Super Short Previouslies - the steampunk scientists snatched Liam and Hayden (but didn't kill them), Deaton took a vacation, and the Desert Wolf caused the car crash when Malia was a kid.
Flies buzz around a dead dog as Deaton and his guide tour a plant supposedly closed for nuclear radiation. Since it was never a nuclear plant, the guide doesn't believe it. Instead rumor says it was the steampunk scientists' lab. Rumor also has it that they were faceless. Hmm. Ominous writing on the wall warns them to get out but hey, Deaton's from Beacon Hills so it takes a lot to scare him. He does helpfully explain the title though. An ouroboros is the symbol of a snake eating its own tail. Teen Wolf, preparing for trivia nights everywhere. Conveniently there's an ouroboros on the door so they easily find the lab with jarred fetuses. It's significantly creepy so after finding a tooth, Deaton suggests they leave. Too late. Guide is a goner. A woman walks out from the darkness and Deaton introduces us to the Desert Wolf. Say what? I thought that was happening in 5B. Glad to pick up the pace here because Malia's is the most potentially interesting story right now. Kira too. Back at Beacon Hills, a far less interesting one plays out. Scott heads to the cliffs to howl but can't track Liam's scent. Why? Because the plot demands it. (werewolf powers go wonky - check that Bingo square) Malia suggests that Liam can howl back but Scott rightly guesses that Liam can't hear him. Plus, Liam's a bit too preoccupied with the metal tube shoved in his arm. Blech! Tank guy's alarm goes off so a steampunk scientist takes out some of his fluid and injects it into Hayden over Liam's objections. He wolfs out and a steampunk scientist kicks him in the face. I'm sorry; it made me laugh. Liam's nose is taking a beating these days.
Mama McCall has bigger issues though. Dead girl centerpiece is too Hannibal for her. She wisely calls Sheriff but hesitates to let him in, insisting he set his badge aside both literally and figuratively. Sheriff: "Melissa, I…uh, I've set my badge aside a few too many times in the last couple of weeks." Melissa: "Well you may need to do it a few more considering what our kids get into during their free time." Good point. Seeing the dead girl, Sheriff immediately recognizes Kira's sword and calls the station to Mama McCall's dismay. She hauls off and smacks him. Don't mess with Mama McCall, the true leader of this pack. Sheriff: "This is murder. This kid…this child has a family. What, am I supposed to just cover that up? This is a crime and it's my responsibility to handle it within the parameters of the law." Mama McCall: "What about our kids? They constantly deal with things outside the law." Sheriff: "But not above the law." Sheriff clips his badge back on as I puzzle over this new attitude. Sheriff's response makes absolute sense…for someone who just learned of the supernatural. If he responded like this in season 3, I would get it. However we're two seasons and over a year beyond that. He's already broken the law numerous times to cover things up. This is way too out-of-the-blue. Responding to the APB put out on Kira, Deputy Red Shirt (DRS) finds her in a trance walking on highway 115. Kira: "Something happened here." Deputy: "Cars usually happen here, going very fast, so it might be a good idea to at least step out of the middle of the road." She soft talks Kira into the police car under the guise of getting her safely home but then cuffs her. Smart work, deputy. If I weren't totally sure you're going to die, I'd start caring about you. Back at Deaton's, Theo uprights the Jeep and I feel a measure of relief that she isn't totaled. Theo mentions taking Stiles to the hospital but he's smarter than that. Beacon Hills Memorial is one of the least safe places in town. Besides they're sidetracked by news on the police scanner that Kira has been taken in for murder.
