It is no secret that 100% of monsters on teen dramas are meant to be metaphors. Like, duh, guys, come on. Ever since Buffy had it ratified into law that teenage life is basically just one big horror show, all monsters on TV are just riffs on what it's like to be a teenager. Urges, uncontrollable emotions, surprising powers, loneliness. Monsters are just Teenagers 101. Personally I have never super related to any of the monsters... Until this week on Teen Wolf. The were-coyote is my jam! I just really related to its particular story. Much like the were-coyote I also sleep in a cave on a pile of garbage, and like the were-coyote I haven't bathed in eight years. You know? I think there is probably a little bit of were-coyote in all of us, but especially the part where we run around high schools growling at people who gank our stuff. This were-coyote is a VERY powerful metaphor for my life and also a literal representation of my life. Nailed it, Teen Wolf. Thank you.
Oh, right, this week's episode of Teen Wolf. There was a new episode of Teen Wolf this week! "More Bad Than Good" was More Good Than Bad. Frankly almost none of it was bad, I guess, but it did feel sliiiightly inconsequential. But that's probably just because its main point was to introduce a new character without actually moving tons of story forward. Which is fine, they can't all be mile-a-minute pulse zappers. We should probably just appreciate this laid-back, comfortable vibe of the early season before things start turning into a breathless rollercoast to hell later on. So we shall!
Anyway, whoops I'm also burying the lede here because SHELLEY HENNIG! Shelley Hennig is on the show now, you guys! Sure, call it Stockholm Syndrome or just call it ME HAVING GOOD TASTE, but I really and truly enjoyed The Secret Circle a few years back. I mean I photo recapped the whole dang season. But it seemed like most of the (very appealing and talented) cast had gone on to other things but I just hadn't seen Hennig in much since then, which was surprising given her talent and personality and face. But man is it sincerely special to see TSC overlap with TEEN WOLF like this. I felt like I willed this to happen with my brain? Oh man, I'm just so happy.
Anyway, let's talk about this episode!
We picked up where last week's episode left off: With a couple of shirtless Hales writhing around in a basement with a chainlink fence in it! (Exclamation point but also question mark?)
But I was not correct last week about who exactly was torturing them! Which is fine by me I like to be wrong. In this case the Hales were being menaced and tortured for answers by what appeared to be a Mexican version of the Fratelli gang from The Goonies!
They had a chainsaw, they had an ornamental blade, they had a mean old lady asking questions about a "she wolf." It was just a lot to deal with in my opinion.
And then the old lady cut off Peter Hale's finger!
That was very disgusting. So all in all, the Hale situation was still very strange so far!
Speaking of strange, Scott and Stiles were still all hanging out in the woods exploring The Legend of the Coyote Woman like a couple of supernatural Hardy Boys.
After going through the coyote's junk they realized that the coyote was definitely 100% the missing girl and the missing girl was definitely the coyote. That's called a were-coyote I believe but I'm not a scientist and I will never be a scientist.
Anyway, because the boys' brains were still broken, Scott had a super bad hallucination in which he saw himself eating a lady!
Now as far as I know werewolves can occasionally develop a fondness for murder, but so far they haven't turned into actual carnivores right? Which, do werewolves eat in general? Did I block this part out of my memory? When they turn into wolves do they feed? I can't remember. Anyway, Scott did not like the idea that someday he'd be in the woods eating a girl off of a rock and that seemed fair.
Meanwhile that grieving father who also plays the grieving Father on The Originals (because every show that I like is connected somehow) came out to the woods and was finally convinced that his family was eaten by a coyote after all. But because he had no reason to believe that monsters were real, he assumed that the coyote that had been living with his daughter's blankie had been the coyote that ate his family rather than just being straight-up his daughter. That's called dramatic conflict in my opinion.
Meanwhile Scott's dad was still a super jerk.
Ugh, Scott's dad.
Then the coyote woman ran up and growled at THE WHOLE CITY! That coyote was very mad at everybody for ruining her cave. I get that way too whenever meddling teens break into my home and steal my blankie and plastic doll also. Again, i just really related to this character a lot.
Meanwhile at school, the new girl Kira's dad was still being a professional embarrassment to her right in front of Scott! Like this scene where Kira admitted she'd done several hours of research on Tibetan dream states for Scott and then her dad walked over and spilled the beans about how she had a crush on him or something.
