Even as an often disappointing and undercooked season is dribbling to a close, Teen Wolf still has the ability to surprise you by giving a beloved character an emotionally wrenching spotlight turn. Who was expecting that tonight’s episode would bear the unofficial subtitle “The Heroic Resurrection And Apotheosis Of Coach”? Coach, who was sidelined by a wayward arrow earlier in the season, makes a great, Coach-y entrance, talking on the phone to someone who’s shafting him pretty badly on his medical bills. ($10,000!? They pulled an arrow out of my stomach. What, did they fill it up with diamonds?”) When the poor guy settles down and tries to lose himself in his job, he’s interrupted by a trio of smirking assholes. I assumed they were lackeys of the Koch brothers who wanted Coach to star in a TV commercial talking shit about Obamacare, but it turns out they’re after Meredith, the mental patient who Stiles met at Eichen House. She’s a banshee, and the gang hopes to use her to track down the Nogitsune-Stiles, who has separated from his host body and made off with Lydia. Coach doesn’t know or understand any of this. But he is a good and simple man, and he knows when it’s right to just give someone a good Tasering.
The great thing about the evil Stiles and the good Stiles going their separate ways is that it gives you twice as much Dylan O’Brien for your money, and that’s not even counting the one who shows up in the commercials promoting his new movie. The evil Stiles is still a treat, though for most of this episode he doesn’t have much to do but hang out around the abandoned Japanese internment camp and breathe down Lydia’s neck. “I won’t tell you anything,” she says. “You won’t have to,” he replies. “You’ll be screaming.” Then he fails to add “Mwah-hah-hah,” which rather spoils the effect. “The trickster stories,” he tells Lydia, “are all about food. The coyote, the raven, the fox—they’re all hungry. I eat what you feel. And I’m… insatiable!” Meanwhile, Stiles and Scott and Isaac are on their way to confront the monster and rescue Lydia. Scott and Isaac are worried about Stiles. He looks weak and haggard and close to passing out. They’re concerned that the continued existence of his doppelgänger is sapping his strength, and fear that he might soon die. What’s weird is that, even as Stiles’ friends express their concerns, neither of them thinks that maybe someone besides Stiles should be doing the driving.
The heroes all arrive at the internment camp and get to fighting. Things are complicated by the presence of Kira’s mom and the Oni under her command. Kira’s mom is eager to turn her demons loose on the Nogitsune, with no concern that killing it might endanger the real Stiles. The Oni project themselves inside the camp, where the evil Stiles takes control of them and sics them on the good guys, which I’m thinking must make Kira’s mom feel like quite an ass. Like wolves drawn to the one sheep in a fold that none of the other sheep are really crazy about and just sort of tolerate because he’s well-behaved and has nice hair, the Oni really whup the bejesus out of Isaac. They slash and bitch-slap him until it begins to look as if the superior strength of the wolf, which makes its bearer that much harder to kill, is more trouble than it’s worth. Then Allison shoots one of the bastards, resulting in a very cool effect when a green glow emerges from the wound in his chest before he detonates in a black fog. And then, another Oni strikes Allison down, mortally wounding her.
The episode has been pointing toward this, by giving Allison little farewell moments with the men in her life—her father, with whom she shares a touching exchange about the ritual forging of silver weapons and the loss of her mother, and Isaac, with whom she has a really weird conversation establishing that, when they got down together, he was really was himself and hadn’t been possessed by some gnarly-assed demon. Now comes the big final, tearful scene between her and Scott; she lies in his arms and tells him that he can’t absorb the pain because she’s not in pain; she tells him that he’s the first man she ever loved, the one man she ever loved, the one and only love of her life, and then, having stuck that knife into Isaac and twisted it good, she dies. Inside the building, Lydia screams in anguish. Teenage girls sitting in front of their TVs were probably doing the same thing all across the country, even though they’re not banshees.
- After a couple of episodes of teasing us about it, the show has Scott’s dad reveal the big secret about the circumstances under which he left the family years ago: He was a mean drunk, and one night, he hurt Baby Scott while in a boozy stupor. He acts as if this is a big deal, and Scott is incredulous; he points out all the other times he’s been hurt physically and healed, and is like, dude, just throw it on the pile. It’s refreshingly sane, if only because the writers were unable to come up with anything better to explain why Dad has been keeping a low profile for the last several years and why Mom is still pissed off at him.
- When Scott comes home and finds his Dad waiting for him, Dad thinks he has to reassure him that he’s not mad at him: “I don’t care that you’re not in school. I know that your grades are fine.” The school has grades?