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Teen Wolf Recap - 3x06: "Motel California"

Recapper: Briana of Tarth

Ruling: B+

 

Some seriously freaky shit is going down at the Motel Glen Capri. Come for the brotherly bonding, stay for the half naked Tyler Hoechlin. Fun times for all!

 

Previously on Teen Wolf: Derek’s dead (not!), Allison refused to stay out of the war between the alphas and Derek’s pack and then got major BAMF on everyone, Isaac’s dad used to lock him in a freezer as punishment, Lydia has no idea how she’s connected to all the dead bodies, and Derek bloodied up Jennifer’s car window.

 

Open on a dusty road in desert country. A beaten up pickup truck rattles its way down the road before pulling in the parking lot at as cheap motel. A man steps out of the car, holding his injured leg. He has blood on his hand from where it’s holding his right thigh. He grabs a black duffel out of the pickup and limps his way into the building. As he walks, he passes a newspaper dispenser. The date on the yellowed paper reads March 5th, 1977. Ooooh big time flashback! The man approaches his door and brandishes his key. He’s in room 217 at the Glen Capri, which is an actual hotel chain (http://www.glencapri.com/) that doesn’t seem nearly as seedy as this.

 

Night falls. It’s a full moon. In the bathroom, the man lifts his white tank to reveal a bite mark on the side of his stomach. Ruh roh! He does not look happy. We finally get a look at the man’s face, and I, for one, am not happy with the giant mustache and crazy long sideburns. The man walks to the window and drop his duffel on the floor. He opens the curtains and stares at the moon. He clearly knows what’s happening. He opens his duffel and starts emptying contents onto the floor. A shotgun. His wallet. A shotgun round. He loads it. On his knees, he brings the barrel of the shotgun to his chin, finger on the trigger. As his eyes begin to turn werewolf yellow, he says “Nous chassons ceux qui nous chassent.” He says this in the worst French accent I’ve heard in a while, including pronouncing “qui” with a ‘kw-ee’ sound. Awful. For those of you who don’t speak French, this means “we hunt those who hunt us.” We’ve heard this phrase before: it’s the Argents motto. Outside the motel, the sound of a gunshot and a flash in the window. It’s no surprise when, back in the room, we get a close up of the man’s wallet and his name is Alexander Argent. The camera pulls back to the outside of the motel and we…

 

Fade to the present day at the exact same motel. The school bus with our teen wolves pulls up for the night. Scott and Stiles climb off the bus and join the crowd of students standing in the parking lot. Scott takes a baleful look around. “I’ve seen worse.” Stiles wants to know where he’s seen worse. Scott’s got no answer. The egregious Nike product placement continues.

 

Coach blows the whistle. “Listen up, the meet’s been pushed til tomorrow. This is the closest motel with the most vacancies and the least amount of good judgment when it comes to accepting a bunch of degenerates like yourselves. You’ll be pairing up, choose wisely.” He holds out a bunch of keys to the assembled students. Students come up and grab them as they walk towards the motel. “And I’ll have no sexual perversions perpetrated by you little deviants. Got that? Keep your dirty little hands to your dirty little selves!” Hee. Well then I guess you should have made sure the two gay dating students weren’t rooming together.

 

As the bus pulls away to park, we see that Lydia and Allison are the last to make their way to the motel. Allison’s walking when she notices Lydia hasn’t moved. Lydia’s frightened. “I don’t like this place.” Allison doesn’t think even the people who own it, like it. Anyway, it’s just for a night. Lydia’s fears aren’t assuaged. “A lot can happen in a night.”

 

Credits.

 

Scott and Stiles are rooming together. They’re laying back on their respective beds and finally discussing the darach and the murders. “Alright, so I have four,” Stiles says. Scott’s shocked that Stiles has four suspects. I’m more shocked that Scott seems to have none. “Yeah, it was originally ten. Well, nine technically, I guess. I had Derek on there twice.” Hee! I don’t think Stiles ever actually thought Derek was the darach, but I’m happy to see the consistent distrust in the alpha is ever-present. Stiles’ number one suspect is Harris. “Just because he’s missing, doesn’t mean he’s dead.” Well, not that you know yet, anyway, since the audience watched him die. “So if he’s not dead,” Scott clarifies, “our chemistry teacher is out secretly committing human sacrifices.” Stiles admits it sounded better in his head. I actually really hope that there’s a great explanation for Harris and that he was involved, because this is the third season out of three where Harris has been an initial suspect for the season’s Big Bad. Time to follow through and give him something more than being the biggest dick of a teacher.

 

“What if it’s somebody else from school,” Scott offers. No one knew Matt was evil. Stiles takes major offense at this. Stiles stands. They did know that, “I called it from day one, actually.” Scott argues that they never seriously considered him. Stiles was serious though, deadly serious, and no one listened to him. Since I have been rewatching the last two seasons of teen wolf, I can actually agree that Stiles did indeed call it from day one. Scott changes the topic and asks who the other three suspects on Stiles’ list are.

