Welcome to THE LAST SEASON of the BEST SHOW. Sorry I wasn't around for the premiere! Here's a quick photo recap:
Everything is fine.
THIS WEEK'S WOLF PACK PUPPY
Liam, for having to learn leadership lessons all over the place. The time for smooching your way through trouble is over, kid! We're past the premiere now, gotta step up to the bat and learn to trust—and lead—your pack.
BEST REACTION TO SOMETHING SUPERNATURALLY RIDICULOUS
Okay, Lydia jumping in to cover for Malia's occasionally being overcome by coyote instinct isn't surprising—that's Lydia, that's just what she does. But also so Lydia? Being an absolute pain in the neck for teachers worse at math than she, future Fields Medal recipient, was when she was a freshman.
Never change, Lydia.
WEEKLY REMINDER THAT BEACON HILLS IS ON A HELLMOUTH
The Faustian narrative none of us asked to be a part of of Stiles' absence meaning his mom's ressurection. CAN WE HAVE NOTHING GOOD, BEACON HILLS?
REIGNING PRESIDENT OF THE SCOTT MCCALL FAN CLUB
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BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Idk if y'all noticed, but TW got mad ad props for their final season! Just every last thing was name branded and prominent: Toyotas; MacBooks; AT&T; Nike gear on everyone. Let us hope and pray that all that sweet, sweet product placement cash was raked in to pay the extra salaries of many returning faces, victims of the Wild Hunt forgotten to our heroes, but never, ever forgotten to us at home.
Don't try to calculate odds here. I'm too happy imagining the possibilities from the victorious return of Scott's Best Beta to consider what realistic looks like.
PREVIOUSLY ON (THE FINAL SEASON PREMIERE OF) TEEN WOLF
Beacon Hills lasted for MONTHS without any major supernatural threat descending, and Stiles and Scott (but really mostly just Stiles) started to go crazy from the lack of moon goons to fight off. Our dashing
doofy duo kept racing off at the merest hint of a hint of a hint of threat, like for one definitely not relevant to future murder mysteries example, not-actually-stolen medical vans stocked with helium tank! Alas, at every turn, every adult they have ever known, including Lydia's mom (now improbably positioned as the Principal of BHHS), and even some they haven't (hey, new Nazi Youth science teacher!), physically wheeled them around and forced them to return to normal life. Ugh, OLDS.
Meanwhile, Liam and Hayden had their worst date this week interrupted by the slowly rolling entrance of an abandoned, running sedan, complete with shot-out windshield and child cowering in the back seat. He didn't remember what happened, but his parents were missing! From existence. Entirely. Totally erased from the timeline, their house an adandoned dump coated in dust. Scott used his alpha claws to dig into the kid's spine and retrieve the memory of a mysterious man on a horse shooting their windshield and yanking them from the front seat, but unfortch he forgot the details the moment after he pulled his claws back; double unfortch, he left Stiles alone in the kid's pristine bedroom when the two went to investigate later, leaving Stiles to be caught by the Wild Hunt circling back to wipe the kid from existence, too. The fact that Lydia and Stiles later identify their new foe AS the Wild Hunt doesn't even do them any good, as it turns out that part of the Wild Hunt's TW mythology is that anyone who sees them is officially cursed. And Stiles saw them!
Our hearts broke as Scott, then the junior pack, then Stiles' own father forgot who he was right in front of his eyes, but then they knitted back together when Lydia, of all people!!, remembered him perfectly. Unfortunately, her banshee powers don't extend to protecting a damn(ed) soul, and she had to watch as invisible forces sucked Stiles into an obliviating storm. She promised never to forget, but the next day…she forgot.
Scary Movie MCMXVII
This week's episode-opening horror show is the scariest horror show of all: a nighttime extra-credit physics lab. Luckily, Coach Finstock is there to save Mason and Corey from its inevitably bloody end.
Unfortunately, that extra credit lab (which btw #relationshipgoals: Mason and his 4.9 GPA were only attending for Corey's C-minus benefit) was the least nightmarish thing on the BHHS extracurricular schedule that night. Because, surprise! The Wild Hunt is ON, and its opening move is roping another phys lab student around the neck, stringing him up in the middle of
Derek's loft the library, and pulling so hard he poofs into non-existence. Literally my stomach drops every time I even think of this scene. I'm sure the same would be true for Corey and Mason, who witnessed the whole nightmare play out while hiding together in Corey's invisibleness, but damn if that Wild Hunt obliviation hoodoo isn't so strong that they've completely forgotten about the strangled kid by the time Scott and Liam skid onto the scene from there late night lacrosse practice across the parking lot.
