The one benefit that comes from being constantly late with these recaps is more Teen Wolf-adjacent news has time to drop midweek, giving us time to discuss things like, idk, Dylan O'Brien still existing in between rushes of TW-related panic. Despite my fervent and earnest belief in everyone's right to privacy, especially in times of illness and trauma, I had personally come through the last year of his private recovery unsure that his continued existence, even when physically back on our MTV screens/in Gina's Deepwater Horizon BTS snaps/at whatever random sporting event, wasn't a hoax, so this interview is very calming for me. Hopefully for you, too!
Oh, and also maybe a Teen Wolf reboot is *already* in the works, along with a Serial-esque podcast to continue the 6B story (this is old news but I just found it)? My DC friends aren't having any of it, but I WILL TAKE IT. I know I should have learned from being burned by PLL that nothing gold can stay, but this spooky SoCal werewolf show of ours has bought enough goodwill from me that (despite what is good for me), like Theo, I trust it.
THIS WEEK'S WOLF PACK PUPPY
Tie between Liam and Nolan, who are simultaneously struggling to maintain/overcome their respective Beta statuses by (not) killing one another. Liam's IED anger issues have always felt like the weakest part of his characterization, more told to death to us by everyone in his life than shown in a way that made me actually empathize, but everything that both goes into and comes out of his abandoned zoo (lol, oh Beacon Hills) plan in this episode—not least the hallucinogenic return of a bully Brett made remarkably younger by movie magic!—finally brought that IED thing into almost emotional focus for me.
As for Nolan, that Froy actor, he has SOME FACE. I genuinely have not once been able to tell if he is holding back unseemly relish at all the carnage, or if he is holding back revolted uncertainty. Maybe both! It is fascinating and unsettling, either way.
BEST REACTION TO SOMETHING SUPERNATURALLY RIDICULOUS
Liam and Theo just punching each other's lights out to convince Nolan/a couple of Tamora's "finest" that the whole pack is hiding at the zoo. It is such a dumb plan, that hinges on their supernatural healing abilities performing for no one but themselves!!! NO ONE CAN SEE YOU, DUDES!!!
I love it.
WEEKLY REMINDER THAT BEACON HILLS IS ON A HELLMOUTH
Daaaaaaamn, Aaron! Back at it again with the manipulating every human teen into physically injuring themselves as part of a cooordinated campaign of fear and paranoia.
I hate people. This whole business makes me want to vomit just remembering it.
REIGNING PRESIDENT OF THE SCOTT MCCALL FAN CLUB
A tie that I suspect will just keep recurring until Isaac makes his inevitable heroic return from Paris, between Melissa "Scott knows what he's doing to save our asses, so back off" McCall and Malia "Let me smush my face with your face before we all die" Tate.
The lighting in this show is SO BAD but the best part of this kiss id absolutely how they are both smiling so joyfully all the way through it, ugh, my HEART
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Mason's Lydia's Beautiful Toyota followed by Nolan's Beautiful Toyota out to meet Liam and Theo at Theo's Beautiful Toyota at the abandoned zoo while the senior pack waits outside Gerard's compound in Chris' Beautiful Toyota!
Also, American Ninja Warrior.
PREVIOUSLY ON TEEN WOLF
Gerard Argent came back to town and started building a human supremacist army, using BHHS's newest Guidance Counselor anti-supernatural zealot as figurehead. They killed Brett and Lori and Jiang and Tierney, and set Nolan, Gabe and the rest of the lacrosse team on the warpath against Liam, and now Scott and the rest of his pack have "left" "town" by way of negotiation via Scott's FBI dad. Only duh, of course they didn't, they only pretended in the hopes of getting the upper hand on Gerard. Also, Mason, Corey and Deaton figured out the the mysterious Big Bad that escaped the WIld Hunt and is stoking everyone's fears is something called an Anog Ité (Anuk-Ite), which is from Lakota myth and has to do with a woman with two faces who preys on fear and paranoia. GREAT.
