Last night’s Teen Wolf, aptly titled “Frayed,” was a gorgeous and, at times, slightly cinematic, study of the characters we’ve come to love over the course of the show. Not only was the storyline chopped into pieces and delivered (beautifully) out-of-order, but also several of the characters found themselves unraveling to varying degrees over the course of the episode–Scott found himself in peril both mentally and physically, Isaac and Boyd struggled with their self-control and anger, Allison fought with herself as well as (both of) her parents, and Derek spent a majority of the episode missing and presumed dead.
I’ll start at the beginning.
The episode opened with Scott, Stiles, Isaac, Boyd and only one of the Alpha twins, Ethan, on a bus heading toward a cross country meet. Stiles and Scott shared a confusing conversation that revealed Scott had a vicious wound on his side courtesy of an Alpha and resulted in this killer line, “I can’t believe Derek’s dead.” Um, WHAT? Oh, and Lydia and Allison were tailing the bus because, as revealed via partial flashback, Scott had stopped by Allison’s with one of her exploding arrows (which he found by the school) and proceeded to warn her away from getting involved with the Alpha pack. They shared a brief sparring session (after Allison insisted she could take Scott in a fight) that was loaded with sexual tension before Scott injured Allison’s wrist and left. While Scott and Alison made a good couple, I have to be honest–I’m really enjoying this new phase of their relationship. The pair aren’t romantically together, but they still care deeply about one another, enough to rush to the other’s aid whenever one of them is in danger. And they’re being very mature about the whole situation, which is a rarity on any teen show. Also, the two are growing very much as people while they’re separated–Scott’s on a path to leadership, whilst Allison’s becoming quite the badass.
Anyway, post-Allison visit (and still in a flashback), Scott ran into the Deucalion in the elevator of Allison’s building; apparently the Alpha pack’s living in the penthouse suite right above the Argents’ floor. Scott ran to Derek’s and found the pack already preparing to attack, having discovered where the Alpha’s lived through Cora and Boyd’s werewolf detective skills. Also, the group planned to attack only the Deucalion, thus cutting the head off the figurative snake, though Peter made a good counterpoint by mentioning Hercules’s battle with the multiple head-spawning Hydra. The flashback then shoots a little bit ahead, right into the middle of the battle we just witnessed the pack gearing up for. Though the scene was lovely–all of the battle scenes in “Frayed” were filmed with a dreamlike quality, with a lot of dim blue lighting and tragically beautiful music (no dubstep whatsoever!)–, the battle was clearly not going well for our beloved wolf pack.
Back to the present, Scott’s wound wasn’t healing and was even beginning to bleed through his shirt, though Scott was distracted from his injury by the tension between Isaac, Boyd, and Ethan. Though Scott hoped his friends would withhold from attacking on a bus full of onlookers, Boyd was looking increasingly agitated.
Back to the battle, Derek is fighting one of the Alphas, and the pair fall over the edge of the floor, onto a set of escalators on the floor below. As Scott peers over the edge, he sees the fallen pair, unmoving and presumably dead, lying on the steps. Later, Peter and Cora return to the scene to retrieve Derek’s body, but both bodies have gone missing.
On the bus, a delirious Scott tries to reach Boyd before he wolfs out and attacks Ethan, and, in a nicely-poignant touch, a conversation Scott had with vet Dr. Deaton plays over the moment: Scott asks the vet for advice on stopping his wayward pack, but the vet suggests a different approach and insists Scott shouldn’t stop them, but lead them. Scott does just that when he reaches Boyd, by talking him down rather than commanding him to stop. After the danger’s momentarily averted, Stiles attempts to get Danny (who’s sitting next to Ethan) to puzzle out why Ethan is checking his phone with an unnatural frequency. The pair share a funny fight via text and facial expressions, with Danny finally relenting when Stiles refuses to let the matter drop. Turns out, Ethan’s got a sick friend who’s on the verge of dying.
Next thing we see, missing twin Aidan and the rest of the Alphas are dragging one of their members, the one who had fallen to his supposed death with Derek during the battle, to Dr. Deaton’s for some emergency surgery. To make the vet comply, the bitchy werewolf threatens to kill Ms. Morell.
