Teen Wolf "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" Review: Kissing the Lipless (PHOTO RECAP)
Oh, thank mercy, thank goodness, thank heavens, and thank the ancient aliens. What a terrific episode of Teen Wolf! Guys, let me tell you: Not loving last week's episode and then saying so in print made me feel so guilty, like I'd shouted at my grandma or something. Doesn't matter what she said or did to deserve it, I just felt terrible about it the whole week after. But that feeling has gone away because "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" was a season highlight. Just so much good stuff happening, and in the most over-the-top ways possible. A genuinely surprising unmasking! Definitive (and amazing) answers about Lydia! A burgeoning (and legitimately dangerous) love triangle! A burgeoning (and legitimately dangerous) hate triangle! Man, what more could you want from this show? Much like Tremors 3, Teen Wolf is Back to Perfection. (This is an idiom I just made up and am hoping will catch on.) Let's talk about it so much!
It had been a while since Teen Wolf gave us one of its patented slasher-film cold opens, but here was a good'un: Sheriff Stilinski's second-in-command lady sheriff was stalking around the eerily dark hallways of the high school. She got a textbook false scare by the sudden appearance of Danny, his bicep, and some other music nerds who'd stayed late at the school to practice for an upcoming music concert. After she told them all to go home, her walkie talkie started making the Bane theme song from The Dark Knight Rises and she stalked into the locker room. By herself. Because not waiting for backup is a terrific tactic usually and there shouldn't be any problems with--
Whoops, she got straight murdered by the Darach! The cool part was that right before she died under a running shower, she saw a dead body in the showers and it was HERSELF. Just a quick, premonitory hallucination courtesy of the Dark Druid. Making people hallucinate their own deaths before getting murdered is the Darach's second favorite thing (its first favorite thing is exfoliating). The Darach's third favorite thing, of course, is displaying the corpses of its sacrifices in dramatic places.
Interestingly enough (as if anything on Teen Wolf could be anything else) the gang had arrived at school because Lydia thought to alert them that she was having another corpse-detecting compulsion. For her thoughtfulness she didn't have to personally discover a mutilated body this time; that honor fell to Scott. That's called teamwork.
The next morning Allison was not feeling very good.
But it was all a ruse! Underneath the covers she was fully dressed in boots and a weightlifting belt. It turned out she just wanted to spend the day looking into whether or not her father was the Dark Druid. But her day also came to include hanging out with the prettiest creature on TV when she found Isaac stalking outside the window of her highrise apartment somehow!
Isaac claimed that because Allison hadn't shown up to school Scott was worried so he sent his bedmate to go check on her. Guys, I don't like the sound of this scenario. Too many possibilities for misunderstandings. On the other hand, Allison was living now the dream: The beginning stages of an actually compelling love triangle. Congratulations, Allison!
For the first time of the season we got to know much more about the Alpha Twins because they finally got to have a scene where they talked to each other. Here we learned that the straight one did not approve of the gay one's burgeoning romance with Danny. He even threatened to claw Danny's face off and eat it, which in my opinion would not be a cool thing to do. But now I have all kinds of questions about werewolf dietary habits. Do they legit eat people? I hadn't considered that before, how disgusting.
Meanwhile in class Derek's teacher-girlfriend spelled out the main basic themes of the episode (idioms and looking at chess boards) while Stiles and Scott decided they needed to talk to the gay twin and therefore Lydia had to distract the straight one using her tongue and body.
She really did not mind this very much even in light of the fact that the last time she'd seen Aiden he was helping to murder Boyd. For one thing I'm not sure Lydia had ever even spoken to Boyd, but also everyone in the group, including the twins, deflected the blame for this murder back onto the barefoot werewolf lady, so there were not really any hard feelings toward the twins.
Except momentarily when Stiles stepped to the gay twin like a tough guy out of nowhere:
But yeah, the plan worked: Scott and Stiles had a meaningful convo with Ethan about what exactly their deal was. Apparently they'd been Omega Werewolves (meaning they didn't have bite-made families) and had to tag along with another pack that treated them like hot garbage. But THE DEMON WOLF had taught them to harness their Voltron skills (Stiles actually used this term so R.I.P. me thinking I'm clever) and murder their entire pack. They only really joined up with THE DEMON WOLF out of loyalty and gratitude but it was clear they didn't always love the decisions being made there. Oh, and also, each of the Alpha pack had slaughtered their druid emissaries (except for Kendra, who was still helping THE DEMON WOLF), so that immediately tipped them off that the Darach was probably a former emissary who'd returned to seek revenge. But WHOSE emissary? Anyway, see, look how much we learned from a single conversation! No flashback required.
