One hallmark of a good and properly functioning supernatural serial is the lack of certainty over who lives and who dies. Killing off characters is absolutely essential to maintaining the ever-present threat of death where all the heroes are concerned. The TV character elephant graveyard is littered with the casualties of fan-favorite characters who gave their lives in order to maintain high levels of tension on their respective shows. So yeah, on a good TV serial, nobody is safe.
That being said, WHYYYYYYYYY??!?!?!?! Not Mrs. Argent!! Oh God, oh Lord, make the hurting stop! Mrs. Argent may have departed this plane with a quick stab to the heart, but why does it feel like OUR HEARTS were the ones stabbed? Oh, what a terrible loss, just an awful tragedy. Just when we'd gotten to know TV's weirdest and most intense mom, she had to leave us. Somebody wake up Elton John: We need a new version of "Candle in the Wind"! I'm crying as I type, you guys. Mrs. Argent is no more.
Well, maybe. It turns out the full moon has a laser beam that can resurrect dead people? I don't know! I don't know anything about anything anymore. Mrs. Argent is gone and we have to carry on somehow.
Okay. Let's talk about the episode I guess. It's what Mrs. Argent would've wanted. Here goes. [Trembling chin.]
What was this? Another creepy Lydia-in-the-shower cold open? As it turned out, no, it was actually more like a half-dozen creepy cold opens. Lydia was in for a rough night!
We were definitely in dream territory when Lydia stepped out of the shower and onto the lacrosse field where the audience cheered as Peter Hale approached her and began to re-enact their first meeting together.
Good news: She woke up! Bad news: there was tons of dirt in her bed and then Peter Hale showed up again!
All of this was intercut with him explaining more and more about what was going on. Like how he didn't exist "yet." Also this:
No offense, Peter Hale, but if you are trying to get someone on your team, don't walk around covered in worms. You know? (P.S. did you guys like Peter Hale's quick cameo in The Dark Knight Rises? I know that movie employed 97% of all working actors, but it was still fun to see him up on the big screen. I bet when the actor filmed that part he was like, "Yeah, working on this Christopher Nolan film is fine, but I can't wait to get back to Atlanta to have a bucket of live worms thrown on me.")
Oh but then my favorite part of this dream sequence was how apparently Lydia still hadn't made the connection that Peter Hale had been a werewolf and so he revealed this fact by disappearing from her side, appearing outside the window in Alpha form, and then jumping through the window at her!
Haha Peter Hale was so dramatic. So yeah, I guess now Lydia officially knew that Peter Hale was the same beast that she saw outside the brokedown Blockbuster that one time. Also she knew that she'd have to help Peter Hale do whatever it was he wanted or else all her friends would get killed. And the first thing he wanted was for Lydia to throw a party. That didn't seem so bad, to be honest!
Meanwhile—oh God, I'm tearing up already!—the Argents were dealing with the aftermath of the bite situation. Mr. Argent was clearly of the mind-set that the bite wasn't so bad and maybe a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol could help prevent an ancient supernatural curse.
Grandpa Argent, meanwhile, went directly into we-gotta-kill-her mode, likening Mrs. Argent to a pulsating cocoon just waiting to transform into a seriously unpleasant-looking butterfly werewolf. Oh man, it was not looking good for her.
Speaking of not looking good (except in the literal sense), we started learning more about Matt, this season's new character that hasn't done a whole lot except take creepy pictures of Allison and resemble Sufjan Stevens. After the rave where he'd tried to kiss her at an inopportune time, he accidentally left his bag in her car and it wasn't long before Allison was flipping through his memory card.
What was on the camera, you ask? You know, just some typical "candid shots" of a girl in her nightgown through her second-story window. NBD.
At this point Matt came back and asked for his camera back and it was totally one of those situations in which Allison knew Matt was up to no good, Matt knew that Allison knew, but they both just had this weird conversation where they pretended everything was normal except that Matt was acting super sinister and Allison was acting scared. Neither of them played it off very well! Get it together, you guys.
