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Teen Wolf - 3.05 - Frayed - Recap / Review

Note: The setup of this episode is not friendly for recaps since they go back to the same flashback about every 2.3 minutes, interspersing the past with the present so rapidly you could blink and miss it. Therefore instead of doing the recap in episode order like I usually do, this one is in chronological order. Basically it's the same plot, but it will make sense this way.

Previously - Derek frightened EDT (Eternally Doomed Teacher) when he tried to check up on her, Allison talked to Scott at a party 10 seconds after they decided to not see each other, Deucalion (Duke) wanted Scott and Derek to kill each other, and Isaac had a beef with the Alpha Twins after they killed Mysterious Motorcycle Girl, whom we tragically never saw again.

Flashback - In Allison's new digs, Scott confronts her about helping them herd Cora and Boyd in the school. He shows her an arrowhead as Allison pathetically claims it's from the school archery team. Nice try, but they don't have one and schools don't give teens military grade arrows anyway. Scott exposits the Argent pact to stay away from the supernatural but neglects to mention Papa Argent was also there saving their butts. This whole scene is boring filler and vaguely disturbing in a domination way so in synopsis, the two flirt, mock fight, and debate who's superior as Allison suspects Scott thinks he can take her. The only good part is when Scott leaves. Scott: "I'm not telling you this because I don't think you couldn't easily kick my a** if you wanted to. I'm telling you this because they scare the hell out of me and they should scare you too." Great speech! Scott makes himself vulnerable to show Allison this isn't a game. Aww. As he enters the elevator, Deucalion awaits. He laughs as Scott wolfs out. Duke: "Come on Scott, put those away. I'd have to be blind, deaf, and quadriplegic for you to be an actual threat." Bwah! I like Duke so much better when he's snarking than monologuing. He compliments Scott on keeping a steady heartbeat in the face of fear and suggests Scott become an alpha by killing one. He doesn't mean himself. Scott declines so Duke threatens that one day he will have to kill to protect someone he loves. Urgh! No need to share it Duke; your plan was already transparent enough. Typical villain overestimating. Duke taunts Scott about living in the same building as Allison, and it's the "star-crossed love as a pawn to get the hero to act" cliché. Blech! You can do better than that. Scott asks what Duke wants. Duke: "I want to see what you're made of." Dramatic music swells as the elevator opens to let Scott off.

Scott enters Derek's spacious (read no furniture) warehouse to share news of the Alphas' penthouse in Allison's new apartment building. This shocks no one except me since I didn't remember she moved. Cora and Boyd got the same intel following the Alpha Twins, so they're not hiding. Derek goes pre-emptive, demanding Scott's participation over Peter and his objections. This won't end well. Scott: "Why is the default plan always murder?" Um Scott, maybe because they always want to kill you. Just a guess. Cora wonders why they need Scott; I wonder why they need Cora. All she does is whine and recklessly charge people stronger than her, screwing everyone in the process. Grow a brain, kick butt, or go away. This cast is too big anyway and Erica was much more entertaining than you. Since Derek says they can't wait for the Alphas make the first move, the plan is to take out Deucalion only. How they plan to separate him from his pack no one elaborates. Obviously they're not worried about details as Boyd claims that killing Duke kills the pack. I agree with Peter. These aren't leviathans. One alpha dies, another takes its place. All you'll do is tick off the other alphas.

Confused by these events, Scott turns to Dumbledore….er, VetBoss about if he should continue peace talks. Scott: "How do you save someone who doesn't want to be saved? How do I stop them?" VetBoss tells Scott to lead them instead and I vomit a little. No boy king savior stories please. Can't he be a beta learning to become a stronger, smarter wolf and person? Guess not. (sigh) Allison also needs help and asks her dad to join the fight, but Argent says no more supernatural, period. Allison: "There's a pack of alphas trying to kill my friends. How do I stay out of that?" Argent calls it "threading the needle," which is literal later on but here means picking a path between two armies without getting yourself killed. Allison: "Sounds like saving your own a**." I have to agree. I'm disappointed Argent won't fight since he rocks in battle. Argent states that the wolves aren't her family as a last ditch argument but Allison's lost too much family to go down a few friends too. She's helping and I cheer. Smart, resilient, proactive, sane Allison is a favorite and I hope she stays instead of the brainless or weepy, emoangsting versions of her character that keep appearing.

