The problem with supernaturally “gifted” do-gooder heroes like Scott McCall, is that they tend to be a bit boring judgey. There are only so many times one person can vanquish the Big Bad, sacrifice his safety for that of the group, rescue the helpless, rally the troops, mentor the naïve, and champion the misunderstood, without it going to his head . . . without the hero starting to believe that everyone he cares about must live by his rigid moral code, or else.
Back in the early seasons of Teen Wolf, Scott McCall was a character who was still figuring things out. He struggled with violent impulses toward his adversaries, as he managed his new wolf-like temper. He battled with lust, and found himself giving in to temptation with Lydia, even though Stiles was in love with her. His pride kept him on the lacrosse team, despite the fact that his superhuman strength gave him an unfair advantage against most of his teammates and opponents. And Peter’s seductive offers of power, made him seriously consider turning to the darkside, on more than one occasion.
Now, in Season 5, Scott McCall is a different animal (pun intended) entirely. He’s even-tempered, virtuous, unfailingly loyal and almost monk-like in his incorruptibility (except for that one episode where he wore a bear mask for ten minutes, but we don’t need to get into that). Alpha Wolf Scott McCall’s world is a 1950’s monochrome. Everything is either good or evil, black or white. There is no in between.
Unfortunately, for Saint McCall, his pack mates still reside within the shades of grey. They recognize that some people can’t be trusted, and aren’t worth saving. They understand that there are some times when good ends are justified by bad means. They are unmistakably human in mind and spirit, even if not entirely in body. And it is that flawed humanity that is throwing some serious monkey wrenches into Scott McCall’s plans to Save the World from the Dredd Doctors.
And, in the case of Scott’s bestie, Stiles, this just happened to come in the form of an actual monkey wrench. . .
This week on Teen Wolf, everyone’s favorite Naked Garbage Man makes another pickup. Malia continues to confirm every bad stereotype that ever existed about female drivers. Third Eye guy becomes, Just Some Middle Aged Dude with a Hole in His Head. And Kira confirms her suspicion that electrocuting one’s boyfriend truly is the best form of foreplay.
Let’s review, shall we?
As if we needed any more confirmation that the superstition stating that it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder is 100% true, Teen Wolf proudly presents . . .
The Not So Tragic Death of Donovan . . .
I gotta say, as cold opens go, this one was one of Teen Wolf’s stronger submissions. I mean sure, unlike the typical Teen Wolf open, where a character we’ve never met before is put in peril, and we are legitimately uncertain as to whether they will live or die, Stiles’ surviving this “hand with a mouth drawn on it” mauling . . .
. . . was not in question here. And yet, despite that, Dylan O’Brien’s ability to silently (apart from some seriously heavy breathing that seemed in desperate need of an inhaler) convey Stiles’ utter terror, as Donovan tracked him from the car to the library, his impulsive decision to use the monkey wrench to loosen the screws on the ladder nearest to the one he was ascending, and his conflicting feelings of guilt, horror, relief, and even a slight bit of satisfaction at Donovan’s gory demise at his own hand, was riveting to watch.
Also, let’s face it. Some people in this world just deserve to be made into a human shishkabob.
Then, we get to the part where Stiles calls 911 to report the dead body, and returns to the scene just seconds later, only to find it scooped up by our Naked Garbage Man. (Who just so happened to be wearing clothes this week. What’s the fun in that?)
So, now we know that Naked Garbage Man doesn’t just retrieve bodies, carry them to the Nemeton, and burn them out of existence with his hot bod, he also cleans up crime scenes like a champ.
Clearly, Parrish is much better at his Naked Garbage Man job than his cop job . . .
But it does beg the question, of how Parrish got there so fast. Do the Dredd Doctors have him on speed dial? Does the playing card with Lydia’s face on it scream at him, banshee style, whenever he needs to pick up a new corpse? (Typical nagging cardboard girlfriend!) Does he just hang around Scott and Stiles, knowing that these guys are pretty much guaranteed to produce a supernatural corpse in the cold open of every episode?
More importantly, does being a Naked Garbage Man come with a 401K plan?
Scott McCall’s Book Club
Having already read all the books in the 50 Shades of Grey series, including that astonishingly bad one from Christian’s perspective, Scott’s wolf pack decides to read something a bit more relevant to their lives . . . that book about the Dredd Doctors they stole from Now-Dead Tracey’s house! Kira kindly offers to make a photocopy of the darn thing, which, anyone who has ever tried to photocopy a teeny tiny soft cover paperback will tell you, is pretty much the most mind-numbingly awful job ever. (No wonder she electrocuted Scott later in the episode, to get him back for making her do it.)
