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Teen Wolf Recap - 3x05: "Frayed"

Recapper: Briana of Tarth

Ruling: B+ 


Derek's dead! Except that he isn't. Lots of out of order flashbacks, a giant werewolf fight, oozing wounds, and Allison being awesome.


Previously on Teen Wolf: Derek and Jennifer Blake were being shoved down our throats, Deucalion planned to get Derek to eliminate Scott for him, Isaac wanted to kill the twins for killing the girl who saved him (which we know is true but I’m not sure how he does). And don’t expect to actually hear about that girl again; other than the small glimpse in the previouslies, we get nothing.


This episode is all over the place, timeline wise. I’ll do my best to keep it all making sense, but I can’t guarantee it will work.


On the road. On a yellow school bus, Coach is at the front alternating between watching the horizon and yelling at kids to get back in their seats. Isaac and Boyd are sharing a seat, both looking sombre. “Stop thinking about it, man,” Isaac tells Boyd. Boyd calls Isaac on thinking about “it” too. Boyd says he can’t stop, but Isaac says “there’s nothing you can do about it either.” Boyd isn’t so sure about that last thought as he glances back at…


Ethan and Danny sitting together across the aisle. Ethan looks spaced out. “Everything okay?” Danny asks. Ethan tries to brush it off, but Danny has been watching him check his phone three times in the last five minutes. Ethan’s just waiting for a message, nothing important. The two smile at each other, but as soon as Danny turns back to look out the window, Ethan’s smile drops. “Nothing,” he repeats to himself, as he turns to look back at…


Scott and Stiles sharing a seat at the back of the bus. Stiles is looking through stuff on his tablet while Scott lays his head against the window. Scott close his eyes and starts flashing back to scenes we’ve never seen before. So the bus ride is sometime in the future, and we’ll be spending the episode catching up on what’s happened. In his flashback, Scott is wolfed-out and on the ground in some kind of abandoned building. He’s clutching his stomach as if injured. He scrambles to his feet, rushing to a ledge. He watches someone fall, reaching out to try and grab them…


He’s pulled out of it by Stiles calling his name and snapping his fingers. Scott’s back to reality and asking for the next word. Stiles is helping him study for the  PSATs using words that, shockingly, are important within the context of this show: anachronism (“something that exists out of its normal time”), incongruous (“out of place, ridiculous, absurd”).


Stiles is the only one who’s ever willing to actually discuss the crazy shit going on in Beacon Hills, and he calls Scott out on how “incongruous” it is that they’re on their way to a cross country track meet after what just happened. What happened?! Also, cross country? Didn’t they just play lacrosse on this show? Anyway, Stiles also tries to trip up Scott’s PSAT studies by saying the next word is “darach.” Scott is having none of it, so Stiles continues for real: intransigent (“stubborn, obstinate”).


The bus hits a pothole and the jostling causes Scott to moan in pain and clutch his stomach. He’s clearly not okay, and whatever injury he has, it’s not healing like it should. “We shouldn’t have come. I knew it, we shouldn’t have come!” Stiles is not happy to be there. Though Scott believes there’s safety in numbers, Stiles believes there’s also death in numbers. “It’s called a massacre. Bloodbath, carnage, slaughter, butchery.” Scott groans again and Stiles wants to tell Coach. Scott swears he’s okay, but when he shows Stiles the injury, the wound is open and bloody. I’m taken out of the scene for a moment wondering why Scott wore a white t-shirt if he wanted to keep an injury hidden.


Scott swears it just hasn’t healed because it’s from an alpha. Stiles isn’t buying it: “How come Isaac and Boyd are fine, then?” So whatever happened, it was a fight with the Alpha Pack, and our entire werewolf team was involved. Scott doesn’t answer. He leans his head against the window again. “I can’t believe he’s dead,” Scott says. “I can’t believe Derek’s dead.” Wooaaahhhh.




Okay, who here has ever seen any television show ever and actually believes they killed off Derek? No, nobody? I didn’t think so. Let’s see what happened, shall we.


Behind the bus is a line of cars. In one of those cars is Allison and Lydia. Allison seems anxious, asking Lydia if she’s getting too close. “That depends,” Lydia says. “Are you just following the bus or are you planning on mounting it at some point?” Allison should back off. “Well, that also depends. Do you mean the bus or the ex-boyfriend you’re currently stalking?” Hee. After whatever happened, Allison isn’t letting Scott out of her sight. Ooh, must have been really bad. Besides, this all started when Scott came to Allison.


Flashback. Scott is in Allison’s bedroom showing her an arrowhead. He found it outside the school right where Isaac managed to get Boyd and Cora to turn back into the school a couple episodes ago. Allison thinks it must have been from the archery team. Scott’s trying not to smile: “We don’t have an archery team. And even if we did, they probably wouldn’t be using military-grade armour-piercing titanium arrowheads. I looked it up.” Allison looks a little chastened, but she keeps trying to evade the truth. Maybe it’s one of her father’s. But Scott knows about the Argents’ deal with each other to stay out of it. “Is that why you came here? To tell me to stay out of this?” Allison is unimpressed.


