Teen Wolf delivered the last episode of this half of its sixth season, “Riders on the Storm”. How did they deal with all the remaining plot points?
Liam manages to push open the door of the elevator he ended up shut in in “Memory Found”. The hospital is empty, but as he walks through it, he suddenly sees the board with train departure announcements.
Stiles is standing in front of it, too, though elsewhere, when he hears Lydia’s voice. He starts to follow it, but just then an approaching train departure is announced and he has trouble moving in the crowd that suddenly forms. However, the Sheriff appears and calms everyone down with a few shots fired in the air. The Stilinskis hug, but then Sheriff stays to hold the approaching Riders off while Stiles goes to see Lydia. He jumps through the opened rift.
Back in the underground tunnels, Lydia reaches out to Stiles just as he he disappears. Malia and Scott say they never saw him. But we do see him, appearing suddenly in his jeep.
Liam arrives at the bunker, saying Scott needs to see something. Scott leaves the girls there and goes with him. However, as Lydia is certain that Stiles is now in this world, she and Malia leave too and head to the school, where they see train tracks that definitely weren’t there before.
Liam and Scott see the same in the hospital. They are confronted by Hauptmann with Parrish as his slave. It looks bleak for them, but just then Stiles appears and hits Hauptmann over the head with his baseball bat. Then he puts Parrish’s fire out with a fire extinguisher, which somehow breaks the control Hauptmann had over him. Parrish tells them they have to divert the train that is coming, otherwise everyone will be gone in a final and irreversible way.
Meanwhile, Lydia and Malia follow the tracks and arrive at the train station. They try to get the people to leave, but nobody hears them. They discover Peter, however, and Lydia hypothesizes that he perhaps could. Malia just shouting at him doesn’t do the trick, so Lydia reminds her that it needs an emotional connection. Malia, after some reluctance, calls Peter “dad” and he wakes up.
Scott, Stiles and Liam talk about what to do and Liam figures out—eight episodes too late—that Corey, as someone who can be in both worlds, could be the key to connecting them. He rushes off immediately, to get himself a Wild Hunt horse. He’s attacked by a Rider, but Theo saves him and Liam rides off.
Mason and Hayden are trying to find Corey in the train station when Mason realizes it’s his voice on the intercom, announcing the train would arrive in nineteen minutes. He wants to follow the wires the way Stiles had in episode five, but just then, there is the sound of a Rider coming. It turns out to be Liam, and there is an emotional reunion.
Malia asks Peter to help them save people, but he thinks it’s unrealistic. Nevertheless, when the Riders arrive, he fights them as people run. He tells Malia to run, too – for the third time this season – but this time she doesn’t, instead, she goes to save him.
Stiles and Scott follow the train tracks and find the railroad switch, but just as they try to grab it, Hauptmann stops them and shoots them both. They appear in the school, and are confronted by Riders and separated. Scott manages to get away, while Stiles is cornered by one and saved by Lydia. There is another emotional reunion.
There is also a nice nod to westerns in a traditional face-off between Chris and a Rider, with close-ups of their eyes and hands twitching to reach for the gun and all. When Chris wins, Melissa passionately kisses him.
Mason finds Corey in the radio room, attached to a number of tubes and clearly in pain. Apparently, Hauptmann used him to entwine the worlds. Mason wants to disconnect him, but Liam warns him that it would mean the worlds would un-merge and they could never save anyone. They need to wait for Scott to divert the train. Corey himself asks Mason to wait, and so he does, holding his hand.
Scott is back at the railroad switch, facing off with Hauptmann who has the Riders apparently at his beck and call. He pays Scott a “compliment” by saying he’d make an excellent Hitler Youth. I’m pretty sure that at this age, Scott would have been in the regular army, but whatever. Just as Haupmann makes pronouncements about what happens to the lone wolf (Arya says hello), Theo appears to say he’s not alone. Then Malia, pronouncing she’s in his pack, and Peter, saying that he isn’t, but that “nobody likes a Nazi.”
Meanwhile, Lydia and Stiles are trying to leave the school when they are stopped by a Rider pretending to be Claudia Stilinski. He doesn’t pretend too successfully for too long, but he does still wear her face as he begins to throttle Stiles. The Sheriff arrives then, though, and shoots her/him/it.
Scott and company fight the Riders and manage to pull the switch with the help of the Hunt’s whip just as the train approaches. It passes them, and Scott roars to let Liam know all’s clear. The sophomore pack pulls the tubes out of Corey, and people starts disappearing from the train station.
The Hunt begins to leave. Hauptmann calls them back to kill the pack, shouting he’s their fuhrer. They do turn back, but only to surround him and turn him into a Rider with a hakenkreuz on the sleeve of his coat. Peter helpfully explains that the Hunt has no leader, and then the Riders all disappear.
We see scenes of everyone in Beacon Hills living their lives normally again. Corey is taken to the hospital where Melissa treats him with the Nine Herbs. Of course Mason knows what they are.
And then there is the last class of high school for the seniors. Stiles finds it all a little anticlimactic. He gives Mason, as the honorary him in the sophomore pack, his baseball bat, and gives Scott his jeep. They discuss where everyone is headed for college. The mood is very nostalgic. They get in the jeep and they hear on the police scanner that there is a body in the woods. So, of course, they drive there.
The end. See you in the summer.
This was not a bad episode. It was quite a good one, even. Still, for a finale, it was just a little disappointing.
The main issues stems from the fact that it all felt rather rushed. I think it’s because they only had Dylan O’Brian for this one episode, and so had to fit all the final moments into it. The result, however, was that very many things did not get the space they deserved. Like the resolution of the entire season’s plot, for example.
