Okay this episode was just as fun and great as the premiere, not least for the many, extended lacrosse bits, bu ugh, WHY is Grandpa Argent still wandering around free as a carrion bird?? I know that technically it is my job, here on this side of the screen, to have kept track of details like this, but when did he escape Argent's/Scott's watchful guard? This is a legitimate question: was it at the end of the Mason-is-the-Beast season, when Chris brought him in to help track La Bête and then he seemed to know *too* much about it? Was there really so much going on last season that none of the pack thought to track him down? Was HE taken by the Wild Hunt, and they forgot about him until now?? (No; but I wish.)
I don't know. But I sure hate him!
THIS WEEK'S WOLF PACK PUPPY
Oh, come on, it is so *obviously* Theo, whose current sitch is so completely, truly heartwrenching that I wanted the ghost of his murdered sister to come and actually wrench my actual heart out of my actual chest.
Runner-up tie between Brett and Parrish, both of whom regularly and only get the shortest end of the supernatural stick, despite being hardly/not even in Scott's pack. These poor dudes! Always getting nearly dead! And for WHAT???
BEST REACTION TO SOMETHING SUPERNATURALLY RIDICULOUS
Theo, busting into the Animal Clinic in the middle of the night to perform self-stabbing surgery on the mysterious fear spider that bit straight into his veins. My dude doesn't even hesitate!
WEEKLY REMINDER THAT BEACON HILLS IS ON A HELLMOUTH
Daaaaaamn, spiders! What did that poor innocent freshman lacrosse kid ever do to you?!?
The results of this nightmare? Either Aaron is a skinned corpse, dead on the shower floor, or Aaron is totally fine, and just chilling alone in the dark history classroom waiting for tomorrow's test like it's NBD, both of which are possibilities Liam, Mason and Corey discovered in the BHS halls!
NB: idk why, but the official tumblr, that which has been all that is good and true in teen tv social media for so many years, is basically inactive this season, so half of my media is coming straight from the offish Twitter, I guess!
REIGNING PRESIDENT OF THE SCOTT MCCALL FAN CLUB
Mmm, Malia, ramping up her humanity in finding herself caring how Scott is feeling.
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Look, this final season of Teen Wolf is basically one big, shiny ad after another (Lydia's Beautiful Toyota! Liam's wolf-proof Nike lacrosse kit! Grandpa Argent's doomsday prepper pure silver!), but the real killer (pun fully intended) placement, that is an actual ad spot from the commercial break and not a true woven-in placement, is the Holland Roden-led anti-smoking ad sponsored by The Real Cost:
This is so intense, and so on brand for Teen Wolf, the kernel of self MTV never kills off, The Real Cost, Holland-as-social-justice-model, and, like, me. I so want Gen Z to be the one to end smoking! Millenials have been having a really terrific run killing so much of the Old Capitalist-Industrial Guard, I am happy to hand this W over to Gen Z.
Runner-up: The zero-chill the show has in reminding us about what is driving our current IRL socio-political climate, as Liam, Corey and Mason have a history test looming on, I kid you not, "Mussolini and the role of fear-baiting in the rise of fascism." WELL DONE, SHOW.
PREVIOUSLY ON TEEN WOLF
My notes, verbatim: "Blood rats, Lydia's mom, Argent bullet." That's basically it! Oh, and Stiles is so happy at the FBI that despite this new Beacon Hills nightmare, Scott, Malia and Lydia have decided not to rope him in yet. Our loss! But, ultimately, the FBI's/Derek Hale's gain…
Scary Movie MCMXVII
Trust Teen Wolf to make their weekly horror-movie cold open be a legit tearfest. Despite the fact that ex-monster Theo got a callback in the premiere's Previously On, we didn't see him (or Argent) anytime during that hour. So where has he been? Sleeping rough in his giant Beautiful Toyota truck! So rough, and so alone, awoken every morning by a disapproving highway patrolman knocking on his back window and glaring at him to move on.