Parrish too gets the update. He's tranced out in the shower when Deputy Red Shirt calls to tell him to get his butt to the precinct, where a handcuffed Kira waits. Sheriff wants her uncuffed because he's sure it was self-defense. I'm still sure she didn't do anything and Theo and company are messing with her. No matter because HistoryDad walks right in and confesses. Um, say what? Sheriff's baffled too. HistoryDad says he stabbed the girl in self-defense as she burglarized their home and then the chick walked to Mama McCall's house to die on her kitchen table. Uh….bwaaahhhh!!! Did she want a sandwich? Congrats! That's the most ludicrous lie yet. Sheriff: "This is what you're going to go with? This is your story?" Mama Fox: "Are you prepared to tell a different one?" Good point. I'm still pro-press conference. Obviously the people of Beacon Hills know something's not right about their town and a totally irate Mama McCall is done. Unlike HistoryDad, she's 100% honest. Sheriff: "This your official statement?" Mama: "Something wrong?" Sheriff: "The part about finding the body in your kitchen works fine but then it gets a little confusing when you describe the body as a monstrous chimera and then go on about werewolves, banshees, kanimas…" Mama McCall: "You're right. I forgot about the Dread Doctors." Woo hoo! Ticked off Mama scores all the points. She starts adding to her statement when an overly enthused Deputy Red Shirt interrupts only to get frostbite from the cold stares between Mama McCall and Sheriff. She manages to stutter that Stiles and Theo's library cards were used at the time of the 911 call. I knew Psycho had Theo's card. Sheriff however is keen to make a point. "I'll deal with it. No more bending the rules for anyone." Mama McCall: "Maybe you should learn to bend a little before someone breaks." She shoves her official statement into Sheriff's chest and slams the door on her way out. A ticked off Mama McCall is the scariest thing on this show! I love it!
Sadly we don't follow her home to drink and vetch together. But what is this? For once Super Special Derek-Approved Snowflake Liam cannot automatically do something heroic on his first try. Say what? Is there a Teen Wolf writer that doesn't worship at the puppy's feet? Say it isn't so. I'm stunned. Basically Liam tries to siphon off Hayden's pain like Scott but can't. It's okay though because Hayden and Liam hold hands, staring soulfully into each other's eyes as I vomit the rest of my dinner. These two should mosey on over to Storybrooke, where they will fit right in. It also puts the contrast between them and Kira and Scott into sharper focus. At the precinct, Scott assures Kira that he doesn't think she's going around murdering chimeras and using them as place decorations on his mom's table but it's clear he has doubts. Besides he has no time for anyone except for Liam since Liam is the single most important person on the show now. He's so important Scott doesn't have time to tell Stiles that Kira's okay or listen to Lydia's warnings. Instead he goes full on alpha, clawing Screamer's neck to retrieve his memories of the steampunk scientists. Scott is tired of waiting. Liam MUST be rescued at all cost. As the pack looks on aghast, Theo is fascinated like the psycho he is. Scott however embraces his inner douche and cares not that Screamer is bleeding and in pain. Anyone still not keenly aware that something has changed Scott before this has to realize something is very wrong now. He's been steampunk whammied. I guarantee it. Stiles and Lydia figure out Screamer was taken to the water treatment plant. Like a moron Scott wants to rush right over. Stiles protests. Lydia protests. There is no plan. Scott doesn't care. Argh!!!
And here's my problem. Scott has had almost no character development for years, remaining the good guy who functions as the moral center without much change to his personality or reactions even after the hell he's been through. He's the main character and yet he's been largely static. That's not okay, so last episode I cheered him finally stepping up to his leadership position and making the tough call. It was progress. You know what's not progress? Stupidity. Just because Scott's becoming the leader he's meant to be does not mean he loses his brain in the process. He's far better than that. I know 5A is Teen Wolf's answer to Supernatural season 7, where they're breaking down everyone and everything. Still, in what universe does Scott NOT heed anything Stiles and Lydia say to rush head long with no plan? Granted Teen Wolf plans always suck but Scott doesn't just ignore the brains of their little pack like that. I get that the steampunk scientists have messed with his head with Theo's help. I get that Scott is determined to have itty bitty helpless Liam (of true alpha defeating super strength on his first full moon, who broke Scott out of berserker mode, and of course fought other chimeras and lived) tucked safely in bed with his favorite stuffed animal. I don't get why leadership seems to equal stupidity on Teen Wolf. I also don't get why they suddenly think Liam is helpless. He's been showing up Scott for 2 seasons now but that's another rant. Because Stiles is NOT stupid and yet very much a hypocrite, he rightly points out that Mason should not go to the steampunk scientists' lair. Mason protests on the best friend factor. Stiles: "Oh did you suddenly get super wolf powers? I wasn't aware of that development." Ha! And yet you don't have super wolf powers either, Stiles, but before this season you were always involved. I feel another rant coming on when Scott announces that Stiles is NOT coming again to the main action. To spare you, dear reader, I simply bang my head on my desk over and over again. It's less painful than the loss of my favorite bromance.