Scott says no, but Allison isn’t buying it. “I can take care of myself,” she says, climbing off her bed. Scott knows, but in case Allison hasn’t noticed yet, the Alpha Pack is pretty terrifying. And I mean, I guess within the context of the show they are, but for now the Alpha Pack seems less terrifying and more like a bunch of kids on a power trip trying to be terrifying. I’d be more scared if Kali finally put some shoes on. Then you’d know she meant business. Anyway, Scott also thinks the alphas have some major advantages over Allison like super human strength.


Allison is cocky. “You’re pretty strong and I can handle you.” Oh sweetie, I don’t even need to watch this scene to know you’re going to be feeling pretty embarrassed when this is over. Scott is trying not to hurt her feelings, but he scoffs. “You don’t think I’d have a chance against you?” she asks. He may not have noticed, but she’s pretty good with a bow and arrow. Scott asks what happens when she doesn’t have her weapon.


Scott: I still have super strength.

Allison: I’d have skills and training.

Scott: I have claws.

Allison: I’m smarter.

Scott: Well, I’m faster.

Allison: Prove it.


She waits for him to make the first move, smirking when he doesn’t budge. So she does, swinging her arm at him. He catches it lazily, same with the next arm. He swings her around easily, and suddenly they’re close, foreheads pressed together, lips almost touching. Allison pulls back. She waits a beat then kicks at him. He blocks all her moves again, finally catching  her arm up behind her back and  bringing her face first to the wall. Her cheeks pressed against the wall and he’s right up behind her. She struggles briefly before finally saying, “Okay, I get it, you can let go now.”


When he does, she raises her wrist and rubs it. I don’t actually think he hurt her, because this is Scott and he would never, but I do think she’s feeling a major blow to her pride and is probably a little humiliated that he took her down so easily when she was so cocky. She’s also clearly shaken by the realization of how defenceless she is physically. Scott keeps trying to apologize, but she cuts him off and says he made her point. He goes to leave, but stops just outside her doorway. “Allison, the twins were just messing with us. I’ve seen the others. I’m not telling you this because I don’t think you couldn’t easily kick my ass if you wanted to. I’m telling you this because they scare the hell out of me. And they should scare you too.” Allison seems to finally be listening.


At the elevators, Scott steps on and comes face to face with Deuc. He’s not wearing his glasses, but he’s staring straight at Scott. A few people online think that Deuc isn’t scary because he’s blind. My guess is that despite the blindness, he’s accumulated so much power that his other senses just about grant him sight.


Cut to Scott opening the door to Derek’s loft. “I know where they are!” Derek, Peter, Boyd, and Cora are around a table. Derek knows they're in the same building as the Argents. Boyd followed the twins back there. Scott figures they want our pack to know. Peter: “Or more likely, they don’t care.” There are blueprints on the table. The schemers are scheming so Derek and the pack are coming up with a pre-emptive strike. Derek says they’re going after them tomorrow. “And you’re gonna help us.”


Sidebar: Quick few things. Firstly, there’s been a lot of fandom questioning about why Derek had to kick Isaac out if he was still going to keep Boyd around. My guess is that trying to get Boyd to back out of seeking revenge on the people who kidnapped him and kept him captive for three months before turning him loose as a feral monster would be futile. Derek knows Isaac trusts Scott, so he probably thought Isaac would be safer that way. Secondly, I think it may be telling that though Peter is in on all the planning moments, he’s never back in the game. We haven’t seem him do anything wolfy aside from trying to read Isaac’s memories. So either he’s taking a really, really long time to recover from death, or there’s something bigger at work that we’ve yet to be let in on. Finally, this all started as an Allison flashback. How the hell are we now following Scott around?


After the commercial break, we’re in a flashback. Scott’s wolfed out again, so we know we’re back to Scott’s original flashback. There’s a lot of slow-motion fighting between the packs while Deuc stands and watches on an unmoving escalator. Are they in an abandoned shopping mall? How many freaking abandoned buildings does Beacon Hills have? The fighting continues, but the alphas are winning. Just before we see Scott attack…


We’re back on the bus. Coach is yelling at more kids, including Jared. Jared is some random kid in glasses who looks like he’s going to hurl soon, and Coach is giving him shit for his car sickness. Helpful, Coach. “Look at me! No, don’t look at me. Look at the horizon. Keep your eyes on the horizon.” He spots Scott leaning against the window and worries that his star athlete is carsick too. Scott swears he’s fine, but he winces in pain. Stiles looks down and notices that Scott is bleeding through his shirt. “And don’t tell me this is taking longer to heal, okay, because I’m pretty sure that still bleeding means not healing, like at all.”


Scott ignore Stiles in favour of pointing out that Ethan is listening in on them. He doesn’t think Ethan will do anything in front of so many people though. Stiles: “Well, what about the two ticking time bombs sitting right near him?” Boyd glances back at Ethan. Scott doesn’t think they will, but if he does, he’ll stop them. He has to.