 

“Derek’s sister, Cora. No one knows anything about her and she’s Derek’s sister. Next, your boss.” Oh, Stiles, there are far better reasons to suspect Cora than her connection to Derek. First and foremost, she was missing for six years and returned only when the Alpha Pack showed up. But on to Deaton! Scott sits up. He’s not happy that his boss is a suspect. “I don’t really like the whole Obi-Wan  thing he’s got going on, you know? Freaks me out.” Stiles somehow manages to choose the most suspicious people and then give the worst reasons to suspect them. At Scott’s blank look, Stiles is appalled: “Oh my god, have you still not seen Star Wars?” Scott promises to watch it if they make it back alive. Who’s the last suspect? Stiles sighs. “Lydia.” Stiles sits back down on the bed. This suspicion requires more seriousness. “She was completely controlled by Peter and she had no idea.” Wordlessly and in unison, Stiles and Scott flop back down onto their backs.

 

Blurry vision. A woman breathing, and hands lifting a metal bar across a doorway. Sliding the door open, we blurrily see the inside of Derek’s apartment. “Oh god, this is bad, a very bad idea. I should be taking you to a hospital.” So Derek had enough sense to convince Jennifer to lead him back to his place. Derek says no to the hospital. Jennifer is panicking. She can’t keep hold of him. His arm slips from around her shoulders and he tumbles to the ground. Nice one, Jen!

 

Abandoned mall. Chris is walking through the fighting area, tracking the movements of those involved. It’s fairly ludicrous. He tracks Kali roundhouse kicking Boyd in the face. From the floor below, he tracks the twins flipping off the higher level and landing as one. He tracks a few more movements that make sense. I can’t tell if the mini flashbacks we see accompanying Chris’ investigations are his deductions or the producers just feel the need to remind us of the fight.

 

Motel. In the bathroom, Scott leans in to the mirror. He remembers the weird feeling he got during the fight with the alphas. He pulls down his lower lid, trying to get a good look into his left eye. Close up on his eye as it goes from brown to alpha red. Scott pulls back in shock, and his eyes are normal again.

 

Stiles is making his way to the vending machine. When he gets there, Boyd is staring at the machine. He shows zero reaction to Stiles’ presence and his “yo.” Slowly and trance-like, Boyd presses the number 201 for his treat. Stiles says that’s what he was going to get. Boyd still doesn’t acknowledge him. The peanut butter crackers get stuck before they can drop. Stiles, either oblivious or wilfully ignoring Boyd’s state, says he’s “got a patented method for this.” He grabs the upper corner of the machine, ready to start shaking. With no warning, Boyd punches the glass, shattering it. Stiles finally seems to notice something is off. Boyd grabs his snack (still stuck between the springs) and walks away.  Stiles watches him go, but dismisses whatever weirdness he saw in favour of grabbing three treats for himself.

 

Another room. Allison pokes her head out from behind the shower curtain, asking Lydia if she got new towels. There’s no answer so she returns to her shower. Pan around to Scott standing in the bathroom doorway. He walks into the bathroom slowly, in the same kind of trance-like state as Boyd. Allison pulls back the curtain again, expecting to find Lydia. She jumps when she sees Scott. She laughs nervously, holding the shower curtain against her chest. “What are you doing?” He was looking for her. “You found me. In the shower, slightly naked, if you didn’t notice.” She’s confused. He’s seen her naked before. “Okay, well, remember we’re kind of not together anymore.” He advances. He is so creepy as he says to her, “We’re still friends right? We could just be closer friends. Maybe, we could even fix things between us.” He starts reaching for her arm that’s grasping the curtain. She struggles out of his grasp and he seems to snap back to reality. Allison can tell something’s wrong. “Are you okay?” He’s shaking his head and backing up to the doorway. He doesn’t remember. He leaves. Unlike Stiles, Allison starts wondering.

 

Motel front desk. Lydia plops down her pile of towels. The woman at the desk has her back facing Lydia. Lydia says they’re supposed to have a non-smoking room but all their towels reek of nicotine. The woman at the front desk turns around, “Sorry about that sweetheart.” She’s got a tracheostomy (one of those tubes in her throat that smokers with throat cancer get to help them breathe). Yes, I looked up the medical term. Lydia’s trying to get her foot out of her mouth, so she asks about a number she’s spotted on the wall. Behind the front desk are hanging number signs that read “198.” “That’s kind of an inside thing for the motel, my husband insists on keeping it up,” the woman explains. “It’s a little bit morbid, to be honest. You sure you wanna know?” Lydia’s nothing if not a gatherer of knowledge. “We’re not gonna make the top of anyone’s list when it comes to customer satisfaction. But we are number one in California when it comes to one disturbing little detail. Since opening, more than any other motel in California, we have the most guest suicides.” So creepy, so gruesome. Lydia is horrified. 198? “And counting,” the woman cackles.

 

Cut to a television screen filled with static and white noise. Channel 198. And rising. When it gets to channel 201, the camera pulls back to reveal Isaac, flipping channels, focused on the numbers and the white noise.

