Teen Wolf recap – Season 3, Episode 5: Frayed

For more Teen Wolf recaps, click here.

Storm clouds gather over a desert highway. The Beacon Hills cross country team are on a bus, heading to a meet. Isaac tells Boyd to stop thinking about it—that they should both stop thinking about it, since there’s nothing they can do. Boyd isn’t sure about that.

There is nothing to do on this damn bus but think about the thing we're not supposed to be thinking about.

There is nothing to do on this damn bus but think about the thing we’re not supposed to be thinking about.

He looks behind him, where Ethan (one of the Alpha twins) sits with Danny.

Ethan keeps checking his phone and says he’s waiting for a message but it’s nothing important. His face says otherwise. Ethan looks further back, to where Scott and Stiles are sitting.

Scott looks exhausted. He leans up against the window and has a HAZY FLASHBACK to … something. Probably the ‘it’ that Boyd and Isaac are trying to forget. In the flashback, Scott is in wolf mode and trying to stop someone from falling to apparent death.



Stiles snaps Scott out of the flashback to quiz him on vocabulary for the PSATs. The words super coincidentally give us a bit of context. We start off with anachronism: something that exists out of its normal time, like a HAZY FLASHBACK. The next is incongruous. Stiles helpfully uses it in a sentence.

STILES: It’s completely incongruous that we’re sitting on a bus right now on our way to some stupid cross country meet after what just happened.

SCOTT: Out of place, ridiculous, absurd.

STILES: Perfect. Okay. Next word. Darach. It’s a noun.

Stiles says they have to talk about it some time. Why not talk about it while they’re stuck on a bus for five hours? Scott won’t answer and Stiles goes back to quizzing him on vocabulary. The bus hits a bump in the road and Scott winces in pain, clutching his stomach.

Stop whining, Scott. I'm doing some product placement here.

Stop whining, Scott. I’m doing some product placement here.

Stiles says they shouldn’t have come but Scott says they had to; there’s safety in numbers. Stiles reminds him that death can occur in numbers as well. It’s called a massacre.

He demands to see Scott’s stomach wound. It’s bloody and un-bandaged and looks like claw marks.

Put some damn antiseptic on that thing and wrap it up.

Put some antiseptic on that damn thing and wrap it up.

Scott says that the wound will take longer to heal because it’s from an Alpha. If that’s the logic, Stiles wants to know why Boyd and Isaac are fine. Scott leans back against the window.

SCOTT: I can’t believe he’s dead. I can’t believe Derek’s dead.



Allison and Lydia are trailing behind the bus in Allison’s car. Allison maintains that she’s not stalking but, after what happened, she’s not letting Scott out of her sight. Besides, this all started when he came knocking at Allison’s door.

Stalker road trip!

Stalker road trip!

FLASHBACK to Scott visiting Allison’s bedroom. He found one of her arrows outside the school from that time she was playing vigilante WEREWOLF HUNTER a few episodes back. Allison plays dumb but Scott doesn’t think the school archery team, if they existed, would be using military-grade armour-piercing titanium arrowheads (he looked it up).

Allison still won’t fess up. Scott asks about her deal with Chris to stay out of the supernatural stuff. If Scott came to warn her off, he should remember that Allison can take care of herself. Scott tells her that the Alpha pack is not a small threat, and they have advantages like superhuman strength.

Allison and Scott get into a flirty verbal fight about which one of them would win in combat if Allison didn’t have her bow. It leads to a flirty physical fight, which is all fun and games until they nearly kiss.

All part of the strategy.

All part of the strategy.

Allison tries again and Scott wins again, pinning her up against a wall. Allison tells him she gets it and he can let go. It seems Scott accidentally hurt Allison’s wrist but she won’t accept an apology; she’s embarrassed about being so wrong.

Not part of the strategy. Get off me.

Not part of the strategy. Get off me.

