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Teen Wolf - 3.06 - Motel California - Recap / Review

Previously - Derek's pack fought the Alphas and lost, Scott thought Derek died, Argent retreated back to a no hunting stance (boo), Allison chose to help keep her friends alive, Isaac's dad was abusive, Lydia trance walked…again, and Derek passed out by Eternally Doomed Teacher's car.

On March 5, 1977, a hunter pulled into the Glen Capri motel, bleeding from the leg with a huge werewolf bite on his chest. Determined not to wolf out he shot himself. In a shocking twist, his name was Alexander Argent from Massachusetts. I see a future connection here that current Argent may not be able to resist. 36 years later, Coach books the cross country team into the same hotel still bent on making it to the now rescheduled meet. The school's going to love covering this cost. Of course with the cost of gas, it might not be that much more expensive. No one is particularly impressed by the no-tell motel. Scott: "I've seen worse." Stiles: "Where have you seen worse?" Coach explains: "This is the closest motel with the most vacancies and least amount of good judgment when it comes to accepting a bunch of degenerates like you." Ha! Valid point. As seen by the giant bags, they are all still sponsored by Nike. Students pair off but Lydia does not want to stay because she's got a bad feeling. People need to stop ignoring Lydia's feelings. She's attuned to the weird and this motel gives off bad vibes. Lydia: "I don't like this place." Allison: "I don't think the people who own this place like this place." Good point, but ignoring Lydia is always a mistake. Allison says it's just for the night but Lydia counters that "a lot can happen in one night." So true on Teen Wolf where a lot happens in one episode.

Scott and Stiles actually put their head on the bed covers (nasty since those don't have to be washed every time) to discuss Darach suspects. Stiles narrowed it down to 4 out of 9. It was 10 but Derek was on the list twice. Ha! Stiles thinks Harris, the evil science teacher, but we already know he's out. Can't believe they haven't found his body yet. Scott: "So if he's not dead, our chemistry teacher's out committing human sacrifices." Only on Teen Wolf. Scott brings up Matt from last season and I can totally go with a random character like Jared on this. Scott says Matt was a complete surprise but Stiles counters that he always thought something was up with him. People should start listening to Stiles as well. He does have good instincts. Other suspects: Cora because she's mysterious and related to Derek, VetBoss who has way too much info and not enough sharing, and Lydia. Scott protests VetBoss, but I'm not sure. He's lower on my list these days but he's just as sketchy as Cora. Stiles thinks his Obi-Wan is too convenient but Scott does not get the reference because he is the only person on the planet who has not seen enough Star Wars to understand. Seriously Scott? He promises to watch if they make it out alive. Since they have no reason to believe the motel is trying to kill them yet, I assume he means the Alpha/Darach problems. As for Lydia, Stiles does have cause for concern. He brings up the Peter connection last year and both Stiles and Scott sigh as they hit their beds in sync. (Awesome) I however think of those Stiles left off the list. Duplicitous Guidance Counselor (DGC) is high on my list joined by Gerard, the evil grandpa, and Eternally Doomed Teacher (EDT) who helps Derek back home. She wants Derek to go to a hospital and accidentally drops him on the floor. Ouch! Derek collapses, down for the count.

A little late to the party, our favorite hunter Argent heads to the fight scene for more glorious flashbacks of its epicness. Never enough Alpha Twin gymnastics and claw fights. Of course he also finds proof Allison was there, hello future awkward conversation, not that he didn't know she would help. Meanwhile Scott freaks out when his eyes briefly go red in the mirror and Boyd goes crazy on a vending machine. Punching out the glass is one way to unstick it. Stiles notices Boyd is incredibly zombie-like and thus starts the wacky fun. And stolen food. Scott joins the crazy by walking in on Allison in the shower while Lydia is out getting towels. They banter as Allison and I get increasingly uncomfortable. Scott is zombie-like too, whispering about being closer friends. Lydia needs to hurry. Scott somewhat snaps out of it and backs off as Lydia gets the exposition dump from the motel clerk, who is deliciously creepy. On the wall is the number 198, which the clerk says is how many people have committed suicide there in the last 36 years. Coincidence, nope. Most suicides for a Californian motel, yep. Since Isaac can't be left out of the fun, he obsessively watches TV static with a crazy smirk. The werewolves have clearly lost it , so when Argent offers to pick up Allison and Lydia it should be a no-brainer. Allison of course turns him down. Seriously honey, that SUV can fit a lot of people. Get everyone out. Argent wonders if she's hiding things from him, but she's not ready to tell him about her big archery night. Derek, however, is not ready for much of anything except bleeding out. Yikes that's a seriously nasty gash. EDT freaks: "To be honest the…um, 'Oh my God' would be for your unbelievable physique if it were not for the fact that you're bleeding black blood." Bwah! She's probably not the only one almost overpowered by Derek's physique. Derek passes out again causing even more freaking out. She leans on top of him listening to his heartbeat. "Not exactly how I imagined our first date." Ha!

