‘Teen Wolf’ S3E12 Recap: Now You See Me

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Well, that wasn’t too bad, was it? Happy endings all around, Kali and the Darach aside. Of course, God only knows what’s coming to town after the kids put the “beacon” back in “Beacon Hills.” But, for now, everyone’s safe, sound, and moderately okay–even the scarring was kept to a minimal, with the exception being Scott, Stiles, and Allison and their newly-darkened hearts. Those should provide Teen Wolf with plenty of deep and personal character drama in the future, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…we’ve still got “Lunar Ellipse(/Eclipse?)” to discuss!

Post-sacrificial deaths, Scott, Stiles, and Allison woke in a bright and empty Dark Knight-esque room decorated solely with the Nemeton and a few hundred fluorescent lights. Scott reached the roots first and pressed his hand to them; immediately, he was taken to that fateful night during the pilot when Peter bit him. The roots took Stiles there, too, and Allison wound up nearby, where she and her mother nearly ran over Scott, then stopped and found his inhaler in the woods. No, this wasn’t an afterlife trip through the past; the Nemeton’s location was right beside where the trio’s supernatural adventures began. After their respective mental journeys, the trio woke up for real in Deaton’s veterinarian office, and Deaton quickly informed them they’d been out for sixteen hours, leaving the lunar eclipse only four hours away. Whoops (but also convenient!).

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Before the group could formulate a plan, Ethan the Nice Twin burst into the vet’s office to fetch Lydia for help stopping his brother and Kali, who were on their way to kill Derek. Though Cora’s healthy and healed, Derek’s a weakened Beta shell of his former Alpha self and unable to fight. Peter made the Hale siblings run and disappeared himself, just as Kali and Aiden confronted Lydia and Ethan. But, before anyone could attack, Jennifer burst through the ceiling (she and Derek have that overly-dramatic entrance thing in common), slaughtered Kali with shards of glass, and broke the neck of the conjoined twins (don’t worry, they’ll later be taken to Deaton by Lydia and Cora and saved). Then, she rounded on Lydia and urged her to scream, knowing Derek and Cora would hear and come running (which they promptly did).

At Allison’s, where she, Scott and Isaac were gathering weapons, Scott ran into his father waiting for them. With no leads on the murders other than the kids, Agent McCall hoped to grill Scott and co. for information. Allison had other, better plans that involved a quick defense of her father’s need for the weapons followed by the dropping of a smoke grenade. At the same time, Stiles found himself in the middle of a Darach-influenced storm and crashed his jeep into a tree. As Scott rejoined the Deucalion, Allison and Isaac went off in search of Stiles, until Isaac heard Mr. Argent’s sonic emitter, and the pair found the root cellar instead.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

With the Deucalion at his side, Scott came up with a nifty use for product placement and lured Jennifer to the slaughter warehouse where the Deucalion originally lost his pack. She arrived, but not alone: Derek, having fallen for her revenge pleas, joined her to take down the Deucalion and save the guardians. Of course, the demon wolf transformed into his namesake and proceeded to take the pair down, until that pesky lunar eclipse hit. As the Deucalion lay defenseless on the ground, Derek urged Jennifer to heal his eyes (knowing this would weaken her) so he could see her true face. Jennifer, all too happy to oblige, healed the Deucalion’s blindness and reverted to her hideous, evil Druid face. Luckily for the wolves and unfortunately for Jennifer, she weakened herself long enough for the eclipse to end. Trying to protect herself long enough to complete the sacrifice (the guardians plus Allison and Isaac were about to be crushed in the cellar, thanks to the Darach’s magic storm), Jennifer dropped a circle of mountain ash. Scott didn’t care; he shoved his way through the circle–becoming a red-eyed Alpha in the process–and threatened to kill Jennifer to save his “pack.” Impatient, the Deucalion stepped forward and slit the Darach’s throat, effectively cutting off the storm.

Stiles, having arrived at the cellar in time to help hold it up with a baseball bat, gave Scott a call for help. Then, in a decision they’ll probably come to regret, Derek and Scott let the Deucalion live and told him to get the hell out of town.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

As the midseason finale came to a close, Scott filled Deaton (and the audience) in on the current happenings in Beacon Hills. Derek and Cora left town, the Argents came up with a new family motto (“We protect those who cannot protect themselves”), Scott’s father stuck around but isn’t welcome, and Scott and Stiles feel the darkness surrounding their hearts every day. To lesson the weight, Scott simply looks at his friends: Lydia and Aiden, Danny and Ethan, Isaac and Allison, and, of course, Stiles.

