“Is this real? Am I real? Is this even a real door? If I repeatedly bang my head on it, will I figure it out? Ouch . . . ouch . . . ouch, maybe not.”
What’s up, my fellow Werebangers! I missed you!
How was your New Years? Did you dance?
Meet any new and interesting people?
Die in a bath tub, and come back to life, only to realize you’ve somehow forgotten how to read?
(Don’t worry if this happens to be the case. Most of this blog post will be pictures anyway . . . :))
Wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, worry not! Your Werebanger Family welcomes you back with open arms.
So, lets get on with this recap, shall we?
[As always, a big werewolfy round of applause for my good pal Andre, who in addition to being the Lean Mean Screencapping Machine who generously provided us with all the awesome pictures you see here, also happens to be a pretty kickass person, in general.]
Sleeping with Stiles . . .
Teen Wolf . . . it’s no longer just a show you watch to see hot guys take their shirts off, flex their muscles, and get all sweaty with one another . . .
(Though that, in and of itself, is a pretty good reason to watch the show.)
This is show is educational! You learn stuff here! For example, this week on Teen Wolf, I learned about the Tibetan Buddhist concept of “Bardo,”which from what I gather, is basically a cross between Purgatory, and whatever the f*&k happened on the last season of Lost . . .
“So you mean to tell me all this time, we thought we were battling Baddies, Bionic Bears, and Black Smoke in a jungle, we were really just sitting around in this lame old church?”
Also, I learned from Stiles all the nifty tricks you can use to tell that your dreaming, while you are actually dreaming . . . you know, for all those times you find yourself possibly-but-maybe-not asleep, and don’t have on hand Leonardo DiCaprio’s Magical Spinning Top from Inception . . .
We start the episode off in bed with Stiles, which is as good a place as any to start off a series, AM I RIGHT ladies (and men)?
We know immediately that Stiles is dreaming, by the way he’s sweating, rapidly blinking his eyes, moaning amorously, curling his toes under his blanket, and thrusting upward, while he grabs on to his sheets for dear life . . .
Unfortunately for us fans, it ended up not being one of THOSE kind of dreams. But we totally see where you were going with this, Jeff Davis, you naughty minx, you . . .
At the start of the “Dream,” Stiles comes out of the closet . . . er . . . I mean the locker . . .
“I feel so liberated!”
Then, Stiles takes a long slow glance in the mirror to remind fans how buff he’s gotten during the hiatus . . .
“Someone’s been sneaking Wheaties into my Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs . . .”
Stiles hears a sound, so he goes to investigate. This is what he finds . . .
“Don’t you just hate it when an Evil Tree crashes through your classroom, and then tries to eat you?”
I know I do!
Then, Stiles “wakes up” only to learn that he’s slept through his entire courtship with Lydia! Apparently, they’ve gone from “heat of the moment” first kiss partners, to bed buddies, who sleep together on school nights and massage one other’s arms after nightmares, in the span of less than two episodes . . .
“Is it Season 5, already?”
This is the moment I usually realize that I’m dreaming . . . when things are simply too good to be true. . .
Stiles breaks the fourth wall at this point in the narrative, leading us to believe that he realizes he’s still dreaming as well . . .
“I can’t really be this much of a pimp, yet . . . CAN I?”
And while most hot blooded teens would take advantage of their Super Awesome Dream, by say . . . taking this unique opportunity to do away with a certain Pesky Virginity Problem . . .
Stiles, being the tragic hero we know him to be, decides instead to go and CLOSE THE DOOR . . .
This concept of THE DOOR, is one that presents itself throughout the episode. Throughout the hour, we see Stiles and Allison, in their dreamlike states opening doors that they shouldn’t, doors that release evil spirits, funky trees, and b*tchy dead aunts into the ether. We learned last season from Deaton, that “dying and returning to life in a bathtub” opened a seemingly figurative, but possibly literal, door in the characters’ minds, through which some pretty nasty Big Bads can pass through, if they aren’t careful.
Notice how adamant Dream Lydia was against Stiles closing the door to his room / mind. This reminded me a bit of something Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Inception said about dream characters becoming violent toward anyone or anything that might disrupt the dream. Perhaps, Dream Lydia didn’t want Stiles to close the door in his dream, because if he did, it would end his Bardo, thereby closing off the possibility of the evil demons connected to the Evil Tree / Nemeton breaking free into the Real World.
