Teen Wolf Season 4, Episode 1: "The Dark Moon" Recap/Review

[Edited to add: I started writing my notes/speculation section after I finished the recap, and realized that I have way too much to say in the way of theories/meta to tack it to the end of an already way too long recap, so they're going into another post that should be set to be posted on Saturday. Expect TONS of discussion regarding Kate Argent, Araya/the Calaveras, and Teenage!Derek, among other things! Sorry for the switch up, but I figure it's probably easier to read this way.]


I admit that I was the tiniest bit nervous about this new season, because losing Allison and Isaac both seemed like a huge blow to the pack and to the show in general, especially considering they were my favorite characters after King Scott. Don't get me wrong, this show is my baby, and I will most likely watch/love it until the bitter end, so I was mostly SUPER EXCITED to learn what's going down in Beacon Hills for this round, but there was still that little part of my mind that was nervous that it wouldn't be the same, you know?

Fortunately for me, this season has started off with a huge bang, in my humble opinion, and I am SO FUCKING INTO IT. All of the characters have started out as the best version of themselves, we got some familiar faces, as well a tiny taste of the mythology of a couple of the new beasties, AND tons of action! I am actually super fond of Araya, no matter how ridiculously bananas she may be, Malia is exactly how I hoped she'd be, and Kira, my thunder princess, is already kicking so much ass. And not only that, but both Scott AND Lydia seem to be really embracing their powers and using them to get shit done, too! I was thrilled to see Lydia making progress on her banshee abilities, not to mention the fact that Scott actually beat up (and WON) a fight with some of Araya's third-string hunter lackeys. I love Scott and his moral code, but what I love more is a Scott who is willing to do whatever it takes to keep his loved ones safe. He can still be opposed to hurting/killing people unnecessarily while still doing what he needs to do to protect his pack, and that occasionally includes knocking the fuck out of some hunters to get your werewolf bro back, am I right?  AND STILES, oh sweet Stiles--I LOVE how he's been helping Malia get control of her powers and start to reconcile her human side with the fact that she just spent half her life as a wild animal. After everything that happened last season, I think Stiles being able to help others gain control over their abilities will do wonders in helping him heal from all the shit the nogitsune did while it was playing around in Stiles' pretty little head.

Also, I was also pleasantly surprised to see that Allison's absence seems to still be really weighing on our heroes-- they're not just brushing over her death like it was nothing, which I know a lot of people were expecting. A lot of people on Tumblr seemed upset that Allison didn't get a funeral or closure in this episode, but I mean, I don't really know how we could have done it with the time jump in between seasons--hasn't at least, like, 3-4 weeks passed by this point? It's not like they're not still affected by Allison's death; in fact, it's obvious that they're still in that place in the grieving process where thinking or talking about her still hurts a LOT. Lydia's voice cracked when Araya brought up grief and she looked like she was about to cry, and she, Scott and Stiles all looked like they wanted to die when they had to recount the story of Kate, because it's so awful and unfair to them that Kate, a mass-murderer who has tried to hurt nearly all of them in the past and who killed Derek's family, gets to come back from the dead and Allison, who was dedicated to Team Good, does not.  I'll definitely be getting into this more later, but I have a decent amount of confidence that Allison's absence will still be felt and acknowledged throughout the season, even if we didn't get a funeral scene or anything like that. ANYWAY, enough summarizing and rambling--let's get to the good stuff, yeah?

Previously, on Teen Wolf: Malia Tate was revealed to be a werecoyote who, on the night of her first full moon at age 8-9, began to unexpectedly transform in the car with her mother and sister, which resulted in her mother wrecking the car, killing herself and Malia's sister in the process. She was so stunned with fear and grief that she shifted into her coyote form (possibly thanks to her Hale genetics) and stayed that way for another 8-9 years until Scott and Stiles figured it out and Scott roared her back into her human body. Then, she met Stiles again at Eichen House and they got it on in the basement, much to the dismay of Sterek and Stydia shippers alike. New-girl Kira learned that Scott (and many of his friends) are werewolves, and also learned that she herself is a kitsune (a fox trickster spirit). Specifically, she's a thunder kitsune, capable of absorbing and producing lightning/foxfire. Braedon, a supernatural mercenary, was hired by Marin Morrell to save Isaac from the Alpha Pack, and was also hired by Deucalion for whatever reason to rescue Derek and Peter from the Latin@ hunters.

Jennifer Blake finally revealed to us all that Lydia is a motherfucking BANSHEE, the wailing woman, a supernatural being who can sense when someone is close to death. The downside to this ability turned out to be that she sensed that Allison was going to die in their fight against the nogitsune, but had no way of preventing it from happening, aside for a note left on a car window and a message delivered by fellow banshee Meredith. Despite her attempted warnings, Allison and the gang showed up for the fight, and she ultimately was stabbed in the chest by an oni's sword while she was fiercely defending and protecting her friends. One of the Latin@ hunters, Araya, captured Derek and Peter and interrogated/tortured them to find out what they know about a person they call La Loba/the She-Wolf, but unfortunately for her, they honestly had no clue whatsoever who she was talking about. Coincidentally, Kate Argent was Chris' sister and Allison's aunt, who, at one point at the beginning of the series, asked her brother if it was possible to be turned into a werewolf by a scratch, which he confirmed, so long as their claws went deep enough. Shortly afterward, she was violently killed by Peter, who, of course, ripped her throat out by his claws. However, like most villains on this show, she didn't stay dead long, and revealed that she was back at the end of last season when she eventually tracked Derek down at his loft. To make matters more confusing and scary, she demonstrated to Derek that she is also a fucking blue-and-black skinned, green-eyed WEREJAGUAR. Which is kind of where we pick up today!

We open in this wonderful premiere with a bunch of aerial shots of what is supposed to be the Mexican desert, which hilariously and conveniently looks exactly like the same location that was used during the bus trip in "Frayed." The scene is tinted yellow, like most of the scenes in this episode, just so we're 100% aware that we're south of the border. Finally, we meet up with some familiar faces-- specifically, Lydia and Stiles, who are walking side by side in the middle of a bustling street somewhere in Mexico. Lydia looks amazing, as usual, and Stiles looks very good/healthy, as well, SO much better than when we saw him at the end of last season! He has color back in his cheeks and everything and seems to have gotten back to more-or-less himself.

ANYWAY, Stiles and Lydia take in the scene around them, and Stiles nervously proclaims that their newest environment doesn't look so bad. Lydia reminds him that the town was never expected to be bad, it was their PLAN that they're all nervous about. Stiles asks her what she's got against the plan, and Lydia wastes no time with her retort. "Stiles, this could be the STUPIDEST plan we've ever come up with." That's a pretty high bar, too, because think about their past stupid plans-- putting Jackson in charge of picking the right chemicals for Molotov cocktails in season 1, trying to avoid getting Lydia killed by Derek and his pack in Season 2, their disaster of a confrontation with the Alpha Pack, AND the fact that they actually robbed an armored car full of evidence in an FBI investigation. So yeah, hearing Lydia's complaints about their plan does not do much to inspire confidence in what they're about to attempt.

Stiles concedes that he's aware it isn't their BEST plan, but Lydia insists that they're gonna get themselves killed. They start walking down the street, where Stiles asks her if she's saying that as a banshee or just as a Negative Nancy, but Lydia just snarks, "I'm saying it as a person who doesn't want to die." Good enough reason for me, bb! Stiles is clearly nervous, too, which tends to bring out his asshole side, so he tells her to keep quiet about her negative thoughts regarding their hypothetical deaths unless it's an actual banshee hunch. Lydia just waits a beat before quipping, "This plan is stupid, and we're going to die!" in response. HAHAHA. God, I love Lydia, and Stiles, and Stydia/Martinsk so fucking much! My aggressively multi-shipper heart had so much to be happy about this week, between Stiles/Lydia and Stiles/Malia and Scott/Kira and Malia/Kira. Best cast ever.

