#TeenWolf--Season 6A Ep3--"Sundowning" Recap & Review
"That's right. Act like I'm not even here. Go crawling back home to your dead wife and your loser son."
--Elias Stilinski to his son, Sheriff Stilinski
As this week's episode opens, we see that there is a little bit more to Beacon Hills High School science teacher, Mr. Douglas, than meets the eye. After having a bizarre coughing fit in the middle of class, the audience becomes aware of some information the protagonists don't have. Mr. Douglas is in fact the Nazi Werewolf ™ (should this not be a trademarked term in science fiction? You're welcome) who escaped from the clutches of the Dread Doctors. But why is he posing as a science teacher? That question has yet to be answered, but I'll do my best. What we do know is that Mr. Douglas has such bad coughing fits after surviving his time inside of the tank the Dread Doctors kept him in, that he can only survive by sucking a literal metric ton of helium which he keeps in his classroom closet. Remember in episode one of season six A when Stiles and Scott "pulled over" a gentleman who is transporting a bunch of helium, thinking he was up to something untoward? Wellp, apparently he was! Nothing to see here. Keep it moving, kids. This. Is. Totally. Normal. To top it off, Mr. Douglas has apparently been cracking open folks' brains with his ultra strong werewolf teeth and eating their pineal glands (WHAT?!?). One possible clue to what could be going on here may be hidden in the opening sequence of the show. The Darach (a woman who transformed into a creature with age old powers who had to sacrifice people to a magical tree called the Nemeton to stay alive and hid in plain sight as, wait for it, an innocent school teacher!) is shown in this season's opening sequence. Could this be a clue to what's going on with Mr. Douglas? Maybe, as it appears Mr. Douglas needs to eat brains to stay alive (Nazi Zombie Werewolf™?). As random as this plot point might seem, I would recommend that the viewer not discount what's going on with Mr. Douglas. I have a feeling it'll be crucial to the plot later on, particularly as this is Teen Wolf's last season on the air.
Melissa McCall wakes up to go to work and hears someone rattling around in her kitchen. Creeping quietly toward the sound, ready to kick some butt, Melissa is surprised when she sees Chris Argent standing in her kitchen, making her coffee! After chiding him for not knocking "like a normal person," she listens as he tells her why he's there. Chris needs her help, it seems, to investigate some strange deaths that have taken place in Beacon Hills. More on that, later...
Having discovered the name of the person who has gone missing from all of their lives and having done some research to no avail, the senior members of The Pack question the Stilinskis about this missing person, hoping to find out more, particularly as Stiles is a family name among Stilinski men. While speaking to Mr. and Mrs. Stilinski, Lydia sees another phantom woman in one of her banshee visions who talks vaguely about a train platform being closed. At this point, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are super interested in finding out what the heck is going on with this incredibly slow to develop train metaphor! But alas, before Lydia can question this phantom individual, she is interrupted by Claudia Stilinski yelling up the stairs and the apparition disappears, leaving Lydia frustrated and perplexed. Sheriff Stilinski warns The Pack against going to see his Father in the local nursing home, telling them that you don't just sit down and talk with that man. Seems like there's some pathology there, huh... Speaking of pathology, what's up with Claudia Stilinski and why, oh why did she mysteriously come back from the dead? She seems to be standing in the way of progress when it comes to The Pack.
After visiting with the Stilinskis, The Pack, all too aware that time may be running out, heads to the local nursing home anyway to question Sheriff Stilinski's Father about the family nickname, which he himself used when he fought in the war and which he has used frequently since, in order to find out more about their mysterious, erstwhile friend and pack member [Stiles] who has been taken from them by the wild hunt, despite the fact that Sheriff Stilinski came out firmly against that particular plan, and rightly so. Unfortunately, The Pack gets much more than they bargained for when they realize they've broken into a nursing home and had Malia assault a nurse, only to find an old man crippled with dementia whose memory is so unsteady and unreliable that they may as well be talking to themselves. It looks like The Pack might not be able to get any information from Mr. Stilinski after all. As night falls with The Pack still lacking vital information, something odd happens. Elias "Stiles" Stilinski becomes aggressive and upset, a phenomenon, as Lydia mentions, which is referred to as "sundowning." After getting Mr. Stilinski to focus on a math problem, however, Lydia reawakens his memory for a brief time, at which point he begins to spout hate and misogyny, rather than helping The Pack, who don't end up having much time to question Mr. Stilinski at all, particularly since, having deduced what The Pack is up to, the Sheriff shows up. Ironically, Sheriff Stilinski is the one who receives the information that The Pack needs. This happens only because of his Father's illness. What The Pack originally thought might have been a stumbling block ended up being a blessing in disguise--for them, at least. Elias Stilinski's dementia ridden brain wasn't affected like everyone else's by the ghost riders. Before Sheriff Stilinski leaves, Elias tells him, "That's right. Act like I'm not even here. Go crawling back home to your dead wife and your loser son." Wow.
