"The Rules Have Changed"-- A Post-Season 5A/Pre-Season 5B Discussion & Speculation Post

Alright, kids! This post was initially meant to be a meta post to follow the first two or three episodes of 5A, but, of course, I haven't met a self-imposed deadline that I didn't end up breaking, so the post just kept growing longer and longer and taking more and more time to write, and then more and more episodes were airing, and then the next thing I knew, the season finale had just aired, and I was like... well, fuck.

Fortunately, this super-sized season is two halves of an ongoing story of the Dread Doctors, so while the first half of Season 5 passed me by, a lot of my observations and questions are still relevant, even after we learned more information about what was going on regarding those steampunk assholes, Theo and his villainy, what the hell was going on with Kira and Jordan, why Scott suddenly developed asthma out of nowhere, etc. So, I was able to morph my in-season meta discussion into a post-season meta and speculation discussion! Hooray! So, since the premiere of 5B, "The Last Chimera," is right around the corner has already happened, let's talk about what we think is coming for the rest of the season, as well as what we want to happen! The recap for "Status Asthmaticus" is literally 90% done, and should be posted later tomorrow-- I just have to wrap it up and maybe throw in some gifs to break it up a bit, so sorry for the delay!

Anyway, topics included in this write-up includes a rough timeline of the series for reference, a list of stuff that will likely become relevant in 5B that we saw in 5A (the status of the McCall Pack; what the Dread Doctors did to Kira/Liam and how it plays into the future stories; the plans of Theo, the Dread Doctors, the Desert Wolf, Valack, etc), and a list of stuff from the trailers, promos, and interviews that also give us some insight as to what to expect coming up (which I'll discuss more in that section to avoid visible spoilers)

WARNING: This discussion contains a section that references topics talked about in interviews with Jeff Davis and the cast, as well as footage from various promos and trailers that have been released, so there are going to be spoilers abounds. If you're not into spoilers, this is probably not the post for you.


TIMELINE
In these early-season write-ups, I like to try to get a handle on the timeline of the show-- even though it's kind of a futile endeavor considering Jeff Davis' allergy to dates and continuity-- and then refresh our memories so we can have a general time frame for when everything has occurred. So, let's break this down, shall we?

SEASON 1: S01E01 "Wolf Moon" covers about five days in early January 2011, starting when Scott was bitten in the woods at the very beginning of the episode and ending the following Monday. On the Friday in the middle of those days was the actual Wolf Moon, which is the name for the full moon in January, and since the winter semester just started in this episode, it's safe to assume it starts in January 2011. Allison's birthday is in S01E05 "The Tell," which was either late January or early February, and then the season ends within one day after the Winter Formal in S01E12 "Codebreaker," which took place in mid-February.

SEASON 2: S02E01 "Omega" picks up the weekend after the events of  "Code Breaker," so it's still mid-February (confirmed when Melissa made a comment about Stiles having stayed in the hospital lobby to make sure Lydia was okay for the entire weekend). February's full moon, the Snow Moon, happened in S02E02 "Shape Shifted," as it was Isaac's first full moon after Derek bit him in the premiere. Then, Lydia's birthday party, which occurs in S02E09 "Party Guessed," takes place on a Wednesday during the Worm Moon, which is the full moon in March. S02E12 "Master Plan" then ends with Scott and Stiles playing lacrosse and talking about the end of the school year, which suggests that the season ended around May or June 2011. This seems to be confirmed by the discussion of the time jump between Season 2 and 3A.

SEASON 3A: In S03E01 "Tattoo," Derek tells Scott and Stiles that Peter, Isaac and himself have been searching for Boyd and Erica for almost four months, and since the episode covers about a full day, starting from when Isaac gets rescued by Braeden to when Derek makes this confession, we can assume that last season did in fact end in May/June. Now, Allison makes a comment to Chris in S03E09 "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" that Chris had been lying to her for two months, so assuming this wasn't a continuity error, this season should have picked up in mid-August, because since we know that Halloween is celebrated in 3B's fourth episode, and we know there is about three weeks between 3A and 3B, the season finale S03E12 "Lunar Ellipse" can't have happened any later than the first week of October. So, let's assume for simplicity that Allison was being hyperbolic and that it was really like six weeks, tops. We also have one full moon that lasts through S03E02 "Chaos Rising" and S03E03 "Fireflies," so we can assume that it's August's full moon, the Sturgeon Moon, and a second full moon in "Lunar Ellipse" which was probably September's Corn Moon.

SEASON 3B: As I said before, we know that the kids celebrate "Hell Night" (or October 30th, the night before Halloween) in S03E15 "Galvanize" and Halloween itself in S03E16 "Illuminated." The next three episodes, S03E17 "Silverfinger," S03E18 "Riddled," and S03E19 "Letharia Vulpina" all occur over sequential days, with "Silverfinger," and "Riddled," each taking place over one full day, and "Letharia Vulpina" taking place over the course of about four days (Deaton gets the wolf lichen in Japan on the first day, which was technically in "Riddled's"  timeline, then Isaac gets electrocuted on the second, followed by a time jump of two days where Stiles had been fully controlled by the nogitsune and was running around causing chaos. Then, the rest of the episodes of the season (five total) take place over the course of seven days, ending in mid-November 2011 when Allison dies (FOREVER SOBBING) and the pack takes down the nogitsune and the oni.

SEASON 4: There's another time jump between seasons, because we have just about a month, give or take a week or two-- during which time the pack has a full moon together-- between the closing montage of the previous season's finale "The Divine Move" and when the kids realize Derek is missing once again and take a trip on down to Mexico in S04E01 "The Dark Moon." Since school doesn't start back up until S04E02 "117," I'm going to say this is early January 2012, and that the kids have just returned to school after winter break in that episode. This also makes sense, because lacrosse is a winter/spring sport, so it would explain why they started lacrosse season as soon as school started back up again. Once Scott bites Liam at the end of S04E03 "Muted," every episode pretty much picks up where the previous one left off, and given that the first full moon is in "The Benefactor" and the second is in "Smoke & Mirrors," I'm thinking the season ends in early February 2012, which would fit the timeline for Season 5.

Now, Season 5 is picking up six months after the events of the previous season's finale "Smoke & Mirrors," in late August of 2012, and I'm going to break it down episode by episode because it's seriously confusing.

S05E01 "Creatures of the Night" starts on the night of the full moon in late August (the Sturgeon Moon), which is also the night before the first day of school. We start it off with Scott and Stiles waiting around to see if Liam can stay in control, and then follow them as they jump around from Look-Out Point to the high school to Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital to Scott's house and back to the high school. Belasko shows up at the end of the night to fight Scott, and they do Senior Scribe once they defeated him. Then, we have the flash-forwards, which also take place on a single night, but this time it's at some point after the events of the midseason finale "Status Asthmaticus." Are you confused yet? Because this is already starting to hurt my head.

S05E02 "Parasomnia" is tougher, because we have all of Tracy's night terrors and hallucinations to contend with, which makes it harder to pin down. Here's what I'm thinking happened:
  • Tracy read the Dread Doctors book at some point prior to the cold open, which triggered intense flashbacks to when the Dread Doctors experimented on her and then subsequently used their powers to make her forget about it.
  • The first night terror we saw her have is our starting point (which I think was also the night of Senior Scribe from the premiere?)-- she was sleeping, woke up to a thunderstorm, and got snatched by the Doctors, who then buried her in the woods after doing whatever they did to her. Then, she dug herself out, ripping off her necklace in the process, and came home, where she clawed the hell out of the skylight, ate a couple birds, and then fell asleep on the floor where her dad found her the next day. (How he didn't realize she had just dug herself out of a grave is beyond me, but maybe the Dread Doctors compelled her to clean herself up? I don't know). 
  • The next morning, she saw Natalie in the guidance office-- which was on the first day of school-- where she told her about the night terrors, and threw up black blood and feathers all over her desk, which was the first indication that she was a chimera. Then, she had more book-induced hallucinations, which caused her to claw the hell out of her locker door before Lydia found her and comforted her. 
  • That night, Jordan did a stake-out outside her house to make sure nothing bad happened, but apparently wasn't paying close enough attention, because then Tracy sneaked out and sleep-walked all the way to the Dread Doctors lab, where they shot her up with magic mercury and showed her wolfing out. 
  • So, this episode continues over the course of about one day/night. 
S05E03 "Dreamcatchers" takes place after a one day time jump, if I'm not mistaken, because in the previous episode, Mrs. Finch tells the AP Bio class that she's going to give them a quiz to test their pre-existing biology knowledge the next day, but then in this episode, she's passing the graded quizzes back. Then, the episode lasts the duration of a full day, from the night where Lydia, Malia, and Kira found the bodies of Mr. Stewart and the deputies transporting Donovan to prison to the following night, when Tracy attacked everyone at the Sheriff's station and got killed by the Dread Doctors. It was also the first time we saw Kira's new enhanced kitsune aura, which was so powerful I'm pretty sure that even Lydia could see it.

S05E04 "Condition Terminal" picks up right where the previous episode left off and also lasts a full day, from the aftermath of Tracy's attack (Lydia getting sent to the hospital, dealing with Tracy's body, etc), to the fight with Lucas at Sinema the following night, where Kira lost control over her kitsune spirit and turned into the Messenger of Death for the first time. Also, Malia finds the Dread Doctor book in Tracy's bedroom, and Stiles got attacked by Donovan at the school.