Flashback. The scheming schemers are filling Scott in. They know which apartment the Alpha Pack is in, so they want to kill them first. “Why is the default always murder?” Scott asks. “Just once, can someone try to come up with something that doesn’t involve killing everyone?” Peter wonders if Scott ever gets tired of being so blandly moral. I doubt it. But, Peter does agree with him. Cora doesn’t: “Why do we need this kid?” Okay girl, between this and last week, I am already so tired of your shit. Derek answers for me: “This kid helped save your life.” Moving on, they can’t just sit back and wait to be attacked. They know they can’t take on the entire Alpha Pack, so they just want to cut off the head and take down Deuc. Peter is firmly on Scott’s side, saying this isn’t like a snake where you cut off the head and the body dies. This is a hydra, and they’re all alphas; cut off the head, and two more grow back in its place.


Present. Allison’s car. Lydia has her nose shoved in a textbook for thermodynamic asymmetry in time. Cute, Show. She lowers the book and asks Allison if her whole “don’t let Scott out of my sight” is a literal or more general rule. Why? “Because you’re running on fumes.” Allison is not happy. Lydia doesn’t seen the big deal since if they lose sight of the bus, they know where they’re headed. “You didn’t see what happened,” Allison tells her. “I know who started it,” Lydia says under her breath. WOAH, there. Lydia, you’d better decide right quick which side you’re on. Allison is having none of it: “Is that what Aiden told you?” Lydia wonders if that’s why Allison invited her on the whole road trip. Allison is keeping an eye on the boys and on Lydia. Allison thinks she has good reason, but Lydia says she’s appalled at the insinuation. Nothing is going on between her and Aiden.


Flashback. Lydia and Aiden getting hot and heavy. He’s pushing back at her when she sits up. “What do you think you’re doing?” He’s confused. “I mean your hands.” They’re on her waist. “I know. What am I, a nun? Put them somewhere useful.” He lifts her up in response, cupping her ass as she wraps her legs around his waist. Better? “Moderately.” He lays her down on the table and…


Reality. The school bus stops, caught in a bumper-to-bumper line up. Lots of honking, even though that never actually happens on a highway because everyone knows there’s nothing that will be done about it if you honk. Or maybe that’s just in Canada and in the US everyone honks the moment they get held up. Isaac checks his phone and notes an accident up ahead. He looks over and Boyd and realizes the latter has slowly been working himself up into a rage. Boyd’s eyes start to glow yellow and his breaths turn into low growls. He looks back at Ethan.


Scott begins to stand. Stiles tries to stop him, but Scott knows Boyd’s going to do something. As Boyd’s hands curl around the back of the seat in front of him, we see his claws are already out.


Flashback. Scott is in the elevator with Deuc right after seeing Allison. Scott brings out his own claws, but Deuc doesn’t rise to the bait. He’d have to be blind, deaf, and quadriplegic for Scott to pose any sort of real threat. But Deuc starts taunting him. Maybe Scott will rise to the occasion and become an alpha by killing one. “I’m not like you. I don’t have to kill people.” But Deuc doesn’t think this moral high ground will last long. He thinks a time will come where Scott will have to kill someone to save another. Scott asks if Deuc is there to threaten him. “No, I live here.” This would have been a much greater reveal if we’d actually gotten it in order. Instead, we’re just being retold things we already learned. What does Deuc want? “I want to see what you’re made of.” Oooh, challenge!

Flashforward flashback. We’re back at the abandoned mall slo-mo fight. Derek is fighting Ennis. Scott, again clutching his injury, scrambles towards the two alphas as they get closer and closer to an open hole in the floor. Before he can get there, someone’s foot slips. Scott watches in horror as Ennis and Derek go tumbling off the ledge. They drop, landing in a heap on another escalator below. I get that it’s a big dramatic moment, but are you kidding? Did the werewolves all decide they needed to have their epic battle on the third floor of this apparently giant abandoned mall? Anyway, Derek is looking rough.


Present. On the same escalator, Cora is crouched where Derek’s body should be. Instead, the spot is empty and Cora is looking at a streak of blood. She stands and finds Peter at the top of the escalator. “It’s just me, Uncle Peter.” Cora’s unimpressed: “Uncle Peter who killed Sister Laura.” I guess Derek filled her in. Peter says he’s far from the only dysfunctional one considering Derek slashed his throat. Cora asks if that means she should trust Peter. Peter, however, is wondering why he should trust Cora.  “You’ve known me for seventeen years,” Cora says. “I knew you for eleven. Leaving the last six unaccounted for,” Peter responds.


Hold up! We’re meant to believe that Cora escaped from her burning home at the age of eleven, ran away, and not once returned to the site to see if there were any other survivors? And that she survived on her own for those years as a little child werewolf? I’m with Peter, she is sketchy as fuck. Anyway, Peter’s at the escalator for the same reason as Cora: he’s wondering where the bodies went. Maybe they were carried out. Or maybe, one of them found the strength to stand and walk out, leaving Peter and Cora to answer the question of which one. I don’t know how they got to the conclusion that only one could have survived, but I guess it sounds more dramatic this way. Also, does that mean that in the process of leaving the third fucking floor of this abandoned mall, no one between Cora, Boyd, Isaac or Scott could be bothered to check if Derek had a fucking pulse? For shame.


Bus. Scott is slowly making his way towards a wolfy Boyd. In voiceover, we hear Scott talking to someone. “I don’t know what else to do. Do I keep trying to get them to listen to me? Do I tell Derek that he’s going to get them all killed? How do you save someone who doesn’t want to be saved? How do I stop them?” He’s almost at Boyd now. Deaton’s voice answers the voiceover: “Don’t stop them. Lead them.”