SCOTT: Allison, the twins were just messing with us. I’ve seen the others. I’m not telling you this because I don’t think you couldn’t easily kick my ass if you wanted to. I’m telling you this because they scare the hell out of me and they should scare you too.

On his way out of Allison’s building, Scott winds up in the elevator with Deucalion.

Hey, man. What's up?

Hey, man. What’s up?

Later, Scott rushes to Derek’s loft and finds Boyd, Cora, and Peter there as well. They already know the Alpha pack live in the same building as the Argents; Boyd and Cora followed the twins. Either the Alpha pack wants Derek’s pack to know or they just don’t care because they don’t feel threatened.

Go away, Scott. Your information is old and unhelpful.

Go away, Scott. Your information is old and unhelpful.

Scott looks at the blueprints on the table. Peter tells him it’s a pre-emptive strike. They’re going after the Alpha pack tomorrow and Derek wants Scott’s help.

Cut to a different HAZY FLASHBACK. In some kind of abandoned shopping centre, the two packs battle it out while Deucalion chills out on a stationary escalator. Boyd and Cora are taken out by the Alphas.

Pew pew pew.


Back on the bus, Coach yells at a kid (Jared) for getting carsick and tells Jared to keep his eyes on the horizon.

That’s not the horizon, Jared.

Coach sees Scott looking like death but Scott assures him it’s not carsickness.

Scott may not be carsick, but his wound has started bleeding again. Stiles voices his concerns and Scott tells him that Ethan is listening to their conversation. Ethan won’t do anything in front of this many people and Boyd and Isaac probably won’t either, even though they’re ticking time bombs. Scott says he’ll be able to stop any fight that breaks out. He doesn’t look in any condition to subdue a fight between three other teen wolves.

Back in HAZY FLASHBACK, the excellent plan is ‘kill the Alpha pack first’.

BOYD: They won’t even see it coming.

Just like no one anticipated my bold fashion choice today.

Just like no one anticipated my bold fashion choice today.

SCOTT: Why is the default plan always murder? Just once can someone try to come up with something that doesn’t involve killing everyone?

Despite Scott being ‘so blandly moral’ Peter doesn’t disagree with his suggestion. Cora doesn’t see why they even need ‘this kid’. Derek reminds her that Scott helped save her life. And they can’t sit back and wait for the Alpha pack to make the first move. Tomorrow night, they’re only going after Deucalion. Cut off the head of the snake and the body dies.

Peter compares it to the Herculean tale of the hydra: cut off one head and two more grow back in its place.

Lydia pulls her head out of a copy of Thermodynamic Asymmetry in Time to inform Allison that she’s out of petrol.

If you're still unclear, here's another context clue to say we're doing a NON-LINEAR EPISODE.

If you’re still unclear, here’s another context clue to say we’re doing a NON-LINEAR EPISODE.

Apparently not letting Scott out of her sight is quite a literal thing. Lydia doesn’t see what the big deal is but then, she didn’t see what happened at the battle. Allison thinks Lydia’s perception on the matter might be clouded by her relationship with Aiden (the other Alpha twin).

Lydia is appalled by the insinuation that anything is going on between her and Aiden and maintains there’s nothing going on. Her HAZY FLASHBACK would beg to differ. Lydia and Aiden get hot and heavy in an empty classroom. Lydia isn’t happy about the placement of Aiden’s hands.

AIDEN: They’re on your waist.

LYDIA: I know. What am I, a nun? Put them somewhere useful.

Aiden lifts Lydia up so she has her legs wrapped around him. She thinks it’s a moderate improvement.

Not what I had in mind, but not bad.

Not what I had in mind, but not bad.

The desert highway is suddenly blocked up in a traffic jam. Isaac checks for traffic reports on his phone and says there’s a jack-knifed tractor a few miles ahead, which will probably cause them to miss the cross country meet. Boyd isn’t paying attention; his eyes are wolfing out and he’s growling, looking like he’s ready to rip Ethan apart.