Now, I'm already on record declaring my approval of Theo's rehabilitation after that other extended tragi-horror cold open in which his time in Kira's Hell Limbo was spent being hunted and then chest-murdered by his dead sister over and over and over and over and over again, until he just lay there weeping and asking her to do it every time he reawoke, but dangit if this doesn't just hammer the nail in that blaming-Theo coffin. As I said above: my dude!
After just too many cycles sleeping along then waking to the cops, at last: a spider friend appears!
And burrows right into his hand! CHARLOTTE, NOOOOOOOO.
It seems like this would really be THE moment for Theo to break down and call on Scott (it was Malia and *Peter* who most vocally objected to you being pack-adjacent before, kiddo!), but nope! That's not the lone-chimaera way. And so Theo makes for the Animal Clinic, which is, naturally, completely unattended by wolf and druid alike, where he rips his shirt off, grabs a scalpel, and stabs the spider skittering under his skin like two centimeteres from his spine. He barely has time to whip it into the light for examination before POOF, it disappears in a puff of dust.
…and then it is right back to sleeping rough, waking up at the cops rapping on the window, over and over and over until finally it isn't a neautral cop who's tapping with his flashlight, but an enemy one, leading a whole group of dudes in plan clothes with their long guns focused directly at Theo's bruised monster heart.
He puts his hands up, thumb centimeters from calling Scott, but by then the bullets are flying…
Into the Woods
There is more reason than one, it turns out, to wish that Theo had gotten that call out earlier: at that same moment, Scott is racing through the woods, caught in a fug of fear borne of Lydia's premonitions and the dead Old-New Hellhound (Halwyn) and the fleur-de-lys printed Argent casing, a fear so strong he can't hear his friends calling to him to slow down, which results in him getting trapped in a clearing with a clutch of laser-sights focused on his own chest.
One hunter approaches him, and Scott Alphas out, tangling with the dude until the camera angle flips and we see it is the Sheriff, and he has a flashlight, not a laser-sighted rifle, and all of the other laser-sights are just more deputies with regular flashlights*, and it is up to Stilinski and a—surprise!—living Deputy Parrish to shield Scott from the increasingly nervous remaining deputies' eyes as he shakes the wolf off, just as Malia and Lydia finally catch up.
After Stilinski and Parrish send the rest of the deputies off to guard the perimeter or whatever, they join Scott et al to crowd around Halwyn's incomprehensibly dead body and discuss what, exactly, might be up. Parrish, naturally, is pretty freaked to learn that Hellhounds actually aren't unkillable, which, yes, understandable, but also, as a Hellhound I'd be just as worried, like, existentially, about being truly immortal, because I mean, that is an actual nightmare?? Especially if you are the only one that you personally know of! How lonely and constantly painful!
Anyway, they all agree that it couldn't have been just any old bullet that brought Halwyn down, but when Stilinski asks the graduated pack if they have any more concrete ideas about how the bullet might ahve been different, Scott pockets the stamped casing, and all three stay mum. Later, when Malia pulls her Beautiful Toyota into (someone's) driveway, they finally ask each other why none of them spoke up. Well, Lydia asks Scott, and Scott asks Lydia. Malia just startles at the sudden thought that maybe SHE should or could have said something?? Like, it truly never occurred to her that what they were doing by omitting information was a choice. Ah, Malia—you are a delight. Thank you for being you.
In any case, they all agree that, until they can talk to Argent about what they found, they don't want to…drag anyone else into a position in which they might have to make assumptions or preemptively take sides, I guess? I mean, I can see them wanting to protect Argent, but also…from Stilinski and Parrish? Whatever. Logic is not why I watch this show!
*I am taking this result and direct parallel to the final scene with Theo to mean that Theo was ALSO suffering fear hallucinations, probably brought on by contact with that spider, and that the cops outside his truck aiming their lasers at him and shooting were actually something, if not benign, then at least not deadly. Theo's tragic rehabilitation arc/beautiful abs can't be out of play so abruptly! He's put too much time into pressers to go out this fast!