Theo also chooses to stay ostensibly to protect Screamer although logically he's better for rescue duty. Lydia: "Scott, Stiles is right. You need to slow down and think." She calls him out for mind raping Screamer (absolutely!) but Scott basically admits that only Liam matters anymore and leaves. Theo smirks. Stiles pretends for 2 seconds that he still has a girlfriend and tells Malia to text if they need him. And why is Stiles not going? Because Sheriff has gone nuts too. Perhaps teens aren't the only ones steampunk scientists are messing with. The entire Beacon Hills Red Shirt Reserve police force, maybe even the guy who tried to flambé Scott for money last season, is fully armed for corpse watch. Because nothing of importance to the actual alive citizens of Beacon Hills is happening . Plus Sheriff has Parrish guard the body. I nearly fall out of my chair laughing. Bwaaahhh!!!! Oh this will go superbly. So glad Stiles joins this mess. He calls a mechanic about the intact gas tank, not appreciating spontaneous combustion as a plausible answer as to how the fire started. Ha! Hey why don't you ask Parrish? He's guarding the body (still snickering). Good news is I'm taking this to mean the Jeep will survive her harrowing experience. Why have her checked out by a mechanic if she's not salvageable? Bad news is Sheriff is an obstinate, pig-headed man this season. Stiles warns him to leave the body to the corpse snatcher, knowing how far he'll go to get it, but Sheriff says he's just doing his job. Stiles: "Yeah, you've been real busy arresting people you know are innocent." Good point. Sheriff refuses to leave the corpse. Stiles refuses to leave the hospital. I refuse to believe that I'm going yet another episode with Stiles and Scott separated. Before I can wallow, Sheriff asks Stiles about his key card being used in the library. Boom. It's a perfect time for Stiles to come clean but of course he says he lost his card. His face clearly says guilty and I'm hoping Sheriff does not drop this.
Back in the Puppy Love Lair, Hayden shows her devotion by pulling a metal tube out of Liam's arm. I'm more baffled than ever. I thought they wanted Liam's blood to enhance Hayden's healing powers. Instead it looks like motor oil pouring out, not blood. Do they want a Liam chimera? Who knows? The steampunk scientists sedate Hayden and plunge a needle into Liam's eye. Hey, I may dislike Liam but that is totally NOT called for, scientist dude. Stop. Right now. The two wake in an electrified pen and Hayden's no longer healing. Sucks to be you. They also discover Chimera #492, of the nifty cut off wings, is caged with them. I am so beyond new chimeras now that he doesn't even get a name. Just die already. As he recaps what we already know, I wonder why Liam doesn't use his super strength to ram the gate with the tubes in their pen. Blah, blah, blah. Chimeras go rabid and kill each other. Huh? I thought Tracy attacked because her mission was to free Psycho. Guess it really was all daddy issues. Liam: "How many more failures are there supposed to be?" Um Liam, have you ever had a science class? You don't experiment to make failures so it's not like they're filling a failure quota here. Chimera #492: "Who knows? But doesn't it make you wonder what the success is going to look like? I mean what are we turning into? Something with claws and fangs?" Liam: "Something with wings?" Hayden: "Something worse." Pish posh. Send a ticked Mama McCall after them and they'll flee Beacon Hills on their own. Since Chimera #492 isn't worth the time spent on him, his nose bleeds silver goo and the scientists snatch him away. Whatever. Speaking of worse, part of Scott's non-plan includes letting Malia drive Mason and him to the water treatment plant. How is that a good idea? They then run down aisles calling out Liam's name aimlessly for half the episode. My eyes give up on rolling about 5 minutes in. So to recap the recap - Scott meanders tunnels with no plan while Stiles sits in a hospital waiting room and there's only 2 more episodes before hiatus. Fan - freaking - tastic.
