Previously on Teen Wolf, Derek Hale was so good at falling in love with ladies that he decided to fall in love with even more ladies. “I will chose a lady that I won’t have to murder while my uncle eats a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups,” he said to himself. “I will also choose a lady who will not lock my family inside my house and set it on fire.” So instead he chose a high school literature teacher who was turned on by open wounds and liked Celtic mythology and idioms and ritual murder. That lady killed half of Beacon Hills High School, kidnapped Sheriff Stilinski, and tried to strangle Lydia to death, but Lydia whooped and hollered like a banshee — because she is a banshee — and so she was saved.
As soon as Ms. Blake jumped through her classroom window with Sheriff Stilinski slung over her shoulders, a hurricane rolled into Beacon Hills, which is a problem on a variety of levels. For one thing, Melissa McCall General Hospital is in absolute chaos. The power is flickering on and off and the backup generators don’t work and the only other healthcare professional in the building bounces when he hears Hill Valley has been flooded. (Get it? Hill Valley? Home of Marty McFly? Played by Michael J. Fox? The original Teen Wolf?)
Most of the patients at McCall General have been evacuated, except for Cora Hale. Peter is standing watch over her with the V-est V-neck you’ve ever seen in your life. Peter says he’ll take care of Cora, and to test his loyalty, she vomits black goop all over the place. The kind like you would vomit if someone replaced your cancer pills with mountain ash.
Across town in his under-furnished, beautiful lit loft, Derek Hale is doing his daily brooding. Jennifer Blake rocks up, all frantic about, “Hey, uh, your buddies Scott and Stiles haven’t shown up here to dime me out for attempted murder slash kidnapping slash hijacking the minds of an entire high school orchestra have they? Because if they do that, they are such a couple of liars. Blow job?” But Scott and Stiles have already gotten to Derek and also they have procured a bottle of granulated mistletoe. Scott slings a cloud of it at Ms. Blake. Her head does the VoldeFace thing and she’s like, “Yeah, OK, I’m the mass murdering psycho, after all, but I have special healing powers as a complement to my special killing powers and you’re going to need my expertise if you want to keep your sister alive.”
So off they go to McCall General to check in on Cora. Stiles takes a bat for protection because MTV wanted to do a test to see what would happen to you if you watched a rain-soaked Dylan O’Brien scowl while wielding some sporting equipment. (Spoiler alert: You’re pregnant.)
Also at the hospital are: 1) Isaac, Allison, and Chris Argent, because two out of three of them want to save Scott’s life because two out of three of them want to make sweet werelove with Scott’s body. 2) The Alpha Pack, because they heard Jennifer Blake is here and they really want that bitch to die.
Bottle episodes are a tricky business almost always, but they pose a special conundrum for a show that devotes a substantial amount of time per episode to slow-motion action sequences, and it’s double plus extra knotty when the whole episode is built around a five-minute monologue about Ms. Blake’s true identity. The way it’s edited and written, we’re supposed to think there are at least three stories going on here, but really it’s just everyone running around willy-nilly like a gaggle of Kevin McAllisters who just realized they’re Home Alone. So, it’s not just a bottle episode. It’s a bubble wrap episode. Almost an hour of padding for a single expository reveal. Twitter actually seemed really into it, but to me it felt like throwing the emergency brake on a handful of really excellent momentum-building episodes.
Let’s do the bubble wrap first. Derek and Scott and Stiles and Peter need to get Cora to the basement so she can catch an ambulance to a hospital with electricity. Also, they need Ms. Blake to heal her. But they can’t get Cora to the basement and Ms. Blake won’t heal her because Ethan and Aiden are clomping around the building in their Wonder Twins form, refusing to let anyone get past them on account of Duke told them to rip off Ms. Blake’s head. Stiles tries to subdue them with his baseball bat — which, hilariously, is really Scott’s mom’s baseball bat — but it splinters on contact with the Wonder Twins’ skull. Peter and Scott decide to tag-team them, which seems kind of dumb, except for Peter injects like one gallon of ephedrine right into his heart so he is flat jacked when they start fighting. But no. No amount of mainlining energy drinks gives a Blue-Eyed guy the ability to beat a Double Red-Eyed Guy. It’s just like the rules of lycanthropy.
Derek is so annoyed, just, “Ugh. Why won’t Duke leave me alone? I haven’t texted him back. I haven’t answered his loop-de-loops. I’m not into him. Take a hint, bro.” Jennifer snickers and scoffs and explains that Derek, while certainly a prize to be pursued and treasured, isn’t exactly Beacon Hills’ gold medal monster. “It’s me,” Scott says with a sigh. “Deaton says Duke wants to either make an extra set of skin for himself out of my skin or gay marry me because I am the Jesus Wolf.”