S05E05 "A Novel Approach," like most of the other episodes, picks up right where the previous episode left off as well, beginning with the continuation of Donovan's attack against Stiles and Stiles subsequently killing him, and ending the following night at Eichen House after the Dread Doctors invaded it to snag Valack's third eye. It's also worth pointing out that this was the last time that we saw Kira in possession of her katana belt, and the first time we saw her become overwhelmed with her electrokinesis powers.

S05E06 "Required Reading" is kind of tricky-- it takes place over the course of two full days, starting with Sheriff and his deputies finding the eight holes where the Dread Doctors buried the chimeras on the lacrosse field (which I think actually took place the same night the kids went to Eichen House in the previous episode), followed by the day Scott decides that the pack needs to read the Dread Doctors book, which they end up reading that night. Then, the following day is when they experience their repressed memories that the book triggered, which eventually continues on until that night, when Stiles nearly gets killed by Josh, and Theo kills Josh right in front of him and claims self-defense.

S05E07 "Strange Frequencies" picks up right where the previous episode left off with Theo and Stiles dealing with the aftermath of Theo killing Josh and the revelation that he saw Stiles accidentally kill Donovan. The episode then spans two days and three nights, starting with the aforementioned night where Theo killed Josh (which was a Thursday, I think?), followed by Friday, when Theo stayed at the clinic all day/night to guard Josh's body while Scott, Stiles, Malia, Lydia, and Jordan planned their trap for the Dread Doctors at the high school. Then Saturday was when they actually put the plan in motion, with Jordan rigging some frequency jammers and putting them around the school while he guarded the outside, Malia guarded the entrance hall, and Scott, Lydia, and Liam guarded Hayden. Which, as we know, resulted in Liam and Hayden subsequently getting snatched by the Dread Doctors and taken back to their lab at the water treatment plant.

S05E08 "Ouroboros" picks up where the previous episode left off and spanned one day. It began with Deaton and Vadim in Russia, where they searched the Dread Doctors' former lab, which was covered up and made to look like a nuclear accident site of some kind. Then, the Desert Wolf showed up, killed Vadim, and took Deaton hostage. Back in Beacon Hills, Scott and Malia searched the woods for Liam and Hayden right after they got taken while Hayden was experimented on by the Dread Doctors and told that her condition was worsening. The rest of the pack spent the whole next day trying to figure out where the hell they were, mostly by Scott sharing Corey's memories and Theo interrogating Corey afterward, and Theo finally found Liam and Hayden at the Dread Doctors' holding cell in that abandoned house where Belasko attacked Jordan in the premiere.

S05E09 "Lies of Omission" begins after a week-long time jump, which I'm taking to mean seven days, during which time Hayden healed from her wounds, she and Corey both got physically stronger, and Scott's asthma started to get worse. Also, the pack continued to drift apart even more, which obviously didn't end well. The episode then takes place over the course of one full day as well, beginning with Scott's monologue at the high school, through the deaths of Beth and Corey at the hands of the Dread Doctors, and ending that night with Scott and Stiles' fight about Stiles killing Donovan and Scott telling Liam that he couldn't give Hayden the bite to try to help her heal from the mercury overdose the Dread Doctors gave her.

Finally, S05E10 "Status Asthmaticus" picks up right where the previous episode left off, which was the night before the full moon/supermoon, where Scott, Theo, and Liam debated the pros and cons of giving Hayden the bite. It then lasted through the following day, during which time Melissa tried to use chelation to heal Hayden, Lydia talked to Jordan and figured out he was a hellhound, and Theo put the final pieces into place so he could finish his ultimate plan that night--  get Liam to kill Scott so that he could kill Liam and become Alpha to Stiles (who was forced to choose helping his injured dad over Scott), Kira (who was still out of town), Malia (who was too busy fighting a chimera with Braeden to help), and Lydia (who Theo left for dead in the woods after forcibly using his claws to share her memories). So, fortunately for us, Liam doesn't kill Scott due to Mason's timely intervention, but Theo gets so mad about Liam fucking up his plan that he kills Scott himself, which was stupid, since now nobody gets that Alpha power. Melissa manages to essentially resurrect him using desperation-fueled CPR and the fact that it's a supermoon to jump-start Scott's heart again late that night.

SO, if my math is correct (and I'm bad at math-- though, not as bad as Jeff Davis is, apparently-- so it is quite possibly that it isn't), 5A took place over the course of nineteen days, which is pretty ridiculous, even for this show. It hasn't even been three full weeks! I'm assuming that Season 5B will be picking up shortly after the events of "Status Asthmaticus," because the trailer had scenes of what looked like Scott showing up at the hospital after he was resurrected and heard that Sheriff had been injured. I'm already dreading that scene, to be totally honest with you. :(

Okay, moving on to the good stuff, shall we?

WHAT 5A MEANS FOR 5B
This section is going to be about stuff we saw in the first half of the season, and what we can guess will carry over into this upcoming second half. I'm just going to start with each character/group to begin with and then take the smaller storylines with fewer details.

THE DREAD DOCTORS (FT. LA BETE DE GEVAUDAN)
So, first, we've got our favorite steampunk assholes, whose agenda is still kind of vague at this point. Let's start with what we know, shall we?
  • According to Dr. Valack, the Dread Doctors have somehow given themselves the ability to control/manipulate electromagnetic forces, which they've used to extend their lifespans and to modify/erase people's memories. 
  • We've seen them cause others to not even be aware of their presence (specifically in "Ouroboros," when we got the flashbacks of Kira getting pinned onto the hood of the family car and having a lightning rod shoved into her eyeball without her parents or anyone else on the road noticing (which technically took place in "Creatures of the Night") and also Corey getting snatched from the hospital (which technically happened in "Condition Terminal"). 
  • We've also seen them manipulate RFID keycard readers and surveillance cameras, blow up light fixtures, project their voices over the radio, magically lock and unlock car doors, and possibly even teleport (at the very least, they have the ability to get the hell out of dodge very quickly, though they often prefer to just walk really slowly sometimes? I don't really get it.) 
  • Plus, they have a bunch of weird pseudoscience expertise, since they've been making a bunch of scientifically-created hybrids of supernatural creatures by using teenagers who are already genetic chimeras because of organ transplants or skin grafts, so there's that.
The question is, then, what is their ultimate goal here? Judging by the events of "Status Asthmaticus," there's a specific chimera they're attempting to make, possibly/probably La Bête du Gévaudan, but then why make all the other chimeras? It didn't seem like whatever they turned out to be was totally wrong, because why would the Dread Doctors care if their conditions improved or not if that was the case? I feel like if it was just a case of "the shape you take reflects the person you are" and they were intending to get the Beast, then they would have just killed all the "failures" as soon as it became clear that they were something else entirely?

I brought this up in another recap, but I'm also not convinced that the failed chimeras weren't actually some kind of sacrifice to make the Beast happen. The Doctors seemed to benefit from Jordan's "snatch-bodies-and-immolate-them-at-the-Nemeton" routine, at the very least because it conveniently dealt with the bodies they were leaving around after they killed their failed science experiments, but what if the ritual that Jordan uses to take care of the bodies triggers some of the Nemeton's magic and allowed them to resurrect La Bête somehow? And why do they want to raise the Beast anyway? That fresco they uncovered seemed to depict him fighting a hellhound, so is this some sort of prophetic battle? Were the Dread Doctors around when he was ravaging France in the 17th century?

And, if there is a prophetic battle happening soon, is it possible that the McCall Pack is involved somehow? As I was rewatching 5A to write this post, I kept wondering why the Dread Doctors barely ever tried to kill Scott and the pack, even though it was clear that they had the advantage in a fight due to their advanced age, experience, and powers. The only time we ever saw them actively going after them was when the Doctors attacked Scott and Malia in the hospital in "Required Reading"-- otherwise, the Doctors only intervened after the pack started a confrontation, like their plan to try to catch one in "Strange Frequencies." And really, even then, the Doctors could have easily killed all of them while they were hallucinating (and could have easily killed Liam and Hayden when they were in their captivity), but chose not to, which makes me think that they play some kind of bigger role in their plans. GODS, JUST THINKING ABOUT IT IS STRESSING ME OUT SO MUCH.

Also, ever since we learned about the Wild Hunt, and how their hellhounds act as guardians of the supernatural, I've wondered if maybe the Hunt will be getting involved to deal with the Dread Doctors, since they've pretty blatantly broken the laws of the supernatural by Frankenstein-ing various monsters together for their own still-mysterious ends. I also kind of wondered if maybe that was part of the reason why Kira's kitsune spirit was getting all Messenger-of-Death-y regarding the chimeras for the same reason-- her inner fox, which we know from experience has the ability to act independently of Kira herself, could be offended because it sees the chimeras as abominations of Nature? Just a thought! Regardless, I'm very interested to see where they're going with this, and if there will be any more chimeras in 5B. I'm also curious to see if the McCall Pack (and Kira and Liam in particular, since they were both experimented on by the Doctors) will play any role in their plans to come? More on that in the individual character sections.