At least they throw us a bone. Stiles' student id card shows his first initial to be M. Could Teen Wolf's biggest mystery finally be solved? Will we learn Stiles' first name? Of course not. Jeff Davis, you tease. Stiles forlornly crumples up his way-too-flimsy id card to sad violin plinking. Down the hall, Sheriff and the Red Shirt Posse roast as the morgue hits volcano status. In fact pipes burst as Sheriff knocks one deputy out of the way. In the steam and fog, Parrish takes them out one at a time. Then trancelike, he tells Sheriff he saw the suspect as Stiles calls out for his dad. Somehow Stiles figures out the body was missing before Sheriff. I weep for law enforcement these days. Sheriff looks devastated as I shake my head. Trust Stiles (even if he's a lying hypocrite) continues to be the season motto. If people would only listen to him, they wouldn't keep losing. Meanwhile Mama Fox steps up her Team Parent game. A frustrated Kira tries to read The Dread Doctors (no audiobook available?) and Mama Fox suggests she read it backwards, manga-style, so her inner fox won't get confused. I totally love Mama Fox this season. It works. Kira remembers steampunk scientists shoving a needle in her eye during the premiere's traffic jam. Say what? That's messed up. Mid eye surgery, lightning hit the needle and jacked the fox within to overdrive. I've no idea if it was supposed to happen like that but I love Kira's storyline. Lydia babysitting, not so much. Screamer's neck wounds heal so he plans to hightail it as far from the pack as possible. Now that's a good plan. To keep him around, Theo has Lydia lie about Screamer's fate if he leaves but Screamer's no fool. He doesn't buy her bad banshee poker face. Theo insists he replay his memories again and Screamer remembers being in the basement where Parrish was attacked. This would be a perfect time to call Scott about the change in location, right?
What do you mean, no? Instead Scott has another asthma attack as he finally realizes that no plan is also a dumb plan. Malia tells him to use his inhaler but it can't stop the guilt train pulling up. Scott: "This is all my fault." Um, yes and no depending on what "this" is. As background music wails Scott's inner turmoil, Mason reaches out his hand to help pull Scott back together….screech! What the hell? Why is Mason in this scene that rightfully belongs to Stiles, a Stiles sitting in a waiting room chair by the way? I am so sick of Liam as replacement Scott and Mason as replacement Stiles. In case they haven't noticed, both Scott and Stiles are still here!!! They don't need replacing. Urgh! My inner werewolf growls and countless socks hurl full throttle at my screen. Liam and Mason can die any time now. I will not watch a Teen Wolf focused on them. At this point, even Theo is preferable. Speaking of, it's Theo to the rescue. I would point out that Scott "True Alpha" McCall can't save anyone but in all fairness Theo has a big advantage, working with the Big Bad and all. He gangbusters the gate, well after regaining consciousness from the first jolt of electricity. Somehow I don't think his next team meeting with the steampunk scientists will be pleasant. Liam: "You think you can get help?" Theo: "I am the help." If only you weren't a psychopath too. No one questions how Theo can suddenly tame electricity. Of course. But fear not. Liam's earlier failure to take Hayden's pain away was just a fluke. He's the most special person ever to go from explosive anger issues sociopath to innocent puppy eyes snowflake in 6 months flat. In the back of Theo's truck, he literally kisses Hayden's pain away. Theo smirks some more. Let me guess. Liam is the true success. As Scott, Malia, and Mason finally get back to a sleeping Liam and Hayden, it is clear Theo is the night's superstar. He gets hugs from all, unofficially part of the pack now. Still Scott looks reserved. Here's hoping it means he too is suspicious of Theo so Stiles and he can be on the same side again.