Ultimately, it is Ms. McCall that sticks it to Ethan and Aiden. Literally. She sticks them with those lightning heart paddle things and it forces them to split apart and skulk off down the hallway, shirtless and glowering and semi-incestuous as always.
Finally, Stiles gets Cora to an ambulance but Kali has the keys to their rescue ride, so Stiles locks himself inside while the wolves frolic off to fight with one another some more. Stiles has a lot of sads. His dad has been kidnapped by a sociopathic zombie Druid, which is his biggest sad. But he’s got some existential sads too. For example, ever since Scott had that cancer pill idea back in the season two finale, it’s like he doesn’t even rely on Stiles to do plans anymore. And plans were Stiles’ main thing since he doesn’t have claws or fangs or a sonic scream or even a crossbow. “It’s like God gave everyone else superpowers and gadgets and all I got was this face,” he says, a single beautiful tear rolling down his flawless cheek. Because there is no conscious person or a mirror around, Stiles does not realize that his face was the Lord’s most generous gift to this earth, and he doesn’t hear me yelling it at the TV because Cora chooses that moment to stop breathing. Stiles gives her CPR and then hints that maybe he would like to try it again when she’s awake.
Meanwhile, Derek and Jennifer get themselves locked in an elevator, so she decides to explain her origins to him. Actually, no. That’s not exactly correct. Before she explains her origins to him, she’s like, “You’re being really cold to me right now, which might be because you just found out I’ve murdered half of this town and kidnapped your best friend’s dad, but I can’t help but think the real reason you’re being so stand-offish is because you think I’m ugly. Is that it, Derek? Do you not want me anymore because I am not pretty enough for you?”
There aren’t enough eyeroll GIFs on all of Tumblr, I swear to God.
Anyway, after expressing her womanly insecurities, Jennifer explains to Derek that she was once the emissary to Kali’s pack but even though Kali slaughtered all of her wolf minions because Deucalion told her to, she couldn’t slaughter Jennifer — [Insert 20-minute explanation about how Jennifer Blake is really named Julia Baccari because sometimes people pick pseudonyms based on their real life initials] — because Kali was in lesbians with her. Kali slashed her up real good, though, and Jennifer crawled around in the Celtic desert for about a hundred thousand years until she finally came to rest under a special Druid tree that infused her with healing and strength and a pretty face. How come she got those powers and that face from the tree? Because Derek sacrificed a virgin underneath it.
Jennifer then reads the Wikipedia entry for “mistletoe” at Derek for an hour or so because she’s been out of the dating game for a while and doesn’t know how boring she’s being, I guess. She tells Derek they can still be together and do sex stuff if he wants because she really does like him and she’ll be done with her murders in just a couple more weeks because she plans to do the Guardians sacrifices on the night of the lunar eclipse because the wolves will lose all their powers for a little while and she’ll be ultra strong and get her revenge. They can still be together. What they have is real. But only if Derek doesn’t think she’s a hideous ghoul like he obviously does!
By the way, Duke is still pissed that Kali didn’t kill Jennifer/Julia when she had the chance. When Kali tries to defend herself, Duke takes it to eleven on the zinger scale, talking about, “Don’t you point your toenail at me!”
Once all the awkwardness of Ms. Blake’s backstory and the Stiles/Cora fanfiction has been completed, Allison hatches a plan to help everyone escape the hospital. Because she is a hot brunette like Ms. Blake is a hot brunette, she will zoom speedy-quick through the hospital hallways wafting her hot brunette pheromones all over the place and the Alpha Pack will chase her thinking she is a different hot brunette and then she and Chris will kill them all with guns and arrows. It kind of works.
The only person who isn’t fooled by Allison’s brown-haired smell is Deucalion. He waits on the roof for Scott to pop ’round to see him because Ms. Blake kidnapped his mom because his mom is a (Parent or) Guardian. Stiles rushes to the roof to beg Scott not to join the Alpha Pack. He says he’ll think of another way for them to rescue their parents. But he’s still blanking on Doing Plans, so Scott leaves with Duke.
In the Druid Tree basement where Derek murdered Paige, Melissa McCall wakes up from being conked over the head by Ms. Blake. Sheriff Stilinski is there and he’s totally alive! “Hey, girl,” he says. Ms. McCall smiles. It’s time for a parent trap plan, bitches.
Next week: Derek slaps Julia Baccari’s iPhone out of her hand because if he has to listen to her read one more goddamn explanation for whatever mythical thing, he’s going to sacrifice himself. Duke realizes that pining after Scott wasn’t the best decision he’s ever made because Scott already had one good idea, which was his quota of good ideas for his whole life. And Stiles recruits Lydia to help him find his dad because their combined brains are better than any baseball bat and also he deserves to kiss someone who will kiss him back.