Somehow, the pair just walk around for god knows how long until it's dark outside. They turn down a street which has quite a few locals and some food stands, and their pasty asses with their anxious/terrified demeanor makes them stick out SO BADLY. They finally make it to a building where two men are standing nonchalantly on the stoop. The men immediately tense up and move to block the doorway when Stiles and Lydia approach them, and after an awkward moment, Lydia chirps, "Estamos aqui para la fiesta?" ["We're here for the party?"] The dudes just kind of side-eye them, so Stiles sighs and reaches into his wallet, from which he pulls out what looks like a playing card and flashes it at them. The card has a skull on it, and the dudes seem pretty shocked that Stiles and Lydia would have it. Stiles turns the card toward a surveillance camera outside the door, and whomever is inside immediately hits the buzzer, opening the door so Lydia and Stiles can get in. As soon as they make it past the threshold, the guards instantly shut the door behind them, startling the shit out of them both. Stiles and Lydia are both seriously on edge, as you would be, having just entered some weird domicile of some kind with some sort of covert access, and Stiles' eyes narrow in anxiety as he notices the lights flickering and the walls shaking to the beat of what sounds like muffled dance music.

They finally make it to the end of the hall, where they find a solid-looking set of wooden double doors. The whole building has a very dark, gothic-yet-rustic feel to it, and it seems vaguely familiar. Lydia gives Stiles a nod of encouragement, and he sighs before pushing the doors open. Inside is a decently sized bar room full of sweaty, scantily-clad young adults dancing and drinking and likely doing all manner of drugs. Stiles and Lydia's nervous demeanor aside, they still look completely out of place solely for how conservatively they're dressed. I'm not sure if that was the point or not, but if it was, that was definitely a good choice. Stiles takes Lydia's hand and leads her through the room towards the bar, as they pass various drunkards dancing around and grinding on each other. I am getting major flashbacks to "Illuminated," which was my favorite 3B episode, so I am loving this SO MUCH. Up in the balcony, a DJ (whose name is Deorro, who is the featured artist in this episode, much like The Bloody Beetroots was back in the aforementioned episode)is spinning away, and we can see right beside him stands Severo, that scary hunter who kept torturing Derek and Peter back in "More Bad Than Good," and who came after Derek right before Kate did in "The Divine Move." He picks up a walkie-talkie and mutters, "Tenemos visitas," or "We have visitors."

He continues to watch Lydia and Stiles as they approach the bar, where they watch the bartender quickly filling a row of tequila shots. After waiting a moment, the bartender sets two shots on the table in front of them. Lydia is confused, but I think Stiles is just super excited to not get carded, so he reaches for his wallet to pay for them. Before he can grab any money, Severo appears behind them and grip each of them on the shoulder with his hands. "No! On the house." Lydia and Stiles both kind of ankle-dip awkwardly, since this isn't exactly a great time for them to get drunk, but they also don't exactly want to piss off this dude either. Severo insists that two American teenagers can't afford to say no to free booze, which is ACCURATE, although in this case, I totally support their choice, because they're on a mission and can't afford to be impaired. "We're not here to drink," Lydia replies as confidently as she can muster, before gulping nervously and dropping a bullet casing (which has a skull carved in the side) into her shot.

(via shiva-snowi)
Severo isn't really that excited at this newest development, but even still, he takes them back to none other than Araya, that bananas hunter ladt who seemed to have a history with Chris Argent last season. Remember that crazy knife she used to cut Peter's finger off, the curved one that's typically used by grape-farmers/wineries? She has it in her hands as she speaks to our fave humans, and she's using it as a seam-ripper for what looks like a couple pieces of leather. "Severo hates this music," she says in a voice that is both kind and terrifying, while she violently rips the stitches out of the cloth in her hands. "Me? I've always loved the music of youth. This kind especially. It has a savage energy." It's true! The song is Deorro's "Dechorro" and it's pretty awesome. Also, I'm sorry you guys, I know she's not exactly a good guy, but I kind of love Araya. That might be because Kathleen and I have some suspicions/theories about her and her hunter connections, but I'll be discussing this more in a bit.

Anyway, Lydia and Stiles are clearly unnerved by the contrast of her calm voice and violent rippimg noises from her crafts, but Lydia clears her throat and informs her that they're there for Derek Hale. She just laughs, "Is that so?" Lydia insists that she knows that she has him, so Araya drops what she's working on on the desk in front of her and stares at her, which causes Lydia to start talking before she loses her nerve. "We've heard you can be bought." As if on cue, Stiles slaps five stacks of hundreds on the table in front of her and states for the record that they're willing to pay $50,000 USD for Derek's release. "Now, where does a teenage boy get money like this?" she asks, as she stares Stiles down. "Japanese mafia?" OH SHIT. So not only did they steal the scroll from the armored car back in "Echo House," but when Kincaid didn't take the money in return for the scroll, the kids stole that, too? That is fucking HILARIOUS, but also convenient, because I'm sure that money will come in handy sometime. Behind them, Sevarro, another hunter dude, and a sullen hunter lady all cock their shotguns menacingly, startling our poor humans. Why would they send Lydia and Stiles to do negotiations? I will never understand this. They need to at least teach them how to fight before they go out like this so they can at least stand a chance of defending themselves. Araya almost seems pitying when she suggests that the children were not wise to come there all by themselves, but Stiles, who seems to have retained a little of Nogitstiles' swagger, just squints at her in annoyance and retorts, "What makes you think we came alone?" Needless to say, Araya is NOT PLEASED.

Then, the following sequence of scenes will go down as one of my all-time favorites ever. The camera cuts down to the club, where everyone is still writhing around and grinding on each other, boy on boy, girl on boy, boy on boy. We zoom through the crowd for a bit, before we come up upon a light-brown haired girl, who turns around, blue eyes blazing, dancing by herself. IT'S MALIA! Yessss! Over on the side of the room, perched on a red velvet sofa of sorts, is everyone's favorite thunder princess Kira, her golden-pink eyes glowing like the sun. Back upstairs, Araya is furious that they would bring a wolf into HER home, but Stiles manages to feign confidence despite his fright. "I brought an ALPHA." Back downstairs, we finally get a glimpse of our fearless leader, true alpha of my heart Scott McCall, whose bright crimson eyes are glaring at the crowd from where he stands in a dark corner. THE MCCALL PACK IS HERE TO GET THEIR BRO BACK, Y'ALL. Also, NEW TITLE CARD! (PS, tell me your theories on the addition of Stiles' new clue board into the Season 4 credits! A couple people have managed to identify some articles and photos that were posted. What do you think?)

(via stilinskis)
The party is still bumping to more of Deorro's tuneskis while three of Araya's hunter lackeys begin to patrol the club for the various beasties that Lydia and Stiles have brought for back-up; two are dudes, and one is that sulky girl with the shotgun who was glaring at Lydia earlier. Malia is still dancing all by her lonesome, having the time of her life, but you can tell her animal senses are fully on alert because her eyes never stop subtly scanning the room. Kira eventually catches up with her on the dance floor and informs her that something is afoot, but Malia's already aware, naturally. Kira's not sure what they should be doing, but Malia, queen of the animal kingdom, just tells her to blend in and keeps dancing. Kira is like, "Uh, how?" and gives her a deer-in-headlights-look, so Malia just grins and chirps, "Dance with me, dumbass!"

(via allisonxargent)
Kira smiles sarcastically and starts to dance in the same jerky, awkward, uncoordinated movements that I break out on the regular, because I have no sense of rhythm whatsoever, and she is clearly just so on edge and uncomfortable, it's incredibly adorable. Malia literally laughs out loud at her obvious nervousness, and eventually just grabs Kira by the waist and pulls her toward her. Kira is super confused at first, but Malia's carefree demeanor somehow puts her at ease, and the two just go to town grinding and dancing it up. I LOVE IT SO MUCH, they are so great together! We were told by Jeff in an interview that there would be two people dirty dancing in this episode, and there was so much debate in the fandom over whether it would be Stiles and Malia or Stiles and Lydia, but literally NO ONE expected it to be two girls, especially not Malia and Kira. This was such a pleasant surprise! Literally, everyone is just so great in this episode. (The song is "Cayendo" by Deorro, btw, and it is SEXY and perfect for this dance scene)

(via philcoulson)
The girls continue to dance, and tbh, both of them are very into it. A bunch of dudes and ladies eventually start dancing around them, and the hunter lackeys seem to be completely thrown by the fact that nobody really looks suspicious. Even still, Malia has one eye on them, making sure they're good to go just in case. Meanwhile, upstairs, Araya walks over toward the window and continues to talk to her new "friends." "I don't think you're aware of your poor timing," she states calmly. "Do you know what the dark moon is?" Naturally, Lydia does, so she replies that it's part of the lunar phase when the moon is least visible in the sky. Araya was referring more to the SYMBOLISM of the dark moon, and Lydia's voice cracks when she answers. "Some people say it's...a time of reflection. Or grief." ALLISON, BB. This seems to be exactly the answer Araya wanted. "Grief and loss, mija." She waits a beat, and when neither Stiles nor Lydia have a response, she continues. "I wonder why, when you and your friends have suffered so much loss, you would risk it again for someone like Derek Hale?" Stiles looks like he's trying to swallow down his rage when he retorts, "'Cause we don't like to lose."