One last point before I move on-- how much of what the Dread Doctors were doing had to do with their own agenda, and how much of it was helping Theo fulfill his own? I mean, at first, I figured that Theo and the Doctors' alliance was a "you scratch my back, I scratch yours" type deal, but when I rewatched the season this past week or so, it seemed like a lot of the Dread Doctors' actions were helping Theo build a pack, and it just really makes me wonder how much sway he had over them, and if it was a lot, how did he get it? Obviously, the Dread Doctors aren't a lot to be trifled with, so it makes me curious as to how this punk got them to go along with his plans. Was Theo's status as the first chimera that important to the Doctors? Was keeping Scott and the rest of the pack from interfering that big of a deal to them that they'd go through all of the trouble that they went through to repay him? I mean, every time the pack went up against them, they ended up getting defeated, so what kind of a threat were Scott et al. to them, anyway? Is this a mystery that will soon be revealed, or is it just one of those times where my brain sees a mystery when it's really just bad writing? I'm seriously hoping it's the former and not the latter.

THEO RAEKEN
We ended the midseason finale with the realization that Theo isn't actually a legitimate werewolf like he's been pretending to be-- in reality, he's a werewolf/werecoyote hybrid, and since, according to the Argent Bestiary, all werecoyotes, regardless of rank, can technically full-shift into a coyote form (though it's a skill you have to learn, which is why we haven't seen Malia in full-coyote-mode since she rejoined the human world), Theo gained the ability to full-shift into an actual wolf, which definitely helped conceal his true supernatural identity. I mean, why would they question a Beta werewolf's identity if they saw him full-shift? 

However, let's look back and some of his comments. First, there's his comment to Liam about Hayden and chimeras in general from "Lies of Omission."
THEO: "The problem is, she's not really like us, Liam. None of them are. They're more like... cheap knockoffs. She might not be as strong as we are or heal like we do. She's not a real werewolf."
Then, there's his conversation with Scott at the end of "Status Asthmaticus," right after Mason saved him from being killed by the moon-crazed Liam.
SCOTT: [to Mason] "It was just..."
THEO: "...Bad timing. [He turns to Mason] I mean, seriously. You couldn't have waited five minutes?"
[Theo knocks Mason out, and he falls to the floor]
THEO: "I should've stayed. I should've made sure."
SCOTT: "Because now you'll have to kill me yourself."
THEO: "They're still mine. Maybe not yet, but they'll come around."
SCOTT: "Not for you. They're not like you. They never will be."
THEO: "Because I'm a chimera? Because I'm not a real werewolf?"
SCOTT: "Because you're barely even human."
I mean, it's pretty obvious that he's got a major inferiority complex where being a chimera is concerned. He wants to be a real werewolf, and I think part of the reason he was siding with Liam with regards to Scott giving Hayden the bite in the midseason finale was because he wanted to see if it was possible to turn a chimera into a real werecreature without a horrendously painful death. Obviously, he didn't want to take the risk for himself, because he's way too self-absorbed to die for nothing, but if the bite could have successfully turned Hayden, then he could have changed his plans. Instead of manipulating Liam into killing Scott so that he'd become an Alpha, allowing Theo to kill Liam to steal that Alpha power for himself, he could have just manipulated Scott into giving him the bite Gerard-styles and then killed Scott himself. That way, he would have had way more control over the situation than he did near the end of "Status Asthmaticus." So, I wouldn't be at all surprised if his scheme in 5B is figuring out a way to get Scott (or maybe even another Alpha, since we know there is one particularly powerful one who is coming back this half-season for the first time since Season 3A...) to give a chimera the bite so he can see if it's possible to become a "real" werewolf himself.

There have also been hints in interviews with Cody Christian and Jeff Davis (although I can't for the life of me find the link to where I read this, so maybe I just made it up or dreamed it or something, I don't know) that Theo and the Desert Wolf might end up forming an alliance because they'll find that they have "common goals." There was a lot of speculation before and during Season 5A that Theo and Malia were siblings and that the Desert Wolf was actually his mother, and I'm still not sure if I buy it, but there was a lot of talk from both Cody and Shelley Hennig that Theo and Malia had a surprising connection, and I'm wondering if they were just referring to the fact that Theo is part-werecoyote, or if there's something more to it than even that. Either way, that might be something to watch out for as well, especially considering Theo offered to help Malia kill the Desert Wolf in "Status Asthmaticus" as well before he killed Scott.

I'm also wondering about his backstory-- we got that one tiny introduction to his so-called parents, who he beat with a hammer for not being convincing enough in "Parasomnia," and the brief revelation that he killed his sister (or at the very least let her die by refusing to help her out of the creek in the nature preserve after she fell in and broke her leg) in "Strange Frequencies." Why would they show us all of that if they didn't intend to elaborate? Are Theo's real parents actually dead? I mean, if he had no problem letting his sister die when he was only like, nine or ten years old, then killing his parents isn't really that big of a stretch, right? But he couldn't just come back to Beacon Hills without his parents without arousing suspicions, especially considering how paranoid about him Stiles was at the beginning of the season. Anyway, regardless of where his story is going, I'm still very intrigued to see what he's got planned for this season, and how he's going to manage to talk the McCall Pack into teaming up with him and the chimeras against the Beast after all of the terrible shit he's done, but I'll get into that more in a bit.

SCOTT MCCALL
Scott went through a bit of a rough time this season (and by "a bit of a rough time," I mean, "a soul-crushing amount of angst, horror, and both literal and metaphorical heartbreak"), and I'm thinking the bulk of his storyline (and really, the storylines of everyone in the pack) in 5B is going to be based on a few main themes: healing from the trauma of the last few seasons, rebuilding his friendships and the pack as a whole, regaining his confidence as a leader and his trust in his friends, working on communicating better with the pack, and dealing with the aftermath of his second-or-third resurrection.

First and foremost, what I want from Scott's arc this season is for someone, anyone, to realize that Scott has literally ascended to Sam Winchester levels of passive suicidal ideation. I mean, think about that conversation he had with Theo that I transcribed above-- when Scott said, "Because now you'll have to kill me yourself," he literally had a smile on his face. He wasn't at all afraid of dying, and I sincerely believe that a part of him actually wanted to die. That isn't to say that he would actually kill himself-- though we've already seen him try in "Motel California"-- because he knows that there are way too many people who need and depend on him, even if he doesn't actually believe that he has any value. But if he got killed in battle, or while trying to save someone's life, I think he would be content with that, and it seriously worries me so much. Scott is just such a good person and makes everyone around him better for having known him, and so the fact that he places so little value on his own existence just breaks my heart. I need the people around him to realize how badly he's doing psychologically, to realize that he literally goes out of his way to ignore his own suffering and trauma in favor of helping his family, his pack, and even complete strangers. It's so easy for everyone else to get caught up in their own shit (and that was especially true for Stiles and Liam) that they can't even see just how low Scott's mindset has become. SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP SCOTT MCCALL, I BEG OF YOU.

Moving on to the next themes, it seems as though Scott's journey in 5B will involve rebuilding his pack, which means reconnecting/reconciling with Stiles, Liam, and from the looks of it, Malia, though in my honest opinion, I feel like he's owed way more apologies from them than he owes, especially considering he nearly died at Liam's hands and literally died at Theo's, which in my mind is more than enough punishment for whatever bad decisions he's made this season. Still, regaining each other's trust is going to be a slow and rocky process, given everything else that is going on, and I'm very much afraid that being betrayed by Theo the way that he did is going to make Scott a much more paranoid person as a result. I mean, we can all benefit from a little hesitation and skepticism, Scott and the pack included, but Scott's trusting nature is tied to his compassion, and I would hate for him to lose that compassion because he was taken advantage of by someone he thought was an honest and good person. Despite being burned like he has, Scott's instincts are still nearly always spot-on, and I don't want him to lose faith in himself. Confidence is going to be necessary to fight foes that are as strong as the Dread Doctors, Theo, and the Desert Wolf.

Now, the aftermath of his resurrection is going to be an issue I'm sure as well, because like Scott said in 3B's "Anchors," being killed and brought back to life is bound to have some side effects, and this isn't the first time this is happened-- he was drowned and brought back to life in a druid ritual in 3A's "Alpha Pact," and then he was shocked into a nearly-dead state by Kira in Season 4's "Time of Death," from which he was just barely resuscitated, so this is quite possibly his third resurrection, and honestly, I am seriously worried about what consequences will come from it.

STILES STILINSKI
I foresee Stiles' path this season taking a somewhat similar route as Scott's, with its focus being reconnecting with the pack (specifically Scott and Malia), dealing with the aftermath of Theo's attack on Sheriff Stilinski, and working on controlling the increasingly violent tendencies that have been progressively worsening all season. It's almost like it's kind of a delayed-reaction trauma, when you think about it, because he was possessed by the nogitsune in late 3A/early 3B and was forced to do some terrible, awful things as the nogitsune's meatsuit through the second half of that season. We were all sure that Season 4 was going to have Stiles dealing with the after-effects of that possession, but besides a few references to his feelings at the time in "The Benefactor," he seemed more or less okay, emotionally speaking. Although really, repressing/ignoring trauma is kind of the McCall Pack's specialty.

However, Stiles' anxiety regarding graduation and what would happen to his beloved friends/pack when they left for college compounded with the stress of the Dread Doctors and everything that they were doing ended up getting channeled into his admittedly not entirely misplaced paranoia that Theo was a bad guy. This paranoia got worse and worse until, unbeknownst to him, Theo manipulated him into killing Donovan, because Theo is literally the evil foil to Scott-- while Scott brings out the best in everyone and encourages them to strive for goodness (especially with regards to not taking lives unnecessarily), Theo brings out the worst in people and encourages them to tap into their dark side, especially when it comes to killing people. I'm thinking Theo then killed Josh right in front of Stiles purely to give him a way into somewhat gaining Stiles' trust-- it started with Theo promising to keep Stiles' secret if Stiles kept his, and then constantly assuring his fears that killing Donovan was justifiable self-defense and making him feel better about what happened.