 

Abandoned mall. Chris is on the phone with Allison asking if she wants him to come pick her up. She does her best to put on a normal voice when she assures him she’s fine. She says they’re at a motel. The school paid for it. It’s not great, but it’s just for a night. Something in Chris’ face changes when Allison tells him the name of the hotel. The Glen Capri. It sounds familiar. “Listen, sweetheart, I’m gonna hop in the car and come and get you guys.” She tells him it’s okay, but we can see her face and she is not okay. Chris can hear something in her voice though. “If there’s something you feel like you can’t tell me, I just want you to know you can talk to me. We don’t have to keep anything from each other.” Allison knows, but she doesn’t say anything more. Back in the mall after they’ve hung up, Chris touches a hole in a concrete pillar with flash marks around it. He follows the likely trajectory and finds the spot where he knows his daughter stood with her bow and arrow.

 

Derek’s apartment. Jennifer is rolling up Derek’s shirt, gasping with every new wound that’s revealed. They’ve got him lying down on the bed now. Jennifer breathes out a quiet, “oh my god.” Derek is struggling to talk. How bad is it? “To be honest, the ‘oh my god’ would be for your unbelievable physique if it weren’t for the fact you’re bleeding black blood.” HA. Trust the fans Jennifer, soon enough you’ll be able to ignore the blood in favour of staring. Derek’s having trouble staying conscious now. His eyes close and his head lolls to the side, leaving Jennifer to beg him not to die. I accidently wrote, “leaving Jennifer to bed him not to die.” A rather apt typo for anyone who’s watched the episode. She leans down and lays her ear against his chest, listening for a heartbeat. When she hears it, she breathes a sigh of relief and leans her cheek more heavily into his chest. “Not exactly how I imagined our first date.”

 

Motel. In Allison and Lydia’s room, Allison’s drying off and Lydia’s telling her about the suicide count. 198, spread out over 40 years. “On average,” Lydia says, “that’s 4.95 a year which is… actually expected. But who commemorates that with a framed number?” All suicides. “Hanging- throat-cutting-pill-popping-both-barrels-of-a-shotgun-in-the-mouth suicides.” Lydia starts to say something to Allison but is cut off when she hears a male voice asking someone “which one do you want?” Allison didn’t hear it.

 

A female voice responds that she wants the smaller one. Lydia turns her head towards the vent, where the voices are seeping in from the next room over. The male voice reassures that smaller is better because there’s less kick. Lydia climbs up onto the bed, walking over the top to get closer to the vent. I’m distracted for a moment by her walking on the bed in heeled boots and being impressed by her balance. The female voice stops the man. When does she… will he be the one counting? He’ll count to three. She gets to choose whether it’s on three or after three. Lydia finally understands what she’s hearing and starts gasping. Allison calls her name, but Lydia doesn’t answer. The female voice has decided: “One, two, then pull the trigger.” The voices profess their love to each other. Then the male voice counts down and the sounds of gunshots follow.

 

Lydia reels back, hand over her mouth and tears in her eyes. Didn’t Allison hear what just happened? “The two people in the other room, they shot each other.” Lydia tears out of the room and to the next door over. Allison follows her, worried for her friend. Lydia pushes open the door and yells hello into the room. No answer. She tries to turn on the light, but the switch doesn’t work. She walks into the room, still calling out. Her hand stumbles upon the kind of portable light you often see at construction sights. She switches it on and light fills the room. There is no one in there, not even dead bodies, because the room is being renovated. Buckets, ladders, tarps covering the floor. Lydia: “It had to be right here. It was a guy and a girl, and they sounded younger but… they were here!” Allison is so amazing as she steps towards Lydia, completely sincere when she says she believes her. “After everything we’ve been through, I believe you.” Lydia turns to look at the wall and notices what look like screaming faces in the wood paneling. Spooky.

 

Outside. Boyd is walking across the parking lot with an ice bucket. Still seeming to be in that dazed, blank state, he opens the ice machine and starts digging his bucket in. A disembodied female voice floats down: “Don’t. Don’t leave me.”  Boyd stares into the ice and begins to dig. “You weren’t supposed to leave me.” There’s something in the ice. “Alicia?” Boyd asks. Who is Alicia? Boyd digs faster. “Why did you leave me?” the voice asks. Boyd uncovers a face in the ice. A young black girl, skin tinged blue. Her eyes shoot open. Boyd recoils violently, spilling his ice bucket. Finally some Boyd backstory! Also, I wonder if this is the beginning of the origin story of the girl who saved Isaac in the premiere too.

 

Lydia and Allison’s room. Lydia is packing her bag. “You know, there is something seriously wrong with this place. Allison, we need to leave.” Allison is trying to calm her, saying that all the deaths were suicides, not murders, and it’s not like the motel is haunted. “Maybe it is,” Lydia ventures. “You know, I bet that couple made their suicide pact in that very room. Maybe that’s why they’re renovating. Maybe they’ve been scraping brain matter off the wood paneling.” Allison suggests finding out the real story.

