Because I now feel that enough time has passed for me to throw my hat in the ring, my thoughts on Teen Wolf’s 3x20 episode, Echo House:
I’ve had almost a week to process the most recent episode of Teen Wolf. It has obviously caused a fair amount of backlash and was a magnet for opinions across the fandom. I’ve read a few things here and there, but I had decided to give it some time and then re-watch the episode today. In doing so, some of the issues I had with that episode were further clarified.
The main issue I had (and the only one I’m going to address in detail), was the portrayal of a mental health facility which was beyond inappropriate. This show relies on a suspension of belief and, in my personal opinion, if you want me to believe in werewolves (and other things), I expect you to put them in a world I can relate to. As someone who works in a mental health facility, this was NOT the way to do it.
I could list several things about this facility in general that were gross misrepresentations, but several others already have so I’m going to skip that part. More than anything, I hate the way that it makes facilities and staff out to be criminals who are ‘out to get’ the mentally ill. There are people in this world that do not understand mental illness and do not know how to help someone experiencing it. Luckily, these people generally do not work in any type of job involving mental health.
Additionally, what message does this send to viewers who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and the like? “You’re crazy, don’t tell anyone or they’ll throw you in one of these places and lock you up?” or “Watch how crazy these people are, it’s great entertainment?” The show should use its popularity to reach out to its audience and communicate that having a mental illness is a serious thing and that asking for help is okay. I really wish the writers had either done it right or not done it at all.
I had several other issues with this episode, but that was by far the one that got to me the most. Portraying a facility like that to get a good ‘scare factor’ is just not worth the message it sends.