Title: Teen Wolf S5.E19 “The Beast of Beacon Hills”
Released: 2016
Series:  Teen Wolf

WELP. Mason’s gone! Or is he???

Sorry, friends. I would have had this up last week, but for the fact that every time I started writing I found a reason to start looking for *very specific* Isaac gifs, and before I knew it, the whole day would be lost. Life is hard!



Corey, Scott’s newest pack member by dint of invisible pack meeting participation. Also, protecting & <3-ing Mason.

Corey! I hope you get to stick around!


Josh refusing point blank to take any part in Theo’s insane electromagnetic Dread Doctor mask experiment.

Look, Theo, you want pack loyalty, maybe buy a dude a pizza or even just learn his last name first next time.


It took our Mason away from us, how much worse could it get?


Kira! Although frustratingly the force of her admiration was so strong it propelled her to…skip town. AGAIN. 

Kira: “I’m coming back to help. I promise. Because you’re right, Scott. If anyone is going to save Mason, it’s you. It’s us.”
GIF from pendovah

Look: the ladies of Beacon Hills are numerous and KICK ASS and each uniquely complex, and that is a lot more than a lot of television is ever willing or able to give, but this is the third time the show’s solution to Kira’s poorly drawn weakness has been to send her Out Of Town like she’s not one of the show’s leads. Serve her better, Jeff Davis! She deserves a lot more consistency and thought than she’s been getting.


For my money, Braeden slowly cracking pistachios and methodically lining up their shells while an antsy Malia looked on, incredulous, recalled some of the best low-key snack product placements from the show’s first season. I genuinely expected a Get Crackin’ spot starring Braeden in a green leather bomber to show up during one of the commercial breaks.

O hai, Icebreakers With Attitude! (Any excuse for Isaac, tbh)

According to the (amazing) official tumblr, though, the award goes to the Beautiful Toyotas on all of Beacon Hills’ dark streets:

Which, okay, fair. Because not only did Lydia’s BEAUTIFUL TOYOTA *keep* Parrish from running away from this fight, Kira’s own BEAUTIFUL TOYOTA *helped* her do the very same. Equal opportunity car company, that one!


The Dread Doctors spent a whole summer season terrorizing the teens of Beacon Hills in a quest to find The One True Vessel who was a genetic chimaera strong enough to take on the powers and latent psychotic personality of history’s worst werewolf, La Bête de Gévaudan, whose crimes were so horrific that his own sister slayed him with a pike forged from mountain ash and family blood, then burned every scrap of evidence the man himself ever existed. This is a real historic punishment! Damnatio Memoriae! It was also a real entertainment treat, as that historic French hunter/sister was a dead ringer for the late, great Allison Argent—a fact which makes sense, as she was also the progenitor of the whole line of Argent hunters. The last two Argents standing/still human explained the whole deal to Scott’s pack, stressing repeatedly the fact that the moment the man inside the Beast remembers himself, the teen inside will be lost forever. And then they proceeded to tell Lydia the precise biographical details of the man it is so important for no one to ever remember, so, that was super great! Meanwhile, Scott and Liam finally sniffed out the sneakers drenched in their Hellhound friend’s presumably ripe blood, and realized that the teen inside the Beast is, naturally, the best new human in Beacon Hills High history: Mason. ZUT.


Scary Movie MCMXVII

For all the Boss Fight/Beast Reveal drama that ended last week’s episode, we open this week on a very sweet, serene scene: Mason and Corey snuggled sleeping together…in a sewer culvert. Romance + actual shit! This is our show!

Corey had his reasons for bringing Mason to the sewer, at least: it is provably the one place that Scott et al won’t be able to track them by scent. Weirdly, he explains this to Mason, as though Mason wasn’t with him the entire trip there from the school parking lot where Scott and Liam broke into his trunk and discovered his bloody secret. Does one’s brain turn invisible along with the rest of the body, when acted upon by an invisi-boy’s powers? Did tiny, sweet Corey for some reason knock his bae unconscious to drag him to safety? It is very confusing!

Simultaneously horrifying and adorable, that’s the Teen Wolf we’ve been missing all this time!

But it is also very sweet. Mason + Corey 5ever, afaiac. Please keep both of them safe and whole and together until the end of time, amen.