I will kill a bitch.

I will kill a bitch.

Scott sees Boyd’s claws and starts towards him.

We flashback to the elevator ride with Deucalion—apparently there was more to it than a passing greeting. Scott immediately draws his claws and Deucalion tells him to put them away; he’d have to be blind, deaf, and a quadriplegic for Scott to be an actual threat.

Deucalion can hear Scott’s steady heartbeat. Scott might be afraid of him but he’s controlling it. Maybe he’d rise to the occasion after all and become an Alpha by killing one.

Scott isn’t like Deucalion; he doesn’t want to kill people. Deucalion tells him that, in the future, he may find himself in a situation where the only way to protect one person is to kill another.

SCOTT: You want to threaten me? Is that why you’re here?

DEUCALION: No. I live here.

SCOTT: What?

DEUCALION: I live here. It’s a great building and the neighbours are surprisingly friendly.

Everyone thinks I'm adorable and harmless because of my vision impairment and British accent.

Everyone thinks I’m adorable and harmless because of my vision impairment and British accent.

Deucalion wants to see what Scott’s made of. The elevator opens and people pour in. Scott steps out and Deucalion adopts his polite blind man persona, asking if someone could hit the button for the penthouse.

More shots of the battle. Ennis and Derek are fighting each other when they fall through a hole in the floor. Scott stares after them in horror.

Far below, Derek lands on an escalator, bleeding and mortally wounded.

My arm fell off.

My arm fell off.

Present day. Cora visits the escalator where her brother died. Derek’s bloodstains are still there but his body has been removed. Peter appears and Cora bristles; she’s still coming to terms with the fact that Uncle Peter killed Sister Laura.

Peter admits it wasn’t his finest hour but he’s hardly the only dysfunctional family member. Derek also killed Peter, slashing his throat ear to ear.

CORA: So that means I should trust you?

PETER: Actually, I’m wondering if I can trust you.

CORA: You’ve known me for 17 years.

PETER: I knew you for 11, leaving the last six unaccounted for. And I’m not particularly fond of things unaccounted.

Like Cora, he’s wondering where the bodies went; if they were carried out or if one of them found enough strength to push himself up off the floor and walk out. But who could have walked out?

Please don't be my only remaining family, Peter. I hate your face.

Please don’t be my only remaining family, Peter. I hate your face.

As Scott moves in slow-mo towards Boyd on the bus, we get a voiceover from a HAZY FLASHBACK conversation between Scott and Deaton.

SCOTT: I don’t know what else to do. Do I keep trying to get them to listen to me? Do I tell Derek that he’s going to get them all killed? How do you save someone who doesn’t want to be saved? How do I stop them?

DEATON: Don’t stop them. Lead them.

Scott reaches Boyd and grabs his arm. He’ll let go if Boyd tells him what his brilliant plan is. He can’t just kill Ethan on the bus. What happens after that? Boyd doesn’t care about the consequences but Scott does.

Isaac notices Scott’s still-bleeding stomach wound and the sight of it seems to calm Boyd down as well. Scott asks for time to figure out something that doesn’t end with someone else dying. When Boyd agrees, Scott returns to the back of the bus, where Stiles assails him with another crisis. He’s noticed Ethan constantly checking his phone.

STILES: It’s like he’s waiting for something. You know, like a message or signal of some kind. I don’t know. Something evil, though. I can tell. I have a very perceptive eye for evil. You know that.

Neither of the boys like Ethan sitting with Danny. Stiles texts and asks Danny to find out why Ethan keeps checking his phone. Danny refuses, texting back that he likes this guy. Stiles texts constantly, sending Danny’s message tone haywire until his resolve breaks and he asks Ethan what’s wrong.

Stiles wants to know if you’re attracted to him.

Ethan turns to glare at Scott and Stiles but Danny texts back with an answer: someone close to Ethan is sick and might not make it through the night. Scott and Stiles realise it must be Ennis, which means that he didn’t die in the fall during the battle.

