Teen Wolf “The Sword and the Spirit” Review (Season 5 Episode 14)

Previously on Teen Wolf:
– Kira’s back.
– Malia teamed up with Braeden in her pursuit of the Desert Wolf. Scott sensed Malia’s rage towards her mother, but decided to give her space for the moment.
– Chris healed Gerard “Mountain Ash” Argent with a special batch of neon yellow, glow in the dark wolsbane. The Argents then embarked upon their mission to sort out the Dread Doctor nonsense.
– We learned that the “beast” currently haunting Beacon Hills once nearly destroyed the Argent family and is the reason hunting became the longstanding family tradition.

And now for a few thoughts on “The Sword and the Spirit” . . .

The Beast And Other Dread-ful Developments
This week’s episode contained a healthy dose of exposition, by Chris and Gerard, we learned that the Beast was once rumored to be stopped by the spear in the hands of a young woman.

Overall, I really liked the scenes with the Argents. J.R. Bourne (Chris Argent) did a great job at reflecting both fear and resolve. Michael Hogan (Gerard Argent) chews the scenery in all the right ways. It came as no surprise that Gerard would know all about the Dread Doctors’ frequency. Of freaking course he would.

Apparently, all of the supernatural have frequencies and you can tap into that frequency with a nifty gadget if you are a hunter or you can channel them through memories if you are supernatural. If you are sensing a bit of sarcasm in my discussion of the frequencies, then you are absolutely picking up what I’m putting down. I am not a fan of these plot-driven contrivances. Why, you ask? Because somewhere down the road we will question why the characters are not using this frequency fix to address a problem and the writers will likely not offer any logical explanation. It’s maddening.

Although I certainly appreciate the doom and dread the characters feel because of the Beast, the effects used to create it do nothing to make it menacing. It almost looks like a cartoon creature plopped into a live action shot. Think Paula Abdul and MC Skat Cat in the Opposites Attract video.

Okay, it’s not that bad, but it’s not good. To their credit, the show runners do a pretty good job at compensating for the wonky appearance of the Beast by having it crash in unexpectedly. I genuinely felt fear when it came crashing through the wall like the Kool-Aid man and nearly took our poor Dr. Deaton away from us. All signs point to an inevitable showdown between the Beast and the Hellhound, so I would forgive the show for being conservative with the special effects budget so that the fight can be properly depicted.

Lydia’s Jedi Training
Lydia’s jedi training with Meredith continued this week and while some of it felt a bit tedious, I was happy to see her finally make some progress. Of course, I forgot all about the flash forwards in which we still saw her in Eichen House as I was watching, so I was crushed to see that she was caught. I’m all for Lydia continuing to get more agency and increasing in her overall badassery. There is a great opportunity for the writers to put her at the forefront of the battle with the Dread Doctors in a meaningful and exciting way. Here’s hoping they will.

My biggest pet peeve about the Lydia scenes was the visit from Stiles with the song, “Where’s My Love,” playing in the background. I have no relationship pairing preferences on the show, however, I hate pandering – particularly on shows with fandoms that are very passionate about ‘shipping. The writers had done a pretty good job at easing up on the pandering in the second half of this season and I hope that trend will continue.

You Should Have Listened To Braeden
Oh, Malia. Why enlist the advice of the bounty hunter who spent years searching for your mother if you are not going to heed her advice?

Much to my chagrin, Theo was smack dab in the middle of the Desert Wolf storyline this week. I hate his involvement for two reasons: (1) because Theo is the worst and (2) because this subplot in last night’s episode would have been much better had it involved a character with a more logical tie to Malia and the Desert Wolf. The plot would have made way more sense with Derek or Peter involved. I understand, however, that Tyler Hoechlin is gone and apparently Ian Bohen is not on contract – or at least he was not for this episode. In their absence, we got Theo shoehorned into the storyline because he evidently needed some secret talons that only the Desert Wolf could procure. Great.

