The action picks up pretty much where we left off in the last episode and two things are revealed rather quickly. First, we see the face of the mysterious kidnapper/torturer – or rather, faces, since there turns out to be a group of them and they are led by a pretty nasty woman. And apparently she is a woman who likes to remove body parts — body parts we (and Peter) hope will grow back.
Second, Malia, the mysterious werewolf/missing girl the gang has been searching for is actually a Werecoyote. OK, well, that last bit was revealed in the previous episode to anyone that knows the difference between a wolf and a coyote, but apparently I need a few more lessons in canine species recognition.
Anyway, back to Peter, Derek and their shock therapy. I’m not a big fan of torture, especially when I don’t know why the captives are being tortured. And I’m really not crazy about it when the people being tortured don’t know why they are being tortured (at least I don’t think they know – but with Peter and Derek, you never know). All I know is that within a few minutes, I was ready to give up the “She-Wolf.” Yes, I am a wimp.
The Hardy Boys
Just like in TW episode 3.06, “Motel California,” the pack is at its best when working together to solve a problem. Scott and Stiles are in full Hardy Boys mode with the missing Werecoyote case and everything is clicking. The battles with their inner demons continue, but their focus on the case does not waiver and in some ways, it seems to be helping them develop other senses while they are out of touch with their core strengths. Could these afflictions be a blessing in disguise? Or a message/lesson from beyond?
Now that Sheriff Stilinski is in on the supernatural secret, he is being included in the problem solving which, hopefully, leads to more detective work for the pack in the future. The “Were of the Week” scenario is an interesting one (though not for each week) and could make for some interesting stories as well as provide a way to explore more other worldly lore. And as their knowledge grows, so does the landscape and history of the town of Beacon Hills and its inhabitants. It is also nice to see a more open exchange between Stiles and his father. They both have needed this closeness since the loss of Stiles’ mother and it is good they have it, especially with the impending trouble with the Bardo looming.
While Scott and Stiles try to find a way to capture Malia, Allison works on trying to get her mojo back. But it always seems to end with her trying to stick pointy weapon-y things through her friends (or at least fantasizing about it). Quelle horreur!
There are a few returns in this episode, some eagerly anticipated and some totally unexpected.
While the audience is quite happy to see the twins, Aidan and Ethan, return, Scott is not quite as thrilled since their first order of business is to beat the hell out of him in an attempt to bring out his true Alpha state. As we, along with Stiles and Lydia, watch the twins literally try to beat the Alpha out of Scott, we gain some insight into how brutal their time with Deucalion must have been. And while Ethan seems to be able to keep that violent side of himself in check, Aidan seems to enjoy it all a bit too much. We’ll see more about that later on, I’m sure.
The surprise return of the week is Braeden (Meagan Tandy), the she-wolf who saved Isaac from Deucalion and received a near fatal beating for it (which left some nasty scars). She rides (sans motorcycle, but with full artillery) to the rescue of Derek and Peter. It turns out she was hired by none other than the wolf that gave her that infamous beatdown — the aforementioned, Deucalion! Why take money from the wolf that bit her? “A girl’s gotta eat…”
Derek’s refusal to leave without retrieving a mysterious “it” adds another tidbit to the many questions about why the Hale pair were kidnapped in the first place. The item Derek seeks is hidden in a wooden trunk that is ultra warded (with mountain ash wood) against the Hale family (very specific). With Braeden’s help, they are able to find within the box a wooden canister covered with a three curly-branched sigil. How does this relate to the Hale family and the mysterious “She-Wolf” wanted by the kidnappers? I can’t wait to see.
Another anticipated return from last episode is that of Kira, the Bardo girl with the crush on Scott. She’s not part of the pack yet, but she is showing amazing potential with her unprompted research on the Bardo (complete with a hefty pack of printouts) and her ability to attract furry, fang-y things that go “grrrr” in the night as we see in her scary encounter with coyote Malia while trying to return Stiles’ backpack to him after his classroom meltdown. She may not be part of the pack yet, but she’s got that “Scott’s new mate” scent all over her.
And finally, kudos to Todd Stashwick for his return appearance as Mr. Tate, a man who has lost his family and is fueled by the need for vengeance, not knowing that the very thing he is hunting is really his long lost daughter. It was an intense ride, but so very satisfying to see the father finally embracing the daughter he thought was dead. I wouldn’t mind revisiting these characters in the future to see how they are dealing with Malia’s “were” status. I like the idea of a small community of families embracing their supernatural family members and their struggles – not a main focus of the show, but an occasional look at a bigger picture.
Reading is Fundamental
Stiles has completely lost his ability to understand letters and words and it is tearing him apart. The last straw comes when Lydia steps on a wolf trap and Stiles needs to disarm it before it trips and clamps down on Lydia’s leg, but he can’t read the instructions. Lydia calms him and assures him that he can come up with a solution without reading it. Her belief in his innate intelligence gives him the courage to think through the problem, make a decision and free her from the trap. It’s also Stiles that figures out the meaning of the doll in Malia’s strange behavior.
When Allison’s sharpshooting skills are needed to tranquilize coyote Malia (or, as it turns out, her father), it is imperative that she overcome her fears about her inner huntress. Her surgery hallucination where her dead Aunt Kate tosses her still-beating heart aside with the comment, “There’s definitely something wrong with it,” reveals the crux of her struggle – is her heart a help or a hindrance to her being a good hunter?
