Teen Wolf “Damnatio Memoriae” Review (Season 5 Episode 12)

Previously on Teen Wolf:

– Lydia was catatonic.

– Jordan was revealed as a fiery harbinger of death.

– Theo was still the worst.

– The Dread Doctors managed to somehow be slightly worse than Theo.

– Very little made sense.

– Upshot: We got the return of Chris Argent and the gun show.

– Upshot: Malia continued to be practical and effective in her assistance.

– Upshot: Mason and Liam were adorable and pretty entertaining.

On to this week’s episode, “Damnatio Memoriae.”

Fancy Title, Very Little Payoff

As the writers have done in the past, this episode had a lofty title that did not payoff until the final moments of the episode. Damnatio memoriae, is a phrase Scott and Stiles discovered as they explored the space where the doomsday beast. According to Stiles, it means an old memory has been resurrected. Although the significance of the “old memory” did not become relevant until the end of the episode, I am genuinely interested in the beast’s connection to the Argent family and what that means for some of the fun casting news revealed for this season. I have long wanted the Teen Wolf writers to meaningfully capitalize on the show’s families with long ties to the supernatural and to Beacon Hills. I hope the payoff with the Argents will be more rewarding than what we have seen so far with the Hales.

The Band Is Getting Back Together – Finally
After closing last season full of insecurity, nearly killed by his beta, alienated from his best friend and separated from the remainder of his pack, Scott was living the horrible irony of being a True Alpha with no pack. Of course, there was never any real concern that the gang would reunite – it was just a matter of how long we would have to wait.

Thanks to Sheriff Stilinksi, we got an important first step in reuniting Scott’s pack. The sheriff FINALLY talked some sense into Stiles about the basics of self defense. Stiles got a long overdue opportunity to explain his feelings and guilt about killing someone in self-defense who he harbored a desire to actually kill (with good reason). Ashby and O’Brien were unsurprisingly great during this scene, but I am still frustrated that this long overdue conversation was delayed for the purposes of having Stiles forgive Scott. By the way, what exactly did Scott do to Stiles? You know what, I don’t care. I’m just glad the best friends are back on the same page.

I have more thoughts on the reconciliation effort that I will discuss later. For now, I’m glad that Scott is determined to reunite his pack, one member at a time. First up – Kira. I LOVED the brief preview we got of Kira and Noshiko. I hope that we get a satisfying payoff to whatever is about to go down in the desert.

I Have Questions
And now for the question portion of this review. As a long time viewer of Teen Wolf, I am used to watching episodes and having more questions than answers by the end. Season 5, however, has tested the limits of my patience with this viewing experience and I think it is one of many problems plaguing this season. On that note, here are my lingering questions from this week’s episode:

– Why was it necessary for kanima girl to kill the investigator from 5A?

– Is Malia keeping secrets and Scott accepting her cryptic responses and multiple heartbeats really logical or is it just a plot-driven delay required to buy Scott some time to deal with Theo and the Dread Doctors before turning his attention to the Desert Wolf? I’m certain it is the latter and I am not a fan of that kind of writing.

– What happened during the showdown with Team Theo and Jordan at Echo House? What was the point of that? I felt like there would be some follow-up to that confrontation in this episode and instead, we just picked up with catatonic Lydia all alone.

– What is the deal with Scott? Is his lack of strength and inability to heal a reflection of his inner guilt/insecurity about what has happened to his pack? This would actually make sense and would be a character beat I could accept.

– I understand that Liam feels extremely guilty about what happened with Scott, but Scott has never shown Liam anything to justify him spending damn near two episodes chasing behind Hayden (who repeatedly rebuffed him) instead of trying to approach Scott. Consider that more of a rant about something I’m calling into question.

– Why is Gerard just throwing dirty tissues in the floor? I know he’s in pain and he’s salty about his condition, but use a trash can!

– Why have Liam go to Dr. Deaton’s office to look for Scott when you know it is going to make those of us wonder who is caring for all of the sick animals in Beacon Hills?!? There is NO way Scott is going to work on a regular basis. No freaking way! You know why I know Scott has not gone to work in awhile? Because he hasn’t said a damn thing about Deaton being missing, which really should have been apparent to someone before we got the Malia/Braeden scene.

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This week’s award goes to the Teen Wolf writers. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely entertained by this episode. However, this season continues to be plagued by eye roll-inducing plot contrivances that are a little less tolerable this season, at least for me, because there are not enough good distractions (read: a satisfying villain) to allow me to overlook the contrivances. Last week, it was the loose and fast rules of Nemeton visibility. This week, we got a whole heap of special yellow wolfsbane shenanigans. I get that it might be plausible that it was a cure for Gerard and Chris had no incentive to use it because hey, Ol’ Mountain Ash is an evil son of a bitch. I just find myself a wee bit skeptical about this magical cure, given how we’ve seen it used on Kate and her evil band of berserkers.

On an unrelated note, I also find it hard to buy that we’ve spent this much time at Eichen House and you would think that Peter Hale was never a character on this show.

And on another unrelated note, what was the point of Theo sending his “pack” to try to kill Scott as an opening act to his “let’s work together” at night pitch? That literally made NO sense!

Final Thoughts And Observations
Despite my gripes with some of the writing shenanigans, I thought this was a pretty entertaining episode. I hate Theo and still want him to go away forever, however, I like the dynamics with Corey and Hayden – both of whom clearly have issues with Theo’s “do what I say” approach to leadership. Although I have ZERO interest in Theo do anything this season other than having his head crushed by Lydia’s scream, I am warming up to the idea of Hayden and Corey becoming members of Scott’s pack.

You know what else I really loved about this episode? The introduction of Meredith as Lydia’s Obi Wan Kenobi. As much as I would really love to dig in and watch Lydia’s jedi training, she needs to learn fast and get back to her pack.

Random observation: I had COMPLETELY forgotten that we last saw Dr. Deaton with the Desert Wolf.

Until Next Moon Day!
What did you think of this week’s episode of Teen Wolf? How adorable was Scott’s attempt to recreate a Stiles-like mystery board? Sound off below!