INCREDIBLY HOT BRETT WITH THE EIGHT PACK
The degree to which Mason has negative chill upon hearing that Liam's old lacrosse rival, Brett—AKA, Incredibly Hot Brett With The Eight Pack—will be on the BHS field to help Liam train the team's freshmen to maybe beef up the starting line is so, so very relatable. It me, with every dude AND lady on this show. My attention for anything and anyone else is complete shit the moment this show comes on, but *especially* when what comes on is a lacrosse montage; they are all so beautiful and amazing and I just, please, let me be lacrosse's biggest, least-informed advocate.
Anyway, while I just adore each and every time Nike takes it upon themselves to sponsor more lacrosse time than is narratively necessary (even when it requires a freshman player being sacrificed to the spider gods beforehand to get things going), all it boils down to in terms of recap value is: Brett made it his mission to smash Liam's every IED button, as a way to demonstrate to the future Alpha (not how it works) that he is still not fully in control, and needs to be. Also, Corey is the new Stiles, lacrosse-wise.
While Liam storms off to the locker room to spend seven hours fuming/punching a locker door into oblivion, Brett keeps siccing his killer-wolf moves on the practice field—a fact which baby!Hunter guidance counselor Tamora takes keen note of. Such keen note, that after she finds her office invaded with a stabbed desk and a threatening Sun-tzu quotation…
…she takes one of the practice balls that rolled into the teacher's lot and coats it in wolfsbane dust, which she then uses to take Brett by surprise when he is packing up his car later that evening. She breaks his lacrosse stick in half and uses the sharp end to stab and slash at him, marvelling at his healing capabilities while simultaneously hissing about "Nothing against you personally" and "You don't deserve this much power to terrify people" and "You shouldn't be able to do that" and then she's got a giant knife out, but her villain-speeching has gone on long enough that Brett was able to rally and slashes at her neck to break himself free and escape into the night.
This will end well!
The Password is *Always* ALLISON
Outside the hallowed BHS halls, our graduated trio has gone into sleuth mode. While Lydia takes off to the Sheriff's station to work with Parrish on that side of the dead-Hellhound sitch, Scott and Malia head to Argent's bunker to look for him/clues to what he might have gotten up to lately that would mean an Argent bullet turning up in the middle of a Hellhound's skull in the middle of the Beacon Hills Preserve.
He's not there, but both his laptop and some locked crates of NRA-approved merchandise are. Scott cracks both (impressing Malia for his willingness to Do Crime in the meantime), the latter with Alpha strength, the former with the guess ALLISON as password. This, after Malia tried GUN, LOTS OF GUNS, and HUNTER, which, had ALLISON not been the totally basic and insecure actual password, I would spend a lot more time mocking. Malia also tries her hand at guessing at what was behind Scott's wooded freakout the night before, but once they get into Argent's date book in the laptop, they fall too deeply back into sleuth mode for her to dig deep enough to get answers.
Over in one of Beacon Hills' many abandoned warehouses, Argent is in the middle of a private arms sale. The dude leading the crew of fatigued buyers claims he is representing Argent's known contact, but when Argent casually asks if the dude knows his contact from the Army and the dude says yes, Argent catches him out in the lie of it all—his contact is a Marine, and whoever this fraud is, Argent does NOT sell to "weekend warriors" (thank Dieu). A macho threat-off ensues, and right as Argent tells the dude that he's got backup, Malia and Scott show up, knocking one of the weekend warriors flat out. "What are you guys doing here!" Argent demands, exasperated—he already had a dude on the inside, and it was the dude Malia just knocked cold.
Then the firefight starts, and Scott, Malia and Argent are left to alternately take cover and deathlessly take these dudes out, with Malia having to begrudgingly break to even more begrudgingly pull Argent's unconscious inside man out from harm's way. Our heroes get every dude but the leader, who pulls his weapon on Malia just when she is defenseless. Argent gets the drop on him, but as he demands answers about who they are and why are so keen on arming up, the guy drops a smoke bomb and escapes.
Scott and Malia waste no time bringing Argent up to speed, and Argent wastes no breath reassuring them that A) he hasn't stamped a Hunter bullet since Allison asked him not to/died, and B) he wasn't avoiding them (which, I thought/hoped he and Melissa would be shacked up by now, so how COULD he be avoinding them all), just that his gun bussiness has been crazy busy lately. Any idea why, wolfies? Scott goes to pull out the casing, but whoops, lol, he lost it in the gun fight, which means it is hidden somewhere in the field of casings said fight left behind.