Meanwhile the next day was supposed to bring the full moon and Derek found himself with a handful of newborn baby werewolves who as we know don't tend to handle their first transformations all that well. Fortunately he had a bevy of chains and bizarre torture devices with which he'd keep everyone restrained. But still, it did not look like it would be a fun time for anyone.
Most poignant scene of the night: Mrs. Argent attempting to tell Allison that she'd be committing suicide later and Allison totally blowing her off. There was a shot of Mrs. Argent looking all hurt and walking away, then turning around and seeming happy that her daughter was just having fun. A LOT was going on in those ten seconds emotionally. So good.
Meanwhile at the Stilinski residence, the father-son detective duo were in full swing.
While the theory that all the victims had been in the same chemistry class fell through when the rave girl wasn't on the class list, some cursory page flipping in the yearbook showed that they'd all been on the same swim team! Including Isaac's dad, who coached! But let's be honest, the biggest connection these victims had so far was how sloppily their faces had been photoshopped into the team photo. Who was the next to die? Whoever had the least blended shadows on their faces, of course! (I'm a detective.)
Later, people began to arrive for Lydia's birthday party and this happened. Except I got so mad later when we didn't even get to find out what was in that box! Come on, writers, it's called Chekhov's Gun. Get into it.
Even though we'd already seen random partygoers arrive, suddenly the back yard was empty and the main trio decided they needed to be a better friend to Lydia by rounding up more guests. Which allowed Stiles to invite all the friends he'd made at the gay bar (in between getting chased by lizard men, I guess):
Haha I love the girl in the bottom right. What was going ON here? Oh well, this was a funny callback for sure. Except no Danny or Danny's Ex, so :(
Back in Derek's abandoned underground subway car, he was really tightening the screws on Erica! There had been some kind of joke made that because Erica is a lady she can withstand more pain than the fellas, so her restraints would have to be more painful, I guess. I don't know, it did not seem very fun to me, but that's just my opinion.
So, as it turned out, the main thing about Lydia's party was that it involved tons of spiked punch that was laced with some kind of herb that caused everyone to hallucinate their worst fears. It's still unclear to me why Peter Hale would want all the teens to hallucinate their worst fears, so I'm guessing it's because he was just effing with everyone. Werewolf ghosts get bored too!
It kind of looked like there was wolfsbane in the drink, but Scott didn't seem to notice it. Come to think of it, shouldn't Scott have been hecka freaking out over the full moon? Did I miss something? He can behave perfectly normally during a full moon like it's not even a big deal? I don't know, I probably missed something. I sleep A LOT.
Anyway, Matt attempted to—I'm not even sure what he attempted to do. Confront Allison and be a jerk again?
It didn't go over well and it ended with Allison reflexively flipping him onto his back, which was kind of great. What a chump! (What is a chump?)
Except then Allison spotted a mysterious figure carrying a crossbow through the crowd and decided to follow. THAT didn't end well either.
Oh my gosh, it was an Allison doppelganger! Just kidding, it was just a hallucination. It turned out ALL the kids would have hallucinations, but Allison's was the best because it seemed to foreshadow a big shift in Allison's mentality. Basically the hooded crossbow-wielding version of Allison found the normal Allison to be disgustingly weak. Oooh, I REALLY wouldn't mind seeing this new Allison take over for a bit, you know? I liked her.
Stiles' hallucination involved his dad, fresh from attending Stiles' mom's funeral, drunkenly accusing Stiles of having killed his mother and being a terrible son. It was pretty over the top, if you ask me. I mean shouldn't it have been at least HALFWAY believable to Stiles that his dad would behave like that? Stiles' dad is the best! Stiles seemed pretty bummed though.
Then it was Scott's turn:
Haha Scott did NOT like to see Allison making out with that Kanima. It was not sexy or fun for him. Quick question: Do you think that particular matchup would find a more receptive audience in Japan?
Then Jackson's birth parents showed up looking pretty normal.
Then Jackson's face went away and THIS SHOW REALLY CROSSED THE LINE. Leave Jackson's face alone!
Oh, but then.