Unfortunately, the Dread Doctors are men (and women? maybe?) of SCIENCE, not religion, so that prayer is one that won’t be answered anytime soon. Mason has barely had a chance to draw a blank on his whereabouts during every frequency-induced Beast attack before he realizes that, aduh, the sewers are only safe when on the run from supersniffers—ancient mad scientists operating on dread radio waves, their way is completely open! And then, like black magic, there the Dread Doctors are. Corey’s invisi-shield, alas, is no match for their science sticks, and just as suddenly as the DDs appeared, they have vanished, dragging an unconscious Mason behind them.

Pack Meeting

Scott, too, spent the night after the Beast Boss Battle in the arms of his bae. Only, he was a lot bloodier than Mason was, and Kira had the compassion to bring him home to recuperate in his own bed, rather than in a cold concrete culvert. There is an awkwardly inserted Chekhov’s Gun moment when Kira has to brush some homework and papers aside to make Scott more comfortable, and discovers an envelope labeled SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION over which Scott, in his bloody daze, opines that he missed the deadline, but then the show is back on track, and it is morning, and Scott has slept off every last centimeter of his injuries. 

HOW? you might ask, when it took most of this half season for him to recover from that one measly death blow at the end of 5B? Well, because his pack is finally united and working together to save someone they love, that’s how!

I think the joke is supposed to be that the former description would be too common to look for, but honestly, in Beacon Hills, isn’t that JUST AS TRUE of the second??

Scott’s truest True Alpha power is Love, never forget.

Keeping with the theme of the past two seasons (“Find the MacGuffin, Save the MacGuffin, Save the Town”), the pack is trying their damnedest to formulate A) a plan to find Mason, and B) a plan to save him from his Beastly inner self. They have exactly zero leads, which is really bumming everyone, and especially Liam, out, but Scott’s not even worried. They WILL find Mason. And they WILL save him. And to help with both? “Let’s ask Corey!” And Scott (amazingly) pulls him out by the shirtfront from his invisible perch against Melissa’s china cabinet.

Corey is more than ready to help, because obviously who WOULDN’T want to save Mason? But unfortunately, the only information he has that the pack doesn’t already is that the Dread Doctors took Mason that morning, and Corey couldn’t do anything to stop it. Still, he is on board to be part of the pack’s search party, and almost certainly, just to be a part of the pack altogether. Because obviously who WOULDN’T want to jump Theo’s pack ship the moment a single good alternate option presented itself??

The Plan: The Pack Splits Up

You may not have noticed this ever before, but while Scott’s pack may be full to the fang with love, they are…not great at making plans. Their plan this time around? Split up! Scott and Liam will go on scent patrol; Hayden and Corey will stake out the school (i.e., attend classes like normal); Kira will figure out her whole kitsune deal; Stiles and Lydia will hang around the sheriff’s station; Melissa will keep watch at the hospital; and Braeden and Malia will stick around Scott’s, in case Mason comes back there/so Braeden can continue protecting Malia from the Desert Wolf. 

Before they can all split up, however, Malia takes Stiles aside to warn him about the Desert Wolf’s tangential fixation on Stiles, in response to her figuring out that Malia cares about him. Rather than focus on the news that Malia and him still have a chance, Stiles (wisely) leaps right to the most pressing issue: his immediate safety. Namely, he thinks he should have one of Braeden’s guns.

Welcome back to our screens, classic Stiles slapstick, Part I

After fumbling the unloaded gun impressively, he agrees that the protection of his own father at the sheriff’s station that has never once been breached by even one villain will definitely be safer, so he leaves Scott’s, gunless.

Unsurprisingly, the wait both at the McCalls’ and at the sheriff’s station is incredibly boring, and just as unsurprisingly, Malia is the first to crack from it. She calls Lydia to check in on what’s going on there, venting her frustration at not being able to be out protecting Stiles on her own.

Welcome back to our screens, classic Stiles slapstick, Part II

Stiles is back in early season slapstick mode, though, which means he is safe as houses inside his comedy bubble. Malia will just have to worry about protecting herself!

Melissa shows up as Lydia is signing off, carrying a medical file that almost certainly ought to have been confidential. LOL at medical privacy in this town. What’s the word on Mason’s viability as a genetic chimaera? Well, turns out he had a twin in utero, and absorbed it. There is even an ultrasound image of the twins that seems SUPER PRIVATE that Melissa shares with Lydia and Stiles, about which Lydia spends a significant amount of time suggesting that there must be a significant piece of knowledge to be gained from this revelation. CHEKHOV’S TWIN, basically.