Lydia fills Allison in on the suicide news as they both agree the motel commemorating it is weird. Lydia breaks her freak out, hearing the couple next door committing suicide via gunfire but Allison doesn't hear a thing. They race next door but the place is under construction. No one was in there. Allison believes Lydia as someone finally pays attention to her misgivings. Now perhaps they can save Zombie Boyd, who sees his dead sister pop out of the ice machine. Seriously creepy in a made-you-jump way. Dead Sis asks Boyd why he left her. Not good. Lydia says they need to leave and I don't understand the hesitation. Who cares if they were suicides Allison! Have you never seen a horror movie? This episode needs lots of salt and some Winchesters because when the dead talk and appliances flicker, it is time to get out. No questions asked, no moment too soon, especially since Isaac is channeling his dead dad. It's more chilling than Dead Sis. He replays one of their conversations out loud as the bed turns into the freezer, imprisoning him. I seriously hate Isaac's dad, dead or not. However the problems are just starting because back at Creepy Clerk's desk the number of suicides has changed from 198 to 201. They are either clairvoyant now….or evil. Allison: "So what does that mean? That there's been more suicides?" Lydia: "Or 3 more are about to happen." Yep, call dad back for the assist or just run.

Speaking of parents, Scott's mom calls crying because Darach has her prisoner. Outside the motel window, Scott sees Duke with his hand around his mom's throat. He calls Scott an alpha and says Derek is dead. Scott protests that Derek could be alive while I ponder why Derek's death would make Scott an alpha given that Elevator Alpha actually took Derek for the ride, meaning EA killed him inadvertently. Duke says he's coming after Scott and those he loves. I'm ecstatic this means mom, not Allison. Well until he kills mom. It's all of course a hallucination as Stiles snaps him out of it. Sadly Stiles quickly leaves to answer an urgent text from Lydia which says to come alone. That's never good. Danny however is having a great time with his roommate, Alpha Twin. They make out and talk scars. Alpha Twin subtly asks Danny if he wants to be a werewolf, but Danny doesn't get it. He likes his scars. Danny: "They make me feel like a survivor." Alpha Twin: "I really hope you are." Say what? Duke might kill Danny? Say it isn't so. No more details are forthcoming as some weird spinal thing occurs on Alpha's back. He heads to the bathroom where his stomach goes all alien and a face appears. Freaking out, he bolts. It's a bad night to be a werewolf. Of course there are 4 of them and the sign only changed by 3. Time for more sleuthing.

Stiles joins the girls to hear of Scott's creepy shower visit, adding Boyd's zombie routine. Lydia maintains it's time to flee or perform an exorcism. Ha! She grabs the motel Bible while Stiles speculates that 3 werewolves might be Darach's latest trend. Opening the Bible, they find it full of obits from people who committed suicide in their room. These clerks get scarier by the second. Stiles: "Most places leave a mint under the pillow. This one leaves a record of all the horrible deaths that occurred." They race next door to see if it has a similar Bible, but the room is now locked. Finally Allison agrees they need to flee but they're stopped by the sound of power tools. Lydia is relieved she's not the only one hearing it and they get in (not sure how) just in time to keep Alpha Twin from cutting himself in two with the hand saw. Frankly the sight of Stiles wrestling an Alpha with the hand saw blade pointing at him is the scariest thing of the episode. Thankfully Lydia unplugs it. Because she's smart and people should listen to her. The first time. Hand saw no longer an option, Alpha Twin decides to claw the face out of himself. He only snaps out of it when he accidentally puts his hand on a heater, but he doesn't know what happened. Back at the warehouse, Derek also snaps out of his coma, but he's not healing. He wants to find his pack and let them know he's alive. Another good plan. EDT disagrees. She quotes from books where people thinking the character's dead is a good thing….like Romeo and Juliet. Seriously first you don't get The Crucible and now you think mass suicide is a plus. They need to change their hiring process at Beacon Hills High.