All’s well that ends well, right? WRONG. Peter, who WAS up to no good last episode when he encouraged Derek to sacrifice his Alpha status for Cora’s life, found Jennifer crawling to the Nemeton to be healed and killed her before she could touch the tree. Then, he shouted to the skies that he is, and has always been, the Alpha.

And that’s it, see you in January!

Bonus: The song playing toward the end of the episode, when Scott returned to school, was “Kids” by Mikky Ekko.

 

 

 

 

‘Teen Wolf’ S3E11 Recap: Family Matters

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

“Alpha Pact” picked up right where last week’s breathtaking episode left off, with Scott and his mother gone and everyone else reconvening in the hospital parking lot. After literally slapping an unconscious Derek awake, Stiles sent him off to find Cora and run, then opted to remain at the hospital to delay the cops; the Argents found Isaac alone (Peter ran off after spotting the hunting duo), and Derek filled the trio in on Scott and his mother’s whereabouts. With everyone up to speed, the real fun began: a new character came to town, allegiances shifted, budding relationships developed, and several major characters chose to sacrifice themselves to save their families. As a penultimate episode, “Alpha Pact” did an excellent job setting up the midseason finale without skimping on heavy character moments.

So, let’s talk about it!

As Stiles quickly learned via an FBI agent he not only recognized, but also did NOT appear happy to see, someone had written “Argent” on the hospital’s elevator doors. The message was either a threat or a warning, depending on who wrote it, but no one needed to know the deliverer’s identity to understand Mr. Argent was the last guardian on the Darach’s hit list. Stiles immediately ran to the Argents with the news, and they pieced together a plan to attack the Darach. Isaac, after a one-sided screaming match at Derek’s (where he ultimately asked Derek why he’d turned the members of his pack, and Derek copped up to his loneliness), stopped by to help. After sending Stiles to find Lydia AKA Beacon Hills’s resident banshee/death detector, Mr. Argent took Allison and Isaac to the bank under the guise that Jennifer would return to the site of a failed sacrifice for a do-over. But, Mr. Argent had no intention of fighting the Darach–instead, he shocked Isaac to the ground and handcuffed Allison to the bank’s guard rails before tossing his beloved gun aside and sacrificing himself to a very pleased evil Druid.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Once Isaac contacted Stiles with the bad news, Stiles immediately began to have a panic attack in the middle of the school hallway. To calm him down, Lydia dragged him into the empty locker room and tried to make him think happy thoughts; when this failed, she kissed him. Unsurprisingly, her plan worked, and newly-calm Stiles realized they needed to find Ms. Morell. Though the guidance counselor herself was missing, Stiles searched her office and pulled out Lydia’s file. Inside was one of Lydia’s tree sketches, which Stiles noticed was identical to every single tree sketch Lydia’d been doodling in class. By flipping the tree over, the picture represented roots, and Stiles smartly deduced where the guardians were being held. Unfortunately, all attempts to find the location of the root cellar fell through–Lydia found Derek (and ran into Peter, resulting in a tense stare down that ended with Peter looking uncharacteristically ashamed), but his memory of the location had been wiped by his mother Talia after his and Peter’s tragic experiences there; Stiles drew a blank with Allison, whose grandfather had long ago forgotten the cellar’s location. With the help of Deaton (who’d rescued Stiles from more FBI questioning), Stiles, Allison, and Isaac came up with a plan, but they needed Scott.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Meanwhile, Ms. Morell was running for her life through the woods as the pack of Alphas chased her. Scott and the Deucalion were there, too, discussing the Darach. Deucalion confessed he wasn’t scared of the Darach, but concerned–anyone willing to kill so many innocent people for her cause was somebody who shouldn’t be underestimated. When Scott asked about the Deucalion’s stance on murder, the Deucalion responded with this chilling line: “I’ll kill any living thing that gets in my way.” So, this battle between the Deucalion and the Darach ought to be semi-exciting, right? Anyway, Ms. Morell trapped herself in a circle of mountain ash while the Alphas and Scott surrounded her. The Deucalion wanted Ms. Morell dead because she was so similar to the Darach, and he was distrustful of her, especially after she sent the girl (from the premiere!) to rescue Isaac from the twins. Then, Ms. Morell began to call the Deucalion out on his lies (especially about Ennis, which definitely piqued Kali’s interest), and he responded by throwing his spear/walking stick through her chest. Scott stopped the pack from finishing the kill and asked Ms. Morell where the guardians were.

