Lots of questions got answered this episode. Who is the Darach? What is Lydia? Can Stilinski Family Feels get more intense than they already are? Will Allison ever do something I don’t like? (Sadly, the answer to that last question is “yes.”)
We start the episode with Deputy Graham, having responded to a 911 call, walking around Beacon Hills High School. Alone. At night. Welp, we know who’s going to die next then, huh? Can the town government just create a law that no one goes in the high school after dark, ever? I held a tiny glimmer of hope in my heart that she might not die, because she’s not some defenseless teen wandering around the school like in last episode. She’s a professional, darnit! She has a gun! She might at least put up a fight!
But no. Deputy Graham is, in fact, a dead woman walking. She runs into Danny and some other students, who’ve stayed late practicing for the next day’s recital, and tells them to skedaddle. Yes, Danny. Listen to her. Leave. Never go to school again. Move out of the state. Move out of the country. You’re too good to die!
After shooing the teenagers away Deputy Graham tries to make a call to dispatch, but all she hears from her radio is static followed by the Darach’s signature creepy chanting. Dramatize, Darach. Dramatize. The chanting gets cut off, then we see a body getting dragged into a room.
The deputy follows a strange noise to the locker room, where she demands that whoever it is come out with their hands up. She’s clearly scared out of her wits, but she’s holding it together. I like her. Pity she’s going to die. She sees her own corpse slumped under the running showers; then the Darach comes at her from behind, choking her until she slumps under the shower, fitting in with her vision from a few seconds previous.
(Wait, so… who was the body we saw earlier? It shouldn’t be a Darach-induced hallucination, because Deputy Graham didn’t see it.)
Scott and Stiles arrive at the school, meeting Allison and Lydia, the latter of whom went all fugue state and drove there, just like when she found the dead guy at the pool. She knows there’s a dead body somewhere, but she’s not going to go find it, because… well, she’s just not going to go hunting for the dead body, all right?
Turns out no one needs to hunt for it, because it’s been artfully placed across the top of the Beacon Hills High School sign, bloody and very definitely dead. RIP, Deputy Graham. We barely knew ye.
The next morning Stiles is at school spying on his father’s investigation, as per usual. The Sheriff corners him, saying he knows all his sons theories on sacrifices and dying in threes, but he’s got a bunch of officers coming in, and they’re not going to let whoever it is doing the killing get way with offing a deputy. The Sheriff’s majorly stressed out and about to snap, and so is Stiles. He’s worried that the next sacrificial group is law enforcement officers, which would put his father in more-direct-than-normal danger. I’m worried too, Stiles. I’m worried too.
Meanwhile Allison is giving herself a mental health day so she can cope with all the craziness going on… except ha, no. She’s tricked her dad into thinking she’s not feeling well, but as soon as he leaves she’s up and running to the briefcase o’ knives she keeps in the closet. Super Hunter Allison is on the case! She hears a strange noise coming from the window, but it’s only Isaac, who’s come to check on her. She tells him she can take care of herself, which is pretty clear seeing how as soon as he appeared she tackled him and put a knife to his throat.
In English class Ms. Blake is giving a lesson on metaphors, idioms, that sort of thing, when she sees Lydia doodling the druid tree. I didn’t know you had so many hidden talents, she says. Lydia’s response: “You and every guy I’ve ever dated.”
Lydia, stop flirting with your English teacher. This is not that kind of high school AU fanfic.
Ms. Blake goes on to explain how what Lydia said was an idiom, even though I don’t think it was…? More of an innuendo, really. She then chats with Stiles, who mentions for the first time our Teen Wolf Metaphor of the Episode: Chess.
Scott tells Stiles he thinks they can get to Ethan and make him talk; when Stiles asks why they would even need to do that, Scott explains that since emissaries are druids and the Darach is a druid, the Darach might have once been the emissary to the Alpha pack. Quite a leap in logic, Scott, but then again that might explain the little connections we’ve been seeing between our two baddies. Go on with your investigatory self, Mr. McCall. Go on.
Talking to Ethan might be tough because he and Aiden have been stuck together like glue lately, but Stiles and Scott figure they can get some alone time with the former by sending Lydia to make out with the latter. Meanwhile said twins have been having a serious conversation in the hall: Aiden asks Ethan why he’s still talking to Danny and reminds him that they’re not really students. They’re in town to eliminate threats, not have high school romances. You keep talking to him and I’ll rip his flesh off and eat it, says Aiden. Wow. That’s a little more… evocative than “I’m going to rip your throat out with my teeth.” You need to step up your game, Derek.