That would make Dream Lydia kind of evil. So maybe it was a good thing Stiles didn’t have sex with her . . .
Then again, Stiles never actually closes the door. Instead he WALKS THROUGH IT, thereby exposing himself, once again to the Nemeton, and the horrors of sleep paralysis . . . which, some might say, was a worse result than if he simply ignored the door and started humping his lady love. . .
“DAMMIT, YOU MEAN TO TELL ME I COULD HAVE GOTTEN LAID!”
We then see Stiles wake up, go to school and tell Scott all about his theories about waking dreams, and how his, in particular, might be related to the Sacrifice to the Nemeton that the three of them made last season. Scott grunts, stares at his friend dumbfounded, and has absolutely nothing whatsoever intelligent or helpful to say, as per usual. Everyone in the class pretends the two boys don’t exist, despite the fact that they are both rather attractive, have great bodies, and are talking very loudly about very weird sh*t . . . also as per usual. Everything seems normal enough. But Stiles still feels like something is off . . .
And that’s when he wakes up again . . . for real this time . . . maybe . . .
In a sense, Stiles’ intense self awareness and extensive knowledge of dream states functions as both a blessing and a curse for him. On one hand, Stiles is more likely than any other character on the show to instinctively realize he is dreaming. Therefore, he would theoretically have the easiest time lucidly navigating his own dream world, and, when necessary, waking himself up. On the other hand, Stiles’ innate ability to detect dreamlike things in everyday occurrences will undoubtedly cast a pall of strangeness on every aspect of his life, leaving him perpetually uncertain as to whether he is ALWAYS AWAKE or ALWAYS ASLEEP.
This has led some to speculate that Stiles may already be dead (either from the tub, or from the car accident he experienced later that same episode), and that the entire second half of the season is taking place in his (unconscious?) (comatose?) (purgatoried?) mind . . .
In short, the cold open to Season 3B was about twenty times more meta than anything we’ve seen on the show, thus far. But I liked it. Unlike most dream sequences in teen shows, which bash you on the head with their symbolism (Common Example 1: A precocious student is afraid of bombing her SATs. So, she has a dream that she bombs her SATs, and ends up a homeless bum. Common Example 2: A woman fears her Bad Boy boyfriend lacks ambition. So she has a dream that she marries him, and ends up living in a dirty trailer park with 10 kids, married to her Bad Boy boyfriend, who is now a fat, burping, unemployed mess.), Stiles dreams were subtle, confusing, and disjointed. They didn’t insult viewers’ intelligence, by tying everything up in a nice pretty Bardo Bow. And that made them seem more like . . . well . . . real dreams . . .
I still wanted to see Stiles get dream laid though . . .
My Shadow Self
As is usually the case on this show, other characters experience Real Problems, while Scott experiences things that are mildly annoying, but also kind of fun / funny.
“My Shadow Self really needs a manicure.”
“If you think it, it will come . . .”
Allison has 100% turned into Haley Joe Osment’s character from The Sixth Sense . . .
Complete with cold gusts of air coming out of her mouth, every time she encounters the dead . . .
“Oooh, either it’s getting a little nippley in here . . . or I just stumbled into a commercial for breath mints.”
She’s also hallucinating entire trips to the hospital mortuary on her walks to school, and may or may not be suffering from multiple personality disorder . . .
“Which one of us do you think looks better in this outfit, Me or me?”
To top that off, her hands are shaking constantly, as if she’s suffering from DTs, so she can’t shoot her bow and arrow for sh*t, and her pesky zombie dead aunt, not only can’t seem to leave her alone, but almost made her kill her best friend, and TOTALLY cockblocked her Awesome Dream Sex with Isaac. . .
“Helllooooo? Anybody in there?”
“Hey again. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were avoiding me, Allison?”
“Was it something I said? Is it because I have zombie breath?”
“Woah, Allison, there are much easier ways to make sure you win prom queen than scalping the competition . . .”
“Oh Isaac, I’ve wanted this for
at least three episodes so long.”
“Hey girl! Can I get in on this too? Argent Family Threesome?”
