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Derek and Peter are still SHIRTLESS being tortured with electricity by a man with a Spanish accent. Spanish Torturer is after ‘la loba’ but Derek and Peter have no idea what a ‘la loba’ is. Spanish Torturer’s friend brings over a chainsaw, threatening to cut them in half to see just what they can heal from. Maybe they can grow back an arm but can they grow back their heads?
An older woman walks in. She seems to be the boss because everyone backs off at her request. She says a few things in Spanish, to which Derek replies, ‘No hablo Español.’
OLDER WOMAN: You know exactly what I’m saying and you know who we want. Where is the she-wolf?
DEREK: We don’t know any she-wolf.
Older Woman knows Derek won’t talk but Peter will. He loves the sound of his own voice. When he doesn’t tell them where the she-wolf is, Older Woman cuts off Peter’s right ring finger.
OLDER WOMAN: Think about it. I’m only going to ask you nine more times.
Scott and Stiles run through the woods and eventually find each other. Both of them have found something. Stiles leads Scott to a coyote den—Scott corrects him, saying that it’s a werecoyote. Obviously he’s filled Stiles in while they were walking.
A jacket in the den matches the one Malia Tate was wearing in the photo at her house. Scott says that Malia won’t come back here now that their scent is all over the den. But he might be able to track her by scent now. He’s better at tracking by scent when he’s a full wolf but he’s worried that if he shifts, he won’t be able to shift back. And if they don’t get a response from Derek, they’ll need someone else’s help.
It’s a crime scene, so they call in Stiles’s dad. The police set the den up as a crime scene and Sheriff emerges from the den with a scarf. He’s still having trouble believing that the coyote was Malia—it was, after all, a four-legged animal and not a two-legged girl.
Scott and Stiles paint a hypothetical picture for Sheriff: Malia started to shift on the full moon and lost control. She attacked her mother while she was driving, causing their car to veer off the road and into the ravine, leaving Malia as the sole survivor. Wracked by guilt, Malia runs off into the woods and eventually becomes trapped inside the body of a coyote.
SHERIFF: Well, that makes sense. In a Chinese folktale.
He tells the boys to keep quiet. He doesn’t want anyone, especially Malia’s father, to hear about this. As Sheriff speaks, Scott looks behind him. He imagines seeing Malia, wearing her blue jacket, about to be ripped to pieces by a werewolf. The werewolf is Scott. He’s snapped back to reality by Sheriff’s voice.
Agent McCall drives up with Mr Tate in tow. He sees the scarf in Sheriff’s hands and takes it from him, saying it belonged to his daughter. Agent McCall is miffed that Scott is running around in the woods this late but there’s no time for a lecture. He has to inspect the crime scene.
Sheriff follows Agent McCall to the coyote den, asking why he brought Mr Tate to the crime scene. Agent McCall says he’s getting confirmation on a more than significant lead and starting to understand why Sheriff’s department can’t close cases.
Sheriff protests that there’s no body or remains to identify. Agent McCall thinks that, with a little digging, they’ll uncover something. Something like the bones of a nine-year-old girl.
SHERIFF: I think you’re going to find it’s just a little bit more complicated than that, Special Agent.
AGENT McCALL: Come on, Stilinski. You know how this goes. It’s the not knowing that ruins people like Tate. The truth—no matter how profoundly it sucks, the truth is always better than not knowing.
Malia/the coyote runs through the woods and stops to growl at the moon. tI did not know that coyotes could make terrifying sounds like that.
At school the next day, Scott and Stiles make good on their promise not to tell anyone about the crime scene by immediately telling Allison. They show her on a map where the coyote den was—right in the middle of the hiking trails. Allison has some knowledge about coyotes and she thinks Scott’s right; Malia won’t return to the den because coyotes don’t like wolves (also, coyotes can tiptoe because they’re just sneaky that way).
The school bell rings and Allison leaves for her own class. Scott and Stiles walk to their seats. Kira stops Scott in the aisle, looking adorable and nervous as hell. Since she felt like her explanation on Bardo was all over the place, she did some research and printed it out for him.
SCOTT: You didn’t have to do that.
KIRA: It only took a couple of hours.
SCOTT: Wow. Then you really didn’t have to do that.
Kira can’t find the research in her bag. Mr Yukimura walks up to them.
MR YUKIMURA: You forgot all that research you did for that boy you like.
He hands her the papers. Kira looks mortified. Mr Yukimura looks like he knows exactly what he just did and thinks he’s hilarious. Kira hands Scott the papers, returning his small smile before sinking into her seat.
Mr Yukimura calls Stiles up to read from a textbook about World War II. Stiles, nervous about his unreliable ability to read, tries to opt out but Mr Yukimura isn’t having it. Stiles stands up at the lectern. His vision swims and he grips the lectern as the words start to fall off the page in his hallucination. Scott looks up, noticing Stiles is unsteady on his feet. He takes Stiles out of class, saying they’re going to the nurse’s office.