This ends up being nothing more than a delightlful visual gag of a problem, though, as Argent notes that what they really need is the slug to know who they are dealing with, and so he follows the two supernaturals back to the woods to find where Tamora's bullet ended up. Malia stops Scott before they get to the clearing, bursting at the limits of her ability to be a normal human. "I'm not good with subtlety," she says. "What the hell happened last night?" She means when Scott freaked out, naturally. He assumes she has been caught up on it because him freaking out freaked HER out, but no: him freaking out made her…worried??? about him, which both of them find very weird, but also sweet.
Oh criminy I just realized these two's ship name will likely be #Scalia, which…no, that's awful. But #Mott is worse! #McCalia? That's maybe okay. Oh jeez. This is a ship that will sink by name alone!!!
They bond over the weirdness, and over the fact that they both have had dads of some stripe hunting them, and the likelihood that the fear of that will never really go away, and then one of those dads is there, using his mad tracker skillz to figure out where the bullet that killed Halwayn has to be. He asks Scott to "glow his eyes" to see if he can see it, too. He can! It is silver! This means something, but I think it was more about the symbolism than about silver actually being toxic to suprnaturals. If you caught more of the meaning, let me know!
Let's Do the Eichen Warp Again
Lydia, meanwhile, is on Deputy Duty. That is, arguing with Deputy Parrish about how best to handle the fact that they (somehow) figured out that Halwyn escaped from Eichen House. They both know they need to investigate, but neither is keen for Lydia to have to go back there after having been locked up and trepanned and trapped for that one long season. Lydia is perfectly willing for the two of them to go together, but no, Jordan insists on being patronizing in this particular instance, refusing to let her step one foot back there. He will go alone! IT WILL BE FINE.
So Lydia is left to kill time at his desk, while he goes off and talks with the doc Halwyn knocked unconscious, who catches him up to speed on the fact that Halwyn is the one who BUILT Eichen House back in 1912 (thanks a lot, dude), and he was being kept under ice in case IT ever came back (not that the doc ever asked what IT was), and yes that means Halwyn was at least 100 years old, but no one really ever knew his age for certain. Then Parrish is distracted by the plaintive cries of a dying woman deeper in the hospital's bowels and insists on investigating, to which likelye danger the doc happily leaves him.
Only JK!! The dying woman is one of MANY dying supernaturals, electrocuted in the bathing room, and it was the doc who did it! He finally snapped and realized that they shouldn't be locking these "things" up, but rather should be killing them! He drags a shocked Parrish back to Halwyn's old cell and locks him in, turning on the freeze machine before Parrish can revive enough to put up a fight. Once Parrish is chilled enough, he pulls out a tiny pistol, and while he laments that this indicates a severe crisis of faith for him, a doctor ("doctor"), he nevertheless walks up to place the muzzle right on Parrish's temple.
Thankfully, Lydia's Banshee sense got her attention back at the station and alerted her to the threat Jordan was under, and she conquered her fears and raced over to save him. She shows up just as the doc has the gun cocked and she screams. The doc goes flying into the wall, and Parrish is saved.
Fallout: Beacon Hills
Safe from their various escapades, the graduated trio gather in Scott's kitchen to discuss what they've learned. As they reach the conclusion that really severe waves of fear are washing over everyone in town, and fear makes good people do stupid things, two things happen: first, I realize that what we thought was scripted fiction has actually turned into reality television here for the final season, and two, in a slow-mo montage under Scott's soliloquy, all of students at BHS suddenly seem to be noticing and being anxious around Liam (and Corey).
Simultaneously, Tamora stumbles through the woods after Brett's attack, holding her throat. Brett is waiting for her up in the branches of a tree and, suffering the effects of fear, himself, drops down for the attack. He is stopped by an arrow to the chest, which doesn't kill him, but does send him fleeing (thank God). And who is it that shot the arrow?
Yep. Grandpa Argent. Ready and rarin' to recruit.
The fear kicks up a notch!