In a quick wrap-up, Kira tells Scott about her experience with the steampunk scientists and packs to leave. Her dad is free to go to because apparently in Beacon Hills, a snatched body means they can't press charges against someone who confesses to murder. Okay then. That makes as much sense as HistoryDad's story. Scott's just relieved his girlfriend is more likely possessed than homicidal. Oh, Beacon Hills. Scott: "Kira, I don't want you to leave." Kira: "And I don't want to hurt anyone, especially you." She has Scott wolf eye her and the fire fox is still out of control. They say sad goodbyes in the rain before the Yukimuras leave. Again, the wrong people depart. In honor of their emotional overload, lights explode as the car pulls out leaving Scott alone in the dark and the rain. Aww, poor baby. He trudges home to sit on his closet floor, leash in hand. Team Female Parent to the rescue again. Mama McCall asks what's wrong and Scott says things feel off. "Something's different with me and my friends, all of us. Something's changed. I think it's because of me and I don't know how to fix it." Mama sits next to him as I prepare for an uplifting speech to save them all…but it never comes. Darn! Instead Stiles tells Lydia that Parrish is corpse stealing and she knows where. On the bright side, hopefully this kills the Lydia-Parrish flirtation. I can use some good news if I can't get Mama McCall's "be your own anchor" style inspiration. I'm sure not getting it from the Desert Wolf. Returning to the cold open, she tells Deaton that rumors say Malia is still alive. Deaton, now tied up, denies any knowledge of her even having a daughter. Desert Wolf: "Well I hope you're telling the truth because if she is still alive, I'm just gonna have to kill her again." Thud. That's my jaw dropping to the floor. Duhn, duhn, duhn.
In many ways, this is the best even numbered episode of the season and it gives me hope that the season finale will leave me breathlessly awaiting 5B. On the plus side, the pacing problems were largely fixed as it moved from one scene to another rapidly. While it didn't have a lot of action, it wasn't packed with filler either. There were no club scenes (thank you) and even the pointless running worked as part of Scott's character breakdown. While I am no fan of the romance here, a significant portion of the fandom is and it was spread out evenly enough that it didn't really bog down the story either. If they're going to focus on Liam and Hayden shipping, this was a decent way to handle it. Mostly though, Team Female Parent stole the show. Mama McCall's anger and insistence on throwing Sheriff's attitude back into his face is definitely the highlight. Mama Fox's advice to Kira was helpful and encouraging, making this her best episode, and Mama McCall even without a pep talk to the fandom showed Scott so much support. They were both the epitome of what Team Parent is on this show. Although directly opposite, the Desert Wolf was no less fascinating. I adore her early appearance and her declaration to kill Malia was the biggest shock of the night. I'm now even more excited about this storyline. Why would anyone want to kill their own child? Still for all the pluses, this episode still contained many of the season's worst flaws. It did nothing to move the plot forward. For all Chimera #492's chatter, we know nothing new about the steampunk scientists. Kira's big revelation resulted in her leaving so that helps nothing. Theo ingratiated himself further into the pack but that's been happening all along. Even Stiles and Lydia knowing about Parrish adds nothing for us because we already knew all that. Teen Wolf needs to go back to self-contained half seasons as this 20 episode storyline is not working. Also, Stiles and Scott continue to be separated. It's been way too long. They need things to come to a head (not as a cliffhanger) so together they can uncover Theo's dastardly plan…whatever that is since we still don't know. I get that they are trying to pull the pack apart but Teen Wolf succeeds in its rapid fire plotting. Dragging the separation out so long is frustrating and making me fear for the second half. Also, they again sidelined Lydia and Stiles. Lydia literally babysat Screamer the entire episode. Stiles moped in a chair. Granted Scott wasn't even in the right place so his action was largely superficial. At this point, they need to ditch the steampunk scientists (That tooth will illogically lead Deaton to knowing exactly how to defeat them in 2 episodes or less, right?), repair the pack, and let the Desert Wolf do her worse (provided Malia lives of course). I'm past done caring what the steampunk scientists want. Now I just want them off my screen and a return of my Stiles-Scott bromance. Please.