At the animal clinic, Deaton receives a visit from Ms Morrell. Kali and Aiden arrive as well, supporting a bloody Ennis between them.

You know people medicine too, right?

Deaton refuses to help, directing them to the hospital instead. Kali says that if Deaton doesn’t help them, she’ll kill Ms Morrell.

DEATON: Not here you won’t. I suggest you leave. Don’t make me insist.

It seems Kali got a whiff of the mountain ash because her eyes stop glowing and her fangs disappear.

MS MORRELL: Alan, if he dies, they’ll go after the others. And don’t think your little protégée Scott won’t find his way into the middle of it. They’ll kill him. You know they will. Alan, please.

Deaton opens the gate into the office.

On the bus, Coach tells Jared (the carsick kid) that if he throws up, then Coach will throw up on Jared in response and it will be profoundly disgusting. Jared begs him to stop talking about vomit. Coach tells the rest of the bus that they won’t miss this meet because of a slight traffic jam, a minor tornado warning, or Jared.

Stiles suggests pulling over at the rest stop half a mile up. Maybe the traffic will ease while they’re stopped. Coach blows his whistle and tells Stiles to shut up.

Scott has been trying to call Deaton but it keeps going to voicemail. Stiles says he’s calling Lydia and Allison.

SCOTT: How are they going to help? They’re back in Beacon Hills.

STILES: They’re not. They’ve been following us for hours. Pathetic.

Lydia answers Stiles’s call and pretends that she and Allison are walking into a movie. Stiles isn’t fooled and asks to be put on speaker. He tells them that Scott’s still not healing from his Alpha wound and he might actually be getting worse; the blood’s turning black.

Allison says they need to get him off the bus. If he’s dying, then he needs to go to a hospital. Allison tells Stiles to get Coach to pull up at the rest stop but there’s no reasoning with Coach. He blows his whistle every time Stiles tries a new argument until Stiles can barely get a word in.

Never gonna stop whistling. I'll grow gills if I have to.

Never gonna stop whistling. I’ll grow gills if I have to.

On the way back to his seat, Stiles sees Jared. He sits down next to him with an evil smile.

Let's talk about vomit.

Let’s talk about vomit.

The bus pulls up at the rest stop and students pour out of it, gagging at the smell of Jared’s vomit. Somehow Allison’s empty car made it to the rest stop and she and Stiles carry Scott to the bathrooms, followed by Lydia. On inspection, the blood from Scott’s wound is definitely black and a spider web veins spreading from the scratches like Scott’s been poisoned.



Lydia thinks the wound could be a somatoformic result of his grief and guilt over Derek’s death (meaning that the injury is all in his head and he has no will to heal). Maybe if they stitch Scott up and he just believes the wound is healing, it actually will heal. Lydia pulls some emergency werewolf medical supplies out of her bag.

In the animal clinic, Deaton has Ennis lying on the table. He asks someone to turn the sign on the door to Closed. This may take a while.

In the bathroom at the rest stop, Allison uses a lighter to sterilise a needle. At some point her dad taught her how to do all this. Stiles and Lydia go to grab Scott a new shirt from his bag and make sure the bus doesn’t leave until Scott’s all stitched up.

Allison has got Scott SHIRTLESS and tells him to keep looking at her and stay awake. She can’t seem to thread the needle. Suddenly, Mama Argent appears in the background, berating Allison for being unable to perform a simple task.

MAMA ARGENT: You want my sympathy? Because you’re just a 17-year-old little girl and this is all too much for you to handle? Well get over it. Thread the needle.

ALLISON: My hands won’t stop shaking.

The Mama Argent hallucination tries a different method, crouching beside Allison and telling her to breathe and try again. Allison fails again and she lets out a sob of frustration. Mama Argent reminds Allison to approach a situation like this clinically and unemotionally.

Get it done or I will rise from the grave and come at you.