 

Isaac’s room. Isaac is laying down on his bed, eyes closed. He hears a noise and opens his eyes. He calls for his roommate, Boyd, but no one is in the room with him. He closes his eyes again. A very clear clang. Isaac opens his eyes and again and sits up, looking around for the source of the banging. Suddenly we hear the disembodied voice of Isaac’s awful, abusive father. “Hand me the 7/16ths wrench.” A beat, and Isaac’s face goes blank. “What the hell. This is the 9/16ths you moron!” Isaac begins to sweat, his face  crumpling in fear. “You know what the difference between a 7 and a 9 is, dumbass.” Isaac answers, correctly citing the difference. “A strip volt,” the voice continues. Isaac  whispers to the empty room, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know. What do you want me to do?” His father wants him to shut up. “You shut up!” Isaac says, over and over. “I can’t fix this now,” he swears to the voice. “I can’t fix it,” he says, crying. Isaac is alternating, speaking for himself and his father. “Grab the chains […] I said get in!” We hear his father’s voice again: “Are you not hearing me, son? Get in the damn freezer! GET IN!” At the last, Isaac jumps back onto his bed, lying down and pulling a pillow over his head, hiding from the ghosts. When he peeks out from behind the pillow, his face becomes a mask of terror. The camera pulls back and Isaac is inside a freezer, pillows and all. He looks up and begins to scream, and the freezer lid slams shut. Isaac’s dad was the fucking worst.

 

Front desk. It’s blurry, but we can tell that the number behind the desk has changed. Allison and Lydia approach and realize there’s no one there for the night. Allison has noticed the more important change: “Didn’t you say the sign said 198?” The number is now 201. Lydia swears the number was 198. “Okay, what does that mean, that there’s been three more suicides?” Allison asks. “Or three more about to happen,” Lydia answers.

 

Scott’s room. His phone rings on his bed, it’s his mom. He answers, but she doesn’t speak right away. “Scott,” she cries. What’s wrong? “I’m sorry, he just came in the house. I tried, I tried to stop him. Sorry.” Her voice is stuttering, scared. Who? Where is she? “Outside. Look outside.” Scott runs to the window. Outside in the parking lot, Deucalion and Melissa are standing there, his claws at her throat. Using their super hearing, Deuc and Scott talk. Isn’t it obvious what Deuc wants? “You’re an alpha now, Scott.” Scott swears he’s not. Derek could still be alive. “He’s dead. You know he is. So now I’m coming for you. You and everyone you love. I’m coming for all of them.” Deuc growls and rips his claws across Melissa’s throat. She falls to the ground.

 

Before Scott can react, Stiles calls to him. “Hey Scott, you okay?” Scott turns to Stiles who has just emerged from the bathroom, then looks back out the window. No one’s there. He doesn’t answer Stiles though, and I’m not sure if he knows that what he was wasn’t real, yet. Stiles is distracted by a text from Lydia: “Need to talk. Just you.” Stiles looks back at Scott who’s still staring out the window. Deciding to leave it be, Stiles turns to leave.

 

Danny and Ethan’s room. Things are getting steamy, if the music is anything to go by. Or, you know, the two writhing bodies on the bed. Shoes off, Ethan is shirtless and on top of Danny.  Ethan teases Danny briefly about letting him get back to his homework, but Danny is having none of that, pulling Ethan back down for some more making out. Ethan comes up for air long enough to open Danny’s shirt then dives back down, kissing his way down Danny’s chest. Sorry for the all the excessive detail, but I am going to savour the first time I’ve seen a truly hot and steamy gay makeout session on network television.

 

Ethan comes across a scar and stops, asking what it is. “I have two of them. From a surgery I had to correct misshapen cartilage I was born with. I had a bar put in when I was 14. Stayed there for two years to support my sternum so my heart and lungs wouldn’t be crushed.” Ethan considers this. “Well what if,” Ethan asks, “there was a way you could make them disappear?” Did Danny just get offered the bite? But Danny doesn’t want his scars to disappear. They make him feel like a survivor. “I really hope you are,” Ethan says. Hmmm, I think Ethan may getting a little too attached to his human pawn. At least, I assume Danny and Lydia are pawns for some stupid alpha game. The making out resumes. It’s all hot and dandy until Ethan’s spine fucking separates under his skin! Ethan runs to the bathroom, telling Danny to just give him a minute. In the bathroom, he turns to check out his back, but there’s nothing going on. He breathes a sigh of relief until a hand and a FACE  start clawing at his stomach underneath the skin. Ethan runs out and starts putting on his shirt. Danny asks if he’s okay, but Ethan says he’ll be back in a minute and leaves.

 

So far, all the hallucinations we’ve witnessed have been real fears, whether past or present, in the werewolves’ lives. Boyd clearly knows “Alicia” who was in the ice, Isaac was terrified of his father, Scott is scared of what the alphas will do to those he loves, but we don’t really know much about Ethan. I’m torn between two guesses: either this is some manifestation of wanting to be separated from his brother since they have to merge to turn, or maybe this is a manifestation of some guilt he feels for killing his betas. Presuming all of Deucs crew became alphas by killing the rest of their pack, Ethan would be fairly young for that kind of murderous rampage and maybe the face and hands are his hallucination of the werelwoves’ whose powers he absorbed trying to escape. Just a thought.