I was a little disappointed that Corey’s power was not used by the good guys first, but still, it’s great (narratively speaking) that someone made some use of it. It would have been a waste otherwise, and it was beginning to look like it would be. Like this, it was a good explanation for why Hauptmann wanted to take him in particular. It was actually a plan that made sense from Hauptmann for a change.
Well, kind of. It begs the question whether it would not have been better to make him merge the worlds from this side, instead of sending him over to the Riders and then having to look for a way to cross himself. But, taking this episode as an isolated one, it made sense.
What makes less sense is all the people disappearing from the station when the worlds were un-merged. I just can’t see why they would, and it would have worked much better if they just left the station before the un-merging, or if Corey transported them afterwards. I don’t know whether there wasn’t enough time or whether the writers didn’t think it through, but this sort of thing bugs me. Corey un-merging the worlds simply means Beacon Hills returned to the state it was in before Hauptmann took him. And that was pretty messed up, with a lot of people taken.
We also didn’t get an explanation for why the Hunt turned to leave, but that is less of a problem. We never got an explanation for why they came in the first place, or why they did any of what they did. They are a force of nature more than anything, I think. If they moved on, they moved on.
And what was truly excellent was the way Hauptmann was assimilated by the Hunt. It was the perfect, ironic ending to his storyline. The usual moral of not playing with things larger than you. But more than that, the scene was very well done and had power.
With a Rider with a Nazi insignia on his coat, the connection between the Hunt and the Nazis is clearer than ever now. I mean, they took all the people of Canaan, what needed to be avoided at all costs was people getting on an ominous train, and now they have an actual SS-man (or close enough) in their midst. It would have to be spelled out to be more obvious. Yet at the same time, the Riders were explicitly contrasted with the Nazis. They are like Chaotic Evil to their Lawful one, I suppose, but it was a little too mixed messages for me.
Whether they were Nazis or not, one thing remains clear: the Hunt wasn’t destroyed by the pack. The Riders just moved on. That rather puts a damper on the happy end. It’s a good thing the pack saved Beacon Hills, of course, but it’s kinda like celebrating that the genocide crew moved on the the next town…
But to get more positive, there was another truly good scene. The Western stand-off. It was entirely self serving, but very good. As for Chris/Marissa, I called it, I guess? Not that it was hard. There isn’t much else to say about it, since we didn’t see any consequences. The pairing is nice. I can see it. I wish they got more space, but then again, i say that about nearly everyone, and I do realize it would not all fit.
And speaking of relationships, looking at this episode in isolation again, the Stiles/Lydia scenes were actually good. It’s a little irritating that it was only Lydia who saw Stiles in the rift, implying that it was truly only her emotional connection to Stiles that opened it, not the combination of all three. But apart from that, it was well done. Not overstated, but at the same time, the importance of this connection was not swept under the carpet.
And another thing I was absolutely, completely thrilled about was the very end, where Scott and Stiles ride off into the sunset, more or less. After the last episode, I almost didn’t hope, but they gave the two main protagonists the ending they deserved and closed with the most important relationship on the show. That was gratifying to see. Their scene was well done, too—the familiarity and friendship, the worry about the future clear. The emotions were tangible. This is what I always wanted from Scott and Stiles.
Unfortunately, though, there was also a lot of wasted potential in the relationship department this episode.
The first was the scene when a Rider pretends to be Claudia Stilinski. That, as well as Lydia’s revelation that the Hunt brought her back, had the chance to be completely heart-wrenching. Instead, it kind of…fizzled out. Big part of it, I think, is that we see the Rider as a Rider most of the time, not as Claudia. That takes most of the emotional punch out of it. But it is also that the scene did not have enough time to develop this properly. Before Stiles had any space to be torn, or tempted, or anything, the Rider already started to act out of character. The Sheriff had to shoot a lookalike of his dead wife, and clearly had no issues with it. This could have been so much more.
(As an aside, is this supposed to mean that Claudia was a Rider the entire time? That would solve the ethical issues I had with it, but it also makes very little sense that she would just disappear when the Sheriff remembered Stiles, so…)
Another scene with a wasted potential was Malia and Peter, though that is not so much this episode’s problem. Their scenes here were well done, both Malia calling him “dad” and rushing to save him. That was especially poignant in contrast with the previous instances. But the problem is, there was no relationship to build this on, or almost none. That made it look like the emotional connection was based simply on the fact of biological fatherhood, which just…no. Hell to the no.
I wish Corey and Mason had more time, but it’s mostly a fan wish. I do not think the episode lost materially by there not being enough space for them, as opposed to the previous two cases. And the scenes they did have were very good. Plus, it was moving when Stiles gave Mason his baseball bat. It really was.
It would have been nice if Stiles and his father meeting wasn’t so overshadowed by the other encounters, either for the first time or after shooting not!Claudia. As I said, that was a goldmine of character development that went largely unexplored.
Liam didn’t have too much space, but they worked well with what they gave him. I can truly see him as the person in charge now, his character defects notwithstanding. In fact, I am very happy they kept them. He did not turn into a cartoonishly perfect protagonist. He is still himself, but he is a leader material now. With no reference to any Hauptmann intended.
In closing, just one little thing I cannot help pointing out: if emotional connection is required to wake Peter up at the station, you do realize what the means for Peter and Stiles, right? Given that Peter woke up from his trance to save Stiles in episode five? I’m just saying…
Anyway, this was the half-season. Stay tuned for next week, when I’ll (hopefully) come with a look back on what it gave us, and what it didn’t give us, and what it could have given us…well, you know the drill.