Teen Wolf S05E12 Recap: Damnatio Memoriae

Kira Teen Wolf Damnatio MemoriaeIn Teen Wolf’s “Damnatio Memoriae,” Scott and Stiles begin to heal their wounds. Scott rebuilds his pack while Theo tries to get his own in line. They have different approaches, but neither seems to really be in control. Meanwhile, everyone is being resurrected left and right. One resurrectee, The Beast, could cause enough trouble that it could bring enemies together.


The New Normal

Deputy Clark is driving her recently resurrected chimera sister Hayden to work. After disappearing for three days, Hayden is being kept on a tight leash. Valerie tells her sister, “For all I know you could’ve been dead.” Yup.

Deputy Clark stops to check out one of the many super-scary buildings in Beacon Hills—the communication towers. Meanwhile Liam sneaks up on his ex-dead ex-girlfriend Hayden and whines about her ignoring his texts. Down in the basement of said super-scary building, Deputy Clark finds a bloody technician, who quickly dies. As if that’s not bad enough, a gigantic beast with glowing eyes and big claws come out from behind the water pipes. Is this La Bête that the Dread Doctors were so excited about in “Status Asthmaticus”?

The creature leaps past Deputy Clark and makes its way out of the building, where it chases Liam and Hayden into the woods. They come across a big chasm and Hayden suggests jumping over it, but lame-o Liam doesn’t make it and clings to the side. When the big creature easily leaps over the chasm, Liam asks Hayden, “Trust me?” She responds no, but he pulls her into the chasm anyway. Now she’s really going to trust him.

Liam wakes up to Hayden punching him “to make sure [he’s] alive.” His back is broken and he needs some time to heal before he can get up. But Hayden’s got to go find sister Valerie. Sistahs b4 Mistahs. Liam whines that he saved her life, then asks who saved it last time. She tells him it was Theo. Somehow she makes it sounds like a burn. But that’s just how she always sounds.

Meanwhile, Liam brings evil chimera Tracy to the hospital to kill one of her still-recovering victims with her kanima venom. Theo stands by her, smirking. So Tracy just likes to kill for kicks. Are all four of the resurrected chimeras this evil? What about Hayden? Actually, Hayden seemed pretty evil even when she was a normal human.

Deputy Parrish clues Scott in about the Beast, the Dread Doctor’s last experiment. It seems pretty successful by Dread Doctor standards. They don’t know why the Beast would bother to kill a communication tech. When Scott asks Parrish who he sees dead at the Nemeton in his visions, he responds, “Everyone.” That can’t be good. We could use some good news in Beacon Hills, as things only seem to be getting darker and darker.

Scott board Teen Wolf Damnatio MemoriaeScott goes home to try to put the pieces together, display-board style. He tacks up post-its and connects stuff with red yarn. But Scott’s bulletin board is a poor substitute for Stiles’ fancy glass display board, and quickly falls apart.

Chris Argent, recently returned to Beacon Hills, is up to something. He goes to his handy plant safe and grabs what we can only assume is a super-important flower, as well as a super-hardy one. We need plants like that at our house—ones that will continue to bloom even when you lock them in a safe.

Learning to Live with it

At the hospital, Stiles and his dad have a heart-to-heart in the morgue, the site of a surprising amount of family conversations in Teen Wolf. As they stand over Donovan’s corpse, Sheriff Stilinski asks Stiles why he didn’t tell him about the murder. We had almost forgotten about Stiles’ guilt over Donovan’s death. For us that was like six months ago, but for Stiles the pole going through wendigo-mix Donovan’s chest is just a blink away.

Stiles Teen Wolf Damnatio MemoriaeStiles is consumed by guilt, but his dad tells him that “wanting someone dead and murdering things are two very different things.” He knows it was self-defense and assures his son that he’d do anything to protect him, telling Stiles, “ I would burn the whole sheriff station to the ground.” Ummm … that’s good to know, because last summer when the Sheriff got all procedural-crazy we weren’t so sure.

Stiles asks his dad about Kira—we assume he means that time his dad arrested Kira’s dad when he thought Kira had killed a chimera—and the Sheriff acknowledges he made mistake.

The Sheriff suggests that Stiles may learn to live with the murder if he balances the scales by saving a life. Wow, we were thinking maybe a couple Hail Marys might do it, but no pressure, Dad. Sheriff Stilinski tells him that even though he knows in his head it was survival, his heart still feels like it was murder. He tells his son that his heart needs to catch up to his head.

Stiles: “I feel like’s it more than guilt, though, you know. I feel like I lost something. You know, I feel like I can’t get it back.
Sheriff Stilinski: “You won’t. Not entirely. You can get a little bit by forgiving yourself. And since that’s not always the easiest thing in the world to do then maybe you start by forgiving someone else. Someone who probably really needs it.
Stiles: “Someone like Scott.”

