Teen Wolf “Credible Threat” Review (Season 5 Episode 17)

Previously on Teen Wolf . . .

– After several botched attempts, Lydia was FINALLY freed from the Eichen House! Hooray!
– Dr. Valack’s time on the show came to a mind blowing end. Of course, if he pops up again regenerated and rejuvenated, it would come as no surprise considering no one on this show stays dead – unless you’re Erica or Boyd.
– The writers continued to waste Gideon Emery (Deucalion), much to my disappointment.

On to this week’s episode, “Credible Threat.”

Parrish Seeks An Assist
The show opened up with a monologue from Parrish that basically revealed to viewers what was already known:
– He wanders out at night, appearing to have a purpose.
– He appears to be in a trance when doing so, which would be totally be chalked up to sleepwalking if it weren’t for the supernatural element.
– He burns things.

It always frustrates me when show writers have such little faith in the ability of viewers to retain details. I will allow it, if the writing and revelations are subtle, but Teen Wolf does not dabble in subtlety. We have repeatedly seen what Parrish is capable of when the Hellhound takes over. Moving on.

Parrish’s exposition concludes with Parrish asking Chris Argent to follow him because he needs to know where he’s going and what he’s doing. I thought that Stiles (possibly also Theo) had figured out already what Parrish was up to at night and that he was not responsible for any of the recent murders in Beacon Hills. I suppose it can’t hurt to double check.

Kudos to Parrish, for having the sense to do what I often wish Scott’s pack would do every time they are faced with a supernatural-related mystery – reach out to those in your circle with experience. Anyhow, at Parrish’s request, Chris tracks him with assistance from Scott, Stiles and Liam.

In addition to Parrish being smart enough to seek help from Chris, I liked that the writers incorporated the Patient Weredad/Impatient Uncle/Curious Werechild dynamic between Stiles, Liam and Scott. Sprayberry (Liam) does a good job at playing the eager “are we there yet” role, while O’Brien is always entertaining when Stiles when responding to Liam’s often wide-eyed innocence with sarcasm and exasperation.

They trio meets up with Chris, who reveals that Parrish was moving too fast and he lost him. You had ONE job, Chris. ONE job. The trail soon turns into one lined by bodies and the Teen Wolf special effects team upped the gruesome ante by showing a poor boy ripped in half by The Beast. The sight of the bodies was very reminiscent of the doomsday picture in which everybody is dead.

The collection of dead bodies on the bus continues to raise concerns I have about parenting and life choices in Beacon Hills. Sure, the scene was gory and it reinforced the brutal, deadly nature of the Beast, but it also made me wonder why no one was out looking for the people on the bus. Based on what we saw, Parrish took his stroll in the middle of the night after falling asleep, so I would guess it’s pretty late. If I had gone out and was still not accounted for that night, there would be a search party at the school, at the police station, you name it. But I digress. I’m sure there was some perfectly logical explanation. Sure.

Too Many Qs and Not Enough As
So it looks like the Hellhound and the Beast were about to get into some very entertaining fisticuffs and it was at that moment that the – writers, editors, I don’t know who to blame – decided that it would be a great time to cut away to the McCall house. What ensued left me with a whole bunch of Qs and not enough As by the episode’s end. Here goes:

– Why cut away so abruptly? Why do the show runners keep doing this? I thought the scene at the high school was a flash forward, but found myself unsure after Lydia found Parrish badly beaten in the library. Perhaps the MTV media player skipped an important transition scene by accident. I’d love to get other thoughts on the transition from the school to the McCall house.
– Why was Braeden protecting Malia at the McCall house?
– Do we think that Deaton was correct about taking Malia’s powers on the full moon or did he shout that out as a stall tactic?
– Where exactly were the Yukimuras when Kira and Scott were having a very grown up sleepover? Do either one of her parents strike you as the type to be okay with Scott just laying up in their daughter’s bed?
– Remember when this show used to go out of its way to show that the teens were using condoms? On a network that boasts of its contribution to lowering teenage pregnancy via Teen Mom, it would be nice to get back to that – if we really must endure these sexy time scenes.
– With Melissa out at work and Scott at Kira’s, I suppose that somehow made the McCall residence the ideal place to protect Malia from her mom without her having to raise any suspicions with her dad. That kinda explains things, but has the McCall family home not suffered enough? Seriously, what kind of homeowners insurance does Melissa have? Based on the Benefactor season when the writers repeatedly reminded us that everyone was struggling financially, I would assume that Melissa cannot cover the damage done by the supernatural out-of-pocket.