“If you want to be in our pack, you have to participate in our book club,” Scott tells Theo, in no uncertain terms, as he shows him the copy of the Dredd doctor book.
“Wait, you guys are in a book club? But I thought you were all virtually illiterate,” Theo wonders out loud.
“Malia and I are virtually illiterate,” Scott explains. “But Stiles is only illiterate when he’s void Stiles, and everyone else can read to us just fine. Lydia even does these really great character voices, which make me giggle. Do you do character voices, Theo? Because you will be much more likely to get into the pack if you can.”
“Hey check out the back page of this book,” Theo demands, as he laughs maniacally and winks at the camera.
“Why?” Scott asks, flustered. “Nobody reads the acknowledgement page in a book, except the people being acknowledged, because it’s basically the book equivalent of the boring part of Oscar acceptance speeches, only without the pretty dresses and manufactured tears. I’m a functioning illiterate, and even I know that.”
Theo rolls his eyes. “Look, it’s imperative that you read the acknowledgement page of this book, read Dr. Valack’s name on it, and go visit him in the mental hospital, because he wrote this book, and my bosses, the Dredd Doctors, need you to see him, for reasons.”
“But if he wrote the book, why didn’t he put his name on the front cover, as the author?” Scott question. “This way I would absolutely read it, unlike the acknowledgement page, which nobody reads.”
“Whatever, Scott,” Theo replies exasperatedly. “Just do what I say mindlessly, and leave the thinking on this show to the smart characters like Stiles and Lydia. I’ve got to go worship the Devil, torture some live puppies, and brainwash Malia into being my loyal sex slave. Peace out.”
When Something is Lost, Always Consult Your Fox Costume . . .
Later that night, Scott and Kira are sleeping together, because Kira’s parents think there is absolutely nothing wrong with their only minor daughter sharing a bed with her werewolf boyfriend, and are not at all worried that she will one-day wake up to find she’s given birth to a litter of were-fox babies, who will ruin her young life. (Note: Scott’s mom would probably be bothered by this, but, seeing as she’s the only nurse / anesthesiologist / coroner / doctor / sometime surgeon left alive in Beacon Hills, she works 24-hours a day, and hasn’t been out of her scrubs since approximately 1996.)
Kira starts speaking Japanese in her sleep, and Scott appears totally turned off by it. But, of course, he has to pretend he’s not turned off by it, because being turned off by it most probably makes him a racist.
Later, when Kira’s ugly ass belt (seriously, that thing is hideous) goes missing, she asks Scott to look at her with his red hangover eyes to help her find it. When Scott turns on his Creepo-vision, he sees Kira’s fox head (which looks oddly bear-like for a fox, no?) helpfully pointing out the belt’s location for Scott.
Ummm . . . so basically, this was the writers’ clever way of illustrating that Fox Kira and Kira-Kira aren’t the same entity? So Fox Kira knew where the ugly ass belt was, but Kira-Kira didn’t? If so, why didn’t Fox Kira just tell Kira-Kira where the ugly ass belt was, instead of going through Scott’s Creepo-vision?
Anywhoo, Kira now has her belt. And they all can live unfashionably ever after . . .
Driving Miss Crazy
Because Malia used to be a mental patient at Eichen House, and could possibly decide she likes it better in the nuthouse where she had a better haircut, than at Beacon Hills, if she returns, our sassy were-coyote isn’t invited on the pack’s Journey into Evil this week.
Instead, she is stuck reading that crappy book, into which the author nonsensically inserted himself into the Acknowledgement page. “Hey, Malia, want to ride my car?” Theo asks, looking so shady as he confronts her, that he might as well be curling an evil black mustache, and strangling an angel child with his bare hands, as he speaks.
“Is that a euphemism for sex?” Malia wonders, as Evil Theo not-at-all subtly undresses her with his eyes.
“Absolutely, but I’d like you to almost murder me in my own car, before we sleep together, just to make sure we really like one another,” responds Theo.
In Theo’s car, he tries to impress Malia with how not frightened of death he is, by instructing her to speed, and drive with her hands at the bottom of the wheel, like she’s a pimp in a rap video. Because everybody knows that those who are incapable of driving like “normal” people are always the absolute best at driving like “cool people.”