They're cut off by Araya's walkie-talkie, where one of the male lackeys begins to report in on their search. "Nadie en la cantina. Front door clear, south clear." Severo, who has been supervising this conversation with the human contingent of the McCall Pack Brain Trust, asks them about the north, but they get no answer, because LOL, Scott took them out. YAS SCOTT BB, GET THEM. Scott picks up the goon's walkie-talkie and presses the button before whispering, "Stiles, take ten off the table." Stiles hilariously just kind of shrugs and picks a stack up off the desk and sticking it in his inner jacket pocket. Araya seems both annoyed and the tiniest bit impressed at their nerve. "Maaaybe you should just take the deal," Lydia suggests in her best mean-girl voice, but Araya doesn't seem very impressed. "While I am keen to follow the warning of a banshee," Araya says with a sneery smile. "I'm going to have to decline."

JFC, how does this lady know everything? Because as we'll see here soon, she knows seriously EVERYTHING. And it's because she knows everything that one of the other goons grabs his handgun and immediately heads out on the dance floor where Malia and Kira are still dancing. Do you think she has like, sly surveillance pics of them or something to go on? Her knowledge of what's going on in Beacon Hills is frightening, though we already know that the hunters have a serious network. I want to believe that Chris wouldn't spill the beans to her, though, since it would put people he seems to care about in jeopardy. Anyway, Kira sees the guy coming before Malia does, so Kira indicates with a quick nod that they've got trouble coming. The lady hunter goon makes her way behind Kira with a smirk, just as Malia leans in toward Kira and asks, "Ready?" Kira grabs a pair of huge, amazingly-ridiculous glow-stick nunchucks out of her jacket and nods nervously. They both spin, so they're back-to-back, and each take down their respective goon. It takes Malia all of about ten seconds to karate-chop the guy in the neck, grab him by his shirt to pull him up into the air and slam him down onto the ground (while wearing American-flag Daisy Duke shorts, I might add). She ultimately knocks him right out with an elbow to the temple, easy-peasy.

(via malihales)
Meanwhile, Kira is whipping those nunchucks around so fiercely that the hunter girl is just twitching, hands defensively over her face in an attempt to protect her from being hit. Kira flicks out the nunchucks so they whip the girl behind the knees just before she spins them the other way, beating her across the head with it. BAD. ASS. LADIES. Both girls seem to have gained quite a bit of attention while fighting these dudes, but not enough to really shut down the party any. Maybe it's a regular occurrence here. The third and final goon enters the club, his handgun drawn, only to be completely TACKLED by Scott McCall himself. Scott shoves the hunter into a pillar in the middle of the room, and when the dude lifts up his arm so he can shoot him, Scott just knocks the gun right out of his hand, grabs him by the throat, and straight-up lobs him into a nearby wall, totally knocking him out when his head smacks into the stone. It's so refreshing to see the gang win a fight for once, you know? I would really like to see more of this kind of assertiveness from all of them, tbh, and Scott especially. Like I said before, it's clear he still doesn't want to maim or kill anyone if he doesn't have to, but if his loved ones are threatened? WATCH OUT.

(via malihales)
Scott catches Kira's eye and nods, so the three leave the still-bumping party and head out into the hall. They all make their way through a bunch of winding hallways, trying to figure out where the fuck they're going. Back upstairs, Stiles has resorted to bargaining with Araya in hopes of getting themselves out of there in one piece. "Look, just give us Derek," he says exasperatedly. "You don't want him anyway! Haven't you noticed what a downer he is? No sense of humor, poor conversationalist. Just, come on, take the money." Lydia is making the most hilarious faces in agreement as he speaks, but Araya is still not impressed by either of them, so she picks up her walkie-talkie and presses the button before ordering Severo to "show them how the Calaveras negotiate." As my dearest Kathleen pointed out to me (which made me feel like a terrible linguaphile for not noticing sooner, LOL), "Calavera" means "skull" in Spanish, which explains the skulls on the card to get in, and on the bullet shells.

(via kinginthenorths)
Severo is with Deorro at the DJ set-up, where he sets the track ("Elevated" by Deorro, naturally) and lays down his headphones so he can pick up a bullhorn. When he holds it out to blare it out at the crowd, it releases a wolfsbane-laced fog into the crowd that disperses throughout the whole downstairs. Wait, isn't wolfsbane/aconite toxic to humans as much as it is werewolves? Isn't that why Allison and Stiles tripped just as badly as Scott and Jackson after drinking the wolfsbane punch at Lydia's party in "Party Guessed?" Unless hallucinating your worst fears is something this crowd is into doing recreationally, in which case, to each their own, I guess. ANYWAY, fog is filling up the room as laser lights move all over the place, and it's not long before it starts to seep into the hallways that Scott, Malia and Kira are currently navigating. They're clearly on edge, and the presence of fog does NOTHING to help whatsoever. Scott looks at the girls in confusion, just as even more fog machines (hidden in the light fixtures) start to fill the hallways with thick fog as well. The three immediately start coughing, and Scott manages to gasp out that it's wolfsbane before yelling at Kira to GTFO. So, is this evidence that wolfsbane hurts foxes and coyotes as much as it does wolfies? Because all three of them seem to be affected by it.

Scott yells out a warning to Kira when he sees a goon coming and she immediately whips out her nunchucks again, but between the effects of the fog and this hunter being much more adept at hand-to-hand, he's is quickly able to knock her out by slamming the butt of his shotgun into her temple. Scott has fallen to his knees from the pain of the wolfsbane vapor in his lungs, and Malia is doubled over, too, choking on the fumes. Scott looks up to see Araya standing over him in his blurring vision. "Someone who has been an alpha only a few months should be more careful when facing a hunter of forty years!" she exclaims with a wolfish grin. Scott insists that they just want Derek back, and then they'll vamos, but Araya just shakes her head sadly. "I know, mijo. You're a long way from home." The wolfsbane is still making his vision fuzzy, and Malia, weaker on account of (presumably)being a beta-level werecreature, totally ends up passing out on the floor, but Scott's wolf-senses are way better now, and he can tell by Araya's brief frown that she actually has NO idea where Derek is, either. Unfortunately, saying out loud kind of fucks up Araya's whole game plan, so she angrily uses one of those cattle-prod lightsaber-tasers (of which the Argents are so fond) to electrocute the shit out of him. GET YOUR PAWS OFF SCOTT MCCALL, LADY.

(caps up until this point are via KissThemGoodbye--there was an issue adding the rest, so I had to switch to a different source)

After the break, we return to a flashback to an unknown amount of time before they left for Mexico. Scott, Stiles, and Lydia have met in the back room of the animal clinic to brainstorm what's going on. We enter in the middle of their conversation, where Stiles asks Scott how long it's been. "Weeks," Scott admits nervously. He adds that "he" (aka Derek) has not replied to any of his texts in weeks, which leads Stiles to ask a pretty logical question: "Does Derek EVER return your texts?" LOLOL. It's true, though! Most of the time Derek can't respond, because he's usually being held captive, or being tortured, or is too busy being impaled by a metal pipe (which I guess falls under the "torture" category, but I digress.) Scott's reply? "Once. ...definitely once." Oh, Derek. Oh, Scott. Scott goes on to explain that something felt off, so he went to the loft to investigate, and found that the alarm system was set and everything, for the most part, looked totally fine. That is, until he found a shitload of shell casings, all of which have a skull carved into the outside of them, and are now being kept in one of Deaton's metal jars. According to Deaton, the skull on the shells is the symbol of the Calavera hunter family based in Mexico, to whom we've just been formally acquainted.

Lydia asks Scott what the Calaveras would want with Derek, which seems pretty obvious-- I mean, they hunt supernatural creatures, and Derek is a werewolf from a prominent pack/family who has blue eyes-- but Stiles is more concerned about what the chances are that they've killed Derek already. Scott has no idea what they could doing with him or whether or not he's dead, which is why he invited Lydia to join them-- he needs her help to at least get some clues by using her banshee senses. Lydia sighs nervously and runs her finger around the edge of the jar before eventually plunging her hand inside and scooping out all the shells. I can't tell if Lydia is just going with what feels right, like following her natural instincts, or if she's gotten more banshee lessons from Peter or somebody over the break, or what, but I'm digging it nonetheless.

