This week on Teen Wolf,
a huge storm is a great excuse for another bottle episode, this time set in the hospital. Beacon Hills Hospital, where everyone in town ends up eventually after being mauled by mysterious creatures or lagoon monsters, becomes the staging ground for several huge fights and more big revelations.
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First, there is Jennifer Blake, mild-mannered English teacher turned homicidal Freddy Krueger. Jenny from the Nemeton has a tragic backstory with Kali and some self-esteem issues about her horror movie monster face. "Derek, are you breaking up with me because I killed a bunch of people or because I look like The Gentlemen from Buffy
Then there's the alpha pack, hot on the trail of teacher and hoping to kill her to save themselves. Mostly, this involves the alpha twins throwing people around and Big D-Wolf being mysterious but nefarious, as is his way.
The last stressful pieces of the puzzle are Cora and Stiles' missing father. Cora is taking a turn for the worst, vomiting black blood and mistletoe like Grandpa Gerard crossed with The Exorcist. Meanwhile, the cliffhanger from last week still lingers, as Stiles desperately looks for his kidnapped father.
The combination of all these elements makes for a tense, wild ride, but the show still manages to pack in some insight into Jennifer's backstory. It all amounts to a fun, exciting episode which ultimately feels just the tiniest bit hollow.
Perhaps that's because this first half of the season is moving at such a breakneck pace there's little time for small moments anymore. There are some nice moments carved out for Stiles, Jennifer and Scott, but everything moves so fast it's easy to lose the emotional touchstones in the blur of shirtless fighting and overly complicated Druid mythology.
This half season has really upped the ante and taken the storytelling to interesting and fun places. But I often miss the quieter, more normal moments of the earlier seasons when the kids could just be themselves and have fun. There won't be much time for that in the final few episodes of season 3, but hopefully when the show returns in the winter they'll relax the pace of the storytelling and allow the show to breath a bit.
Derek and Jennifer are Never Ever, Ever Getting Back Together
"Sorry I sacrificed all those virgins baby. To be fair, though, you started it." Jennifer Blake is not exactly the most skilled at winning someone back after being revealed as an evil darach.
Poor Derek has the worst luck with women, though; they all turn out to be homicidal maniacs. In hindsight, we all should have immediately known Jennifer was the darach as soon as she became interested in Derek. He's like serial killer catnip.
Derek is not really about hearing Jennifer's reasonable explanation for why she's been killing about town and starts to choke the life out of her. Stiles and Scott talk him down because Jennifer is the only one who knows where Stiles' father is and how to cure Cora of her black blood and mistletoe disease.
As usual, Derek's plan is "kill all the things," and as usual, it is the worst plan ever. Seriously, it's getting to the point where Derek should be paired with a buddy at all times who can spot-check his master plans. "So the plan is to jump through the elevator roof, and then what Derek? Fight the alphas in an elevator shaft?" Even Jennifer, she of the Freddy Krueger face and the predilection for sacrificing townspeople, is like, "Dude, that's not a very reasonable plan."
Instead, Derek and Jennifer's time stuck together in the elevator gives her a good chance to info-dump her backstory. See, it turns out she was really Kali's emissary before Kali joined Deucalion's pack. But Kali had a tough time killing "Julia" because Julia was innocent and also maybe because Julia gave wicked pedicures.
While Julia/Jennifer was dying, she pulled herself up to the nemeton where, coincidentally, young Derek Hale was watching his first love Paige die. Poor Derek, even when he doesn't mean to, he accidentally ruins his own life in multiple ways. The sacrifice of a virgin gave her enough power to survive and nurture a major grudge on the alpha pack.
Next, she decides to share a story about mistletoe, because this season has really been mostly about explaining various obscure mythologies.
"No really, though, do you think I'm pretty?" Jennifer asks as the power in the elevator goes back on and her needy Freddy Krueger reflection appears in the elevator doors. I guess Derek's answer isn't all that tactful, because she knocks him unconscious and speeds off to do more evil.