Right in the middle of Aiden and Lydia's makeout, a werewolf showed up and scratched a revenge-spiral into the frosted glass. Very rude!
But also, Aiden seemed straight-up exhausted by everything. Earlier he'd reminded his brother that they were not in fact teenagers who needed high school educations, so it cracked me up that they had to not only attend class (high school is harder than college, let's be real) and be star athletes, they also had to go undercover as sex bots to figure out who was a person of interest or not. That's a lot of responsibilities! And now a werewolf was effing with them. Considering they were semi-despicable murderers I was really starting to feel bad for them.
Anyway, it didn't end up being Derek looking for revenge... It was Cora! But because she's just a silly Beta and Aiden was an Alpha, he immediately kicked her butt all over the place.
I have to admit I sort of LOLed when he picked up a super heavy weight plate and hit Cora in the head with it. I mean, it's disturbing seeing a man treat a lady like that, but it was so Tom and Jerry that I had to laugh.
Before Aiden could FINISH HER the gang rushed in and stopped him, reminding him that the barefoot werewolf lady had pledged to get off their backs for 24 hours, and that included refraining from murdering ornery girl werewolves.
One would think that having her life saved and also being woozy from the weight plate smack would have put Cora in a more contemplative mood, but the only thing she was contemplating at the moment was an epic put-down.
She raised an okay point though: Lately our main squad had mostly just been discovering bodies and doing post-mortems on whatever freaky situations had arisen in town when they should've been actively preventing bad stuff. Not sure if suicidally attacking a much more powerful Alpha was the smartest thing to do, but still. Thanks for the input, girl.
Meanwhile back at Allison's high rise apartment, she and Isaac were going through Mr. Argent's belongings while Isaac stole glances at her hairdo. Underneath the town map they found this:
Some kind of Celtic symbol with more UV-inked clues. Apparently the last two groups of sacrifices would be Guardians and Philosophers, the former of which it appeared lady sheriff was a part (later proven to be misdirection because she had been a teacher also). I think the main thing this plotline wanted to address was whether or not Mr. Argent himself was the Dark Druid but that seemed so implausible that it barely even occurred to me until Allison suggested it. Get real, Allison! This is Season 3. We know your dad better than you do, apparently. He is just an honorable hottie DILF with a working knowledge of druid sacrifices. Duh.
Oh, then the sexy teacher had a clandestine reunion with Derek in a windy hallway which was a particularly erotic metaphor for their relationship recently J/K J/K J/K.
Anyway, they touched foreheads and kissed and whispered sweet nothings, etc. Whatever, I mean if they are your OTP then fine, but whatever. It was filmed very beautifully and artistically, so that was nice.
Meanwhile Scott decided to seek out the exposition of Kendra who was in the middle of filing away her paperwork and enjoying a refreshing bottle of Aquafina. As I was saying about Aiden earlier, it will never not make me laugh to see these powerful people leading double lives and still having to do all the annoying busywork. This lady is the emissary to the most powerful pack of monsters in town but she still has to talk to underachieving teenagers about city college options? How glamorous!
Oh, but this ended up being maybe my favorite scene of the episode because of what a straight-up WEIRDO this lady has become. She's always been this beautiful, cryptic presence, but now everything she says is so stilted and weird that it's basically campy. Seriously, her conversation with Scott felt like an outtake from Drive or something, just lots of long pauses between lines, nobody really saying anything directly. Anyway, what we learned was that she was definitely not the Darach and that in her opinion she was actually trying to reign in THE DEMON WOLF's more dangerous instincts. Also, she informed Scott that he was a future True Alpha (unless he murders an innocent before then, which, uh-oh foreshadowing?) and therefore THE DEMON WOLF has two conflicting interests in him: To make him part of his pack or otherwise destroy him. Two sucky options, in my opinion.
