Note - This episode is Teen Wolf at its best - smart, fast paced, creepy, and intense. Way to bounce back, writers and kudos to everyone involved. It might be the best Teen Wolf episode yet.
Previously - Darach was a creepy, human-sacrificing, serial killer of virgins, healers, and warriors. Almost everyone one was a suspect including VetBoss, his sister, and Allison's dad. Lydia was…well we didn't know, but she screamed a lot. Shortest previouslies ever.
Deputy Tara walks into a darkened school highway and I wonder if Beacon Hills High even has locks. What is up with the people stalking the high school, especially given all the people that have been taken from there recently? Yes, she is a cop but Ms. Blake is there until wee hours of the morning and on weekends. Students roam around whenever they feel like it. Get some security! Tara apparently feels the same way because she snaps at Danny and crew, who just finished music rehearsal…in the pitch dark. Tara spouts about a 911 call and tells them to leave, but seriously if she thinks they're in danger, shouldn't she escort them out? It's telling that kids from Beacon Hills no longer question emergencies or danger. They just get out. Tara hears a noise, draws her gun, and walks further into the now (maybe) abandoned building. For those not certain before, background chanting means she's going to die. Nice knowing you Deputy. A body is dragged into the locker room, as I wonder why she has no backup with a serial killer on the loose. This isn't The Following. Darach is not impressed with the Sheriff's Department and sees no reason to come out with its hands up. Tara however sees herself dead on the shower floor. Creepy. Especially when Darach comes behind her with a garrote. She stumbles to the shower wall making her vision a reality. Bye Deputy! Scott and Stiles arrive on campus shortly after, tipped off by Lydia who trance drove to the school. Stiles and Lydia weirdly banter. Stiles: "Lydia, you're supposed to call us after you find the dead body." Lydia: "Oh no, I'm not doing that again. You find the dead body from now on." Ha! Stiles points out Lydia's penchant for tracking the dead, but the point is moot because Deputy Tara is draped over the school sign for all to see. Have I mentioned how much it sucks to live in Beacon Hills.
The next day, Stiles tries to covertly eavesdrop on his father who is at the school. Backpack over the head doesn't work. Sheriff recaps the murder in three's concept for those just tuning in and they bond over the loss of Tara, before he sends Stiles back to class. Allison and her dad enjoy non-bonding time too as Allison pretends to be too distraught to go to school much less the memorial concert. Nothing quite says we miss you like gathering everyone in the same place they went missing from. Nothing quite says target like it either. Argent says to take as much time as she needs and the second he leaves, she pops out fully dressed and arms herself. At the same time, Isaac crashes through her window. No parent has hearing that bad. Scott sent Isaac to check up on Allison but she's a kick butt female who needs no help. Lucky them - they both get to skip English 101 about idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes. I taught this to 5th graders so what's Lydia doing in a remedial class? Certainly not paying attention as she draws the ancient druid tree from last week. She overshares big time about her talents and Blake incorrectly calls it an idiom. How'd she get this job again? While Blake shares the SAT prep lesson, she stares at Stiles and Scott so we get the subtext. They all share a secret. Blake: "There are phrases that only make sense if you know key words." Stiles talks chess idioms but Scott talks Ethan. Stiles: "Okay first of all I cannot believe that we've gotten to the point where a sentence like, 'What if the Darach was an emissary to the Alphas?' actually makes sense to me." Gold star for today's lesson, Stiles. He mentions the Alpha Twins are inseparable these days. But apparently not on the same page, since Aidan threatens to tear Danny's face off and eat it if Ethan doesn't stop seeing him. Jealous? Aiden: "What do you think we're doing here? You know we're not actual high school students, right?" Finally! They call Danny harmless and Lydia a threat and Ethan admits he likes Danny. The only point to this is to setup Ethan as the good alpha who could be persuaded while Aiden is dangerous. I can never tell which is which and they were never interesting enough before to bother.