She holds the shells in her hand for a long moment before closing her eyes and focusing as she drops them onto the metal counter. As the shells make contact with the metal surface, they sound just like gunshots, and with those shots come the faint echo of what sounds like Derek shouting in pain in agony. Stiles has a bad feeling, just judging by the expression on Lydia's face, and quietly asks if he's dead. Man, how shitty is it that these kids have to spend so much time worrying about whether or not their friends are going to die? It's really super sad, when you think about it. Lydia concedes that she doesn't think he's dead, or at least, the shells aren't leading her to that conclusion, but she also can't really tell if he's alive, either. She's not sure what exactly is happening, but she confesses that what she's sensing definitely feels weird and wrong. Stiles wonders how/where they're supposed to find Derek if the Calaveras have him, and Scott's face gets steely as he makes his decision. "Mexico." ROADTRIP ALERT.

Scott awakens from his flashback-dream, only to find that he's laying on the floor of what looks like the club's scuzzy bathroom. Kira is anxiously hovering over him, and when she sees him open his eyes, she immediately calls out to the others that he's finally awake. Stiles and Malia rush over to him, where Stiles nervously asks his bro if he's okay. As they all help him up, Scott frantically reveals that the Calaveras don't actually have Derek, but the rest of the gang already figured it out while he was unconscious. Unfortunately for them, they have another problem to worry about right now-- Araya has Lydia. "Lydia?" Scott gasps. "What do they want with Lydia?"

Outside on the street, Araya is politely pouring Lydia a cup of tea before she serves herself, and starts to fill a plate with fruit and bread from the serving tray in front of her. As it turns out, Araya is pretty curious about her powers. "I have to admit, I don't have much experience with bean sídhes." Lydia just shrugs nervously and points out that she doesn't have much experience BEING a banshee, so they're the same in that regard. Araya is sure that Lydia is just underestimating her abilities, which is true (although that may be the part of me that is still clinging to Lydia being the Morrígan), but Lydia insists that she's telling the truth, and tells Araya she would have better luck using tarot cards. Of course, Araya would like to test her, and gestures to the row of three armed men guarding her. "Tell me, which of these men is about to die?" OH SHIT.

Inside, Scott has made his way to the door, which slides, much like Derek's loft door, and of course has no door handle on the inside. He manages to wedge his fingers into the crack in an attempt to use his strength to try to slide the door open and bust the lock, and even though it's ultimately futile, you can see Stiles in the background gesturing in encouragement behind him anyway. Eventually, Kira's like, "We already looked for a way out," although Scott's an alpha, so I would expect him to be the strongest of the group. Even so, Scott continues to examine the door and the wood surrounding it, noticing that there are deep claw marks in the wall around the door frame, as if many supernaturals had been kept there and tried to claw their way out over the years (which, we'll learn soon enough, is most likely true true.) Malia once again channels her inner animal and pipes up, "I say, when that door opens again, we take out whoever's standing in the way and run for it." Which, is a pretty legit plan, save for the fact that she totally forgot about Lydia. When Kira points this out, she's super confused as to why she would even be a concern, so Scott reminds her that they're not leaving Lydia behind. Malia is still not quite grasping the concept of friendship, so Stiles steps in to mediate, as is his wont.

"Because we don't leave without people, remember?" he explains kindly, and Malia gets this adorable frowny face, like she's suddenly self-conscious of the fact that she forgot about the power of friendship. "We talked about this, the rules of the animal kingdom don't apply to friends?" Kira, who tries really hard to be an understanding friend, asks her if that's what she would do as a coyote, just leaving Lydia for dead like that, and Malia is hilariously endearing as she gives us some insight into her animal instincts. "If she was weak and injured, yeah!" Stiles just kind of smiles awkwardly, before Malia genuinely adds, without any irony or sarcasm, "If hunting was bad that season, I would eat her! Then, I'd leave." I LOVE MALIA.

(via teenwolf)
A lot of people thought this was really mean to Lydia, which, okay, it SORT OF is, but not really intentionally. I mean, from my perspective, she's not saying any of these things with any sense of ill will against Lydia, it's just that she just spent the last HALF OF HER LIFE as a coyote in the woods, during which time she was only responsible for herself and nobody else. So now, she has completely forgotten what it's like to have friends and socialize in a way that doesn't come off as mean or rude, because that's not what coyotes do. She DOES understand affection and sex and things like that, because those are not only human instincts that she doesn't need to be TAUGHT to feel, but they're also concepts that animals understand as well. ANYWAY, Kira just nods in understanding, and Stiles interjects, "Believe it or not, that's progress!" Scott reminds them of the fact that they're currently NOT dead, which means that the hunters want them for SOMETHING. Kira points out that if they don't have Derek, then they didn't actually take him from the loft, so they all figure he either left on his own or was grabbed by someone else before the Calaveras could get him.

We return to Lydia and Araya's tea party, where she's menacingly peeling an orange with a pretty sharp-looking knife. "How does it work?" Araya asks amiably, as she peels her fruit. "Do you have to touch them? Maybe I give you something they own?" She sets the knife down on the table and taps the blade with her index finger. "Or is it just a feeling?" Lydia repeats her earlier statement--she has no idea, because she still has no understanding of her powers or how expansive they are or how to voluntarily activate them every time. Araya asks her just how close to death they have to be, and taps the blade of the knife again with her fingernail. Lydia focuses on the sounds around her and looks at the two men in front of her, as Araya taps the blade again, the sharp sound ringing in her ears.

The three men seem to be starting to feel a little uneasy, because one turns to whisper in the other's ear just as Araya swiftly picks up the knife from the plate. Lydia seems to realize just which one is about to bite it just a moment before Araya flings the knife at the guy, without even LOOKING at him, and manages to still hit him right in the heart. Lydia screams (but just a regular scream, not a banshee wail) and asks her why the fuck she just did that, but Araya just gives her the innocent eyes and chirps, "He stole from me!" Lydia is horrified at just how bananas this lady really is, and asks her what she wants from her. What Araya wants, apparently, is to know just what kind of alpha Scott McCall truly is. THE TRUE ALPHA KIND, ABUELITA. I'm actually kind of surprised that the fact that he's a true alpha wasn't even mentioned--do you think Araya & Co. actually know about it, or do they think he actually killed an alpha to become one? ANYWAY, We cut to the bathroom where our gang is locked up, where Severo and two goons have just rolled open the door, jumped in, and electrocuted the shit out of Scott. NOOOOO!

Upstairs, Severo has Kira's arm gripped in his hand while they stand in the corner of the room. Scott, however, is sitting backwards in a metal chair, with his wrists shackled to the floor. Araya drags Lydia inside, and when she spots Scott restrained, she only becomes MORE horrified by the stupidity of their plan to come to Mexico. Scott is pissed that she brought Lydia in, and insists that Araya let her go, since she already has him. Unfortunately for him, the hunter quickly has Lydia shackled to a similar chair, right next to Scott, while Severo drags Kira over to where what looks like an electroshock control board on top of a table.

He sets her hand on the dial, even as she struggles against him, and points out that since she's a thunder kitsune who is immune to electricity and thus can't be tortured by it, they're instead gonna torture her by making her torture Scott. WONDERFUL. AND, if she refuses to do it, then Severo is going to shock Lydia instead of Scott. Kira, of course, instantly refuses to do it, but since Scott is an alpha who can heal and Lydia isn't, Scott's decision is pretty easy. Scott asks the hunters if this is a game to them, but Araya counters that it's actually a TEST-- all he needs to do is answer her questions correctly, and nobody gets hurt. Scott, naturally, doesn't want any of them to get hurt, so he orders Kira to do whatever they want her to him if it means keeping the rest of them safe.

"So," Araya begins. "We don't know where Derek is. We want to find him as well. You know who took him." Scott's eyebrows immediately wrinkle, because WHAT? Why the fuck would they even come there, if they knew where he was? Scott and Lydia both say pretty much the same thing, but since that isn't actually anything like the answer she wants from them, she orders Kira to turn the dial up to one. Kira tries to refuse again, but after some coaxing from Scott, she bites her lip anxiously and turns on the power, which immediately flows into the metal shackles around his wrists and into his body. YIKES! This is terrible. Torture is my least favorite part of Teen Wolf, and certainly my least favorite part of recapping it.

