“Teen Wolf”: You’re a Cute One, Mr. Grinch

Previously on Teen Wolf, Stiles and Lydia (see our paper dolls!) stood in the sunlight with their perfect faces and were perfect. Also, they discovered that a quote “Dark Druid” is doing some triplicate murders around town for some kind of cultish OCD reason. The Alpha Twins got into a prank-off with Allison and Scott and Isaac — just LOLs and GTFOs and OMGs — that would have ended in a hallway bloodbath if Duke (“THE DEMON WOOOLLLF!”) hadn’t shown up and slashed the twins on the cheeks with the tiny knife he keeps hidden in the tip of his blind stick. Derek kicked Isaac out of their lair to keep him safe because he spent the afternoon impaled on a metal pipe (not a euphemism) and had an epiphany about how when he loves someone, it is the kiss of death for them forever. So Isaac, soaked to the bone in his own tears and misery, showed up at Scott’s house and asked to be his pajamas.

Derek Hale is dead. No, seriously. For real, you guys, stop laughing. Derek is dead. (Derek is not dead. But this whole episode is constructed in this way that’s like, “Hey, look over here!” “No, here!” “Up there, what is that?” “In the past now! Hey! Hey, peek into the past!” “Flash forward!” “Flashback!” “Flash forward!” “Down here now, look down here!” So maybe you’ll be so distracted by the flimflam that you’ll forget to remember that there’s no way on earth this show is going to murder the man whose face is the closest thing we’ve got to a mask of actual God.)


This is a tricky one to recap because it really is all the over the place, so here’s all the stuff in the past mashed together, like if all the identical flashbacks took off their shirts and morphed into one terrifying giant flashback: A couple of days ago, Scott dropped by the Argent’s new place to return one of Allison’s arrowheads from the night she was doing archery atop the school bus during Boyd and Cora’s Midnight Rampage. Scott and Allison flirted about who was stronger (him, because he’s a mutant), who was smarter (her), who was prettier (her), who had the cutest dimples (her), who was better trained, better armed, more adept at problem-solving (her, her, her). They karated at each other, cutely, until Scott pinned her against the wall and either hurt her or pissed her off or both. In the elevator on the way down from the penthouse, Scott bumped into Ducalion, who lives in Allison’s building now.

And so last night there was a full-throttle werewolf fisticuffs in the apocalyptic ruins of a mall or something. Derek’s pack decided they were going to meet Duke alone at that place and kill him on the quiet so maybe the rest of his Alpha pack would freak out and bounce out of town. Scott had a whole other idea. One time he substituted mountain ash for cancer pills, so he was feeling pretty good about having ideas. He and Isaac spooned up on his little scooter and zoomed out to the mall ruins to “reason” with Duke. (Like, “Hey, buddy, your sociopathic megalomania makes Peter Hale seem like just your average crazy-hot uncle. Would you go away? You’re making us sad.”)


But of course Duke brought his whole pack to the mall and Scott accidentally brought Derek’s whole pack and Allison(!), who was sporting that one bow and arrow that shoots sunshine. So for about six hours or so, the werewolves fought in slow-motion while Allison hurled sunlight into their midst. During a water break, Duke* did a sneaky trick! He got Cora in a life-threatening chokehold and told Derek to choose between watching her die or killing Boyd with his own hands. Derek wrestled Alpha Ennis instead and they fell off the edge of the mall and into the abyss and everyone was like, “Man, that sucks because they are for sure dead now.” For a second, Scott’s eyes glowed red like an Alpha, but then he shook his head like a puppy and his eyes went back to normal gold. And then everyone went on home to catch some sleeps before the next day’s big cross country meet.

(*When I say that Duke did a thing, what I mean is that Duke stood still and looked smug while one of his minions did a thing. I don’t even think I mentioned how after his DEMOOON WOOOLLLF monologue last week, he couldn’t even figure out how to walk his blind ass out the door. Kali had to give him a piggyback ride.)


OK, so all that happened yesterday. And today everyone is on a bus on the way to a cross country meet. Scott is feeling particularly sad, not only because he lost his favorite frenemy Derek Hale, but also because he got slashed pretty badly in the ribs by one of those Alphas and he is not healing properly. But, as usual, that’s only one of his 99 problems. Like right now, on this bus, after brawling it out in a mythical battle of claws and fangs and good and evil last night, Isaac and Boyd are sitting right next to Ethan and Aidan. Or, well, actually, Danny (hi, Danny!) is sitting right next to Ethan. They’re getting closer to full-on canoodling every day, and Danny knows it, so he gets real grumpy real fast when Stiles texts him a thousand times in a row trying to get him to spy on his almost-boyfriend. Finally Danny texts: “I like this guy! What is WRONG with you?” And Stiles texts back: “PLLLLEEEEEAAAAASSE.” So Danny says yes because of course he does and so would I and so would you if Stiles said “please” about anything at all.

