Teen Wolf Review: “Parasomnia”

photo credit: @MTVteenwolf

photo credit: @MTVteenwolf

Here’s my review of Teen Wolf season five episode “Parasomnia” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.

So “Parasomnia” was the second part of the season five premiere, and it takes place during the first day of school. Not a lot of time has passed since the attack by Mr. Glowstick Fingernails (R.I.P.), but our characters aren’t too concerned about it. By now, these things are par for the course. While the lack of urgent concern following this incident might not be a good thing, there are other things to focus on that keep the tension level high. “Parasomnia” turns the focus to some new characters.

We have two big new characters right now: Theo, the lone wolf, and Tracy, the parasomniac. (Although I admit Tracy may have been around before and I never noticed. If she has, someone please let me know in the comments, okay?) I’ve written in reviews for other shows before that one of the most effective ways to introduce new characters is to make them interact with the old characters in a way that drives character development. Otherwise, adding a new character in is a bit pointless. So one of these characters works like this and one of them doesn’t.

The introduction of Theo, their old elementary school pal, sends shockwaves into their group, particularly for Stiles. He is automatically suspicious of Theo, which is valid since a lot of people they meet these days are trying to kill them. Stiles spends a majority of the episode trying to hunt down proof to back his paranoia. It would be interesting to compare Stiles in this episode to Stiles from season one before he started getting attacked/possessed by supernatural creatures and his friends started dying. I, however, can’t make the comparison since I haven’t seen season one or two. (Thanks for never showing reruns MTV) Either way, the reappearance of Theo adds depth to Stiles’ “trust no one” attitude along with Scott’s “trust everyone” attitude. It’s telling that Stiles’ answer to why someone would be speeding is that they’re running away from something, and not another reasonable answer like, say, they’re running late or just like driving fast. And then the reveal that Theo is actually a bad guy adds another layer to the whole situation that will be fun to explore in the future because Stiles is actually right and no one knows it. Their stories are all intertwined, and therefore they have a lot of great potential for character development.

On the other hand, poor Tracy’s introduction is not as effective in terms of character development. Whereas Theo was introduced in the previous episode by jumping in to help Scott in a fight, Tracy is introduced separately from the group. Her first interaction is with Mrs. Martin (has she always been the guidance counselor? I literally cannot remember) as she explains her night terrors about crows and crazy steampunk mask guys. Once Lydia decides to help (and brings Parrish along for the ride), the story improves a bit because at least there is interaction between the characters, but it’s minimal and doesn’t add too much. At the moment, she’s more of a plot device than a character. On the bright side though, her mystery is interesting. The opening where she vomits black goo and a feather on Mrs. Martin’s desk is disgustingly excellent. And I’m curious to see what the evil creepy Steampunk Doctors have done to her. That ending was almost as heartbreaking as watching Lydia’s abuse last episode. While it might have worked better if the audience was already invested in her character, the material is at least compelling enough to make us stick around to find out more.

Other than the focus on these two characters, the rest of the episode felt sort of random and disconnected. There’s a scene of Scott helping at the vet clinic. A scene of Malia taking Driver’s Ed. (Has Mr. Yukimura always been the driving teacher??) A scene of Liam interacting with another new student who doesn’t like him. These are nice but unless they are integrated into the main storyline, they just feel like filler. But otherwise, it wasn’t a bad episode, just a little slow on the pacing. And, hey, we learned what “parasomnia” means. Add that to your SAT word list.

All There in the Werewolf Manual

  • Liam fell down a hole! I have wanted this to be a running gag since they threw him down a well last season.
  • I really enjoy Liam and Mason’s friendship. I’m always fascinated by male friendships, so the addition of this one is great to explore too. It might be fun to see the differences (or similarities) between the Liam/Mason friendship and the Scott/Stiles one as they season goes on. Especially now that Mason is finally in the know.
  • Scott is taking AP Biology. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL (I am not sorry)
  • Stiles’ jeep breaking down seems like it’s gonna be an important plot point later. (And also a metaphor maybe… we’ll see)
  • Best line: “Your best friend is a werewolf.. You are dating a werecoyote! I still don’t know what Kira is supposed to be. When the flying monkeys come soaring through this station you will have my undivided attention, until then…. just go to school!” Sheriff Stilinski is one of the best characters on the show.
  • Predictions?

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


3 thoughts on “Teen Wolf Review: “Parasomnia”

  1. Pingback: Teen Wolf Review: “Dreamcatchers” | Notorious Rambler

  2. You’re right – Tracy is a new character, and no, Mrs. Martin has never been the guidance councillor. I guess they realised they needed a replacement for Morrell and went “hey! let’s use mrs martin!” I can’t remember what subject Lydia’s mum taught before though, something science? Also i kind of miss morrell. ….. PUN NOT INTENDED BUT.

    honestly, i thought i was watching the wrong show when tracy appeared on screen. totally agree with your comments about effective character introductions + development.


    oh man i hope one day you’ll be able to watch the first two seasons! stiles’ paranoia has definitely increased, no guesses as to why, but im surprised this is coming in season 5, as opposed to /season 4, directly after the incident/. but as you said, no questioning teen wolf 😛

    kind of just want to shake scott and go “LISTEN TO STILES, LISTEN TO STILES THIS IS HOW YOU GET INTO TROUBLE”

    LOL Malia and Mr. Yukimura’s faces in that car scene were excellent.

    1. LIAMMMMM lol. I also love that he’s like a puppy. STILES NEEDS ME? OKAY IM GAME. SCOTT TELLS ME TO STAY IN THE CAR? OKAY. 😦 whyyyyy is liam turning out to be one of my favourites. the scene where he hits his head on the locker while the camera is panning to tracy (which was cool). bb.
    2. Yayayayay Mason
    3. that nonverbal scene with kira and lydia, loooool. scott mccall is shaping up to be a righteous dude. i want all the backstory to this though! did he study on his own? did he study with stiles? kind of want him to study with lydia though but then this scene wouldn’t make sense.
    4. /pats the jeep
    5. omg the poor sherriff.

    /rolls around/ i wasn’t sure if i was going to watch the third episode but i might now. and then come back to you.

    • Glad to know I’m not going crazy! I was thinking “…wasn’t this Morrell’s job?” She was just as shady as Deaton though, so I don’t think I’d go to her for actual guidance. Just saying. (I appreciate the pun ^_^)

      I might be interpreting wrong, but I think Parrish did see the crows and just didn’t say anything to worry Tracy. BUT STILL. He should have done more than illegally staking out her house! Because he’s apparently not very good at it.

      I want to watch the first two seasons SO BAD! Hopefully one day! I’d love to compare character development arcs. I suppose the added stress of senior year is messing with Stiles’ head? But yeah, the anxiety totally should have kicked in earlier. I mean, um, DON’T THINK ABOUT THE PLOT HOLES. /falls in one/

      1.) Liam is just so adorable. WHYYYYY (I loved that locker scene! More of that fun camera work please!)
      3.) Yes, yes, tell us when Scott did all this studying?! 😛
      5.) I’m just waiting for Sheriff to going “I’m too old for this shit” lol

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