(This reminds me of the time when I was learning how to drive, and my dad instructed me to do it by resting my knees on the steering wheel only. Basically, I think he just wanted to take the piss out of my mom, who was in the backseat at the time, clutching the armrests for dear life. . .)
Inevitably Malia goes into her usual PTSD mode, and nearly crashes the car, only to have Theo, inexplicably, roll out of the car on top of her, so he can “stare lovingly into her eyes.”
This time, however, Malia actually remembers a useful piece of information during her fourth traumatic brush with death-via-motor vehicle of the year. “Hey, my evil mother shot at my adopted mom and sister, the day I thought I turned into a were-coyote and killed them inside the family car. This makes me potentially innocent of murder! It also means my parents are even more despicable humans than originally imagined!”
Though Stiles was once a mental patient just like Malia, and is clearly experiencing PTSD, himself, from that one time earlier this episode when he murdered a dude, he still decides to accompany Lydia to see Dr. Valack, because he luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuves her. (Which is totally cool by the way, because sex between Malia and Evil Theo is inevitable this season, obviously).
I like how Lydia recognizes immediately that something is up with Stiles, and that he is injured and sad, lets him know that she knows, but doesn’t judge him or press him for information until he’s ready to talk about it. She instinctively understands that he needs to be there for Lydia, while they do this, just as much as Lydia needs him.
This, when Scott, who has been friends with Stiles for way longer, is completely clueless . . . so clueless in fact, that he “confides” in his friend, that he thinks Kira might be turning into a terrible person, because she almost killed the evil scorpion thing that was trying to murder them all at the Random Dancing night club.
“Ummmm . . . maybe she did it in self-defense?” Stiles offers, hopefully, as he contemplates telling his friend about his own dalliance with freak-of-the-week murder.
“No way,” responds Scott. “All murderers deserve to rot in hell for the rest of eternity. Now, what was it you wanted to tell me earlier? Something about you and Donovan?”
Stiles whistles uncomfortably, as he, Scott, Kira and Lydia enter Eichen House.
Once inside the nuthouse, Kira is immediately forced to take off her hideous belt, so it doesn’t frighten the mental patients with its ugliness. Then, Scott and Kira learn that they can’t cross into Valack’s chamber, because it’s protected by mountain ash, and they are supernatural creatures. (Not sure why Lydia wasn’t kept out too, seeing as she’s a banshee and all, but . . . details.)
“Hey Third Eye Guy,” Lydia and Stiles begin conversationally. “What’s up with this crappy book, you wrote, but pretended you didn’t, by writing your name on a page of it that nobody will read?”
“I wrote it so you crazy kids would remember the Dredd Doctors, and how the last time they came to Beacon Hills, they gave you all anal probes, and made you bark like dogs, for five straight hours, just for fun. Oh yeah, and then they buried a bunch of teenagers in holes, and turned them into Wuzzle Killing Machines.”
“Ha, joke is on you,” responds Stiles. “Because Lydia and I are the only people in Beacon Hills who know how to read.”
“Hey, can you do me a favor?” Third Eye Guy asks. “Scream into this tape recorder, Banshee, so I can press it against the glass holding me in this cell, shatter it, and escape.”
“But if I’m screaming in front of your cell, won’t that break the glass anyway, without the tape recorder?” Lydia wonders out loud.
“Oh, absolutely, but this makes it way more dramatic,” Third Eye Guy Explains.
Meanwhile, out at the entrance to Eichen House, Kira is starting to short circuit, and the electric currents she shoots out of her body, totally screw with Eichen House’s security system, allowing the Dredd Doctors to enter, as was their original plan. Scott carries Electric Kira to safety, suffering severe burns all over his body in the process.
“Hey, I remember I told you I loved you in last week’s episode!” Scott exclaims.
“Glad all it took was an electrocution to get you to recall something you said less than 48 hours ago,” replies Kira. “Just be thankful you are pretty.”
Inside Eichen House, the Dredd Doctors extract Third Eye Guy’s third eye, immediately converting him from somebody cool, into just some dumb schlub who doesn’t understand that no one reads the Acknowledgement page on books.
Then, now Boring Two-Eyed Valack plays the tape Lydia made for him about ten minutes ago, and her scream from the recorder, breaks the glass of his cell, even though her scream in real life did not. He escapes into the night, rendering the population of Beacon Hills just a bit more filled with crazy-eyed insane-os than it was at the beginning of the episode . . .
Until next time, Werebangers!