Back in remedial English, Stiles and Scott turn to look at Lydia. She's no fool. Lydia: "What now?" I would heavy sigh too Lydia. The plan involves her getting Aiden into yet another empty room and making out. This seems pretty typical but apparently there's been no canoodling since Boyd died. Nice to know Lydia DOES have some standards. Aiden says Kali killed Boyd and he didn't have a choice because alpha packs are not a democracy, making him slightly more sympathetic. Plus he thinks Derek killed Ennis first. They talk revenge and Aiden did his homework. He knows Derek and Boyd tried to kill Lydia last season. Hmm, before we get answers a revenge symbol appears on the classroom window. Drums pound and we….head to a hallway for Ethan's sad tale of werewolf woe. Huh? Ethan: "Why are you even talking to me?" Great question! A werewolf fight's about to take place one level down. Ethan continues: "I helped kill your friend. How do you know I'm not going to kill another one?" Stiles: "Are you threatening me? You know what I'm going to do. I'm going to break off an extra large branch of mountain ash, wrap it in wolf's bane, roll it in mistletoe and shove it up your…" Scott breaks in as I applaud Stiles for such a specific threat. Well done sir. Scott conjectures that Ethan didn't want to kill Boyd and wouldn't do it again. Ethan puppy eyes about the sad life of an omega in a vicious pack and says he owes Deucalion everything. Duke taught them how to fight against the abuse. He taught them how to combine to make Super Alpha and take down their leader. Apparently he didn't teach them to avoid the cheap shot though, as Cora aka Brainless, not Derek, jumps Aiden. I swear if it wouldn't lead to more Derek angst, I'd root for Ethan to kill her. She never learns. Ethan feels Aidan's pain and they all head to the fight, after learning most emissaries are dead. So much for that idea. Cora's plan isn't going swimmingly either. Aiden brains her with a weight but Ethan sadly gets there before his brother finishes her off. Ethan: "Kali gave Derek until the next full moon. You can't touch him or her." Well that's too bad.
At the Argent's Soundproof Pad, Allison suspects her dad is Darach leading Isaac to sum up: "You hope he isn't a serial killing dark druid who's been slashing people's throats." I hope that too. Argent is too cool to be that evil. Allison blacklights the map again but Isaac looks at the whole picture instead. Underneath the map if the same druid five-fold knot on the sacred tree last episode. Allison and Isaac both hold the black light over the knot for no reason at all and it looks very uncomfortable. In each spot is a word: virgins, warriors, healers, philosophers, and guardians. It's the groups Darach took and I still do NOT believe Argent is Darach. He does have awesome knowledge he should be sharing though. Meanwhile Cora the Brainless has a seeping head injury, but she powers on to tell them they all suck for not avenging Boyd's death like she couldn't do. "Suicidally crazy" doesn't quite cover it Stiles. She calls them stupid teenagers, a pot and kettle situation if there ever was one. Cora: "All you really do is find the bodies." Yikes! Harsh, and yet she is correct. Stiles offers to take Cora home, because he's nicer than I am, and Allison calls to give him the news. They all agree that Sheriff needs in the loop. I cheer. It's about time someone tells him. Scott's not around, so Cora gets to be the visual show and tell instead. This is going to go over really well.