Splitting Up: Still a Bad Idea

Lydia doesn’t have much time to think about Mason’s baby-twin, though, because she’s got a Hellhound deputy to save. At the top of the episode, Stilinski called upon Lydia to help him stop Parrish before he can get out of town. The two formed a united front: Stilinski setting up spikes along the only road out of town to rip Parrish’s tires to shreds, and Lydia rolling in with her big eyes and banshee badassery to remind him that she’s been foretelling death for longer than he has, and at least he has the power to DO something to stop what he sees. 

Parrish argued again, for some insane reason, that HE is the one causing all the death in town, and even though this is patently false, neither Lydia nor Stilinski said so in so many words. They just hedged about how maybe he is actually the one meant to save everyone, and his visions are of what will happen should he abandon Beacon Hills! And then Stilinski handed him back his deputy’s badge, and Lydia made plans with him to go back to the Nemeton the next day to try to find answers.

So now it is the next day, and they are off to find answers, the Nemeton being as easy to find as Starbucks all of a sudden. Parrish kneels down and places his palm on it, and Lydia reaches out and places her palm on him, and WHOOSH, VISION.

This girl is on fire.

The answers are, Parrish still sees the whole town’s bodies burning up around the Nemeton, except now, Lydia’s bloodied body is on top of the pile. Welp! It was a good try, Lydia! Kind of! I mean, not really. You could have gone in with some kind of plan for how to work through the vision? Or at least, the *actual* reminder that the Hellhound of legend is a guardian and protector? Idk. Parrish at least does get fired up enough (pun) to seek out the Argents and offer up his Beast-bashing services later on, so I guess that is something.

Dammit, Deucalion

As bad as Scott’s pack is at making plans, their plans aren’t even in the same league as Theo’s. For a kid whose goals are relatively straightforward—prove his own value and strength by stealing first Scott’s and then ultimately the Beast’s power—the ways he has chosen to go about effecting each step of the process have been ridiculously risky and circuitous. First of all, if the claws he traded the Desert Wolf for are enough to work on the Beast, then spending all of 5A going after Scott via Liam was…completely unnecessary? Second, if he had to resurrect just a handful of the Dread Doctors’ dozens of failed teen chimaeras to be a part of your zombie science wolf pack, wouldn’t it have been wiser to avoid resurrecting the soft-hearted hero types with romantic ties to the enemy’s pack? Third, if he was going to team up with any villain from Scott’s past in the same season as Eichen House was broken into a dozen times, why in THE WORLD would that villain be Deucalion, and not Peter friggin’ Hale, the dude whose grievances against Scott wouldn’t have to be explained with a half-retcon of the blindness-healing Scott and Derek did for Deucalion at the end of the Alpha Pack season. And finally, if Theo/the show DID have a genuinely solid reason for bringing Deucalion out of hiding, why relegate him to sitting literally on the sidelines for all these episodes? You pride yourself on your persuasive charm, Theo! Why keep your best villain ally chained by vein-pump to the wall, when you could have won him to your cause and had him trail you around like Gerard has been trailing Argent all season?

Anyway, the fact that Theo has lost two members of his pack already, and now can’t get Josh to use his electromagnetic powers to put on the extra Dread Doctor mask Theo swiped from Eichen House after his pack failed to rescue Lydia, who’d fallen catatonic after he failed to successfully dig her banshee knowledge out with his claws, which tactic he’d resorted to after he’d failed to seduce her or any of Scott’s pack to his cause, well, that’s no surprise. Nor is it a surprise that Deucalion has been faking his own capture this entire time.

After taking his time FINALLY providing some flashback-back story for the first Dread Doctor, here in the twilight of their villainous run, Deucalion slowly (horrifyingly) pulls the thick tube from the vein in his arm, stands, and immediately breaks Theo’s wrist, sucking in Theo’s pain as he does.

Deucalion: “Take their pain, take their life, take their power.”
GIF from teenwolf

Jeez. Us. 

Remember how Deucalion crushed his one Alpha Pack member’s skull in in Deaton’s clinic, just to make a point and keep Derek’s motivation high (or whatever)? I hadn’t, not until just now! Nevermind what I said about Peter being a better choice for callback villain: Theo’s sociopathy deserves Deucalion, whatever sense his return does or does not make overall.

Deucalion’s breaking of Theo’s arm is all to prove two points, ultimately: first, that he is and always will be stronger and smarter than Theo, and second, that the key to taking another supernatural creature’s power is not through special claws, but rather through administering severe pain, then siphoning it all out, until there is nothing left to give but life itself. 

