Oh, I’m sorry; Derek was supposedly dead for almost the entire episode? Boyd and Issac were having anger issues? Stiles and Scott were having the loudest conversation about werewolves ever-with actually werewolves with super human hearing on the bus? Lydia was holding a book that essentially spelt “look at how smart this character is” across the cover?
I couldn’t be troubled to notice because Allison was such a well-rounded, bad ass of a character this episode-so much so that she actually managed to eclipse the negatives.
You know what? I liked “Frayed”-a lot actually. For about a thirty minute chunk of it it was clever, spoke to the depth of the characters that we’ve come to know for the past three seasons and created high tension moments of distress without relying on camp and techno music to drive it forward.
It’s a shame the rest of the episode was spent on a flashback montage that did nothing to move forward the plot and rather detracted from the overall quality of the episode. Here is what flashbacks are supposed to do: disorient the viewers. A flashback at the beginning of a movie or television show is meant to throw the viewer off the narratives scent and try to weave their way under the watchers skin until they’ve come to the right conclusion-or at least have made some guesses. “Frayed” derails any momentum the suspension could have carried the moment Scott said that Derek was “dead” (dammit Derek!).
There is no shock value-we all know he isn’t actually dead- and on top of that the entirety of the flashback sequences seem like a royal waste of time. They could have spent the first five minutes of the show showing us what happened and the result and it would have proven to be a much more satisfactory episode.
Because the rest? Well the rest was pretty damn awesome.
The boys Scott and Stiles are on a bus to a cross-country meet, the former worse for wear after a serious run in with the alphas. Allison is tailing them after seeing Scott fighting and systematically falling apart because of it and has bought Lydia along with her. However, trouble arises in the form of angst ridden teen wolves when Boyd cannot control his anger issues and Scott continues to bleed out on the bus after a cut from the alpha wolf.
The highlight of the episode comes when the bus comes to a halt and Scotts situation turns dire. Proving that Stiles can be a scheming little devil sometimes he manages to get everyone to vacate the bus so that he, Allison and Lydia can bring Scott into a rest area to try to figure out what’s going on.
Lydia, the smart one obviously, comes to the realization that all of this might be in his head-he’s not allowing himself to heal because he believes that Derek’s “death” was his fault.
The solution? Stitch him up-mind over matter. If he believes there’s something holding him together, someone there to put him back in place, maybe his body will follow suit.
And here comes the BEST scene this season has done to date that so wonderfully encapsulates the entirety of a characters inner dilemma it’s astonishing that it is still the same show. There have been maybe one or two scenes in the past that have accomplished the same thing.
Lydia and Stiles leave to stall the bus and Allison attempts to thread the needle but is having difficulties, her hands shaking in anxiety. That’s when her mother appears in her mind to reprimand her-to ask her how she can’t accomplish something so mundane, so simple, all to save someone’s life.
It would be easy to believe at first that they’re simply casting her mother in the villain role, showing her as the devil on the shoulder that is there to do nothing but taunt but then we’d be underestimating the writers. Instead we see her as a mother who had both flaws but also someone who left a lasting effect on Allison-she also instilled a sense of strength that helps her calm her breath and steady her hand.
Who doesn’t love three dimensional characters? And it would be remiss to forget to mention that Crystal Reed absolutely destroyed this scene proving that she too is amongst the highest tier of actors on this show.
Scott’s patched up, he opens his eyes and they’re on their way, his inner struggle put on the back seat for now. They board the bus and head to what looks like the creepiest motel that side of the U.S.
Oh and by the way, Derek’s reveal that he isn’t dead? Should have at least waited for another episode.