Haha I like this subplot. Making Kira such an awkward mess is a very good and efficient way to make me care about her (and root for her). But I have a feeling it's a misdirect and Kira's dad is like a bizarro version of Allison's dad and he has a scheme to ensnare Scott or something. I don't know! But either way Scott will probably be getting a shirtless hug out of it, so good for him he deserves it.
Meanwhile Stiles was still having trouble reading or even knowing whether he was awake or not. This part with the letters melting off the page while he was supposed to read to the class was a MAJOR nightmare.
But I found it especially touching when Scott immediately spotted the signs of Stiles having brain problems and helped him to the bathroom and tried to talk him down from his freakout. Scott is such a good friend sometimes.
Aw, these poor guys. But this part was important because it explained why the gang decided to focus on a supposedly irrelevant adventure this week. In trying to solve the case of the coyote woman they were allowing themselves to focus on something productive and it helped their brains heal. Or something? Maybe I just made that up? No I'm pretty sure that's what this episode was about. It was about getting results!
Anyway, then the lady coyote ran around in the high school growling at Kira.
The coyote was very angry! It jumped through a window and everything! But then Scott ran in and tipped over a locker onto the coyote and it ran away. That's when they discovered why it had been tracking Kira.
It wanted the plastic doll that had been in Scott's backpack, and which Kira had been carrying because she wanted an excuse to, like, brush elbows with Scott again. Ugh, that shot of the doll peeking through the tear in his bag. Yiiiiikes.
So then the Hales were suddenly rescued by a familiar face who arrived at the house and shot everybody!
Well, not super familiar. I mean you might remember her as the lady who had saved Isaac in the Season 3 opener. It had seemed like she died in that episode, but nope! Now she had a scar. Also she was some kind of mercenary for hire and Deucalion had sent her to save the Hales, which, okay. Fine. Whoever she is, I like her. I mean she just walked into that basement and spent a good long beat just ogling the Hales before freeing them. That was definitely a good Save the Cat moment for her.
Meanwhile at Deaton's office the gang borrowed some animal tranquilizers (for the lady coyote) and Stiles hassled Isaac for wearing a scarf in warm weather.
Oh, you two! I'm sure there will be some reveal that Isaac's scarf contains the soul of his dead sister or something, so back off Stiles. Anyway, at this point it became clear what Scott needed to do.
He was going to roar at the were-coyote until it turned human again! That is because clearly the girl had been stuck in a coyote form and didn't know how to turn back and an Alpha's roar can make a lady coyote turn but Scott was afraid of using his Alpha powers and needed a pair of Alpha hunks to whip him into shape.
Hey it was Aiden and Ethan! They punched Scott in the face so many times it started looking like beef stroganoff.
So yeah, just for the record if you want to get in touch with your Alpha werewolf side, just let a couple of twin hunks beat you up VERY badly. It had something to do with control, who knows. Oh, but we did also learn the reason why Peter Hale turned into a CGI monster in Season 1: Because he'd lost track of his humanity and that became reflected in his wolfman side. Good to know! (But seriously please bring back that monster form, it was the best.)
Meanwhile Allison was having some brain issues of her own and they were disgusting!
Grosssss. That was not an appetizing dream sequence AT ALL. Personally it was so gross that I had to put down the entrails I'd been snacking on and just wait until the scene was over. Also when Allison snapped out of it she was about to MURDER Isaac!
That is an especially weird curse that Allison's dealing with: Whenever she passes out she wakes up pointing a weapon at her friends. I know my friends always hate it when I do that so I felt for Allison here.
This was so good, though:
Oh man, I'm seriously impressed at how elegantly this show shut down its central romance and still made me invested in its new spin-offs. If you didn't feel something during this brief moment then I am so, so sorry. Isaac and Allison are adorable. I mean yes obviously Isaac and Scott are going to end up together but this still feels very cute and heartfelt.
Meanwhile that grieving dad was still SO mad at that coyote, so he bought all of the coyote traps in town and put them all over the woods. Sheriff Stilinski was NOT happy about this.
So then all of the gang was suddenly in the woods stepping on coyote traps but also trying to find that coyote girl. I love when a group plan comes together, especially plans involving capturing coyote girls and screaming at them until they become regular girls again. But yeah like I said Isaac just immediately got stuck in a trap. Poor Isaac! It's like not an episode until Isaac is in terrible agony.