Later, Scott met up secretly with Deaton and Stiles in the woods, and Deaton revealed his plan: the kids of the guardians would act as surrogate sacrifices for their parents. Though Deaton believes he can bring the kids back, the plan is still dangerous; if they succeed, the Special Druid Tree will have more power than it’s had in years, and the trio will carry a mark (like a darkness around their hearts, as Deaton put it) with them for the rest of their lives. Oh, and the tree will act as a beacon to all supernatural creatures. Of course the three teens agreed to this almost immediately, and Deaton brought them to ice-filled basins in his veterinarian building. Each teen sacrifice needed someone they were emotionally bonded with to push them beneath the water, as well as draw them back to life–Lydia attempted to go to Allison, but Deaton, correctly assessing a bond that the pair probably haven’t even admitted to themselves yet, sent her to Stiles. Isaac went to Allison and Deaton to Scott. Moments before their heads were shoved under the icy water, Stiles informed Scott his father was back in town. That’s right, the FBI agent Stiles seems to hate? He’s SCOTT’S FATHER. Such a good development, seriously. Anyway, under the water they went, and Scott’s eyes opened to reveal a lovely shade of True Alpha gold.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Having spent most of the episode fairly removed from the action, Derek and Peter sussed out a potential cure for Cora. It involved Derek sacrificing his Alpha status so Cora could use the extra spark of magic/power Alphas have to live. Though Derek definitely reverted to a blue-eyed beta (which Peter looked very pleased about), Cora’s fate remains up in the air. Also, despite being stripped of every one of his weapons, Mr. Argent still had his sonic werewolf alarm; he pressed the button, hoping the wolves would be clued in to the guardians’ location.

And that’s it! Next week’s the midseason finale, and it looks like a werewolf-blocking lunar eclipse will be creating havoc for the wolves. Should be fun!

Notes

–As Peter pointed out to Derek, Isaac’s pretty much completely Team Scott now. And the Deucalion’s pack still seems to slowly be splintering, especially after Ms. Morell cast doubt upon the Deucalion’s past actions.

–Sheriff Stilinski’s a true believer now–Mama McCall filled him in on the town’s supernatural intricacies (including Mr. Argent’s werewolf hunter status); in a heartbreaking moment, he confessed that not believing in the past had led to him missing his wife’s death when an injured girl buried under a car pileup told him to hurry to his wife, but he didn’t believe in her abilities and chose to stay with the dying girl.

‘Teen Wolf’ S3E9 Recap: The Girl in Question

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

“The Girl Who Knew Too Much” had not one but TWO shocking reveals–the first being the identity of the Darach, and the second being the two-and-a-half season long mystery surrounding Lydia, who up till now had seemed like a psychic with a taste for screaming. Oh, and Stiles finally told his father about Beacon Hills’s supernatural shenanigans, Scott sought advice on the murders and his impending-True Alpha status, and Allison bonded with Isaac whilst hunting for the evil Druid killer.

The episode opened with the murder of a cop investigating a 911 call from inside the high school. After running into a group of students (including Danny) practicing for an upcoming recital, the cop was pulled into the locker room and strangled. Shortly after the murder, the core four arrived at the school thanks to Lydia’s spidey senses and found the body. The Darach sure loves slaughtering people from/within the high school (HINT HINT).

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Anyway, the next day Allison faked a sick day so she could follow Mr. Argent (whom she suspected of being the killer). As she was preparing her weapons, a noise from outside set her on guard, and she pulled a lurking Isaac through the window and held a knife to his throat. Scott had sent him to check up on Allison, though, as she pointed out, she can take care of herself.