 

Lydia and Allison’s room. Stiles is there with them. “Last time I saw Scott act like that,” Allison says, “it was during the full moon.” Stiles says Scott was a little off with him, “but it was Boyd who was really off. I watched him put his fist through the vending machine.” Lydia feels validated that something is clearly wrong with the motel. So either they need to get out of there asap, or someone needs to learn how to do an exorcism before the werewolves go crazy and kill them. As she says this, Lydia grabs the room’s bible from the nightstand drawer. “What if it’s not just the motel,” Stiles wonders. “You said the number in the office went up by three.” Allison is following: like three sacrifices. “What if this time it’s three werewolves?” But there are four werewolves at the motel. Allison guesses Scott, Isaac, and Boyd.

 

Stiles notices something in the bible Lydia’s holding. He grabs it from her hands and pulls it open to reveal newspaper clippings about the suicides. He shakes out the book and more fall. All the clippings mention room 217. All the clippings are from the suicides that happened in their room. UGH SO CREEPY!! If every room has a bible, “there could be articles in all the rooms,” the ladies guess. “What if the room next door has the one about the couple?” They all stand and stare at the door before Stiles takes off.

 

The door to room 216 is locked now, though. Lydia swears it wasn’t before. “Forget it,” Allison says, “we need to get Scott, Isaac, and Boyd out of here.” They start to leave until the sound of a power saw starting up comes from behind the door. And Lydia was not the only one who heard it. They do something to get the door open and find Ethan with the electric handsaw. He raises it in the air, intent on cutting open his stomach and letting out whatever’s in there. Stiles doesn’t think twice before running in to save the alpha’s life, wrestling with him for the saw. Thankfully, Lydia thinks quickly to unplug it, turning it off in the knick of time to save Stiles’ beautiful mug. Without his saw, Ethan releases his claws and gets ready to rip his own stomach open. Stiles and Allison each wrestle an arm away from Ethan’s body before the werewolf is pitched forward and he burns himself on… something. Whatever it is, Ethan snaps out of his suicidal daze. “What just happened?” No one answers, so he runs from the room.

 

Derek’s place. Jennifer’s staring out the window, chewing her thumb and waiting. She turns around when she hears grunting behind her and finds Derek sitting up, still bloody. Damn girl, you couldn’t at least try to clean his wounds while he was out? He tries to stand. “Are you sure you want to do that?” Jen asks. He sits back down, breathing heavily. “I have to find the others,” he says. “They think I’m dead.” Maybe that’s a good thing, Jen offers. Many characters in literature use a false death to their advantage. “They need to know,” Derek presses. “Do you have any idea how bad you look?” Jen asks. “You’re like one giant open wound. I’m not entirely sure you aren’t really dead.” He breathes and looks away.

 

Okay, Jen has been eviscerated online for the last week after this episode with everyone suspicious of her and guessing that she’s the darach. They point to this scene, this moment, as her biggest strike. Furious that she would keep Derek from telling his pack that he’s alive. But see this from her character’s perspective: unless her and Derek have interacted off screen, she knows nothing about werewolves. She knows that there was some weird, almost unbelievable shit going down at the school on the full moon, but she’s got nothing concrete and she sure as hell doesn’t know about the importance of packs. What she does know is that he is injured to the point of constantly losing consciousness, he’s bleeding black blood, and could still die any moment. It would make sense that she suggest he stay dead for a while. He’s in danger. And she doesn’t actively stop him from doing anything, she just suggests. The fact that he gives in so easily just goes to show how weak he still is.

 

Ahem. Back at the motel. Stiles and the ladies are chasing after Ethan, trying to figure out what’s going on. Ethan doesn’t know how he got there or what he was doing. Stiles says that Ethan could try to be more helpful. After all, they did just save his sorry ass. “Maybe you shouldn’t have,” Ethan replies. Well, at least he’s honest. Ethan enters his room, and I wish we got a scene of how he managed to smooth things over with Danny.

 

Now what? Allison volunteers to find Scott, sending Lydia and Stiles to grab Isaac and Boyd. “The best thing we can do is get them out of this place.” Lydia goes to walk up the stairs when she notices the strange look Stiles is giving her. It takes a bit, but she finally gets him to tell her what he’s thinking: “Alright Lydia, I didn’t want to say anything. But this? Everything we’re going through? We’ve kind of been through something like this before. A lot like this.” When? “[Lydia’s] birthday party. The night you poisoned everyone with wolfsbane.” The dawning horror on Lydia’s face means she doesn’t necessarily disagree. I like that they made this connection, but there are some minor inconsistencies that I’ll touch on after the recap.

 

Boyd’s room. No Isaac in sight. Boyd is sitting on the side edge of the bed. There are incoherent whispers in the wind. Without touching it, the clock radio turns on, but it’s all static. Boyd reaches over and turns it off. He eases back into his seat when it turns on again. But now there’s a voice above the static, a man: “Do you remember what time it was when you last saw her?” The voice of a young boy responds: “I don’t know, I can’t remember.” Oh, Boyd. “Sometimes, it helps to put yourself right back in the moment,” the man suggests. “Imagine you’re seeing Alicia skating on the ice rink. Plenty of other people around, and then what?” Boyd is staring at the clock radio in horror. Boyd grew up and took a job at an ice rink. “And then,” the young boy says, “and then she was just gone.” Boyd slams the radio off again. He looks pained. When the radio turns itself on a third time, he recoils. The boy again: “I told you. I was watching her. I didn’t want to skate anymore. I-I was tired. And I swear I was watching her!” “It’s alright Vernon,” the man’s voice says, “Just trying to piece together what happened.” Boyd pulls the radio towards him, ripping the plug from the wall. He holds it in front of him. It turns on again. Boyd’s breathing becomes erratic. “Is she dead?” the young boy asks. “Is it my fault? Is she dead?” Boyd takes up his younger self’s questions, repeating the same words, crying. He throws the radio against the wall and it finally stops. Just to make sure, Boyd stomps down on it with his boot, smashing it to pieces.