Best Scene - Mama McCall includes the supernatural in her official police statement
MVP - Team Female Parent
Best Character - Mama McCall
Best Awww Moment - forget puppy kisses, Mama Fox realizing Kira's need and helping her was the big awww moment for me
Best Reaction - Mama McCall slapping Sheriff / Hayden giving Chimera #492 the stink eye
Biggest Shock - Desert Wolf was trying to kill Malia
Best Character Interaction - Mama McCall and Sheriff
Biggest Moment Just for the Fandom - reveal that Stiles' first initial is M
Biggest Hope- please say Scott is starting to be suspicious of Theo
Biggest Lesson - meaning of ouroboros / no plan is still a bad plan
Biggest Douche Move - Scott mind rapes Screamer
Worst Look - Theo's blood goatee
Worst Plan - Scott doesn't listen to anyone before going with his non-plan / separating Stiles and Scott / still more chimeras
Worst Game - Parrish's version of Ring Around the Rosie, with bodies piled around the nematon
Best Reveal - Kira was steampunked during the traffic jam on 115
Best Addition - Desert Wolf
Biggest Smirker - Theo
Biggest Blech - steampunk scientist eye surgery
Biggest Nonsense - police can't hold someone who confesses to killing someone because the body goes missing
Most Missed - Mama McCall doesn't give an awesome pep talk
Most Competent - Deputy Red Shirt gets Kira in the police car under the guise of taking her to her parents
Most Awkward - Theo hugs all around
Most Likely to Make Me Vomit Rainbows - Hayden and Liam
Most in Need of Science Class - Liam. There is no failure quota you have to reach before you can succeed.
Most Superfluous Eye Candy - Parrish in the shower
Most in Need of Breadcrumbs - Scott, Malia, and Mason in the water treatment plant
Most Overkill - Sheriff's armed corpse guard
Most Guilt-Inducing Laugh - when the steampunk scientist kicks Liam in the nose
Worst Lie Ever / Biggest Laugh - HistoryDad and MamaFox's story an almost dead girl wandering around with a sword stuck through her before collapsing on Mama McCall's kitchen table
Least Convincing - Scott telling Kira that he believes she didn't kill the chimera / Lydia saying Screamer leaving is bad
Least Likely to Ever be Told What He Needs to Know - Sheriff given his new attitude about the supernatural
Best Quotes -
1. Sheriff: "I'll deal with it. No more bending the rules for anyone." Mama McCall: "Maybe you should learn to bend a little before someone breaks."
2. Sheriff: "Melissa, I…uh, I've set my badge aside a few too many times in the last couple of weeks." Melissa: "Well you may need to do it a few more considering what our kids get into during their free time."
3. Sheriff: "This your official statement?" Mama: "Something wrong?" Sheriff: "The part about finding the body in your kitchen works fine but then it gets a little confusing when you describe the body as a monstrous chimera and then go on about werewolves, banshees, kanimas…" Mama McCall: "You're right. I forgot about the Dread Doctors."
4. Sheriff: "This is what you're going to go with? This is your story?" Mama Fox: "Are you prepared to tell a different one?"
5. Desert Wolf: "Well I hope you're telling the truth because if she is still alive, I'm just gonna have to kill her again."
6. Kira: "Something happened here." Deputy: "Cars usually happen here, going very fast, so it might be a good idea to at least step out of the middle of the road."
7. Stiles: "Oh did you suddenly get super wolf powers? I wasn't aware of that development."
8. Sheriff: "This is murder. This kid…this child has a family. What, am I supposed to just cover that up? This is a crime and it's my responsibility to handle it within the parameters of the law." Mama McCall: "What about our kids? They constantly deal with things outside the law." Sheriff: "But not above the law."
Screencaps by Lady Geek Girl, TV Equals, Pinterest, Really Late Reviews, Formula TV, Piclist, Tumblr, Media Cache, We Heart It, Teen Wolf Shannon, and Pinterest.