Scary Movie MCMXVII
Hi, no need to reboot Lord of the Flies (not least if it's not directly from Libba Bray's Beauty Queens): the human lacrosse boys at Beacon Hills High, with their campaign to slice open every classmate's hand to prove they are human, already have humanity's most violent base paranoiac instincts covered.
This, before we even get the inevitable supernatural reveal of the random freshman whose terrified POV shows us the terrorism Aaron (not dead, I guess!) and Gabe are inflicting, is horrifying. Every week I think, "this—THIS is the most nightmarish cold open Jeff Davis has come up with yet," somehow not remembering that nightmares in this world of mortals are endless, and Jeff Davis is a master of picking out the most prickling, emotionally gutting ways to portray them. And then he takes that tight, terrifying portrayal, and caps it off not just with a fear spider infestation swarming out of the poor werecoyote's mouth (seriously WHO are all these were-families in Beacon Hills but *not* in Derek's/Scott's/Argent's orbit???), but also Guidance Counselor of the Century Tamora Monroe's forcing Gabe into strangling the poor kid with his bare hands, then blaming Nolan for not being committed enough to do the same.
Cults of terror maintain and build power forcing terrorized, terrified kids into becoming agents of violence and terror in turn.
Seriously, fuck all monuments to any and every person who could be idolized for the violence in their "heroic" formation, and fuck all racial supremacy. Teach every kid around you to love and respect every human life, and to love and respect critical thought and cultural, historical honesty, even when it means complicating a history you thought you knew, or dismantling biases you didn't want to but couldn't avoid growing up with. Teach tolerance for all life, but don't tolerate intolerance.
ANYWAY. BACK TO THE SHOW.
Spy vs. …Nolan
Meanwhile, back in the hallways in which everyone human is ignoring each other's bloody, gauzed hands using all the willful blindness skills they built up when half their classmataes disappeared into purgatory/those creepy invisible doctors were snatching kids out of the building in broad daylight/the Beast of Gévaudan was snatching kids out of lacrosse games in broad moonlight/ghostly Japanese warriors materialized in the middle of nowhere/twin adult men enrolled in the junior class/every Hale man rolled through bloody and dead-eyed/Jackson was allowed to roam free with no threat of expulsion, Mason is racing around with piles of schoel-issued sleeping bags and blankest, just explicitly truant as all get out. "Ah," thinks Nolan, spying him from the science room, "my chance to prove how smart and sneaky I can be!"
Using the broadest "furtive" gestures I think he could possibly make without actually detaching his skull from his neck, Mason looks left and right and left again as he "hides" the stolen sleep gear in the trunk of Lydia's Beautiful Toyota, gets in, and, right there in the middle of third period, drives off campus. Literally one second later, Nolan gets into his bright red Beautiful Toyota and pulls out—again, literally—right after him.
"Did the plan work?" Liam asks from the Beautiful Toyota's Extra Functional Hands-Free Audio Call System. Yes, Mason informs him. Nolan took the bait and got on his tail, directly, with no space between them, in his bright, bright, bright red car. "He's actually really terrible at this," Mason says, baffled, speaking aloud what we are all thinking at home.
Somehow, despite having been directly on Mason's bumper the entire drive over, Nolan falls enough behind that Mason is able to pull up to where Liam and Theo are waiting in the abandoned zoos' parking lot, right in the open, right in front of Theo's *presumably known and recognizable* giant Toyota pick-up. They take the stolen gear off Mason's hands, and reassure him that they will be fine and he needs to go back to school and act like everything is normal. They do not talk about Corey, but I will presume that is only because, with **SPOILER** suddenly on the call sheet this week, they couldn't afford to even name supporting characters, let alone pay them, not even the invisible ones!!, and not because Mason and Corey's love and devotion has faded in the least. #Morey4Lyfe, y'all.