 

Derek’s. Derek is sitting on the edge of the bed with Jen crouched down in front of him. “You don’t have any bandages or any kind of first aid anywhere, I looked.” You still could have wiped up the dried blood, Jen, jeez. Derek doesn’t usually need any help healing though. “How do we fix you up?” she asks. Time. That out of the way, Jen fixes him with ‘the look.’ You know which one. It’s the one that every fan who has ever admired Tyler Hoechlin has on their face when he’s topless that says “I will climb you like a tree.” Derek recognizes the look and tells Jen that she shouldn’t be there. “Because you don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me,” Derek tells her.  She meets his gaze. “Maybe I have a feeling about you.” He doesn’t think it should be a good one. “Everyone around me…” he trails off, tries again. “Everyone gets hurt.” She is so undeterred. If open black bloody wounds can’t stop her, I don’t know why he thought his words would. She rises to her knees, bringing their faces closer together. She’s moving slowly, like he’s a wounded animal she’s doing her best not to frighten. She leans in, ever so slowly, until they kiss. He pulls back and she waits, before he moves in. That’s all the encouragement she needed, and they start getting hot and heavy.

 

Motel. Establishing shot of the 201 hanging behind the front desk. Three more supposed future suicides, but four werewolves. Boyd, barefoot, comes to the front desk. Behind the counter, he spots a safe.

 

Upstairs, Allison notices the door to Scott’s and Stiles’ room is open. She pushes the door in further and calls Scott’s name, but there’s no answer.

 

In the parking lot, Stiles is apologizing to Lydia. “I didn’t mean that you’re trying to kill people, okay? I just meant that maybe – maybe – you’re somehow involved in getting people to kill themselves, you know. Which, now that I say that out loud, it sounds really terrible, so I’m just gonna stop talking.” Stiles doesn’t do apologies well. Lydia stops. Can Stiles hear that? Nope, just Lydia. And what she hears is a baby crying. The camera pulls back and we see that Lydia has stopped walking in front of a sewer grate in the parking lot. “Stop,” a woman’s voice comes through, “please just stop!” Her voice is backed up by a screeching baby. Lydia kneels down closer to the grate. “What do you want?” the woman asks frantically. “I don’t know what you want!” Stiles asks what a Lydia hears. A baby crying. And now she hears… water running.

 

Boyd has the water running, filling his bathtub. He turns off the taps and steps into the water, the safe from the front desk in his arms.

 

Parking lot. “It’s time to sleep,” the woman says. “We’re both going to sleep now.” Lydia gasps. We see her from below the grate, water distorting our vision and it’s exceptionally creepy. This whole episode is. “She’s drowning the baby,” Lydia cries.

 

Boyd leans back in the water, laying down with the safe on his chest to hold him down. His body instinctively begins to struggle for air, but he holds himself down.

 

Lydia stands up. “Someone’s drowning!” Well, if you can’t make the voices stop, at least you’re learning to interpret them.

 

Boyd’s stopped struggling. Air bubbles rise from his lips, but he has stilled beneath the water.

 

Stiles and Lydia burst into Boyd’s room. They spot him immediately and run for the bathroom. Stiles reaches for the drain, but Boyd’s blocked it with something that Stiles can’t get a hold of. Lydia tries to help Stiles lift the safe, but they have no werewolf strength to help them out. It barely budges. “Is he dead?” Lydia asks. “How long can a werewolf last underwater?” Stiles has no idea. He stands and begins to back up, accidentally knocking his arm onto a heater and burning himself. He remembers something: “Ethan came out of it when he touched the heater. It’s heat, heat, fire! Heat does it, alright. We need something—” “He’s underwater!” Lydia shouts. But Lydia remembers something and has an idea. On the bus will be emergency road flares. “They have their own oxidizers, they can burn underwater.” I love that we don’t even have to question Lydia when it comes to this crazy kind of knowledge. Stiles runs for the bus.

 

On the bus, Stiles finds the emergency toolbox quickly enough. There are three flares. He grabs two, leaving one behind.

 

Lydia is standing in the bedroom, fretting. She starts hearing breathing that isn’t her own. She turns to look at Isaac’s bed, but it’s empty. She kneels down slowly, lifting the sides of the covers away from the bottom of the bed. Isaac is hiding underneath his bed like a scared puppy, and when he sees Lydia he pushes even further back towards the wall. Lydia jumps up in fright but has no time to react because Stiles is back with the flares.