Since one Hale is never enough, Derek returns…under an overpass at the school to nosh on his ladylove Blake. She rails, "Where the hell have you been and don't say that you needed to be alone for awhile because that is the single worst excuse ever." Ha! I agree. Too bad she backtracks in the arms of Derek's sexiness. She could have made a good point here. Instead they talk Alpha Twins and Derek reassures they won't hurt her before the bell peels and Blake heads back. She's got 3 classes and the memorial concert before they can be together. They have great chemistry here and it's not even a huge momentum killer. That's next. Leaves gust as Blake walks away and I go with a powerful wind blasting through the tunnel…for now because Morell is my first guess for Darach. Scott's too as he confronts her. Morell: "Come on Scott. Shouldn't you leave the interrogation to someone like Stilinski?" Ha! Something tells me Stiles has already questioned her. She talks in a weird staccato, telling Scott to listen to her heartbeat. No offense lady, but if the Darach can control bugs it can control a heartbeat. I am less impressed. Scott should be too since he had this conversation with Grandpa Evil last week. Morell says she's keeping Duke from killing everyone, expositing the plan we've already heard. Morell: "He wants a true alpha in his pack. He thinks it's you and a little distraction like a few human sacrifices isn't going to dissuade him from the prize." Scott and Morell bark at each other before she espouses psychology. Morell: "He's an obsessive. He both desires you and is threatened by you." Duke wants Scott or no one can have him. To be honest, this conversation is creepier than anything in the season thus far. It's also sucking the momentum dry and bringing nothing new to the table. In brief if Scott kills, he can't be a true alpha. Duke wins. Throw in a chess analogy, in which Scott needs to step up his game or all is lost, and we finally leave this scene to watch people walk past Scott in slow motion as he stares blankly. FILLER, bad filler.
Erm..thankfully(?) a history teacher gets snatched and the action is back. Lydia finds his chalk but no way she's Darach. NO WAY! Even if she draws a creepy 2 on the board and starts shrieking. Lydia freaks out to Blake while Ethan comforts her, which is weird. But Blake isn't buying it even though Lydia is adamant. Lydia: "Okay fine, I'm psychic." Blake: "You're psychic?" Lydia: "I'm something!" That's obvious and needs explanation tonight. Aidan and Scott look on, not sure what a deputy and teacher have in common. Stiles could tell them but he's too busy pacing, trying to tell his dad that Scott's a werewolf. He goes with a 3 season recap to no avail. Sheriff: "Stiles, the last thing I need right now is a job performance review from my own son." True, so Stiles goes with chess analogy, color coding people by their roles: werewolf, hunter, kanima, darach. Let's just say Sheriff gives Stiles the same look my friends give me when trying to explain the show. Sheriff: "So who's the kanima?" Stiles: "Jackson." Sheriff: "No, Jackson's a werewolf." Stiles: "Jackson was a kanima first and then Peter and Derek killed him and he came back to life as a werewolf. Now he's in London." Ha! No, now he's rocking Arrow. Still this is an excellent time for a visual Stiles. Have Cora turn. They tell Sheriff they don't know who Darach is yet, which is where his patience ends. Sheriff: "And what shape would an increasingly confused and angrier by the second father take?" Alas when Stiles finally does ask Cora to turn, she faints instead.
And still Stiles' plan is a bit better than Allison's, which includes heading to the place where a teacher might be killed to stop her dad. Isaac, aka the voice of reason, thinks they should call Scott. Allison, taking a page from Cora, disagrees. I love Kick Butt Allison but I can't stand the brain dead Allison who shows up here. Going to stop a serial killer is definitely cause for backup. Allison: "Stay behind me and stay quiet." Isaac: "Oh this is so not going to end well." Ha! People should listen to Isaac too. After giving the order to stay quiet, Isaac and Allison banter about defending themselves before Isaac smells blood but can't figure out what direction. Say what? Oh why bother. The teacher is hanging there in plain sight anyway. Darach appears and Allison rushes headlong without any plan whatsoever. Thankfully, her dad is more prepared. Yes, Allison and Isaac did just ruin his trap to take out Darach. Great! Argent does impressive (yet funny) gun maneuvering, which all ends in a big, fat zero. The teacher is dead, Darach escaped, and Allison and Argent play hypocrite and liar, liar. Isaac again saves my sanity. "Hey just a thought. Maybe right now is not the best for a little family meeting. There's still one more teacher." True so they play telephone tag where Stiles says Deputy Tara was a former middle school teacher. Since all other teachers are at the memorial concert, that's where Darach and the team go. They pan in on Blake. My live tweet: "Ms. Blake has the power to make wind. Leaves are always blowing by her feet. Suspicious? Maybe. My bet is still Morell." Alas since we can't get answers for at least another 4 minutes, Stiles and Sheriff fight in the hospital about VetBoss' rescue after dropping off Cora. Sheriff: "Stiles, I have seen a lot of things that I can't explain in this town. That doesn't make them supernatural and it doesn't make them real." Sheriff finally loses it and Stiles gets defensive. As Sheriff walks away, Stiles says, "Mom would have believed me." Ouch!