This is a very dark twist on the sweetest part of being a werewolf in TW mythology! I have rarely been more moved than by when Scott taught Isaac how to take the dying dog’s pain that first time, and Isaac saw what a force for good his new powers could be. And now to know that this thing that has been helping our heroes help each other this whole time, that it could be pushed to such extremes that it can become a weapon? That is very cool and scary! I mean, you have to let go of the fact that, if Deucalion has known this all along, then it made no sense for him to keep a whole pack of Alphas rather than stealing their power this way, one by one—or at least, using the threat of it to keep them in line. But whatever! Live and hurt and learn.

So Theo has all the tools he needs to get the Beast’s power, now. He puts them into immediate practice, driving his claws into Josh’s stomach to take his pain, power, and life in order to be able to use the Dread Doctor mask himself. He does, and sees the Beast’s true identity, and with Tracy by his side and Deucalion in the shadows, goes off to broker that information with Scott and Liam.

Sidelining the Ladies: An Interlude

So after Malia and Kira got called back into VERY USEFUL ACTION in the lacrosse episode, they are this week once again sideline to their VERY BORING solo arcs, Malia the werecoyote pacing inside a mountain ash-protected home under the watchful eye of Braeden, a human, and Kira a lightning fox asking her dad for academic instead of her mom for practical advice to overcome her literal demons to help her friends survive, all before getting in her Beautiful Toyota and driving off into the desert, alone. 

To sum up: Malia and Braeden hole up in Scott’s house all day and night, ostensibly to be the team to intercept Mason if he should show up there, but ultimately to keep Malia safe from the Desert Wolf. Braeden spends the whole time eating pistachios and saving the shells, and not suggesting to Malia to keep her communications with the rest of the pack vis-a-vis their plans/her location limited to texting, so of course the Desert Wolf overhears Lydia’s end of a call at the sheriff’s station and heads right on over to Scott’s, where for who knows what reason Tracy is waiting to break through the mountain ash barrier. She’s a disruptor, I guess. Really resents how Malia used her torture at the hands of the Dread Doctors as her own personal emotional breakthrough.

So yes, less than twelve hours after Braeden and Malia set up shop, the Desert Wolf is in the McCall house, and she and Braeden quickly find themselves in the middle of a gunfight. Perfectly, Braeden’s pistachio shells were meant to serve a purpose all along, as she scatters them across the wood floor to serve as warning for when an attack is around the corner. After some close-up scuffling, the two battle for control of Braeden’s shotgun, sending multiple shots up through the first floor ceiling into the second floor hallway, where Malia is just running around like she doesn’t have super coyote hearing and had no idea what was going on downstairs.

The whole time, all I could think of was poor Melissa and her meager, adult-problems home repair fund.

True story: I got so mesmerized by the glorious combo of OG Isaac & Melissa that I almost forgot to grab the source link

The Desert Wolf eventually gets the upper hand, and Braeden makes her escape out the front door, re-setting the mountain ash line as she does so, effectively locking the Desert Wolf AND Malia in. Which—idek. Even the Desert Wolf makes reference to the “cage match” that that plan has just set up! BRAEDEN. I expected so much better.

Kira’s day doesn’t go much better. Her role in the Find Mason Plan is…figure out her sword? I think? I don’t know. She finds her dad at school to try to get him to tell her how to put it back together/tell her how to get out to the v #problematic skinwalker reserve without her mom knowing. Her dad’s main thing is that Kira is smart and strong enough to figure out how to be strong as a fox without her sword, but Kira’s main thing is teenage impatience to save her friends NOW even if it means becoming a skinwalker for eight centuries and also not being smart enough to even notice when he is correcting her grammar, so really, he never had a shot. He eventually gives her his blessing and the keys to his Beautiful Toyota, and Kira calls to leave a quick five or six awkward voicemails for Scott before she hops in the car and drives off the show again.

In the desert, she lays the pieces of her sword out on the sand and calls to the emptiness that she knows they are out there and that she needs their help, no matter the cost. She is willing to pay it. And while the whole concept of the Native American skinwalker spirit women in tiny costumes is tokenistic and Not Great wrt human decency, their entrance through swirling dust and dark is visually arresting. 

