When Teen Wolf opens with a shot of an actual swastika, you know some bad stuff is about to go down.
And down it went on Tuesday’s exceptional episode, which claimed the existence of five beloved characters, dropped a heap of mythology in our laps, and officially promoted Mr. Douglas to Big Bad status.
Let’s start with the victims: Each in their own heartbreaking fashion, several members of Scott’s extended pack — Peter, Argent, Melissa, Mason and Hayden — fell prey to the Ghost Riders’ whips and/or bullets. If we’re ranking these, though, I’ve got to give the top prize to Hayden; that dramatic sacrifice, following the most intense game of tug-o-war I have ever seen, did not go unnoticed by this critic. (And don’t even get me started on #SadScott refusing to believe that his mother is really gone… for now. This whole episode was heavy.)
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This week’s episode also spoon-fed us a ton of information about that big hot nightmare known as “Mr. Douglas.” Let’s just spell it all out: He’s a part-wolf/part-lion Nazi from 1943 who spent 40+ years stewing in the Dread Doctors’ contaminated chamber, a process that granted him the powers of an Alpha, a Ghost Rider and a Löwenmensch, which is that wolf/lion hybrid I mentioned earlier. Much like his former leader, Mr. Douglas wants to build himself an army, selecting everyone’s favorite permanently shirtless Hell Hound as his first recruit.
And then there’s the matter of Stiles’ first name: Mieczyslaw. That’s right, Mieczyslaw. In one of the finest performances I’ve ever seen on this network, Sheriff Stilinski finally remembered his son’s name, recalling that Stiles used to mispronounce it as “mischief.” (Suddenly Jeff Davis’ little hint makes a lot more sense!) As a bonus, Papa Stilinski’s revelation also helped Scott’s pack to realize that the final rift to the Ghost Riders’ lair is chilling in Stiles’ — excuse me, Mieczyslaw’s — bedroom.
Now that we’ve gotten all that messy plot out of the way, can we talk about what an incredible hour of Teen Wolf this was? Save for the total lack of resolution, this could have easily served as a midseason finale. The special effects were on point, the stakes were crazy high, and Linden Ashby gave the performance of his career in that scene opposite Mama Stilinski. Writer Will Wallace and director Joseph P. Genier both deserve major kudos for this one.
OK, your turn to talk: Did you love this episode as much as I did? Were you surprised by Stiles’ first name? And why, exactly, are the Riders such big Lydia fans? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.