Season 5 of Teen Wolf continues with its horror movie vibe, using cliffhanger endings to keep us enthralled each week. “Strange Frequencies” opens moments after the end of the previous episode, “Required Reading,” and then ends with a big question mark as well. This is a gripping approach for future binge-watchers, but torture for those of us in the present, watching weekly. Oh, who are we kidding? We love the suspense. If Teen Wolf wants to keep us in the dark, we can live with it for now. “Strange Frequencies” adds to the mystery of Season 5, leaving us with more questions than answers.
Step into my Lair, Stiles
In “Required Reading” Theo swooped in to save Stiles from that chimera dude on the roof of the hospital. He asks Stiles to keep his muuurdering a secret since he knows about Stiles’ own muuurder secret. Stiles is not happy that Theo knows about Donovan, but seems willing to play the secret-keeping game with him. What a tangled web is weaved. Soon Theo will have all the pack tied up in his web of lies and secrets.
Stiles and new secret-keeping buddy Theo meet Scott at the animal clinic with the chimera formerly known as Josh. Scott mistakenly assumes the Dread Doctors killed Josh, and Theo affirms his belief. You know that they say about assumptions, Scott. Stiles suggests a stakeout to find out who is taking the bodies. Theo volunteers. We feel slightly superior to these characters for a moment since we know body disposal is Deputy Parrish’s secret part-time job, but then we realize that’s all we know, pretty much, about the whole show.
The Teens they are a-Changin’
Liam is trying to convince Hayden about the Dread Doctors, werewolves, and that she might be a chimera. That’s a lot of information for this angry girl. He tries to prove it by growling at her with his spooky face, but she punches him and drives away. Nice! For a second there we actually liked Hayden. She drives to the spookiest road in Beacon Hills for her first horror scene. Little does she know there will be many more horror scenes to come. Her car starts to act all crazy and the radio broadcasts a message from the Dread Doctors: “Your condition improves.” She sees the super-creepy Dread Doctors approaching, but she’s trapped in her car. Liam suddenly appears and pulls out the back window so she can escape. Wow—we actually liked both Liam and Hayden in that scene. All we can say is, Hayden should thank her lucky stars that the Dread Doctors walk so slow. Though their rambling gait increases the fear factor exponentially, it means that it’s easy for their victims to run away. Sometimes.
After being called by Liam, Scott and Stiles show up to have the supernatural talk with a scared and confused Hayden. She’s locked herself in the bathroom, and when she finally opens the door we can see she’s wolfed out. If she didn’t believe Liam before, her glowing eyes and sharp teeth have convinced her what he’s saying is true.
Kira is helping her dad bring boxes of teacher junk to school. After he leaves to get the last box, Kira’s mom sneaks up behind her and attacks. WHAAA? When questioned by her mother at swordpoint, Kira acts confused about where her own sword belt has gone. We might be upset if our daughter had misplaced an important kitusne family heirloom, too. The big question is—“Why hasn’t Kira made more of an effort to find her sword?” Weird, right? Mrs. Yukimura throws her daughter a sword and tells her to defend herself. Is Mrs. Yukimura going to start taking the Kato approach to training and just start attacking Kira randomly? Kira overcomes mommy kitsune easily (Mrs. Yukimura is over 900 years old, after all), and is just about to go full-on messenger of death when her father snaps Kira out of it. Kira screams at her mother, “I could have killed you,” who then responds, “Not you. The fox inside you.” At least someone is trying to help Kira with her kitsune challenges, since Scott is being a jerk about it. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty extreme form of help her mom is providing.
Mason is doing research at Beacon Hills High School library. BHHS has the busiest school library we’ve ever seen. Maybe Mason will become the Willow of the group. They really need a researcher, since most of them can barely read. Mason runs into Cory, boyfriend and victim of the chimera formerly known as Lucas. Mason acts awkward, Cory acts sad, and the two quickly go their separate ways. Mason notices that Cory was looking at a book about miraculous healing. Chimera? If being a chimera can be transmitted through bodily fluids like saliva, Mason could be in trouble too.