Get it done or I will rise from the grave and come at you.

Allison takes a deep breath and stops crying. The needle is finally threaded and Allison starts sewing up Scott’s wound.

Outside, the bus is ready to go. Allison finishes sewing up Scott’s wound but his eyes are closed now and he’s not breathing.

HAZY FLASHBACK to the battle. Scott is in shock after Derek and Ennis have fallen. Isaac drags him back from the edge but Scott is still unresponsive.

Allison calls Scott’s name, trying to wake him up. Scott snaps out of the flashback with a start, saying that it’s his fault. He sees that Allison has stitched the wound and he already looks a bit less like death. Allison helps Scott stand and don a clean shirt, which of course leads to yet another HAZY FLASHBACK of Scott getting ready before the battle.

Isaac appears at Scott’s bedroom doorway, asking where Scott’s going. Scott tries to brush him off, saying that he’s going to get something to eat. Isaac offers to come instead, saying that he loves Mexican food. He knows that this isn’t about dinner and he’s not letting Scott go alone.

Scott and Isaac take Scott’s bike to the abandoned shopping centre. They’re going to try and reason with ‘him’.

Lydia runs up to Allison and Scott as they’re leaving the bathroom. Scott isn’t stable on his feet and needs to be supported by Allison but his face looks brighter. Lydia reminds Allison her car is still empty. Allison won’t leave Scott; if they need to leave the car, then they will.

I need to make sure my sewing skills hold.

I need to make sure my sewing skills hold.

Back to the HAZY FLASHBACK. The ‘him’ Scott and Isaac are going to negotiate is Deucalion, who is standing on a stationary escalator. Deucalion notes that Scott didn’t come alone, and he’s not talking about Isaac.

There was no plus one, Scott.

There was no plus one, Scott.

Scott looks around and sees that Derek has arrived with the rest of the pack. They’re all wolfed out and ready to fight. Scott pleads for Derek not to interfere; Scott doesn’t want anyone else to die. Derek only wants Deucalion dead.

DEUCALION: How does a blind man find his way into a place like this all on his own?

He doesn’t. Kali slides down a stone column, using her toenails to slow her descent. Ennis walks up another escalator, and the SHIRTLESS twins appear on a level above. Congrats on controlling your bloodlust, everyone. You’ve done so well.

There’s a fight at the rest stop.

STILES: He went after him. I told him what was happening with you and he just went after him.

Scott rushes forward, thinking the fight is between Boyd and Ethan. But Boyd is standing by and watching as Isaac punches the crap out of Ethan’s face. It’s not until Scott appears and shouts at Isaac that he backs off. Danny rushes to Ethan’s aid. Isaac looks at Scott with relief and adoration.

Peter takes Cora to the animal clinic. She’s not impressed with the façade, even when Peter tells her that it’s half made out of mountain ash.

This place looks like garbage.

This place looks like garbage.

PETER: I’m not actually sure how to get in.

CORA: Well, maybe we could do what normal people do and knock on the door.

Peter stops her. He can hear or smell the presence of the Alpha pack inside the clinic.

Deaton pauses his examination of Ennis when Deucalion walks in. He informs Deucalion that Ennis is out cold but the prognosis is surprisingly optimistic; Ennis will live.

Deucalion runs his hand over Ennis’s chest and then bends to kiss Ennis on both cheeks. Ennis’s eyes open and he has half a second of realisation before Deucalion sinks his claws into Ennis’s face and crushes his skull.

DEUCALION: I think you might have overestimated his odds.

I'm billing triple time for this shit, Deucalion.

I’m billing triple time for this shit, Deucalion.

Peter and Cora aren’t sure whether it’s Derek or Ennis inside the animal clinic. At least part of their question is answered when Kali and Aiden emerge. Kali roars in rage and frustration at Ennis’s death, setting off car alarms before collapsing into Aiden’s arms. Peter and Cora make a hasty exit.

