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Teen Wolf - 3.03 - Fireflies - Recap / Review


Previously on Teen Wolf, Stiles' former bath buddy wanted to lose her virginity for her birthday and suffered the same fate as all horny teens in horror movies, Derek and Allison had a staring contest, no one including the viewers won, Derek spilled that Allison's mom was homicidal, Cora the previously dead little sis returned and tried to rip out Derek's throat, Allison let the moon-drunk Boyd and Cora free, and Lydia screamed…a lot.

As the piano of blissful childhood summers plinks, a brother and sister catch fireflies…in the woods…alone…at night. Are there only 3 parents on this show? It's a touching scene of innocence and sibling bonds that you know will lead to screaming and blood in 5, 4, 3, 2,…werewolf! Moon-Drunk Boyd chases the kids to an empty shed in the middle of nowhere, which just screams of The 3 Little Pigs, and not the brick part. Boyd grunts and he groans and he rips the shed away. Since not even MTV dares to show a werewolf chomping on 8 year old heart, to the rescue comes…fireflies? Hmm. Apparently the kids collected fireflies for hours because there's a whole lot more than they had 2 minutes ago. Luckily Scott whisks the kids off while Boyd is distracted. Scott calls Derek and they agree to team back up since Boyd and Cora are too strong for one werewolf to take down alone.

Back in the House of Deaf or Absent Parents, Lydia's nightmare has left her in need of Advil. She acknowledges that she does indeed have a parent but she's also stymied about why they never show. Lydia: "Mom do you hear me? Of course you didn't. You would have heard me screaming like a lunatic." I'm convinced that in the final season we will learn Lydia is actually a paranoid schizophrenic locked in a mental ward who has dreamed this whole show up, thereby explaining her lack of parents. On her quest for aspirin, Lydia takes a wrong turn at the community pool. It's always a bad thing when Lydia ends up in a place she doesn't remember going to. This one comes complete with a body floating in the water. She whispers, "Please don't be dead." over and over again but still continues towards the body. By this time I'd think she'd have the sheriff's office on speed dial and back way the heck away. But no, she pulls the body to find…a lifeguard dummy. And all is well, until she looks up and finds a teen with his throat slashed. Oh Lydia.

As screams turn into drippy, moapy music it can only foretell the horror of an Allison and Scott flashback. They interrupt their pursuit of the bloodthirsty, raging werewolf duo to talk about secrets and wanting to spare each others' feelings. Way to prioritize folks! The conversation halts when Derek brings out Erica's dead body. Seriously people…ferocious werewolf rampage. Allison must agree because she gets out an arrowhead from her glove box. Not sure how that helps but hey, the annoying music stopped and we're back to present time, so win for us. Not so much for random camping couple though. Meet monster fodder. One is terrified of bugs and snakes. The other tastefully decorates the tent with hanging candles that scream romantic fire hazard. Honey, if you really want to make this night special, you probably should not take Miss Afraid of the Outdoors camping. Hotel. I'm just saying. Yep, the tent is suddenly infested with bugs and not only is the mood killed, but my skin is crawling. Eaten alive by bugs is #1 on my worst ways to die list. Never watching that scene again. Ulgh! While Bugged is being attacked by beetle type creatures, Girlfriend's search for her halts when a wolfed out Cora swings by the tent for dinner. But hey….it's Isaac. Got to love that grin before the attack. Of course, this doesn't bode well for Derek's tracking prowess since she seems to be alone. It's a battle royale as Scott and Derek join the fun. Of course it all happens in front of Girlfriend so that should make keeping their secret easy. Remember when Derek didn't want Scott playing lacrosse because their secret might get out? Good thing she wasn't taping it for YouTube.