Instead, they go to the boys’ locker room. Scott asks if Stiles is having a panic attack. Stiles is adamant that this is just a dream because you can’t read in dreams. Stiles says another way to check if you’re dreaming is to count your fingers (you have extra fingers in dreams). Scott gets Stiles to count his fingers. They come up with 10.
Stiles sinks to the floor.
SCOTT: We’ll figure it out. You’re going to be okay?
STILES: Am I? Are you? Scott, you can’t transform. Allison’s being haunted by her dead aunt and I’m straight-up losing my mind. We can’t do this. We can’t. We can’t help Malia. We can’t help anyone.
SCOTT: We can try. We can always try.
History class ends and Scott and Stiles haven’t returned. Kira grabs their bags and goes to find them. As she walks towards the nurse’s office, she sees Malia/the coyote at the end of the hall. The coyote growls and runs at her. Kira ducks into the boys’ locker room to hide. The coyote just barrels through the glass in the door and starts sniffing out Kira, growling.
Kira backs away and runs into Scott. He knocks over a row of lockers, scaring the coyote off. Scott looks over and sees that Stiles has the baby doll from the Tate car stowed in his bag.
In the torture chamber, Peter asks one of the guards to put his severed finger on ice and maybe get him an extra-large band aid or some antibiotic ointment for his hand. The guard ignores him. Gunfire suddenly sounds from above, and bullets rain through the cracks in the wooden floorboards. A girl opens the door and takes out the last remaining guard.
IT’S BRAEDEN. IT’S SAVIOUR GIRL. SHE’S ALIVE. Yeah, she has scratches on her face from where Deucalion nearly killed her but she’s BACK. She takes in Derek and Peter’s SHIRTLESSNESS and smirks a little.
DEREK: You’re the one who saved Isaac.
BRAEDEN: I’m the one who was hired to save Isaac.
Braeden works for money. Deucalion may have scratched the crap out of her face but he paid her to rescue Derek. He said nothing about Peter and Braeden’s fine with leaving Peter for dead. She unchains him, though, and Peter rushes to scoop up his severed finger.
DEREK: We’re not leaving without it.
BRAEDEN: Without what?
Sheriff has arrived at the school, responding to the reports of the coyote attack. No one was hurt and it seems like Malia has run off again. If she comes back and hurts someone, she’ll most likely have to be put down.
STILES: Dad, try not to forget there’s a girl in there—one that you’ll be killing. Come on, you aren’t back to not believing, are you?
SHERIFF: You know what? I believe there are a lot of things I don’t understand yet. But that doesn’t mean that everything and anything imaginable is suddenly possible. Are you 100 per cent sure that this is a girl and not an animal?
SCOTT: Yes. Because Scott’s sure.
Sheriff and Stiles look down the hallway to see Scott standing there. Stiles asks if he’s been listening and Scott nods. Sheriff has apparently not had a werewolf hearing demonstration before because seeing that makes him determined to figure this out again.
Scott returns to the locker room, where Mr Yukimura is checking on Kira. He doesn’t understand why she wasn’t heading to lunch with everyone else. Kira says she was trying to do something nice by returning Scott and Stiles’s bags. She’s heard that doing nice things for people might help you make friends. Scott listens in on the conversation with a slight smile.
Stiles arrives and pulls the baby doll out of his bag. He took it from the Tate car in case Scott could use it for Malia’s scent.
Mr Tate shoves his way into the locker room, demanding to know where they found the doll. Sheriff walks up. He’s not sure if Mr Tate heard about this because of a personal police scanner or something but he can’t be at the school. Sheriff puts a hand on Mr Tate to usher him out of the room. Looking surprised, he opens Mr Tate’s jacket to reveal a gun strapped to his waist. It doesn’t matter if Mr Tate has a permit; California schools are gun-free zones. He tells Mr Tate to leave. Mr Tate walks off but he wants Sheriff to find the coyote. He seems to have decided it was the one that killed Malia.
In her dad’s study, Allison unpacks a large gun. She texts Scott, saying that she has it.
At the animal clinic, Deaton supplies Scott, Stiles, and Isaac with Xylazine. It’s a horse tranquiliser so it should work on a werecoyote within seconds. Does that comment mean that Deaton has seen other werecoyotes before? Probably. He’s a learned man. He only has three vials of Xylazine so whoever’s shooting needs to be a damn good shot. Scott says that Allison’s a perfect shot.
Isaac reminds him that Allison used to be a perfect shot. And he’s not even sure that they’ll be able to find Malia.
STILES: Okay, what is the point of him? Seriously, what is his purpose? Aside from the persistent negativity and the scarf. What’s up with the scarf anyway? It’s 65 degrees out.