That night Scott leaves to talk to the alphas only to get stopped by Isaac, who lives there now? Scott lies about getting food but since absolutely no one on this show lies convincingly, Isaac stops him. "You're not going alone. Come on." Of course, no one comes alone. Derek's crew and the alpha pack all show for one epic fight. Teen Wolf does fight scenes so well and having all players on board makes it even better. Derek goes for Duke but is stopped by Shoeless while the Alpha Twins do Olympic-worthy flips off the top floor, merging as SuperWolf. Boyd takes on EA (Elevator Alpha), Isaac runs toward SuperWolf, and Scott shakes his head before wolfing out. So much for talking. Alas the only one winning is Derek, last week's payback. As one by one the pack falters, Duke demands Derek kill Boyd to save the rest. Shoeless objects. She's not impressed by Derek as an alpha and thinks even less of the others, but Duke hints Scott is special AGAIN. Ugh! Shoeless steps on Cora's throat as tension mounts but Allison saves the day with light bomb arrows. Yeah! I love kick butt Allison. Duke yells for everyone to close their eyes but it's too late. Chaos erupts as Cora gets Boyd out and Scott attacks EA. Duke watches in interest as Scott's eyes briefly turn orange, not quite red but certainly not yellow. Hmm. Derek fights EA when Scott goes down and they wrestle on the ledge. Scott swipes EA's leg and he falls over the edge, taking Derek with him as Scott looks on in horror. Isaac pulls Scott away from the ledge, all reeling from seeing Derek so far down below. Scott is devastated. Cora heads to the escalator but Derek and EA's bodies have disappeared. She touches blood while Peter appears above. He calls himself Uncle Peter, which doesn't go over well with Cora. Nothing like killing family to make that connection obsolete. Still familicide is not uncommon for the Hales. Nobody trusts anyone, which is smart since Cora is hinky at best and Peter's always up to no good. Peter wonders where the bodies went and I call foul. That's it Teen Wolf. You cannot play it both ways. Either werewolves have exceptional senses or they don't. No way they should be stymied. Track the scent and follow it. Urgh! Turning abilities on and off to serve the plot means the plot is weak to begin with.

Present - The cross country team, made up of lacrosse members and random others, heads across state on a 5 hour bus ride for a meet since I guess there are no other schools around Beacon Hills. Isaac and Boyd sit together, obviously agitated. They both try not to think about "it," meaning the alpha fight. Isaac says they can't do anything about it, but Boyd disagrees as he ominously glares at non-suspended Alpha Twin. Alpha Twin checks his phone so often that Danny, who sits next to him, asks if anything's wrong. He says nothing important but it's obviously a lie as he glares at Scott and Stiles in the back. Scott doesn't feel well and flashes back to Derek's apparent death, while Stiles quizzes him on SAT vocab from a product placed iPad in a continuous attempt to raise the verbal scores of teens who watch this show. Tonight's episode is brought to you by anachronism, incongruous, and Darach. Oops Stiles, don't think that one's on the test. Besides it was last week's word of the day. Scott just stares but Stiles has a point. They do need to talk about the crazy, 3-death killer who likely has some nefarious bigger plot brewing. Scott ignores Stiles so it's on to intransigent, which is what Scott is being. The bus hits a pothole and Derek groans in pain, turning Stiles into a nagging grandma. Scott proverbs safety in numbers since he can't allow Isaac and Boyd out of his sight. Stiles: "Yeah well there's also death in numbers okay. It's called a massacre, bloodbath, carnage, slaughter, butchery…" First, ha! Second, nice thesaurus app. Scott continues groaning and Stiles threatens to tell Coach unless Scott shows him his injury. He got sliced badly by alpha claws and it isn't healing. Scott says alpha wounds take longer to heal but I'm not sure about that. Stiles also disagrees since Isaac and Boyd have already recovered. Scott is oblivious to Stiles' worry though as he leans his head heavily against the window and mourns Derek's death.