At the motel, Alpha Twin is ungrateful for the save and the trio split up to find the other werewolves to get out. Hopefully they called Argent beforehand or else they'll have to steal the bus. Lydia takes exception to Stiles staring again, but he has a valid point about the wolf's bane punch last year. No time to delve into it though since Boyd has his own issues. The radio replays a police interview from when he was a kid. He was ice skating with his sister when she disappeared. Seemingly she drowned but who knows. Season 4 twist? Boyd smashes the radio and takes off, stranding us with Eternally Deranged Teacher (new name, same initials). Since Derek doesn't stock medical supplies, the best plan is to get some right? Nah, instead of handing him a phone to call his pack, they angst on how dangerous Derek is and how everyone around him dies. A sad oboe shrills as EDT says he's worth the pain, or something similarly cheesy. Tonight they get the momentum-killing, badly written romance. Oh joy. Since Derek is obviously too hurt to use a phone, they decide sex is a better plan. (Deep sigh-eye roll combo) The motel is far more interesting, so we cut to Boyd stealing the motel safe, Allison NOT finding Scott, and Stiles apologizing to Lydia. "I just meant that maybe…maybe you're somehow involved in getting people to kill themselves." Oh for the love of all things Stiles, shut up! Luckily, Lydia is too busy listening to a mother drown her baby to pay attention. She figures out Boyd is trying to commit suicide by putting the safe on top of himself in the bathtub. Boyd jerryrigged the drain and the safe is too heavy to lift. In his panic Stiles burns himself on yet another heater, prompting them to get flares from the bus to heat the water and snap Boyd out of it. They could emergency breathe for Boyd and get another werewolf to remove the safe but not enough drama I guess. Stiles grabs all but one of the emergency flares, so that's coming up again, while Lydia finds Isaac hiding under the bed. Stiles finally starts the flare prompting Boyd to pop up a werewolf, tearing the safe off. As he de-wolfs, Stiles uses the other flare to snap Isaac out of it.

That leaves only one…Scott, who has somehow found a can of gasoline (don't ask - it makes no sense) and the remaining flare. The trio surrounds him as Allison soft voices him to no avail. Scott claims things would be better if he were dead like Derek (who romances EDT as sex magically heals his wounds. Whatever, Teen Wolf. Argh!) Allison says Derek is not his fault, but Scott can't take people dying anymore. Desperate, Stiles takes over and says it's all in his head, but Scott disagrees. His dying will save lives. Scott says they were nothing before he got bit - not popular, not star athletes, not important - and he should be no one again. When he goes to ignite himself, Stiles gingerly moves towards him. Stiles: "Scott just listen to me okay. You're not no one. Okay, you're someone…you're…Scott you're my best friend okay and I need you. Scott, you're my brother. Alright so if we're going to do this, I think you're just going to have to take me with you." Stiles steps into the gasoline and gently pulls the flare out of Scott's hand, tossing it far too close to the gas. However the moment is so emotionally charged and completely awesome I can't even care about the logistics…until the flare moves supernaturally toward the gasoline and Lydia pushes them both away from the eruption. As she looks back, she sees a hideous figure arise from the flames. Darach? It doesn't really matter because that scene was one of the best Teen Wolf has ever done from start to finish. I usually detest emoangsty moments but that one was perfect. It was a heartfelt plea from one brother to another, a reminder that it is Scott's humanity that really makes him special, his relationships with others. I love how it was Stiles and not Allison who broke through to Scott since they have been family for so long and I'm glad they finally gave that relationship its due respect. Kudos to the excellent dialogue and acting all around. Just awesome!

