“Maid of Gévaudan” had the potential to be one of the best Teen Wolf episodes of Season 5. If only it weren’t for the terrible French accents making the 18th century scenes feel like cosplay. It seems like they could have conveyed that these were French characters without using the Monty Pythonesque accents (“I’m French. Why do you think I have this outrageous accent, you silly king?”). But who are we kidding? We love cosplay! Perhaps we liked this episode not despite the outrageous accents, but because of them.
“Maid of Gévaudan” wasn’t just about the glory, and the shame, of the Argent family. It was also about surviving a school shooting. Well, not exactly, but the parallel was certainly there. It made the scenes of the students hiding in classrooms as the Beast stalked the hallways that much more horrific. When the Beast was outside the classrooms or library the fear amongst the students felt incredibly real. These were all victims unless Scott could stop the monster. Writer Jeff Davis’s disturbing vision was made more powerful by the efforts of director Joseph Genier and the production team.
The Beast of Gévaudan
Teen Wolf opens to a North American French territory in 1760. Teen Wolf shows us that though times may be tough for teens in Beacon Hills, life back in ye olden days wasn’t so great either. As if the Seven Year War wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s a demon wolf on the loose. French soldiers Sebastien and Marcel hide in a cabin, but the woman of the house warns them they came to the wrong place to hide. The British soldiers surround the house, but little do they know they will face a greater enemy. The Beast quickly destroys the squad of redcoats.
In modern-day Beacon Hills, Lydia and Deputy Parrish are at the Argent compound. Parrish has snapped out of his hellhound state and wants to get the heck out of there. Lydia tries to show her support, but Parrish tells her that his dreams aren’t like hers: “I’m not just a harbinger of death, I’m the cause of it.” Dude, that’s heavy. He leaves, but the Argents want Lydia to stay. When did Chris Argent get so creepy? He seems to be taking after dear old dad. The Argents believe that Lydia can take on the Beast. Sure, we believe Lydia can do pretty much anything with her super-banshee powers (especially after she made Dr. Valack’s head explode), but she really should go check on Parrish. Instead, Grampy Argent tells Lydia the story of the maid of Gévaudan. It’s a story of death, betrayal, and ridiculous accents.
In Gévaudan, young Marie-Jeanne Valet, played by Crystal Reed, reads a letter from her brother at the neighborhood tavern. The locals are concerned about all the people being killed by wolves and decide to form a hunting party. Someone comes into the tavern and tells everyone that the best hunter in Gevaudan is Marie-Jeanne. She runs to him, because it’s her brother Sebastien returned from war, along with his loyal friend Marcel. When they ask if she will answer the call, she tells them, “I hunt animals, not myths,” and the tavern breaks into canned laughter.
An 11-year-old boy is brought into the tavern, after having been attacked. His last words were “La Bête” (make sure you say it with an exaggerated French pronunciation). Despite warnings from her brother Sebastien and his friend Marcel, Marie-Jeanne Valet remains skeptical about the nature of the Beast. Marie-Jean dons an awesome cloak and joins the hunt.
Back in the 21st century, Lydia asks Grampy Argent, “Why should I be listening to you?” Good question, Lydia. We’ve been wondering ourselves why anyone would listen to the old creepster. Lydia’s research indicates that the Beast was killed. Grampy scoffs, asking if she learned that on the Internet (obvi, gramps). We’re supposed to believe that Lydia is unconvinced about the Beast, similar to Marie-Jeanne’s skepticism, even though everyone Lydia knows has seen the Beast (except for one very important teen).
We find Grampy Argent’s story interruptions kind of annoying, in a Princess Bride sort of way. So we’re just going to ignore the rest of them.
Marie-Jeanne cradles her bow as she and the other hunters traipse through the snowy forest. She learns first-hand of the creature’s monstrosity when their hunting party is annihilated. Mon Dieu! She is only saved when 18th-century nerd Henri encircles the two of them in the ash of the mountain ash. The Beast runs into the forest. Very important question: Why isn’t every non-supernatural member of the supernatural secret club in Beacon Hills carrying around a canister of mountain ash? That stuff is amazing.
Henri brings Marie-Jeanne to his home, which is surrounded by mountain ash trees. He has all kinds of goodies to survive a werewolf. She tells him, “I do not care about surviving one. I want to know how to kill one.”
At the tavern, Marie-Jeanne serves wine to the entire room, telling everyone they need to drink. We can only assume it’s dosed with mountain ash. Marcel breaks his glass and his hand begins to bleed. Marie-Jeanne takes him outside. We think she’s going to kill him, but she pours water from the well on his wound. He gives her a key and tells her, “You will find what you are looking for in the cellar.” She goes alone into the dark and dank cellar, where she finds a room full of dead bodies. Gross, Teen Wolf!
Back out at the well, Marie-Jeanne holds her bow to Marcel’s throat and he begs her to kill him. She realizes, “You’re not the killer. You’re covering for him.” It turns out her brother is the Beast. She goes back into the tavern and quietly confronts him. During the war, Sebastien drank water from the pawprint of the wolf, making him a demon wolf (is that code for super-evil werewolf?). Sebastien threatens to tear everyone in the tavern apart if she tells them about his true identity. He tells her that she can’t catch him and that she won’t kill him, and leaves the tavern. Marie-Jeanne went back to Henri’s to figure out “how to kill both a beast and a brother.”
