Here’s my review of Teen Wolf season five episode “Dreamcatchers.” 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.
To really enjoy Teen Wolf, you don’t just have to suspend your disbelief. You have to expel it, or maybe banish it to a foreign land (like wherever Isaac went). Otherwise, you spend too much time thinking about questions like “how did Lydia and Kira know to find Mama Martin at the sheriff’s office?” or “why doesn’t anyone really notice as Tracy breaks her desk in half?” or “how did Scott manage to make an 86 on his test when he spent all his study time making out with Kira last episode?” Okay, I’m (mostly) kidding about that last one but my point remains the same. Things move fast in the world of Teen Wolf, so we don’t have time to think about the details. And that’s okay because the solid parts of the story offer us enough entertainment that we don’t need to dwell on the little bits so much. “Dreamcatchers” was a good balance of action, mystery, and fun that the previous episodes this season have lacked so far.
The beginning of the episode was excellent (even if it continued on a little too long). We start out focused in on our main characters, Scott and Stiles along with Papa Stilinski discussing the world of dating before the scope of the scene widens out to include Crazy Donovan (as I like to call him). The transition from main characters to a new character of focus makes the scene more interesting. If we had opened the scene with Donovan already in the van, it would have still been exciting when Tracy attacked but there would also be a feeling that it’s too disconnected from the main characters that we care about (like the opening with Tracy was in “Parasomnia” last week). But with Crazy Donovan getting a chance to yell death threats at Papa Stilinski, we at least know how this connects.
And not only that, but this scene was great because of its action as well. It was fast-paced but not overly so. The van had time to swerve along the road long enough to ratchet up the tension until it peaked with Tracy’s sudden appearance. I love the horror vibes the show likes to go for, but adding in action really helps the scene a lot.
Not only was the action good, but the pack had a good old-fashioned mystery to solve and that gave the episode a focus it was lacking last week. Also, the mystery gave them a chance to incorporate characters like Deaton and bring back Brett for a short cameo. And, of course, it all culminated nicely with the reveal that Tracy had become a kanima. What?! Whoever expected to see a kanima on Teen Wolf again? (And on a side note, as someone who’s never seen season two, I’m glad I finally get to see what one looks like. I definitely got some sorta Lovecraftian-esque vibes from the design) The kanima is a nice chance from fighting another werewolf. And this opponent is more personal than the hulking Beserkers from last season.
And along with action and mystery, we still had some fun to balance out all the tragicness of Tracy’s situation. The scene where the girls take Malia driving is lots of fun just to see their interactions and reactions. The girls never get as much bonding time together as Scott and Stiles do. Plus it was funny just to see Malia’s look of fierce determination even as she drives directly towards a tree. (Quick question though: is there not a classroom/book part of driver’s ed in California?!)
It’s also fun to see Mason and his enthusiasm as he joins the “inner circle.” Liam spent all that time worrying for nothing because Mason really loves this stuff (and also maybe Shirtless!Brett). Although, I’m afraid he might be in for an unpleasant wake-up call as the season continues. It’s all fun and games until someone falls into a hole. Or claws their way out of one, apparently.
And lastly, it was just really funny to watch Scott, Stiles, Deaton, and Malia get paralyzed and just talk for a bit. It was a serious moment but having the discussion while motionless on the floor was visually more entertaining than the usual chat around Deaton’s operating table. It’s always nice to break away from the routine.
It’s the mark of a good episode when I’m anxious to watch the next one as soon as this one ended. Poor Tracy may have met with an unfortunate end, but it looks like Crazy Donovan will quickly take her place as current-monster-trying to-kill-everyone. And also, is Lydia gonna be okay?! Next episode, please come soon!
All There in the Werewolf Manual
- Again I say, why can’t Lydia have nice things?? (but I loved all her snarky dialogue though)
- Kudos for Kira for finally unleashing some kitsune fury. I appreciated that she’s new to all this and struggling with her powers, but it’s nice to see her kick butt occasionally too.
- Let’s take a moment to appreciate the strong parent/teen relationships on this show. How often do you see stable relationships like these in other teen-based shows? Not often enough, I say.
- Brett’s family died in a fire too? Did anyone else catch that? Is entire-family-massacred-by-fire an epidemic sweeping the werewolf community?
- Papa Stilinski and Mama Martin? NO. (But the internet informs me both actors are married in real life, so I will grudgingly admit that’s kinda cute)
- “You and I will be able to leave quite easily,” Deaton reassures Stiles about the mountain ash barrier right before they get paralyzed and can’t leave at all. Ha ha! Kanima’d!