Malia and Stiles are still stuck in that grody bathroom, where Malia is sitting cross-legged on the floor, leaning against a sink, as if she's meditating. Stiles, naturally, is pacing around, which is basically his normal state of being, and asks Malia if she can hear Scott, or Lydia, or SOMEBODY, to give them some kind of indication as to what is going on. After a moment, Malia confesses that she can't concentrate, because there are too many noises and voices to shift through. (I'm also guessing that the huge heap of pressure to perform to save their friends probably doesn't help, either.) Stiles goes into coaching-mode and kneels in front of her before he reminds her that she's worked on this stuff with Scott so he knows she can do it. He urges her to focus on his eyes, and the sound of his voice, and everyone knows that since Stiles has Dylan O'Brien's face, there's no way that you can do that without wanting to smooch the hell out of him, so after a moment, that's exactly what she does! Stiles is shocked, but totally into it, as anyone would be when kissing a person with Shelley Hennig's face, and when they pull away, Stiles is shocked (but thrilled) to see Malia's eyes flash blue when she finally catches the right noises. YOU CAN DO IT MALIA. Smooching cuties always helps in TW world!

(via teenwolf)
Upstairs, the torture is still going strong, and Scott is gripping the chair so hard he looks like his muscles are gonna burst from the pressure. "Tell me who actually has Derek! Who had a reason, a vendetta particular to the Hales?" This line really stood out to me, especially since reading a meta recently, but I'm saving that for the notes. Consider this me sticking a pin in this topic. Scott repeats for the millionth time that he has no fucking idea who, which just makes Araya even more frustrated. "Ugh, you don't know because you haven't figured it out yet! So THINK!" she yells, as she pokes herself in the temple in emphasis. So, she totally knows who took him and is just torturing him for shits and giggles? WONDERFUL. "WHO could have taken him?" When Scott doesn't answer, Severo, still gripping Kira's arm, orders her to turn it up to three. Scott nods at her to do it, but Kira is about thisclose to tears when she reluctantly turns the dial up another notch. "WHO HAD THE POWER? THE POWER OF A SHAPESHIFTER?" Araya yells, totally over Scott's inability to figure this out. "Someone who could have turned without you knowing," she adds, as Lydia watches Scott with a pained expression on her face. "Turned, but not by a bite!" Scott grits his teeth and repeats yet again that he has NO FUCKING IDEA, so Araya, at a loss, yells at Kira to turn it up to ten. Kira shakes her head in fear, and even Scott's eyes bug out, like, "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?"

Down in the bathroom, Malia is finally hearing everything that is happening, and looks up at Stiles in horror as she reveals that they're going to kill Scott. Stiles' anxiety is probably at about 600% at this rate, I can't even believe he's not freaking out more about it.

Araya shoves Kira out of the way and turns up Scott's dial as high as it goes, and Scott's whole body crackles with electricity as roars in agony. His eyes burn bright red as he triggers his wolf, which sends him into a flashback that magically gives him the answer to this riddle. It's back to season 1, when Allison, Kate, and Chris had gone to the lacrosse game-- Scott knew they were trying to figure out who the second beta was, and overheard Kate asking Chris, "Can you get turned by a scratch?" when she noticed the clawmarks on the back of Jackson's neck.

In the present day, the scene cuts from flashes of Scott's roaring face and of Kate's face in flashback, before he musters up the strength to smash his arms through the shackles restraining him. You can see for just a brief second that Araya is actually scared by Scott's demonstration of strength, but it disappears quickly and is replaced by a scowl as she orders him to say the name. "Kate," Scott replies, still breathless from being intensely electrocuted.

It appears that Malia has relayed this new information to Stiles, who instantly falls back on his ass on the floor. He swears up and down that Scott had to have said someone else, because "Kate" being the person who took Derek is not possible. Malia was still a coyote when all of this happened (which, astoundingly, was only like, a year ago in the show's universe? Each season only really covered a month or two at most, with several time-jumps in between), so she asks Stiles who the fuck Kate is. "She's a hunter," Stiles says, in the present tense, which confuses me, because doesn't he think she's dead? "An Argent."

Down in some dark, scary, Mexican Chamber of Secrets, we catch up with the VERY angry-looking Kate Argent. Behind her is (supposed to be) the seal of Tezcatlipoca, which we'll also get into more later, which seems to be marking a hidden chamber. Inside, Derek is asleep and looking as peaceful as a baby, if a baby was a grown adult who was bound up in what looks like vines and maybe even wolfsbane, along with quite a few cobwebs. DEREK! WHAT IS THAT FUCKING WEREJAGUAR DOING TO YOU?

It's daytime, now, and Araya and some of her lackeys are releasing Scott and his pack. Scott is understandably skeptical that she's just letting them free, no strings attached, but Araya admits that she last sent out four of her men to check out where Kate was rumored to be spotted last, none of whom came back afterward-- she's hoping Scott and his pack will have a better go of it than they did. YIKES! That does not sound comforting, tbh. Scott reminds her that they could have just TOLD him that she was alive, but what's the fun in that? Araya shrugs and states that she didn't think he would believe her, which seems to be bullshit to me-- after all the literally insane shit that has happened to him/his friends since he got bitten, Kate Argent being resurrected as a werejaguar isn't really that out of the realm of possibility.

Anyway, Araya also claims that she wanted to see what kind of alpha he is, and now that she does, she knows where his next step lies. Scott, confused, asks her for clarification, so she gets serious: "When you take the bite of an innocent. When you make a wolf of your own. When you do that, then I will cross YOUR border and come knocking at YOUR door." OH SHIT. While I appreciate that Araya seems dedicated to the Argents' old Code, ie: not killing werewolves if they haven't spilled blood--and I feel pretty confident that Scott wouldn't just outright bite someone, especially one who didn't want it, considering he never wanted it either--but I'm still pretty nervous about this line. What if something happens and he has to bite them to save their life? He almost did it for Stiles, and I could totally see him doing it if it was his only choice. And really, why would they care if he turned someone, as long as it was consensual? IDK guys, I just don't see how this won't end up fucking him over in some way.

Araya takes her leave, allowing the rest of the pack to catch up with him to figure out what the fuck they're going to do now. Scott admits that Araya thinks she knows where they can find Derek, which surprises everyone. When Malia asks if she's going to tell them WHERE, Scott reveals that Araya has actually hired a guide to take them there (though, as we'll learn, she has ulterior motives). Cue Jamie N Commons & X Ambassadors' "Jungle," as a person, dressed in head to toe black, rides up on a black motorcycle. BE STILL MY HEART, COULD IT BE WHO I THINK IT IS? The kids all stare as the person removes their shiny black motorcycle helmet, revealing that their guide is indeed MOTHERFUCKING BRAEDON, everyone's favorite maybe-druid, ass-kicking,, Jane-of-all-trades. Scott introduces her by name when Stiles, Kira and Malia don't recognize her, and Lydia adds that she's a mercenary for their benefit. "Right now, I'm the only one who's gonna take you to La Iglesia," Braedon retorts with a smirk. Stiles and Lydia have both been paying attention in Spanish class, apparently, because they both know it means "the church," and asks them what the fuck La Iglesia actually is. "It's not a place you'll find God," Braedon quips. OH SHIT.

Braedon leads them through the sandy back roads of Mexico while the rest of the pack follows behind in Stiles' Jeep. Scott, Stiles, and Lydia are pretty pensive, given the new information that they've learned about Kate being alive. The five of them are silent for a moment, before Malia gets back and finally asks them who the fuck Kate Argent is. Kira, adorably, waits a beat before adding that she would also like to know who she is, since she also wasn't around in season 1. "Well, we were at her funeral," Stiles retorts, as he gestures to Scott. "So, I'd like to know how she got out of a casket that was six feet underground." Scott points out that it's most likely that Kate was never in the casket at all-- it's not like either of them saw her inside it, the casket was closed. Lydia, who has also been mournfully staring out the window in the backseat, finally pipes up the information that the girls clearly want to know: "She was Allison's aunt... and a total sociopath." Kira immediately feels terrible, and insists that Scott, Stiles, and Lydia don't have to tell them if they don't want to, but Malia, still not really getting the concept of tact yet, is like, "Fuck that, we need to know." Scott agrees that full disclosure is definitely the best course of action, as they've learned over the last year, so he sighs before the three launch into Kate's history, or at least the parts they know.