And with that last question/tangent, it’s probably a good time to get back to the regularly scheduled program.

Questionable Parenting
Nope. This has nothing to do with the Yukimuras (possibly) allowing Scott to sleep over. And surprisingly, it has nothing to do Natalie Martin. Corey tells Mason that he’s about to pull a Danny/Ethan and leave town. I guess it’s more of an Ethan, as he’s actually announcing his departure. Danny just ghosted with no goodbye, no forwarding address, nothing. Mason, who is delightful in his role as one of the few characters who raises logical/sensible points, wondered what Corey’s parents would make of his abrupt departure. Evidently Corey might actually have the worst parents in Beacon Hills, as they barely noticed that there son was dead, or at least mysteriously absent. Poor Corey. Why can’t this child have nice things, like a parent or two that gives a crap?

Despite his questionable parenting, Corey appears to have a pretty good head on his shoulders. He’s got enough sense to look at the damage done to him by the Hellhound and conclude that it is time to get the hell out of Beacon Hills. Sweet, precious, optimistic Mason begs Corey to stay and survive with him and then he utters a sentence that made me cackle out loud for about 10 minutes straight – “Scott has a plan.”

Oh, Mason. You sweet, summer child.

Dread-ful Frequencies

While being unintentionally hilarious as he spoke with optimism and confidence in Scott’s plan, Mason realized that the Dread Doctors apparently always show up near a high-frequency transmission. Between Teen Wolf and The Flash, I’ve taken in a lot of frequency talk lately, but if I understood correctly, Mason expects that people will die because the news vans at the lacrosse game will create a high-frequency area.

Something, something . . . the Dread Doctors are using the frequencies to speed up the teen host’s shift into full-on beast mode. And then Lydia said something that also made me cackle – she compared it to PETER FREAKING HALE shifting into his full werewolf form!

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The characters spent how many episodes this season in Eichen House? All of that time at the location where Peter was supposed to be housed, alongside Dr. Valack and no one said a single word. That was unintentional comedy gold.

So the Dread Doctors are trying to prepare the Beast for his inevitable showdown with the Hellhound by speeding up his shifting. Or something like that. In another hilarious callback, Stiles pulls out the partial print taken from the hospital when the Beast shifted from were-form to a teen wearing a size 10 sneaker and no one at the table asked how that was even possible. I do not recall seeing a single human footprint, so the beast just went from paws to sneakers. Liam suggests that the pack use the information they have in order to capture the Beast.

Hello, Old Friend
You guys – I totally forgot lacrosse was still a thing! Ha!

Indeed, lacrosse is still a thing that the teens do at Beacon Hills High School and despite spending very little time at school during regular hours, several members of the Scooby gang are still members of the team.

Coach Finstock was MIA during the first half of the season, which we learned in last night’s episode was due to a seven-month stint in rehab. When Stiles and Scott found Finstock, it looked as though Orny Adams was doing an impression of Holland Roden in a catatonic state. Along with Mason, Coach Finstock was one of the few characters to actually say things this episode that were reasonable and made sense. Never wanting to return to Beacon Hills after getting an arrow to the stomach is a totally normal reaction – if you overlook the brief period when Finstock actually did return to teach and coach following that event.

It was also funny to hear Finstock brag about his phenomenal health insurance after we previously heard him complaining about the same insurance company not wanting to cover the costs of the arrow removal.