With Aiden back in school, Scott and Stiles had to devise a plan to get Ethan alone (they wanted to question him about the Alpha pack’s druid emissary, because Ethan is the nicer twin). That plan involved Lydia, who pulled Aiden into an abandoned classroom for a make-out session, which was promptly interrupted by Cora scratching the werewolf revenge symbol onto the door. Aiden chased Cora to the locker room (Why do so many fights happen in the locker room? Is that just the easiest place to stage them in? Or just the most private?) and began to beat her with some weights before Ethan (who, while being questioned by Scott and Stiles, had felt a pain in his chest indicating his brother was injured) stopped him. The mission was only semi-successful–Scott and Stiles learned the twins had been the omegas (or, as Stiles said, “bitches”) of their pack, and, when the Deucalion showed them how to do their back-fisting trick, they slaughtered everyone, including the Alpha–but Cora wound up grievously injured in the fight. Stiles, ever the gentleman, offered to take her home,

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Back at Apartment Argent, Allison showed Isaac her father’s map. When Isaac took a step back so he could see the whole picture, the pair found a five-fold knot AKA a Celtic symbol on Mr. Argent’s desk. Each knot represented a group of sacrifices, which Mr. Argent wrote in the center: virgins, warriors, healers, philosophers, and guardians. Because of the dead cop, Allison and Isaac presumed the guardians were being targeted. They gave Stiles a call to protect his father, and Stiles realized it was time to let the Sheriff in on the truth. Though Stiles did his best to explain, he only made his father angry. As a last ditch attempt to reveal the truth, Stiles enlisted Cora to shift; unfortunately, Cora fainted instead.

Done with his lone wolf brooding, Derek returned to Ms. Blake–the pair shared a cheese-tastic reunion complete with slo-mo walking and leaves blowing. Luckily (for us), the bell rang. Inside the school, Scott stopped by guidance counselor/druid emissary Ms. Morell’s office to accuse her of being the murderer and then receive some advice when he realized she wasn’t a killer. In her professional opinion, the Deucalion either wants to possess Scott or destroy him.

Then the Darach kidnapped a teacher–one minute, he was writing notes on the board, the next he was gone and a five-fold knot had replaced the notes–and Lydia wandered into his classroom in a trance-like state. She proceeded to pick up the teacher’s fallen chalk, write a “2” in one of the circles, and scream. Ms. Blake, Scott, and a handful of judgey students filed into the room as Lydia declared she was either psychic or “something!”

Using Mr. Argent’s map, Allison and Isaac found the location of the next sacrifice. They were too late to save the teacher, and Mr. Argent was immediately ruled out as a suspect when he arrived with his guns literally blazing. The trio called the cops and then headed to the school, where the recital Ms. Blake had set up to honor the dead was about to start. (Because they wanted to catch the Darach, who was clearly targeting philosophers instead of guardians, not because they were eager to hear some mournful music.)

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Lydia decided to stick around for the fun; she and Scott shared a sweet moment when Lydia told him she wanted to find a body before its death so someone like Scott could save the victim. Scott earnestly promised her he’d do exactly that. Then the Argents and Isaac (looking apologetically at a confused Scott) arrived, and the recital began.

Still refusing to believe his son, the Sheriff convinced Mama McCall to help him read about a past murder. Apparently, a woman had been killed and hundreds of birds had simultaneously offed themselves as a sacrifice.

Lydia left the recital and was immediately cornered by Ms. Blake–AKA the Darach!–in an empty classroom and knocked unconscious. (Ms. Blake’s been pretty boring until now, with no real role aside from Derek’s snooze-worthy love interest, but this reveal changes everything!) Lydia woke to the recital musicians playing the Darach’s murder theme (which sounds awfully reminiscent of the prisoners’ chanting as Batman climbed out of hole in The Dark Knight Rises, doesn’t it?), and then Ms. Blake started spouting nonsense about sacrifices for deities and necessary evil. (On second thought, maybe her new villain status won’t make her suck any less.) Ms. Blake intended to kill Lydia for “knowing too much,” but Lydia replied to this by screaming loud enough to affect all of the wolves in the vicinity, including Derek at the hospital visiting Cora. (There was also a gruesome bit here where a cord in the piano snapped and sliced the pianist’s neck, effectively killing her and causing a mass panic.) Ms. Blake realized what Lydia was–a wailing woman, AKA a banshee (Via Google, a banshee is an omen of death who wails when someone is about to die). COOL. Teen Wolf‘s been tormenting us with Lydia’s true nature for ages now, so it’s nice to finally understand who and what she is.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Anyway, Sheriff Stilinski arrived to save Lydia, but Ms. Blake tossed a knife at his chest. Then Scott showed up, wolfed out, and attacked, but Ms. Blake has some wicked Druid skills and shoved him in the chest; Scott flew across the room and began coughing up blood. Lastly, Stiles tried to get into the room, but Ms. Blake shoved a desk against the door and approached the Sheriff. He shot her in the leg, but she healed, confirmed she was behind the murder he had looked into with Mama McCall, kissed him (I don’t know) and then kidnapped him.

