Last week, we cried over the tragic, untimely and cruel deaths of Erica Reyes and Vernon Boyd. This week, we get insight into the badass family of Hales before the fire killed most of them off.
The episode begins with a flashback of a young Derek running through the woods, chased by hunters. An arrow is fired at him but a young Peter grabs it in the air, and they take off together. Gerard and Chris Argent with multiple other hunters approach a dead body, and Chris orders that they bring the boys back alive and to obey the Code. Derek and Peter hide in the basement of an abandoned house that has a large tree growing through it. Cutting to the present day at Derek’s loft, Cora explains to Stiles that they were hiding there for two days, to “hide and heal” as werewolves are taught to do. Stiles doesn’t understand how this will help find Derek, who’s seemingly gone missing and hasn’t been seen since Boyd’s death. Cora and Peter both tell Stiles that Derek used to be very different, more like Scott than the brooding sourwolf we know him as. Peter explains that an experience with a girl is what changed Derek’s personality, and why his eyes are blue and not yellow (a mystery that has been bugging me since season 1). In the past, a girl named Paige (aptly played by Madison McLaughlin aka Krissy Chambers from Supernatural – I’m feeling some SuperWolf here) is practicing the cello at Beacon Hills High, when she’s distracted by some people in the corridor with a basketball, one of them being Derek. She asks them to stop and Derek challenges her, so she scoffs and leaves. Derek follows her and apologizes, asking her name, getting the answer by taking up her challenge – playing an instrument, namely, the triangle.
In the present, Gerard is being interrogated by Scott and Allison, hinting that Deaton could be the Darach; Scott protests, knowing that Deaton would never hurt an innocent. Gerard laughs and Scott demands that he tell them how to beat Deucalion, to which Gerard replies that it cannot be done, and he’s tried it before. Allison gets annoyed, and Gerard gives them the advice that Deucalion may have lost his eyes but that he’s not blind. In the loft, Stiles is confused about Derek’s age in the story, and gets a cryptic response from Peter when he asks what his age is, but finds out that Cora is seventeen… “how [we] would measure in years.” Peter continues his story of Derek’s romance with Paige, and how they would often meet up in an abandoned distillery outside Beacon Hills. When asked how he knows this, he replies that he used to be Derek’s closest friend and confidant – a lie, as the audience can see that in the flashback he was really following them (Peter is a completely unreliable narrator). Derek and Paige leave when they hear people approaching, who turn out to be Kali, Ennis and Deucalion with their own packs. Ennis is angry that the Argents killed one of his own, and Deucalion surprisingly tries to reason with him. Gerard picks up the story from this point, explaining that each member of the current Alpha pack met in Beacon Hills to seek guidance from the respected, legendary and beautiful Talia Hale, who had the rare ability to fully shapeshift into a proper wolf. Talia mentions that it’s perfectly within Ennis’ right to have a vendetta, but Deucalion begs him not to become a “historical cliché” and that a battle between two powers will never end at an eye for an eye and that it will escalate to all-out war (this peaceful Deucalion is kind of adorable). Ennis doesn’t care and claws the revenge spiral into a wall of corrugated iron.
Stiles mentions that they really take the revenge thing to a whole new level, and Cora elaborates that losing a pack member is akin to losing a limb. Peter then tells of how Ennis tried to see his beta’s body, but that Deputy Stilinski arrived to try and calm him down. Peter says that he looked at Ennis’ situation and saw a profound loss but that Derek saw an opportunity to always be with Paige – nasty unreliable narrator got it around the wrong way. Peter claims that Derek was constantly scared that Paige would find out what he was, but that again is another lie, it was Peter who tried to convince Derek that if Paige found out she’d end their relationship. Peter goes on to plant the seed that Derek should turn Paige so that she won’t leave him, although he continues in the present to lie to Stiles and Cora, saying that he was the one who tried to talk Derek out of turning Paige. In the flashback, Gerard and Chris are in the basement where Peter and Derek hid, and notice that the tree has a large Druidic symbol painted on the trunk. Allison asks Gerard why her father knows so much about druids, who explains that one should know thy enemy, and describes the relationships that ancient werewolves had with druids, who the wolves called emissaries. He retells the tale of Lycaon, how when some Greek citizens were turned into wolves by Zeus, the druids helped them to figure out how to shift back and forth between shapes. Cora elaborates and explains that emissaries keep werewolves connected to their humanity and are kept a secret even within the pack, the Alpha being the only one who knows their identity. Peter informs Stiles that Ms. Morrell is the emissary to the Alpha pack.