I apologize in advance for how long this part is going to be, because there is a LOT to digest here! Stiles starts us off. "Alright, so Kate was the one who set the fire that killed most of Derek's family." We cut to flashbacks of the fire, when the Hale House was in flames, and you could hear the cries of various family members as several of the Hales stick their arms out the holes in the basement window. Peter is down in the basement as well, and is frantically looking around as flames engulf the entire room. Though Stiles doesn't explicitly say so, it has been said on several occasions that there were regular humans who were killed in the fire, too, just as an FYI to those who don't remember or who are new to the show. "Some of them survived," explains Scott. "Like Cora, and Peter." Lydia interjects, "A very ANGRY Peter," which is totally accurate; we flashback to season 1's "The Tell," when Lydia was sitting out in her car outside Blockbuster and witness to Peter jumping through the window in his huge, horrifying alpha form. He had killed the guy who worked inside, and a handful of other people, all of whom were accomplices of Kate's when she set up the fire.

Scott informs them that Peter was the one who bit and turned him into a werewolf, and Lydia adds that Peter was also the one who eventually caught up with Kate and killed her. Or, so they thought, anyway. I was a little surprised that Lydia didn't mention the fact that Peter also attacked her, which ultimately brought out her latent banshee abilities, and which he also used to BRING HIMSELF BACK TO LIFE. But, I guess this is Kate's story, so maybe she didn't want to slow down the explanation or something. We flashback to Kate and Peter inside the burnt out shell of the Hale House, where Peter has Kate by the throat, his claws digging into her neck. Then, when she apologized for what she did, Peter clawed her throat out right in front of poor Allison. In the present day, Stiles reminds them all that he and Scott saw her buried, which is where Scott starts to fill in the blanks with educated guesses and details he was given by Araya, who seems to have done a lot of research into her. "No, we saw a casket, remember? She wasn't in it."

We flashback to what must have been within the first few days after Kate was "killed." Araya and Severo arrive to the hospital's morgue, where they go to the drawer labeled with Kate's name (which I'm 95% sure is the same drawer from Allison's hallucinations in "Anchors," more on that later) and open the door. Kate's body lays inside, and she looks like a dead person who had had their throats ripped out would look. In voiceover, Scott continues, "Yeah, the Calaveras heard Kate had been killed by an alpha's claws. They wanted to make sure she was really dead." When Araya grabs one of her hands and pulls the fingers out of the fist she had been making, she had already transformed enough to have claws, and Araya gives Severo a loaded look. "Her body was healing, more and more as she got closer to the full moon. She was coming back, so they switched out the bodies. They took her." If you recall, there wasn't much of a time jump between the end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2, maybe like a day, 2-3 days at most, and the following full moon was in episode "Shape Shifted," so the span of time between her death and her first full moon couldn't have been more than, like, five or so days.

ANYWAY, in flashback, we find Kate sprawled out on the floor of that scuzzy bathroom at the Calavera's, leaning against a column. Severo opens the door and tosses her a straight-razor. "If a hunter is bit, they have to take their own life before they change," Scott explains grimly in voiceover, probably remembering what happened to Allison's mother. I always forget that while werewolves can access SOME of their powers shortly after they're bitten, like healing and agility, they don't actually have the power to fully change at will until their first full moon. Severo quickly slides the door shut behind him, leaving Kate to slowly pick up the straight razor and consider her options. I seriously don't understand why they would have only given her a straight razor to kill herself, LOL. Like, I get why they wouldn't exactly want to give her a weapon that she could easily use against them, like a gun or something, especially since Kate is an excellent marksman, but a straight razor? Really? She already had a strong enough healing ability to BRING HERSELF BACK FROM THE DEAD, why would they think a dinky blade like that could actually kill her after her body had totally healed itself from the injuries that killed her? "The Calaveras, they treat the Code like law. They make it their responsibility to enforce it." Kate, who is filthy from laying in that bathroom for god knows how long, looks at the straight razor, and sees the reflection of her now-green eyes in the blade.

(via valkubanging)
In the present day, Malia, who is leaning forward in between Scott and Stiles in the front seats, declares, "Good for her! I wouldn't do it either."  Scott doesn't necessarily disagree with her, but does ask, "Would you kill half a dozen people to get out? Because that's what she did." In flashback, two of the Calavera's goons peek through the window in the sliding door, see Kate lying face-down in a huge puddle of blood after slitting her wrists, and determine that it's safe enough to go inside and take care of the body. Once they get close to her, we see Kate's eyes open, her irises glowing the bright green that seems characteristic of naguals, and smirks a tiny smirk. Man, Kate was already ruthless as a hunter, can you imagine her with supernatural powers? THIS IS GOING TO BE SUCH A DISASTER.

(via shaggingstilinski)
The gang continues to follow Braedon through Mexico as they wrap up their story. Kira, not exactly comforted by everything she's learned that day, pipes up, "So, Kate's a werewolf?" However, Scott's not actually sure. "There's a saying, sometimes the shape you take reflects the person that you are." In response, Lydia hilariously asks what shape a "sociopathic bitch takes." (Answer: a nagual, or a Darach, or sometimes a black-ooze spewing geriatric man). Unfortunately, their brainstorming/story-telling session is cut short when Stiles seems to hit something that fucks up the car and forces them to have to pull over. Once Braedon notices that they've stopped, she turns around and meets back up with them so she can ask them what the fuck is going on. As the boys start to examine the Jeep, Braedon points out that they need to make it to La Iglesia by nightfall, otherwise it will be too dangerous. Scott is clearly torn, but when he turns toward Stiles, he waves Scott off and tells him to go with Braedon. Scott isn't at all keen to leave without Stiles, but Stiles insists that SOMEONE has to get Derek back, so he'll stay behind and fix the Jeep with the girls while Scott and Braedon complete their rescue mission.

"We'll think of something, we always do!" Stiles says, before once again urging him to go. Braedon gives Scott a "hurry up" look before turning back toward her bike, and Stiles gives Scott one last reassuring squeeze on the shoulder before Scott turns to go. Before he can, Kira calls out after him and rushes toward him to say goodbye. "I can't think of anything else to say except for...'Be careful.' And I know 'be careful' sounds kind of lame, and I'm totally sure that the second you're gone, I'm going to think of something much better, but, I-...." Scott can sense her awkward nervousness, and assures her that 'be careful' sounds great to him, which makes her smile and wrap him up in a big hug. "(Aftermath)" by Vancouver Sleep Clinic starts to play in the background, and Braedon literally rolls her eyes before yelling to Scott that they need to hustle, pronto, forcing Scott to pull away and take off for wherever Kate's been hiding out on the back of Braedon's bike.

Kira and Lydia watch them go, while Stiles pops the hood to his Jeep so he can take a look at the damage. Malia is still examining the undercarriage when she spots something lodged in there. "Stiles!" she calls out, while she reaches under and yanks something out from in between all of the parts. "I don't think we hit something, I think something hit us." She holds up what looks like a HUGE claw, easily 8-10 inches long, with a really sharp tip, and Stiles takes it out of her hand so he can look at it closer. It seriously looks like a knife, and I'm guessing whatever it belongs to must be pretty lethal.

Braedon and Scott are speeding through the desert, passing cacti and tumbleweeds and whatever else you find in the southwest, and they eventually stop on the edge of a road near a cliff that looks out over what looks like an abandoned village. Scott stops and gapes at the village, which looks like nothing but ruins, save for one large building in the middle that is still standing tall. "La Iglesia," Braedon states, as she joins him at the edge of the cliff. Scott asks her what happened there, so she begins another story for some more exposition. "An earthquake," she explains. "It leveled the town." When Scott asks her why the church didn't get damaged, she continues. "The locals think it's because of what's underneath. [...] The church was built over the ruins of an Aztec temple. It belonged to the people of Nagual."

Scott, who, according to Tyler Posey, also has Mexican heritage (much like himself), recognizes the word "nagual" and mentions that they're shapeshifters. "Werejaguars," Braedon clarifies, though that isn't totally accurate-- the people to whom Braedon is referring could actually take the form of any of the animals native to the area, from donkeys to turkeys and dogs to pumas and jaguars. But, I'm guessing Jeff Davis is taking some liberties on the folklore, so in terms of the TW universe, naguals are exclusively werejaguars. Scott wonders if Kate and Derek are in there, but Braedon just quips that she has no idea, because she's never made it this far before. Yeah, that's not really comforting, either, even if Braedon is a total badass with a shotgun strapped to her back.