After that, despite what Stiles will likely argue in the coming episodes, he did, for a time, trust Theo with the truth of what he did, something that he didn't share with anyone else. Not Scott, his best friend and brother-in-arms. Not Sheriff Stilinski, his father and the person around which Stiles' world revolves. Not even Malia, his girlfriend, the person who has never once made him feel guilty about what he's done. And, of course, Stiles killing Donovan (the first person he's ever killed, if you exclude all of the deaths he was forced to cause while he was possessed) just brought up all of his bad memories of being Void!Stiles, something about which Theo took great pleasure in reminding him in "Status Asthmaticus." 

So, I think in 5B, we'll be seeing more of Detective Stiles, both with Sheriff's condition and the Beast, and we'll also see him wrestling with his darker nature and having to come to terms with the fact that he has the potential for both good and bad things within him. His interactions with Theo and reactions to stressful events just demonstrated to him that he has a long way to go with regards to healing himself psychologically and properly dealing with his past and present traumas so that they don't continue to haunt him, control him, or act as weaknesses that can be exploited by people like Theo fucking Raeken.

LYDIA MARTIN (FT. GABRIEL VALACK)
Last we saw of Lydia in 5A, she had just predicted that someone (Scott) would die in the library and was subsequently captured by Theo, who brought her back to the Dread Doctors' lab and stabbed her in the back of the neck with his claws to get the location of the Nemeton so he could resurrect Tracy, Hayden, Corey, and Josh for his new chimera pack. Theo then left her for dead in the woods, and I'm guessing that's how she ends up finding herself in Eichen House-- with Sheriff hurt and Jordan in the wind, it seems likely that there will be no one at the Sheriff's station to know to contact the pack, and even if there was, it's so fractured at the moment that I'm wondering if such a message could actually get through to them. So, that leaves Lydia in the hands of ignorant mundanes who know nothing about Lydia's situation and the help she needs, so they'll probably just be like, "Oh, catatonic eighteen year old girl? Guess we gotta throw her in Eichen House with the rest of them."

We know from the flash-forwards in "Creatures of the Night" that she ends up getting some mysterious treatment from Dr. Valack, who someone manages to get into a position where he could have patients there despite actually being a patient himself until his escape in "A Novel Approach." Do you think he still has his illusion powers? Is he using them as some sort of glamour so people don't actually realize it's him? I'm still really curious as to how the loss of his third eye will affect his psychic abilities. It's still up in the air what exactly his agenda is, but I'm leaning toward the theory that he's actually not a Big Bad, he's just a medium or neutral bad who is really trying to help the kids out (or, at the very least, he's actively working against the Dread Doctors, which at least partially puts him on the McCall Pack's side), albeit in very misguided and traumatic ways.

Regardless of his motives, it seems as though Lydia's arc for the first part of the season is going to involve her stay in Eichen House (and the rescue mission to get her out will likely be a priority for the rest of the pack, which will hopefully be something that can help bring all of them back together on the same team again), along with her struggle to deal with and learn to control her powers again, now that they've been amplified by whatever Valack has been doing to her-- definitely trephination, but probably other stuff too, since she was able to throw concussive blasts during the first escape attempt we saw in the premiere, and he hadn't drilled into her head yet.

After she gets out of Eichen House, I foresee her being intent on figuring out a way to help her friends despite everything that has happened to her and continuing to adjust to how much more powerful she is now (although I maintain that she's always been super powerful, but is limited in her use of her abilities because no one has been able to teach her how to use them properly, so until this point she's just been unconsciously using certain aspects (sending banshee messages to Meredith, for example, and maybe even Jordan, unknowingly writing computer codes into her math notes and doodling sketches of the Nemeton, finding bodies in banshee fugue states) and then barely scratching the surface of the others (using vibrations to interpret auditory premonitions). Also, the Marrish shipper in me is hoping that our two harbingers of death can help each other figure out what they're going through together, since they have had very similar struggles in their road to learning their supernatural identities and seem to have supernatural roles in the same arena, if you will.

KIRA YUKIMURA
Thanks to Arden Cho needing to film a side project, we haven't seen our favorite thunder princess since this season's eighth episode "Ouroboros," when she left Beacon Hills with her parents after being accused and suspected of killing a still-anonymous lady chimera in the McCalls' dining room.

Personally, I'm still very much convinced that Kira was framed by Theo or the Dread Doctors, because 1) the last time we saw Kira in possession of her katana belt, which was used to kill the chimera, was when she was forced to take it off before they went to visit Valack in Eichen House, and considering how she was unconscious when Scott carried her out of there, it's very likely that it got left behind; 2) Theo would benefit from Kira having killed someone, since doing so would cause tension and possibly a breakup between her and the very anti-murder Scott, which would help her be more open to being in Theo's pack after he became Alpha-- plus, we literally saw him do the exact same things to turn Stiles, Malia, and Liam away from Scott, so it's not exactly unprecedented; and 3) because of the fact that she had lost control over her fox spirit (which Theo and the Dread Doctors would both be aware of, considering that they were the ones who orchestrated it so the Doctors could get into Eichen House), it would be easy for others to see a dead body with Kira's sword stuck in her chest and be like, "Well, she has been out of control lately, muttering 'I am the Messenger of Death' in Japanese and almost killing incapacitated chimeras, so maybe she did do it..." 

But I digress, as usual. My main questions going forward are, what did the Dread Doctors do to Kira, anyway? And did they do it solely to get into Eichen House by having her disrupt the telluric currents, or did they have another motive? Either way, it seems like her mother knows someone in New Mexico who can potentially help her, and according to Jeff Davis, there is going to be a Kira-centric episode in 5B, which makes me super happy. I mean, I have been waiting what feels like 84 years to get more information on kitsune, so I'm hoping they'll be expanding the kitsune mythology this half-season. I will get into this topic more in the spoiler-y section.

MALIA TATE
When we last saw Malia, she had just been found by Braeden at the high school, where she was battling it out with a spike-wristed chimera that got zapped by Braeden's modified military-grade stun-gun. Is that chimera still alive? I wonder what happened to that guy. He was pretty much a Buffy the Vampire Slayer ripoff, let's be real. Anyway, once they escaped, Braeden informed her that yup, the Desert Wolf knows that Malia is alive, and so now she's coming to Beacon Hills to kill her again. I'm still kind of confused as to how the Desert Wolf could not know that Malia was alive, since she's an accomplished assassin, so shouldn't be experienced and smart enough to know to check to make sure Malia actually died?

What I'm guessing happened the night of the car wreck is that TDW shot at Malia's adopted mom's car, causing her to drive off the road and into the preserve, and the stress of the wreck compounded with the full moon caused eight-or-nine-year-old Malia to stress-shift into full-coyote mode and attack/kill her sister and mother, which is what caused her eyes to turn blue. Maybe TDW didn't know what Malia looked like as a kid, and assumed that her sister was actually Malia and had died in the wreck? You'd think a werecoyote (or what we're assuming is a werecoyote/werecreature of some kind) would know the signs of death via mauling with claws and fangs, but I don't know, I'm hoping that this all gets cleared up when we learn more about this expert killer who was dumb enough to do sex to Peter Hale this season.

Anyway, I think it's safe to say that Malia's storyline for 5B is mostly going to involve her biological mother, and honestly, I would not be at all upset if Malia killed her, to be honest. That's like the definition of self-defense, considering her mother is an international assassin who has literally wanted her dead since she were a child and who clearly has no problem attacking the people close to her to achieve her goals, like how she took Deaton captive. I'm hoping that part of Malia's arc involves reconciling with Stiles as well, because their sort-of breakup totally broke my own icy cold heart last season. :(

But, on the plus side, I'm hoping we're going to be getting more Malia/Braeden battle partner time, because they make an excellent team, don't you think? I also hope she and Scott repair their friendship, because they also make a really good pair, and the random tension that they had this past season (Scott being not very understanding after Malia watched the Dread Doctors kill Tracy before they even knew who they were, Malia being really harsh about Scott and acting like he was some sort of emotionless robot who wasn't affected by any of the traumatic stuff, etc) was just mega-painful to behold. So, bring it on, Jeff Davis! Give me badass, loyal Malia and we're cool. (Also, while I have your attention, can we finally kill Gerard off for good this season? Pretty please?)

LIAM DUNBAR
Oh, Liam, Liam, Liam. He is so precious to me, but he's had such a rough go of it in the last ten episodes, and that's a lot to come back from. The last time we saw him, he had nearly killed Scott, and only didn't because Mason showed up just in the nick of time and stopped him by informing him that his lady love, Hayden, had just died from the mercury overdose she was given by the Dread Doctors once they proclaimed her to be a failed chimera. Of course, though Liam insisted that he truly wanted to kill Scott, it was really just first love hormones and the fear of her dying mixed with the full supermoon, his inability to 100% control his transformations on full moons yet, and probably whatever the Dread Doctors shot him up with that caused him to feel that way, but it doesn't really change the fact that he did he, and even though Scott knows he didn't really want to, it's still going to be hard for them both to move past it, I imagine.