And welcome Stiles to the episode as he races to Lydia. Woo hoo, so glad you've joined us. Lydia: "I'm okay. That over there…not okay." Stiles goes to call his dad but Lydia dialed 911 first like the smart woman she is. Stiles: "You called the police before you called me." Uh, yeah! Stiles disagrees and calls Scott about Boyd and Cora's first victim. Stiles: "It's like the freaking Shining out here. If two little girls come out of the woods, start asking me to play with them forever and ever, I'm not going to be surprised." Bwah!!! I wouldn't either Stiles but they'll probably carry fireflies for werewolf defense so it's all good. Scott wants more intel, but it's just an excuse to pan on the gore and the guy's purity ring. Derek argues that Cora and Boyd couldn't have gotten halfway across town in so short a time. I'm not so sure since they did freaking have a sob fest right after Boyd and Cora escaped. Capture first, emoangst later. But Derek and Scott need to angst over guilt and dead kids. Isaac just wants to know the plan. He votes to kill Boyd and Cora, but Scott wants to get Allison's dad on board. Papa Argent of the hunting and action? Yeah that's a good plan. There has been surprisingly little action so far for a story about rabid werewolves on the loose.

Back at Fire Hazard Tent, Girlfriend sits dejectedly telling her werewolf story to the cops. She took drugs with Bugged beforehand and they are skeptical. Sheriff Dad is very comforting as Deputy Tara asks for a description of the 3 guys who came by. I wonder how long Sheriff is going to be in the dark. It's time. Scott's mom has proven useful. Sheriff orders an APB on Bugged and Cora "as soon as we get something better than claws and fangs." Deputy Tara doubts Girlfriend's story but Sheriff says, "She saw something." Tara: "You mean someone." Ah Sheriff is already suspicious. At least this explains why the police haven't shown up at the pool across town yet. With all the dead people in Beacon Hills, a tax levy to increase the police force is due. Here's a suggestion…hire Chris Argent. He makes a much better at hunter than grocery shopper as the cracked eggs attest. Scott interrupts and gets a gun drawn on him for his efforts. Nearby in the van, Derek and Isaac lay bets on whether Scott's plan will work. I'd bet on Scott. I'd also bet on Derek beating the fur out of Isaac if he keeps thinking about Cora like that. Isaac: "So your sister? Uh sorry, that's bad timing. I'm sorry. I'll ask later, it's fine." Derek just stares. Isaac: "Or never. Yeah, yeah I'm good with never." Bwah! Great self-preservation plan. Kudos writers for giving us this scene instead of Scott recapping the night to Argent. Teen Wolf does minimal exposition well. Alas Argent refuses to join their merry band. Scott: "Just curious, is there a reason the gun is still pointed at me?" Argent: "There's probably still some part of me that wants to shoot you." BWAH! Argent needs more screen time. He says he lost everything to the supernatural and he's not getting Allison wrapped back up in that world. Yeah good luck with that Dad. She's pining for a werewolf. However New and Improve Scott is smart and has Argent take him to the pool where the police finally arrived. One dead body visual and Argent is on board.

Welcome to Werewolf Hunting 101. We all get a crash course. Argent shows how inept the werewolves are when Isaac can't even distinguish his own footprints. No wonder the hunters were always winning. He also reminds us that Cora and Boyd are besting our trio because they aren't fighting werewolf instincts. They need to track by scent, which apparently is Allison's plan too. She plays bait by dousing leaves with her blood. Is Allison brain dead this season? Really? Where is the smart huntress destined to lead her family against the supernatural? I want that chick back. This one is bound and determined to get herself killed. First the brilliant idea to go to the abandoned bank without backup. Now she plans to lure in two rabid werewolves and fight them alone? Give me a break! At least call Scott with a heads up. You don't take on werewolves on your own unless your name is Buffy and even she had backup most of the time. Luckily her dad has a better plan. He tosses Scott and Isaac infrared glasses; Derek comes equipped with his own. Argent is disappointed none of them brushed up on scent tracking while doing bare-chested pull-ups. Time for plan B. Well after Isaac gets caught up. Yes, Boyd and Cora will kill everything they can Isaac. They hunt for sport not food. Argent proposes they trap them at school and Isaac suggests the boiler room. A big dun-dun-dun sounds when Scott says nobody could possibly be at the school at this time. Close-up on hapless new teacher. First bird invasion. Now werewolves? Honey, you need to transfer if you make it that long…and if you are not really evil. I'm still not sure.