So off Mason goes to learn about differential equations or whatever, and off Theo and Liam go to plant the gear inside the old zoo (seriously, the supernatural scourge in Beacon Hills could not have announced itself more clearly than with a zoo completely gutted zoo if it tried—zoos are basically werewolf buffets, and thus ought to be the Waffle House Index of the Hunter world) and wait for Nolan to bring Gerard, Tamora, and the rest of their new Hunter army down in force.
Nolan gets two guys. TWO. Man, Tamora *really* did not appreciate Nolan refusing to strangle a spider-infested underclassman to death!!!
Not only does Tamora only send Nolan two of their guys—she sends them already doubting Nolan's ability to discern the truth of Scott's real secret hiding place. The thing is, whatever Liam and Theo are doing there at the zoo without the rest of the pack, they NEED all of the new Hunters there, along with Gerard and Tamora, and so they have to figure out a way to sell Nolan's hunch.
They do it by beating the crap out of each other, loudly. Theo starts. Liam breaks his nose three times. It's weird, but also fun? These dummies. Anyway, it works, and before Liam has to break Theo's nose a fourth time, Nolan's two human supremacist goons have called the rest of their human supremacist goons in for the kill.
Liam's plan involves both HISTORY and MYTHOLOGY, what a dork (he's already winning more of my affection this ep, whoops!)
At the Gerard-mory
That **SPOILER** taking up all the supporting cast budget this week? Scott's FBI dad! Yep, he stuck around after "Scott left" to try and sort out just what exactly Tamora and Gerard are up to, that would get them holding an entire Sheriff's station hostage in an armed standoff. BTW, Gerard and Tamora aren't one iota apologetic that they were bargaining for the lives of two kids. BTW also, according to Scott's FBI dad, Jiang and Tierney "escaped" (they were executed) after "knocking the armed van's driver out cold" (by the driver), so also he is on the hunt for them.
He is particularly (and rightfully!) suspcious about Gerard's bone-chillingly immense armory, and what tiny market in Beacon Hills could possibly support it, but the Argents are nothing if not well documented when it comes to their arms dealer covers, so between that and #SecondAmendmentOrDie, there is precisely zero that Scott's dad can do about the obvious threat Gerard poses to peace and safety and common human decency. Which is exactly what he storms into the hospital to tell Melissa, in the desperate hope that she will then somehow tell Scott, wherever he is. "Cool," she says. "Thanks for doing your job." Scott's FBI dad finds it literally outrageous that she is taking his report of fear and danger so calmly, but after she continues to be the living embodiment of the shrug emoji, he realizes he's been had: Scott never left town to begin with, and knows exactly what everyone in Beacon Hills has been up to this whole time. Scott's FBI dad isn't ready to have ANY of that, but Melissa shuts his "parenting" down like it's her job (it is): Scott and the other "kids" have been doing this for a long time, and are very good at it, so just step back and let them work.
The "it?" Saving everyone's asses, of course.
Cut to: Scott, Lydia, Malia, and Argent staking out the Gerad-mory from Argent's Beautiful Toyota SUV. They are waiting for the mass exodus to the zoo, at which point they have a plan to infiltrate for some yet-unclear reason. When it takes extra long for Nolan to convince the goons to convince everyone else to take him seriously, the senior pack has second thoughts about going through with their plan (it is apparently time sensitive). Lydia has EXTRA second thoughts about it all, her Banshee senses sending her visions of Argent's windshield cracking and auditory hallucinations of gun shots and falling bullet casings, but at the last minute the armory clears out, and they all decide to take the one shot they have.
Their shot? To blow the armory to smithereens, thus taking out Gerard and Tamora's best weapons before the war goes any further. Which would be GREAT, except that Gerard is always one damn step ahead, and managed to clear his entire stock out sometime between Scott's FBI dad's visit and Scott's pack's raid. From the control room, Chris and Lydia get on the PA to tell Scott and Malia to head back, but then the two were-teens smell Jiang and Tierney behind a wall-door and race to open it, Scott, the optimist, thinking they could possibly still be alive. BAM. All the exits slam shut, steel doors sealing Scott and Malia in, the PA system shutting off, cutting them off from Lydia and Argent's helpful oversight.
