Here’s my review of Teen Wolf season five episode “Strange Frequencies.” 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.
Ah, we’ve finally hit the point in the season where we’re barreling down the tracks on the crazy train at full speed. The Dread Doctors are making their move, the pack is hallucinating again, Kira’s putting on her crazy pants, and we lost the most important member of the crew: RIP Stiles’ jeep. (Alas, poor Roscoe, we knew you well.) “Strange Frequencies” had some hits (Mama McCall and Sheriff Stilinski doing actual relevant research) and some misses (Kira’ entire storyline right now), but overall I think we’re reaching the point where things begin to come together. And that’s definitely a good thing.
Let’s start off with the good stuff first: our adult characters. As I and many others have said before, the adult cast on this show is fantastic. Melissa Ponzio and Linden Ashby just inhabit their roles so well, it’s easy to forget they’re just acting. And the rest of the cast is great too (although Tamlyn Tomita seemed to be having an off night in this episode because her acting was weirder than usual). What I really like about the adults are the roles they are given in to play in the show. How often do you see adults given positive, important parts in a show about teenagers that is targeted at teenagers? Answer: not often enough. It’s good to see these parent-child and student-teacher relationships portrayed as something that is just as important and useful as the teenage friendships too. As a teenager, it’s easy to view the world as completely antagonistic towards yourself, so it’s nice that Teen Wolf likes to remind us that adults can be supportive and helpful too.
With this in mind, I was absolutely estatic to see Mama McCall and Sheriff Stilinski doing the necessary research to find out what the chimeras’ common links were. Since the kids were carrying out their own mission, the two of them were left to continue their own investigation. Finally we are making some progress on what the Dread Doctors’ goals are and their methods. The mystery was good at first, but it drags if it’s drawn out for too long. (A good example of an overly drawn out mystery was The Benefactor story from last season.) If you stretch a rubber band too much, it loses its effectiveness. So the McCall/Stilinski dynamic duo dug through the records themselves. And that makes sense because they don’t have powers to contribute to the fight back, but they do have access to the medical records that the kids can’t get to.
Scott’s pack doesn’t sit around and do nothing either. Their plan to lure and capture a Doctor didn’t work, but at least it was exciting. Hayden isn’t necessarily an interesting character yet, but as we learn more about her, she does become more sympathetic. And I don’t know why, but I really like how she and Liam bonded in this episode once they realized their commonalities. The cliffhanger of them captured by the Doctors definitely made me want to see more.
Along with that, the hallucinations from the pack while the Doctors invaded were excellent horror bits. Lydia’s in particular was hella disturbing. I don’t like seeing our heroes suffer, but I do enjoy how these scenes were constructed with their weird dream-like quality. While watching, you know it’s not real, but it really feels that way.
The biggest issue with this episode I think is Kira’s storyline, which seems to have veered off the crazy train’s tracks. We knew that Kira is still getting used to the whole being a kitsune thing, which is understandable, and I like that she’s not immediately good at everything. She’s still klutzy and dorky and that’s what makes her relatable. What I don’t understand is her storyline this season. Why is the kitsune suddenly the sorta-evil “messenger of death”? Did her usual one get switched out with a Nogitsune during the summer break? In fact, why are they separate entities at all if she was born a kitsune? Did Mama Yukimura go through this same thing too? And if so, why didn’t she mention this to Kira sooner?! See, this is a lot of questions for something that’s not even the main story right now. I don’t know if they’re setting this up for the next part of the season or what, but right now it’s just a bunch of headscratching to me. And one last question: why were they sparring IN THE SCHOOL?! Just what the heck??
So overall, this episode wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t crap either. It was just somewhere in the middle, hanging out on some telluric currents. But the cliffhanger promises some real action and answers next week, so we’ll just have to wait and see how the next episode plays off the events in this one. We’ll have to see if we’re still on the same frequency of Teen Wolf.
All There in the Werewolf Manual
- “So we’re back to telluric currents again?” LOL I love callbacks and this is a good one (and a good SAT word)
- I didn’t get to talk about Stiles and Theo, but there’s not much to say. Theo’s still on his quest to get Stiles’ trust and Stiles is still not having any of it.
- Speaking of Stiles, if the jeep was a metaphor for Stiles’ anxiety, what does it mean now that the jeep is totalled?! D:
- Also, WHAT IS PARRISH?????
- The camera work in this episode was fun. I liked the staging of Mason’s library shelf conversation with kid whose name I can’t remember. And I liked the aerial shots of Kira’s fight with her mom.
- I haven’t laughed so loudly in a long time as I did when Hayden punched Liam in the face when he showed her his werewolf roar.
- So… who’s the dead body in the McCall kitchen?
So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Just want to find out where the nearest telluric currents are? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.