Teen Wolf Recap Episode 1: Memory Lost
The final season of Teen Wolf started last week, and I for one am excited to see how Scott and the pack in Beacon Hills manage to vanquish Donald Trump, who I can assume is the Big Bad this season, since I'm pretty sure the promos said something about them facing “a bigger danger than ever before.” (note: I haven't watched the promos since they first came out, but don't they always say something like that?)
Have you seen this show? In case you haven’t, in no particular order, here are some of things that are great about it:
- In every season, there have been multiple women in the cast, who all have distinctive characterization. They help each other with math homework, crack codes, and learn to fight evil. What’s more, they reassure, support, and constantly validate each other. Sure, they also talk about boys, but they get their own plots and character arcs. For all that Scott is the ostensible lead--there’s a lot of fawning over Scott and how he’s a true alpha--There’s also a lot of oohing and ahhing over the women in the show, particularly Lydia, who’s a banshee. No season would be complete without somebody telling Lydia that it’s ridiculous how the rest of the gang is all fired up about Scott, when Lydia is a BANSHEE THE MOST POWERFUL OF THEM ALL. And Allison--ah, Allison. I won’t tell you why Allison isn’t on the show anymore, but back when she WAS on the show, she was just the bestest of all the archers ever in all the world, a much better archer than any other archer. And I haven’t even gotten to Malia, a were-coyote who spent about ten years (~age 6-16?) as a coyote, and thus is real bad at both social skills and calculus, but real good at having your back. So this is the first thing about the show: it cares about women. Women are people, and there are lots of them, women who are good and who are bad and who are mentally ill and who are smart and who are brave. Teen Wolf: we have ALL THE KINDS OF WOMEN (except the fat kind, and also really just one of the black kind. And none of the kind of women who aren’t straight. But still WE HAVE MORE OF THE KINDS OF WOMEN THAN MOST TV SHOWS TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT)
- The thing that makes Scott a TRUE ALPHA is that he is compassionate and thoughtful and a team player who listens to his pack and works with anyone who is willing to participate to protect whoever needs protection. SORRY DID YOU COME FOR TOXIC MASCULINITY WEREWOLF RAGE WE DONT HAVE THAT HERE. In fact, Liam? That kid has anger issues and nobody is ever like “it makes you strong that you fly into a murderous rage”, they are all like, “dude, you need to get your shit together and find better coping strategies, your anger is harmful to you and to the pack”
- Stiles (*sigh/giggle*)
- HILARIOUS WEREWOLF FIGHTS.
So, I struggle to find time to watch TV these days, and I haven’t seen Season 5 since whenever it wrapped at the end of Season 5. I can’t possibly go rewatch it, and I assume I don’t need to, because the pack came out triumphant in the end, and I’m sure the season opener will fill us in on anything else we need to know. Also, just so you know, my plan is to watch each episode ONE TIME and recap while I watch/from what I can remember. Don’t get your expectations up too high. Also, I will be that person who makes predictions. I promise not to make any predictions based on actual knowledge, and I promise to leave in all predictions even if they are wrong.
First, here’s what I DO remember from last season: the gang beat the DREAD DOCTORS who were TERRIFYING IMMORTALS trying to blend MAGIC AND SCIENCE which is OBVIOUSLY A TERRIBLE IDEA. Scott and Stiles patched things up after what’s-his-name the manipulative manufactured werewolf came between them, Arden Cho apparently left the show to learn how to control the fox spirit that lives within her out in the desert/get film roles (I don't know about the film roles, I'm just hoping), Mason, the black gay kid, turned out to be a vessel for the crazy super werewolf the Dread Doctors were trying to resurrect (so . . . IS Mason a werewolf now? or when they stopped the resurrection did he stop being a werewolf? NOT CLEAR), and I don’t know what happened with Stiles and Malia, I guess they are broken up? Guys, I just want to go back to the way it was when they were together and Stiles was always the little spoon. Well, if this November has taught me anything, it's that you cant always get what you want. I assume that’s enough of a reminder of where we left things off at the end of Season 5, because that's everything I remember. Let’s do this.
