In episode 3 of Teen Wolf we can’t help but wonder, “Who doesn’t know about the supernatural creatures in Beacon Hills?” After “Dreamcatchers,” not only do Liam’s best friend and worst enemy both know something’s up, but the entire Sheriff’s department and Lydia’s mom also learn that things are not what they seem. What’s the percentage of Beacon Hills residents with creature features? The Season 4 deadpool may have reduced the numbers, but the Dread Doctors seem determined to raise the count back up through their horrifying experimentation. In “Dreamcatchers,” we learn that their experiments are quickly discarded when the Dread Doctors feel they have outlived their purpose, though its not clear what that purpose may be.
The Complicated Lives of Single Parents
It looks like Sheriff Stilinski is back on the market, and Stiles wants to know who his dad is dating. So do we! But his dad knows how to keep a secret. Scott and Stiles have come to the Sheriff’s station to provide their own version of support. Not only does Sheriff Stilinski have to deal with an inquisitive son with a werewolf best friend, but he also must deal with run-of-the-mill criminals.
The same jailed dude we saw threaten the Sheriff in the Season 5 premiere “Creatures of the Night,” Donovan, is being transferred. Before his lawyer can get him out of the station, he publicly threatens to kill the Sheriff once more:
“I’m not angry like I’m gonna throw a brick through your window. I’m angry, like I’m going to find you, I’m going to get a knife and I’m going to stab you with it until you’re dead. And when you look at me and you ask me why, remember right now. Because this is why.”
Stiles falls back on his usual reaction to stressful situations and sarcastically mocks Donovan as the deputies take the prisoner out to a van. Apparently Donovan wanted to be a deputy at one time, but had problems with the “anger expression inventory.” We can see why.
Donovan’s lawyer happens to be the father of Tracy Stewart, the girl introduced in “Parasomnia,” who is being controlled by the Dread Doctors. In the van, the deputy driving suddenly becomes immobilized as black goo starts to drip out of the van ceiling. As if black goo isn’t bad enough, one of the deputies says the words you never want to hear: “There’s something on the roof.” It turns out that something is Tracy, who’s all monstered out. Tracy attacks the van, and one of the deputies starts to shoot at her. He sees that it’s his daughter as she throws his own protective words back at him, saying, “Don’t worry, Daddy. I won’t let anything happen to you. Ever again.”
Meanwhile, Donovan has escaped, which seemed like the smartest thing to do at the time. However, as Donovan falls to the ground he finds himself surrounded by the Dread Doctors. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. They use a horrible-looking pronged device to drill a hole in Donovan’s head, and his eyes turn silver. We never thought we’d see a Teen Wolf villain as fantastic as Season Three’s Nogitsune, but these Dread Doctors are pretty terrifying.
Stiles has been doing some research into Malia’s mother, the Desert Wolf. He’s got some information that has alerted Scott to his anxiety: “Oh, I’m well aware of how you all monitor my emotional state.” There’s definitely pros and cons to having a werewolf for a best friend. Stiles is worried his investigation may take them down a path it’d be better not to follow.
Malia remains blissfully ignorant as her mother’s deeds because she is focused on her driving lesson with Lydia and Kira. If you thought werecoyotes were scary, wait ’til you get a load of werecoyote driving. Her poor driving skills are not helped by the vision she has about the car accident she was in eight years earlier. So far, it doesn’t seem like she has told anyone about her driving-related visions. With her banshee awareness, Lydia directs Malia to drive to the location of Tracy’s recent attack.
Welcome to the Inner Circle … of Hell
Scott and Stiles arrive at the scene along with the Sheriff. Stiles believes Theo is responsible, and it just so happens that Theo is standing far above the scene, watching. Dude, that’s just creepy. Using his supernatural sense of smell, Scott finds Donovan, who just keeps repeating Tracy’s name. Somehow Lydia realizes he is referring to Tracy Stewart. Beacon Hills must be a very small town.
Scott, Stiles, Kira, Malia, Lydia, Liam, and Mason gather to discuss the Tracy situation. Mason is excited to be a part of the “inner circle.” Looks like it’s confirmed—Theo is not part of the inner circle. Mason says to Kira, “You’re a Kitsune. I don’t even know what that is.” Kira acknowledges she’s still learning about it herself. They get back to talking about Tracy. Malia wants to “put her down,” but Scott suggests they just focus on finding Tracy. Always the humanitarian.
Sheriff Stilinski tells Donovan that he can say what happened, no matter how crazy it sounds, but Donovan isn’t interested and is distracted by the spooky insect noises in his head. Deputy Parrish arrives with more fun news: Tracy was at the hospital the previous night killing her psychiatrist.
Stiles shares his intel about the Desert Wolf with Malia: her mom has been killing a bunch of bad dudes. Malia puts a positive spin on the news, noting, “I guess we know one thing. She’s good at her job.” Stiles could say something supportive here like … well, we’re not sure what. Instead, he stays silent on the questions of morality around Desert Wolf-slaying.
