Many thanks to Leah for once again sharing her thoughts on Teen Wolf with all of us!
As a quick heads-up before I start: As you probably know if you watched Teen Wolf this week, this episode dealt with heavy, potentially triggering subject matter. My review will discuss some of this, as I will talk about the suicide attempts that were made by each of the characters in this episode, though I will focus on the new information we learned about them through their hallucinations more than recounting the actions of the direct attempts themselves. Please take care of yourself and judge if discussions of the events in this episode will be triggering and/or emotionally distressing to you before reading.
Title Motel California
What Happened? Jennifer Blake helps a severely wounded Derek back to his apartment, where they form a connection. Scott and the rest of the group are stuck spending the night at a creepy motel, which holds the record for being the motel with the most suicides in California. At the motel, Scott, Boyd, Isaac, and Ethan all begin to have horrifying hallucinations, and Lydia hears the last moments of people who have died at the motel.
“I don’t like this place.”
“I don’t think the people who own this place like this place. It’s just for a night.”
“A lot can happen in one night.” (Lydia and Allison)
“Alright, so I have four.”
“Four? Seriously, you have four suspects?”
“Yeah. Seriously—ten. Well, nine, technically, I guess; I had Derek on there twice.” (Stiles and Scott)
“Scott, just listen to me okay. You’re not no one. You’re someone. Scott, you’re my best friend; I need you. Scott, you’re my brother. Alright, so…if you’re gonna do this, then you’re just gonna have to take me with you.” (Stiles)
My Thoughts First, I want to talk about our B-plot for this episode. We have Jennifer Blake helping Derek back to his apartment, where he heals a bit, they talk, and then they have sex. Personally I like Jennifer Blake—from the very little bit we’ve seen of her so far, she’s funny and at times sort of endearingly awkward, she obviously cares about her students (protecting them from the crows, telling Scott she doesn’t want to see his grades drop this year), and is seemingly sweet, or at least a good enough person to help Derek when he is dying on the ground in front of her.
However, the romance between her and Derek feels off somehow—their connection has felt rushed and has been given the appearance of more emotional depth than I feel the two truly have with each other, and for Derek “I don’t trust anyone” Hale to be trusting someone so much when he knows so very little about her seems quite unusual. All of which leads me to wonder if it is supposed to truly be a romance at all, or whether their scenes this episode were merely two people seeking comfort in each other, seeking an escape from the world around them. They even acknowledge in the scenes at Derek’s loft that they are basically strangers, and the lyrics of the part of the song that is playing over the scene when they first kiss seems to indicate that perhaps that scenario is what is truly occurring: Give me touch / cause I’ve been missing it / I’m dreaming of strangers / kissing me in the night / just so I / can feel something. Either way, I feel like something is going on with Jennifer Blake that we don’t know about yet.
I have a lot of feelings about all of the motel scenes this episode, but I’ll try not to spew them all over you. I’ll start by saying how much I appreciated seeing Stiles, Lydia, and Allison working together as a team to save the werewolves. We saw that these three are clever, brave, and work together very well. I especially am enjoying seeing Stiles and Lydia’s friendship grow to this level, where they work well together—for example, Stiles made the realization about the heat taking the werewolves out of their wolfsbane-induced state, and Lydia remembered the bus’s flares—and where they have enough trust and respect for each other that they can be truly honest, as Stiles was when he told Lydia that he thought she might be involved with the deaths because of the similarities with Peter in Season 2.
Isaac broke my heart (bravo, Daniel Sharman), though we didn’t learn much new information about his character in his scenes. The person we learned the most about from our pack was Boyd. Boyd’s nightmarish hallucinations told us how, when he was little, he was ice-skating with his sister Alicia and somehow she disappeared. It’s not quite clear whether she was kidnapped, killed, or if something else happened to her, but it is clear that Boyd blames himself for losing her, and that guilt is what drives him to his attempt to commit suicide.