Scott finally makes it to Boyd. He grabs Boyd’s wrist and holds it against the seat, keeping the werewolf in place. Boyd tells him to let go. Scott: “You got a plan? Tell me your brilliant plan and I’ll let go. What are you gonna do? Kill him, right here? And then what? What are you gonna do after that?” Boyd doesn’t care, and he struggles to escape. But Scott has help in the form of Isaac holding Boyd back too. Scott does care what happens. Before Boyd can try again, Isaac notices the blood stain on Scott’s shirt. “You’re still hurt?” The knowledge is enough to still Boyd. Maybe he notices how strained and weak Scott looks. Scott swears he’s fine. “Give me a chance to figure something out,” he begs Boyd. “Something that doesn’t have to end with someone else dying.” Boyd agrees.




Back in his seat, Stiles tells Scott that with one crisis averted, they have a second problem on their hands. Ethan is checking his phone every five minutes, “like he’s waiting for something, like a message or a symbol of some kind, I don’t know. Something evil though, I can tell, I have a very perceptive eye for evil, you know that.” Scott doesn’t like Ethan sitting with Danny and neither does Stiles. Aww boys! Stiles is determined to figure out what he’s waiting for. By asking.


A few seats ahead, Danny’s phone beeps. It’s a text from Stiles telling Danny to find out why Ethan keeps checking his phone. Danny turns around to look at Stiles, who is smiling and waving his phone. When Danny shakes his head no and turns around, Stiles’ smile drops and he shoots the most hilariously surprised look at Scott all I don’t get it, why won’t Danny spy on his boy toy for us? So he sends another text saying “just do it!” After another back and forth, Danny finally texts, “NO. I like this guy, what’s wrong with you?” Oh Danny boy, too many things to count.


Stiles swears it’s important, but instead Danny puts his phone away in his pocket. The camera’s on Danny so we get to watch a frantically flailing Stiles in the background start sending a text. And another. And another. Danny’s phone keeps beeping. Heeee! I swear to god, by the time Ethan asks if there’s anything wrong, the phone has gone off about twenty times. Danny caves and finally tells Ethan that he was about to ask the same thing. Ethan and Danny both turn to look at Stiles and Scott; the latter two jump and duck behind their seat. “Well, that wasn’t very subtle,” Stiles realizes. When Danny answers the text, it’s to say that someone close to Ethan is sick and might not make it through the night. Stiles and Scott quickly deduce that this means Ennis isn’t dead. Don’t you guys feel like morons now for not checking Derek before leaving his body in a fucking abandoned mall?


Vet. Deaton is checking some x-rays when a bell goes off out front. He yells that the gate is open, but when no one comes into the back, he checks the front desk. Morrell is there, with the Alpha Pack sans-Ethan in tow. Aiden and Kali are carrying a rough looking Ennis between them. Morrell says they could use a little help. Deaton suggests they try the hospital. I love how fed up he always is with these random alphas coming into his practice.


“Open the gate, Alan,” Morrell says. He still refuses. Kali wanders over, fangs bared. “Help us, or maybe I just kill her,” she says, her eyes turning blood red. Deaton doesn’t even blink: “Not here, you won’t.” Kali is taken aback by the sheer lack of fear, and her eyes return to normal. “I suggest you leave. Don’t make me insist.” Kali has backed up so she’s now standing behind Morrell. As always, I wonder what the fuck is up with Deaton that he can scare an alpha. Morrell swears that if Ennis dies, the alphas will go after the others, and Scott is bound to get mixed up in the middle of it. At the threat of Scott’s death, Deaton opens the gate and lets them in.


Bus. Coach is telling carsick Jared that he’s a sympathetic vomiter; if Jared throws up, so will Coach. Jared begs Coach to stop talking about throwing up. Coach speaks to the entire bus, saying nothing will get in the way of them making this track meet. Stiles raises his hand at the back of the bus. There’s a food stop about half a mile away, maybe they could stop and wait for traffic to start up again. Coach starts blowing the whistle and telling Stiles to shut up. They’re not stopping! Stiles leans back: “I hate him.”


Stiles asks Scott if he’s gotten a hold of Deaton yet. Scott’s tried but he keeps getting his voicemail because Deaton’s too busy helping the other werewolves. Stiles has had enough, he’s going to call Allison and Lydia. Scott: “How are they gonna help? They’re back in Beacon Hills.” Stiles: “They’re not, they’ve been following us for hours. Pathetic.” Hee! Back in Allison’s car, Lydia’s phone rings. She picks up and tells Stiles that she and Allison are just about to walk into a movie. Stiles cuts off her lies. He knows they’re right behind them, put him on speaker.


Mini Sidebar: I love the development we’ve seen of the friendship between Stiles and Lydia. We’ve seen her go from not even acknowledging his existence to tolerating his presence to cheering wildly for him in lacrosse to calling him when she’s found a dead body to not even blinking when he calls her midday for a chat. It’s all been done so slowly and so organically and without any indication that Lydia pities him for his crush or is starting to return his feelings. It’s lovely.