Liam interrupts Scott’s AP Biology class to tell him that Tracy is in History class. She is freaking out and super psychotic. Luckily it’s Kira’s dad’s class, not some teacher who might actually call the police. The new girl, Hayden, the one who hates Liam, asks Tracy is she’s okay. She really is not. Scott and Liam, with backup from Mr. Yukimura, come to get Tracy, but she thinks they’re the Dread Doctors. Tracy grabs Hayden’s wrist and intones, “They’re coming. They’re coming for all of us.” Tracy collapses, and silver goo starts pouring out of her mouth. The most horrible things come out of this girl’s mouth.
Hayden’s arm is bleeding, but she refuses her archenemy Liam’s help. She leaves to take care of her wrist, but it seems to have healed at supernatural speed, which leaves Hayden confused. Us too.
Liam, Lydia, and Kira discuss who might have turned Tracy into a werewolf. Liam and Mason go and talk to the werewolf hottie at Devenford Prep, Brett. Despite the danger and death, this is like the best day ever for Mason. Brett claims that his alpha, Satomi, didn’t turn Tracy. Liam looks at Tracy’s picture and recognizes her necklace from the hole he fell into when he and Stiles were spying on Liam. They go in search of the hole and realize that whoever was in the hole was buried and dug themselves out of it. Creepy. Liam also realizes that this hole was not the one with Tracy’s necklace, so must’ve contained someone or something else. Super creepy. We are left wondering if Theo might have emerged from here.
Scott, Stiles, and Malia bring the unconscious Tracy to Dr. Deaton. He uses mountain ash to keep Tracy trapped as he examines her. In a super disgusting scene, Tracy’s spine opens up and her tail appears. She uses her tail to cut everyone, leaving them all unable to move. The mountain ash has no effect on her and she escapes. They realize, a few seonds too late, that Tracy’s not a werewolf, but a Kanima.
Lydia recognizes that Tracy must believe she’s still dreaming and is going after everyone who has tried to help her. That means that Tracy’s next target is Lydia’s school counselor mom, who is on a date with Stiles’ dad! What? We all know that Sheriff Stilinski is meant for Melissa McCall. Their date is interrupted when Stilinski finds all his deputies paralyzed. Lydia and Kira arrive just in time to see Tracy glowering at Mrs. Martin from the ceiling. Kira and Tracy have an awesome fight scene during which Kira glows with a bright kitsune aura. Once she powers up, she’s able to cut off Tracy’s paralyzing tail. Before fleeing, Tracy manages to stab Lydia, who despite being a banshee doesn’t have any supernatural self-healing powers.
Malia Battles Herself … and a Kanima
Back at Dr. Denton’s office, Malia is the first to be able to move. Stiles seems reluctant to have his girlfriend go after this kanima, but Scott tells Malia, “Save her,” and Malia runs after Tracy’s scent. Malia finds the Sheriff’s station in disarray, with paralyzed officers everywhere and Kira trying to keep Lydia from bleeding to death. Lydia tells Malia that Tracy has taken her mom to the basement, and that she needs to help Tracy understand that this is not a night terror, but real. You’d think Lydia’s compassion might lessen a bit when her mother’s life is at risk.
Theo arrives at Dr. Denton’s office and helps Scott, Stiles and the doc up. He begs Scott to let him help, as heroic music swells in the background. Shouldn’t he be getting despicable villain theme music? We’re so confused. Our minds tell us that Theo is bad, but the music makes us root for him. Theo tells Scott he can help without being part of the pack. That’s how these secretly evil lone wolves get you, Scott.
Malia finds Tracy in the basement, dragging Lydia’s mom down the hallway. Some date this turned out to be. Malia and Tracy get into it, both being quite aggressive. When Malia gets the upper hand (the upper paw? Claw?), it looks like Malia will follow in the Desert Wolf’s footsteps and kill Tracy. But as the glow in Tracy’s eyes disappears, Malia’s humanity comes out and she releases Tracy, telling her, “You’re not dreaming. This is real. All of this is real. You get it? You get that? You’re not dreaming, Tracy.” It seems like it might be kinder to just kill her rather than allow her to realize she just murdered her own father.
We’re not the only ones who think killing Tracy might be a better option, because the Dread Doctors have arrived. Theo doesn’t come to the rescue after all. Instead, Tracy’s tormentors hold Malia against a wall and stick something in Tracy’s neck, causing silver goo to emerge from her mouth once more. Yuck. We hear the hiss of “Terminal” as Tracy falls to the floor, dead. The Dread Doctors leave a stunned Malia, and seemingly disapparate from the basement. What’s up with that? Was there some kind of portkey down there? It’s not clear why they left Malia alive, but we can only assume there is some kind of method to their madness.
Teen Wolf’s horror vibe brought the show to a new high in “Dreamcatchers.” Increasingly, we find Teen Wolf not to be the kind of show you want to watch alone in an empty house, especially when the wind blows branches against the window and the house creaks with age. With these Dread Doctors around, no one is safe!