Takeaway point: Scott and Stiles get Finstock off the “bench” so that he can show up, forfeit the lacrosse game and allow them an opportunity to catch the Beast with minimal risk to innocent people. And once again, it was time for one of my favorite Teen Wolf segments that I affectionately refer to as “the pack comes up with a plan that goes horribly wrong.” The plan in a nutshell:
– Finstock forfeits the game.
– Malia takes out the cables on the news van.
– Mason looks for a bloody size 10 shoe.
– The pack enlists Brett’s sister for help with scanning size 10 shoes for blood because Brett having a sister is apparently a thing now too.

Scott also revealed that he completely healed when the pack was all reunited, which . . . I guess. I suspected this was where the writers were going and I’m not exactly sold on this being more than a plot contrivance. I thought this carried more weight when Scott could not heal because he thought Derek was dead. Oh well.

As expected, the plan goes tits up. Kira loses her grip on her foxy side and the pack uses Brett to get her out of the game (and out of the plan). Malia manages to take out the cables, but not before getting sidelined by a visit from her mother. Her mother is a terrible creature, but I love that the actress does not refrain from chewing up the scenery. Mason and Corey get sidetracked from their search thanks to a little kissy face. The news crew had a contingency plan for the shredded cables and their equipment emitted a very loud signal, which led to the emergence of the Beast.

Back Down Memory Lane
The Teen Wolf writers continued to find new and exciting ways to allow Ryan Kelly to show off his hard work at the gym when they had Lydia discover a badly beaten Parrish in the Beacon Hills library. Look, Parrish, I’ve said it about Theo and I’ll direct it to you as well – inappropriate creeping around Beacon Hills High School is an activity reserved for Derek Hale only! Lydia takes Parrish to the Argents for help and we get more exposition on the Beast. Takeaway point: the Beast is getting stronger, shifting each night, also smarter, yadda, yadda, yadda. Parrish, you need to step your game up boo.

They propose to help Parrish by placing him in a machine that feels visually on point with the whole Steam Punk look the show has been going for this season. A few dial turns and some gas? Fog? Something allows the Hellhound to fully take over Parrish, with its curiously robotic voice.

That night that Scott, Allison and Stiles died in order to find the Nemeton is becoming an overused plot device. The writers have taken so much meaning out of that night, considering others have found the Nemeton without having to die. There’s also that whole Nemeton reveals itself when it wants to be found and special Nemeton eyes gobbledy gook from this season. In this episode, we learned that powering up the Nemeton somehow brought Parrish, who apparently died in the war(?), back to life as a vessel for the Hellhound in Beacon Hills.

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The award, once again, goes to the Teen Wolf writers. They gave me the one thing I’ve wanted most all season – a world that is Theo-free. Despite being completely smug free for a glorious hour (plus commercials), it was not easy to enjoy an episode that was all over the place from a storytelling perspective. The episode had so many of the things I used to love about Teen Wolf, like no Theo, lacrosse hijinks, Finstock, a horrible pack plan, Finstock antagonizing Stiles, but it lacked the elements necessary to bring all of those pieces together in a logical way.

Other Supernatural Thoughts, Questions and/or Observations
– Lydia returned to school as though nothing had happened. Even if you’re willing to put aside all of the PTSD issues she should understandably have after her time at Eichen House, there’s still that whole matter of her having a HOLE in her head. An actual hole drilled in her head. I guess we are to believe that she got it all patched up and worked with her mom to come up with some cute hairstyles to cover up Valack’s amplification efforts.

– I like Brett’s tough, bad ass, Japanese speaking sister.

– Hayden announced that she was with the pack, which I thought was apparent after the sexy times last week and her helping Mason with Lydia’s escape.

– I want nothing bad to happen to Kira, but I would really love to see her fox square up against the Beast.

– If Braeden is spending her evenings looking after Malia, why not have her at the lacrosse game?

– Prayer circle for Stiles, who is now on the Desert Wolf’s radar.

– Are we really sure that Mason is not the Beast? Have we ever seen the two in the same scene?

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

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