Argent brings all the cool toys to the party with ultrasound emitters…basically dog whistle stakes, and it's not just Cora and Boyd who feel the pain. Isaac: "Does anyone else want to rethink the plan where we just…um, kill them." Ha! No one's voting you for pack leader after this. Scott is confident it will work. I am confident I'll finally get some action in this episode as the running begins. Whistle Stakes are planted, Boyd and Cora herded, and Derek has wicked cool aim. Nice job staking the tree there. Scott's gymnastics off the School Bus of Death are pretty sweet too. While the team waits for Cora and Boyd, Stiles takes his self-appointed role as Lydia's bodyguard seriously. She's less than excited. Lydia: "Well you also didn't have to follow me to my room." Stiles: "Well I…uh, yeah I don't have an answer for that." He turns to leave but Lydia calls him on his curiosity. Stiles denies it but Lydia knows he wants to ask her why she was at the pool in the first place. Stiles: "Maybe my face just has a naturally interrogative expression?" Ha! Lydia pretends to be annoyed but she's really scared. Lydia explains her trance state and they naturally think Peter. I'm thinking Deucalion.

Speaking of Peter, he randomly joins Derek in the woods to….well, be plain annoying or fulfill the actor's contract. They banter about Cora but Peter doesn't want to help with futile endeavors. "Let's throw the reunion party when she's not an unstoppable killing machine." Bwah! Okay Peter, you can stay. Peter says Deucalion's plan is to get Derek to kill off everyone and join the Alpha pack. I think Peter's fuzzy on the details or has his own agenda here. I don’t trust him. Derek on the other hand steps up and straps on his chain mail because he's in knight mode this season. It's a good look on him. Derek: "And I should just let them? I should be okay with innocent people dying?" Peter says someone's going to die, people or the pack. Peter: "Oh come on, how much damage can they do? So they off a few homeless people, a drunk stumbling out of a bar too late, so what? Let Scott deal with it. Let him be the hero of his morally black and white world. The real survivors…you and I…we live in shades of grey." Peter turns on the ultrasound device, which doesn't bother either of them, and parts by saying if Cora and Boyd die, Derek can always make more werewolves. Derek looks intensely in the distance. Perhaps this was supposed to be a big character moment for Derek…or it foreshadows something untoward we will learn out about later. As there's no way to judge yet, right now, I'm guessing pure filler.

At the hospital, Stiles joins Scott's mom exploring the joys of autopsy. Say what? I know you're in on the secret lady but that's a minor you've scarred for life. Dead Pool Guy was actually strangled, bludgeoned, and had his throat slit. Talk about overkill. Stiles: "What kind of werewolf strangles someone? That's not very werewolfy." Yes Stiles, take that thought and run with it. Stiles surmises that this isn't Cora and Boyd but Nurse McCall stymies his hope that it's a random murder. Another body has the same wounds. Yep, we've got 2 rabid wolves, an Alpha pack, and a serial killer in Beacon Hills. Time to move. At least Isaac and Scott are prepping for the first problem. Everyone convenes at the high school where Argent teaches us the word of the day too. He's very handy. Bioluminescent means to glow. California lightning bugs don't glow? Where's the fun in that? Plus what are they called then? Most importantly, does Serial Killer use bugs to help kill, leaving me destined to hide behind a pillow every Monday night while bugs swarm my TV? Ulgh, I hope not. My skin crawls again. Luckily Cora and Boyd show up to distract me. Sadly, they're at Isaac's entrance. Isaac: "Oh great." Argent chases them to Derek but their human side kicks in and they go over the roof instead. Smart.

