Series 7, Episode 12
The early episodes of a new series (half-series?) of Teen Wolf are always awkward to review, on account of how basically nothing ever happens in them. Honestly, I'd challenge anyone to point out where this episode actually moves the plot along, because to my eyes it seems to be forty minutes of people pottering around being foreboding at things.
Continuing on from last week, Scott and Malia set out to investigate Halwyn's death, taking the bullet casing to Argent -- and after a few hijinks, learn that it's a silver bullet, despite silver not having any werewolf killing powers, leading them to conclude that the killer was an amateur hunter. Chasing up a noise from Lydia's vision, Parrish investigates the closed unit at Eichen House, but is quickly derailed when Conrad Fenris, one of the doctors there, tries to kill him. Liam partakes of a joint lacrosse practice with Brett, but Liam's failure to control his anger, Brett being attacked by Tamora, and one of the players being swarmed by spiders makes it something of a disaster.
This is going to be a very short review, largely because there's not a lot to actually say: Most of what happens in this episode could have been rolled into the last episode, and the result of these story threads being given an entire episode to themselves is that there's not enough story to last a whole forty minutes. There's barely enough for twenty-five minutes, and instead of doing anything to improve the pacing, the story is just stretched out to torturous lengths.
We will, however, touch briefly on each of the three storylines in this episode.
The meatiest by far is Liam's, which deals with the sudden return of Liam's anger issues after they've been missing since -- well, since basically his introduction. Honestly, it took me a moment to remember what Brett was even referencing when he referred to Liam as an IED. That's possibly partly intentional, since we see Scott also struggling to control his transformation -- it's likely meant to indicate that the fear creature that's moved into Beacon Hills is having an effect on them.
Speaking of the fear creature, we see it doing creepy things in the form of making some random guy eat a bunch of spiders and -- possessing them? I guess? I'm sure whatever it is will factor into next episode, and hopefully that'll mean it ends up a little better paced than this one. Hopefully. We also get Tamora trying to kill Brett, and the show seems oddly hesitant to just kill him off, even though he's not an important or especially beloved character. He was interesting primarily in that there was a chance he might get together with Mason -- now that Mason is in a stable relationship with Cody, Brett is just another jerk-y werewolf in a cast full of jerk-y werewolves.
The next meatiest storyline is likely Scott and Malia's, which consists of them reconnecting to Argent and finding out that Halwyn's killer is an amateur. I say 'meatiest,' but if you cut out all of the hijinks, this storyline could probably be reduced to all of five minutes without really losing anything -- instead, it's stretched out over about fifteen minutes.
Rather alarmingly, this storyline almost seems to be trying to push Scott and Malia as a potential couple? I hope I'm just reading too much into that, because that would make absolutely no sense, but I fear I'm not. They've never shown one whit of chemistry, and have never even indicated the slightest amount of romantic or sexual interest in each other prior to this point.
Incidentally, while it's nice to see Chris Argent back, he falls into the same category as Brett for me -- he was interesting to the plot insofar as he was a satellite character for Allison. Without Allison, Argent feels entirely superfluous, and I'm bewildered as to why the show doesn't just write him out to trim down its already impressively gigantic cast.
(Gerard Argent also returns in this episode, but to be fair, he was a pretty good villain in his own right.)
Which leaves the Parrish and Lydia storyline, which is pointless. Nothing is gained from it. The show teases, at one point, that it might tell us who the big bad fear monster is, before pulling back from it and instead giving us a boring storyline about an evil doctor trying to kill Parrish. You could have cut this storyline in its entirety, show, and you wouldn't have lost anything.
(There is, technically, a very brief fourth storyline involving a spider burrowing under Theo's skin. It was atmospheric, and it achieves its goal of giving Theo a reason to head back to Beacon Hills, and you can't ask fairer than that.)
So, time to guess what the fear spider monster is, then! I'm placing my bets on Iktomi, the Native American trickster, since the show has introduced the concept of gods before, in the form of references to Tetzcatlipoca (who might even be being referenced again, since there will apparently be a Derek and Stiles episode in South America).
Next episode looks like it'll focus squarely on Gerard and Tamora hunting Brett, so that'll be a thing, I suppose. I guess. Honestly, so long as something happens, I'll be happy.