Anyway, Lydia puts Stiles on speakerphone. “Look, Scott’s still hurt.” Scott isn’t healing, in fact Stiles thinks he’s getting worse. The blood’s beginning to turn black. Lydia asks what’s wrong, but Stiles doesn’t have “a PhD in lycanthropy” so he has no clue. Allison says they need to get Scott off the bus. Lydia asks where they would take him, sarcastically suggesting the hospital. But Allison is dead serious. “If he’s dying, yeah [the hospital].” She tells Stiles to get Coach to pull over at the food stop up ahead. Reason with him, jut try something to make him pull over.


Bus. Stiles is begging Coach for just a 5 minute bathroom break. Every time Stiles starts to speak, Coach starts blowing his whistle and cutting Stiles off to the point that Stiles can’t even open his mouth without the whistle going off. “Back to your seat, Stilinski!” Stiles snaps and shouts “OKAY!” in Coach’s face. He starts to walk back but overhears Coach telling Jared to keep his eyes on the horizon. Stiles gets a plan. He sidles up next to Jared and gives him the creepiest Grinch smile.


Cut to everyone running off the bus at the rest stop. Coach sticks his head out the window and tells someone to bring back paper towels. Or a mop. Or a new bus. Meanwhile, Scott can barely stand and has an arm slung over Stiles’ shoulder. Stiles and Allison are herding Scott to the men’s bathroom (and I guess locking the door?). Allison sits Scott down against the wall and lifts his shirt. The wound is oozing black blood and you can see his veins like black spiderwebs. Stiles and Lydia recoil.


Allison pulls Stiles and Lydia aside. “This shouldn’t be happening. I’ve seen him heal from worse than this.” Stiles asks if they call an ambulance. They have to do something. Lydia, marvelous big brains and all, suggest the wound could be psychological at this point. Like psychosomatic?  “Somatoformic. A physical illness from a psychogenic cause.” Stiles doesn’t get it. “Yes, it’s all in his head.” Stiles finally figures it out. It’s because of Derek. “He’s not letting himself heal because Derek died.” So what do they do? Lydia roots around in her purse and comes out with a miniature portable sewing kit. “Stitch him up,” she suggests. “I’m serious. Maybe all he needs to do is just believe it’s healing.” Allison nods.


Vet. Ennis is laid out on the veterinary table (I don’t know, whatever). Deaton cuts away his blood-soaked shirt to reveal a myriad of injuries. Kali looks worried. Once Deaton’s appraised the injuries, he requests that someone turn the sign at the front of the store to ‘closed.’ “This could take a while.”


Presumably, a similar interaction just took place in the bathroom at the rest stop. Allison is sterilizing a needle with a lighter while Stiles prepares a pile of paper towel as makeshift bandages. Scott’s topless and Allison says he’ll need another shirt. Stiles volunteers since he hates needles anyway, but before he goes, he fixes Allison with a serious look: “Do you know what you’re doing?” Chris taught her. Well, how fast is she since the bus could leave any minute now. “Okay, just make sure it doesn’t leave,” Allison says, exasperated. Lydia offers to help take care of that and drags Stiles out of the bathroom.


Allison kneels down in front of Scott who is passing in and out of consciousness, it seems. She grabs his chin and forces him to face her, begging him to stay with her. “I’m tired,” he protests. Allison’s eyes fill with tears. She’s so scared, pleading with him to just look at her and keep looking at her. She tries to thread the needle but is too distraught. She keeps wetting the tip of the thread, trying over and over. “Come on, come on!”


A familiar voice, one Allison has been missing, speaks beside her. “Unbelievable,” Mama Argent says. “One simple little task; you can’t thread a needle?” Allison is trying, but Mama scoffs. “You want my sympathy?” She mocks Allison in a baby voice, “Because you’re just a seventeen year old little girl and this is all too much for you to handle.” Allison keeps trying to thread the needle. “Well get over it! Thread the needle.” Allison’s voice is a whisper when she says her hands won’t stop shaking. “Breathe, Allison. Breathe. Try it again.” It’s not working. Allison’s face crumples; she’s getting more and more desperate by the second. She cries out in frustration, startling Scott’s eyes open. “Okay, how do we approach a situation like this?” Allison cries, but Mama was waiting for an answer. “Allison!” Approach the situation clinically and unemotionally. Allison’s voice breaks on the second word, and she has to repeat it. She’s still frantically working the thread. “Then stop crying. And do it.” Scott’s head falls to the side, unconsciousness taking hold. Allison takes a deep breath, the tears gone. She steadies herself and threads the needle in one go.  She exhales loudly in relief and begins stitching. She looks up again and tells Scott to stay with her, not noticing that he’s already gone.


Crystal Reed dominated that scene. Much like last season when Mama died, Reed is a spectacular crier, and you can feel every ounce of her desperation and fear. Brava!


Bus. Coach blows his whistle and yells for everyone to get back on the bus. Ugh, even a major cleanup and driving with the windows open won’t keep the rest of the bus ride from smelling like puke. Stiles and Lydia are standing by the side of the bus. They’re still trying to figure out how to stop the bus from leaving.