The cold open has . . . Hayden, I think? She was a girl werewolf-something chimera that the Dread Doctors created, and then Scott had to save her by turning her into a werewolf. The shot races down through the dark and the woods to reveal an SUV out in the forest--these kids are always off-roading like it’s no big--and then sort of whips around the car and reveals Liam, who it turns out is on a date with Hayden. I think something happened that we weren’t shown, but the dialogue is just about how Liam just bought the car and it’s a POS, apparently a POS with a flat tire and no jack. Hayden picks up the car for Liam to change the tire because she is a werewolf and can pick up a car. It’s a waste of effort, though, because there is also no spare. Another car--it looks like a station wagon--appears over a hill, and Hayden hopes they have a jack, but the car just kind of rolls up and into a tree because there is no driver in it. Liam looks inside. AAAH! There’s a girl in the back seat. “Don’t let them take me . . . . too!” she says. GUYS WHO ELSE HAS BEEN TAKEN??? (Obviously it’s Stiles, I mean, I saw the promo. “They” took Stiles, and now nobody remembers Stiles. That’s the plot for this season.)
This scene just made me remember that it seemed like Stiles’ jeep was done for good last season. Maybe that’s why “they” were able to take Stiles? The jeep was Stiles' anchor.
WAIT, PSYCH!, THERE’S STILES. He and Scott got into some hijinks trying to stop a purported thief by wolfing out; the “thief” had a car full of helium (?), Sheriff Stylinski is not amused. Those crazy kids, always with the capers.
Stiles has a new jeep and it looks like it’s blue? I don’t know, so far all the scenes have been at night. Scott’s excited because the “thief” is just a normal helium thief, not a deranged hell spirit or an army of semi-immortal monster inventors, and if Beacon Hills is just going to have normal human crime he and his pack can all go to college and let the Human Sheriff fight the Human Crime with his Human Skills. Stiles is not convinced. “Beacon HIlls would burn to the ground without us,” he says. The thing about Stiles is he is always, always right. Stiles’ phone rings, and it’s his dad. “They need us,” he says.
Stylinski is in the sheriff’s office with the kid from the opening scene, who is a boy, not a girl. Sorry I misgendered you, kid! Unless you ARE a girl. No one has used any pronouns. Stylinski vague-suggests to the kid that there’s a way to help him remember what happened to his parents, without coming out and saying “my kid’s best friend is an alpha werewolf who can stick his claws into your spinal column and access your memories.” Now, personally I was so squicked out by the thought of an epidural that I endured about 30 hours of labor before saying, okay, I'm ready for you to stick something in my spine, so I feel like withholding this info is unethical, but it’s played for laughs. Scott and Stiles get there, Scott goes in, and we see the kid in the car with his parents on the way home from an R rated movie. I guess they aren’t offroading? It’s just a very foresty road, with a masked horseman standing in the middle of it like you find in the woods sometimes. Hard braking, the horseman dismounts, pulls a gun, shoots out the windshield, and pulls the parents out of the car. The memory ends and Scott tells everybody what he saw. Stylinski is all “random horseman with a gun, that sounds normal and human, I can take care of that,” but Scott is like, “I dunno,” and the kid is like “They’re coming back. FOR ME.” CREDITS. I’m pretty sure they’re coming back for Stiles, because I saw the promo, but the kid could be collateral damage for sure.
Hey, guys, JR Bourne is in the credits? Hi, JR!
Lydia is feeling her way around the station wagon, which is now in the impound lot. She’s literally feeling the steering wheel and stuff but obviously she is figuratively trying to feel DEATH. She does not feel death. Stiles is impatient. Malia shows up in coyote form and turns into naked human Malia. Hi, Malia! You’re my favorite! Lydia gives Malia her clothes, which are an oversize white button down and a pair of cutoffs. CUUUUUUTE. Imma steal your outfit, Malia. (I will NEVER look like Malia in that outfit, partly because I am pushing forty and partly because I have VERY SOLID THIGHS.)
Lydia's all “it’s normal and no one’s dead.” Malia’s all “Oh, they’re probably dead,” because she’s not known for her optimism. She thinks it’s weird she can’t smell blood, though. Scott can’t smell blood either, but he doesn’t think it’s supernatural. Things have been quiet for three months. He points out all the other perfectly normal cars with windshields riddled with bullets in the impound lot. I mean, to me that seems like a lot of cars that have been shot up in a sleepy little suburban town that’s maybe riddled with supernatural evil, and not known for either drug running or mafia, but what do I know about the frequency of that sort of thing? (Nothing. I have no idea) Also . . . Scott and Stiles realize all the other cars still have windshields (with cracks in them) because windshields are made of safety glass and they don’t explode into a bunch of flying glass shards; if they did, then instead of calling it “safety glass” they would call it “incredibly deadly glass.” It was a MAGIC BULLET.