Marie-Jeanne spends years, or roughly ten seconds in the show, tracking her brother. In 1767, she finds him. He chases her through a snowy forest, but she turns and runs him through with a lance. This is no ordinary lance, it’s made with wolfsbane and mountain ash, forged with their family’s blood by the light of a full moon. When he boasts that after all the horrors he has committed, everyone will remember his name, she promises damnatio memoriae. She whispers, “History might remember you, Sebastien. But only as a Beast.” After his death, they erase every detail of him from history—except, it seems, the family story.
Grampy Argent has finished his tale. He tells Lydia, “The name Sebastien Valet has been forgotten for over 150 years, but when it’s remembered …” His son finishes, “When the Beast remembers, the teenager inside is forgotten.” Lydia isn’t impressed by their tag-team approach. She points out that Marie-Jeanne didn’t do it alone, that she had help. She wants to go after Parrish. Chris Argent warns her that Parrish is dangerous because he’s controlled by his supernatural powers.
Lydia asks Grampy why he’s suddenly helping them. He reveals that Marie-Jeanne Valet married Henri and took his name—Argent. Marie-Jeanne was the first hunter (so that makes Henri the first Dr. Deaton, then?). Are we supposed to be surprised that she’s their ancestor? Kate Argent told us this back in Season 1. Maybe it’s just supposed to be a big reveal for Lydia because Grampy delivers the news pretty dramatically. If he’d had a mic, he definitely would’ve dropped it. Grampy excitedly tells Lydia that the Argent name will be remembered for killing the Beast. Lydia responds, “I’m not an Argent. And I’m not Allison,” and walks off. Now, that’s how you drop a mic.
The Beast Invades Beacon Hills High School
The Beast has rudely interrupted a Beacon Hills lacrosse game. The students have run into the school because the dark corners of Beacon Hills High School are a bastion of safety. Terrorized kids are hiding in classrooms as the Beast walks through the hallways. It’s disturbing, to say the least. There are no adults around, except for all the actors playing the scared kids of course.
Stiles and Hayden bring the severely injured Liam into the school. So, guess he’s not dead after all. Stiles is no help, as he normally passes out in these situations. Hayden takes matters into her own hands, kissing Liam to take away some of his pain. She knows how to soothe the savage beast—at least this one.
Malia is inside the school, and she’s worried about Stiles. She’s such a good friend. Bet he’s not worried about her at all. Jerk. Malia calls Braeden and tells her to “bring your shotgun—bring all your shotguns.” Way to be cool in a crisis, girl.
Scott grabs a girl who stands paralyzed with fear as the Beast approaches. Once they are in a classroom, he blocks the door with his body. When the Beast starts pushing on the door he tells her to go out the window. Scott even helps random students whose names we will never know. He cares, so we don’t have to. The Beast pulls Scott out of the room through the unopened door.
Return to the Library
Somehow Scott makes it into the library. There are loads of kids hiding there amongst the stacks. They stare at him silently, scared out of their wits. Scott realizes the Beast is coming for him and they’re all in danger. The students all look to Scott. Even the normies can feel his alphaness. As the Beast approaches, he whispers for them to go upstairs. You’ve never seen a group of teenagers move so quickly or so silently.
The Beast enters the library with much growling, and Scott faces the huge, smoky werewolf. This can’t go well for Scott. He did just die in this very location not too long ago. The Beast throws Scott around the library. Seems like the Beast could snap Scott in two pretty easily. Things aren’t looking too good for Scott, but then he sees Liam jumping up behind the Beast. Liam knocks the creature in the head. Then Malia and Braden arrive, full growl, guns blazing. The pack has come to Scott’s rescue. Though, seriously Liam, it’s the least you could do. The beast jumps through the window. BHHS must have a special fund for the constant repairs, even if the window seems to be as thin as Saran Wrap.
Braeden asks Scott, “You didn’t seriously think you were going to have a chance against that thing, did you?” He tells her, “No, but I got its scent.” Scott always has a plan.
Who is the Beast?
Scott runs through the parking lot following the scent. He arrives at a car, where he can smell the scent. He pops the trunk and finds a bloody sneaker. It’s like a modern-day retelling of Cinderella, à la Quentin Tarantino. We all want to know: #WhoIsTheBeast already.
Mason comes up and asks Scott what he’s doing with his car. We knew it was Mason! Well, everyone suspected Mason was the Beast. Which makes us wonder … is it really Mason? Before we can find out, Corey uncamouflages himself and grabs Mason. Scott protests, but Corey and Mason are gone in seconds. Mason might be a little less excited about being part of the inner circle after this.
We have many, many questions:
- Is Mason really the Beast or a red herring?
- Does Corey’s camouflage power disguise his and Mason’s scents as well?
- Wouldn’t Scott have recognized that the Beast smelled like Mason right away?
- Is Corey protecting Mason from Scott, or taking him to his evil master Theo?
- Why would anyone, except bloodthirsty Tracy, follow Theo?
- Why does Theo still need Deucalion now that he has the blue claws of power?
- If Sebastien Valet was the Beast, then what about the cannibalistic child-killer from the 15th century Scott described during the road trip in “Codominance?” We thought the Dread Doctors were trying to resurrect the Demon Tailor.
- Where exactly is Gévaudan?
- What’s the Dread Doctors’ end game? General death and destruction? Family pet?
There was a lot to love about “Maid of Gevaudan,” even if we had to tolerate Gerard Argent’s monologuing and Crystal Reed’s incroyable accent. We know what you’re thinking—she was doing a Québécois accent, not a French one! Well, maybe. We’re still confused if Sebastien and Marcel went back to France or stayed in North America when they returned from war. Are we getting dumber, or is Teen Wolf getting more confusing? Don’t answer that! Now go away or I will taunt you a second time.