Every single one of us has two families. We have the family into which we were born . . . our parents, siblings, aunts and uncles . . . with whom we share a genetic code and a legacy.
And we have the family we choose . . . our friends and lovers . . . with whom we share common interests, a history, and bonds of loyalty.
To each of these families we owe certain obligations. To the former — who have given us the gift of life, and enabled our existence — we owe a duty to fight for our survival at all costs, so that we can carry on the family name, and secure its place in history, no matter how small or insignificant that place might seem to outsiders.
To the latter, we owe our devotion and support. We vow to stand by them in times of strife. Carry them when they are weak. Bolster them, when they are strong. And we hope they do the same for us.
“The Alpha Pact” saw each of the members of our stalwart Scooby Gang struggling to simultaneously fulfill their obligations to each of their respective families, even though those obligations seemed to be in conflict with one another.
This week’s “family-friendly” installment of Teen Wolf is brought to you by the letter “S” for “suicide” (sort-of) . . .
“Scott’s Dad” (Surprise!)
And, of course, “Stiles” . . .
Let’s review, shall we?
[As always, a big hearty thanks to stellar screencapper Andre, who has never once tried to drown me while I was submerged in an ice bath, no matter how many times his sage veterinarian told him to do so . . .]
“My new alarm clock is very aggressive.”
We begin the episode with Stiles b*tch slapping the crap out of Derek, while straddling him in the middle of an otherwise abandoned elevator . . . or as Sterek fans like to call it . . . “foreplay.”
“Doing this isn’t going to get me pregnant, is it?”
Derek wakes up just seconds before Stiles can punch him in the face . . .
. . . which is weird, because punching people in the face is usually what you do when you want them to pass out, not wake up. Of course, after Stiles breaks the news to Derek that his psycho girlfriend made off with his friends’ parents, Cora’s still dying, and Scott may have just decided to join Team Evil, the D-list Alpha wolf is probably wishing he had hit the snooze alarm a few more hundred times . . .
Cheer up, Der Bear! It’s not so bad! At least you got to get your arm fondled by Stiles in an enclosed space . . .
Outside the hospital, the mere sight of Allison and Chris Argent, a.k.a. the folks whose aunt / sister he killed, back when he was the Big Bad Gorilla-Looking Thing, make this little Piggy, Peter Hale, cry “wee wee wee wee wee,” all the way back to Derek’s loft.
“Oh hey, look, it’s Allison and Chris Argent! Yoo-hoo, Argents! Come meet my new pal, Peter!”
“Peter? Maybe he had to pee . . .”
If the cast of Teen Wolf were ever sorted into Hogwarts houses, Peter would totally be the Slytherin, to Scott’s, Allison’s, and Derek’s Gryffindor, Isaac’s Hufflepuff (He IS a really good “finder.”), and Stiles’ and Lydia’s Ravenclaw. When he’s not pumped up on Epinephrine, posing as a teen in Lydia’s hallucinations, or dressed in a gorilla suit, Peter’s a total wussy. And I love that about him. It’s all very Draco Malfoy . . .
Sometimes bravery in the face of total and complete danger is akin to stupidity. And say what you will about Peter Hale. But the dude is definitely not stupid . . . which is more than we can say for some other “braver” characters on this show . . .
Speaking of Scott . . .
The Bad Dad
After waking up from his little Elevator Nap, Derek rushes to retrieve Dying Cora, so he can bring her back to his loft. In doing so, he inadvertently abandons Stiles, who, in turn, gets to hang out in the hospital waiting room, looking broodier and sexier than we’ve seen him look in quite some time . . .
Misery looks good on you, Sweetie.
It’s there that the unofficial Alpha of Team Human runs into This Guy . . .
We find out This Guy’s true identity soon enough. (Hint: See the title of this section.) However, since, at this point in the story, who he is has yet to be revealed, I’m simply going to refer to him as . . . FBI Douche.