 

Cool fact: the cap on these flares are like matches. I learn all sorts of cool new things with Teen Wolf. Anyway, Stiles lights one of the flares and brings it to the bathtub. He doesn’t even hesitate before sticking the flame underwater. After a couple seconds, the heat hits Boyd. Stiles falls back into Lydia as the safe comes flying off of Boyd’s chest, and he surfaces with a growl, half wolfed out. Boyd stands, back to reality. Back at the bed, this time it’s Stiles peeking underneath at Isaac. “Hey Isaac,” he says soothingly, “I got something here for you.” And then he STICKS A LIT FLARE IN ISAAC’S FACE!! I was simultaneously laughing and utterly appalled by that move.

 

A few minutes later, Allison has found Stiles and Lydia and they’re running down the outdoor stairs to the parking lot. Allison can’t find Scott anywhere, but they’re sure that whatever’s happened to the others is happening to him too. “Didn’t you say there was another flare on the bus?” Lydia asks. Stiles wants to go get it to use when they find Scott. But it’s too late, because Scott found it himself. And it’s not going to be helpful the way he uses it.

 

This next sequence wrecked me. Tyler Posey and Dylan O’Brien kill it. I just wanted to get that out of the way because I won’t have anything snarky or opinionated to say until the end of this bit.

 

Stiles, Lydia, and Allison stop when they notice Scott in the parking lot. He’s standing by the bus, dripping wet, lit flare clutched in his hand. He’s staring straight ahead, not even looking over when Allison says his name. The trio walks around to stand in front of him. Scott’s standing in a puddle, dripping from head to toe. Beside him is an empty canister of gasoline.

 

The trio is silent. “There’s no hope,” Scott says. He is utterly despondent. Allison tries to pull him back, telling him there’s always hope. “Not for me. Not for Derek.”

 

Meanwhile, Derek is in bed with Jen, alive and kicking, hopeful for maybe the first time in a while.

 

Allison tells Scott that Derek wasn’t his fault. She’s crying and so scared. “Every time I try to fight back, it just get’s worse. People keep getting hurt. People keep getting killed.” Stiles takes over. “Scott, listen to me, okay? This isn’t you. This is someone inside your head telling you to do this.” But Scott is beyond rational thought or explanation right now. “What if it isn’t?” Scott asks. “What if it’s just me?” And that’s the scariest notion to all of them. “What if doing this is actually the best thing that I could do for everyone else?”

 

After their romp, Derek is sitting on the edge of the bed. Jen sidles up behind him. He turns his head over his shoulder to kiss her, and his wounds finally close.

 

“It all started that night,” Scott says, “the night I got bitten. Do you remember the way it was before that? You and me?” He’s looking straight at Stiles, crying. “We were nothing. We weren’t popular, we weren’t good at lacrosse. We weren’t important.” Not me, but we. Scott’s breath hitches, like he’s cold. “We were no one. Maybe I should just be no one again. No one at all.” The flare keeps burning, sparks flying.

 

Stiles steps forward, tears in his eyes. “Scott, just listen to me, okay? You’re not no one. Okay, you’re someone. Scott, you’re my best friend.” His voice breaks, and tears are falling. “Okay, and I need you. Scott, you’re my brother.” Something, it seems, is making it’s way through Scott’s haze. “Alright so…” and tears still falling, Stiles steps into the puddle of gasoline to stand by his brother. “So if you’re gonna do this,” he wraps his hand around the flare, right above Scott’s own fist, “You’re just gonna have to take me with you.” Neither boy – man – takes his eyes off the other, both crying for their love of each other, each willing to die for the other. Slowly, Stiles works the flare out of Scott’s hand and tosses it behind him. Scott is heaving, gasping for air. Allison is in tears. But wonderful, brave, smart Lydia never takes her eyes off the flare.

 

Inexplicably, some force pushes the flare, rolling it towards a rivulet of gasoline. The gasoline catches fire. “No!” Lydia screams, running for Stiles' back and tackling him and Scott to the ground. A fireball erupts behind them. Allison, Scott and Stiles are prone on the ground, but Lydia looks behind her to the fire, and in the flame stands a disfigured, hooded, demonic thing. And just for a brief moment, The Dark Knight Rises chanting sounds in the background. Lydia has seen the darach.

 

Only one bad thing to say about that scene: JESUS CHRIST STILES, YOU COULDN’T JUST HAND THE FLARE OVER TO ALLISON? YOU HAD TO BE A COWBOY AND TOSS IT WILLY NILLY INTO A PARKING LOT COVERED IN GASOLINE. WHAT IF YOU’D BLOWN UP THE FUCKING BUS?? Alright, I’m done.

 

Morning. Coach walks on to the bus, the rest of the students lining up behind him. On the bus, Scott, Stiles, Allison, Lydia, Boyd, and Isaac are all waking up from a really shitty night. “I don’t wanna know,” Coach says, “I really don’t wanna know.” Hee! Pack orgy? Because this group of people is so totally Scott’s pack, humans and werewolves alike. The meet’s been cancelled, so the crew is headed back to Beacon Hills.