Meanwhile in the land of not smart plans, Mama McCall uncovers the body….of Heather, the virginal
birthday girl. McCall talks garrote techniques but I'm busy trying to comfort Stiles through the screen. Poor baby. His childhood pal is dead and it sucker punched him in the gut. Nice subtle acting here by Dylan. McCall finally realizes this is not good and covers Heather's body. She wants to call Sheriff but Stiles figures out what's going on. You can tell by the many, many flashbacks. Urgh! The victims were all virgins. Stiles asks about other bodies or missing people, leading him to Girlfriend. Stiles needs to talk to her but McCall wants to know why. Stiles: "Because I think I know what's happening." Alas he can't share with us because back at the school, they need to manipulate Cora and Boyd through the back doors. Isaac heads over but Allison has joined the party. Thank goodness, the solo thing was nuts. She shoots flash bombs at them until Isaac closes the doors behind them, but then runs away for reasons I don't quite get. Derek and Scott maneuver them into the boiler room and crisis #1 seems resolved. Scott: "Did that actually just work?" Derek: "It worked." For about 30 seconds. There are 3 heartbeats. Since this show obviously cannot afford an education consultant, Beacon Hills High stores copy paper in the boiler room. Are you kidding me? That paper will jam the copier every time. You want a frazzled, overcaffeinated, on edge staff having to constantly put up with copier issues on top of everything else? Brilliant. Plus what, does every teacher have to go to the boiler room to make copies? I call foul. Of course this means nothing to New Teacher, who's currently trapped in the world's largest boiler room with 2 werewolves. Transfer sounds good right about now, doesn't it?" Which is what we do…to the hospital where Stiles confirms Emily was a virgin.

Derek mounts his white horse to rescue the New Teacher as Scott reminds us that it's kill or be killed in there. Derek: "That's why I'm going in alone." Scott shuts the door behind him as Cora and Boyd make a theatrical entrance through fog. How dramatic of them! Plus, that's one more civilian who knows about werewolves as Cora and Boyd slice up Derek not far from her. The dramatic score ramps up painfully as Derek takes a licking but keeps on ticking. The rest of the hunter team races toward the werewolves' roars, as the sun comes up in Beacon Hills. Isaac yells about the miracle of daybreak to Scott, who immediately enters the boiler room to find a sliced and out of breath Derek kneeling over Boyd and Cora. He tells them to get the werewolves out while he gets the teacher. I would be panicked if I were New Teacher but the sight of a semi-clothed Derek does the trick. Perhaps she didn't see Derek's wolf eyes earlier. Perhaps she likes the dangerous ones. Either way, sparks are a-flying. Yet Teen Wolf is not known for joy so it's back to the morgue we go. Stiles shows Scott Heather's body because the morgue is Beacon Hills' #1 hangout spot these days, and then Stiles drops the bomb. Cora and Boyd might not have killed Pool Guy but that would be the good news. As Sheriff finds Bugged's body strung against a tree, Stiles voices over: "They're all going to have the same 3 injuries…strangled, throats slashed, head bashed in. It's called the 3-Fold Death." Scott: "So if these aren't random killings, then what are they?" Stiles: "Sacrifices. Human sacrifices."


Grade: A- for TV as a whole, B- for Teen Wolf

While this episode set us up to go full throttle into the crazy, it had a lot of exposition and a lot less action
than usual. Yeah it still had 3 times more action than most TV but not near its normal breathtaking pace. I did like Hunter 101 but it slowed down the middle a bit too much and there were a lot of speeches. This episode was also more serious in tone with very few funny lines to break it up. Even Stiles and Peter were mostly subdued. The best things were that Argent is willing to be an ally in desperate times, the pack is back together again, and the serial killer adds interesting angles they can go in. Here's hoping Allison goes all SMART, kick butt huntress again soon and Lydia gets a part beyond screaming or playing werewolf victim. And please, bring back the action and snark next episode. Oh and no more bugs.

Character of the Episode: Surprisingly not Stiles this week. This time it goes to Derek.
Special MVP Award: Argent and his toys
Best scene: Stiles sees Heather's body
Worst scene: tie - Bugged gets swarmed and flash back to Scott and Allison talking about her mom
Best moment: Isaac wants to ask Derek about dating his sister
Most in need of an overhaul: Tie - dramatic background music and overuse of flashbacks for effect
Best twist: tie - Argent helps the werewolves and serial killer
Worst twist: Lydia trance walks again
Best action: Isaac vs. Cora in front of Girlfriend
Smartest Move: Scott has Argent drive him to the pool crime scene
Worst Move: Tie - taking your nature phobe girlfriend camping and copy paper in the boiler room

Screencaps by Screencapped

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