Behind the wall-door that triggered the lock-in is a secret room with a huge global war map of some kind hung on the wall, and Jiang and Tierney. Or at least, what's left of them: their tattoos, skinned off their wrists like hide and mounted behind glass. It's really awful!!!!
Scott "Smooth Operator" McCall
Scott, the softie optimist True Alpha peacenik, can hardly bear it, but he doesn't have much time to dwell because all of a sudden there are lasers sweeping the main armory room, and while he is A dummy, he's not dumb enough to not suspect that sweeping lasers installed by Gerard could be anything but deadly. And so thus begins McCall's Two, as Scott and Malia leap and twist and mash together suggestively in their efforts to both avoid the lasers and try to find some way out of the room beyond the doors. This seems impossible, but Malia, while pressed front to front with Scott on top of an empty gun shelf (both noting how NOT uncomfortable it is), sees a locked skylight halfway across the ceiling, and forms a plan—which, just her HAVING a plan, Scott is so proud of, and it is adorable—and channels her best inner Jessie Graff to ninja her way into knocking the lock free.
It works! She reaches the lock without touching the lasers once! But then the lock smashes on the ground, and one of the shards hits a laser on the ground. And just like that, a metric ton (give or take) of halon is released from the vents, sucking all the oxygen from the room and sending our two were-lovers crashing to the floor, nearly unconscious.
Argent and Lydia had thought there was no way they could help open unopenable steel doors, but right as Scott and Malia are about to pass out, Gerard's army returns from a failed zoo mission (Liam's anger got the best of him/Nolan, and the rest figured out it was a trick not worth fighting), so Argent and Lydia race down to try and help anyway. "I thought you said the doors were bullet-proof!" Lydia exclaims after she uses a duffel of explosives and a muay thai kick Parrish would have been proud of to knock out some of the new men. "I didn't say it was BANSHEE proof!" is Chris' reply. And, like, Chris! Have a clue a few beats before certain death next time, maybe! But Lydia is smart enough to prioritize the world's problems, and sets to screaming.
I will never get tired of how this subjectively feminine failing is subverted, thorugh Lydia, into the ultimate feminine power
It's great! She's great. Scott and Malia, snuggled together, hand-in-hand, Malia having just expressed as sincerely as a werecoyote could how much left she has to do in her life, are great. They all escape, and they take the war map with them, and back at Scott's house Malia expands on her near-death talk to show him that one of the things she had left to do was kiss him, and he kisses her back, and it's great!
Until Scott's FBI dad shows up as Melissa, Chris, Lydia, and Mason are examining the map with an urgent warning: Gerard's armory was empty because he (somehow legally) distributed every last gun to every last citizen of Beacon Hills.
And then the laser sights come through Melissa's living room window, and the bullets start flying, and everyone drops to find cover.
And then there is a pool of blood seeping into frame, straight towards Scott and Malia.
Probably Scott's FBI dad is dead! It is very sad, but also they would not send any of the other four from the scene out without Scott having more of a chance to say goodbye/telegraph it, or without Scott being completely wrecked in the NEXT ON scenes, which, spoiler, he seems same as always. Sorry FBI dad! You should have called more.
[Edit: I just found these gif sets of Melissa in a hospital bed telling Scott to fight so MY BAD I guess I was wrong! But also I DO NOT THINK Melissa will die next week; that kind of emotional gut punch is the kind of realism this show does so rarely that I just won't believe it until it happens]
Anyway, also it's THIS time that "Next Time" means Jackson and Ethan fight European hunters and then make out to a hilariously romantic classical soundtrack. My bad!