Which makes the sudden cut to Coach entering the bus all the more jarring. Usually I love Coach and his
funny but it's too soon. This is one time when watching without commercials might not be such a great idea. Coach finds the six of them sleeping on the bus and tells them the meet has been cancelled. Hmm. Alpha Twin sits by Scott to everyone's surprise, and thanks Scott for saving his life. Say what? Scott wasn't even there. I don't blame Stiles for objecting since he, Lydia, and Allison saved everyone. Alpha Twin pays Scott back by telling him Derek is still alive. Sadly by getting the credit for killing Elevator Alpha, although Duke really did it, Derek can either kill one of his pack and join theirs or Shoeless will make it a personal vendetta to see Derek dead. Guess that proves Duke did not tell them the truth. Stiles: "You know your little code of ethics there is sort of barbaric - just FYI." As Stiles takes Alpha Twin's place by Derek, Lydia notices a stain on Coach's shirt. She grabs his whistle and blows on it into her hand. Wolf's bane powder comes out. Every time Coach blew his whistle in that fabulous scene last week, more wolf's bane spread through the bus. Way to make an already fabulous scene more awesome! Scott realizes Darach was trying to get into the werewolves' heads and tosses Coach's whistle out the window as the bus heads off, leaving behind all kinds of questions. But the twists don't end here. Argent slowly opens a door to reveal…Gerard. Yep, he's back. Apparently Argent has known where Gramps was all this time. He recaps his uncle's death from the beginning flashback and Gerard confirms that Uncle Argent was bitten by Deucalion. Duhn, duhn, duhn! This have just gotten interesting. Argent is back in the fight!

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode although there is a lot that doesn't make sense. For instance, why was sleeping on the bus a gangbuster idea since it is thoroughly coated with wolf's bane powder? The stuff doesn't evaporate so they are still breathing it in and we saw in season 1 that merely being in its presence can physically harm werewolves. Also, last time everyone was affected by the wolf's bane punch so why were werewolves only affected this time? How did the clerk know 3 more people were going to die and how did wolf's bane get into Coach's whistle to begin with? Not sure we will get any answers. Still this episode was powerful, starting with the inside look at all the werewolves to the powerful scene with Scott and Stiles. I am glad we got some back story on Boyd, making his situation more sympathetic just like Isaac's. As always the questions are mounting as the season races on. Suddenly the Coach as Darach theory has momentum, although I think it could have been anyone in the locker room which still leaves Jared as an outside chance. Also there is no denying that Lydia has the inside track on Darach through her supernatural vibes, even as it looks less like she is Darach or controlled by him/her. Lydia as a druid is getting a fair amount of play in the fandom and there is definitely reason to believe that she will have to help fight Darach if this is the case. I love the idea of her getting a strong role in the mytharc this season.

Grade: A-, maybe the best of this season

Best scene (by far) - Stiles talks Scott out of deep frying himself
Most uncomfortable scene - Scott walks in on Allison in the shower
Best acting - tie - Isaac channeling his dad and Stiles stopping Scott's suicide
Best twist - tie - wolf's bane in the whistle and Alex Argent bitten by Deucalion
Worst twist - sex as werewolf cure all
Biggest shock - Boyd's dead sister in the ice bin

Best moment - Scott and Stiles lie back on their beds in tandem and Argent opens the door to reveal Gerard
MVP - Lydia
Best casting - Creepy Clerk
Best cameo - Darach in the flames

Best lines:

Scott: "I've seen worse." Stiles: "Where have you seen worse?"
Coach: "This is the closest motel with the most vacancies and least amount of good judgment when it comes to accepting a bunch of degenerates like you."
Lydia: "I don't like this place." Allison: "I don't think the people who own this place like this place."
Creepy Clerk: "We're not going to make the top of anyone's list when it comes to customer satisfaction."
Teacher: "To be honest the…um, 'Oh my God' would be for your unbelievable physique if it were not for the fact that you're bleeding black blood."
Stiles: "That's a beautiful thing. Most places leave a mint under the pillow. This one leaves a record of all the horrible deaths that occurred."


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