Bathroom. Allison finishes up the stitching and ties off the thread. She finally looks up at Scott. His eyes are closed, head slumped to the side. When she says his name, he doesn’t stir. She leans forward and listens for his breathing. She’s terrified when she pulls back, whispering his name again and again. Kind of stupid, because it’s not like she checked his pulse, and it’s not like the audience will believe even for a second that there’s a chance of him dying. He’s actually busy in…


A flashback. He’s staring down the hole at Derek’s lifeless (so they say) body. Isaac comes up behind him and pulls him away from the abyss, but Scott looks broken as he processes what’s happened.


Bathroom. Allison is saying his name, and he comes to with a loud gasp. He barely sees Allison there when he says, “it’s my fault.” She tells him to look at her. Seeing that he’s lucid, she breathes and says he’s okay. He looks down at the stitched up wound. “Did you do that?” She nods. It’s not the cleanest job I’ve ever seen. “Nice.” She laughs, happy that he’s awake, and asks if he can stand. She gets him on his feet and putting on a clean shirt.


Flashback. Scott’s in his room and pulling on his jacket. Grabbing his motorcycle helmet, he turns around and jumps when he sees Isaac in the doorway. “Where you going?” Isaac asks. Damn boy, you look beautiful. Come lean on my doorjamb like that, you sexy beast. Ahem. Scott is a terrible liar and stutters through his words, until he gets out “I was going to get some food to eat.” What, does Melissa not provide for you? Isaac casually says he’ll go with Scott. “Nah, dude, it’s okay. I can eat alone,” Scott assures him. They are the cutest little roomies. Isaac asks what Scott’s getting. “Um… uh… Mexican?” Smooth, Scott. Not suspicious at all. Isaac, bless his heart, plays along and so sincerely says, “Dude, I love Mexican.” Scott drops the pretence and gets serious. He can “eat” alone, it’s okay. Isaac doesn’t care. He’s not going alone.


Cut to the two boys on Scott’s motorcycle. They’re inside the abandoned mall and have apparently ridden the motorcycle up two flights of stairs. Makes for a great entrance, but not so much with the logic. Scott just wants to talk to Deuc, try to reason with him, that’s it. Isaac stares. What’s wrong? “Nothing. It’s just, I’m actually kinda hungry now.” Seriously, I love Scott and Stiles, but these two have some great brotp vibes. “So am I,” Scott says, and gives Isaac a reassuring slap on the shoulder. Together, they walk off to meet Deuc.


Present. Allison emerges from the bathroom with Scott, his arm around her shoulders to keep him upright. Lydia comes running up, asking if Scott’s alright. Lydia grabs Scott’s bag and takes his other side to help him move faster. Scott asks where Stiles is. “Trying to stall Coach.” It’s faint, but you can hear some raised voices in the background. I think Stiles is a little more ruthless than he gets credit for, and you’ll see why in a minute. Lydia reminds Allison that they still don’t have gas. “I’m not leaving him,” Allison says. Then they have to leave the car. “Sounds good.” Lydia didn’t intend for that to be an actual suggestion.


Flashback. Isaac and Scott approach Deuc standing halfway up the escalator. Seriously, this mall had a million floors, I don’t get it. “You didn’t come alone,” Deuc says. Scott thinks he’s referring to Isaac, but Deuc is thinking of someone else. To Scott’s left, Derek emerges from the shadows already in full-on wolf mode. Boyd and Cora are with him, standing in the shadows. Scott tries to reason with Derek, saying there can be a way that no one gets hurt. “If someone else dies—” “Him,” Derek points at Deuc, cutting off Scott. “Just him.” “Just me?” Deuc isn’t shaken in the least. “Now, how does a blind man find his way into a place like this, all on his own?” The camera pulls back and we get a far shot of this huge, ridiculous fucking mall. Giant open spaces, non-operating fountains. I cannot get over how stupid this set piece is.


Doesn’t matter, because Deuc is just hinting that he was planning on being a little shit the entire time, and all the other alphas are with him. Kali comes sliding down a concrete post, using her FUCKING BAREFEET AND GROSS TOE CLAWS as purchase to control her descent. Nasty. Ennis walks up the escalator behind the boys, presumably the same one they rode up on their goddamned motorcycle. Boyd looks up and the twins emerge—shirtless as always for these fight scenes—from the shadows on the landing above, staring down at our crew.  Scott looks really upset that things aren’t going how he planned. He just wanted to talk!


Present. Allison and Scott finally reach the raised voices from before. Stiles comes running up and Scott asks what happened. “He just went after him. I told him what was happening with you and he just went after him.” Scott thinks Stiles means Boyd, but we all know that the short fuse when it comes to Scott is Isaac. The lingering notion that Stiles did this on purpose, that he knew Isaac would snap when he heard Scott was in danger because of an alpha injury, raises the hairs on the back of my neck. Ruthless, I’m telling you.


Boyd is standing off to the side, watching Isaac beat the ever-loving shit out of Ethan. His eyes are full of bloodlust and there’s a scary, satisfied smile on his lips. Coach comes running up, shouting Isaac’s name over and over, but he doesn’t stop. Danny tries to pull Isaac off, but Isaac shakes him and resumes punching, his knuckles bloody. Scott pushes his way through the crowd until he’s right next to the fight. “Isaac!” Just like last week, Scott’s voice calling to him calms and stops Isaac. Fist still raised, he looks up at Scott. He’s horrified and apologetic. But he sneaks a glance towards where Scott was bleeding before, and allows a small smile when he sees no sign of injury.