Malia is getting her yearbook photo, but Stiles keeps getting in the shot. That is pretty weird, but I hope it means they are back together. She complains that he hasn’t signed up for photos yet. Beacon Hills high doesn’t do the whole “senior photos with professional photographers” thing? Scott says something about sublimating because he’s working on a psych paper. Stiles wants to leave school to find out about the ghost rider and the magic glass. Also, the kid from the station wagon gave an address for a house that is abandoned. Scott says he can’t go, because he missed school 38 times last semester. The only reason he hasn’t flunked out of school is that Lydia’s mom is a guidance counselor and she knows he’s a werewolf. Hot tip, kids: the guidance counselor will HELP you if she just KNOWS WHAT THE DEAL IS. Stiles considers taking Liam, but Liam’s busy making out with Hayden on a bench. The yearbook photographer comes up and wants to take a “candid,” but apparently she doesn’t actually know what a “candid” is because she tells the gang to smile and waits for compliance before taking the shot. Oh, also, BTW, the shard of glass from the windshield is BLUE WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Beacon Hills High has a new science teacher and he is SUUUUUUuuuuuper hot. This reminds me to wonder where Parrish is. In fact, for a second I though Parrish had quit being a cop and started teaching science like Prysbylewski in season four of The Wire, because they (this guy and Parrish) are both very pretty in the same kind of smooth-faced white boy way, but after about nine seconds I decide, no, this is a different smooth-faced white boy with a (VERY) slightly different haircut. All the girls and all the gay students are mesmerized. Note that those populations appear to make up the majority of the room. Liam may be the only straight dude in there. "Mr. Douglas" is also pretty good at drawing cats, though let’s note that the cat art is completely pedagogically unnecessary. He’s just showing off. There’s some blather about Schroedinger’s cat and observation. Hayden has the right answer. Liam is disgusted, which is kind of irritating, but also, let’s remember that Liam is the member of the gang who tends to embody the worst traits of toxic masculinity, and no one approves of it. Let’s hope he’ll continue to work on trusting his girlfriend, who obviously loves him, and not being a dick just because she has the right answer in class with Hottie McTeacher. During the lab Mason randomly asks if they’ve noticed that “phones can’t geolocate today” because that is the sort of thing a person 1. notices and 2. doesn’t just think is their own phone having trouble contacting wifi or whatever. The other chimera from last semester who I remember is gay and into Mason but whose name I do not remember turns invisible in order to get a compass out of a closet. It seems like you could just say, “hey Teach, can we use your compass for a sec,” but okay, sure, turn invisible in the middle of physics class, that is another strategy. They decide to follow the compass, which is not pointing North.
Scott talks to Lydia’s mom--who is/was a science teacher, before she became a guidance counselor, or possibly she’s the principal? I’m not sure, and I don’t think it matters. She doesn’t think a bullet hitting safety glass would turn it blue. Now Scott is intrigued, but Lydia’s mom catches him trying to sneak out with Stiles and returns him to what must be history class since they seem to be watching a documentary about D-day, telling him he will be suspended and never graduate if he ever misses school again. People have been telling Scott that since season 1, yet here he is, about to graduate and planning to go to college. Lydia is staring off into space hearing Banshee stuff. When the bell rings . . .
I actually went out to dinner for my sister-in-law’s birthday after watching that scene and I don’t remember exactly what happens, but I know Lydia touches the TV after everyone else leaves, and it’s electric so she gets shocked and then has a dream sequence (I think) where the kid from the car, whose name seems to be Alex, is opening blinds in the room. Ooh! I remember, there was a scene in the Sheriff’s office where they couldn’t find him because he closed himself in a cell. Aww. He’s afraid he’ll be taken. I think he probably will be taken. Do you want to know what I had for dinner? I ordered a crab cake and a half rack of ribs, but I mostly ate tater tots smothered in crab dip and cheddar cheese. My kid had some of those, too, plus a massive serving of macaroni and cheese, and then she gnawed on a couple ribs. She is a good eater. I will eat my crab cake for lunch on Tuesday, which is also the day I will post this recap. Are you jealous? Do you wish you were having leftover crab cake for lunch??
Okay, so, back to Teen Wolf, and I’m going to finish watching with a glass of wine and the rest of this bag of peanut butter m&ms. Sorry, I gave up healthy eating after the election. Now I just alternate between not eating and eating the most revolting food I can think of. Scott and Stiles go into a house which is empty, but there are dishes on the table. Everything is covered in cobwebs, so the dishes are pretty spooky. Scott asks Stiles if he wants to split up, and Stiles is like “Fuck no” because Stiles is by far the smartest person on this show. I am possible the most easily scared person alive, so Scott and Stiles walking around the spooky empty house is almost more than I can take. There is a spookier-than-ever door in the empty house and I am watching with my head turned away from the screen so if something terrible happens I only sort of see it. STILES DON’T OPEN IT.