Stiles is unscrewing god knows what from the inside of his Jeep when Lydia suggests that perhaps they should just walk to wherever it is that they're going. "I will never abandon this Jeep, do you understand me? EVER!" Stiles exclaims in Roscoe's defense. Meanwhile, Malia's wild animal senses are a-tingling, and she walks away from the car so she can scan the horizon for anything suspicious. After a moment, she suggests that Stiles work much faster, and when Kira starts to get nervous and ask what's up, Malia responds that she's pretty sure there's something else out there with them.

By the time Scott and Braedon make it to La Iglesia, it's completely dark out, which totally confuses me, since Braedon made such a big deal about how dangerous it is in the night, but whatever. She hands Scott a flashlight so she can dedicate both hands to holding her shotgun, in case they run into something that tries to hurt them. She cocks the guy, and Scott makes a face, before asking her what she's going to do if she finds Kate. Braedon replies that she's going to return Kate to the Calaveras, since that's what they're paying her to do-- they just let Scott tag along because they knew he and his friends would be more willing to help her if it meant they could save Derek in the process. Scott is more curious about what they're going to do to Kate when they get her back, but Braedon makes it clear that it's not her problem; she's just the delivery service.

She asks him why he cares either way, since Kate is a mass murderer, but Scott hilariously reminds her that comment is pretty ironic, since she herself is a mercenary, to which Braedon responds, "Girl's gotta eat!" I love Braedon's "I give no fucks" attitude, and I respect it, even though if this were real life I would not be so cavalier about her profession. In television, though, I'm a huge fan. "If you were paid enough, would you kill her?" Scott asks, though I'm guessing he knows the answer. As expected, Braedon replies, "If the money were good, I'd kill YOU." WELP, that's super reassuring. Scott's like, "Great, here's another person who knows about the supernatural who isn't opposed to killing my ass to add to the rapidly growing list." Starting a prayer circle in hopes that this isn't foreshadowing that someone hires Braedon to take out Scott.

Braedon makes her way into a hidden hallway by loudly kicking aside several pieces of wood in order to get in. That seems kind of not smart, don't you think? Making a lot of noise will just make it easier for Kate to find them first. WHATEVER. As Scott follows behind her, Braedon asks him if he can catch Derek's scent, which he confirms. However, he seems to sense something nearby, so Scott freezes and holds out a hand to stop her. Braedon is understandably concerned when she sees his confused face, so she asks him what's up. He admits that he can tell someone else is there, someone who is definitely NOT human, which really isn't that helpful. Braedon just sighs, grips onto her shotgun a little tighter, and goes back to leading Scott through the church. Hey, isn't that kind of shotgun Kate's weapon of choice, too? That's kind of an interesting coincidence.

Since night has fallen, Kira grabs her katana out of its scabbard from the Jeep, just in case Malia's hunch about something being out there is accurate. Meanwhile, Lydia has been tasked with holding the flashlight for Stiles while he continues to hopelessly fuck with the insides of his vehicle. He whines that Lydia's hand is shaking too much for him to be able to see anything, and Lydia is not at ALL impressed. "I'm shaking it like this because we're in the middle of NOWHERE with your broken down Jeep, and we're being attacked by yet ANOTHER razor-clawed monster!" She waits a beat, and then adds, "AND, I'm terrified." Stiles, who is always super compassionate and is never prone to aggression and rudeness when he's feeling pressured by life-or-death supernatural situations, bites back. "Well, just be slightly less terrified!" That sounds like advice my boyfriend would give me, tbh, but then again, he's literally the most calm and non-anxious person on the planet. I think that's what the military does to you. ANYWAY, Stiles hands her a random part to hold for him, and when she asks what it is, he shrugs. "I dunno, I'm hoping its not important." HAHAHA, I love that. "I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm just gonna unscrew and rescrew a bunch of parts to each other and hope that it works."

Kira has joined Malia, who seems to be on watch for the other creatures of the night in the vicinity, to find out if she's seen anything, but Malia reports that it's too dark to see much and laments that they didn't think to bring more flashlights. Kira, being the literal thunder princess with a magic sword, walks over to where the Jeep is parked and holds her katana in front of the headlight, which reflects the light toward the horizon so Malia can get a better look. Out in the distance, both girls see what appears to be a large, bony-looking creature hiding behind a rock formation. Kira squints and asks Malia if she sees it, but I'm guessing that she has, because her eyes flash blue and her teeth elongate into fangs as she roars and immediately takes off. Malia reminds me SO MUCH of Cora in the best way, they even roar the same way. It must be a Hale thing. Of course, Kira runs off after Malia, katana in hand, and Stiles is like, "WHAT THE FUCK, YOU GUYS?" He's about to run after them, too, even though he has not supernatural abilities that could help him in a fight, but Lydia stops him and reminds him that his job is to FIX THE CAR so that way they can get the fuck out of there until they can meet back up with Scott.

Kira has lost Malia somewhere along a bend, and she's far enough away that she really doesn't have any of the light that the Jeep provided. She instantly tenses up, poised with her katana overhead in case she needs to use it, and continues to follow the path. She nervously calls out for Malia in hopes that she's nearby, but she gets no response. She whips her katana around as she quickly pivots to look behind her, before pivoting back to her original direction, but still sees nothing. She hears something, and grunts as she swings her katana around, and when she spins again, she barely misses slicing Malia. Malia assures Kira that it's just her, and Kira relaxes when she finally realizes that she's not in immediate danger. Kira wastes no time asking her what happened/what she saw, but Malia couldn't get a good look at it-- all she knows is that it is big and fast. Kira notices Malia is partially bent over and gripping onto her side. The next line was so mumbly and quiet that I had the hardest time trying to understand what she said, so much that I replayed it like five times. I'm pretty sure it was, "And it's got teeth," but I'm not sure. However, I AM sure that she has a really nasty looking gash on her side, which honestly looks like it was from a claw and not a tooth, but what do I know? The girls finally hear Stiles' Jeep start up (I guess that part wasn't important?) and they both instinctively run toward it so they can fuera de esquivar, PRONTO.

Over at La Iglesia, Braedon and Scott have found their way to the Chamber of Secrets and are carefully navigating through the run down passageways, which are full of cobwebs and various skeletons. Braedon must be really bored, because she elects to make small talk about Scott's love life to pass the time. "So, how come you didn't kiss her?" she asks. When Scott crinkles his eyebrows in confusion, Braedon elaborates. "How come you didn't kiss your girlfriend?" Poor Scott has no idea who she could be talking about, which is sad-- you know his relationship with Kira has probably been in a bit of a limbo since Allison died. Even though they had been broken up for about as long as they were together, you can tell it still kills him because they never really got any closure. Scott realizes that she's talking about Kira, and Braedon's like, "I don't really care what her name is, answer the question."

Scott stammers a shitload, unable to put their relationship into words ("She's not my--...we've never--..."), which makes Braedon side-eye him so hard. Eventually, Scott just says that Kira's not his girlfriend, so Braedon literally asks, "So, if you die down here, are you going to regret not kissing her?" Wow, she really knows how to make a person feel safe, doesn't she? Scott is just so confused, poor guy, and looks over to see Braedon giving major stink eye. "You should have kissed your girlfriend," Braedon states matter-of-factly, which does nothing to help alleviate Scott's current uneasiness. I really, REALLY hope that Braedon sticks around a while this season, watching her team up with the McCall Pack and fighting beasties together would be AMAZING. She would just be sassing them and their dumb teenagerness so hard. I was about to say that they probably wouldn't be able to afford her services, but they're still sitting on anywhere between $100-150k of dead Yakuza gangster money, depending on whether or not the Calaveras took the $50k they were offered just for the trouble of dealing with them.

The deeper the twosome gets into the Chamber of Secrets, the gloomier and darker it becomes; the passageways that Scott and Braedon are walking through are coated in a thick buildup of cobwebs and dust, and it walls and floors are all made of old stone. It's so creepy that even Braedon, the badass, fearless mercenary is even starting to look pretty nervous. Somewhere close by, a bony, clawed hand lifts itself up off of what looks like the spine of a skeleton of some kind, and you can hear the bones rattling together. Scott totally hears it, but when he looks around, he doesn't see anything noteworthy, so he continues to slowly walk down the hall. The rafters above start to rain dust down on the two, startling Braedon, just before the flashlight in Scott's hand illuminates another old, cobwebby skeleton chilling in the wall, with a scorpion scuttling over its skull. Another huge, bony creature (or maybe the same one, I can't tell yet) assembles itself with a rattle nearby. (GASP! Are these the berserkers we've been waiting to see for what feels like eons now? GOD I HOPE SO.) Scott and Braedon both seem to be hearing it, but no matter where they look, they can't see anything.