Braeden picked up the exposition duties from the Argents by explaining to us that the Desert Wolf lost her powers, was not as fast or strong as she used to be, but she’s heavily armed and a sure shot. The Desert Wolf did not look too weak in the standoff with her daughter, so I shudder at the idea of her at full strength.

The Desert Wolf blames Malia for the loss of her powers and is seeking to reclaim them by killing Malia. I can kinda see how she and Peter hit it off, considering their shared penchant for literally snatching the life and power from people. I don’t know if Deaton was lying or telling the truth with his “it has to be a full moon” bit, but he bought Malia a few minutes of life, which then allowed the Beast to come in and break up the party. Although I’m definitely intrigued by the Desert Wolf storyline, I would really love it if she would take a plot-dictated timeout until the Dread-ful nonsense is resolved.

Other Supernatural Thoughts, Questions and/or Observations
– I cannot keep up with what revelations are still unknown, etc., so I was curious as to whether or not anyone told the Sheriff that Parrish sometimes shifted into a dead body snatching hellhound. I know that at least Stiles is aware of Parrish’s habit of picking up dead bodies and taking them to the Nemeton. I raise this point because I was concerned at the prospect of Parrish free to come and pick up those twenty-three bodies discovered at the start of the episode.

– Speaking of twenty-three dead bodies, HOW ARE PEOPLE STILL LIVING IN BEACON HILLS?!? How many dead bodies need to turn up before you pack up your crap and leave? If the dead bodies are not enough, what about the fully armed members of the police department patrolling the high school?

– Scott’s reaction to Gerard’s new lease on life was great. Posey, Hogan and Bourne were all great in that scene.

– Thank you Ryan Kelley for working so hard on your body. Thank you, Teen Wolf writers, for finding endless reasons to highlight how hard Ryan works out.

– Scott knew that Deaton was missing. I take no issue with this, as Scott should have noticed it. Did we at home watching know that Scott was aware of this? The Teen Wolf writers don’t really dabble in subtlety, so it was pleasantly surprising to see how Posey and Gilliam played the scene. I liked it, along with Scott’s declaration that the pack was back and it was time to get Lydia. Yes!!!

– Great to see Mr. Yukimura again. His lesson about the sword and the spirit could apply to just about all the members of Scott’s pack, as they struggle find balance between their supernatural prowess and their personal identity.

– Of course this show would ruin the return of my Demon Wolf fave by having him aligned with Theo. Also, Scott had no way of knowing that Darchifer’s healing was temporary, so why be mad about it? I know Duecalion did not mention Derek for Tyler Hoechlin no longer being on the show reasons, but shouldn’t he be just as mad at him? I was so excited about the return of DW, but I am not jazzed at all about the direction his character appears to be taking. Like the Desert Wolf storyline, I think Duecalion’s return would make more sense in the context of a Hale family-centered plot. This feels like a lot of wasted potential and storytelling already.

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There will be several winners this week.

First up, Liam. Malia gives you an important message to share with Scott. What do you do? Chase down the potentially dangerous lead all by yourself. Thanks goodness for #StalkerDad Scott, who followed his reckless Beta and likely saved him from harm or potentially walking around the same route four hours and hours. LOL. Kudos to the Teen Wolf social media team for the hilarious #StalkerDad. I know why Liam made the careless decision, but his good intentions do not a wise decision make.

The award is also going to Malia this week, which pains me because the werecoyote is growing on me this season. Malia gets the award for teaming up with Theo, despite full knowledge of him being the actual worst, and after this exchange:
Malia: Why should I trust you?
Theo: You shouldn’t.
Stupid, smug Theo logic ensues and Malia consents. Ugh. Malia should watch Game of Thrones. Theo is a far less likable, much dumber Petyr Baelish. Baelish constantly tells people not to trust him and woe be unto those stupid enough to do so. I digress.

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