GIF from teenwolf

Have you heard of Neutrogena, bc if not, let me blow your mind

Anyway, all of this, these two storylines? IT IS ALL DUMB. It isn’t that either the Desert Wolf OR the Kitsune/Skinwalker stories are inherently stupid (necessarily), it is just that they have no space to breathe in the maelstrom that is this already packed two-part season. I’d buy that both storylines were put into place to give both characters something personal to accomplish before Season 6 had been confirmed, but once it had been, it just would have been so much better to set these storylines aside for Season 6, and weave Kira and Malia back into the actual plots of 5A/5B. Although I can see how that would have been difficult to do, as adding Malia and Kira in to the regular action would have overbalanced the strength of Scott’s pack and rendered most of Theo’s machinations moot/cut most of the fights with any and all comers severely short. Which…I mean, as great as the knowledge that two teen girls are so dramatically overpowering in their awesomeness IS, that is definitely Sign #1 of subpar writing.

Fingers crossed for Season 6.

Dread Doctors? More Like DRAG Doctors, amirite

So back to the Mason Problem. Scott and Liam spend all day trying to sniff Mason out, but are interrupted by a call from Theo and Tracey with the news of what Theo saw in the mask. Liam can’t believe Scott is willing to work with the last two psychos standing, but Scott is focused on a combination of time running out and the maxim to “keep your enemies closer,” so a team-up with Liam it is.

After they exchange information—Theo telling them he saw the original French Beast in the mask, and our boys sharing the ley line map Liam tore out of that library book however many episodes back (there is embedded here a lovely, gross explanation for that body in the tank, which was apparently an alpha werewolf Nazi soldier the Dread Doctors cart everywhere as part of their immortality regimen)—the group agrees to meet up later that afternoon in the woods where the ley lines indicate the Dread Doctors must be hiding. And after Scott and Liam leave, Deucalion comes out from around the wall of lockers he was hiding behind, and cackles loudly. 

Dude, Scott knew an invisible teen he barely knows was hiding in his house; he no way didn’t smell you, his old enemy, from a mile off.

Anyway, Scott and Liam do meet up with Theo later that day, and after some false starts trusting Theo on Liam’s part, they make it to the new lair where the Dread Doctors have Mason hooked up via a monster pipe to the spinal column to the Nazi werewolf in the tank. It’s super gross!

Scott and Liam try to free Mason, but the monster pipe is in too deep for them to do anything without hurting him, and pretty soon, the Dread Doctors have found them. Liam is all ready to take the whole lot of them down, but the Dread Doctors ain’t even bovvered. “You have the entitlement and narcissism typical of your generation,” the lead DD burrs, finally loud enough to be heard over his own clicking, “in THAT you are a success.” It is the drag to end all drags. It is amazing.

Marry me, MTV

Honestly I feel like they put extra effort into finally balancing the Dread Doctors’ creepy voice track JUST so that this epic clapback could be understood with crystal clarity. BOOOOOOOOOOOM.

At that provocation, Theo is off, fighting the Doctors like his life depends on it. Scott and Liam jump in, too, less to save Theo, I’m sure, than to take advantage of Theo fighting on their side to get rid of the Doctors and thus, ultimately, free and save Mason. The Doctors are strong and ruthless, though, and soon all three boys are in deep trouble—Liam most of all. And wouldn’t you know, seeing his best friend in mortal danger kicks Mason into high gear, and he pulls the monster pipe from his spine byt his own damn self.

Unfortunately, that show of strength in preparation to save his friend triggers the Beast’s first transformation without frequency, which means…the original Beast is back. “Mason!” Liam calls out, testing this theory. “That’s not my name,” Mason’s face says back, as his eyes turn blue and he is engulfed by shadow smoke. And then he IS the Beast, and he is tearing through the Dread Doctors like they are paper, just ripping off limbs and heads left and right before leaping out into the night.

Outside, though, Hellhound!Parrish and both Argent men are ready and waiting, and while Parrish attacks from one side, Gerard and Chris fire some sort of treated projectiles from the other, and soon enough the Beast has transformed back into man.


Only, it’s not Mason! It is dumb Sebastien, of whom Gerard asks if he “remembers who I am?” To which Sebastien responds, “Argent,” and I respond !!!! because this SEEMS to imply that the Beast has been resurrected before, and met Gerard? Unless it is just an Argent blood thing, in which case, wouldn’t Gerard have asked if Sebastien remembered who “we” (he AND Chris) were? Unless it just DOES NOT actually matter, and we should just all be glad the finale is coming on Tuesday and we can spend the next many months recalibrating and learning to miss the show again? 

Probably that’s the right answer.


It’s the finale! FINALLY. See you there.

About the Contributor:

Alexis Gunderson is a TV critic and audiobibliophile. A Wyoming expat, she now lives in Maryland, where she runs the DC chapter of the FYA Book Club. She can be found talking about Teen TV on Twitter, and her longform criticism can be found on Authory.


This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.