Meanwhile Allison and Lydia follow the bus as Allison frets. "Am I getting too close. I'm…I'm getting way too close aren't I?" Lydia: "That depends. Are you just following the bus or are you planning on mounting it at some point?" BWAH!!! That's my new catchphrase for tailgaters. Allison says she needs to back off but Lydia needs clarification. "Do you mean the bus or the ex-boyfriend you're currently stalking?" Snarky Lydia is a gem. Allison won't let Scott out of her sight post-fight. Everyone's worried…except Coach who is too busy making fun of Jared, a carsick runner. He suggests Jared watch the horizon. I suggest Jared opens his window for fresh air and an easy place to vomit. Coach sees Scott's pale face and suspects he is sick too but Scott says he's good. Stiles quietly points out that Scott's bleeding again. Stiles: "…I'm pretty sure that still bleeding means not healing, like at all." Scott shushes Stiles because Alpha Twin is using that superior werewolf hearing that comes and goes as the plot dictates. They banter about "the two ticking time bombs sitting right near" Alpha Twin. Scott assures him that no one will start something on the bus, but Stiles thinks he's way too optimistic. Scott says he will stop them if he has too. Speaking of having to stop, Lydia puts down her Thermodynamic Asymmetry in Time pleasure reading to inform Allison they're almost out of gas. Lesson - gas up the Toyota before stalking. Allison acts like she has a choice about stopping but the car will win this battle. Lydia and Allison argue over Aidan, the AlphaTwin, whom Lydia is screwing…even after knowing he's an alpha. Seriously Lydia, how can someone reading advanced physics books in high school be so utterly brain dead? Lydia realizes Allison is watching over Scott AND her, but frankly darling, you do need a babysitter. Trance walking, questionable sex partners…get therapy. Lydia swears nothing is going on but since she flashes back to an empty classroom where she's offended Aidan is going too slow and demands he pick up the pace, we know she's lying and apparently has no problem having sex in front of a classroom window. Squick!

A jackknifed tractor trailer up the road halts all traffic and strands everyone. Track meet off. Rumble about to start. Boyd partially wolves out, but Scott plays conflict mediator. He gets Boyd to stand down by asking what happens after he kills Alpha Twin on the bus. Boyd has no answer. Isaac notices Scott's seeping wound which halts Boyd completely. Asking for time to figure out a better plan, Scott heads back to Stiles, who turns his attention to crisis #2. Alpha Twin is still checking his phone a lot. Stiles: "It's like he's waiting for something like a message or a signal of some kind. I don't know. Something evil though I can tell. I've got a very perceptive eye for evil." Quit bragging. In Beacon Hills there's a 70% chance the person next to you is a threat. Scott is more concerned about Danny, who is sitting next to Alpha Twin. Thus begins Stiles' annoyance campaign to get Danny to ask Alpha Twin what he's waiting for. The gist is Stiles texts Danny every 3 seconds until Danny gives in. Danny is irked; I laugh out loud. That's such a younger sibling plan I'm surprised Stiles is an only child. Finally even Alpha Twin gets annoyed with the constant beeping. When he turns to glare at Stiles and Scott, they duck down in the seat. Stiles: "Well that wasn't very subtle." Bwah! No, but it was a needed comedy break. The plan works though. Danny texts that Alpha Twin is nervous about a friend - Elevator Alpha is badly hurt and might die. Scott is shocked he's not dead already. Since they can't take a werewolf to the hospital, Duplicitous Guidance Counselor (DGC) brings them all to VetBoss instead. He gladly tells them to screw themselves. Woo hoo! Shoeless threatens to kill DGC if he doesn't help, but it's an empty threat and VetBoss knows it. He relents when DGC says they will kill Scott if EA dies. Disappointingly, he lets them in.