Isaac screamed so loud that Scott fell off his motorbike. I'm sorry but that was the best. Scott's friend was hurting and he fell off his bike because of it!
Anyway, Stiles realized that the whole time the coyote had been just trying to get its doll back because the doll had belonged to the coyote's dead sister. This was a real revelation to him.
And just when it looked like the sad dad was about to blow his daughter's head clean off, Allison stepped up!
And she did it! She tranq'd that guy like A BOSS. (But also LOL at Allison shooting human beings with tranquilizer darts. What a weird show this is!)
Unfortunately then Lydia went and stepped delicately into a coyote trap.
You know, firmly enough to activate the trap but lightly enough as to not actually make it snap shut. Then it turned into this weird Hurt Locker scenario where Stiles had to deactivate the trap by reading the instructions except he couldn't read!
Lydia gave him a heartfelt speech about how wonderful Stiles was with or without reading instruction manuals and it was seriously moving. Yeah, part of it is because theirs is a very slow-burn romance, but in my opinion it's getting even deeper than that. They're clearly becoming very good friends and kindred spirits and the level of emotion Lydia expressed here suggested she sees him almost like a family member or something. I don't know. Anyway, they're really bonded now that he saved her from a coyote trap!
Aw, remember in Season 1 when Stiles had this huge crush on Lydia all the time? I feel like that's not really the driving force behind their interactions anymore and the show feels way richer for it.
So anyway, then Scott had a final showdown with the lady coyote:
And he did it! He roared at the coyote!
And he did it so well that Isaac tingled in his loins and everybody heard it from all over the woods.
And that's when the were-coyote morphed into a naked teenage girl! And not just ANY naked teenage girl, it was one of the naked teenage girls from the late, great The Secret Circle!
Ugh, so good. I honestly felt super emotional seeing Shelley Hennig on my TV screen again. She was really very wonderful on TSC and I'm seriously so excited to see how she'll factor into Beacon Hills this season. She has such a cool, beguiling, open-hearted presence and I feel like the show will really benefit from that type of lady. We'll see!
Anyway, this Malia lady hadn't been human in 8 years, so her reunion with her father was admittedly strange!
But it all worked out in the end. And credit where credit's due: Sheriff Stilinski had had a good feeling about this cold case when he looked into it again, and look what he got done! He gave a father back his daughter and also maybe found a new love interest for his son? Pretty good situation. I really hope he discovers a ton more monsters in the future!
Meanwhile the Hales put on shirts and then found a crate full of mountain ash. Buried inside was some kind of thing:
What was it? Probably just some kind of thing that the Mexican Fratellis had bought at Cost Plus World Market, or maybe it was important to the story, who knows. Probably. Who can predict these things?
Then a mysterious figure ripped a tiny tree out of the Nematon and a bunch of fireflies (light bees) flew out of a crack!
And look what the swarms turned into!
Uh oh, this was probably not good. More monsters! But what kind of monsters? Druid ghosts? The sky is truly the limit when it comes to monsters that are comprised of fireflies. But anyway, yes, this show continues to be filled to the brim with nightmare imagery and this is right up there with the time Colton Haynes had a snake go in his mouth. Get back in that stump, firefly jerks!
Guys, I am tempted to say that this episode felt like a practice round of sorts. Just still getting us acclimated to the new characters and situations and whatnot. Like, the were-coyote plotline felt compelling from a thematic standpoint and also it promised to set up a new lead character maybe? Like maybe Malia will become so instrumental to the show in later seasons that this episode will just seem more and more important in retrospect? But it did feel very one-off, like a lot of early episodes tend to. Not necessarily must-see. But again, setup has to happen somehow and right now Teen Wolf is introducing some crazy things. Bring 'em on, show.
Oh, and since the 'scenes from next week' montage is now buried at the end of a basically unwatchable new Teen Wolf talk show (sorry for saying it's unwatchable BUT IT IS), for your convenience I found a clip from next week's episode. PLEASE ENJOY:
... Have you ever stolen something from a were-coyote?
... What's Allison's dad up to?
... Were those Mexican Fratelli's looking for Derek's sister or somebody else?
... What is the Kira-Scott shipper name and do you approve of it?