Isaac is just asking the question no one else wants to ask: how do they turn a coyote back into a girl when she hasn’t been a girl for eight years?
Scott thinks he can do it. Back in season 1, when Peter was the Alpha and had a bunch of them trapped in the school, Peter was able to make Scott turn with just his voice. Deucalion did the same thing in the distillery in 3A.
Deaton points out that Malia’s a werecoyote. She may not answer to a werewolf Alpha and Scott still need someone to teach him. That’s why he called Derek. Scott could try it on his own but right now he’s too scared just to change into a regular werewolf.
STILES: We need a real Alpha. You know what I mean. An Alpha who can do Alpha things. You know, an Alpha who can get it going. You know, get it—
SCOTT: Great. I’m an Alpha with performance issues.
Peter used to be an Alpha but they don’t trust him. Deaton says that the Alpha twins aren’t Alphas anymore. After Ms Blake nearly killed them, it broke that part of them. Stiles argues that they might still know how to do it. No one has seen them for weeks. No one but Lydia.
Scott, Stiles, and Lydia go to Derek’s loft to meet the twins. It’s empty.
Ethan and Aiden jump out of the shadows and punch Scott in the face. Stiles drags Lydia out of the way so the twins can beat the crap out of Scott. Apparently this is how they’re going to teach Scott to roar: you do it by giving in and letting go. That’s how Deucalion taught them control. Since Scott’s afraid to turn, they’re going to make him. Once he turns, he can kick their butts. And then he can roar.
They don’t want Scott to hold back; they can heal from whatever he does to them. If he wants to be an Alpha, he’s got to become the monster he’s afraid of. Giving into it doesn’t make him the bad guy. Scott still won’t fight back. He’s afraid he’ll lose control and won’t be able to turn back.
Ethan tells him that if he loses control, Scott will become like Malia, getting further and further away from being human until he turns into an animal. Or worse, a weird Alpha bear thing like Peter in season 1.
Scott wipes the blood from his face and rushes at Aiden. Aiden flips him onto a table and climbs up to resume punching the crap out of Scott until Ethan pulls him off.
AIDEN: What? I thought we were helping him..
ETHAN: You help too much.
Stiles and Lydia approach Scott. He has blood all over his face and he looks powerless. How’s he going to bring Malia back?
On his front verandah, Mr Tate has a proper coyote trap this time. He sets it up and drops a piece of wood into it to experiment.
The next day, Allison and Isaac set up for their Malia hunting trip. Isaac thinks he has a good lock on Malia’s scent (it’s mostly pee). Allison tries to fill a syringe with Xylazine (the tranquiliser) but her hands are shaking too badly.
Allison drops the Xylazine and bends to pick it up. When Allison straightens, she finds herself in the hospital morgue again. There’s a patient on one of the tables, covered in a sheet. Allison pulls the sheet back. The patient is Allison. She’s lying on the table, wide awake as a group of doctors start her autopsy.
Kate Argent is the doctor in charge. She tells the other doctors that the ME marked the cause of death as an animal attack. Allison looks down to see that her chest is cracked open, her internal organs clearly visible. Kate reaches in and pulls out Allison’s heart, saying that there’s definitely something wrong with it. But the rest of the organs look pretty good.
The other doctors take off their surgical masks, revealing werewolf fangs. Kate has sprouted fangs as well. The doctors crowd in to eat Allison’s organs.
Allison snaps back to reality (oh, there goes gravity) and finds herself pointing the tranquiliser gun at Isaac. She apologises profusely and puts the gun down. Her hands are still shaking as she grips the bottle of Xylazine. How is she supposed to help anyone when she’s like this? Isaac takes the Xylazine from her. He’ll help. She just has to show him what to do.
Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Isaac, and Allison meet at the Beacon Hills Preserve.
LYDIA: Anyone else think we might be doing more harm than good?
SCOTT: We’re trying to keep a father from killing his own daughter.
ISAAC: Actually, we’re trying to keep a guy from killing a coyote who’s actually his daughter who we don’t know how to change from a coyote back to his daughter.
Stiles points out that Isaac’s being unhelpful again. Allison pulls out the tranquiliser gun.
Sheriff pays a visit to the Tate house. A jogger nearly stepped in a one of the bear traps Mr Tate set. Sheriff finds dozens more empty boxes in the kitchen. Furious, he tells Mr Tate that they’re going to disarm every single trap even if it takes all night. Mr Tate looks away and sees that there’s a hole ripped in his screen door.
Certain that the coyote is in the house, Mr Tate grabs one of his many dangerous-looking guns. Sheriff pulls out his gun as well. Mr Tate sees the coyote in the yard, standing protectively over the doll that was taken from the car. Mr Tate runs after it, letting off a few shots.
