Previously on Teen Wolf, the Beacon Hills High cross country team went on a driving tour of the continental United States of America. The timing was good because the werewolves that mostly make up the team were all tuckered out after a slow-motion battle that lasted for one entire night, from dusk ’till dawn in the skeletal remains of a strip mall, and very nearly killed Ennis and Derek. (Moot point on the Ennis thing because Duke eventually rocked up into Dr. Deaton‘s office and crushed Ennis’ skull just for funsies.) Scott almost bled out due to post-battle wounds, but Allison sewed up his torso with a needle and thread in a rest stop bathroom thanks to a timely coaching appearance from the ghost of her mother, who was just as batshit crazy amazing in specter form as she was in human form. And a barely alive Derek crawled to the school to throw himself against Mr. Blake‘s car window like some kind of deranged baby bird.
In 1977, Alexander Argent checked into the Motel Glen Capri and blew off his head with a shotgun because he’d gotten The Bite and didn’t have the courage to cut out his own spleen with a Swiss Army Knife like is written in the instruction manual. We can’t all be Veronica Argent. 35 years later, Beacon Hills’ cross country team rolls up into the same motel and even though Lydia doesn’t like the look of it or sound of it or smell of it, the other students are just glad to be spending an unsupervised night away from home. Any other group of high school kids, it’s fornication and pilfered booze at the Holiday Inn, but of course this group of high school students lands at a motel that has holds the dubious distinction of having the most suicides committed within its walls. 198 is the record. But 201 is prophecy for tomorrow.
(Quick math tells Lydia and Stiles that 201 minus 198 equals three which equals one set of Druid serial killings which equals fuuuuuuck.)
Because Lydia is a homicide whisperer, she immediately starts hearing the voices of the people who have offed themselves all over the motel. A couple of young lovers with a gun. A baby being drowned in a bathtub. The newspaper clippings of their deaths are even conveniently filed away in the Bibles in the rooms where they died. Lydia chases down the ghosts for a while until she and Allison and Stiles put their beautiful noggins together and realize something a lot more sinister is going down in real-time. All their werewolf buddies have bed bugs in their brains.
Let’s do Scott first. Scott is feeling a lot better now that black goop isn’t leaking out of his abdomen. He and Stiles sleuth for a minute or two, but then Stiles decides he needs a candy bar and Scott decides he needs to stare at himself in the mirror for a little while. You can’t blame him, really. If I looked like any of the people on this show, I’d spend half my life flexing in front of a mirror. But Scott’s not interested in his pecs. Scott is interested in his eyeballs, which keep flashing Alpha red because Derek is hovering near the edge of death.
After Scott’s eyeballs freak him out, he hallucinates a call from his mom and then hallucinates Duke slashing her throat in the Motel Glen Capri parking lot. Scott goes looking for comfort from Allison, who is inexplicably naked in the shower in this half-Shining/half-Psycho hell hole. Every time any of these guys touches anything in this gross hovel — the sheets, the carpet, the shower curtains, literally anything at all — it tests my gag reflex. So, Scott just wanders into the bathroom for a chat and Allison’s like, “OK, but I’m not wearing any clothes or anything and you’re just standing there looking like a real creeper. What’s up, man?” What’s up is that he’s not embarrassed to see her naked because he’s already seen her naked, sometimes from the sexings they did together and sometimes from peeping in on her from her roof, but that’s not why he’s here. He’s here because he hopes they can be friends one day. He clamps his fist around her arm and stares at her with dead eyes and she’s like, “Well, this is definitely a good start!”
Boyd isn’t faring any better than Scott. After he punches a hole in the vending machine — allowing Stiles to steal three whole Kit Kats, easily the most delinquent thing he’s ever done in his life — he stops by the ice machine and hallucinates his dead sister under the frozen cubes. To make himself feel better, I guess, he goes back to his room and turns on the alarm clock radio, but the only station they get way out here in the bumblefuck is the one that broadcasts the audio of Boyd’s police interrogation after his sister was abducted from an ice skating rink. He unplugs the radio alarm clock, but the beat plays on. So he tosses that thing on the ground and smashes it to bits with his giant boots.
Things aren’t going well for Isaac either. He’s having serious PTSD flashbacks of his dad berating him for doing something wrong with a wrench and some lug nuts or something, and next thing you know, he’s hallucinated himself back into that freezer where his father used to stash him away for punishment. He cries and shivers and clutches onto his pillow and is the saddest thing you have ever seen in all your life. Can’t this poor lamb ever catch a break? Tortured by his dad, nearly hacked to death by the Wonder Twins, forced to take an ice bath in his jeans, kicked out onto the streets by his pack leader, and now Scott’s rooming with Stiles tonight which means there’s no one to tuck him in and read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and get him a cup of Hawaiian Punch with a bendy straw. Sweet little Isaac. It’s OK, buddy.
Also distracted is Alpha Ethan. But his distraction is less about childhood trauma and more about the half-naked Danny Māhealani writhing around underneath him. You think sex with Ethan is going to be a lot of growling and fang play, but it’s actually the opposite of that. He nuzzles Danny’s nose with his nose, kisses him sweetly on the mouth and the neck and the chest and the nipple(!), and traces Danny’s scars with gentle fingertips. Feeling the raised flesh where Danny’s sternum almost crushed his heart and lungs reminds Ethan that Danny is mortal, and he’s so freaked out by the realization and so turned on by the way Danny is stroking his neck and so smitten because Danny is Danny that he straight up offers to turn him into a werewolf. But subtly. Sweetly. He’s like, “What if there was a way for you to get rid of your scars and also for me to keep you safe from the impending apocalypse that’s about to rain down on your town?” Danny says he likes his scars, says they make him feel like a survivor, and so Ethan dives back in for round two because it’s the sexiest thing he’s ever heard.
Unfortunately, his spine picks that exact moment to start twisting up into knots and the man inside him — er, the hallucination of the face of a man inside his abdomen — causes him to bolt from the bed and from the room. Danny’s like, “Uh, OK, cool! I’ll just be here doing Calculus homework … or other stuff.”