Ethan’s storyline was quite interesting. It’s hard to tell what exactly his hallucination was meant to represent. It certainly seems related to his brother, as the movements of his back are the same that are made when he and his twin Aiden morph into one being when they shift into their Alpha form. He also hallucinated a face coming out of his stomach. Is he afraid of losing his individual identity to his identity as a twin? Is he afraid of one day shifting with his brother and never being able to shift back, so much so that his brother ends up stuck inside him? Or is there an event in his past involving his brother and how they gained the ability to shift into one being that we are currently unaware of, but that he regrets—since Scott and Boyd’s hallucinations played heavily upon guilt, did Ethan’s as well? I feel like we don’t quite have enough information to determine exactly what fears or memories drove Ethan to his actions in this episode, but hopefully we’ll learn more later this season.
The last suicide attempt, and for me the most emotional of the episode, was Scott’s. All of the characters’ attempts were based upon their own guilt or fears, aided by the hallucinations bringing them to a focal point for the characters, but I feel Scott’s was the most emotionally powerful—not just because he’s our main hero, but because we’ve seen Scott struggle with the issues that he hallucinated about before. Scott doesn’t want to be an Alpha, and is scared of the responsibilities that being the only Alpha in Beacon Hills would bring. His eyes turn red in the bathroom (whether this is a hallucination or not is debatable, but it’s quite likely Scott believes it is one by the end of the episode, so I’m including it here). We’ve also seen that Scott clearly feels guilt over bringing his mother into this world of werewolves and danger, and Scott hallucinates Deucalion tearing her throat out in front of him. Scott appears to be driven to his attempt by the guilt and helplessness of feeling like he is placing all his friends and family in danger and being unable to help; the potential of the many responsibilities waiting for him back in Beacon Hills now that (as he believes) Derek is dead; and the weight of all the events of the past year and a half since he was bitten by Peter that night in the woods.
These are things we have seen Scott worry about, and in my opinion that is part of why—when Stiles tries to tell him that it’s the Darach getting inside his head and Scott says, “What if it isn’t? What if it’s just me?”—it hits us hard that it is equally possible that Scott would be feeling this desperate without the effects of the wolfsbane hallucinations. And, of course, that brings us to the end of that scene, where Stiles brings Scott down in a very “Frodo-and-Sam” moment, and steps into the gasoline puddle, telling him that “if you’re gonna do this, then…you’re just gonna have to take me with you.” I’ll admit, at that point I was bawling (and have cried at that scene every time I’ve re-watched the episode). For me, one of the things I feel is at the true heart of this show is the depth and strength of the friendship between Stiles and Scott. Their love and loyalty to one another is one of my favorite things on television right now, and here we truly saw how they are willing to risk dying for one another. Brothers, indeed.
Bravo to all the cast for a brilliant episode. It is definitely my favorite of the season so far, and definitely one of my favorites of the series as whole.
Other Notable Things
• Back in the Game: For being so adamant about staying out of the werewolf world this season, Chris Argent seems to be easily drawn back into it. He’s been investigating his daughter’s actions lately, and now that he’s discovered Deucalion was the one who bit his uncle (which resulted in his uncle’s suicide), I would look for him to start helping out our pack in the fight against Deucalion quite soon.
• Guess Who’s Back?: This week’s episode saw the surprise return of Gerard Argent, our main baddie from last season, who appears to be alive and well—other than that pesky black blood pouring out of his mouth and nose. What’s in the world is going on with that? Despite the fact that he’s in a wheelchair when we see him this episode, I wouldn’t count him out for causing havoc.
• I See Dead People: Or, in this case, hear. We’ve been wondering for a while now what exactly is up with Lydia and what powers she has, and I think this episode gave us a major clue. She was the only person in our group that was able to hear the people who had previously committed suicide at the hotel. Whatever Lydia is, it has something to do with ghosts, spirits or dead people.
Episode Title Speculation: 3.07 “Currents”
I feel that this title could refer to many things. Electrical currents? Water currents? Or is it more of a metaphorical current— is there a “turning of the tide” occurring where one of the packs will gain a great advantage over the other? It appears there will be another conflict with the Alpha Pack next episode, as well as trouble for Deaton, and we shall see how this plays out.
What did you all think of this week’s episode? Did you love it as much as I did? Were you an emotional wreck after watching? Let me know what you think!