In another flashback, Deaton is talking to Talia and Deucalion in his Animal Clinic. Deucalion wants to call a truce with Gerard, a chance for peace, but Talia says that Gerard might be the wrong one to approach, as she thinks that he is a complete psychopath who cuts people in half with a broadsword. Deucalion is surprised at how little faith they have in people, saying that Gerard must be worried about the deaths on his own side as well. Deaton then tells the story of the Scorpion and the Frog, and how the scorpion stung the frog and killed them both, but his excuse was that “it was in his nature”. At the darkened school, Paige received a note from Derek to meet him there, but Ennis shows up and begins to chase her while Derek sits alone in the locker room, listening. Cora is surprised that Derek would’ve asked Ennis to turn Paige, but Peter argues that he was the perfect choice since he’d just lost a pack member and would gain favour with Talia. Stiles says that Derek mustn’t remember that it was Ennis, and Peter says that if he does remember he hasn’t said anything. Peter was also at the school that night listening, when Derek reaches the point where he just can’t listen anymore and tries to attack Ennis, who easily holds him down and shows him that Paige is already bitten. Gerard talks about how Deaton arranged the meeting with Deucalion, and how he knew that they were going to be turned on. Scott questions how he knew that Deucalion wasn’t going to actually make peace, but Gerard recites the story of the Scorpion and the Turtle – a modified version of the previous tale. He knew that Deucalion’s offer of peace was a trap, which was a complete lie. Gerard waited in the distillery with some hunters, and Deucalion states that he hopes he can avoid any volatile conflict. Gerard then opens a valve releasing a white gas that makes both the humans and werewolves fall, and Gerard stabs himself with an antidote. Gerard then kills off his own men, saying that they too believed in peace and that their deaths will be blamed on Deucalion. Peter is finishing the tale of Derek and Paige, and how the bite didn’t take with Paige, who was in pain and dying slowly in the basement.
Deucalion crawls out of the distillery in pain while Gerard follows him, he begs him not to hurt him, saying that he had a vision of peace. Gerard mocks him and then stabs him in the eyes with two flash-bang arrows as Deucalion screams. In the basement, Derek takes away as much of Paige’s pain he can, and she tells him that she always knew he was different. She knows that she is doing to die and asks him to end it, and with a whispered love and a kiss, he does. Peter tells Stiles that killing and innocent takes a piece of a werewolf’s soul, making it darker, showing up in the eyes, turning them from a golden yellow to a cold blue – like his own. Deaton treats Deucalion’s injuries but cannot salvage his sight, and Deucalion demands to be left alone. Talia and Deaton leave but his beta Marco remains, attempting to kill him and take alpha status. Deucalion partially transforms and realizes that he can see as a wolf and viciously kills him. Gerard finishes his story and asks Scott to take some of his pain away, when he launches into a speech about forgiveness and doing things differently, which Scott calls total BS on. He says that Gerard’s heartbeat never went up or down, indicating that he is an extremely good liar, before he threatens Gerard like a badass and leaves. Cora questions Stiles, who doesn’t believe Peter’s point of view and talks about unreliable narrators. In the final flashback, young Derek is covered in Paige’s blood when his mother finds him. Talia says that she knows what he’s done, but she forgives him and that his blue eyes are still beautiful. In the present, Derek returns to the distillery and stares at the spiral that Ennis cut into the wall.
I absolutely adored this episode and I loved the insight into the Hale family’s past, I’ve always been intrigued by them and I’m glad we got to learn more about them. I’m also thoroughly grateful that we finally found out the mystery of the werewolf eye colour, and I hope that we get more flashbacks to the badass Talia Hale or the adorable cardigan-wrapped fluffball that was Deucalion.