The main thing about this hilarious scene was that Kendra is definitely bored of having to be a guidance counselor so she told Scott a few very simple pieces of information in the most drawn-out and confusing ways possible. Thanks for all the riddles, lady. Good talk.
At this point a random teacher turned away from a chalkboard (so that he could gaze longingly at his favorite Easter basket?) and then turned back to the chalkboard to see some kind of Celtic symbol had been drawn over his meticulously plotted WWII talking points. But then he disappeared and Lydia walked into the room and drew a "2" on the symbol and then screamed at it.
I guess his would be death #2? Yeah, probably. Lydia was starting to get very sick of her "gift." When the lady teacher and some cops came in to question Lydia about what the heck was going on, she basically lost her temper because she couldn't adequately explain how she knew about the kidnappings or subsequent corpses. Same here, Lydia! Not knowing your situation has been very frustrating for us also!
So a big element of this episode was paying off the earlier implication that Stiles was about to clue his father into all of the paranormal shenanigans this town had seen during the past few years. This scene was excellent and funny and tense, mostly because it underlined how ridiculous all the plotlines of previous seasons had been, and how painful it was to see Stiles' dad straight-up not believing his son. Not even chess pieces with labels like THE DEMON WOLF and THE KANIMA and TOWEL SCENES or MY BB could explain to Sheriff Stilinski the full extent of what was going on in this town.
But because Cora was sitting right there, it made sense that she would step in and immediately show him that werewolves existed.
Unfortunately her weight-plate concussion came back into play when she suddenly collapsed to the floor. Ugh, sorry Stiles. No dice.
Meanwhile Allison and Isaac learned that the new teacher had been kidnapped and decided to use her father's map to determine where the new sacrifice would be found. That's when they ran directly into the Darach!
But since it was still momentarily in question whether the Darach was or was not Allison's dad, this reveal was pretty amazing:
Mr. Argent came in firing guns at a supernatural creature 100 yards away! Which, yes! Might as well!
Isaac used the opportunity to hold Allison close. Maybe her coat smelled like Scott, who knows.
Meanwhile Stiles and his father had a bit of a falling out at the hospital over whether or not his dad believed in outlandish supernatural phenomena or not.
He even busted out the motherless son trump card: Using a dead mother for guilt trip purposes! Ugh, is there anything harder to watch than Stilinski family discord? These fellas need to make up and stat.
That night there was a big high school concert-slash-memorial for all the town's recently murdered citizens. Which in my opinion was a hilarious reminder of just how cavalier other teen shows are about murder NOT NAMING NAMES. I mean, sure, tons of teens and authority figures had been slaughtered in the past few weeks and the town was not yet on lockdown (or abandoned, Roanoke style), but still: Nice to know that death was being addressed by the townsfolk. Anyway, before the concert there was this cute scene where Ethan tied Danny's tie and put an IceBreakers mint in his mouth and also made it explicitly clear that he cared about him still.
This was a direct flouting of Aiden's warning, so it looked like the twins were headed for a tussle!
Also this was a surprisingly moving moment: Lydia showed up and told Scott that she wanted to do a better job of finding dead bodies before they're dead. Basically she wanted to embrace her abilities and be his partner-in-heroism.
It was sincerely nice moment between two very burdened characters, made all the more so when they just silently took each other's hands.
They'd really come a long way since she mouth-attacked him in a backroom during Season 1! Love these guys.
It was pretty clear that Stiles' dad felt super terrible about yelling at his son in front of tons of people, so to make up for it he started looking into mysterious deaths that might possibly line up with Stiles' crazy theories. Of course he asked Scott's mom to pull some strings (he should've also asked her directly if her son was a monster but oh well) and she hooked him up while also flirting with him.
So long story short, here's what he discovered: Many years back a lady's body was found out in the woods totally tore up by "animals." That sort of thing is a normal fact of life for Beacon Hills, but the detail that stuck out about this particular case was the flock of birds that attacked the hospital shortly after the body was brought in. Which was a very similar set of circumstances to what happened on the first day of school in the classroom of... THIS LADY.
Meet your Darach, ladies and gentlemen. The dark druid with the over-exfoliated face shapeshifts into a hottie English teacher and bones werewolves! I honestly did not see that coming, you guys. I like this choice! Peter Hale seemed too obvious and Victoria Argent would have made me pass away from joy and I'm not ready to die yet so this was probably the best reveal the show could have done.
