BY MERCEDES MARKS
Last night on Teen Wolf, the kids of Beacon Hills High had to undertake a task scarier than any nogitsune or kanima they’ve ever faced: They had to come to the school on Saturday and take the PSATs.
Well, except Lydia, because she took them in her freshman year of high school, to the surprise of nobody. Her mother, on the other hand, is on campus as the teacher administrator (Mrs. Martin has had a lot more time to hang out at the MTV hellmouth since she’s stopped moonlighting as Carol Lockwood on The Vampire Diaries).
The terror of the PSATs soon turns from academic to paranormal when kids start dropping out of their chairs from an unknown pathogen, and Lydia’s mom proves that Lydia didn’t learn how to be a science-loving badass out of thin air when she recognizes this and immediately calls the CDC. Beacon Hills High is put under quarantine and I feel my heart flutter, because could this be a Teen Wolf bottle episode?!
It’s Teen Wolf, so not quite–we’ll pry their fragmented multiple storylines from their cold dead hands, and the episode does follow Lydia (working outside the school) and Derek (at the hospital after finding Braeden under a stack of dead werewolves last week), but by and large the storylines converge and everything centres onto the quarantine at the high school. This is totally a Teen Wolf bottle episode.
At the hospital, Derek is joined by Deaton and Satomi, the leader of the decimated pack he discovered (and the cool Japanese werewolf we saw in the 1940s flashback last season! There are no words for how stoked I am that they found a way to bring her back). And if we thought Deaton was the coolest dude in town before (we did) watching him and Satomi battle it out with swords only amplified that. Don’t worry, it turns out that sword-fighting is how two people that cool say hello–Satomi and Deaton quickly prove to be old allies, and she has a patient for him; a werewolf suffering from an unknown pathogen. If that sounds familiar, it’s because you read it three paragraphs ago. The virus attacking Satomi’s pack member is the same one that has infected the school, and as Deaton and Satomi suss out, it’s designed to hit those with paranormal inclinations the hardest.
Back at the high school, Stiles, Scott, Malia and Kira have also figured out that the virus deals an extra spoonful of love to the supernatural. They hightail it to the Hale vault hidden under the high school (I still can’t believe there’s a Hale vault hidden under the high school) and start a quarantine from the quarantine. There’s an interesting moment when they need Malia to open the vault, since only a Hale can, but also need to get her to do it without Malia realizing that it is because she’s a Hale.
This leads to an exchange between Scott and Stiles about whether they should tell Malia the truth about her father being Peter Hale. Scott thinks they need to, because he’s basically Captain America with claws, and besides, she’ll see it on the deadpool eventually. Stiles doesn’t want to, because he’s afraid of what might happen if Malia learns that Peter is her dad. Actually, he’s worried that Peter will convince Malia to turn on them. Stiles drops one of the truest sentences he’s ever told when he says, “We let [Peter] walk around like he’s one of the good guys. Scott, he’s not one of the good guys.”
I’m glad that this is something that is being directly addressed. Despite being an unapologetic villain 100% of the time, Peter has been given an awful lot of leeway to hang around wearing v-necks and smirking at people long past his due–and long enough to sow concern that he might be given the Vegeta makeover, something that I don’t think he deserves or can even really earn at this point. Between this assertion and his unholy alliance with Kate last week, I have a twinkling of hope that season four of Teen Wolf might end with a dead Peter Hale, but I guess we will see.
The thought that Malia would potentially turn on her friends under the wing of Peter’s paternity is not one that occurred to me, and I’m torn about watching it play out. Malia has charmed me more than I ever expected her to when she debuted as a title character this season. Am I ready to see her go rogue?
Between Satomi, Deaton, Derek, and the angel of Beacon Hills Memorial, Melissa McCall, an antidote is found for the virus, and in a stroke of incredible luck, it happens to be in the vault with Scott, Kira and Malia. While that information races to them, Stiles cracks the mystery of how the infection spread in the first place: A Benefactor assassin who sneaked into the school under the guise of a PSAT administrator. Since he’s a plot device to instigate the bottle episode, he’s dispatched pretty painlessly, and Stiles returns to the vault to see Scott and the ladies cured in the nick of time–and to watch Malia find the deadpool list, and see her contentious surname on it.
Because that’s the thing about a bottle episode: You can’t just cram everybody into a room and call it a trope. Someone needs to walk out knowing something that changes the game. And boy does Malia walk out, past her friends, including Stiles, without a second glance back. Will she head to Peter and join the dark-and-smarmy side? Or maybe even seek out Derek, who she teamed up with so well before? Being a Hale is a quick ticket to mayhem and emotional torture, so whatever her choice, her road to mastering a new life as a teenaged girl/budding werecoyote just got a whole lot rickier.