I bet you believe in the supernatural now, Sheriff Stilinski! (I’m sorry.)

See you next week!

 

‘Teen Wolf’ S3E8 Recap: Behind Blue Eyes

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Last night’s Teen Wolf, “Visionary,” was absolutely full of enlightening exposition that answered plenty of key questions whilst also setting up the next step in the gradually unfolding Druid/Alphas saga. As Scott and Allison questioned Gerard Argent for information about the Deucalion, Stiles and Cora simultaneously quizzed Peter Hale on Derek’s personality (after Derek disappeared to grieve over Boyd), beginning with the moment(s) that changed him into the broody, blue-eyed werewolf he is today. By throwing in flashbacks to Derek’s high school years, “Visionary” managed to avoid being a snooze-worthy episode full of talk and no action–Derek’s past was not only interesting (thanks to decently-cast actors as young Derek and his lady-love, Paige, though Peter’s younger self was a bit of a miscast), but also genuinely touching and tragic.

I’ll start at the beginning.

Allison took Scott to Gerard’s, who, in exchange for answers, wanted Scott to use his nifty pain-sucking trick; Scott obliged, and, after a bit of hem-hawing and Allison threatening to leave, Gerard finally launched into his story. Across town, Peter began his own story that nicely complimented Gerard’s, because both involved the period of time when a handful of wolf packs were running around Beacon Hills. In both stories, Gerard and Mr. Argent were hunting the Alphas, who were still split into three separate packs: the Deucalion (not yet blinded) headed one, while Barefooted Psychopath and Ennis headed the others. Seeking guidance on how to proceed against the hunters (after the hunters shot an arrow through the neck of one wolf, and then hung him from the ceiling of an abandoned building before slicing him in half), the trio of wolf packs waited for none other than Talia Hale, Derek’s mother, who was respected by the others because of her unique shifting abilities.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Meanwhile, a cocky young Derek Hale was falling in love with violinist Paige. But, as their relationship grew more serious, Derek fell into brooding over how he’d keep the secret of his lycanthropy from her. With the help of an all-too-eager Peter, Derek decided he’d turn his girlfriend into a wolf as well. He needed an Alpha to do the biting, and Peter decided to sic Ennis on the poor girl. Tragedy struck after Paige was bitten–turns out, not everyone can handle the werewolf curse/gift. Derek took his dying girlfriend to the base of a ritualistic Druid tree (more on that in a minute), and, to put her out of her misery, Derek killed her himself. As a result of killing an innocent, his golden eyes turned bright blue. Truly sad stuff–though Cora and Stiles did question the accuracy of Peter’s retelling after realizing they were only hearing one side of the story. I’m sure we’ll be hearing Derek’s side soon enough.

Back to that Druid tree. Gerard and Mr. Argent stumbled across the site of a Druid meeting place and discovered markings (and blood) on the base of an old, giant tree. Mr. Argent realized the symbols on the tree meant the werewolf packs were receiving guidance from some Druid emissaries. (According to Gerard, the very first werewolves were brought into creation by some angry Gods and a group of Druids who taught the wolves how to shift into human form.) In an awesome reveal, Gerard told Scott and Allison that Deaton and his guidance counselor sister were the emissaries in question–though Deaton’s put that past behind him, his sister is still the Druidic adviser to the current Alpha pack wreaking havoc on Beacon Hills.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Lastly, the story of the Deucalion’s present-day blindness. Gerard was ambushed inside the abandoned building where the wolf had been severed by the hunters. Of course, Gerard was prepared–he turned on the steam to distract/hinder the wolves, then whipped out a terrifying homemade weapon that was essentially a wooden club lined with spikes. As he clubbed away at several wolves, the Deucalion managed to slip outside. Unfortunately, Gerard caught up to him, held up two of those arrows Allison loves (the ones that emit electrical shocks or fire–something violent, anyway), and stabbed them into the Deucalion’s eyes.

