Despite what you’re about to read in a weird way, I did find pleasure watching the Teen Wolf season 5 mid-season finale. It was insane and incomprehensible but it was oddly exciting. Maybe the experience is analogous to watching a train wreck but there was something magnetic about Teen Wolf‘s finale for season 5A. Yet the fact remains that structurally “Status Asthmaticus” was a huge mess. It was emblematic of what went wrong with this season, almost everything.
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Too Many Unanswered Questions
There are plenty reasons “Status Asthmaticus” could be qualified as a muddle of plot twists and plots. There are so many unanswered questions that they don’t even seem like mysteries but more like extraordinarily lazy writing. How was Theo able to pop around Beacon Hills in the finale, seemingly being everywhere at once? Why was Lydia so sidelined and abused? How did Malia know about Stiles killing Donovan? When did Theo have time to capture and try to kill Sheriff Stilinski? How did Liam get into the library that was filled with mountain ash? How did Scott come back to life after being dead for 15 minutes?
The mid-season finale was intentionally mysterious. Teen Wolf meant to end on a cliffhanger and everything in a state of disarray. I highly doubt that any of those questions besides maybe the last one will have adequate answers in 5B, if they are addressed at all. That list of queries doesn’t even include ones that undoubtedly will be answered. Teen Wolf needs to address how Theo revived the dead chimeras, elaborate more on Parrish as a hellhound and bring Kira back into the fold. Therein lies the problem with the finale, too much happened. In a half season that was way too slow (and honestly boring) Teen Wolf had a finale that compressed actions that should have been spread out all season into one episode. This is the key, if not the only, reason it was such a chaotic jumble.
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Where Was THIS Theo All Season?
All problematic roads lead back to Theo. Cody Christian actually did a pretty terrific job in the last two episodes of Teen Wolf. His unmitigated rage as he stormed around Beacon Hills and tried to terrify Scott’s pack into following him was horrifying and captivating to watch. The last two episodes though are the only time Theo actually did anything all season. The idea that Theo wanted to corrupt the Alpha pack and turn them to his side is a legitimately fantastic idea. It’s just not the story Teen Wolf told all season. Outside of a few scenes where he flirted with Malia and taunted Stiles Theo didn’t actually try to manipulate the pack into embracing their dark side. I’m not sure he even had a single scene with Lydia or Kira.
Imagine how much more dramatic and satisfying the Liam and Scott fight would have been in the midseason finale if Theo had been messing with Liam all season. Theo planted some seasons of dissension in “Lies of Omission” but just enough to make Liam charging at Scott at in the library not be completely out of left field. It wasn’t nearly enough to make the fight seem like the climatic conclusion of simmering tension and resentment.
Everything Theo did in the finale should have been like the reveal of Scott’s inhaler being filled with wolfsbane. That moment was actually extraordinarily well built up to and it paid off. Scott using his inhaler and his decreasing power level have been happening concurrently all season. Sure it was never actually explained how Scott developed asthma again. After it was a huge plot point in season one that he was cured when he became a werewolf but whatever. The inhaler was this tiny but consistent prop that was revealed in the finale as a part of a bigger whole. This is what Teen Wolf should have done with the information they revealed but they didn’t.
There was some set-up to Theo being the first chimera because it’s been known for quite a while that he knew the Dread Doctors. Everything else had no context. It was never implied that Theo was part coyote and that’s why he had a connection with Malia. It was never hinted that the Dread Doctors had a way to revive their failed experiments nor was it explained why they developed sure a cure in the first place. The admittedly cool looking mural shown in the final moments had no set-up. There were so many scenes involving Theo in the finale that thoroughly confused me and made me feel I had missed an entire episode. The scene where Malia and Theo were in a cave and Theo was inexplicably buck naked not only felt like a deleted scene from another episode but something from a whole other series.
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How Teen Wolf Can Turn it Around
All this being said Teen Wolf is not dead to me. I’m actually excited to see 5B and I suppose in that way you could say “Status Asthmaticus” did its job. I have no idea how Theo has an army of undead chimeras at his command. I want to see that army go up against Scott and his pack. I’m completely in the dark about how Scott’s true alpha powers somehow make him immune to death. I want to see the fallout of Scott dealing with being dead for 15 minutes. I desperately want to watch Malia face down her mother, the Desert Wolf. If nothing else it gives the incredibly talented Shelley Hennig something substantial to do on Teen Wolf.
There is hope for the future in Teen Wolf. Not that 5B will be a happy half season — in fact, it will probably be even darker than 5A. The hope is that Teen Wolf will learn from its mistakes and missteps. There were won’t be so many mysteries, so many lies and so much deception. Teen Wolf should streamline in the back half of season 5. Scott’s been taken to his darkest point and now it’s time to build him back up. 5B should be the story about how the Alpha Pack gets its groove back shakes itself off and fights back against Theo and his army of zombie science experiments. No indecipherable Dread Doctors, no secret supernatural nature for side-characters, just a tale of good against evil. There is even room in that for the Desert Wolf as Theo’s ally or a secondary antagonist. I’m more than willing to forgive Teen Wolf for this utterly complexing half season if they deliver something really amazing in 5B.
But what do you think? Did you enjoy season 5A? Or did you find every bit as unintelligible as the Dread Doctors’ dialogue? Are you excited for 5B or are you more “done” than Allison Argent? And what was that last reference too soon?
Teen Wolf will return in January 2016 on MTV
(images courtesy of MTV)