eagle. He also revealed that Tracy had the claws of a werewolf with the venom and scales of a kanima. I thought that a kanima was basically a werewolf gone wrong, so I did not think that was such a shocking revelation, but clearly the writers – through Deaton – want us to think it is a big deal. It was good to see Deaton as concerned as I was as a viewer about the ramifications of a supernatural creature managing to cross a MOUNTAIN ASSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH barrier.

Based on the ever-changing Teen Wolf canon revealed in this week’s episode, the Steampunk Brigade is creating supernatural/human hybrids. Because the supernatural abilities do not come genetically (i.e., Derek Hale) or via bite (i.e., Scott), they are not restrained by MOUNTAIN ASSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH and I’m sure a ton of other safeguards meant to balance the world between supernatural and humans. The takeaway point – the rules have changed.

There is a cynical part of me that feels like all of this rule changing is just a way to advance a storyline without having to adhere to the rules the show spent 4 seasons establishing. The new creatures also allow a convenient way to incorporate Scott’s AP class, but if this is all explained by science then why would it not have been readily apparent to Deaton who just five minutes before the class scene described himself as a “man of science?” As a vet, Deaton would at least be familiar to hybrid pets. I, for one, really fancy Horgis, i.e., Corgi/Husky mixed breeds. They’re adorable.

I’m hesitant to invest in new characters and I keep forgetting the character’s name, so from now on this guy will be referred to Smugface.

Also, I don’t like the character, so he shall be Smugface until further notice. If the character manages to do something other than be an annoying, sneaky looking smug face this season, I will reconsider actually learning his name. Smugface is tied to the Steampunk and he is clearly looking to get closer to Scott by eliminating Stiles. I find myself a bit bored with this revelation and I am holding out hope that perhaps there is a more complicated relationship between Smugface and the Steampunk Brigade. I was actually more intrigued when I thought the writers were exploring some sort of creepy Single White Female twist with the character.

The main action of the episode centered on Lucas, a werewolf/scorpion hybrid. As Deaton put it, Lucas was terrifying and it took the combined efforts of Scott, Kira, Liam and Brett to take Lucas down. I continue to be bored with Scott’s “no kill” rule. He totally took the wind out of Kira’s bad ass moment. Scott was in no position to help Lucas and once again, someone else – this time the Steampunk Brigade – ended up doing the dirty deed of putting Lucas down. Teen Wolf is obviously very influenced by shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I wish that the writers would follow Buffy’s lead and not shy away from murder being part of the heroes’ reality. Hopefully the writers will use Scott stopping Kira as an opportunity to meaningfully explore conflict between the two conflicting philosophies. Knowing the show’s history, however, we will simply see Kira feeling insecure about whether or not Scott’s declaration of love was sincere and if the sentiment remains after he saw that she was willing to kill Lucas. Ugh.

Other Thoughts and Observations

– I continue to be fascinated by how spectacular nightlife is in Beacon Hills.

– I was preparing a delicious bowl of ramen noodles when the episode began and I could only hear the exchange between Lydia and Parrish. Without the visual image, the dialogue and music sounded just like softcore porn on Cinemax.

– I wish the storyline with the snarky girl that dislikes Liam was not part of this season. It is a huge, unnecessary distraction. I do not care about her and whatever her money problems are.

– Kira’s belt sword is the frontrunner for MVP this season.

– As I’ve observed in other reviews this season, it is clear that the writers have heard fan gripes and appear to be making some effort – even in passing – to address some of those issues. This week it appears the writers wanted to address concerns about the show being very self-congratulatory about its inclusion of LGBT characters, which some have argued has not been well-earned because those characters have gone underdeveloped and the show has been reluctant to explore the possibility of its core characters being homosexual or bisexual. This week’s episode served as a reminder that Beacon Hills, despite its rampant supernatural problem, is a place where we do not see conflict based on discrimination. I think you need more than hot, shirtless guys and a same-sex kiss to establish a show as being truly progressive on issues of sexuality. You can find much better examples over in the fictional worlds created by Shonda Rhimes.

Overall, I have to say I was not a big fan of “Condition Terminal.” It mostly felt like filler, as there were no meaningful advancements in the season’s central plot. Sure, we now know that Parrish and Smugface are connected to the Steampunk plot, but I would have preferred those revelations in an episode that felt more meaningful to the storyline. Typically, I can forgive a few filler episodes of Teen Wolf if they manage to be entertaining, but “Condition Terminal” fell short in that regard as well. I also think the writers need to find more for Liam to do. With Teen Wolf just getting renewed for a sixth season, the show is going to have to find a way to develop and incorporate the younger characters. At some point, the core cast is going to want to move on to new endeavors. I want Liam to feel like a fully-realized character and member of Scott’s pack – not the next version of Stiles or some ancillary member.

Until Next Moon Day!

What did you think of this week’s episode of Teen Wolf? Sound off below!