Aiden and Lydia have a make-out session in an empty classroom, and seriously, the ratio of empty-to-used classrooms at this school is kind of out of whack. Then again, students keep dying, so I can see why teachers’ course loads would be smaller than average. Lydia’s barely talked to him since his part in Boyd’s death, but Aiden defends his actions, saying it wasn’t him who killed Boyd, and he doesn’t care Boyd died anyway, because Derek killed Ennis, Gawd Lydia! Their tension-filled convo is interrupted by a vengeance spiral being scratched into the frosted wall of the classroom door by, Aiden presumes, Derek. He presumed wrong, though, since when he storms out all ready to fight it’s a wolfed-out Cora who attacks him.
Meanwhile Ethan, having been separated from his twin, is treating Scott and Stiles to a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down he and Aiden came to be Alphas. They were omegas before Deucalion found them, subject to the violent whims of an evil pack and an even worse Alpha. Deucalion taught them to do their Wonder Twin powers, activate! move, thus enabling them to kill the rest of their pack, including their Alpha. (Awwww. I always assumed one killed their Alpha and the other hunted down another random Alpha to kill so they could be Alphas together. Them both killing one dude is considerably less cool.) They owe Deucalion everything. Scott asks about the emissaries all the Alphas had before they joined the Alpha pack. Turns out all of them are dead… except Deucalion’s. Stiles asks him whether Ethan means Morrell, but before he can respond he feels a pain in his chest, indicating that his brother’s in trouble.
The three of them rush to the locker room, where Aiden’s actually doing pretty well, because he’s beating the snot out of Cora instead of the other way around. Ethan gets his brother to stop, explaining that Kali gave Derek until the next full moon to decide to join them, so they can’t hurt anyone in his pack before then. The twins stalk away, leaving Cora bleeding on the floor.
Back in Allison’s apartment my Wonder Hunter is explaining to Isaac about her dad’s map and that it means he might be the killer, even if she hopes he’s not. Allison, Allison, Allison. Do you really think you’re dad’s a serial killer druid? He’s a master hunter! Even if he says he’s retired, isn’t “He must be investigating on the sly!” a more likely explanation than the one you immediately jumped to? Just ask him about the map and see what he says, for goodness’ sake!
With Isaac’s help Allison finds a new clue: The table on which the map is placed has a five-fold knot design, and inside each of the five circles are written in invisible ink the five sacrifice groups. There’s virgins, warriors, healers, and two news ones: Philosopher and guardians.
Guardians like… law enforcement? Papa Stilinski, nooooo!
Back at the high school Stiles asks Cora why she’d do something so crazy as attack an Alpha all by her lonesome. He killed Boyd, she explains, and someone had to do something. All you chuckleheads do is try and investigate, but in the end you don’t prevent murders, you just find the bodies. Stiles, after making a crack about how she’s definitely a Hale, says he’ll drive her home. (Don’t you have class?… Ah, never mind.)
Derek is hanging around the school, because apparently no one ever sees these random, shady-looking adults and tells them to leave. He has a conversation with Ms. Blake, who hasn’t seen him since he went AWOL after Boyd’s death. They have a bit of a Moment, with Derek trying to get her to play hooky with him and assuring her he’ll keep her safe. Derek being in normal boyfriend mode is weirding me out. He doesn’t function normally in any other social situation, yet this scene takes him from “I’m so messed up after being forced to kill my beta” to “flirty and smiley and having a fun time with my girlfriend!” in a span of like two minutes. I don’t like it. Not one bit.
Scott goes to see Morrell and ask her if she’s the one killing people. She reminds him to listen to her heartbeat and says she’s innocent, and Scott seems to accept that as truth despite the fact that a mere one episode ago he threateningly reminded Gerard that just because your heartbeat’s steady doesn’t mean you’re not lying. Consistency? What consistency? Morrell gives Scott some, well, guidance (guidance counselor, remember), explaining that while he’s trying to figure out what’s going on Deucalion is ten moves ahead. (This is unsubtle chess metaphor number two, if anyone’s keeping track.) He wants a True Alpha in his pack and is thus determined to make Scott, who’s not a True Alpha yet but is getting there, do one of two things: Join his pack or become a killer. The latter would prevent him from becoming a True Alpha, which would be appropriate revenge if Scott rejects Deucalion’s “Will you be part of my pack? Circle YES or NO” advances.
Meanwhile Allison has called Stiles, who’s driving Cora home, and let him know that one of the sacrifice groups is guardians, therefore Stiles has to warn his dad. He decides to tell him everything—werewolves, druids, hunters, the whole enchilada—but he’s going to need Cora to be his proof.