As an American viewer, I am comforted to know that if my hometown sprouted a serial killer every few months, by the 23rd or 24th death in under a year, my government would finally care enough to send its very best douche to investigate. That’s your proud tax dollars at work, Wolfbangers!
As with most federal law enforcement guys in film and television, FBI Douche seems like he has an axe to grind with our heroes, a personal vendetta that may or may not take precedence over the case that he’s trying to solve. Case-in-point, when the Sheriff of a town with a Dead Cop Problem, mysteriously goes missing, FBI Douche’s first instinct is to badger the guy’s teenage son about his dad’s alcohol consumption habits.
FBI Douche isn’t totally useless, however. He does reveal a heretofore unrecognized talent of our current lady killer . . .
Apparently, in addition to having a Magic Coochie, being capable of performing (and un-performing) plastic surgery on her face just by turning head from side to side . . .
. . . forcing people to chant in Druid against their will, and causing them to experience intense hallucinations, Jenny the Darach is also a master graffiti artist . . .
Speaking of females with odd talents, let’s talk about Cora Hale, or, as I like to call her, The Girl Who Spewed Too Much . . .
The Lone(ly) Wolf
“I hate puking up black goo all the time, but it sure makes for a rocking shade of lipstick.”
Derek’s chilling in the loft with his girl Cora. I mean, sure, he’s pretty much just letting her die, and ignoring the fact that she needs obvious medical attention. But hey, at least he changed her out of that unflattering hospital gown, and dressed her in sexy army fatigues. Because, really, who wants to die while wearing blue plastic?
Unfortunately for Derek, his beta boo, Isaac, doesn’t agree with me about the importance of being “fashionably dead.” He believes Derek should do penance for his brief (and ridiculous) communion with the Evil Magic Coochie . . .
“This porn is AWESOME.”
. . . and like . . . actually try and save people and stuff . . .
“You are way too hot to suck this bad as a half- human being.”
For me, the most interesting part of the scene is when Isaac asks Derek why he bothered to turn him, Boyd and Erika, in the first place, especially since, at least on the surface, he never seemed to have any interest at all in leading them, or even protecting them . . .
It’s pretty gut wrenching when Isaac accuses Derek of turning three innocent teens into supernatural monster killers, just because the latter wanted to have friends; and Derek doesn’t immediately disagree with his pack member’s assessment.
The accusation begins to sound even worse, when you consider the fact that, had Derek not turned Boyd and Erika into werewolves, last season, they’d probably both be alive today . . .
When Isaac storms off to be with his new love interests, Allison and Scott (Can you say, “threesome”?) . . .
Sassy Peter magically appears to comfort his nephew.
“Don’t feel bad, DerBear. Isaac isn’t abandoning you because you are a sucky leader. He’s abandoning you because he’s bored of humping you, and wants to hump Scott and Allison. The fact that you are a sucky leader is just an added bonus!”
Good Ole Uncle Pete . . . always managing to look on the bright side of life.
Peter also intimates that Derek can save Cora, by using his Alpha power to transfer her pain on to him. But doing so could render Derek un-Alphaed, or worse dead. Peter cleverly tries to reverse psychology his not too bright nephew into doing this, by telling him how much he shouldn’t do it, and how, by doing it, he would be playing right into Jennifer’s Darach-y hands.
Basically, Peter is using the old “Red Button Trick.” You know, the one where someone tells you: “Don’t push the red button. It’s SOOOO COOL to push it, but totally dangerous. So, whatever you do . . . don’t push it. No matter how much you really, really want to . . . or that it’s the only thing you can think about right now . . . or that it seems to be your life’s mission to push that red button. Just don’t push it.
PUSH THE RED BUTTON! PUSH IT GOOD! PUSH. . . THE . . . BUTTON. The red button is SEX. Don’t push the red button. Do you hear me?”