“Worst . . . orgasm . . . EVER!”
So, I’d say that’s all pretty sucky. Stiles, as we know, can’t tell whether he’s asleep or awake . . . like ALL THE TIME.
He may, in fact, already be dead . . . As if that wasn’t bad enough, the sole income earner in his family either just got fired from his job by his best friend’s bio dad . . .
. . . and /or became a serious hoarder. And to top it off, in the past couple of days, Stiles has officially become a barely functioning illiterate who can’t count to ten . . . .
So, in what horrible way has Scott been affected by the ritual sacrifice you ask? Well, his shadow is being sort of a pain in the ass . . .
“My shadow has officially become more attractive than I am. Now, I know how Peter Pan felt. . .”
“I am SO done competing with this douchebag. Off he goes!”
And his best friend is crushing on his ex . . .
“Weeee . . . I’m flying. Hey Scott, is this what it feels like to have sex with Allison?“
Oh, and he’s also experiencing a massive case of dry eyes / anger management issues!
“Nothing to see here. This is totally normal. I treat my friend like he’s the Hunchback of Notre Dame all the time!”
“You wouldn’t like me when I’m horny . . . “
In other words, it’s nothing a little Visine, and a pep talk from Mommy about how he’ll find love again, couldn’t cure . . .
“You don’t need a girlfriend to keep you from turning into a monster, Scott. Remember what that nice man Anthony Bates said in Psycho, ‘A boy’s best friend is his mother . . .’ “
Perhaps, that wasn’t the best example.
So, to summarize, Stiles and Allison are going through Hell. And Scott? Well, he’s going through puberty . . .
That’s Sign Language for “You’re totally f*&ked.”
Have you ever had one of those dreams, where it’s the end of the semester, and you realize that you totally spaced and forgot to attend one of your classes. And now, suddenly, you have to go take a final for a class for which you’ve never even cracked open a book?
Well, imagine that the class was Sign Language 101. And you arrive to find everyone repeatedly, and angrily motioning toward you in a way that might be the Macarena dance, for all the significance it has to you.
That’s what happens to poor Stiles in this episode. Fortunately, our trusty old Coach Crackpot is there to wake our hero up from his nightmare. The problem, of course, is that, while all this was happening, Stiles wasn’t actually sleeping. He was . . . drawing . . .
But wait . . . check out the shape of Stiles’ incessant scribble of “Wake Ups.” Does it look like anything to you? Because it sure as heck looks like an “anchor” to me . . . as in . . . THE TITLE OF THIS EPISODE . . .
Here’s a theory. You know how all the werewolves require a mental “anchor” to keep themselves from wolfing out at inopportune moments. What if to escape “Bardo,” our heroes also need an anchor to keep them “tied down” to the real living world, which is becoming increasingly hard for them to reach?
Kind of like the “anchors” who first guided our heroes into the Ritual Ice Bath Sacrifice in the first place? (i.e. Lydia for Stiles, Isaac for Allison, Deaton for Scott, or according to Scott’s mother, Scott for Scott).
About that whole “Bardo” Concept . . .
So, it just occurred to me that I’ve been going about this recap kind of backwards, in the sense that I’ve been consistently referring to this Bardo Concept, without explaining how this information was actually introduced to our characters . . .
It all started with Lydia, who was taking way too much joy in the fact that she was no longer the token wackadoo of the group . . . i.e. the one who screamed really loudly at really inappropriate times for no reason at all, occasionally drugged her friends with wolfsbane, and had a strange tendency to wander around in the forest naked in the middle of the night .. . (Well, actually, she’s still that person. But now all her friends are acting just as nuts.)
She also really, really wanted to figure out what the heck was going on with all her friends.
(By the way, you would think that a BANSHEE would be a bit more attuned to the fact that her entire social circle is potentially half-dead. But whatever . . .)
“Well, you all can’t be THAT dead, because I’m not screaming my head off. Then, again, if all of this is just a dream in Stiles’ head then . . . at least his subconscious put me in a cute outfit.”
And while Lydia was busy being totally stumped by the situation, someone else had already figured things out. Meet Kira . . .
She’s the new girl in school. This is her dad . . . who is a history teacher, and who is inexplicably teaching Kira’s history class, despite the fact that the school is pretty large and likely has at least two other history teachers on the faculty who weren’t murdered by evil Druids . . .