Back at the high school the Darach kidnaps his second sacrifice: Mr. Westover, a history teacher. (But… he’s not law enforcement?) Lydia finds the crime scene, at which someone has drawn a five-fold knot on the chalk board. She tries to explain to Ms. Blake that Mr. Westover is missing just like Mr. Harris was—i.e., he’s probably dead—but Ms. Blake says all they know is that he didn’t show up for class. I know something’s up, Lydia explains, because I’m psychic.
“You’re psychic?,” asks Ms. Blake
“I’m something!,” shouts Lydia, echoing the exact thing Stiles yelled at her a few episodes back. Aw yiss. Teen Wolf brOTP.
Stiles, back at Casa Stilinski with Cora, tries to figure out how to even begin explaining to his dad, also present, what’s going on. There’ve been a lot of crazy things going on in this town, he says, and you haven’t been able to solve them because you don’t see the whole story. He gets out a chess board, because ~symbolism~.
Allison gets a text about Mr. Westover being missing and says “I need to stop him,” meaning her dad, meaning she actually appears to be 100% convinced that her dad is, again, a serial killer druid. You are better than this, girl. Allison and Isaac find a new mark on the map, indicating where Mr. Westover is being sacrificed. What with Allison having a good track record with swooping in and saving the day, they decide to go and help the dude out.
The next scene shows us that Stiles has told his father about werewolves, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. I would’ve liked to have seen that whole explanation, but I was so elated by the show actually following through on earlier Stiles’ decision to ‘fess up that I didn’t even care. He even labelled the chess pieces for a visual aid.
(Plus: That’s what fanfic is for.)
The elation is soon replaced by crushing despair as it becomes clear that the Sheriff doesn’t believe his son and is actually quite angry at him. OK, OK, I get that. The Sheriff’s been going through a tough time lately, and anyway, it’s not like the statement “There are werewolves!” doesn’t require some proof. Luckily, Cora’s there to back Stiles up… but she faints right before she can wolf out.
Jesus freaking Christ, show, why do you do this to me?!
Isaac and Allison arrive at yet another abandoned building, where in theory the Darach, whoever-it-is-but-it’s-definitely-not-Chris-Argent-Allison-don’t-be-stupid, is sacrificing Mr. Westover.
The pair of them hear something, and Isaac smells blood, which leads them in the direction of Mr. Westover and the Darach… who’s not Chris Argent, because Chris Argent pops up all BAMF-y, unloading clips at the Darach like the badass he is. It gets away, though, and Allison calls Scott to let him know the current sacrifice group is philosophers, not guardians. Stiles says that makes sense, as Deputy Graham used to teach middle school. It’s bad news for the rest of the teachers, who’re all heading to the recital Ms. Blake set up to memorialize the town’s recent tough times.
So. A recital. About tragic loss. Taking place at night. At the high school. Oh, this’ll go well.
Allison and her dad clear a few things up: Yes, Chris was tracking the Darach, and he would’ve killed it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids. Yes, he lied to Allison about staying out of supernatural business. Yes, Allison has been lying to him about the same thing. Communication issues: The Argents have them. Scratch that, everyone on this show has them. Isaac interrupts the kerfluffle to point out that that they should probably get to the recital and prevent another teacher from reaching the same gruesome end as Mr. Westover.
Stiles and the Sheriff have taken Cora to the hospital, where Stiles is still trying to convince his dad that he’s not lying. The Sheriff refuses to accept what his son is saying, and in a final “Ow, why don’t you just rip out my heart while you’re at it?” zinger, Stiles says “Mom would’ve believed me.”
With mere minutes to go ’til the Recital of Death, Ethan helps Danny tie his tie and says that if something goes down, find him first. Also at the recital is Lydia, who tells Scott if she accepts the whole “finding dead bodies” thing she might get some of psychic twinge before the person dies, giving Scott enough time to (hopefully) prevent it.
Cora wakes up in the hospital, a teary-eyed Derek sitting beside her. He promises to never leave her again. Whatever. Step out of the way, Hale Family Feels. Stilinski Famliy Feels own this episode.
Speaking of: Something Stiles said intrigued his father, because he asks Mama McCall to let him see some ten-year-old records that he shouldn’t be given access to without a court order. But Mama McCall gives them to him anyway, because she’s “willing to bend the rules for a handsome face.” Get it, Mama McCall. Get. It.
The two of them look at the files, which relate to a Jane Doe brought into the hospital with slashes, as if from an animal attack, all over her body. While Ms. Doe was struggling to survive a bejeesuston of birds kamikazed into the hospital walls, just like what happened earlier this season. “Like a mass suicide,” says Mama McCall…
…. “or a sacrifice,” says Sheriff Stilinski.