Back in HAZY FLASHBACK land, there’s no more talk before the battle. Derek runs in and engages Kali and then it’s a parkour-off to end all parkour-offs. Isaac joins the fray and Scott, with a sigh, wolfs out and takes on the Alpha twins in their combined form. Deucalion stays in his place on the escalator, smiling at the sound of destruction. It’s over quickly, and it’s not in Derek’s favour.

Deucalion tells Derek to kill Boyd; the others will be free to leave. Kali doesn’t see why they need Derek, since he’s an Alpha to a bunch of ‘useless teenagers’. Deucalion nods at Scott, saying that some have more promise than others.

Kali has her foot on Cora’s throat, ready to kill her if Derek doesn’t do something soon. Derek is spared the choice when explosive arrows are shot at the Alpha pack, blinding them and splitting the twins into their separate bodies. Deucalion yells for everyone to cover their eyes, probably assuming from the small explosive sounds that the lights are wreaking havoc with vision.

FLASHBACK WITHIN FLASHBACK. Allison tells her father that someone needs to help Derek’s pack. Chris isn’t keen; it’s not the normal life they agreed to. They should stay out of it and thread the needle—find a safe path between two opposing forces.

ALLISON: Sounds like saving your own ass.

Chris reminds her that these people aren’t her family.

I’m too old for this shit, Allison. And I have incredible double standards since I was just helping out the werewolves a few episodes ago.

With all the family she’s lost, Allison thinks she could use a few friends.

Back at the battle, Allison is the one firing off arrows from an upper level.

Training for The Hunger Games.

Training for The Hunger Games.

She scatters the Alphas just enough to give Derek’s pack a chance to get to their feet. Scott runs at Ennis and they meet in a body slam. As Scott slides backwards in a crouch, his eyes glow red. Alpha red. When he blinks, they’re back to Beta yellow. What was that? Did he just stop Ennis’s heart for a second, get Alpha powers, and then get them stripped when Ennis’s heart resumed beating? Who knows?

Temporary makeover.

Temporary makeover.

Derek takes on Ennis now, and this is when they struggle over the hole in the floor.

This seems like a reasonable place to fight. No chance of both of us toppling to our death.

This seems like a reasonable place to fight. No chance of both of us toppling to our death.

Scott scrambles to help and claws at the back of Ennis’s leg. By knocking Ennis off balance, he’s knocked Derek as well. Derek and Ennis fall to their supposed deaths.

I have regrets.

I have regrets.

On the bus, Lydia and Stiles sit together and remind us what the bigger arc of this season is: the human sacrifices being performed by the Darach—someone who is or thinks they are a dark druid. Lydia says that some ancient cultures used to sacrifice people in preparation for battle. Looks like it’s a case of Alpha werewolves against a dark druid.

Yeah, this episode was a bit of a sideways step, wasn't it?

Yeah, this episode was a bit of a sideways step, wasn’t it?

Allison sits with Scott and tells him that if Derek really is dead, it’s not Scott’s fault. He’s still struggling to accept that.

SCOTT: Remember that whole thing that we talked about where I wasn’t accusing you of being there and if you were there, you shouldn’t be? Thanks for not listening.

They share a long look. Allison says she’s just looking at Scott’s eyes.

Ms Morrell covers Ennis’s body with a sheet.

DEATON: I don’t think you really know what you’ve gotten yourself into here.

MS MORRELL: It’s a little late to be playing big brother, don’t you think?

We obviously can't settle this with a hair pulling contest anymore.

We obviously can’t settle this with a hair pulling contest anymore.


Ms Blake, the English teacher, gets into her car with a stack of assignments. She turns to put on her seatbelt and someone suddenly appears at the window, hands bloody. It’s Derek. HE LIVES. Or does he? Derek collapses on the ground and Ms Blake gets out to help him.

I hear English teachers make great lifesaving surgeons.

I hear English teachers make great lifesaving surgeons.



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