Scott hears the shots from the Preserve. He jumps on his bike and starts in the direction of the sounds.
Sheriff puts out a radio call to clear the woods. He answers a call from Stiles and tells him that the coyote took the doll again. He tells Stiles to stay out of the woods. Aside from the many traps, Mr Tate is running around with a rifle.
Scott travels through the woods, driving right past one of the waiting traps. Allison and Isaac run into the woods and hear more gunshots.
Stiles talks through the doll thing with Lydia. He doesn’t understand why it’s so important since it wasn’t even in the coyote den; it was at the car wreck. He shows Lydia the picture of Malia and her sister on his phone.
Lydia points out that Malia isn’t holding the doll; her younger sister is. It was her doll. Stiles puzzles over it and then says he knows where Malia’s going and what she’s doing.
Isaac and Allison through the woods. Isaac doesn’t look where he’s going and steps into one of the traps. Scott hears his screen and falls off his bike at the sound of it.
Allison catches up to Isaac. He’s trying to pry the trap from his ankle but he can see Mr Tate up ahead, aiming his gun at the coyote. Isaac tells Allison to use the tranquiliser on Mr Tate. She raises the gun but her hands are shaking. The first dart misses, hitting a tree.
Isaac tells her to breathe. Allison does. She mutters the new Argent code to herself. Her second dart hits Mr Tate in the shoulder. She aims again but the coyote has disappeared.
Stiles and Lydia walk through the woods. Stiles is leaving a voicemail for Scott, explaining Malia’s motives: Malia left the doll at the car for her sister, like leaving flowers at a grave. They stole the metaphorical flowers and Malia is just trying to bring the doll back to the grave (the car wreck).
Lydia calls out to Stiles as he hangs up the phone. She’s stepped into one of the traps. She hasn’t moved again so the trap hasn’t deployed. She tells him to look for instructions on how to disarm it.
STILES: Why the hell would they put instructions on the bottom of a trap?
LYDIA: Because animals can’t read.
Stiles finds the warning label but there’s a problem: he can’t read it either.
LYDIA: You don’t need the instructions. When is the last time you have ever used instructions? Am I right? You don’t need them because you are too smart to waste your time with them, okay? You can figure it out. Stiles, you’re the one who always figures it out so you can do it. Figure it out.
Stiles brushes leaves aside and sees a screw on the trap. He asks Lydia if she’s ready. Ready for what? Are you going to tell her what your brilliant plan is or are you just going to—oh, yep. He’s just going to assume that Lydia will step off at the right moment, which she does, because she’s amazing. By twisting the screw, Stiles delayed the trap. It closes just after Lydia steps off it. Stiles jumps up to grab her and they stand like that, holding each other in relief.
Scott runs through the woods, chasing Malia. Two people have been caught in traps in the last few minutes, Scott, so you should probably look where you’re freaking going. But whatever, he’s running. He allows himself to wolf out as they get closer to the car wreck. Scott leaps over the car and lands right in front of Malia. Malia makes that demon coyote noise. Scott raises his head and lets out a proper Alpha roar.
Isaac hears it and somehow the sound gives him strength to dismantle the trap and free himself. Stiles and Lydia hear the sound and grin.
The coyote’s eyes glow blue and then it suddenly transforms into Malia, who is a very pretty and very NAKED teenage girl with excellent eyebrow game.
The girl sits up and stares at Scott, then at her own human hands in disbelief.
Sheriff takes Malia to her father’s house. Stiles watches from the car as Mr Tate opens the door. Malia is freshly showered so she doesn’t look like she’s just been running through the woods as a coyote. She’s wearing Sheriff’s jackets and some other borrowed clothes. Mr Tate takes a moment to recognise his daughter. When he does, he pulls her into a hug and they cry into each other’s arms.
Stiles gives his dad the thumbs up from the car. He catches sight of the warning on the side mirror (you know the one: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear) and he can read it. Stiles sits back with relief.
Agent McCall and other FBI agents carry boxes of files out of Sheriff’s office. Sheriff slams the door behind him.
Derek and Peter have unfortunately found their shirts. They wander around a mansion, which seems to be above their torture chamber. Derek finds a wooden chest. He tries to open it but is repelled. Peter says that the chest is made from a rowan tree—it’s mountain ash wood.
Braeden, who’s not bothered by mountain ash, breaks the lock and opens the chest. There are piles of mountain ash inside it. Somebody really didn’t want any werewolves touching this stuff. Braeden sifts through the mountain ash and pulls out a carved cylinder that bears a triskele.
A gloved person visits the Nemeton and finds a new sprig of greenery growing from the stump. The person rips out the fresh growth and walks away.
One firefly emerges from the crack in the stump where the sprig had been growing. Thousands more follow it. The fireflies fly out and start to form three distinctly people-like shapes.
END OF EPISODE