BAMF Sheriff moment incoming!
Back at the recital Lydia has gotten a text from Aiden requesting to meet… except it’s not from Aiden, because we see him telling Ethan he lost his phone. Lydia heads into the dark school (nooooo) on her way to see who must be the Darach (the creepy chanting Lydia starts hearing is a dead giveaway). And the Darach is…
… Ms. Blake. And she looks eeeeevil.
OK, I did not see that coming.
Back in the recital the music has gone all evil and orchestral and…. chanty. Everyone’s freaking out, and it’s supposed to be ominous, and it is, but I can’t help imagining Danny and all the other band members looking at the sheet music going “… Why are we playing a super-intense, evil version of Wagner? Is she having the choir section chant in a dead language? Isn’t this supposed to be a memorial? I thought we’d be doing Lean On Me or something.”
Lydia’s not answering her texts, so Scott and Stiles run off to look for her. Turns out she’s been knocked out and tied to a chair by Ms. Blake, who proceeds to get her James Bond villain speech in. The sacrifices are a necessary evil, blah de blah blah, you don’t know the Alphas like I do, yada yada, you’re not a sacrifice, you’re just [title name drop!] a girl who knew too much.” Ms. Blake gets a garrotte wire around Lydia’s throat, and Lydia screeches her lungs out, producing a sound that’s like a dog whistle to all the werewolves in the area—even Derek in the hospital!—but that none of the humans can seem to hear.
Ms. Blake tells Lydia that she’s a banshee, confirming that popular fan theory and checking one item off my “What the heck is going on here?” list. Ms. Blake puts the garrotte around Lydia’s neck again and prepares to slash her throat… except it’s actually the pianist whose throat goes bloody, because Ms. Blake has long-range killing powers. Allison runs up to the body and says mistletoe was used, but I don’t even care, let’s go back to awesome evil Ms. Blake please and thank you.
Except no, I do not like this scene, because Sheriff Stilinski charges in with a gun (yaaaay!) and Ms. Blake throws her knife at the Sheriff and it goes into his chest and he falls to the ground with a knife in his chest, I repeat, a knife in his chest, red alert, red alert! Scott charges in all wolfy, officially confirming for the Sheriff what Stiles told him, not that he’ll have time to apologize for not believing him because he might die. Ms. Blake fights Scott off without even breaking a nail (woohoo magic!), and Force pushes a desk to block the door so Stiles, who’s just showed up, can’t get in.
So Stiles has to watch through the window as his dad gets back to his feet and confronts Ms. Blake, telling her he knows she’s the Jane Doe who was brought into the hospital all those years ago. He shoots her, but the wound heals right away. She’s intrigued by him, and leaving Lydia behind she grabs the knife and backs him against the wall. (Teen Wolf, there is one minute left in this episode, please do not kill the Sheriff in the last minute I could not handle it, look, my grammar is failing just remembering this, please help.) She kisses him, and as she pulls away we see her face is the Darach’s. Ewwww.
Stiles breaks the window and gets into the room… only to see that the window is broken and his dad and Ms. Blake are missing.
Let me close my recap of this excellent episode with my thoughts on Ms. Blake being the Darach:
Gotta say, I love love love it. Before this I didn’t dislike Ms. Blake, but I didn’t really like her*, either. There just wasn’t much there. We knew that she likes books, is conversationally awkward, and wants Derek’s bod… that’s about it. She didn’t seem to exist outside the context of her being the English teacher for a few characters and the love interest of another. But finding out that what I assumed was yet another case of “poorly developed love interest” is actually “mysterious character holding her cards close to her chest because she’s actually the evil baddie”? YES.
Plus, Blake-as-the-Darach is just awesomely badass, and I have a fondness for female villains that may cloud my judgement at times. I’ll admit that.
(That’s not to say I don’t have issues with how her relationship with Derek has gone, but that’s more Derek related. Like, for the past few seasons we’ve had hammered home how damaged Derek is—trust issues, guilt issues, etc.—and then this season it’s been a never-ending barrage of “You thought Derek’s life was awful before? Take that!” That I’m expected to believe he’d be capable of being in a semi-functional relationship when everything else about him screams that that wouldn’t be the case rubs me the wrong way.
Plus, this is the second time in Derek’s life a girlfriend of his—someone whom he fell for against his better judgement, no less!—turns out to be evil and using him. You really need to take this character in a different direction, writers. It’s getting a little old.)
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