Some have speculated, based on this scene alone, that taking the Alpha status back from Derek may have been Peter’s design all along . . .the reason he’s been “hanging out” with the Scoobies, all this time. Some have even gone as far as to suggest that it was Peter and not Jenny the Darach, who poisoned Cora, for this exact reason. I wouldn’t put it past him . . .
In other spunky relative news . . .
Parental Guidance Suggested
Papa Argent attempts to reassure his daughter and Stiles, that he won’t end up tied to a big ole tree like some other parents on this show, because he has a big . . . “gun.”
Though he doesn’t want to be rude to his friend’s dad, Stiles is unimpressed and particularly comforted by this, basically because Stiles, himself, also has a big “gun” . . .
And if Stiles has a big “gun,” there’s a good chance Sheriff Stilinski has one as well. I mean, he’s the Sheriff, right? What’s a Sheriff, without his big “gun?”
And he still ended up tied to a tree by a girl . . .
As for Isaac, he KNOWS the size of his gun, is no match for the Argents or the Stilinskis. But he’s got other assets to offer the ladies (and men). For instance, he’s REALLY good with his hands . . .
While Stiles heads back to school to retrieve his Dead Body version of a Metal Detector, Lydia Martin, Isaac and Allison accompany Papa Argent to the vault, where he surprises the two kids by electrocuting them, and handcuffing them to a wall, respectively.
It turns out, Papa Argent isn’t planning on using his big gun on Jenny the Darach at all. He’s planning to join the Parents-Tied-to-a-Tree-Party!
“I make bad decisions.”
“That’s OK. I find incompetence a major turn-on. It’s why I dated Derek for three episodes.”
To be honest, I’m not really sure how exactly Papa Argent thinks he’s going to save Beacon Hills, without the use of his “Big Gun,” or his “Dexterous Hands.” But I’d really, really like to see him try . . .
ISAAC: “Would it be inappropriate for me to make out with you, right after you just found out your dad is probably going to die?”
ALLISON: “A little . . . yeah.”
ISAAC: “Can I still fondle your boobs?”
ALLISON: “That would be nice. Thanks.”
That’s right, Werebangers. Strife brings people closer. It reminds us that our time on Earth is limit. It lowers our inhibitions, and forces us to seize the moment. Which brings me to . . .
Leave Me Breathless
This sweet mother/daughter moment between Lydia, and the-mom-who-didn’t-seem-to-notice-that-her-daughter-had-a-different-strange-guy-in-her-bed-every-night-this-summer . . .
. . . is brought to you by Tampax Tampons . . .
All kidding aside, I enjoyed this quiet, subtle scene. Not only does it offer a nice bonding moment between two characters who we rarely get to see interact with one another. It also illustrates just how far Lydia has come as a character since Season 1.
This once shallow, vain, girl, who hid her intelligence, because she thought it would make her less popular . . . who was ashamed by her connection to the dead . . . who would never be caught dead without makeup on, is now displaying the neck scars she received last week from Jenny the Darach proudly, because their existence makes her a Survivor.
You GO GIRL!
So, of course, a new, wise and mature, Lydia needs a new, wise and mature boyfriend, am I right, ladies?
Upon receiving an update on the first twenty minutes of the show from Stiles, Lydia decides that Jenny the Darach might have had some other reason for trying to murder her, apart from her being a banshee. So, the pair inexplicably head off to school, to talk to Aiden?
Unfortunately, before they can do this, Stiles gets a text message from Isaac that Papa Argent is missing. And that Jenny from the Block of Druids now has not one, not two, but THREE parents in her murder collection.
Oh, hello, Stiles’ Panic Attacks! Long time, no see . . .
Lydia pulls the hyperventilating Stiles into the skanky boys locker room, in hopes that the stink of male teenage sweat will stop Stiles from breathing in through his nose so much . . . but to no avail . . .
“It smells like feet in here. And I wanna die!”