Happily, Coach brightens my day. Coach: "Jared I'm warning you, I'm an empathetic vomiter. You throw up, I'm going to throw up right back on you and it will be profoundly disgusting." Bwah and yet so gross. By the way Nike is still a sponsor. Coach warns he might throw up on Jared just to make a point (snicker), but I wonder why they don't let poor Jared off for some fresh air. It's not like they're going anywhere although Coach still hopes they will make it to the meet. Stiles suggests they exit for food until the traffic clears but Coach has a conniption for reasons unknown. It sounds like a great idea to me. They could even run there for a warm up, but no dice. Since Scott can't reach VetBoss, Stiles calls Lydia whom he knows is right behind them. Forget the cover up Lydia. Lying doesn't work on this show. Stiles says Scott's wound is turning black and Lydia asks what's wrong. Stiles: "What's wrong with him? I don't…do I have a PhD in lycanthropy? How am I supposed to know that?" Ha! Allison demands he get Scott off the bus at the rest stop. Stiles goes ballistic when she says to reason with Coach. Obviously she has not spent time with him because Coach doesn't do reasonable. That's why he's hilarious. Every time Stiles tries to say something, Coach blows his whistle. He's as annoying as Stiles repeat texting…and just as funny. This scene cracks me up every time. Since he's getting nowhere, Stiles goes to plan B - get Jared to vomit. Works like a charm. Everyone rushes off the bus at the rest stop, while Allison and Lydia help Stiles get Scott to a bathroom. His wound looks nasty, but Lydia theorizes it's all in his head. Stiles: "Because of Derek. He's not letting himself heal because Derek died." Lydia suggests they stitch Scott up so that he thinks he's healing and therefore does. Brilliant. Nice sewing kit she carries on her person too. While the teens try to save Scott, VetBoss begins to work on EA. He has much better tools.

Back at the rest stop, Stiles babbles nervously since he hates needles. Nice continuity from the premiere.
Allison sends Lydia and him to get Scott another shirt and keep the bus from leaving while she sterilizes the needle with a convenient lighter. Do they smoke? Although she tries to keep Scott awake and calm, her hands shake so badly she can't thread the needle. Enter GhostMom, who rocks a whole lot more now that she's dead. She calls Allison on being too emotional. GhostMom: "You want my sympathy because you're just a 17 year old little girl and this is all too much for you to handle. Well get over it." Ha! She cuts right through emoangst! Score one for the afterlife. GhostMom: "Then stop crying and do it." She tells Allison to breathe, focus, and calm down. This scene is fabulous, probably the best of Allison and Scott all season. While I wasn't sad to see Mrs. Argent die, I hope she keeps coming back. She rocks dead. Allison finishes just before the bus leaves but Scott won't wake up, trapped in the remorse of flashbacks. He finally wakes to claim it's his fault Derek died. He thanks Allison for stitching him up and starts healing immediately. Sadly all's not well as Isaac chooses this time to beat the stuffing out of Alpha Twin while Boyd smirks nearby. Coach and Danny try to break it up but it's Scott's voice that cuts through. No one should discount Isaac in a one-on-one fight. AlphaTwin is pretty messed up and Isaac didn't even Hulk out.