Stuck in the Hospital
While Derek is dealing with some relationship drama with his new horror movie villain girlfriend, Stiles is willing to do anything to get his father back. Unfortunately, things don't seem to be going his way, and he mostly gets stuck taking care of Cora Hale.
He brings Cora back from the dead with some mouth-to-mouth action but no chest compressions, because he was probably chasing a lizard creature or something during that section of first aid class.
In the ambulance, Stiles has a moment talking to the unconscious Cora where he realizes how out of his depth he truly is. It's a nice moment for Dylan O'Brien in an already emotional episode for Stiles, considering he is consistently crying pretty much the entire way through.
Elsewhere, Peter and Scott are trying to hold off the alpha twins in order to buy time to get Jennifer and Cora out of the hospital. Mostly, this is just an excuse for extended fight sequences, lots of shirtless alpha twins and for everyone to get progressively more sweaty.
Argent to the Rescue
At school, Allison is still dressed like a sexy Victorian vampire and Isaac is still way into it. The storm has powered down the school and Argent just pops out of nowhere to give the kids a ride back home. Argent is always just popping up in weird places. He's like a sexy Voldemort; if you even think about him, he will emerge from some bushes behind you. Still, offering Allison and Isaac a ride home during a storm is maybe the most normal, paternal thing he's ever done.
Isaac realizes Cora is stuck with only creepy Uncle Peter for protection, a fate unkind for anyone, and decides he need to head to the hospital. Argent and Allison tag along, because Isaac is a precious little lamb who must be protected at all times.
In the hospital, everyone is suddenly and immediately sweaty, yet I'm pretty sure Allison still keeps on her Victorian coat. Once you commit to a fashion choice in the Argent household, you really commit. That's why you never see Chris without his V-neck T-shirts.
They soon bump into Scott and Peter, who fill them in on the Jennifer Blake situation. "What teacher is this?" Argent asks, like he's shocked there's a teacher at Beacon Hills High he and his late wife missed torturing with tasers.
"She's brunette and kind of hot," Isaac supplies, and everyone gives Isaac a incredulous look. Everyone, that is, except Allison. "Did you say brunette and hot? That sounds like someone familiar. That sounds like ... me!" You have to hand it to Allison, homegirl has good self-esteem.
They hatch a plan that involves Allison running through the school to confuse the alphas into thinking she's Ms. Blake. Once outside, she and Argent do what they do best, which is shoot all the things. Isaac and Peter use this as a good cover to finally get poor Cora Hale out of dodge.
"What about Scott? We can't leave without Scott!" Isaac cries, confirming that he might be into Allison at the moment, but his heart will forever belong to Scott.
Parent or Guardian
As Stiles is about to take off with Isaac and Peter, he sees a sign on the ambulance asking for the signature from a parent or guardian and puts it all together. He runs to find Scott, who realizes his mother is missing, and Jennifer has left Derek unconscious in the elevator. Jennifer/Julia has both Scott and Stiles' parents now.
Up on the roof, Scott bumps into Deucalion who offers to help him find the parents if he helps big D-Wolf take down Jennifer. Sadly, he doesn't yell about being a DEMON WOLF (all caps, never forget) while on a foggy roof during a thunder storm, a glaring missed opportunity for such a huge drama queen.
Stiles tries to talk Scott off the ledge, both literally and metaphorically, by saying there must be another way. But Scott can't think of anything else, and they both cry and feel many emotions before Scott walks off with Deucalion into the night.
The episode closes with Stiles' father and Scott's mother tied up in a root cellar, which Jennifer called the nemeton. Will they be the next sacrifices?
The Shirtlessness Count
Despite the fact that it looked extremely muggy in that hospital without air conditioning, not many of our favorite beefcakes decided to abandon their shirts.
The Shirtlessness Count: the alpha twins in Hotimus Prime beast mode and separately.
Best Pecks of the Episode: I guess this one goes to both alpha twins, for being the coolest people in that hot hospital.
What did you think? Will the parents make it out alive? Did you enjoy the bottle episode? Did you miss Lydia? What did you think of Jennifer's backstory? Will Derek ever date a non-murderer? Sound off in the comments!