Breaking for product placement in the midst of family angst, Ethan helps Danny get dressed at the concert. Of course that naturally means Ice Breakers mints. Ethan stops flirting long enough to seriously tell Danny to find him first if anything happens. I'm going to hunt Aiden down myself if anything happens to Danny. Fair warning. Scott looks on as Lydia joins him, finally not running from the weird but firmly embracing it. Lydia: "I don't know why I'm the one that keeps finding the bodies. Maybe if I just stop trying to fight it, I'd find them before it happens…maybe with enough time for someone like you to do something about it." Scott: "You get me the time and I'll do something about it, I swear to God. I will." Scott and Lydia clasp hands, a solid front against evil. Sadly, Derek is at the hospital, clasping Cora's hand. My tweet: "Derek, your sister is brain dead. Before she went into the hospital." I stand by it, but as Derek silently angsts Cora whispers his name. She asks why she's sick and Derek answers solemnly, "I don't know but I'm not leaving okay? Not again." He kisses her forehead and yeah, I'll admit it. It got to me. Something about a big brother-little sister scene gets me every time. Luckily we move to my favorite pair, in a completely non-shipper way of course, Melissa and Sheriff. What Stiles said obviously stabbed Sheriff's heart and he asks about a woman mauled near to death at least 10 years ago. Melissa, being awesome, breaks the rules to get him info. A Jane Doe, whose picture we have never seen before, arrived at the hospital barely alive. Hundreds of birds flew into the hospital walls and windows while she was in the OR. Melissa: "Like they were committing some kind of mass suicide." Sheriff: "Or like they were sacrificing themselves." Melissa: "For what?" Sheriff: "Not what…who." Awesome scene! There needs to be more of these two in future episodes.
While they hunt down info, a billion other things happen. Argent, Allison, and Isaac arrive at school to hunt Darach. Lydia gets a text supposedly from Aiden and heads off for a "life or death" emergency. It screams trap. Scott, how can you get there in time if you don't know where Lydia is? Meanwhile Aiden tells Ethan he lost his phone as Lydia enters yet another still unlocked, empty hallway door and classroom. Chanting begins in the recital and Blake pops out, scaring Lydia. Uh oh! Surprise! She knocks Lydia out and stares with black eyes. My tweet: "I am willing to believe Blake is possessed right now. I am willing to believe she is Darach. Answers please." I could see it going either way and that's the hallmark of a great scene. Finally people realize Lydia is missing so Scott and Stiles rush out, yelling for her to no avail. Lydia awakens for our word of the day lesson - sacrifice. It's Latin for, "Are you seriously giving a SAT prep lesson before you kill her?" Well according to me. Lydia isn't impressed either. Blake says Lydia isn't a sacrifice, just a girl who knows too much (title alert). Blake puts a garrote around Lydia's throat but she puts her hand in between and screams…loudly. So loud every werewolf in the county hears, even Derek at the hospital. Strangely, no one else hears a thing. Blake is impressed. Lydia is a banshee, aka the Wailing Woman. Blake says they're alike but I'm going with no. Far as I know, Lydia isn't murdering people. For reasons unknown, Lydia sits by and lets Blake duct tape her to the chair before trying to garrote her again. But not before the last teacher dies. Bye bye piano teacher. That's one mistletoe piano string across the throat. Some people question how Darach timed it so perfectly. I question what high school band doesn't have a kid who plays piano. Chaos ensues either way.