Stiles opens it; inside is Alex’s room where everything is fine and non-cobwebby. Scott hears something and goes downstairs, so now the kids have split up. NOOOOOO WHYYYYYYY. I am considering fast forwarding because there are cold winds and spooky sounds and the heroes are NOT TOGETHER. I find people alone in spooky houses unbearable. Once I went to see a special showing of Lovely Molly because the recording studio my husband works with did the sound on it, and I literally could not bear to watch it because the whole movie (actually the first 20 minutes, that was all I watched) was just people alone in spooky houses in the woods. I went out and sat on a bench in the hallway next to Eduardo Sanchez until it was over. I did not talk to Eduardo Sanches, though, because I couldn’t decide if it was complimentary to say “sorry, I literally can’t stand to watch your movie”. I mean, he did set out to make a scary movie?
Anyway, downstairs, Scott looks at the dishes and looks away and then there are scary sounds and the dishes are GONE. Upstairs there are photos of Alex leaning on nobody in a photo. The blank space in the photo clearly used to be his dad. There are scary sounds and Stiles looks under the bed and on the other side are HOOVES but when he hurls himself backwards and looks up, nothing is there. In the hallway there is wind and rustling leaves and scary sounds like when Alex’s parents were taken. Downstairs, Scott is startled when Liam and Mason show up; the compass brought them. It spins around. Upstairs the horseman is at the end of the hallway. He pulls out his gun and fires at Stiles who is in front of the door to Alex’s room. Stiles ducks down to the floor. The rest of the pack comes upstairs, the horseman is gone. Stiles announces that the parents weren’t taken, they were erased. That’s why they aren’t in the photos in Alex’s room that no one but Stiles has seen. They open the room again. It’s empty now. Yikes, sorry, Alex. Guess that’s why you’re in Lydia’s vision?
Stiles has an intense convo with Lydia; he’s determined to figure shit out RIGHT NOW, she’s very cool and speaking French, there’s a book with one page entries about the Marie Celeste and the Bermuda Triangle and the Roanoke colony in New England and so on. That is a weird book, but in a “who would publish that?” way, not a supernatural way. Make your fake books more realistic, props department! Lydia’s French makes her think of “the Wild Hunt,” so I guess the horseman is a Faerie. Sure, why not. It’s the Wild Hunt! That’s the Big Bad. I gotta say, not nearly as scary as a Trump administration, but I guess that’s why they call it escapism, right? And, frankly, I’ve eaten way too much crab dip and wine to think about the Trump administration if I want to make it to bedtime without barfing, so let’s go with the Wild Hunt. Oh, there’s a gross thing where Stiles non-consensually kisses Lydia on the cheek and she gets a look on her face so I guess the show really is going to get those two together? Too bad, I liked Stalia much better than I ever did Stydia. I guess since it’s the last season Jeff Davis wanted to resolve the fact that Stiles had a long-enduring crush on Lydia in the first season? I mean, I hate that. I think the best, most realistic resolution is that he developed that crush when he was eight, and then he grew up, met some other girls, came to respect Lydia as a person and a supernatural harbinger of death, and moved on from his crush, but fine, whatever. Let’s get this love requited. Stay tuned for about twelve episodes from now.
Mason, Hayden and Liam have a bit about “fixing” the shattered compass, and helping/not helping Scott, and Liam thinks he can be the alpha when Scott goes to college/is offended that everybody doesn’t think he can be the alpha. It’s kind of weird. Is he angry? That would be in character, but he seems more like he’s going to cry. Anyway, they smell blood.
Scott is walking across the athletic field with a gym bag, Stiles runs up to tell him about the Wild Hunt, and then . . . they suddenly get worried that because Alex’s room disappeared so “maybe he’s next.” Um. What? I mean, MAYBE. Why is that only occurring to you NOW? Also, wouldn’t it make more sense that he’s already GONE? I’m not in charge of the roving faerie band that steals humans, but if I were, I would set it up so I just steal the people and the belongings vanish themselves. Having to get a moving truck together for personal effects first seems like extremely poorly conceived magic. Also, what, they came and cleared out the rest of the house before they got the parents, but left Alex’s room because they knew they were going to leave him in the back seat? This is absurd. Please let this be a case of Scott and Stiles carrying the idiot ball; Alex is already gone, right?