So, my predictions for Liam are that he's mostly going to be dealing with Hayden's resurrection, rebuilding his relationships with her, Scott, and the pack, and also dealing with the aftermath of whatever the Dread Doctors did to him. With regards to the latter point, we saw that he was given an IV infusion of some mysterious black stuff from an unsanitary-looking tank and was injected with what appeared to be the same mercury stuff that Tracy, Donovan, and Hayden were shown getting injected with as well, and I can't imagine they'd do that to him for no reason. So, hopefully we'll be learning more about what that shit does to actual werecreatures, especially since another character (who for spoiler purposes will remain nameless until the end) was shown getting the same black gunk infusion in his own arm in the trailers. I mean, if Liam was a genetic chimera, we would have found out about it much sooner, right? I would like to think that's the case.

JORDAN PARRISH
Jordan is officially a hellhound now! I am still so pumped about it, to be honest, but I want to know more about them, what they do, what their connection is to the Wild Hunt (and if Jordan already has a connection to them now and just doesn't realize it). We've seen he has super strength when he wants to use it, an immunity to fire/the ability to burst into flames/create heat, and some sort of banshee-esque ability to sense when the secret of the supernatural needs to be protected (typically involving dead supernaturals, and particularly dead chimeras), since he's essentially the guardian of the supernatural world as a whole. Gods, I really hope we get the Wild Hunt this season, because I would really like to see them kicking the Dread Doctors' asses. Wouldn't that be satisfying? I'm still holding out hope that the Morrígan is involved somehow, but it's most likely that this will only happen in my dreams.

Despite this big revelation, though, we don't seem to know much about hellhounds other than what Lydia read from that book, so my predictions for Jordan aren't very detailed. I'm curious to see how his role fits in with the Dread Doctors' plans, since some sort of battle between the Beast and a hellhound seems to be a prophecy of some kind (or, at the very least, the Doctors think it's a prophecy), so I'm very ready to learn more about how he's gonna kick ass this season, and what his hellhound form is going to look like, if he has one. He also seems to have the same kind of problem that Kira is currently having, in that his hellhound spirit is kind of acting independently of Jordan's own self, which is why he's been blacking out when there's a chimera body to cover up. This sort of hellhound-alter-ego seems to have some sort of connection to Lydia/banshees in general, too, judging by the Queen of Diamonds trigger many of his blackouts have had. Either way, I need to know more, and the quicker the better, in my humblest opinion.

THE CHIMERA PACK
I seriously have so many questions about the chimera pack, to be honest, as well as questions about the chimeras within it. First of all, what are they? We know Tracy is a werewolf/kanima, Corey has some kind of chameleon thing going on, Hayden is part werewolf, and Josh has some kind of electricity-vampire thing with werewolf-esque fangs and claws, but we're missing at least half of their chimera-equation and I want to know what they are! My guess is that Hayden is half-werewolf and half-werejaguar, which would be awesome, but I honestly have no idea about the others. (Edited to add: I actually wrote this part long before the first episode of 5B, "The Last Chimera," aired, so to be once again vindicated by my correct assumption is pretty great, I have to admit. Just call me Miss Cleo, I guess. :))

I'm also curious as to how Theo thinks he's an Alpha, because he obviously didn't steal Scott's powers, since they were necessary for him to be resurrected after his mother's CPR and the full moon resuscitated him. Is there some kind of sire-bond thing happening where the resurrected chimeras feel some sort of supernatural obligation and loyalty toward him? And is this another case of Theo just being a de facto Alpha like Scott was because there was no real Alpha to lead them? That still seems weird, though, since Scott at least was a True Alpha, even if he hadn't risen by that point, but we all know Theo is not even close to being a True Alpha, so that part just very much confuses me. I feel like Hayden has enough of a connection to Liam and the others in Scott's pack that she can maybe overpower that feeling of obligation to Theo, but I doubt the others will be that lucky.

Also, if that green fluid from the tank with the body in it in the Dread Doctors lab (which, what is up with that stuff anyway? I have so many questions about how it works and why the Doctors use it) can resurrect the dead and make previously-failed-experimental chimeras into more or less successful ones, then why didn't the Doctors just use it on them from the start? That seems to make me lean even more toward the possibility that the failed chimeras were intended as sacrifices to the Nemeton as part of the Dread Doctors' plans. Maybe they needed the chimera sacrifices to resurrect the Beast? Or to have the power necessary to create another Beast?

THE DESERT WOLF
I honestly thought we were going to learn more about the Desert Wolf in 5A, so I'm hoping that she'll be more in the thick of it in the second half, since we still know virtually nothing about her or what her deal is. What was revealed about her is that she was directly responsible for the deaths of Malia's adoptive mother and sister, since she shot at the car they were in and caused the wreck that presumably caused Malia coyote-out from stress and maul them to death. Besides, the fact that she shot at the car the way she did suggested that even if she didn't actively want to kill Mama and Sister Tate, she certainly didn't give much of a fuck about what happened to them. She also revealed to Deaton that she was intent on killing Malia, since she wasn't aware that she had actually survived the shooting and subsequent car wreck.

The main question we all seem to have about her is why she wants Malia dead so bad. I mean, she was willing to kill her when she was only eight years old, and even assassins should at least have some maternal feeling toward their offspring, right? So, what is it about Malia that she hates so much? Is it that she's the spawn of Peter Hale? Because yeah, that was probably not the wisest move on her part, but still, Malia is her child!

After a bunch of brainstorming and rewatching the 5A episodes, I'm wondering if maybe she was a Dread Doctor experiment? Here's my line of thinking-- after only hearing brief references to the Desert Wolf all season through Braeden's updates to Stiles and Malia (through which she provided them with photos of the people she had assassinated), we finally met Malia's infamous mother when she killed Vadim and captured Deaton in the Dread Doctors' former lab in Russia, where their experiments had been covered up as a nuclear plant accident. So, why would the Desert Wolf be there? If she was just looking for Deaton for confirmation about whether or not Malia was still alive, why wouldn't she do it in Beacon Hills? Or better yet, she could have gone there herself and scoped the place out herself, since we saw Deaton straight-up lied to her in the first place? Did she want Deaton as a bargaining chip, or was there another reason she was at the Dread Doctors' lab?

Before Vadim was killed, he and Deaton determined that the Dread Doctors had been doing experiments on fetuses while they were still in the womb, and now we have the Desert Wolf, a powerful assassin, at their former lab with a burning desire to kill her own child. What are the chances that TDW was one of their test subjects when she was pregnant, and now she wants to kill Malia because she was affected by it as well? We still don't know anything about how she came to do the dirty with Peter, nor do we know for sure she's supernatural-- her name, the Desert Wolf, seems to suggest she's a werecoyote like Malia, since it's a nickname for coyotes, but during the whole minute and a half that she was onscreen, she didn't transform, make her eyes glow, or demonstrate any supernatural abilities whatsoever. She was even using an assault rifle, though that doesn't really mean much, since we've seen Kate continue to use weapons despite being a werejaguar now. Maybe that's a hint that the Desert Wolf wasn't always a werecreature? I don't know, maybe I'm thinking too much about this. I've been staring at this post for the last three days, so my brain is getting pretty scrambled. Regardless, I'm guessing and hoping that this season is the one where we finally figure out who the fuck the Desert Wolf is, how she got with Peter Hale, and why she's so intent on killing poor Malia.

MISCELLANEOUS
PACK PARENTS
First, I know I already brought this up in my pre-5A speculation post, but I'm still wondering about the parents who haven't been read into the supernatural yet, or at least haven't had it fully revealed to them yet. Is this the season where they finally find out just how weird Beacon Hills truly is? My main concerns are Natalie Martin (who may or may not know everything that is going on, since we didn't actually see Lydia tell her anything), Liam's step-dad, Dr. Geyer, and Valerie Clark, Hayden's older sister and guardian.

Honestly, I'm surprised it took this long for Natalie to find out, considering Lydia has been wailing, banshee-fugue-state-walking, and stumbling upon dead bodies since, like, Season 2, but what does she really know? And Dr. Geyer has made it eighteen episodes without figuring out that his step-son is a lycanthrope yet, even after he mysteriously disappeared to Mexico for a couple days, or almost ran away with his girlfriend after she was turned into a chimera. And, of course, Valerie has seen some seriously fucked up stuff since she became a deputy, like being paralyzed by a werewolf/kanima hybrid and getting knocked out when her partner went all hellhound-y and stole the body she was protecting. And now, her sister is now some scientifically created supernatural hybrid, so it seems like her finding out about everything is pretty much inevitable at this point.

ALAN DEATON
Secondly, I'm very concerned about Deaton, who is still being held captive by The Desert Wolf in Russia. I mean, do the kids even know where he went? Would they know where to look for him? Or are they going to need help? It sounds more like a job for someone like the Argents, especially since we know at least two of them will be returning this season, which I'll be getting into more in a bit. Regardless, he's a vital part of the McCall Pack, and I just don't know how they're going to face everything that is coming without him, so I'm hoping that they find a way to get him back. Of course, by doing so, they'll be exposing themselves to the Desert Wolf, which is terrifying in a totally different way, so either way they do it, it's gonna be a huge mess, as usual.