Even though she tends to point deadly weapons at him, Isaac is there to help Allison through the bad times. When Allison chokes while trying to shoot Mr. Tate with a tranquilizer dart, Isaac helps her calm down (just as Lydia did for Stiles) enough to focus, to overcome her fear and tap into her sharpshooting skills.
Scott is finally able to tap into his Alpha side in order to subdue Malia and bring her back to her human self. Allison is able to find her inner hunter and stop Mr. Tate. And later, as Stiles watches his father deliver Malia back to her father, Stiles finds he is able to read again. As he looks at the side view mirror of the car, he reads the printed warning: “OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.” He is very relieved that he is able to comprehend the message. But is there more to the fact that this is the first message he is able to read in days? I believe there is an ominous side to this warning and the wolf pack’s troubles are far from over. Something is closer than they think and it doesn’t sound like something good.
We’re Off to See the Wizard
I’m suddenly struck with the idea that Scott, Stiles and Allison are the lion, scarecrow and tin man of the Wizard of Oz. Scott needs courage to be a true Alpha, Stiles needs his brain to protect his friends and Allison needs her heart to be a good hunter. Their courage, intelligence and compassion are their core strengths and what they need to understand is that they have possessed these strengths all along.
Of course, this comparison begs the question: who are Lydia and Isaac in this scenario? Dorothy and Toto? Hmmm. Moving on…
Our final image of the episode is that of a mysterious person pulling a budding new branch from the stump of the Nemeton tree in the middle of the night. From the spot where the bud was pulled, suddenly springs forth a torrent of fireflies. Now, as a Browncoat, I love a good firefly, but these are not your friendly Whedon fireflies. These little buggers form into three ghostly, shadowy figures. And I’m thinking that just can’t be good.
The next episode of MTV’s Teen Wolf features a Buffy alum that is near and dear to the collective Whedonopolis heart: Doug Jones. We are really excited to see what Mr. Jones has in store for the wolf pack of Beacon Hills. Tune in!
Teen Wolf airs on MTV on Mondays at 10/9c. Full episodes are also available at the MTV Teen Wolf website and On Demand (check your cable listings) as well as on iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and Google Play.
I always like to include some of my favorite quotes and exchanges from the episode. If you have some quotes or moments you liked, please share in the comments section.
Bad Guy Torturer: “You see this equipment? Very old. The settings are not quite accurate anymore, so it’s hard to tell just how far to turn the dial.”
Peter, shuddering on the electrified fence: “I think it’s a little high.”
Scott: “Okay, but if it was a full moon and she did change while her mom was driving, then anything could’ve happened…”
Stiles: “… horrible things could’ve happened: ripping – shredding — tearing things…”
Scott: “…which is probably what caused the accident.”
Stiles: “Think about it, Dad, all right. They’re driving, Malia starts to change, she goes out of control, the mom crashes and everybody dies…”
Scott: “…except for Malia.”
Stiles: “She blames herself, right, goes off running in the woods and eventually becomes trapped inside the body of a coyote.”
Sheriff Stilinski: “That makes sense… [beat] … in a Chinese folktale!”
Kira to Scott: “I have something for you… about the Bardo. My explanation was sort of all over the place, so I did some research and printed it out for you.”
Scott: “Ah, you didn’t have to do that.”
Kira: “It only took a couple hours.”
Scott: “Wow. Then, you really didn’t have to do that.”
Kira, still searching for papers: “I swear I printed it out…”
Kira’s Dad, Mr. Yukimura, walking up with a stack of papers: “Kira! You forgot all that research you did for that boy you like.”
Stiles: “Scott, you can’t transform. Allison’s being haunted by her dead aunt. And I’m straight up losing my mind. We can’t do this. We can’t… we can’t help Malia. We can’t help anyone.”
Scott: “We can try. We can always try.”
Peter, looking at his severed finger on the floor: “I don’t want to make it sound like we don’t appreciate your hospitality but do you think it would be possible to put that on ice? And maybe something for my hand – extra large Band-Aid? Perhaps some anti-biotic ointment?
Stiles to Sheriff Stilinski: “Come on, you’re not back to not believing, are you?”
Sheriff Stilinski: “You know what? I believe there are a lot of things I don’t understand yet. But that doesn’t mean that everything and anything imaginable is suddenly possible. Now are you 100% sure that this is a girl and not an animal?
Stiles: “Yes. [beat] Because Scott’s sure.”
Stiles, referring to Isaac: “Okay, what is the point of him? Seriously, I mean, what is his purpose? Aside from the persistent negativity and the scarf? What’s up with the scarf anyway? It’s 65 degrees out.”
Scott: “But right now, I’m too scared to even change into just a werewolf.”
Stiles: “We need a real Alpha. [beat, looks at a dejected Scott] You know what I mean – an Alpha who can do Alpha things. You know, an Alpha who can get it going. You know, get it…”
Scott: “Great. I’m an Alpha with performance issues.”
Stiles, watching the twins try to beat Scott into giving into his inner Alpha: “Hey, you know, it’s funny – I actually tried something like this one time using a heart monitor and lacrosse balls. But you’re right, beating the living crap out of him is probably a lot better.”
Lydia to Stiles, regarding freeing her from the animal trap: “You don’t need the instructions. When was the last time you’ve ever used instructions? Am I right? You don’t need them because you’re too smart to waste your time with them, okay? You can figure it out. Stiles, you’re the one who always figures it out… So you can do it… Figure. It. Out.”
And the final quote is really more of an ominous sign: “OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.” [shudder]