At VetBoss' clinic, Peter and Cora try to find the missing werewolves. Cora is skeptical but Peter assures her it's no ordinary clinic. The mountain ash makes Peter skeptical they can even get in. Cora: "Well maybe we could do what normal people do and knock on the door." Ha! She's far better with Peter than Derek. Suddenly Peter's werewolf senses kick in. Now he can smell the alphas! Really? Plot device super senses officially make my pet peeve list. Duke stops by for a visit and after hearing the good (?) news that EA will make it, Duke kills him. Perhaps he was feeling underpowered. Not sure why VetBoss just stands there. Duke: "I think you might have overestimated his odds." Uh…ha? Alpha Twin 2 and Shoeless exit the clinic as Shoeless starts roaring. Something tells me Duke didn't tell them the truth about how EA died. I feel a revenge plot coming so onto something more interesting, psychotic druids. Lydia tells Stiles that Darach may actually be a dark druid instead of a wannabe. Obviously she did her homework because she adds that Darach may be performing human sacrifices to prepare for battle. Stiles: "So we've got Alpha werewolves against a Dark Druid." Ha! Time to thread that needle and let the two kill each other off. Alas we can't gingerly escape another Allison and Scott Moment, capital M. Allison needs Scott to believe Derek's death is not his fault. Scott needs to thank Allison for not listening to him and saving the day. I need a drink. They stare soulfully into each others' eyes. Make mine a double. Thankfully the sugar shock ends with a close up picture of dead EA. Duplicitous Guidance Counselor drapes a sheet over him while VetBoss says she's in too deep. By the way, they're siblings. My shock is nonexistent. I still can't stand her and think she's Darach more than ever, gathering power to defeat Duke. Back at school, spidey senses tingle as Eternally Doomed Teacher heads to her car. She works weekends now? EDT needs a vacation. Having watched Arrow, I thoroughly expect her to turn around and see a wounded, dying Derek in her backseat a la Felicity and Oliver since Derek's obviously not dead. Instead as she puts on her seatbelt, Derek leaves a bloody handprint on her window. Way to scare her again Derek. He can be excused though as he collapses in the parking lot as the credits roll.

This episode was decent but not great in part because of the format. They took the most exhilarating fight scene in a long time but parceled it out in so many pieces that it lost a lot of its punch. Flashbacks work well but not this many in one episode. I found much of the bus footage unnecessary as well although it added much needed humor, so that was a score. Allison and Scott need to either avoid each other or only appear together where fighting evil. Both of them are better this way and it would cut the sappy scenes that drag down the momentum. Additionally Papa Argent needs to fight alongside his daughter because they make a formidable team. GhostMom can join in whenever and however she wants. Heck, she should appear to everyone, not just Allison, when they get mopey or stupid. She's the kick in the pants that keeps me from throwing things at the TV. Thanks GhostMom. Shout out also to Coach for being the episode MVP. I'm just sorry we didn't get to see Sheriff in this episode. He really needs to be let in on the werewolf situation just as we need to get some questions answered. Who is Darach? Why does Darach need power? How will the alphas avenge EA now that they presumably think Derek killed him? What will they do when they find out the truth? Why did Derek go to EDT instead of his own pack? How can she help him better than they can? Is Derek putting her in danger by involving her or does she have a nefarious background of her own and know far more than suggested? What is up with Scott and his orange eyes? Answers are coming a lot slower this season. Stay tuned next week when according to the trailer nothing gets answered but everyone's worst nightmares come true. Nice job Coach. You booked the motel from hell.

Best scene - Coach blowing the whistle every time Stiles talked
Best potential scene - the alphas vs. Derek's pack
Best moment - tie - GhostMom helps Allison thread the needle and AlphaTwins somersault off the top floor
MVP - Coach for bringing the funny
Least Valuable Player - Cora still….get this girl a plot where she isn't annoying

Biggest Conundrum - werewolves' on-again-off-again super senses
Best Character We'll Probably Never See Again (After the Next Episode) - poor, poor Jared
Best Surprise - GhostMom
Worst Surprise - tie - VetBoss is Duplicitous Guidance Counselor's brother and Derek is really alive - did anyone really think he was dead?

Best Lines -

Scott: "I'm not telling you this because I don't think you couldn't easily kick my a** if you wanted to. I'm telling you this because they scare the hell out of me and they should scare you too."
Stiles: "Yeah well there's also death in numbers okay. It's called a massacre, bloodbath, carnage, slaughter, butchery…"
Lydia: "That depends. Are you just following the bus or are you planning on mounting it at some point?"
Stiles: "Well that wasn't very subtle."
Stiles: "What's wrong with him? I don't…do I have a PhD in lycanthropy? How am I supposed to know that?"
GhostMom: "You want my sympathy because you're just a 17 year old little girl and this is all too much for you to handle. Well get over it."

Screencaps by Screencap.com

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