Danny rushes over to Ethan. The alpha is flat on his back, blood pouring from his mouth and red welts blooming all over his face. There’s some horrified whispering amongst the crowd as Scott, Stiles, Lydia and Allison look on in silence.


Vet. Peter and Cora are outside. Peter swears the animal clinic is not as ordinary as it looks. “The building’s half made out of mountain ash. I’m not actually sure how to get in.” Cora thinks they can get in the way normal people do: by knocking on the door. But Peter holds her back, dropping his head as he listens. “They’re here. […] All of them.”


Inside, Deaton has finished bandaging Ennis and treating what he can. He looks up and finds Deuc in the doorway. “How’s our patient?” Though Ennis is out cold, the prognosis for his recovery is surprisingly optimistic. He’s going to make it. Deuc nods, and starts running his hand up Ennis’s chest, looking for his head. The touch awakens Ennis, and he turns his face towards Deuc. The demon wolf takes up position behind Ennis’ head and leans down to kiss the injured werewolf on each cheek. Given what we know about Deuc killing his betas, this doesn’t bode well. Deaton watches with a confused frown. Deuc moves his hand over Ennis’ face and brings out his claws. Ennis’ eyes widen, but he’s too injured to move or say anything. Deuc starts digging his claws into Ennis’ head, squeezing. Ennis’ body starts writhing on the table. Deaton stands by and does nothing. Finally, Ennis’ skull gives in and squishes like a grapefruit under Deuc’s hand. Ew ew ew ew ew ew. “I think you might have overestimated his odds,” is all Deuc says and he walks out of the clinic.


Outside, Cora’s wondering how they can know who’s inside. Derek, Ennis, both? On cue, Kali comes storming out of the clinic, Aiden following close behind. The Hales duck behind a car. Kali looks upset and frantic, and when Aiden grabs her arms, she lets out a guttural alpha roar that sets off the alarms of the cars in the parking lot. I guess she was a fan of Ennis. Peter knows one thing: “That wasn’t for Derek.” The Hales leave the lot as Aiden pulls Kali into a hug.


Flashback. In the abandoned mall, the werewolves stand around, ready for battle. Derek breaks the stand off, making the first move and running towards Deuc. Kali jumps to his defence, and the fight begins in earnest. After all this, when we finally see Deuc fight it had better be fucking epic. The twins jump down from their ledge, merging as they land a dozen feet away from Isaac and Scott. Derek vs. Kali. Boyd vs. Ennis. No idea where Cora is. The Twin growls, and Isaac leaps to fight him. Scott does a funny eye roll like god fucking dammit, I just wanted to talk! before wolfing out himself and joining the fray to fight with Isaac.


Derek gets in a few good hits on Kali, but he’s the only one with such luck. Ennis easily slashes at Cora. The Twin holds off Isaac and slashes at Scott, giving him that injury that’s been bothering him all episode. At least the Twin was the one to injure Scott; for a while I just thought Isaac was being trigger happy again and willing to blame Ethan for anything the alphas did. One by one, the alphas take each werewolf down until Boyd, Cora, Scott and Isaac are all on the ground bleeding.


“Kill him,” Deuc commands. Derek, still standing, looks over in surprise. Deuc wants Derek to kill Boyd, and then the others can do. “You’re beaten. Do it, Derek.” Boyd is scared, and Derek looks unsure of what he’s supposed to do. “Take the first step.” Kali is offended that Deuc is giving Derek the chance. He’s an alpha to a pack of useless teenagers. “Some,” Deuc says, looking over at Scott, “have more promise than others.” Kali would like to see Derek rise to the occasion. Either he kills Boyd, or Kali kills Cora. Pack or family. To emphasize her point, Kali digs her NASTY FUCKING BAREFOOT TOE CLAWS into Cora’s throat. Everything goes still.


But then! Before Derek can make any sort of decision, a whizzing sound breaks through the silence. Derek ducks, and an arrow goes sailing over his head, hitting the Twin. A blinding flash, and Ethan and Aiden fall to the ground, separated. More arrows, more flashes. Kali covers her eyes and retreats from Cora. “Your eyes,” Deuc bellows. “Cover your eyes!”


Flashback flashback. Chris and Allison are sitting together. “Someone needs to help them,” Allison says. But Chris thinks that someone won’t be the Argents. Chris is getting his consulting business back up and running, and Allison will graduate. Normal lives and abiding by their agreement. Allison’s face is stony. “So we just ignore it?” No, just stay out of it. “There is a pack if alphas trying to kill my friends. How do I stay out of that?” Chris gives some bullshit about what you’re meant to do in a situation like this. It’s called threading the needle. It’s finding a safe path between two opposing forces. “Sounds like saving your own ass.” Have I mentioned how much I love Allison? She rises to leave, and Chris reminds her that the pack isn’t her family. She’s done though: “With all the family that I’ve lost, I could use a few friends.”