Meanwhile, a young girl named Gwen makes her way through the school, searching for her sister, who has disappeared along with all memories of her and all documentation of her existence. Hayden tries to help her by telling her about the wild hunt. Of course, this doesn't go over well, particularly when Hayden mentions that now that she's seen one of the ghost riders, she too will be completely forgotten. Finding out that she was on a supernatural hit list of sorts did not go over well. Could Hayden's bedside manner use a little work? Sources polled in a very formal and professional survey done, using the entire population of my living room, say "yes." While the nursing home shenanigans are unfolding, the junior members of The Pack protect Gwen while she's at a party, asking around about her sister, by surrounding the party house (which they "borrow" from Scott and Melissa McCall without asking) with mountain ash. But the ghost rider appears anyway, appearing not only to Gwen but all of the kids at the party, thanks to Corey and his awesome powers of dimension-hopping invisibility. Now the entire Pack, Sheriff's Deputy Parrish/the hellhound, as well as a large cross-section of the population of kids who attend Beacon Hills High School, are all going to be taken by The Wild Hunt. Thanks, Corey. Thanks. Of course, plot-wise, The Wild Hunt wouldn't have continued to be much of a threat with Corey there to protect everyone throughout the remainder of the season. Logistically speaking, either his power was going to have to be handicapped in some way or Corey was going to have to be temporarily taken out of the mix. It is what it is, folks, though I know we all hope to see more of Corey with some potentially great character development throughout the remainder of the series.
It is worth noting that during all of this, Malia is suffering greatly from the loss of Stiles. Just as Allison was Scott's anchor to humanity and reality in seasons one and two of Teen Wolf, Stiles is Malia's anchor to humanity and to reality, without which, Malia isn't doing so hot. For all of her strength and determination, Malia needs that calming, humanizing influence and the experience of having had that love relationship she had with Stiles. Malia's character also appears to be struggling with some sort of learning disorder. She is clearly not getting the help she needs with either of these issues. Malia seems to be falling through the cracks. Kudos once more to Teen Wolf for dealing with tough issues that many shows wouldn't touch.
As the elder pack members end up in jail for assaulting a nurse and breaking into the nursing home said nurse worked at, the junior pack members leave Scott's house a mess after their somewhat failed attempt at protecting their fellow student at their ill-fated party. Apparently, they've got some 'splaining to do. Suffice it to say that Scott is NOT a happy camper. Sheriff Stilinski kindly stops by to visit with Scott and help him to clean up after his party, before his Mom gets home and to tell Scott what he heard while speaking to his abusive Father at the nursing home, earlier. Sheriff Stilinski now knows that the heretofore unknown missing person is none other than his son, Stiles. Heavy stuff. The Sheriff shares a personal story of abuse that he suffered at the hands of his Father, Elias Stilinski and apologized to Scott for not being upfront with The Pack about why they shouldn't have visited with him. It's possible that Sheriff Stilinski feels bad for how his Father treated Scott and friends, despite their ill-advised stunt at the nursing home. As the Sheriff tells his [dead] wife, later on, those kids' hearts were in the right place. Aw. Sheriff Stilinski's unconditionally loving and Fatherly nature, not only with his own son but with The Pack and people, in general, is what makes him such a beloved character in the series.
Speaking of beloved characters in the series, Melissa McCall and Chris Argent conduct their investigation at Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital, looking into several suspicious deaths. Upon further inspection, Melissa McCall, with Chris' assistance, finds that several people have been killed by a werewolf who is strong enough to bite through their skulls and skillful enough to reach into their skulls and take their pineal glands which, as Chris Argent mentions, is the seat of the human soul within the body. As this episode ends, we close out on a werewolf, cracking open someone's skull and eating their pineal glands, and it's none other than...well, okay, it was Mr. Douglas, so forget the big reveal. Let's be honest. We all knew it was him. How could there not be a Nazi zombie werewolf AND mysterious deaths in the school said Nazi zombie werewolf works?
In scenes from the next episode of "Teen Wolf," we see Liam being dragged off by the wild hunt while on the lacrosse field. Obviously these guys have no appreciation for the delicate game of lacrosse! Plus there's that whole thing about Liam disappearing, which kinda sucks. It looks like the wild hunt is coming out in full force. Looks like they didn't appreciate that stunt that Corey pulled at the party. Stay tuned to see what happens next week on Tuesday at 9/8c on MTV.