Scott and his pack come up with a plan to keep Hayden safe by repelling the Dread Doctors. They are using telluric current, since that was what had been used at Eichen House to keep the Dread Doctors out—at least before Kira wrecked the whole thing. Well if they can’t read, at least they like science. Kira comes by the school to tell Scott she’s taking off so she doesn’t mess things up again: “I think I need to figure out what’s going on with me before I try helping anyone else.”Then there’s a montage of Scott and Kira moments. This can’t bode well for Kira. We can only assume she will die or they will break up, in which case she might as well die. Just kidding. Girl power and all that.
The Balance of Power is in Conflict
One of the Dread Doctors comes to check on Theo at the animal clinic. Theo asks why they aren’t curious who’s stealing the bodies, then quickly realizes they must already know who it is. He yells at the Doc: “Did you forget that you’re supposed to be keeping me in the loop on everything?” Whoa, who’s in charge here? Probably those creepy guys with the masks, but who knows.
Kira’s mom uses acupuncture to help Kira deal with the pressure of having a fox spirit whom she can’t control. Even a messenger of death needs some rest and relaxation. Mrs. Yukimura tells her daughter:
“The balance of power inside you is in conflict. The struggle between the fox and the human. Perhaps this will shift the power back into your hands. “
Later in the episode, the Yukimuras find Kira has gone, leaving “115” written on the headboard with acupuncture needles. They are freaked, leading us to think 115 signifies something pretty bad in the kitsune world.
Later in the evening Stiles and Theo have some bro time in the jeep. Theo gets deep and talks about his sister’s death. He is so convincing. We want to trust him despite all the horrible things we keep seeing him do. We’d pretty much believe that he might be a good guy somewhere down deep, if we hadn’t just seen the horrible scene where he stands by doing nothing as he watches his sister drowning in the freezing water. That’s cold, dude.
Over at Beacon Hills High School, magnet school for monsters, Scott, Malia, Lydia, and Liam are trying to protect Hayden. Deputy Parrish has come to provide some additional backup. How useful will he be once he starts flaming and goes on body-disposal duty?
Liam and Hayden are having a moment, which makes Scott feel like a jerk for using his beta’s crush as Dread Doctor’s bait. Liam finds the chains that Scott has brought and realizes that they are using Hayden to lure the Docs in. He’s pissed. And honestly he should be—it’s a terrible plan.
Outside the school, Parrish sees the Queen of Diamonds card that looks like Lydia. After this Manchurian Candidate-like trigger, Parrish finds Lydia in the car with him. She kisses him, and clothes are ripped off. Then Parrish realizes he is actually kissing a burnt-up version of Lydia. Gross. That’s what you get for making out with high school girls, you perv.
Malia, who we haven’t seen nearly enough of this episode, stands guard near the entrance of the school. She finds herself suddenly caught in spikey animal traps that have emerged from the floor. Finally, a metal spike stabs her through the throat and we don’t know what to think. Is she dead? Will her coyote healing powers save her? As she lies there, the Dread Doctors come through the school doors and walk past her immobilized form.
Sheriff Stalinski visits Melissa McCall at the hospital, but he only wants her for her access to medical records. She later visits him at his workplace to review the stolen records. These two need to spend more time together. He probably scared off Lydia’s mom with that terrible first date, so why not? As Mrs. McCall reviews the medical records of all the chimeras, she comes to realize that all three teens had human body parts donated to them for various medical procedures. They realize that Tracy, Lucas, and Donovan had two sets of DNA, making them all chimeras. Wonder if the Raekens believed in organ donation after their daughter’s terrible drowning “accident?”