Why not forgive Scott? After all, he was just standing outside the door listening in on your conversation. Seems like true friend material.

Leader of the Pack

Tracy isn’t the only resurrected chimera that Theo is trying to appease. Josh isn’t so excited by his new role as Chimera Minion Number 4. To pump up his spirits, Theo hands him some jumper cables and turns on the juice. Apparently an electrical jolt was just what the doctor ordered. But Scott isn’t the only werewolf lurking—Liam sees the Josh show and realizes that Hayden isn’t the only chimera Theo resurrected.

Malia Scott Teen Wolf Damnatio MemoriaeScott shows up at Malia’s house after she ignores his calls. Not the most effective alpha. She gives him some vague response about why she can’t help him, though we know it’s because she’s focused on hunting and killing her mom, the Desert Wolf. Scott doesn’t seem to catch on and eventually leaves.

Malia isn’t the only one on the hunt for her mom, because she’s getting some help from Braeden. Though eager to torture the Special Forces soldier they’ve captured to get the dirt on Desert Wolf, they find money might work better. Is Malia disappointed? Well, there’ll probably be plenty of torture opportunities down the road. They learn that she was last seen by the Canadian border, she doesn’t travel by plane, and she avoids surveillance cameras. Oh, and big news to anyone in Beacon Hills who may not have noticed he’s been gone a while, she’s holding Dr. Deaton captive. They probably just figured he was held up by a zombie.

Liam Mason Teen Wolf Damnatio MemoriaeAt the school, Liam fills Mason in on Hayden and Josh being back from the dead. Mason realizes that Theo is creating his own pack. Liam tells Mason that there was something wrong about Hayden. Mason responds, “Maybe that’s what dying does to you. What if it, like, darkens your soul? What if they’re all evil now?” Just then the recently dead chimera Corey walks out of the library. They join him in the library cleanup so Mason can do some investigating. That library needs to be cleaned up in more ways than one. Wonder how much blood they’ll find on the books. Perhaps some body parts shoved behind the shelves. And that mountain ash must get into everything. Mason’s awkward questioning of Corey ends abruptly when Corey asks Mason on a date.

Stiles is still at the hospital with his recovering dad, who wakes to find Stiles using his computer, since he knows all his father’s passwords and everything. Stiles finds the footage of The Beast.

Lydia is still locked up at Eichen House. Wait a sec! Didn’t we see Theo and his gang coming to grab Lydia at the end of “The Last Chimera?” This whole flash-back, flash-forward timeline is so confusing. Lydia finds Meredith taking a bath in some black ooze. Or maybe she’s hallucinating. We never really know with Lydia.

Hayden is at the police station, where her sister is still keeping a close eye on her. But not so close that she realizes that Hayden became a chimera, died, and was resurrected. So Deputy Clark has no idea when Theo comes to the station to check up on pack member Hayden. She fills him in on the beast. When she gets a text from Liam, he lets her know who’s the boss: “I don’t want this to sound like a warning, and I definitely don’t want this to sound like a threat, but you can’t hide anything from me, Hayden.” He can probably smell Liam’s desperation on her. Oh, and he definitely wants it to sound like a threat, ’cause that’s how Evil Theo rolls.

Everyone is eager to show footage of the Beast to Scott. First Deputy Parrish, and now Stiles. Stiles shows him video of the scary building the Beast emerged from. They decide to check out the dark and scary building to see how it got in. Don’t wait for the daylight or anything. But who could wait for the daylight in Beacon Hills, where it’s dark anytime they’re not at school, and about three-quarters of the time when they are at school?

Corey Theo Teen Wolf Damnatio MemoriaeTheo shows up to boss another minion around. Poor Corey tries to hide from Theo by blending into the lockers, but Theo knows he’s there. He tells Corey that they’re going to protect Scott’s pack, adding that if Corey doesn’t do exactly as he’s told Theo will kill him. To bad he can’t offer his own pack the same protection he’s providing to the pack of his arch-nemesis. It could really give a pack member an inferiority complex. He offers Tracy the opportunity to fulfill her murderous impulses, gives Josh an electrical jolt, cozies up with Hayden, and threatens to kill Corey if he doesn’t do what Theo says. I wonder who his favorite is? Seems like an awesome pack. Why wouldn’t Stiles and Lydia want to be a part of it?

Investigation Unknown

Scott and Stiles check out the communication towers and find a clawed-up locker, which they move to reveal an opening in the floor grate. They realize the Beast got into the scary building from a scary underground tunnel.