It was time for Mrs. Argent to go. First of all, you have to really respect a woman who foregoes prescription sleeping pills in favor of an enormous knife. Also I loved that she decided to get stabbed through the heart on Allison's BED (in order to "be closer" to her or whatever). I didn't see Mr. Argent laying out any tarps or anything, so I'm not sure about the logistics of this final moment, but still. It was a real heartbreaker.
Just as Mrs. Argent's eyes gave off that trademark werewolf glow, Mr. Argent stabbed his wife of 20 years and wept over her body.
So good. The acting was seriously so good here. If we HAD to lose Mrs. Argent, at least her death was dramatic and memorable. But I definitely have a nagging suspicion that her death wasn't necessarily permanent. You know? Like if she was werewolf enough to having glowing eyes, then wasn't she werewolf enough to not be killed via stabbing? Also, something would happen later that suggested werewolves know witchcraft, so... Fingers-crossed! Until then, rest in peace, you butt-kicking firecracker.
Needless to say, Allison didn't take the news quite as well:
You know I love a good crier, and Crystal Reed was superb here. I loved that this episode did not sidestep how insane the circumstances of Mrs. Argent's "suicide" was. Allison seemed genuinely confused as much as shocked, and it just rang true. I have a feeling Allison will be finding out the truth about her mother's death soon enough and that pretty soon Derek will be dealing with the hooded version of Allison from the party.
At some point all of Lydia's partygoers were super high on nightmare punch and Matt got thrown in the pool. That's when it became clear that he couldn't swim! And then Jackson helped him out of the water like a proper servant. That's when Stiles and Scott did some quick math...
Haha wow! Matt was the undead Kanima master who'd been "killed" by a swim team in 2006! I will say this, as much as Matt was always a top candidate for Kanima master, I still felt like this was a genuinely surprising reveal. Obviously I still have tons of questions about some of Matt's other unresolved details (Why the pictures of Allison? Why the chemistry teacher's car? WAS he still dead?). But I'm definitely cool with this twist. Well done!
Meanwhile at the height of the episode's insanity, Erica and Boyd busted loose from their chains and attacked Derek. (Guy, maybe rusty and/or loose railings on a subway car aren't the most secure?) After it nearly looked like they'd overpower him, Isaac came to the rescue and helped subdue them. it turned out Isaac had been able to stay in control of his faculties after Derek had advised him to focus on some kind of mental anchor—In this case, Isaac focused on his dad from before the dad turned into a maniac. It worked! But this was a nice little scene between the two of them, for sure. Derek is the best big bro.
Shortly after locking everybody up again, Derek's night took a turn for the annoying:
LYDIA!! Nobody likes a handful of purple powder blown in their face!
Next thing Derek knew, Lydia was dragging him back to his OLD lair (did he ever get his security deposit back?) where she placed his hand in the outstretched arm of Peter Hale's corpse, then used a series of mirrors to reflect a moon laser into Peter's resting place. And before we knew it...
Peter was back! And Derek had seemingly lost his alpha status. And now we knew that werewolves use witchcraft! Or something. Who even knows or cares? It was just a good turn of events. FINALLY the Peter Hale ghost can be a Peter Hale MAN again.
So, um. I can't believe this is happening but there are only THREE episodes left of this season. Don't ask me if I'll be okay after they're over because the answer is NO. Why can't this show be on every week forever? Is that so much to ask? But yeah, I liked this episode NO DUH. I miss Mrs. Argent already, but after Peter's resurrection I'm holding out hope we might see her again. Or barring that, I'd settle for Eaddy Mays appearing on every show ever from now on, but especially American Horror Story. Maybe she can play Chris Zylka's mom in Season 2. Or if it's too late for that, maybe Season 3 can just be Jessica Lange and Eaddy Mays standing in a kitchen tossing off one-liners at each other? Oh man, a fella can dream.
... Did you predict that Matt was controlling the Kanima?
... Will her mother's death change Allison for the better?
... Do you wish Derek was your cool older bro?
... Is Mrs. Argent gone for good?