Worried about Scott, Stiles gives Lydia and Allison a call (he realized hours ago that the pair were tailing the bus, something that had escaped Scott’s notice) for help. Lydia’s solution is to get Stiles to convince the coach to pull over the bus, something the coach repeatedly refuses to do until Stiles has the bright idea to get queasy teammate Jared to vomit. The bus stops and clears out within moments, giving Lydia, Stiles, and Allison the chance to drag Scott into a rest stop bathroom. Once inside, Lydia realizes Scott’s wound isn’t healing because he’s somehow given himself a mental block. The trio’s solution is to stitch Scott up (if they can convince him that the wound’s healing, then the mental block will come down), and the task is relegated to Allison, while Lydia and Stiles leave to stall the bus from leaving.
Allison’s an emotional wreck over her worry for Scott’s life, so much so that she can’t even thread the needle. Mama Argent pays her a visit and proceeds to verbally abuse Allison for her inability to complete such a simple task, but when Allison begins to truly freak out, her mother begins to calm her instead. I’m interested in seeing whether the visions of her mother are plaguing Alison psychologically, or whether they’re simply visual representations of what’s going on in Allison’s head, i.e. is she using the memory of her mother to motivate her, and the show’s giving us a 3D look inside Allison’s mind. Maybe it’s a combination of both? We’ll see. Anyway, Allison calmed down enough to thread the needle and stitch up Scott, unfortunately, Scott was no longer breathing when she finished.
Luckily, Scott jerked awake and told Allison he blamed himself for Derek’s death. In another pre-battle flashback, Scott attempts to leave his house but Isaac refuses to allow him to go alone. The duo ride (on one motorcycle! Too cute) to the apartment building to confront the Deucalion, but they aren’t alone–Derek steps out of the shadows, along with the rest of his pack. Not to be outdone, the Deucalion calls out his own pack. The Alphas surround Scott and co., and Scott realizes Derek knew this would be Scott’s decision all along.
In the present, Allison helps Scott out of the bathroom, but Stiles informs them that he told Boyd and Isaac what was happening with Scott, and one of the wolves snapped. Thinking the wolf was Boyd, Scott was surprised to find Isaac attacking Ethan instead. Scott immediately stopped him by shouting his name.
At the vet’s, Peter and Cora arrived and realized the entire Alpha pack was inside. Though the vet managed to save the injured Alpha, the Deucalion stopped by to crush his pack member’s skull with his bare hand. Gruesome and terrifying. A villain who’s willing to kill his own men for his personal gain is scary and very threatening, though his desire for power could also be his undoing. For now, the show’s simply giving him time to develop as a villain, and the tactic is working–the audience is seeing Deucalion as a real threat and a quality Big Bad, while Scott and co. are running scared and failing to fight their enemies at every turn. Also, there’s still build-up for a potentially bigger Big Bad in the human-sacrificing dark Druid.
Anyway, a final flashback to the battle showed Scott and co. being defeated by the Alpha pack, until Alison showed up with her exploding arrows and saved the day. Turns out, her father had attempted to talk her out of getting involved with the wolves again, but she countered by pointing out that almost her entire family was dead, and she refused to lose her friends as well. Scott saw Allison and climbed to his feet. He attacked one of the Alphas, and the pair collided with quite a big thud. Derek stepped in and wrestled with the Alpha to the edge of the floor. Trying to help, Scott slashed the Alpha’s leg, but the Alpha dragged Derek down with him. Thus the reason Scott’s been blaming himself for Derek’s (presumed) death.
Lastly, did anyone truly believe Derek was dead? Especially after his body up and disappeared, and the Alpha was revealed to have survived the fall? Come on, a character as important and beloved as Derek wouldn’t die like that! No, Derek was alive–he wandered to English teacher Ms. Blake’s car, smacked a bloody hand print on her window and collapsed unconscious onto the pavement. A bit drama queen-y, but that seems to be Derek’s style. Oh, Derek.
So, next week’s promo showed the group spending a not-so-fun night of horrific shenanigans at some motel while Derek lies on his deathbed, so that should be good! Can’t wait!