Blake puts a knife to Lydia's throat but Sheriff is in the room and tells her to drop it. Either this classroom has two entrances or Sheriff is a ninja who got past both Blake and Lydia without being seen. Blake throws the knife into Sheriff's chest as Scott enters in full werewolf mode. There's your visual proof Sheriff. Scott and Blake face off. Winner - Blake with one punch to the chest. Scott goes down spitting blood. Next up, Stiles who is stymied when Blake shoves a desk in front of the door. Thankfully Sheriff grabs his gun in the distraction. He spouts the mauled girl story, which Blake confirms. How did the hospital get that picture if her face was slashed apart? Jane Does don't come with portfolios. Blake heads forwards, chanting her kill groups so Sheriff shoots her in the leg. It heals instantly. She painfully grabs him by the knife, causing his gun to fall and continues chanting her kills. Why? Who knows? Perhaps it was an excuse to kiss him when she got to virgin, which makes no sense thus far. We know he is not a virgin. Maybe it is so Sheriff can see Darach's true hideous visage in the kiss. Before Stiles or Scott can stop her, she takes Sheriff with her out the window. Chanting goes full force as they stare desolately into the night. No one better kill Sheriff. You hear me show!
This episode was awesome! There were only a few breaks in the action and a whole lot of answers. While I am not shocked by any means that Blake is Darach, I am glad it wasn't completely transparent. There were a cornucopia of choices from the start and they kept me skeptical throughout the episode. Most of all it leaves us in a very interesting position for the last 3 episodes before the midseason break. Will Darach go down before then? The other big reveal, Lydia being a banshee, makes me less excited though. My #1 criticism of Teen Wolf is that is sidelines Lydia from being an active participant in the action. She is often the pawn instead. If they go with a typical banshee approach, she's doomed to find bodies and scream a lot, neither of which is an interesting character arc. I hope they twist this plot line into something more proactive. The biggest plus of the episode is Sheriff finally knows the truth. Of course this only remains a positive if he remains alive, which I predict he will. Blake can't broker a deal if she kills Stiles' dad and I can't imagine the show will make Stiles an orphan. Melissa already has 2 teens living with her. Therefore I cannot wait to see the father and son reunion. It should be an awesome scene. Besides, they need him alive because the parents on this show rock!
Best reason to watch
- Tara sees her own dead body before Darach kills her
Most touching scene
- Derek tells Cora he won't leave her alone
Most important scene
- Lydia and Ms. Blake when we learn all the answers
Biggest momentum drain
- Scott and Morell ending with Scott staring as students pass him by in slo-mo
- Sheriff and Stiles recap 3 seasons of Beacon Hills weirdness over chess
- tie - Argent reloads his pistols by clicking them together / Blake avoids Scott's claws
"The hills are alive" moment
- Blake runs to Derek and they kiss and twirl
- Melissa and Sheriff
Most annoying duo
- Allison and Argent
Voice of truth
Stiles: "Lydia, you're supposed to call us after you find the dead body." Lydia: "Oh no, I'm not doing that again. You find the dead body from now on."
Aiden: "So if Deucalion asked you, would you kill him?" Ethan: "If Deucalion asks you, would you kill me?"
Lydia: "What now?"
Stiles: "Are you threatening me? You know what I'm going to do. I'm going to break off an extra large branch of mountain ash, wrap it in wolf's bane, roll it in mistletoe and shove it up your…"
Isaac: "You hope he isn't a serial killing dark druid who's been slashing people's throats."
Lydia: "Okay fine, I'm psychic." Blake: "You're psychic?" Lydia: "I'm something!"
Sheriff: "So who's the kanima?" Stiles: "Jackson." Sheriff: "No, Jackson's a werewolf."
Isaac: "Oh this is so not going to end well."
Screencaps by Screencapped.net