THE DREAD DOCTORS BOOK-INDUCED FLASHBACKS
Finally, I want to talk about the flashbacks of memories that the pack kids got after they read Valack's book, especially with regards to how they compare to each other. From what Valack told Lydia and Stiles in "A Novel Approach," the book is a tool that is supposed to trigger memories that have been repressed by the Dread Doctors' electromagnetic force-based mind manipulation powers. How that works exactly is still unknown, and we probably won't ever find out, but regardless of its methods, it was successful in bringing back repressed memories... just not necessarily Dread Doctor-specific ones. Initially, I figured that Scott, Lydia, and Stiles just didn't have any memories with the Dread Doctors that were repressed, so they just got flashbacks to things that they had repressed themselves, but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that they wouldn't show us these flashbacks if they weren't important.

So, why were these specific memories triggered by the book? I have two theories: the first is that their subconscious minds were trying to warn them of what is coming, and the second is that maybe the Dread Doctors did mess with their memories, but instead of being memories of being experimented on (since they don't seem to have been their test subjects), the Doctors repressed other memories that could possibly help them in the future. I mean, what purpose would those memories serve otherwise? Why would they show us the Desert Wolf shooting Mama Tate's car, Lorraine in Eichen House, baby Scott and his killed dog, and Stiles' mother at the hospital, unless it served some kind of greater purpose to the storyline? So, let's go through the repressed memories we saw the characters experience in chronological order and try to figure this out, yeah?

The first to have a repressed memory come back was Tracy in "Parasomnia" and "Dreamcatchers," and from what it looked like, the flashbacks in combination with her night terrors ended up manifesting in long-lasting, terrifying hallucinations of the Dread Doctors. I'm guessing that the book affected her more strongly than the others because she had a lot more of her memories of being experimented on suppressed by them then the pack kids. In "Parasomnia" she had flashbacks to the Dread Doctors coming after her while she was at her locker, and in "Dreamcatchers," when she was sitting in Ken's history class, she hallucinated that the Dread Doctors were coming for her, and said as much to Scott, Liam, and Ken-- "They're coming. They're coming for all of us" before passing out and throwing up a bunch of mercury. Her flashbacks were pretty straight-forward, and mostly just serve as a guide as to what the book was intending to do-- trigger repressed memories and bring them to the surface.

Then Malia read the book in "A Novel Approach," which caused her to have a very vivid flashback of the night of the car crash on that full moon when she was eight or nine years old. It's important to note that Malia is experiencing the flashback from her younger self's perspective, and not as a third person perspective. The weird part is that she was already getting brief flashes of that same memory even before she read the book, which was triggered by her driving lessons. I'm not exactly sure what that means-- maybe if the memory had been purposely suppressed by the Dread Doctors, it wasn't done effectively enough, and she was already starting to break through it herself before she read the book? I'm not sure. Regardless, she had the flashback in full after reading the book, which was so strong that she nearly got herself run over by a car in the process as she saw the Desert Wolf aim two handguns at Mama Tate's car and emptied the chambers at it, causing Mama Tate to run off the road and into the nature preserve, where Malia presumably stress-shifted into coyote form and attacked her dying mother and sister. If my theory that the Dread Doctors purposely repressed her memories is correct, then why would they do that? Could the Doctors really have a connection to the Desert Wolf? Do they not want the pack to figure it out? Like I said earlier, the Desert Wolf was at the Doctors' old lab in Russia, and why would she know about that place if she hadn't been there before? How would she know to find Deaton there?

After the rest of the pack read the book in "Required Reading," Lydia was the first to trigger her repressed memory when Sydney, who has stress-induced alopecia, showed her the bald spot behind her ear, which caused Lydia to think it was a drilled hole in her head. This repressed memory seems especially important, considering what we saw of Lydia at the end of "Creatures of the Night." So, the shock of the flashback causes Lydia to fall backward onto the floor as she's transported into the memory. Unlike Malia and Tracy, who experienced their memories through their own eyes, Lydia saw her younger self walking toward the Eichen House bathroom and followed her there until she found her mother, grandmother, and an orderly inside. Lorraine was in the bathtub, bleeding severely after having drilled into her head with a power drill (and not a medical one, but one used in construction) behind her ear. Natalie started shouting at her that she should have stayed in the car, and Lorraine, who looked pretty dazed, echoed Tracy's words-- "They're coming, Lydia. They're coming for all of us." But who is "us" in this scenario? The supernaturals of Beacon Hills?

I have a theory that Lorraine had some kind of banshee premonition about what was coming and drilled into the side of her head to try to amplify her powers in hopes of figuring out what the Doctors were planning. We already know from what we learned about Lorraine in "Perishable" that she was frustrated by how little she understood her powers, and how much trouble she had in predicting any other deaths after Maddy's, at least until she had the premonition of the first phase of the deadpool that Meredith started at Eichen House.

So, if my other theory about the Dread Doctors repressing everyone's memories are true, maybe they repressed this particular memory of Lydia's so that way she couldn't have a heads-up about what was coming? At the end of "Creatures of the Night," we saw that Valack was about to drill into Lydia's head to help her remember what happened to her friends, since Theo forcing his claws into the back of her head in "Status Asthmaticus" definitely had some negative effects on her mind, so this repressed memory definitely feels like almost a warning of some kind. It's also possible that maybe Lydia's banshee nature had a bigger role in this flashback and was trying to warn her of what Valack was going to do to her in the future, kind of like how she figured out that the fact that she saw the Dread Doctors during her surgery wasn't because they were experimenting on her, but because her inner banshee was telling her that it was actually Hayden who was being experimented on. Either way, I think Lydia's repressed memory was one of the most important of all of the ones we saw, and could even be a hint that Lydia will be extremely valuable in the battle against the Dread Doctors and their creations in 5B.

Next, Scott's repressed memory was triggered right after Lydia's when he went to Ms. Finch's class to drop AP Biology. He was already stressed out about it as it was, and when she brought up his desire to become a veterinarian, it triggered his flashback to an asthma attack he had after a disastrous walk with his little dog Roxie, which then subsequently caused him to have an asthma attack in the present as well. This was probably the most mysterious of the repressed memories, if you ask me-- not just because it triggered a psychosomatic asthma attack despite the fact that Scott's lycanthropy should mean that he doesn't have asthma anymore, but also because it seemingly had no connection to what's going on.

In the memory, baby Scott (who was maybe like, five or six years old at the time) was walking Roxie when she was attacked by a vicious doberman and killed. The stress and trauma of the event caused him to have an asthma attack, and he was sent to the hospital where Melissa found him, and told him not to tell anyone about what happened to Roxie, though, like Lydia, Scott was watching this as a third party observer and not from the perspective of his younger self. So, what does this mean? Was it a hint of some kind that Theo was going to use Scott's returned asthma to poison him with a wolfsbane inhaler? It was the asthma attack that the flashback triggered that marked the beginning of Scott's relapse into asthma, and it's what allowed Theo to sneak him a wolfsbane-laced inhaler, which definitely played a role in how 5A ended. I'm not necessarily ruling out the possibility that there's something more to it, but I cannot for the life of me figure out a Dread Doctor connection. Any ideas?

Later that night we witnessed Stiles' repressed memory, which didn't have a particularly obvious trigger-- maybe it was being in the hospital, maybe it was the stress of everything going on, or seeing a vaguely-familiar patient roaming the halls. Who knows? Either way, he got into the elevator and hallucinated a brunette woman in a hospital gown that just so happened to end up being his mother, Claudia, who, as we know, died of frontotemporal dementia when Stiles was eight (even though the hallucination of Sheriff said he was ten at the time this memory happened, but we already established that Jeff Davis sucks at math and continuity, so there's that). He followed her up onto the roof of the hospital, where it turned into the actual memory of Claudia standing on the edge of the roof. Hallucination!Sheriff finds her and talks her down, and Claudia fearfully insists that she knows that Stiles is trying to kill her. Despite Sheriff's reminder that the dementia is making her paranoid and think things that aren't actually real, but she maintains that Stiles wants her dead.

When she saw Stiles (who was watching from his own perspective, but he was his adult self with a child-sized shadow? I don't really understand it at all), she yelled at him to stop looking at her like that and starts to attack her. I think it's safe to say this actually happened to Stiles, and considering how traumatic it was, I don't blame him for repressing it. But why was he reminded of this memory? Was his subconscious warning him that Josh was going to attack him? Was his subconscious trying to tell him that Claudia was being messed with by the Dread Doctors? Given what we learn in "The Last Chimera," it seems like roughly the same time period that the Doctors were last in Beacon Hills, so it's definitely possible. I don't know, this was another flashback that confused me, because Stiles' mommy issues are already well-established on this show, and I just don't understand why this would come up again unless it had something to do with what's currently happening. That's usually what the flashback episodes of Teen Wolf do-- Matt's flashbacks in Season 2 tied into the reason why he sent kanima!Jackson after everyone who just stood there while he drowned, Peter and Gerard's flashbacks in 3A tied into Jennifer and Deucalion's present-day actions, Noshiko's flashbacks in 3B explained the nogitsune's presence in the present, and Lorraine andPeter's flashbacks in Season 4 explained the deadpool. So, what do these flashbacks mean for the present day? Give me all your theories!


5B TRAILERS/PROMOS/INTERVIEWS DISCUSSION

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT. I know the first episode has already aired, but there's still quite a bit of spoilers in this section of the episodes to follow, so if you're not into spoiling yourself with trailers and sneak peeks, you should probably just skip on down to the comments and ignore this part. ;) Just a warning!

