Deputy Jordan Parrish had one job on Teen Wolf. It was to stop the Beast of Gevaudan. Every single character told us it was going to happen from Gerard Argent to the Dread Doctors to the Hellhound inside Parrish himself. Yet when the Beast was finally dealt with, Parrish did virtually nothing.
He might have tussled with the monster a bit but really he just slowed the Beast down and held him so Scott could deliver the final blow. While there is nothing wrong with Teen Wolf having their main character ultimately save the day it made a mockery of the Parrish storyline. Season 5 did nothing but prove that Jordan Parrish is the most useless character on Teen Wolf.
All Mystery and No Substance
For the longest time it was unknown what exactly Parrish was, if he was a force of good, evil or if he was even some kind of supernatural creature at all. Season 5 played with this unknown quality of Parrish for as long, actually longer, than humanly possible until the series finally laid down all its cards. Jordan Parrish is a Hellhound. Jordan had actually died before he ever appeared on the series and the Hellhound took over his body and saved Parrish’s life. This is, of course, insanity but its par for the course on Teen Wolf. Much stranger things have happen on the series. Going hand in hand with the reveal of Parrish’s identity was the fact that he was meant to take down the Beast.
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All of this plot information was fine in theory because it gave Parrish a purpose. Teen Wolf still, mostly, treated him like gratuitous objectifying man but the character had a goal. The implication was that all the time spent on Parrish would mean something in the end. He was presented as the pack’s best and only chance to fight the Beast but that simply wasn’t the case.
It was not just misdirection, it was an outright lie and anticlimactic storytelling. In the grand scheme of the Beast storyline, Parrish meant less than nothing. Yet for the most of the season he was a focal point, especially in the first half of season 5. Everything about Parrish in season 5 was a waste of time, it was a ton of build up with very little resolution.
Lydia was the Important One All Along
The most aggravating part of the whole Parrish storyline and why Parrish is such a waste of a character is how both affected Lydia. Lydia is easily the most victimized character on Teen Wolf and that’s fine because it is a dangerous world and people get hurt. Teen Wolf season 5 took things to an insane degree with Lydia being in danger. Lydia was attacked and put into some kind of coma by Theo, she was thrown into the place of nightmares, Eichen House and she had a huge hole drilled into the side of her head.
When Lydia got out of that horrible situation she effectively became a supporting character in Deputy Burnt Toast (Parrish’s) storyline. Lydia began to put all of her chips into the “Parrish is going to save us” pile. There would be nothing wrong with that if Parrish and Lydia’s relationship wasn’t so oddly sexual. I don’t care that Holland Roden and Ryan Kelley are around the same age, their characters are not.
Parrish is an independent adult in an authority position and Lydia, while a genius and emotional mature beyond her years, is 17 years old and lives at home. Lydia’s belief in Parrish’s powers would have been a lot easier to swallow if it was played platonically. Instead almost all their interactions took a very disturbing and obsessive (on the part of Parrish) romantic angle. It was less about two people trying to save the world and more about two people and their forbidden (icky) love.
Again, none of it really matters because Parrish didn’t save the day. It was Lydia who saved Mason from the Beast and Scott who killed the monster. Parrish’s part was minuscule at best, yet he overshadowed the main character who has been on the show from the beginning, Lydia. If Teen Wolf really viewed Lydia as powerful character and important one, there would have been more time devoted to her. There should have been more scenes of her developing her banshee powers and less scenes of her stroking Parrish’s ego. At best, Officer Ashy Abs should have been her supporting character — not the other way around. When Lydia becomes the linchpin in the plan to save Mason and defeat the Beast it makes sense because of Lydia’s ever-present nature. Teen Wolf did very little to build up to it because they were distracting us with this asinine Parrish plot.
No One Cares Anymore
The most troubling thing is that Teen Wolf, or more accurately executive producer Jeff Davis, is aware of the problem. He not only did nothing to stop it then but looks to be actively embracing the misstep for season 6. In an interview with TVLine, Jeff Davis said “[Parrish] is back in the world of being a deputy, and he’ll have to come to terms with what it means to be both supernatural and human. He’s definitely got some learning to do. His job wasn’t necessarily to kill the Beast, but to slow the Beast down enough. Was he the hero he was supposed to be in this last episode? He’ll be dealing with that in Season 6.”
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This is beyond stupid. It not only assumes that Parrish is an interesting character on his own (and more than a very fit body that sometimes bursts into flames) but that we want to see Parrish mope more. Parrish is not quite a one-note character, that’s a little reductive. He’s more a two-note character and those notes are confusing depression and borderline pedophilic pining. When Parrish isn’t ogling or lusting after Lydia he is whining about how unfair and crazy is his life has become.
It’s not remotely interesting. It’s even slightly humorous like it has been when Liam and/or Scott came into the full realization of their powers. It is boring in almost every way. Ryan Kelley isn’t given a lot to work with as actor but he doesn’t enhance the material at all. The actor brings nothing more to the character than what is on the page and what is on the page is not nearly enough. Teen Wolf had their chance to make Parrish interesting with the Hellhound storyline in season 5. They blew it and it is time to move on. It is Parrish, not Kira, who is the character that belongs in the desert wasteland where no one can visit or see them.
Stay tuned for Teen Wolf‘s premiere date for season 6.
(Images courtesy of MTV)