Speaking of lacrosse, Finstock is on the hunt for a new captain! Why? Scott McCall, eternal alpha dummy of our hearts, is taking a backseat his senior year to focus on academics. SCOTT. I already love you as much as a girl can love a fictional heroic wolf boy. You don't need to show off.
Liam, obviously, is Scott's preferred replacement. Why else would they be training so very late on a school night? Definitely not because Liam's backshot sucks, no matter how convinced Scott-who-doesn't-remember-Stiles believes that to be true. Alas, Liam is too in his own head to crush the captain tryouts. He keeps getting knocked down, beaten up, stomped on, and called every name in Coach's (imaginatively limited) book.
He and Scott and everyone in the world with eyes recognize that this whole team captain business is just a stand-in for Liam taking over as alpha after Scott goes away to college (nothing in the mythology before this year would have made me think that's how packs and alphas work, but sure, let's go with it), and Scott isn't about to let Liam get away with thinking he's not up to either task.
Let's hope, for all of Beacon Hills' sake, that Liam got the message.
He did! Or at least, is starting to. When he found out at the top of the episode that Mason saw the Wild Hunt because Corey pulled him into his invisibility, Liam was furious. He still doesn't trust Corey, turns out, and the fact that Corey's only move is to disappear and hide/skulk rather than stand up and fight certainly isn't helping things. I really like that this is one of the new power sets we are dealing with, all defense, no offense! I mean, it is obviously a rough spot for Corey to be in, both last season as unwitting, undead lackey to Theo The Worst, and now as someone whose boyfriend has to defend him to a proto-alpha wolf with "disappearing is all he CAN do!!" Poor dude. Great emotional motivation.
So Liam has to figure out how to get over his mistrust of Corey, both for Mason's sake, and to prove to Scott (and himself) that he has it in him to be an alpha. Corey agrees (for Mason's sake), and so the two of them join unlikely forces to look, hand-in-invisible-hand, for any trace of the student they all realize had to have been erased from existence in the library—to prove to themselves that the Wild Hunt is real, and see if finding that kind of trace can get them any closer to bringing the missing back.
They succeed! As Corey and Mason already figured out during the Wild Hunt attack the night of the physics lab, something about Corey's invisibility gives him the added ability to see anything else invisible to the un-supernatural eye. On his and Liam's Scooby hunt, this skill turns up a blank library card stuck in the curlicue iron of the library's second-floor railing. When Corey holds onto the card as he returns to visibility, he brings it with him, and when Liam runs its magnetic strip through the library's terminal, it calls up the digital record of the student who went missing (apparently the Wild Hunt is a pack of Olds who know nothing about The Facbook the kids these days use). And suddenly, they all start remembering the kid the Wild Hunt took!
Liam's burgeoning leadership score: +20
What The Hell
Meanwhile, the upperclassmen are each coping with a loss they can't remember, to varying degrees of success. Malia is reverting to her coyote ways in the absence of Stiles' humanizing presence—growling at traffic, clawing at the sight of a D-, nesting her blankets in the corner of her room as if it were a den—and highlighting styles in her notes with a red highlighter rather than yellow. Lydia is having nightmares while awake, lingering outside a random locker, then hallucinating a doctor lady in Stiles' now-empty desk beside hers in math and following her out into the middle of traffic, getting flashes of memory from the night the Wild Hunt took Stiles all the while. Scott is projecting Stiles' weaknesses onto Liam, lingering outside the same random locker as Lydia, and sleepwalking to the middle of the woods where he got turned into a werewolf in the first place.
"This is going to sound crazy," he tells Malia and Lydia after calling them to meet him in the woods, "but I think I used to have a best friend." How does he know? He keeps walking through that fateful night in his memory, and nothing about it makes sense if, like his memory is insisting, he was actually alone. The only way it would make sense for him to have been in the woods looking for a random body when he was in tenth grade would be if he was out there with someone else, and the only reason he would have gone to the woods with anyone to look for a random body when he was in tenth grade would be if that person had been his BFF.
"I think someone was trying to keep me human," Malia adds. "I think I loved him," Lydia finishes.
What if we're all missing the same person? the trio realizes, and together they head off to the vet clinic for some too-late expert advice. Deaton definitely buys what they're selling, and relates it to the feeling amputees have from their missing limbs. His fix? Hypnotize Lydia into a trance to trigger the kind of automatic writing that identified the nemeton in season 2. It works! She zones out and starts ring-girl scribbling on the paper. It is SUPER CREEPY. It also produces a full sheet of wobbly-written MISCHIEFs forming the larger word: STILES.
In the meantime, someone is at the station to bring the sheriff his dinner—his wife, Claudia.
The pack tries to protect another future victim of the Ghost Riders, and Scott files a missing persons report with the missing person's own father. Our hearts continue to ache.