Next Lydia tries the old “Think Happy Thoughts” cure. After all, it worked for those kids in Peter Pan. It made them fly!
Unfortunately, for Stiles, his “Happy Thoughts” involve his good relationship with his dad . . . who is about to be killed . . . the girl who was going to get him laid . . . who is ALREADY DEAD . . . and his best friend . . . who just gave his soul to some guy called The Demon Wolf.
Fortunately for Lydia, Stiles has one happy thought left in his bank, that has yet to be marred by Jenny the Darach . . .
(Werebangers, if the Play button on the below video looks a little funny, it’s because I wore it out by pressing it 85,000 times this week . . .)
Let’s over-analyze this scene, shall we?
Let’s start with Lydia . . . there are two possible ways to read her reaction to this moment. The first is by taking her at her word. She read somewhere that holding one’s breath stops a panic attack. And so, in a moment of impulse, she covers Stiles’ mouth with hers, forcing him to involuntarily hold his breath . . .
But there’s something about the intense, dare I say, loving way that Lydia looks at Stiles, right before she pulls him in for the kiss that makes me think her explanation of her actions is less than truthful . . .
(All the Stydia kiss pics in this section have been brought to you by This Awesome Tumblr)
A clinical “hold your breath” kiss would have involved a brusque and cursory pressing of Lydia’s mouth against Stiles. But Lydia kisses Stiles slowly, caressing the sides of his face, and tilting his head upward, as she makes the connection. When Stiles does begin to hold his breath, she doesn’t stop kissing him. Instead, she deepens the kiss, pressing her lips against his even more intensely . . .
When Lydia finally pulls away from Stiles, she seems entranced by what just happened. Upon coming to her senses, Lydia appears almost reluctant to break the connection that they shared.
Oh yeah! She was definitely into it!
When Lydia gives her explanation to Stiles of what just happened, the usually confident girl seems oddly timid and uncertain, like a girl who just realized she’s developed a crush on a boy she never really noticed in that way before. She licks her lips, a clear cut sign of attraction . . . and also, coincidentally, a telltale sign that someone is telling a lie . . .
Stiles reaction during and after the kiss is a bit more clear cut. At first, he’s surprised . . . (after all, the kid did feel pretty much on the verge of death, about two seconds earlier) . . .
Then he’s aroused. I mean, here is the girl he’s been dreaming about kissing since kindergarten . . . the girl he recently accepted that he could never have, finally kissing him . . . REALLY kissing him. And, what’s better, she seems to be just as into it, as he is . . .
After it’s all over, Stiles is in awe, of this beautiful, smart, strong woman, who pretty much just saved his life. And maybe, just maybe, he’s a smidge disappointed that her explanation of the kiss was more clinical than his interpretation of it. But that doesn’t make what she did for him any less awesome . . .
But when Lydia jokes that Stiles should go get some help for his panic attacks from the school guidance counselor, Stiles gets an idea . . .
And it’s right back to business as usual again for our resident Mulder and Scully . . . (sigh)
Seeing the Forest Through the Obsessive Compulsive Drawings of Trees
“Hello, Teen Wolf Contest Winner, who has now gotten speaking lines in not one, not two, but THREE episodes, and is prominently featured in the MTV Teen Wolf after show!”
Seriously, I thought “Danielle” attended private school with the Dead Chick who almost screwed Stiles. Why is she seeing the Beacon Hills Guidance Counselor?
Anywhoo, Special Guest Star brings the funny, when she quickly cedes her therapy session with the Missing Ms. Morrell to Stiles and Lydia, upon learning from Lydia’s files that she’s a freak of nature who obsessively draws creepy looking trees all over all her notebooks, rather than ever doing any actual school work . . .
And yet she still gets straight A’s! Now that’s impressive!
That’s when Stiles figures out that what Lydia is actually drawing is the Nemeton, i.e. the root cellar where all the TV parents are now being kept . . . i.e. the place where Derek killed Paige.
