This week on Teen Wolf,
Scott and the gang work together to save Malia from her trap-happy father. Meanwhile, Stiles learns to read again, Isaac gnaws himself out of a trap 127 Hours
-style while still managing to be a great boyfriend and things remain complicated for Derek and Peter.
While this week's episode is more action-oriented than the premiere, it continues the trend of diving deep into the main trio's new emotional scars. Scott can't transform, Allison can't shoot and Stiles can't read. The door in their minds is still "ajar" and their inability to close it nearly causes their whole rescue operation to fall apart.
It remains to be seen whether Malia Tate will come back into play as a story element as season 3B progresses, but her story works well juxtaposed against the sudden helplessness of the wolfy gang. Malia's status as an innocent victim they all want to help adds a little emotional heft to their inability to play to their normal strengths. The moment Stiles figures out that Malia is returning her dead sister's baby doll to the scene of the accident like flowers to a grave is an especially sad beat to the story.
While Scott and friends work on closing Sheriff Stilinski's werecoyote cold case, Derek and Peter are moving pieces of the larger season-long narrative into play. The girl who saved Isaac in badass fashion at the beginning of the season returns like a lady Terminator, unveiling a box full of mountain ash and some new problems.
Meanwhile, the nemeton and the fireflies are about to be back in a major fashion, and things are only looking to get more complicated in Beacon Hills. It feels weird to say this, but apparently almost losing a leg to a bear trap is what passes for the calm before the storm on this show.
Derek Needs a Nap
When we left off last week, Scott was bummed he couldn't reach Derek, instead of assuming, as he always should, that going to voicemail means Derek's being tortured somewhere.
"Hey, this is Derek Hale. At the sound of the beep, please come rescue me, because if I didn't pick up the phone it's probably because I'm being electrocuted against a chain-link fence. Or impaled! The possibilities are endless, but I'm definitely being tortured. I have GPS on my phone, please use it after the beep! Also, leave a message and, assuming I still have opposable thumbs, I'll call you back later."
The Spanish-speaking thugs (and middle-aged woman) torturing a very shirtless Derek and Peter Hale are looking for someone called the she-wolf. Unfortunately, the Hales either have no idea who they're talking about or just refuse to talk, which leads Peter to end up minus one finger.
Teen Wolf seems to have upped the ante on the gore level this season, and in this episode in particular. Between the de-fingering, Allison's hallucination and Isaac's Saw situation, it's a pretty blood-soaked episode.
Derek is so sassy when he's being tortured now. If it was possible to be hipster about forms of torture, Derek would be totally over electrocution. "I was being electrocuted before it was the trendy way to torture people. Just saying."
The girl who saved Isaac way back at the beginning of this extended season returns to lady Terminator Derek and Peter Hale out of their dire situation. Why? She was sent by Big D-Wolf, for some unknowable reason. I'd love to know more about this character, besides the fact that she is amazing and terrifying. Like maybe let's start with her name, so I don't have to refer to her as Lady Terminator.
Lady Terminator takes Derek and Peter to a box full of mountain ash, where they find a triskele buried. Unfortunately, the scene is a bit ruined by the fact that I kept expecting Gerard to pop up and yell "MOUNTAIN ASH!" dramatically at the sky. Still, nothing good has ever come from either of those two items, and combining them just seems like asking for trouble.
While Derek and Peter are off on excellent, painful, shirtless adventures, the rest of the cast is trying to figure out how to save Malia Tate. Scott and Stiles put the pieces together and figure out that Malia is a werecoyote whose first transformation caused the car accident that killed her mother and sister. Since then, she's been living as a werecoyote full time, which is bad news since her father is now on the hunt for the coyote who "killed" his family.
Scott thinks he can use his alpha powers to shout at Malia until she turns back into a person, but without Derek he turns to the only other alphas he knows. Unfortunately, the only other alphas around are the beefcake twins.
The twins only have two modes: shirtless and punching all the things! So they punch some knowledge into Scott while rocking out to weird techno music. Every time the twins appear on screen, the music goes from cinematic and understated to "angry gay disco" in seconds.
Malia's father, meanwhile, is wandering around town setting up bear traps and skulking into high schools fully armed. Beacon Hills High really does have approximately zero security. No wonder Derek and Peter and Big D-Wolf were all able to just randomly show up to menace teenagers whenever they pleased.
When they realize Malia's father is on the warpath, it becomes a race against the clock to save her and restore her to human form.
Fighting Inner Demons
Of course, it would be easier to save Malia if everyone was in top form. But Stiles is unable to read, Scott is having some "performance issues" and Allison is still only moments away from eventually shooting someone in the face.
While Scott's issues are the most pressing, the visuals for the mental angst Stiles and Allison endure continue to be really frightening. Stiles still can't tell what's real and what's a dream, which is making it hard for him to read just about anything. Watching the words melt and rearrange is very unsettling, but not quite as unsettling as watching werewolf Aunt Kate eat Allison's internal organs. For my money, Allison's scary dark places are by far the scariest and darkest.
Of course, there's still a few comedic moments to be had in the episode. Unfortunately, many of them come at the expense of Isaac's scarves. Listen, Isaac has found a look that works for him and he's committed to it. Leave his scarves alone. Plus, as a bonus, his scarves work as delightful tourniquets when he needs to gnaw his own foot off to escape traps. It's multi-purpose Stiles! Geez, you don't understand anything about functional fashion.
The season's new romances are, let's not say heating up, but perhaps coming to a slow and steady simmer. Kira does some research for Scott about the ancient Buddhist curse that's driving him insane and will eventually kill him, because she's a romantic. Her dad continues to be both the best at publicly embarrassing her and the worst at lady bits blocking her with Scott. I'm starting to think her dad isn't so much clueless as far, far too savvy. I'm on to you, Papa Kira.
Meanwhile, bear traps are apparently second base in Beacon Hills. After Isaac gets caught in one, he helps Allison to calm down, breathe and make the shot to track Mr. Tate before he shoots Malia. Elsewhere, Lydia somehow manages to step directly into the center of a trap, forcing Stiles to use his ingenuity to get her out. The two share a moment, but I'm not sure that means we'll see the pairing progress much this season. There are turtles who have raced by the romantic progress of Stiles and Lydia.
Also, as much as I love both characters, what exactly were they doing at the rescue scene in the first place? What was Lydia going to do exactly, yell at Malia until she -- oh. Nevermind, I guess that's pretty much exactly what Scott eventually did. But the point stands that Lydia's powers are still fairly pointless.
At the end of the episode, Malia is saved and reunites with her father. No one cleans up the bear traps, which means at some point Derek will be skipping through the woods, whistling and happy on a sunny day, when he ends up with his foot crushed in one. Because those are just his odds.
While Sheriff Stilinski is back in charge and Scott has momentarily gotten control of his wolf, complications are right around the corner. Especially since someone just let something very, very scary out of the nemeton.
The Shirtlessness Count: This episode is fairly light on the beefcake. For perhaps the first time in the alpha twins' entire tenure on the show, they have managed to go a whole episode mostly clothed. That leaves just Derek, Peter and Malia. (Hey, nudity is nudity.)
Best Pecks of the Episode: This one goes out to you Peter Hale, in memory of your finger.
What did you think of the episode? Are you liking the new romantic pairings or pining for the days of Allison and Scott? And what's going on with the nemeton? Sound off in the comments!
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV.
(Image courtesy of MTV)