“I really don’t want to be a history teacher. History teachers never survive supernatural teen shows. Can’t I teach gym, or woodworking? How about making me a nice lunch lady? No one ever kills the lunch lady. I’d even be willing to wear a hairnet.”
Some have speculated that Kira (or her dad) might be the foxy kitsune who gets into our Scooby Gang’s heads this half of the season, and functions as its trickstery, mental manipulating big bad. But, for now, all we know about her is that she knows all about Tibetan Buddhism and Bardo, totally believes Scott and Co. are hallucinating and stuff because they are about to croak. Oh, and Scott thinks she’s a total hottie. Anywhoo, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of this chick . . .
Speaking of Characters Whose Sole Purpose Seems to Be to Explain Complicated Tidbits of Mythology to the Audience. . .
He pops up just in time to tell the kiddies what we all pretty much figured out from the promos. Basically, that whole ritual sacrifice thingy,
which actually had nothing at all to do with the finale or how Darach Jenny was ultimately defeated has made them Stiles, Scott and Allison, nutzo. And so they all need to . . . wait for it . . . close the doors in their brains to keep them from going straight to hell and letting all the evil demons escape into the world, just like they keep threatening to do but never actually do on The Vampire Diaries . . .
Don’t worry Isaac. At least you were more helpful than Deaton, this week!
In Seemingly Unrelated News . . .
This guy . . .
. . . is a total douche, who is trying to take Stiles’ dad’s Sheriff job away, seemingly just because that’s the kind of thing douches do.
Stiles’ dad, of course, wants to keep his job, and randomly decides that solving a REALLY, REALLY cold case involving a missing little girl who IF she was still alive
she’s totally still alive would be Stiles’ age now, is precisely the way to do it . . .
Meet, not really dead Malia Tate . . .
Her mother and sister(?) were killed in what may or may not have been a wolf mauling, but her body was never found. Malia Tate looks a bit like a younger version of this lady, Shelly Hennig, who has signed on to be a “Super Secret Important Character on this Show.”
They even have the same side part in their hair!
For reasons that don’t quite make sense to me, Stiles’ dad decides to visit Malia’s slightly strange, and very pissed off, still grieving father, who has a strange obsession with, and seeming hatred, for coyotes . . .
“Coyotes are evil.
My missing daughter and/or I might be a were-coyote.“
. . . so that Scott can quite literally sniff around Malia’s room, and see if he can pick up her scent, despite her not having lived in the house for about ten years . . .
She must have been a really smelly girl?
Scott can’t seem to latch on to Malia’s body odor. But he and Stiles do have a fun little encounter with another smelly creature .. .
“Please let me join your pack. I’m already house trained.”
“I’m also a very good finder.”
Stiles and Scott narrowly escape the Tate home without being discovered by Creepy Papa Tate. Later that night, the two of them head off into the night in search of Malia’s dead body. (Riiiiiight, because this strategy of searching for dead things in the forest has served them both so well in the past . . .)
And while they don’t locate Malia’s corpse, the best friends do come upon one of her baby dolls, which, just so happens to have the best working batteries of any toy I’ve ever seen . . .
What toy works that well after 10 years? Even the Chuckie doll from the Child’s Play series has started to show signs of slowing down, and he’s possessed by an honest-to-goodness serial killer . . .
Later that night, Scott stumbles upon a coyote or wolf (I’m not really good at differentiating between K-9′s) and is inexplicably convinced it’s Malia . . .
It’s important to note that the creature .. . whatever it is . . . has blue eyes, which means it has killed innocents (possibly its own family members . . . possibly by accident, during a Full Moon turn). So, who is it . . . Malia Tate? Her father? The Mysterious Kira? It’s probably too soon to know for sure.
Oh, and for those of you who have been wondering where Derek and Sassy Peter have been all episode . . . the answer will shock you . . .
Poor Derek! He can’t even make it through one episode without having his manhood burned and denigrated in some way. But hey, at least he still looks good shirtless . . .
Some thing never change . . .
Next week on Teen Wolf . . .
And if that didn’t whet your appetite, perhaps this will . . .
Until next time, Werebangers! Sweet dreams . . .