At the school, when Liam and Mason realize Corey has left with Theo, Mason tells Liam they need to tell someone (aka Scott). Liam is pretty nervous about calling Scott after trying to kill him and everything. Mason, ever the voice of reason, suggests, “ If you start off with sorry, the rest probably won’t even matter.” No wonder Mason is in the inner circle).

Lydia Merideth Teen Wolf Damnatio MemoriaeHallucination Meredith thinks it’s time for Lydia to snap out of her catatonic state because all her friends will die without her. She tells Lydia she will teach her how to use her banshee voice as a weapon. Who knew crazy Meredith could be so helpful? Did she always know how to use her voice, or did she recently learn this banshee skill? Is Meredith also going to teach Lydia all those martial art moves we saw her use in “Creatures of the Night?” Though when it comes to Lydia’s storyline we’re not always sure what’s in the past and what’s in the future, or if something happened for real or was a vision. If we’re confused, we can only imagine how crazy Lydia feels.

Using a blacklight, Scott and Stiles find the words “Damnatio Memoriae.” Before Scott can take a picture of the phrase, Theo’s pack attacks. Well, most of Theo’s pack, anyways. Hayden’s aloofness didn’t seem to change with her resurrection. Perhaps this kind of minion work is beneath her. Scott defeats Tracey and Josh, while Corey stands there scared. Theo shows up, saying, “Okay. Maybe they’re not ready to take on an alpha, especially one that can smell fear.” Corey protests, “He’s got fangs.”

Theo erases the Latin words on the ground. Theo and Scott have a heart-to-heart, sort of. Theo argues they need to band together to defeat the Beast. When Scott protests that its just a kid like them, Theo says, “Not anymore.” Let’s hope Scott’s not buying the whole “let’s work together” thing. Why doesn’t someone just kill Theo already? Stiles is pretty good at murder.

Liam is looking for Scott, but Hayden is looking for Liam. She’s weirdly impressed that Liam almost killed Scott to save her. She tells Liam that since coming back nothing feels right except him. When she asks how he feels about her, Liam doesn’t mention that he agrees that something about her feels wrong, or Mason’s theory that the resurrected chimeras are evil. Instead, he kisses her. They’ve become the Romeo and Juliet of Scott’s and Theo’s packs.

Scott and Stiles are still recovering from the attack by Theo’s pack, or at least Stiles is. And let’s face it, Scott hasn’t been in the best of shape since his recent demise and restoration. Scott asks Stiles if he remembers what the Latin words said.

Stiles: “Damnatio Memoriae. It means ‘a condemnation of memory.’ It also means that whatever the Dread Doctors created, whatever this last chimera really is, it’s not something new. It’s something old. Really old.”
Scott: “So they didn’t create a new creature.”
Stiles: “They resurrected one.”

Theo isn’t the only one resurrecting people. Well, Chris Argent isn’t exactly resurrecting, just juicing someone up a little. Chris Argent uses flower power (Yellow Wolfsbane) to give the ill Grandpa Gerard a little extra spark? Apparently Gerard knows the family secrets. The Beast that has emerged in Beacon Hills was resurrected by the Dread Doctors and has a connection to the Argent family—it’s the Beast of Gévaudan. In Season 1 Kate Argent had told Allison that La Bête du Gêvaudan had killed over a hundred people in 1766 and was eventually killed by one of their Argent ancestors. Yikes! Let’s hope it’s a different Beast.

skinchangers Teen Wolf Damnatio MemoriaeScott wants to get the pack back together. Stiles is dubious, but Scott tells him he’ll do it one at a time. Liam is already remorseful, so that helps. And Hayden might be switching sides if her kiss with Liam means anything (it probably doesn’t). As they walk off, Scott says he’ll start with Kira. But Kira is busy with her own thing—challenging skin walkers. Who are these dusty, but very attractive, skin walkers? They’re reminiscent of the First Slayer on Buffy, except for the steampunk one. All we can say is—GIRLFIGHT!


“Damnatio Memoriae” isn’t the easiest Teen Wolf title to pronounce, nor was it the easiest to watch. Most of this season of Teen Wolf Has a lot going on, and sometimes, like this time, it can be confusing. The highlight of the episode was the interaction between Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) and his father Sheriff Stilinski (Linden Ashby). It’s a treat to watch these two great actors together. The writers gave them some terrific dialogue as well—or at least the actors made us believe it was good dialogue. The Beast was pretty cool. It will be a formidable opponent to anyone who challenges it. In “Damnatio Memoriae” we start to see our Teen Wolf crew heal.

2 thoughts on “Teen Wolf S05E12 Recap: Damnatio Memoriae

  1. Pingback: Teen Wolf Season 5 Episode 12 Photos: Damnatio Memoriae | The Supernatural Fox Sisters

  2. Pingback: Teen Wolf Season 5 Episode 13 Photos: Codominance | The Supernatural Fox Sisters

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