Scott is so on edge that he just stops, and Braedon, clearly starting to get even more anxious, snaps, "WHAT?" Scott gulps and listens for a moment before admitting he thought he heard something behind them. They both look behind them, but again, there's nothing notable that would suggest that someone is following them. By this point, we ALL know that there's something about to jump out at them, but we don't know when it's coming and it's pretty excruciating, tbqh. There is more movement and bone rattling going on behind them, which Braedon actually hears, for once, so they both turn to check it out. They can't see anything, but whatever it is makes a grunting/snorting noise that is pretty terrifying. "Is this why you never get that far?" Scott asks nervously, but Braedon is just speechless. Suddenly, a huge creature made of bones and what looks like gross strips of flesh SPRINTS toward them. Braedon yells at Scott to get ready to fight if necessary before she aims her shotgun in the general vicinity of the creature and fires.

The rest of the pack has finally made it back on the road again, where Stiles is totally freaking out at Malia for just running off earlier. Malia is like, "Uh, what did I do?", so Stiles confesses that he thought Malia had just become overwhelmed by her coyote survivor instincts to save herself and leave them all for dead, which makes Malia's next response uncharacteristically kind and soft. She assures him that she would never leave without him, but after a beat, she looks back toward Kira and Lydia and hilariously admits, in all seriousness, (but without malice) that she would totally leave Kira and Lydia behind.

Lydia, as you can probably guess, isn't really amused, but Kira can't help but giggle, because Malia's frank honesty is pretty hilarious, if maybe a little tactless. Stiles, trying to ease the tension, once again points out that this is still progress, which is also really funny. Lydia catches a glimpse of the gash on Malia's side and points out that it doesn't look very good, but Malia swears she's fine. When Kira echoes Lydia's sentiment that it looks pretty deep, we get another look at the wound, which looks as bad as it did when she got it, though Malia swears that she can feel it healing as they speak. Man, I really hope this doesn't mean Malia is gonna turn into one of those bone creatures, too, or something. That'd be pretty shitty. Lydia asks Malia if she's 100% sure that she didn't see anything, but Malia maintains that she only got a glimpse of whatever it is that was out there. However, she did notice that it had a strong scent-- specifically, a scent of death. In the immortal words of Elijah Mikaelson, "How delightful!"

Back in the Chamber of Secrets, Braedon is still shooting buckshots down the hall as she and Scott slowly creep backwards away from whatever is chasing them. Unfortunately, neither of them actually seem to be SEEING said beasties, and even we, the audience, only see it in brief flashes, so Braedon is just shooting toward the sound of its grunts and hoping it works. So, does this mean that berserkers are invisible to people, or at least have some kind of glamour to at least sometimes make them invisible? Or is just the fact that they move SO FAST when it's so dark that makes them so hard to see? This part REALLY confused me. Anyway, Braedon frantically reloads her gun and asks him if he can see it, but he swears he can't see anything; at some point, he injured his cheek, because there is a huge bloody patch on his cheekbone and I still have no idea how he got it. "Where IS this thing?" Braedon snits in frustration as she aims the gun down the hall again. Scott informs her that he can hear it coming back, so Braedon braces for round two and yells at him to get behind her. He just glares in anger though as he moves into the middle of the hall and tenses up in preparation for what he's about to do.

When the bony creature starts running toward them again, Scott whips out his fangs and red alpha eyes as he ROARS THAT BEAST (and probably all of the other ones in the vicinity) into submission! YEAH SCOTT! Braedon was TOTALLY not expecting that at all, and she instinctively drops her gun and covers her ears to protect them from the deafening noise. The force of the roar shakes the entire foundation of the place, which results in dust and dirt falling down around them. Scott looks down the hall and realizes that he probably scared whatever it is away with his intense display of alpha-male-dom. Braedon, hilariously, deadpans, "I think you scared everything!" More rocks and dust start to fall from the rafters, which leads them to find a pretty big room, that has the huge, circular carving in the stone where Kate was standing earlier.

Scott asks Braedon what it is, and she explains that it's the symbol of Tezcatlipoca, the Nagual Jaguar God. (Although, it's already been pointed out that it's actually the mark of a different god, the Aztec god of the sun, but I'm not sure why we should be surprised about that inaccuracy-- we already have 48 episodes of proof that Jeff doesn't really care that much about research when it comes to styling, so bleh.) She brushes dust off the carving and figures Derek is probably hidden behind the wall. After examining the sigil for a moment, Scott clenches his hand into a fist and instructs Braedon to get back. He then pulls his arm back and fully punches through the stone with his first, just like Derek would do, were he not hidden inside of it. The two quickly widen the hole, and peer inside with the flashlight. A shaking hand reaches out toward them, but we can't actually see who's inside, but whatever it is shocks Braedon and Scott into silence. OH SHIIIIIIIT.

Somehow, Stiles & Co have managed to make their way to La Iglesia by themselves, even though they were supposed to follow Braedon, so I have no idea how they knew where to go. Can Siri give you directions to abandoned ruins in the middle of what looks like the desert in the northwestern part of Mexico? They pull right up to the front door of La Iglesia, which is still pretty derelict, even despite being the only building still standing--the entrance is kind of caved in-- just as their alpha and newest helper come out to greet them. Braedon makes her entrance first, gun at the ready just in case they run into trouble, and then Scott follows her, half-carrying what looks like a dude in jeans and a gray shirt, who can barely walk on his own. Braedon even wraps an arm around him to help Scott out as they head toward the Jeep.

The gang runs toward them to help, but when Kira, Lydia, and Stiles see who they're carrying, they all stop dead in their tracks and gape in shock. Malia, on the other hand, hasn't met Derek yet and is still behind on the majority of the events in the series thus far, so she doesn't get what's up. "Is that him?" Malia asks curiously. "Is that Derek?" Stiles' eye does that twitchy thing it does when his mind is just BLOWN, and just kind of shrugs exhaustedly before admitting, "Buh...Sort of?" The man, or should I say BOY, who is being held up by Scott and Braedon is TEENAGE DEREK, played by Tyler Hoechlin-look-alike Ian Nelson, who we remember from Derek's flashbacks in "Visionary." HOLY SHIT HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN.

(via teenwolf)
Next week, according to the promo: Derek has been de-aged by Kate to the age where he still knew her, but actually trusted her (ie: pre-Hale fire), so he only has his memories up to that far. It looks like he's still a werewolf, though, and punches the shit out of Deaton, and apparently Kate shows up to get her boytoy back. JOY!

[screencaps not indicated as being from KTG are via Screencapped]

Click HERE to read my next recap of Teen Wolf!

-Ever since I saw these Tumblr gifsets that referenced each time Allison or Lydia recycled pieces from their wardrobes in different episodes, like Allison's brown suede boots and brown leather bag, Lydia's brown leather skirt and pink leather bag (which is actually Holland Roden's personal bag), etc. Now that I've seen it, I'm starting to notice it EVERYWHERE, so starting this season, I'm going to start highlighting examples of the characters rewearing the same pieces, because it's a detail I absolutely love. It makes them feel much more like real teenagers, you know? Plus I'm sure recycling their clothing means less money spent on wardrobe, and more money for other stuff like special effects, which is great.

ANYWAY, so, in this episode, Lydia rewore the brown leather skirt that she loves so much in the flashback scene in the animal clinic. We've seen her already wear it in "Unleashed," "The Girl Who Knew Too Much," "Galvanize," and "Letharia Vulpina," as well as probably others that I forgot. She really likes that skirt, and honestly, I want it-- that skirt goes with EVERYTHING. While in Mexico, Lydia also rewore the jean jacket she wore for the first time in "Frayed"/"Motel California." Kira, on the other hand, rewore her purple and blue plaid skirt that she wore in "Insatiable," as well as the leather jacket she has worn several times since "Riddled." (It's actually my personal headcanon that Derek makes all of his supernatural creature friends buy black leather jackets, including Erica, Isaac, Boyd, and so in "Riddled," when Derek and Kira were playing Hardy Boys at the power substation, he did the same with Kira.)

-I started out writing a bunch of notes on this episode, and realized that this part was going to be WAY TOO LONG to be tacked onto the end of an already long-as-fuck recap, so I'm going to be making another post for that immediately after this one, so stay tuned!


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