Lydia is staring straight ahead in a classroom, getting her banshee on. Was Holland Roden cast for her ability to do the most vacant of vacant stares? She is so good at it. Malia shows up and is like, “ugh, it’s a meeting about supernatural shit. What a PITA.” I think it’s just because Malia thinks everything is a PITA. Lydia thinks something bad is going to happen and she needs Malia’s help.
Mason, Hayden and Liam can’t find the blood they smell; maybe it’s in the vents? Alex is in the cell and there are rustling leaves so I guess we’re going with the “stuff first, then corporeal form” theory of faerie abduction. Liam et al find some bearded dude all dead and bloody in a maintenance room; I can’t tell if I’m supposed to know who he is. More wind and leaves and cracks in the ceiling at the jail; Scott and Stiles show up and ask about Alex and the deputy . . . Clark? Whatever her name is, she’s Hayden’s sister. Anyway, she’s all “who’s Alex?” because, duh, Alex doesn’t exist anymore. No one’s been in the cell all day. Stylinski is at the school on account of the dead body. Scott and Stiles get worried that the hunt is after everyone who was on the road that night, which means Liam and Hayden would be next. At the school Scott starts to head to the quad to look for Liam and Hayden while Stiles is going to find his dad. Stiles wants to tell Scott something, but can’t seem to find the words. Scott says “tell me later, okay,” so I’m pretty sure Scott won’t be seeing Stiles again until they manage to get him back from the Wild Hunt in either episode nine or episode eighteen, depending on how the season is structured. I hope it’s episode nine! The pack is a lot more boring to watch without Dylan O’Brian in the scene. Scott asks Ms. Martin (Lydia’s mom) where his dad is, and she’s like, “what, who are you?” Presumably somewhere a faerie horseman has just shouldered Stiles’ bookbag.
Malia asks Lydia about her premonition. She got it when she was with Stiles. Lydia was looking up some stuff about the Wild Hunt on her computer and Malia reads from the screen “those who see the Wild Hunt beware for you are already lost.” Shit, Stiles. Stiles sees Liam et al and they don’t recognize him. He remembers that earlier when he met Scott crossing the athletic field, some kid was wearing his lacrosse number. His forms for the yearbook photo were suddenly blank. He sees his dad run down the hall and races towards him, and his dad is like “son, you okay?” OOOOOOOOOHHhhhhhhhh, that’s “son” like “young person”, not like “my literal child.” Stiles is all relieved and freaking out because he thinks his dad DOES remember him and then his dad is like “we’ll figure it out together,” which is so what Stylinski would say to Stiles if he did remember him, but then he’s like “whyn’t you tell me your name,” and, you guys, Dylan O’Brian is a treasure. You can actually pinpoint the moment when his heart rips in half. He calls Scott, but Scott doesn’t know who he is anymore.
Meanwhile Lydia is like “shit Stiles saw the hunt” and Malia is like “who’s Stiles?” so Lydia knows things are real bad. Stiles finds Lydia, and she remembers him, but the hunt is here to take him. They’re surrounded by riders. Lydia can’t see them; Stiles guides her to his jeep but once they’re inside it he realizes there’s no hope; they’re surrounded. He tells Lydia that he’ll be erased, and she has to find some way to remember him. He reminds her that he had a crush on her for however many years and tells her to remember that he loves her. A member of the hunt with a visage that is more “eyeless death mask” than “faerie hunter” drags him out of the jeep, and Lydia chants “remember, remember,” to herself as the shot pulls away. Okay, guys, I checked Wikipedia for you, and it looks like the Wild Hunt could be fairies but it could also be led by, amongst others, Woden, Herod, Cain, or the Devil. None of them seem like great company, but I think if I had to pick I’d hope for, in order, Cain, Faeries, Woden, Herod, with the actual devil as my big “no thank you.” Apparently no one has ever suggested that the Wild Hunt is led by Donald Trump and peopled by white supremacists, demons who champion gay conversion therapy, and forced birthers, or that they drag their victims away and force them into eternal servitude in a never-ending Trump administration, forgotten/denounced by all who once knew them, but presumably that’s because up until two weeks ago it would have taken a pretty depraved mind to imagine such a thing.
Lydia walks into school and sees the rest of the pack (sans Stiles, duh) in the hall. Malia’s all “what’s wrong,” and Lydia’s like “I feel like I was supposed to do something.” Scott asks what she was supposed to do, and Lydia says, “I can’t remember.” OH NO GUYS NO ONE REMEMBERS STILES.
And that’s it! Check out episode 2 tonight on MTV, and tune back in for the recap next Tuesday.