Now, lets get into what all the promotional material seems to suggest about what is to come this half-season. As far as trailers go, we've got the New York Comic-Con trailer, the official Season 5B trailerthe supertease that aired Monday night during The Shannara Chronicles (which is actually a very awesome show that you should be watching, since it comes on after Teen Wolf anyway!), and a sneak peek of Liam, Hayden, and Valerie as they get their first glimpse of the so-called last chimera. All of of which have shed some light about what the first half of 5B has in store for us.

THE BEAST OF GEVAUDAN
In "Condition Terminal," when Scott, Stiles, Kira, and Malia were in the library, looking through the Argent Bestiary in order to figure out what the newly-revealed chimeras were and how to deal with them, I pointed out in the recap that Stiles had fallen asleep with the bestiary open to the page about La Bête du Gévaudan and wondered if that was a hint of some kind, or just a throwaway prop thing. As it turns out, it was a hint, because at the end of "Status Asthmaticus," the Dread Doctors uncovered a large fresco behind the tiled walls in their lab that had what appeared to be the Beast and a hellhound battling each other.

Here's what we know about the La Bête so far. Much like its real-life counterpart, the Beast was a (were)wolf who ravaged Gévaudan, France, during the mid-18th century, killing hundreds of people by ripping out their throats and generally causing a lot of havoc and hysteria. In fact, in the trailer, Deucalion refers to the Beast as history's most vicious and famous werewolf. As we learned all the way back in Season 1, the Beast was ultimately slayed by one of the Argents' ancestors, though I'm not sure if this is what caused them to become werewolf hunters, or if they were already hunters when this happened. Regardless, it is a major part of the Argents' history, and was the first thing Allison ever learned about her family's hunter legacy.

As I discussed earlier in this write-up, it seems that the Dread Doctors' goal was to create the Beast, but why is that? And how? Are they resurrecting the original Beast, or are they making a new one? Or is it both, and they're imbuing the current-day chimera with the essence of the original Beast? Whatever it is, it seems to have something to do with that fresco, which I will get into more in the next section. In the sneak peek we were given of Hayden and Liam (which I initially believed was meant to be from the 5B premiere called "The Last Chimera," but as it turns out, it's actually from the second episode, "Damnatio Memoriae"), we finally get our first glimpse of the Beast, who has a monstrous wolf form that is even bigger and scarier than Peter's CGI wolf form during his brief tenure as an Alpha in Season 1. It has massively clawed hands and feet, super thick muscles, and its eyes glow white, which we've only seen so far in the Darach and in wendigos.

So, who is the Beast? Does it have a human form? If so, is it someone we already know? There was a brief flash of Meredith Walker-- who we last saw in Season 4 after it was revealed that she was responsible for orchestrating the deadpool on Peter Hale's telepathic instructions from when they were in the hospital together-- and I'm wondering if maybe she's connected to the it? We know she's very in-tune with her banshee senses, so maybe those other banshees she's constantly talking to through their harbinger-of-death channels have given her a heads-up about it? Regardless, I am ridiculously excited to learn more about it! Hit me with some mythology, Teen Wolf!

POSSIBLY PROPHETIC FRESCO?
A couple weeks ago, the Teen Wolf social media accounts started a sort of puzzle game in which fans could find clues with bits and pieces of a painting. Once the game was finished, MTV released the full painting, which is yet another fresco like the one the Dread Doctors uncovered of La Bête and the hellhound. At first, I thought it was just promo material, kind of like the game that they did before Season 4 with the key words that acted as hints to the Benefactor storyline, but then I realized that all of the title cards in the trailers and promos have Teen Wolf written in black against a white background with what looks like pieces of plaster crumbling away to reveal the title. So, what if that painting isn't just for promotion, and is actually a fresco that is going to be uncovered like the Beast/hellhound one? That seems to support the theory that the frescos are prophetic in nature, which is both super intriguing and also super terrifying.

If you look at the painting I linked above, you can see a lot of familiar images-- Scott crawling out of a pile of bodies, Stiles tending to the dead or dying Sheriff; Malia being choked by a woman with clawed hands; a dead or dying Kira laying with her sword impaling a fox in her lap; Liam dead or dying from long, deep claw wounds spanning the length and width of his torso; the Darach's disembodied head stuck on a pike; the bandaged nogitsune!Rhys pulling himself out of the carnage; a skeleton holding the Argent pendent necklace; the Dread Doctors peeking their heads out of a small space in the pile; Lydia bleeding from her temples and laying dead-eyed in her Eichen House clothes; Belasko's severed hand sticking out of the pile with his talons glowing bright blue; fireflies, moths, scarabs, and various dead wolves, coyotes, and foxes; Roscoe the Jeep with broken windows, and probably a whole bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting.

The people and objects in the pile seem to span the entirety of the series thus far, along with a few hints of stuff to come, which makes me wonder if all of the stuff that the McCall Pack and Beacon Hills as a whole has dealt with up to now has been fated to happen? If so, I am seriously into it, because it adds a whole new sense of gravity to everything going on-- instead of a few big things like the Hale fire, the Argents' war against werewolves, and the Nemeton getting cut down shaping the future to come, we have decades of events that were destined to happen all along. Considering the show's ongoing theme of history repeating itself, having some kind of circular sense of time and predestination being added to the mix is an excellent way to expand the world Jeff Davis has created. TELL ME EVERYTHING, JEFFY BOY. I NEED TO KNOW EVERY MINUTE DETAIL.

EPISODE TITLE MEANINGS
I honestly expected more of the upcoming episode titles to be released by now, but as it stands, we only have two to go on, so this section is going to be pretty brief.

The premiere episode of 5B, "The Last Chimera," seems to be referencing the Dread Doctors' plan with regards to their creation of chimeras. They seem to be looking for something specific in the hybrid creatures they've been transforming, but why exactly they're doing this is still up in the air, as I've mentioned in the previous sections. Is it just because of the battle between the Beast and the hellhound that is probably Jordan that was depicted in the fresco? Or do they have even more plans for how to use the last chimera? At this point, it's anyone's guess.

The title of the second episode, though, "Damnatio Memoriae," is intriguing and confusing, since I'm still not sure how it fits into what is currently going on. So, let's talk about the real-world applications of the phrase, shall we? "Damnatio memoriae" is a Latin phrase that translates to "condemnation of memory," and was used in the Roman Senate during the days of the Roman Empire as a punishment for traitors and others who discredited the state. This punishment involved literally erasing every trace of the person being punished from history, which, obviously, was way easier back in Ancient Rome, since it was the early days of written/recorded history. I can think of quite a few other parallels in fiction, such as the punishment used by the Nephilim from The Shadowhunter Chronicles (specifically mentioned in The Infernal Devices) for those of their kind who fraternize with demons, which involves stripping the Shadowhunter of their angelic runes and striking the punished's name from the bowels of their history. We also saw this in The Originals this season, when the New Orleans Covens shunned Davina from the community and vowed to make it as though she were never born. So, how could this kind of punishment be relevant in the second episode? I can't think of anyone who could have done anything terrible enough to deserve such a punishment except maybe the Dread Doctors and Theo? But it's way too early for the Big Bads to be challenged like that, so I don't know, but it is definitely worrisome.

SIDEBAR: It's kind of weird that this form of Roman punishment has come up, because I've been rereading this book series called Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (the series that eventually created the spinoff trilogy Witches of East End that spawned the Lifetime Network television series of the same name that was cancelled way before its time) that has a lot of mythology rooted in the Roman Empire. This is totally off topic, and I apologize in advance, but I love this series so much that I figured I should talk a little about it, because it's the same kind of supernatural fantasy genre that makes us all such big fans of Teen Wolf. So, Blue Bloods is a completely reimagined vampire story that is like no YA supernatural fiction I have ever read. The vampires are actually fallen angels who fought on Lucifer's side in the War in Heaven, and who were punished by God by banishing them to live on earth as immortal vampires during the times of Ancient Egypt before the floods. 

However, because they want to eventually evolve to a point where the Almighty will allow them to return to Paradise, they created an intricate society with a Vampire Code that dictated how they must live (they must help humanity strive for light, beauty, and peace; only feed on humans (known to them as Red Bloods) in small amounts and never to the point of death; and, for most of the vampires, live in what is known as the Cycle of Expression, where they are constantly reincarnated in 100 year long lifespans and regain their memories of their past lives and vampire abilities during their onset of puberty, between ages 15-21. Not only is Christian mythology involved, but so is Jewish mythology, Norse mythology, Chinese mythology, Roman mythology, etc, and because the fallen angels/vampires are immortal, the main characters have all been different well-known historical figures, such as Menes and Meni in Ancient Egypt; Caligula, Cassius, Drusilla, and Agrippina in Ancient Rome; members of the Orleans dynasty in 17th century France; settlers on the Mayflower in 17th century Plymouth and Roanoke, etc. Basically, it is a seriously awesome mix of mythology and history and I can't describe how much I love it. The only thing that could make me like it more is if it weren't so heteronormative, but that is pretty much the only complaint that I have. So yeah, read those books!