When the injured Deucalion ran to Deaton, the vet/Druid adviser informed the Alpha he would be blind forever, though his eyes would heal–when the Alpha sent everyone out of the room so he could be free to breakdown in peace, one of his power-hungry pack members refused to leave, thinking he could easily kill his blinded leader and become an Alpha himself. But, surprise!, the Deucalion has the ability to see whenever he’s in wolf form, and he quickly killed the mutinous pack member.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

As Scott and Allison left Gerard, Scott paused for a moment to threaten Gerard’s life if it turned out he was lying, and his lies got someone killed; Derek, who’d been missing for the entire episode (his present day self, at least), returned to the sight of the werewolf ambush and found the werewolf revenge symbol Ennis had carved into the building in anger.

 

‘Teen Wolf’ S3E6 Recap: Motel Hell

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

At first glance, Teen Wolf might easily be dismissed as a corny supernatural teen drama, but, over the course of two and a half seasons, the show has proved itself to be anything but ordinary. The show has never been afraid to take stylistic or storytelling risks, and last night’s episode was nothing but a storytelling risk: a bus full of ordinary (and not-so-ordinary) high school students stop at a creepy, Bates-like motel for a night and encounter plenty of horror movie thrills, complete with phantom suicides, werewolf mind control, and spooky motel managers that take pride in their motel’s suicide record. Oh, and Alpha Derek managed to gain a girlfriend whilst lying on his deathbed (though that particular storyline felt a little off, to be honest).

The episode opened with a flashback to the motel in 1977, where an injured man was checking himself in with a gun. After examining a werewolf bite on his side, the man pulled open the shades to witness the full moon. As his eyes turned gold, the man held a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Who was the man? None other than an Argent. Self-sacrificing has been in that family for a while, apparently.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Present day, the bus stops at a cheap and shady motel after their cross-country meet was pushed back a day. Lydia immediately gets bad vibes from the place, but Allison comforts her by saying it’s only for a night. Lydia counters with “a lot can happen in one night.” Cue credits.

Sharing a room, Scott and Stiles ran through Stiles’s list of suspected murderers (the number of which had dropped from about ten to four, and Derek had been on the list twice though he’s still presumed dead by the group). Topping the list was chem teacher Harris (whose body has not yet been found), followed by Derek’s sis Cora, mysterious vet Deaton, and Lydia (because of her past mind control via Peter). Back in Beacon Hills, Ms. Blake dragged half-dead Derek to his loft, and Mr. Argent inspected the abandoned mall where the vicious wolf fight had taken place. Looks like Allison isn’t the only one breaking her promise, though it was really only a matter of time before the Argents’ lackluster attempt to keep away from the town’s supernatural shenanigans fell through.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Speaking of supernatural shenanigans, the group was only in the motel for a short period of time (but luckily long enough for Danny and Ethan to have a hot make-out sesh) before the freaky hijinks began. Stiles found Boyd staring blankly at the motel’s vending machine, and, when the machine failed, Boyd simply smashed the glass with his fist and grabbed his food. Awesome, but not normal. Scott stopped by Allison’s room whilst she was showering and spouted some weird(er than usual) junk in an apparent attempt to get back together with her, though he spent the whole exchange in a strange daze. Isaac began to hear his father’s voice in his head (remnants from a past exchange between the pair) and remembered his time spent locked in a freezer. And Ethan abandoned Danny once a HEAD tried to burst through the Alpha twin’s stomach. His solution was to hold a handsaw to his stomach, but Lydia, Allison and Stiles heard the noise and stopped him; he snapped out of his suicidal state once his hand brushed a burning heater.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Lydia, who’d been plagued with hearing phantom suicides since the bus’s arrival, heard a past instance of a mother drowning her baby (this was a pretty dark episode, by the way) and realized someone in the motel was drowning. Stiles and Lydia burst into Boyd’s room (he was being haunted by his childhood past, when his sister died by falling through some ice) and found him lying underwater in the bathtub with a heavy safe holding him down. Realizing heat would wake Boyd up, Stiles ran to the bus for flares that would burn underwater, and Lydia found Isaac cowering under his motel bed. The pair saved Boyd and Isaac, then caught up with Allison to find Scott. Unfortunately, Scott had retrieved the last flare from the bus; he was holding it whilst standing in a pool of gasoline. As Stiles, Allison and Lydia helplessly watched, Scott ran through the reasons why he thought he’d be better off dead, namely that he’d be nothing again (like he’d been pre-wolf bite), and his friends and family would be safe. The scene was truly heartbreaking–Scott was clearly still wrestling with the guilt over Derek’s presumed death, as well as every instance where someone he cared about or knew had been hurt or killed thanks to the wolves. Toss in his reluctance to lead a pack of teen wolves, and whatever was currently messing with the wolves’ heads, and Scott was in a seriously bad head space. Stiles managed to talk Scott down by telling him how much he needs him, how they’re more than best friends, they’re brothers, and Scott finally threw the flare away. Unfortunately, something blew the still-lit flare onto the gasoline, but Lydia tackled the boys and saved them. Looking back, she caught a glimpse of the previously-unseen big bad, a dark druid with a skeletal face and a set of dark robes, lurking in the flames.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

