TV Review: Teen Wolf (5×14) “The Sword and the Spirit”


Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Teen Wolf. Catch up on previous coverage here.

With Malia and Lydia both having storylines this week that take more of a center stage focus, beyond being happy about this it also made me realized just how sidelined the female characters have been up until this point this season.It’s not that Teen Wolf has ever been the breeding ground for storylines for their female characters and most of the time they’re shuffled to the side in order to service the male protagonists stories but it’s rarely been as apparent as it is this year and the show has suffered for it. The show needs to spend it’s focus on Scott and Stiles, obviously, but it doesn’t need to spend time on Theo, his cronies and any other male character they dig up like the Argents, Deaton and who knows who else. Even Malia’s storyline was abducted momentarily by Theo when it would have been much more interesting if the focus had remained solely on Braeden and Malia.

Regardless of this “The Sword and the Spirit” do allow for some strong moments for each character and even a surprising turn of events where we’re finally given an answer on the season five opener of Lydia fighting the Eichen House personnel.

Malia has finally gotten her hands on the Desert Wolf’s location with Theo’s help and is going to confront her in order to save Deaton. Malia has always been the most feral out of the newest crop of characters, something that’s always made watching her fight scenes more interesting than others because you believe that she’s fighting to kill. Her storyline did involve an element that I’ve grown more and more bothered by as the shows progressed and that’s the gratuitous usage of body horror. At the start of the show it was a way for the show to engage in the audiences fear barometer in a way that also played into the budget they had and it was often effective because they used it sparingly. Now it seems that every week the writers are finding new and disgusting ways to torture their characters. The goggles of pain that Malia wears to find her mother seemed unnecessary, especially once we learn that she’s conveniently in town.

The last fight between estranged mother and daughter is engaging to watch play out for a number of reasons. The cruelty in the words that the Desert Wolf lets roll of her tongue are acidic and wounding Malia before the fight has even began brings out the coyote in her in full force, making it a real battle to watch unfold. But the big moment happens because of Lydia, something I never foresaw happening due to how criminally sidelined she’s been this year. At the start of season five we got a flash forward where Lydia attempted to escape Eichen House and now we know why. It wasn’t just self-perseverance, it was to save her friend. A surprising and thrilling moment for the show in a way it hasn’t been for a while. This felt earned and after Lydia being in peril or comatose for so long it was nice to see her finally rejoin the action.

Malia and Lydia easily were the most interesting parts of the episode as Scott’s pack continued working together to reunite the team. Liam and Scott made amends for the time being with Liam feeling that he needs to save Scott’s life to make up for what happened. Which, this coupled with Stiles being told the same thing from his dad, the show is hitting this particular notion rather hard on the head…I wonder if Stiles and Liam will be saving anyone’s lives this season…

Stiles get’s a brief moment with Lydia but a nice one as he tries to reach her in whatever psychological fog she’s found herself in but is unceremoniously booted when her mom appears. My favorite version of Stiles is when he’s being a little shit so him stealing the guards pass was a nice moment. Can’t wait for the Lydia rescue mission next week.


Can’t say I’m thrilled with Gerard being back and being an active portion of the plot but I do think Tyler Posey was great in convincing us that Scott hates him as much as the rest of us.

My biggest gripe with the episode was the idea that anyone would still want to live in Beacon Hills at this point. The episode begins with 23 bodies being found and there’s a giant, ancient and Gothic like creature roaming the streets killing for sport. It’s to the point where even television characters living in the fictional town seems ludicrous.

The episode ends on a relative lighthearted moment though as the pack stands around the table and plans their attack on Eichen House. So, with the hopes of the fully formed pack bringing some charm back into the show, I’ll hold off my pettier complaints for later.





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