Teen Wolf brought in a different kind of horror in the sixth episode of the sixth season, “Ghosted.” It’s the kind with murdering dolls and creepy children. Let’s take a look.
We open with Lydia’s vision of a town called Canaan, where there is a neighbourhood party interrupted by the Wild Hunt, and everyone is taken. Lydia tells Scott and Malia about this vision. Malia has managed to find where Canaan use to be, and the senior pack sets out. Before that, Scott consults the Sheriff, who refuses to believe he had a son named Stiles or take Scott seriously.
Liam and Hayden, meanwhile, are planning to kidnap a Rider and are overheard by the Evil Physics Teacher, Mr. Douglas. Chris is in hospital being slowly poisoned by the supernatural stuff from the Hunt whip marks. When Melissa tells him they want to do surgery on him, he tries to get away, telling her that would kill him. She transfers him to safety.
The senior pack arrives in Canaan and discover it’s a ghost town. There is no one there, and it’s all very creepy. They also hallucinate. Lydia explains it’s the energy of the place causing it. However, they can’t leave until they find out why Stiles sent them there.
Liam and Hayden go to steal school supplies they need and come across Mr. Douglas. He makes himself seem very friendly and helpful and interested in the Hunt. He also points out the flaws in their plan to trap a Rider. Apparently, they need something stronger to control the lightning than just the lightning rod.
Chris tells Melissa she needs to prepare a special mix of herbs to cure him, and if she does it wrong, it will kill him.
The senior pack finds one actual, real lady living in Canaan, Lenore, but she acts strange. They gradually find out she’s living with a creepy illusion of her dead son. She refuses to let them leave, and it turns out she’s a banshee. Apparently, the Hunt doesn’t take banshees, and instead they gave her back her son. Well, in a manner of speaking. She has also gone a little crazy from all the loneliness and the trauma.
Liam comes up with a plan which Hayden tells him is crazy, but agrees to stand by him all the same. It concerns Josh’s power, since it seems like the only thing that can work in their plan to trap a Rider. They ask Kira’s mother for help. She agrees because she believes Kira would help them, but makes her disapproval clear. Nevertheless, Liam resurrects Theo.
Malissa successfully mixes the herbs and saves Chris, or at least I assume so. The paste was definitely doing something to him, that’s for sure. The wounds were emitting creepy green smoke.
Theo threatens to kill everyone, but the pack apparently has the power to send him back where he came from, so he has to agree to cooperate. It doesn’t really matter, though, because the plan doesn’t work. It turns out he no longer has Josh’s power. They’re about to send him back, but then they accidentally discover that he remembers Stiles and decide to keep him after all, in spite of Mřr. Douglas’ mild protests. Considering that Theo knows him to be a nazi werewolf, I’m surprised the dude isn’t more vehement. But maybe he just plans to kill Theo later.
Lydia convinces Lenore to let her and her friends go. It’s relatively easy. There is a banshee fight first, but then Lydia just needs to say that Lenore can save her from the fate she herself faced. Right in time, too, as the creepy sort-of-dead son was slowly drowning Malia and Scott.
Theo tells Liam and the others that the Wild Hunt normally comes and goes. If they’re not leaving, it’s strange and could mean they’re stuck.
On their way back to Beacon Hills, Lydia tells the others they have to prevent the Hunt from leaving Beacon Hills just yet. Once they leave, the people they took will end up with hollowed out souls and become Riders themselves, then disappear completely.
Scott enters the house where Liam and company are, sees Theo and has to work really hard to prevent herself from attacking him. Then Malia appears and, well, she’s never been too good about self-control. The last thing we see from this storyline are her bared teeth.
But then there is also the Sheriff, who is thinking about how strange it is that his wife survived dementia, and then he goes and tears off a bit of the wallpaper Lydia has already started on and looks through. We don’t know what he sees, though, since the episode ends with the view of his eye.
“Ghosted” was fine. Enjoyable. It didn’t exactly get me excited like “Radio Silence” did, but then that’s probably because of the lower density of my personal favourites. And we even got a bit of Lydia being a boss, so that was certainly appreciated.
The one objection on this front is the continued absence of Mason and Corey. This is the second episode in a row, and while it mostly made sense in the previous one, here, it very markedly doesn’t. Liam told Hayden, Corey and Mason he wanted to catch a Rider. When he executes the plan, however, half of his team is mysteriously missing. Is it because he still doesn’t trust Corey? I hoped he was over it already, but if not, it needs to be indicated. As it is, it just looked like Liam randomly ditched his best friend on this kinda important mission.