In other words, Jenny the Darach didn’t try to kill Lydia, because she’s a banshee. She tried to kill her because she saw her drawing the one key piece of information that, if exposed, could cause all of the Darach’s plans to go up in smoke . . .
So, Stiles sends Lydia off to give Derek this important information, while he heads off to distract FBI Douche.
That’s right, FBI Douche. Stiles’ dad is missing. And all his friends didn’t show up at school today. So, you should totally let him go off with the strange gentleman, who is creepily lurking around the school, at the exact moment when this clearly fragile teenage boy needs a place to stay . . .
“I like emotionally fragile teenage boys!”
Well, FBI Douche. The good news is that no one would ever accuse you of being a good guardian. That means you are totally safe from Jenny the Darach . . .
“Season 3B, here I come!”
Deaton has an idea as to how the Scooby Gang might be able to save their parents. But, surprise, surprise. They are going to need Scott for help.
Meanwhile, downtown . . .
Peter was hoping he wouldn’t run into Lydia again, until he found a Hallmark card to send her that says, “Sorry I mind controlled you into trying to kill all your friends, and then pretended to be a teenager, so you’d make out with my grimy corpse.”
As instructed, Lydia tells Derek and Peter about the root cellar. Unfortunately, thanks to a nice little neck rub they got from Mommy Dearest, Talia, both werewolves have conveniently forgotten its location . . .
Hale Fail #247 . . .
Over in a forest somewhere . . .
Mountain ASSSSSHHHHHH 2: Electric Boogaloo
If I had one gripe about this otherwise pretty flawless episode it would involve this scene . . . you know, the one where Scott has supposedly made the hugely dangerous decision to join Deucalion’s Alpha Pack, in order to save his mom . . .
“I’m a bad guy now . . .”
. . . and that Big Sacrifice seems to mainly involve standing around in a forest with the villains for a few minutes, while they fail to kill Mrs. Morell. And then going right back to Deaton and his Scooby Gang . . .
You were fun, while you lasted, Random Plot Twist!
But hey, at least now Kali, and the Alphas know that Deucalion was the one who actually killed Ennis! That ought to . . . have no impact on the plot, whatsoever . . .
“But I was such a good artist!”
The Circle of Life . . . and Death
There’s this old movie called My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where the old grandpa believes, for some reason, that the World’s problems can be solved, by merely spraying some Windex on them . . .
I feel like that’s how Deaton feels about ice baths . . . Isaac lost his memory?
Try an ice bath! Stiles’, Scott’s, and Allison’s parents may be murdered by an Evil Darach?
Let’s put them all on ice!
Now, while logically, I think the idea of surrogate sacrifices brought on by near death experiences is a TERRIBLE IDEA, I must say that it made for an incredibly poignant way to end the penultimate episode. Let’s see . . . there was the ominous warning, that, not only will temporary death cause Allison, Stiles and Scott pretty much permanent emotional damage, it will also open up Beacon Hills as a Hell Mouth for every Big Bad in the world recently kicked out of Sunnydale, who is looking for a place to commit carnage . . .
There was the ritualistic offering up of Totems to represent the deep bonds that exist between each parent and child . . .
There was the part where Matchmaker Deaton outed Stiles and Lydia, and Allison and Isaac as future lovers, by pairing them together in the sacrifice, and basically left poor Scott out in the lonely cold . . . literally . . .
And then, if that wasn’t enough, right when they are all on ice, ready to die, Stiles reveals to the audience that FBI Douche is actually Scott’s dad, who is officially back in town . . .
Yikes! When the promos said that this season of Teen Wolf might hurt, they weren’t kidding!
P.S. Derek just un-Alphaed himself to save Cora. How do ya like them apples, Peter?
He really ought to consider doing something about those varicose veins . . .
Next week, on the season finale of Teen Wolf . . .
See ya then, Werebangers!