Teen Wolf Review: “Damnatio Memoriae”

photo credit: mtv.com

photo credit: mtv.com

Here’s my review of Teen Wolf season five episode “Damnatio Memoriae.” 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.

I’m happy to say this episode felt like it was a bit better than the previous one. It was less of a hot mess anyway. “Damnatio Memoriae” still had a lot of problems, but a few really good moments balanced it out. And it now looks like we might have the focus this season has been lacking so far.

The biggest problem Teen Wolf has is that there are too many characters I just don’t care about. Theo’s pack of chimeras get the worst of this. They were all introduced so fast that they are all quickly forgotten. The exceptions are Tracy (the kanima chimera played by Kelsey Chow), and Hayden because each had some focus and spotlight in previous episodes. The rest of the chimera are largely forgettable. I can’t even tell you their names. At the moment, they take up too much episode time we should be spending with our main cast. Why was it necessary to show us the scene of Tracy murdering that guy? (Who was that anyway? Her father? Her lawyer? I seriously don’t remember) Why did we need to watch Theo power up the wendigo guy (whose name I will never remember) with jumper cables?

This episode also gives up brief appearances by characters such as Hayden’s sister, Braeden (and a random Russian dude), Meredith, and Gerard Argent. Each one is in a different unrelated subplot. While it’s nice that Teen Wolf has such a large pool of characters to draw from (which makes the world feel more developed), the episode always suffers when there are too many people crammed in. Perhaps once all the threads of storyline are woven together, it might be easier to handle all the actors.

But overwhelming amounts of characters aside, some good things improved this episode. The scenes with Stiles and his father the Sheriff, in particular, were very strong moments. The two of them finally had the chance to talk about what happened with Donovan in previous episodes. Sheriff finally said what we’d all been thinking which was “of course it wasn’t murder.” Dylan O’Brien and Linden Ashby played the scene well, creating a good atmosphere for a believable father/son conversation. (Plus Sheriff had good advice too) The “is that my laptop?” scene later was also a cute moment between them. This show needs more quiet moments like that. It helps the audience feel more invested in the characters.

Also, we finally have one specific, credible threat to focus on, which will help create exciting tension as the show continues. The monster may not be the best villain (villains work better with emotion and decision-making skills; not just instinct like a creature) but it’s much less vague than the Doctors have been. It will also just help the pack feel more focused as they ban together towards a common goal to stop it.

Lastly, Kira is back! It was brief at the end of the episode, but I’m more interested in what she’s been doing/will do than anything going on in Beacon Hills. “Damnation Memoriae” gave us a few bits that look like they will lead to exciting things to come. Don’t let us down, Teen Wolf!

All There in the Werewolf Manual

  • I admit that the bright sunlight might have been half the reason I liked Kira’s reappearance. The rest of this show is so dark it looks like no one pays their light bill in the town.
  • Let’s not talk about the horrendous CGI monster. Let’s just forget that ever happened.
  • Scott and Stiles got over their fight pretty quick, yeah? Did Stiles ever explain to Scott the real story about Donovan? They probably should do some more talking later.
  • Yay or nay on Gerard’s return? Be honest.
  • I don’t understand what’s going on with Lydia’s out of body experience, but hey, maybe she’ll get to do something now?
  • Do you ever feel like this show is trying really really hard to teach you SAT words?

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

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