And speaking of. Resurrecting Theo continues the Teen Wolf trend that only the bad guys get to live again. In fact, they can never be relied on to stay permanently out of the game. It’s getting a little tiring. Additionally, this season is in danger of having an overabundance of bad guys, what with Mr. Douglas and the Riders and, possibly, Peter, though I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Mr. Douglas’ story also has the potential of being really similar to Theo’s, in that they will trust him and he will betray them. But I don’t want to underestimate the writers. They might very well manage to do something completely different with it. Plus it could be interesting to watch how Theo and Mr. Douglas play off each other.
And speaking of morally dubious characters, it would be nice to know where Peter is at the moment. At least they mentioned him, but it’s kind of an obvious question to want an answer to. The guy just appeared out of nowhere after everyone forgot him. I doubt his apartment downtown is still waiting for him, not to mention the whole thing with being badly burned. Hopefully, next episode will give us something.
But back to Liam, his character arc is probably the most important one this season, and this was a good episode for it. He is all about leadership, and so far he has had one unsuccessful attempt at leading and then once Scott took the decision out of his hands and that failed, too. From the point of view of narrative logic, the decision from “Ghosted” should prove to be the right one, then. Given that the decision in question was resurrecting Theo, that has interesting potential, particularly for conflict with Scott and even more, Malia. (Stiles would have kittens if he knew, too—maybe he should be happy the Riders took him).
It’s probably in character for Liam that he didn’t exactly agonize over the decision, yet we could still see some hesitation in him, the realization that this was important and momentous. He’s stepping into Scott’s shoes better than I expected he would.
The storyline with Canaan was very well done. The place itself was suitably creepy in just the right way—the carousel with blood on it, oh my!—and so was Lenore. Plus a creepy child, a horror classic. What’s not to like?
Well, okay, there is one thing. It took Lydia the genius a little too long to realize Lenore was a banshee. It’s a repeated problem. They’re dumbing Lydia down for some reason, and the same with Mason sometimes. Perhaps it helps build suspense, but it’s irritating.
I also felt the scene with Lydia convincing Lenore to let her go could have taken a little longer, could have contained more tension. As it was, Lenore effectively agreed immediately. It also seemed that she woke from some kind of trance, though, so maybe that way why, but still, tension would have been appreciated.
Lydia’s character arc is probably the second most important this season, and it’s all about loss and being left behind. So for her, “Ghosted” was very poignant, too. Her horror at imagining the fate Lenore faced was real, and Lenore served as a good mirror for her, much better than she worked as a character on her own. It would also be nice if this motivated Lydia to explore her banshee powers further!
As for Chris and Melissa, that ship continues to sail strong, now with a classic “saving your life” moment. Again, there was little suspense left in the scene…unless, of course, they will surprise us next episode with Chris being dead. It would not be the good kind of surprise. It’s also a little convenient that the Riders produce a generic “supernatural poison.” Along with still not knowing why they didn’t take Chris in the first place, it’s all very contrived. But Chris and Melissa are good together, both no nonsense kind of people. Their interactions are fun to watch.
The last bit of storyline in “Ghosted” was the Sheriff and his doubts and incredulity. The incredulity is very well done, a very believable denial. The doubts are a little worse. He has no reason to think his wife’s miraculous survival is related in any way to them possibly having a child. There is nothing tying frontotemporal dementia to children, not to mention it was after Stiles was born. Him making the connection looks like he read the script.
And do I get it right that Lenore’s creepy son is an explanation for why Claudia is alive? Because they can return creepy illusions of people from the dead? The thing is, she doesn’t act weird at all. The child certainly did, but she’s just a normal, nice lady. I’d be happy to have my theory that she’s not real confirmed, but they should have also written her differently.
And finally, the usual points to close with:
- They chose Canaan instead of a real ghost town for this story, for understandable reasons. I have my doubts about naming it Canaan, though. Maybe they’ll give us a reason why they did it, but for now, it just seems weird.
- The mention of Kira made me happy. Six episodes in, and someone bothered to address her absence, yay!
- I assume that when the Hunt “moves on” from a location, it would be also when the people they took there move from the way station to the final destination, so to speak. Cool.
- Maybe them being stuck has something to do with the Nemeton? We haven’t heard about it for a while…