Teen Wolf is steadily crawling to the middle with “Face-to-Faceless”, the fourth episode of this half-season. Unfortunately, it hasn’t started to make any more sense.
Aaron, the boy whose head was eaten by spiders, comes to the morgue to check out the weird body Melissa was working with. He vomits spiders on it (yes, seriously) and it comes alive while he dies. A girl is preparing to change a flat tire when four menacing guys appear to “offer help”. It turns out they are hunters and she is a werewolf. She incapacitates them in a fight, and then a deputy arrives…and shoots her.
Liam doesn’t want to go to school. He is afraid of repercussions from last episode, but Scott explains that it would just confirm everyone’s suspicions and more people could die. There are a lot of confused superhero metaphors. Liam goes, and everyone stares at him weirdly. Apparently two sophomores from the lacrosse team were direct witnesses of his shifting.
When he comes to the locker rooms, he is confronted by team members who no longer want him as captain. Nolan is at their head and tries to provoke Liam into shifting. Liam keeps his cool, however. When the coach comes in, everyone freezes and Liam then backs out of the team.
Scott and company discuss with Chris what is going on. Chris offers to go and negotiate with Gerard to stop the approaching war.
Liam finds out that Nolan wants to make him shift (astonishing, I know), and afraid, he runs to hide with the weird schedule lady slash guidance counselor. She asks him for names of the boys bullying him, wanting to give them “direction.” I bet you do, lady. Fortunately, Liam notices some books on the supernatural in her office, and then claw marks on her neck. He leaves.
Chris talks to Gerard to no effect. He comes to tell Melissa that Gerard wants genocide, like that is news. He begs her to tell Scott to run. She refuses, and Sott comes in saying that there doesn’t have to be a war, because he knows who the new hunter is. Yeah, I’m not seeing the logic.
Parrish is having a panic attack while looking at pictures of the dead hellhound. Then he starts hallucinating the creepy body and almost shoots the Sheriff because he sees it instead of him.
It turns out that Scott’s brilliant plan to avoid war is to ask the new hunter to convince Gerard to negotiate. Lydia is supposed to do the job, and she arranges a meeting in the tunnels. Malia points out it’s obviously a trap, and sort of tries to confess her feelings to Scott before she shuts down. Scott goes anyway, because he’s Scott.
Nobody wants to work with Liam at school and the lacrosse team is blocking exists from the building to make him shift. In his brilliance, he instead goes around school invisible with Corey and Mason in a manner that makes it as obvious as possible, so that Corey’s supernatural ability can be publicly revealed with very little effort on Nolan’s part. Liam gets punched.
Scott goes to the meeting, and, surprise, it’s a trap! Schedule lady – all right, Tamora – declares she’s not following Gerard, that she’s the one leading the hunt. Yeah right. We totally saw that in all of their interactions. She then basically says she wants all supernaturals dead because the Beast from season 5 killed her colleagues and Scott and Parrish didn’t check for survivors. Sounds reasonable.
She declares Scott should not have come alone, and Malia replies “he didn’t” as she appears, eliminating the hunter behind him, Lydia at her side.
Laim gets brutally beaten up at school as tens of people watch. The biology teacher just lets it happen. In the end, it’s Coach Finstock who stops it, once again cementing his place as one of my favourite characters. Liam managed not to shift, though, so that’s a huge win for him. Then Mason points out the obvious by saying that Nolan wanted to mark Liam as the enemy by making him shift.
The faceless corpse/fear demon appears in the tunnels, and everyone panics and just shoots at everything until Parrish appears and burns the demon to a crisp.
Tamora apologizes to Gerard for failing, and he says that she didn’t, that she gave the people of Beacon Hills a voice. Also she gave the supernaturals the message: this world belongs to us.
Scott and company come home and find the girl from the beginning of the episode. She tells them a deputy shot her. Everyone is very alarmed.
The first and most important point is clear: what is this “negotiating with Gerard” bullshit?
(Maybe I should have bolded that, too, just to be a bit more emphatic.)
I thought that Neville Chamberlain taught everyone that there are certain kinds of people you do not negotiate with, not even to avoid a war. In particular, it’s the people who want to commit genocide. I don’t want to invoke Godwin’s Law here, but the parallel is really hard not to draw. The only difference, I suppose, is that Scott is putting his own life on the line as well.
But still. What about Gerard exactly made you think he would be open to negotiation?
We know he is a hypocritical asshole who wants to commit genocide. We have known for years. Scott has known for years. It would be one thing if he was using the negotiation business as an excuse or a delaying tactic to do something else, but it doesn’t seem that way. Instead, he just….thought it would work? After what he knew about how it went with Deucalion? Really?
And then when it didn’t, he sent Lydia to convince a random young hunter. Because, once again, that was absolutely going to work. There is a point where naiveté becomes pure idiocy.
Gérard should have been locked behind bars or killed years ago. He is leagues more dangerous than Peter, who Scott got locked up for the terrible gall of wanting to kill him in particular, I suppose. But now he is out in the open again, doing damage, because no one bothered to make sure he paid for his crimes.
This is the man who murdered the entirety of people present at a negotiation, including his own, because of his fanatical hate. He never showed the smallest hint of remorse for that. Just…no.
(It was cute of Chris to try and rationalize his behavior by the losses of his family, too. No, dear. Your father has been like this for a long, long time.)
But speaking of Gérard, this half-season also has a tendency to constantly reiterate the obvious. “Gérard wants genocide”. Really? “Nolan wants you to shift”. You don’t say. “Nolan wants to mark you as the enemy”. No shit. I don’t know what it is about the current script that makes the writers so convinced the viewers won’t get it. We do. We really do. You have shown us, there is no need to tell us as well. Certainly not several times over.
I’m glad Chris hasn’t died for that stupid negotiation, at least. For a moment I was worried that my prediction from last week would come true even sooner than expected.
I’m not sure if we were meant to believe Tamora was the one leading the hunt or if it was meant as a blind. I sincerely hope it’s the second. If this dynamics is meant to show her being in the lead, the show-runners have serious issues.
The fear demon seems to be more of a “get people to do what I want” demon. The biology teacher not being willing to interfere made sense, fear would do that. But the willingness of everyone to attack Liam less so. Yes, people turn violent when afraid, but it’s not usually against things that can actually hurt them. They take out their fear on the defenseless. They would beat up Mason for being friends with Liam, more likely, if they were really so afraid of him.
But there were two things I truly appreciated this episode. One was the pack actually working with Parrish this time. Good. If you can cooperate properly and pool your resources, you may yet win this.
The second was Liam managing not to shift. True, we have seen this step in his character development about three times already, but still. This was extreme pressure. He did very well. And Coach Finstock is everything.
Mostly, though, this episode made me feel mild irritation. There wasn’t much to comment on except the mind-numbing stupidity of Scott, and a bit less mind-numbing stupidity of everyone in Liam’s part of the pack. Please, just stop with this already. Give us characters whose actions make sense next week. Please.