At the school, Liam is all up in Scott’s face about how sucky his plan is. He makes Scott promise to do everything he can to save Hayden. But Hayden has forgotten her very important pills (VIP) in her locker, so Scott must go fetch them. Seems like the worst possible timing. How badly does she need her pills? And if they’re life or death, why doesn’t she carry them on her at all times?
In the hallways Scott gets distracted by a bloody leash. He walks into a classroom and Kira appears behind him and stabs him through with her sword. As she puts a wire around his throat she intones, “I am the Messenger of Death.”
Lydia has become concerned about Scott and walks into the hallway. She sees the chimera formerly known as Tracy at the end of the hallway. When the dead girl wants a chat, Lydia approaches. Tracy grabs her and pulls out Lydia’s tongue. Gross!
Theo and Stiles are still on a dead body removal stakeout. Now that Theo has shared his deepest feelings, sort of, it’s Stiles’ turn to open up. Stiles admits that he fears that the punishment for killing a chimera will be losing his best friend. He doesn’t have a lot of faith in Scott. Then again, Stiles does feel very guilty, but sort of good, about the muuurder. Theo is pulling Stiles in deeper and deeper.
Theo smells something burning, but before he can figure it out a flaming fist comes through the open window and knocks him out, and blood spatters all over Stiles. The flaming Parrish flips over the Jeep with Stiles still inside. As Parrish walks past to grab the dead chimera, the Jeep starts to burn with Stiles lying inside. Later in the episode Theo pulls Stiles out of the fire. That’s twice in two days Theo has saved Stiles’ life (sort of). Maybe they will become besties.
While all this mayhem is going on, Mason has been stalking Cory, and comes upon him at Club Sinema. Mason looks at Cory’s formerly-scorpion-sting-infected arm and sees it has completely healed. Cory looks upset. We don’t really know that he’s a chimera. Maybe he just heals fast. But probably he’s a chimera.
The Dread Doctors have arrived at the high school. They scoff at the silly equipment the pack has set up to try and stop them. The three doctors advance on Liam and Hayden, whose protectors have all abandoned them to their individual hallucinations. Each is trapped in a hallucination based on their worst fears—Malia getting trapped like an animal, Lydia losing her banshee voice, and Scott being betrayed by Kira. And of course Parrish has been consumed by his inappropriate desire, and has answered the irresistible call of the flames.
Mason has arrived on campus and knocks Scott out of his daze by giving him a little scalpel stab. Yay Mason! Scott. Malia, Lydia, and Mason rush into the locker room, but the Dread Doctors have taken both Hayden and Liam. Well, that sucks.
The Dread Doctors have taken Liam and Hayden to their clinic of horror. We see a glimpse of what lies beneath the docs’ masks, and it is not pretty. As Liam watches from the floor across the room, the Dread Doctors start doing something awful to Hayden that involves a lot of bleeding. Let’s hope Liam goes all überwolf and saves the day in the next episode. There must’ve been a reason that Scott reminded Liam that he’s an unusually strong werewolf in the first episode of Season 5, “Creatures of the Night.” Unless it’s because Liam is going to watch his sixth-grade enemy/crush die and he will never forgive Scott. Both outcomes are enticing, but the writers probably have something much more horrific in store for these two which our little minds could never conceive of.
Melissa McCall has gotten home from a long night playing junior detective. She walks in the door to find a dead woman with a sword in her chest lying on the kitchen table. Those stains will never come out! And it had been such a perfect evening of stealing medical charts and identifying clues with handsome Sheriff Stalinski. Melissa McCall never seems to catch a break. If only she could meet someone nice, like a certain single man who carries a gun. Not that she needs to. Girl power, and all that.
Season 5 continues to be dark, mysterious, and unpredictable, just like a certain werewolf we’ve been missing this season. OMG, you didn’t think we meant Peter, did you? No you didn’t, we know you still pine for Derek. Teen Wolf gave us a nice mix of action and psychological drama in “Strange Frequencies.” Though we have little more information than we did in the start of the season, we are having a great time with the slow reveal.