It took six episodes into the season for things to gel, but "Motel California" was a flawless episode of Teen Wolf. Yes, you read that right. After all of my whining over the past five weeks, I couldn't find a single thing to complain about from this hour. It was exceptional.
It was essentially a continuation of "Frayed," as the kids found themselves still stranded in the middle of nowhere on the way to the track meet and they pulled over to the Glen Capri Motel. This particular motel had the highest rate of suicides of any other in California and included that of one Alexander Argent, Mr. Argent's uncle, back in 1977.
Instead a taking the traditional route to the next round of sacrifices, Stiles and Lydia eventually deduced they were drawn there specifically to kill three werewolves. This was good stuff!
At the beginning of the hour, Mr. Argent finally took the time to check out the scene of the big werewolf fight. He didn't like what he saw. He called Allison and asked if she wanted him to come pick her up because he finally understood what she had been up against. I liked that he didn't berate her for not telling him she had been at the fight because it wasn't for lack of trying. He saw the damage only her arrows could do and it appeared his head was back in the game, but without judgment.
The hashtag #SherlockStiles flashed across the screen for a portion of the program and the spotlight was definitely on him, Lydia and Allison using their human wits to save their friends from the menacing forces at the Capri. Because of Lydia's past connection with Peter, she was the only of the three that could hear the cries of the former suicide victims and thus connect them with their current counterparts.
Isaac got off fairly easy of the four werewolves on the bus, continually hearing his father, rattling chains and the closing of the freezer as he was locked inside. Thankfully, his reaction was to hide rather than to take action to hurt himself. His recent encounters with the same memories must have worked in his favor.
There was a lot of sex this week, the first of which was between Ethan and Danny. We finally got a glimpse of emotion from Ethan that allowed room for future redemption. As they were getting it on, he imagined Aidan trying to break out from inside him. That ruined his moment with Danny, to say the least, and he tried to use a band saw to cut him out.
It was a pretty freaked out scene, and only heat from a nearby ceramic heater that burned his hands got him out of his stupor. He later questioned whether it was worth it to save his life, which was the first of two decent things he did during the hour. The second was to tell Scott on the bus, after all the shenanigans were over, that Derek was most likely alive, but things would never be the same.
Boyd was haunted by what seemed to be a skating accident in which his sister died (I'm not sure on this, but the radio fragments told that type of story) and the guilt must have been riding inside him since he was a small child. Whether she broke through the ice and drowned because he wasn't paying attention, or a hole just gave way, when he went to get a bucket of ice, it threw him into action.
A past suicide in the building involved a baby being drowned in a bathtub and he tried to emulate it by taking an entire safe into the bath so no human could save him. Lydia and Stiles had been paying attention, however, and got the flares off of the bus to "heat" Boyd out of his traumatic event and saved his life.
With one flare left in hand, Stiles egged Isaac out from under the bed.
Throughout the episode we watched Ms. Blake care for Derek. She wasn't fearful or even very inquisitive about exactly what he was. He was hurt, extremely hot to look at and needed her help. That seemed to be all she required. Because that was all she needed, and her kisses healed Derek with out much other help, I'm now wondering exactly who she is. Can she really be that naive? Is she working for somebody - God forbid - Deucalion?
Scott was still beside himself with grief at the thought of Derek's death, and his own demons were cursing through him at the ghostly motel. He saw Duke slice his mother's throat. He began to wonder if perhaps being dead wouldn't be best for everyone, as witnessed in this lovely Teen Wolf quote of friendship between he and Stiles -
Scott: It all started that night, the night I gotten bitten. Remember the way it was before that? You and me? We were nothing. We weren't popular. We weren't good at lacrosse. We weren't important. We were no one. Maybe I should just be no one again. No one at all.
Stiles: Scott, just listen to me. You're not no one. Scott, you're my best friend, okay, and I need you. Scott, you're my brother. Alright, so if we're gonna do this, then I think you're just gonna have to take me with you then. | permalink
Stiles was willing to give his life for Scott, covered in gasoline, holding the final flare from the bus - the one the gang was hoping to use to bring him out of whatever painful place he had settled in to commit suicide. The crafty bastard doused himself in gasoline. Always one step ahead. As the girls saved Stiles and Scott, Lydia looked over at the giant ball of fire and saw what appeared to be death himself withering back into the blackness.
Does that mean they've conquered the sacrifices and the dark druid? They were right about wolfsbane being present, and found it in Coach's whistle. Every time he blew that thing like the madman he is, the werewolves were ingesting it, just prepping for what was to come at the motel. If the druid sacrifices are done, then maybe it's time to clean house of the alpha pack.
Mr. Argent isn't taking any more chances with his daughter's life. He realized the gravity of the situation enough to go to grandpa Gerard (was I the only one who didn't know he was alive-ish?) and find out who bit his uncle Alexander. It was Deucalion. His family is wrapped up in this fight whether he likes it or not, and he's got the skills to help the new human Sherlock gang and their werewolf pack friends to bring that bastard down.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.