LYDIA'S EICHEN HOUSE STAY & POWER ADVANCEMENT
We saw in the flash-forwards in "Creatures of the Night" that Valack intended to perform trephination on Lydia to help her remember what happened, and we know now that the reason why she couldn't remember anything was because Theo forcibly shared her memories with his claws and caused her to become practically catatonic. Now, judging by the trailers, it seems as though the hole drilled in the side of her head behind her ear has amplified her abilities to the point that she has extra-sensory perception just like Valack did/does. She's walking through the creek where Theo's sister died and is experiencing it as though she were actually there, which means her premonitions are now solidly visual and auditory instead of just the latter. Granted, we saw her have banshee premonitions that were visual last season as well, such as the one of Hayden she had in "Required Reading," plus she kicked the asses of a shitload of guards at Eichen House before Valack drilled the hole in her head, which means that her powers were likely advancing even before that point.

So, how is that possible? Did her powers start to grow because she finally turned eighteen, which, according to Lorraine's clues, seems to be the age when banshees get their powers if they haven't been triggered by some sort of traumatic event (which was the case with both Lydia and Meredith)? Or did the Dread Doctors and/or Valack do other stuff to her before that point? This goes back to the stuff I reference in the flashback section, because the parallels between what it apparently happening to Lydia in the present and the repressed memory flashback she had of her grandmother Lorraine just seem way too strong to be insignificant, you know?

KIRA'S QUEST & NEW MEXICAN SKINWALKERS
What exactly is in store for Kira this half-season has been kept pretty hush-hush for the most part-- she's only been in brief flashes of the trailers and promos, but in the few little glimpses we've had of her, she looks seriously badass. According to Arden Cho and Jeff Davis, Kira and Noshiko left for New Mexico, where they're planning a female contact of Noshiko's who lives down there. Weirdly enough, there was also a quick cut of Kira swordfighting in the night against an oni, which makes me think there's some kind of ~vision quest~ type situation to help Kira's inner kitsune mesh with her inner human so they can coexist peacefully rather than battling each other for control.

So, with any luck, we'll be getting some more kitsune mythology! At the very least, I want to know what kind of kitsune Noshiko is (I'm guessing wild, celestial, or spirit), where Japanese fox spirits actually live if they're not in human form (is there a fox spirit heaven somewhere?), and how Kira, as a half-human kitsune, differs from her pureblood peers. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Also, rumor has it that Noshiko's friend in New Mexico is a skinwalker, or at least aligned with them, so that could add another layer of supernatural mythology so long as Jeff can handle it appropriately--I'm not 100% convinced of that, but I am reserving judgment until we see it! For those who have never heard of skinwalkers, they are a supernatural being from Native American folklore (usually specific to Navajo folklore, but there are a ton of cultures with shapeshifter mythology) who can transform into any animal it chooses. In the Navajo myth, it is certain varieties of witches in their culture who have this ability, though even within their community, there seem to be different stories as to how a person becomes a skinwalker, including killing a close blood relative or by breaking a different cultural taboo. They also usually wear animal pelts, which would explain the glimpse of the woman wearing what looked like some kind of suede-looking animal skin who was fighting Kira with a bone ax or something similar. Some myths say that skinwalkers can take any animal form they want, which they usually choose based on certain characteristics they require (for example, shapeshifting into a bird to fly away from danger) while others say that they typically only take the shape of wolves, coyotes, foxes, eagles, owls, or crows. Either way, it sounds like Noshiko's possibly-skinwalker friend could have a lot to teach our thunder princess, and I am very excited for her to finally have an episode focusing on her.

MCCALL PACK VS CHIMERA PACK
As we saw at the end of 5A, Theo resurrected Hayden, Corey, Tracy, and Josh and informed them that they were now in his pack and that he was their Alpha. It's still unclear how he's able to get this kind of loyalty out of them, but judging by the trailers, it seems like at least the latter three will be solidly on his side, even despite the fact that Theo literally ripped Josh's throat out. That is some serious dedication that I would be wholeheartedly unable to give him if I were in that position, but since we don't know how he's managing to hoodwink them so well, I should probably keep my judgment to a minimum.

My main issue is how Theo expects his pack and Scott's to be able to work together against the Beast after everything that has happened (and after all of the bullshit Theo himself has caused and is likely still causing). There's no way that anyone in the McCall Pack-- not Scott, not Malia, not Liam or Mason, and definitely not Lydia or Stiles-- will ever trust him again, and even though I know the "desperate times call for desperate measures" theme comes into play every season, how is anyone supposed to believe that Theo actually gives a shit about the people that the Beast and/or the Dread Doctors could kill? He was fine killing Scott and Liam for power, he had no issue potentially killing Lydia for information, he sentenced Donovan and Josh to death just to further his own plans, let his own sister die of exposure and possibly killed his own parents as well, so it's obvious that human and super-human life literally means nothing to him.

Regardless, since Scott and the others know and like the chimeras who aren't Theo, I highly doubt they're going to want to do anything that could put them in danger, because in their eyes (or, at least in Scott's), they're still innocent victims who are being manipulated by Theo for some higher purpose. This means they'll probably have to tread carefully to ensure that none of them get hit by the crossfire unless it's absolutely necessary or deserved on their end. Either way you slice it, it's going to be a very interesting chess game with regards to fighting against the Beast side-by-side while still watching their own backs against Theo and his minions.

RETURN OF FAMILIAR FACES
FINALLY, we're in the home stretch! I have been staring at this post for way too long, and I'm ready to finish up the last quarter of my "Status Asthmaticus" post so we can finally start dishing on 5B's premiere. Anyway, as we've seen in the trailers, there are a bunch of familiar faces returning to Teen Wolf this half-season, including Meredith, Deucalion, and Chris and Gerard Argent! What they'll be up to is anyone's guess, but I have some ideas for the latter three, since I already talked about Meredith a bit above.

Let's start with Deucalion. Weirdly enough, he appears to be blind again, which makes little sense, considering the last time we saw him, Jennifer Blake had just healed his injured eyes so he could finally see what Kali had done to her face to gain entry into his pack. Is it possible that Deucalion could have blinded himself again because gaining his eyesight weakened his Demon Wolf powers, kind of like Cordelia in American Horror Story: Coven? Or did Jennifer's death at Peter's hands revert his eyes back to the way they were? I mean, he tried to kill her himself by clawing out her throat, but Jennifer is a Katerina Petrova-level survivor, so that would explain why he still had his eyesight when Derek and Scott told him to stay on the up-and-up or face the consequences, but is now blind again. Hell, maybe Gerard managed to blind him again-- that dude is the biggest asshole ever, so I wouldn't put it past him. Deucalion was also shown hooked up to that same arm brace/black fluid infusion that Liam was forced into receiving by the Dread Doctors, which doesn't seem to bode well for either of them, if you ask me. Is that why Liam was looking especially Demon-Wolfy during the supermoon in "Status Asthmaticus?" Was that all part of the Dread Doctors' plan? I just really want to know what is going on!

As for Gerard, I want to know how he went from a feeble elderly man who was bleeding black goop from every orifice after Scott tricked him into ingesting mountain ash before he forced Derek to give him the bite to a totally normal-looking grandpa and supernatural hunter. Did he finally turn into a werecreature or a kanima? Did they find a cure for what ailed him? Or are the Dread Doctors enhancing him as well? TELL ME EVERYTHING, JEFF, AND MAKE IT GOOD. He seems to have at least reconciled with Chris enough for them to team up against the Dread Doctors, and since the Argents are historically known for slaying the Beast of Gévaudan, it makes sense that he'd be back in the thick of things. However, he was shown torturing Jordan in the supertease, so I'm sure he's got some ulterior motives going on even now, which is terrifying, considering how they all have more than enough to contend with as it is.

Interestingly enough, we have both Gerard and Chris back, but no word of Kate, which I take to mean that they've so far had no luck in finding her. I'm still pissed at Kate for what she did to Derek and Scott, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in finding out what the hell she's been up to since we last saw her. Has she made more berserkers to protect her? Is she back in Mexico, or has she traveled elsewhere? Are the Calaveras still after her? SO MANY QUESTIONS.


RANDOM NOTES/OBSERVATIONS/QUESTIONS:
I have one last note before I hand the relay baton to you readers so you can tell me what you think will happen or want to happen this season. When I was rewatching 5A to write this post, I thought about how weird it was that Theo seemed to know everything that had happen to the pack through the entire series. His story about being bitten, which we now know was totally fake, bore a striking resemblance to the story of how Scott was bitten, almost as though he told it that way specifically to play on Scott's sympathies. He knew Scott was a True Alpha, and knew everything about Void!Stiles. He even knew about the story of how Ethan and Aiden became Alphas, which struck me as especially weird. So, has he been watching them for a while now? Have the Dread Doctors? Or did he get his information from another source?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized the one person who was around for all of that stuff who would know the minute details to tell Theo-- Peter Hale. Peter was the one who bit Scott on his side, who watched him in anger as he ascended to True Alpha status and who had to have heard the twins' story from Derek, who saw Void!Stiles in the flesh and helped to separate the nogitsune from Stiles himself. And, to make matters worse, he has been conveniently absent since the end of Season 4-- we know he was Valack's roommate at first when he was first admitted to Eichen House, and Valack even referenced him when Stiles and Lydia questioned him on the book, which really makes you wonder where he's been and what he's been up to, doesn't it?

Anyway, that's all for now-- I think I've written at least a novella at this point, so I'm gonna stop talking in favor of listening to what you guys have to say now. What are your theories? Please don't spare the details, because I am curious as hell.

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