So anyway, the Darach had lured Lydia into a dark classroom so that she could murder her because somehow Lydia qualified as a "Philosopher." But this sudden surprising trauma brought out Lydia's best and only defense mechanism.
HIGH PITCHED SHRIEKING! That ALL of the werewolves could hear!
Here it was... The official explanation of WHAT Lydia was!
As the Dark Druid Darach Teacher Lady immediately recognized, Lydia was, get this, A BANSHEE.
A banshee. Hashtag The Wailing Woman MTV dot com. A banshee!!
Perfect. Again, I did not see this coming and I'm so grateful to be legitimately surprised like this. A banshee! What a cool supernatural creature to introduce to a teen drama, seriously. How had nobody thought of this yet? I guess banshees aren't murderous monsters, they more or less just sense death and warn people about it or something. I like it. Lydia isn't explicitly psychic (psychics tend to be a real storytelling cheat), but she does definitely factor into werewolf drama in the future. A banshee is legit awesome. Holy dang, I just love this show so much SO MUCH.
Then as the school orchestra played the most intense & frightening memorial music ever composed, the episode got super tense as we waited to find out what would happen next.
If you guessed that the next death would be not Lydia but rather some rando piano teacher, then I owe you a dollar and a Coke because WHAT?
Not only had she been murdered by a piano, Final Destination-style, she then puked up mistletoe into her own pool of blood! Not the most glamorous way to go, to be honest. I'm still not totally clear what the mistletoe entails. Is it supernatural? Does it make people get attacked by musical instruments or was that an unhappy coincidence? Also how exactly does the Darach trick people into ingesting a disgusting poisonous plant? Does she implant them inside delicious peanut butter cups? I'm gonnaneed a flashback episode explaining these things.
So then the Darach was about to sacrifice Lydia when suddenly a proactive hero appeared.
Yay Stiles' dad was officially IN THE KNOW! Unfortunately, one thing Stiles' dad did not factor in was that knives can also be thrown.
And that's when Stiles' dad finally witnessed something revelatory: A REAL LIFE WOLFBOY! Coming to his defense!
So yeah. Assuming Stiles' dad won't chalk this whole thing up to poor lighting, he definitely believed in supernatural phenomena now.
But when Scott lunged at the Darach, she just punched him in the sternum and he coughed up so much fruit punch syrup!
Then Stiles' dad tried to shoot her but her leg healed Wolverine-style and she started yammering more about sacrificing people and then she kissed him on the mouth.
HAHA YUCK. Stiles' dad totally kissed the Darach's teeth. Sorry, Stiles' dad. You did not deserve to kiss the Darach's teeth.
And just then Stiles busted into the classroom only to discover that the Darach had spirited away his only living family member. BOOM. Cliffhanger.
Guys, this episode had so many reveals and events and revelations and I adored all of them. I'm loving this whole three-way clash that's brewing between the Darach and the Alpha pack and the good guys. It's complicated and confusing in the best ways. Also, I don't mean to sound like a fraidey cat, but the Darach is legitimately frightening looking in a way that I don't think I've ever seen on television. That makeup, those glowing eyes. The way it seems to operate by no discernible rules nor have any weaknesses. What does it even WANT. I really like this villain so much. Do we root for or against the Alpha pack now? Will Derek still love the Darach when he finds out what she really looks like? Or will it not matter because of how strong their connection is? Why isn't Cora healing J/K nobody cares about that. Will Isaac and Allison shirtless hug without shirts on? Could Isaac and Scott's friendship withstand such a thing? Should all three just have a polyamorous relationship and create the kind of .GIFs that would overload & destroy Tumblr forever? Sorry to end with so many questions but I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. And that is my greatest compliment I can pay a show like this: It makes me wonder and daydream and tingle in my brain. We're now in the best part of the season, the third act, just barreling toward the finale. Are you guys ready for it? I know I am.
... Are you Team Darach or Team THE DEMON WOLF?
... Did you guess the Darach's identity be honest.
... Did you guess Lydia was a banshee be honest.
... Under what circumstances would you accept an Allison-Isaac-Scott love triangle? Show your work.
... Bonus Q from @KateSullivan: Is it possibly that Lydia actually died from Peter's bite?
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