Flashforward flashback. I’m trying here! We’re back at the mall, arrows whizzing around. Up on the next floor’s ledge, Allison is like a warrior princess guardian angel, loosing arrow after arrow at the alphas. She’s awesome, lowering her weapon and smiling. She’s given our pack just enough time, and they all spring back to their feet, out of the clutches of the alphas.


Scott faces off with Ennis, and the two go running at each other. Ennis headbutts Scott in the chest, sending him reeling backwards. But Deuc looks over sharply, sensing something. As Scott lands crouched, he looks up, his eyes red like an alpha. Woah. Did not see that coming just yet. I start to wonder if Deuc fears Scott’s future because he has the potential to become an alpha, a true leader, without having to kill anyone for the title. Instead, he will rise to alpha because those around him trusts him, implicitly and explicitly, and will follow him without question. Dude, I got chills.


Allison and Ennis both see the red eyes. Scott blinks, shaking his head and his eyes return to the normal beta yellow. Before Ennis can attack again, Derek comes at him from behind, always ready and willing to protect those around him. The two alphas fight, inching closer and closer to that perilous ledge. We see Scott scramble closer to them, just like before. Derek and Ennis are in a futile struggle, grasping at each other’s shoulders and tipping dangerously towards the edge. Scott leaps forward, landing on his stomach while swiping his claws at the back of Ennis’ knee. Ennis’ legs buckle, and he loses his balance. As he falls, he brings Derek with him. No wonder Scott thinks it’s his fault. We see the two alphas falling again, and Scott’s horrified expression takes on another layer. We hear the crash of the bodies landing below.


Present. The bus is moving along again, this time with Allison and Lydia riding with the players. I wonder how they explained that to Coach. Allison has taken Stiles’ seat next to Scott, and Stiles is sitting with Lydia just in front of them. “Let’s go over this one more time,” Stiles says to his seatmate. “So it’s the sacrifices, right? Everything has to do with them and someone who thinks he’s like a dark druid of some kind.” Or actually is a dark druid, Lydia offers. I like seeing the brains, both human, finally trying to hash out what’s going on. Lydia drops some more knowledge, saying that some ancient cultures sacrifice people in preparation for battle. “So we’ve got alpha werewolves against a dark druid,” Scott muses. Yeah.


“You know,” Allison says to Scott, “if he’s really dead, it’s not your fault.” I like that she doesn’t presume he’s dead. Scott concedes a “maybe.” He looks at her. “Remember that whole thing we talked about, where I wasn’t accusing you of being there and if you were there you shouldn’t be? Thanks for not listening.” Allison smiles, clearly expecting a different reaction to her presence from him. She keeps staring at him. “What?” She’s so clearly in love, and sweetly says, “Just staring at your eyes.” She does the most adorable shrug, hiding her smile behind her arms crossed on the seat in front of her. I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait until they get back together.


Vet. Morrell covers Ennis’ body with a sheet as Deaton looks on. “I don’t think you really know what you’ve gotten yourself into here.” She thinks it’s a little late for Deaton to be playing big brother. He just looks on sadly.


School parking lot. Jennifer Blake is heading out to her car at the end of the day. She’s just arranged herself in the car when a bloody hand presses against her window. She gasps in fright, but her mouth stays open in horror as she looks up into Derek’s face. He can barely keep his eyes open, and he collapses to the ground, his bloody handprint smearing on her window. She immediately opens the door and runs to him. Hands up if you never believed for a second he was dead!


Now I have to say a quick word about this final scene because people have been fucking flipping online. There’s no way he’d go to Jennifer first, they said. No way he trusts her enough, they all screamed, this is totally out of character! Stop trying to shove Jennifer/Derek down our throats, the fans yelled furiously. The Sterek fandom’s shrieks of rage were incoherent. But everyone breathe and take a second because this actually makes total and absolute sense. Derek did not wander to Blake’s house. He’s not accosting her on the sidewalk. She’s at the high school. You know, that building where Derek would except to find a large number of people who’d help him: Scott, Stiles, Isaac, Boyd, even Lydia or Allison. But he wouldn’t know they’d be on a cross country trip. He wouldn’t know that they’d be gone from the school all day. So when he spots Jennifer, he’s lost a ton of blood and sapped all his remaining strength just trying to find his pack at the school, and they’re not even there. It is completely in character that he would make a beeline for the one remaining person nearby who might help him without calling for an ambulance. I still think the writers are going about this Jennifer/Derek pairing all wrong because we know next to nothing about her or why Derek would find her attractive considering they’ve had about 20 seconds of interaction; but just this once, I’m willing to accept this result because it makes total sense within the context of the plot instead of operating as a contrivance outside it.  That’s the end of my rant.


Finally, Sterek fandom, calm your tits. We get that you want a non-canonical relationship to spring miraculously into existence, but boycotting “Motel California,” which actually looks like it will kill me dead with feels, is not the answer and will do nothing but hurt the show’s ratings. How about letting the story play out before getting all up in arms, please and thanks. I would go into more about the absurdity of Sterek fans actively insisting that the pairing has canonical evidence and that the writers have some dangerous heteronormative agenda, but it would be a waste of my time because no one would listen anyway. And that’s the end of that rant. See ya’ll next week!

Teen Wolf Recap - 3x06: "Motel California"

Teen Wolf Recap - 3x04: "Unleashed"