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Stiles trapped on a bus with a bunch of angry werewolves is one of my all-time favorite Stiles’. His jumpiness is magnified a million times and his ADHD energy is pinging off of every surface like a cartoon bullet in a tin can. “Ethan keeps checking his phone like every five minutes like he’s waiting for something like a signal of some kind I don’t know but something evil though I can tell I have a very perceptive eye for evil you know that,” is a thing he says without punctuation, with no breaths. He and Scott hate that Danny is sitting with Ethan because they love Danny. Scott’s motivations: completely platonic. Stiles’ motivations: bi-curious, at the very least.


Anyway, Danny finds out that one of Ethan’s friends is sick and might not make it through the night. His friend is Ennis, who survived falling into the mall abyss, and guess who drags him to Dr. Deaton to get him stitched up? Mmm hmm. Ms. Morrell. Dr. Deaton tells them to shove off and Kali says how about if she shoves one of her claws into Ms. Morrell’s jugular and Deaton says fine, he’ll patch up the bad guy. Unfortunately, after all of his hard work, Duke swaggers on in there and crushes Ennis’ skull with his bare hand. Dr. Deaton’s face is the absolute best part of the whole thing. Duke reaches down and feels around and grasps Ennis’ skull in his fingers and crunches it until his brains are leaking out and Deaton just, like, rolls his eyes. Just completely, “Whatever, man.”

Back on the bus, Stiles decides they’ve got to do something about the fact that Scott is bleeding out. He calls Lydia and Allison, who have been following them the whole time because Allison wants to keep all the wolves and Lydia in her sight at all times because she is finally cottoning onto the fact that she is maybe the only person equipped to save this town. Allison tells Stiles to get Coach Finstock to pull over at the next rest station, and it’s as awesome as you imagine it will be. Finstock blows his whistle at Stiles every time he tries to explain they need to get off the bus and every time he tweets that thing, Dylan O’Brien’s elastic face does a brand new thing. And just when you think his mouth and cheeks and eyebrows have reached the climax of face-muscle achievement, he scoots in next to car sick Jared and smiles just like the Grinch.


Jared ralphs and Finstock pulls the bus over at the rest stop.

In the rest stop restroom, Lydia and Stiles diagnose Scott with psychosomatic soul poisoning. He won’t let himself heal because he feels guilty that Derek got killed. Rather than explaining to him that there’s exactly a zero percent chance that Derek is dead, Allison pulls out a needle and thread and decides to stitch him right the hell up. You think that’s badass? No, that’s not badass. What’s badass is Mama Argent resurrects herself from the grave just so she can haunt Allison in that bathroom and scream at her about how she sucks donkey balls at threading a needle. Allison’s hands are all shaky and Victoria’s just floating around back there howling, “Stop shaking! Stop shaking, you whiny little crybaby! Ooooh, does wittle Awison have a wot of feewings about her dying boyfwiend? You suck. You suuuuuucccck. I stabbed myself in the heart with a kitchen knife! You can’t even thread a needle!” Allison finally pulls herself together and sews Scott up.


And just in time, too, because Isaac is outside beating the hell out of Ethan. Everyone’s trying to get him off, but he’s pretty possessed. But Scott’s voice speaks right to his heart’s ears and he stops pummeling him when Scott commands it.

Back on the bus, Lydia and Stiles debrief what they know now: A Dark Druid is doing ritual sacrifices to prepare for battle, and a pack of Alpha Werewolves are just fucking around with all the werepups in town. And Allison and Scott debrief too. He’s glad she’s decided to embrace the full Batman potential inside of her this season, and she’s glad his eyes aren’t glowing red anymore.

You know, this episode was unnecessarily confusing, but it had a lot of really great character stuff in it. My favorite thing about this show has always been this idea that Scott is building his own pack, his own family, without maiming anyone. I love that Lydia and Allison are all up in the action this year, that Lydia is using her enormous brain and intuition to save the day, and that Allison is using all of her training and weaponry and bravery to save the day, and that they’re all working together instead of abandoning Stiles to do it all on his own. A Hufflepuff, a Gryffindor, and two Ravenclaws. They’re going to be OK.


Oh, by the way: Derek’s not dead. I know you were worried. He stumbles into the Beacon Hills High parking lot where Ms. Blake is loading up her car after a long day of getting attacked by rabid ravens in her classroom. Derek smashes a bloody hand against her car window and she’s like, “Oh, man, my therapist is gonna loooove this.”

Next week: The cross country team spends the night in that hotel from The Shining, which results in: Danny and Ethan doing all the gay sexings, Boyd drowning in a bathtub, something with a chainsaw, an explosion, and Ms. Blake making out with Derek’s corpse. That woman’s a real keeper.

Heather Hogan is a freelance writer/editor from Atlanta.