The next morning, Ethan sat by Scott on the bus and offered him some info in exchange for Scott (but really Stiles) having saved his life: the Alpha pack was pretty sure Derek was still alive, but he had killed one of their own, meaning Derek either had to join the Alpha pack or be killed. Then, Lydia noticed a black smudge on the coach’s shirt and stole his whistle; she found it was full of wolfsbane, meaning every time the coach had blown his whistle, he’d blown wolfsbane into the air and unintentionally poisoned the wolves. Stiles took the whistle and promptly threw it off the bus, much to the coach’s annoyance.

Lastly, Derek spent the episode separated from everyone else, back at Beacon Hills with Ms. Blake. Their scenes mostly involved Derek trying to heal followed by plenty of kissing (during which Derek finally did heal). The scenes felt off to me simply because Ms. Blake has been handling her encounters with Derek and the wolves so strangely–rather than be suspicious or ask a lot of questions (she asked some, though seemed relatively uninterested or unconcerned with getting answers), Ms. Blake largely accepted the weirdness and gave in to her attractions to Derek, who always seems to be on the verge of death around her? I don’t know. You’d think she’d be worried or scared, but whatever. Good for you, Derek, I guess?

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

‘Motel California’ was definitely insane, but it was so much fun to watch, and the craziness was balanced perfectly by genuinely touching character moments (which are a Teen Wolf specialty–this show rarely skimps on character development, even with secondary characters, and the show really knows how to handle the characters’ largely-supernatural struggles in ways that feel organic rather than forced). At first, I assumed the episode was a mid-season standalone, but the show surprised me by tying in the druid’s (Lydia brought up the recent sacrifices, and reasoned that werewolf sacrifices could be next on the list–a point that was seemingly proven correct by the episode’s end); every episode this season has fit in well with fellow episodes, keeping the season moving with lovely full-circle cohesion, a feat all shows should, or do, strive for but often struggle with. Overall, Teen Wolf has a very unpredictable style–you never know what each episode will bring to the table, and, though every episode seems to be a unique piece of awesome crazy, the show clearly isn’t afraid to reach for or try different things, and it’s never shied away from doing its own thing–luckily, Teen Wolf is in great hands, and the payoff is almost always worth the show’s frequent risks.

Photo Courtesy of MTV

Photo Courtesy of MTV

P.S.

You didn’t seriously think I’d miss mentioning Grandpa Argent’s return, did you? I somehow missed Michael Hogan’s credit at the beginning of the episode, so I was completely shocked when he turned up at the end, wheelchair-bound and still bleeding black fluid through his nose. So glad he’s not dead! Mr. Argent paid him a visit to learn the name of the Alpha who’d bitten the Argent we saw at the beginning of the episode. I bet you can guess his name, but here it is anyway: Deucalion!

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‘Teen Wolf’ S3E5 Recap: Coming Undone

Photo by MTV

Photo by MTV

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.

Photo by MTV.

Photo by MTV

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.

Photo by MTV.

Photo by MTV

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.

Photo by MTV.

Photo by MTV

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.

Photo by MTV

Photo by MTV

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!