 

Ethan is the first to step on the bus after Coach, and he sits down next to Scott. Stiles is sitting in the seat behind Scott and they started shooting each other the most hilarious confused faces. “I don’t know what happened last night,” Ethan starts, “but I’m pretty sure you saved my life.” There’s an adorable little moment where Danny passes by, and briefly caresses Ethan’s shoulder as he goes. It’s not even an acknowledged moment which is why I love it so much. Anyway, Stiles is quick to point out that, actually, he saved Ethan’s life, just a minor detail. Hee. Very true, but I like to think that Ethan went to Scott because he realizes that Stiles is part of Scott’s pack, and therefore the actions of his betas would be the actions of the alpha so he’s acknowledging the alpha. Leave me alone, it’s totally my headcanon. In thanks, Ethan’s going to give Scott something. “We’re pretty sure Derek’s still alive.” Yay! “But he killed one of ours. That means one of two things can happen: either he joins our pack” killing his own pack, “or Kali goes after him and we kill him.” Boo! I guess Deuc wasn’t entirely forthcoming to the other alphas about how Ennis died. “You know,” Stiles pipes up, “your little code of ethics there is sorta barbaric, just FYI.” No shit.

 

Coach stalks down the aisle of the bus, and that’s when it hits Lydia. Just below Coach’s whistle, on his pristine white shirt, is a light purple mark. Lydia stands up and grabs at the whistle, pulling it off the Coach’s neck as she’s asking whether or not she can see it. Coach sputters that he’ll need that back and just moves on. Lydia sits down across from the guys and blows the whistle, covering the hole at the top with the palm of her hand. When she lifts her hand, she’s got a palm full of purple powder. Wolfsbane. “So every time the Coach blew the whistle on the bus,” Stiles deduces, “Scott, Isaac, Boyd…” and Ethan. They all inhaled the wolfsbane. They were all poisoned by it, and that’s how the darach got in their heads. Stiles grabs the whistle and immediately tosses it out the window. The bus pull away from the cursed motel, the whistle laying in the parking lot.

 

Chris is walking down a hallway. He opens a door and we see an old man sitting in a wheelchair, his back to the camera. Aw, fuck this shit. It’s Gerard, the geriatric psychopath. “Twice in a month,” he says to Chris. “Should I be flattered?” His hands shake when he goes to turn the wheelchair, and he’s got black blood running from his nose and down his face constantly. At least he’s relatively out of commission. Chris mentions his uncle Alexander Argent and his unfortunate stay at the Glen Capri. The autopsy noted an unusual animal bite on his body. “I want to know the alpha that bit him,” Chris says. “I want his name.” Gerard smiles nastily: “Deucalion.” God I so hope this doesn’t mean Gerard will be coming back as a regular player.

 

Final thoughts on the episode. I really enjoyed the episode, and it was sufficiently creepy to watch three teenagers try to kill themselves. I like the more classic horror movie style outing, and I hope they find ways to continue bringing those elements into the show. I’m also really enjoying the development we’ve been getting with Lydia and I hope we find out what her connection with death is very soon.

 

The wolfsbane. Since they decided to use the purple flower as the reason behind the werewolves going wacko, I can’t ignore the inconsistency. Stiles mentioned Lydia’s party from last season when she spiked the punch with wolfsbane. Yes, there were similar hallucinations of the characters’ greatest fears, but it wasn’t just the werewolves. Allison and Stiles were also affected and had probably the most emotionally-packed hallucinations of the bunch. So why didn’t the wolfsbane affect any of the humans again? Clearly the darach doesn’t need to be around to induce the hallucinations, so he was just waiting in the wings for the hallucinations to take their toll and maybe provide some further influence. Which makes me wonder about whether there could be different potency or effects between the actual ingestion of diluted wolfsbane and the airborne nature of the crushed up wolfsbane here. It was just all very unclear, and I would have preferred if they’d used a different explanation for just the werewolves getting suicidal.

 

Secondly, Jen and Derek. There are so many weird things going on here. First and foremost, while I like Jen as a character on her own so far with the babbling and weird quips, she and Derek have no chemistry. Their interactions feel so out of the blue and forced on us by the writers. I don’t need to believe that he’s finding his one true love in her, I just want evidence of some desire or passion that pushes him to sleep with the first woman he smiles at.

 

Second, it’s just kind of gross that they slept together while Derek was still bleeding and covered with open wounds. Unsanitary and off-putting. There was no reason we couldn’t just get a makeout scene with the same emotional resonance.

 

Last, the healing. Oh, the healing. The first time I watched that moment, I started laughing because they made it seem like she either had a magic vagina or healed him with love or some such bullshit. But upon further viewing, and taking into account the words Scott was saying when we cut to their scenes, I think Derek’s wounds weren’t healing due to the same psychosomatic stuff that Scott had. Scott was talking about hope, and I think at the very least that this is what healed Derek. Before Jen talked him into ‘rest,’ his thoughts were for his pack and what he was going to do and the alphas and his injuries, and she stopped all that. She reminded him that for one night, everyone thought he was dead. So he didn’t have to answer to anyone or take care of anyone but himself. Also, here was a woman, possibly the first since Kate Argent (who seduced him and used him so she could trap his family in their home and burn the house down around them) to show him tenderness and kindness. I’m not saying his seeming trust in her won’t bite him in the ass somehow, but the healing part sort of makes sense to me.  

 

That’s it. Those are my thoughts for now.

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