“Teen Wolf” had it all in “Motel California.” Suicide attempts, creepy figures appearing in fire, flashbacks, sex and even a shocking character return. Find out just how special a place the “Motel California” episode is in this recap
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“Motel California” begins way back in 1977, a night when a French-speaking fellow (whose last name just happens to be Argent) urgently checks into a roadside motel called the Glen Capri. He seems to have a nasty bite-wound on his stomach and an odd fear of the full moon.
Just before he turns, the presumed hunter eats a shotgun.
… But you can never leave
Cut to the present day. The cross-country meet has been postponed, and everyone will be saying at the Glen Capri Motel. It’s not a nice place. The towels smell of nicotine, the vending machine doesn’t work and the motel leads the state in guest suicides.
It’s a lovely place for teenagers to hang out. Especially with Allison and Lydia staying in 1977 Guy’s old room.
Things get weird pretty quickly. Stiles finds Boyd mesmerized by a vending machine, which is not normal. After that, he has a nasty run-in with a haunted ice machine. Isaac, meanwhile, plays “Poltergeist” with television static. As for Scott, he takes a peek at those newly red Alpha eyes of his and then promptly wanders into Allison’s bathroom to creep her out.
He doesn’t mean it though.
Lydia and the whispering ghosts
Lydia, rather worried about the number of suicides in the hotel, starts hearing the whispered words of suicide victims, just before their deaths. She’s not the only one, actually. Lydia is just the only one who doesn’t go completely bonkers as soon as she hears them.
Dragging Allison along for the ride, Lydia finds a room under renovation and a disturbing sight in the office — instead of 198 suicides counted, the number reads 201.
Three more sacrifices
198 to 201 means three new deaths, by the way. Three is a big deal this season.
All of the werewolves are hallucinating by this point, indicating that they might be the anticipated three deaths. Isaac thinks he’s back in the freezer in his dad’s basement. Scott watches Deucalion slit his mother’s throat. Boyd continues his angst involving ice. Ethan even stops having sex with Danny because he sees monsters coming out of his tummy.
Fortunately, Lydia and Allison enlist Stiles to help. The trio finds newspaper clippings about the suicides and then hears Ethan trying to saw himself open in the next room. It could have been very messy.
Stiles briefly accuses Lydia of doing all of this with vervain (like she did at her birthday), but that’s not it. Instead, Lydia saves a life or two by listening to the whispers and realizing that Boyd is about to drown. Realizing that heat is what snaps a werewolf out of the suicidal delusions, Lydia sends Stiles for some flares on the bus.
They quickly wake up Boyd and Isaac (who is hiding under the bed), but where is Scott?
Scott flirts with a nihilistic philosophy, contemplates a fiery death
Scott feels really awful about Derek’s death. He also seems to have lingering self-esteem issues from his pre-werewolf days. All of this pushes the boy in the direction of a nice, cleansing fire.
With all the gasoline on and around him, flares might not be the best solution to Scott’s hallucinatory issues. But who needs heat when you’ve got Stiles? The brave and heroic and lovely boy tells Scott that they’re brothers and will have to go up in flames together.
Scott hands over the flare then.
It’s just too bad that Stiles decides to toss away the flare, igniting the gas and nearly obliterating the whole group. From the pile on the ground, only Lydia sees a dark and strange figure grinning in the flames. Is that the evil druid?
Give a little whistle
The next morning, after a night sleeping on the bus, both Scott and Lydia get some revelations. Scott learns from Ethan that Derek might be alive but that the Alphas will want vengeance. Lydia figures out why the wolves went bonkers — there’s wolfsbane on the coach’s whistle.
In case you were wondering about the purpose of Papa Argent throughout this episode, it all goes back to the 1977 Argent. It has become clear that an Alpha bite was the inciting incident in the suicide, and present-day Argent wants to know which werewolf did the biting.
Where could he possibly find the answer?
A dingy room in a nondescript building holds an old man in a wheelchair. He knows that Deucalion was the guilty Alpha back in the day. How does he know that?
Why, it’s Grandpa Gerard Argent! Guess he’s not dead after all.
Derek, who is not actually dead, gets dragged into a high school classroom by English teacher Jennifer. He’s bloody and messed-up, but he is still hot. This gives Jennifer conflicted feelings as she treats Derek with literary references and emo-style flirting.
Eventually they have sex, which makes everything better. Literally — Derek starts healing through the passion.
Oh “Teen Wolf,” never change!