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'Teen Wolf' recap: 'Required Reading'

The teens look to the past to figure out what the Dread Doctors are doing in the present, and it’s making the future look particularly grim.

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Teen Wolf

TV Show
Comedy, Drama, Horror
Jeff Davis
Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Holland Roden, Shelley Hennig
Current Status:
In Season

“We never should have read that book.”

The line so nice, Scott said it twice… or at least so important, he said it twice. If the timeline of The Dread Doctors book is as jumpy as the scenes in tonight’s episode of Teen Wolf, it’s no wonder the seniors of Beacon Hills High are having a hard time getting through it. “Required Reading” jumped from the future to the present, from the present to the past, from the past to the very past, and way back up to the future again…that had then become the present. I’m filling in for your trusty Teen Wolf recapper, Samantha Highfill, this week, and I’d just like to say: HELP.

This whole season—which started with a huge flash-forward—has played with time and the mind’s ability to distort it, but tonight’s episode takes it to the next level, suggesting that the consequences of the Dread Doctors little jaunt through Beacon Hills aren’t likely to be short-lived. Last week, Malia gave us an idea of just where a Dread Doctor-induced recovered memory can land you (in the middle of oncoming traffic in the arms of a secretly psychopathic werewolf), and tonight we got to the main course: weep-worthy suppressed childhood memories for Lydia, Scott, and especially Stiles.

Episodes of Teen Wolf come in all shapes and sizes, and this one was simultaneously sexy and dark, dark, dark. In between flashbacks to some truly traumatic childhood moments were Liam trying to be charming, Theo being a little too successful in the same attempt, and Lydia and Parrish… doing that morally ambiguous thing that Lydia and Parrish do—but this time, without sleeves!

But before any of that happens (or technically after it happens—ugh!), “Required Reading” begins at the end: Even though the last episode left Kira and Scott sizzling on the ground outside of Eichen House, this week opens with Scott doing grabby fingers on the floor of the hospital for the asthma inhaler we haven’t seen since season 1. A Dread Doctor has him by his throat while he struggles to breathe, but then Malia shows up with her ass-kicking shorts, with Melissa and her ass-kicking nurse skills by her side. Malia holds the Doctor off while Melissa gets Scott in the elevator, stabs him in the leg with something that takes care of his asthma attack, and Malia joins them just in time for the Doctor to miss the elevator doors. Isn’t that just the worst, Doc?

“We should never have read that book.”

Now, cruise back into present day, where the Sheriff’s Department has arrived on the Beacon Hills High sports field to find eight freshly dug, teenager-sized holes. Malia and Stiles explain to the Sheriff how that probably means eight new chimeras, created by the Dread Doctors, and he seconds Kira’s sentiments from last week: “Are we really calling them that?”

We are, Sheriff Stilinski, because it all comes down to That Damn Book. At the high school, Theo tells Scott that he’s worried about everyone reading it (yeah, okay, Theo) considering that Tracey went on a killing spree after she read it and Malia ran into traffic. But Scott reminds him that he book is all they have if they want to stop the Dread Doctors from killing any more teenagers. So, the pack, plus Theo, saddle up at Scott’s house for the lamest book club ever. They don’t even have books! Just the printouts that Kira made for them. But Lydia tells them that reading the book will be worth it, because just from looking at the cover, she’s already had her first almost-recovered memory of the Dread Doctors earlier that day.

You see, Parrish is coming through big time on the “Sexy-Sweating Your Way to Self-Defense” request Lydia made of him last week. And it looks like they’ve already had a few lessons because not only is Lydia somewhat comfortable with blocking his strikes, but they have no problem dramatically stripping off their sweatshirts to get down to the serious stuff (and by serious stuff, I mean sports bras and bicep-baring tank tops). But when Lydia doesn’t get her hands up in time, Parrish wraps her up in his arms from behind; but just when the breathing was starting to get heavy, Lydia has a “muscle memory” flashback to a metal-clad glove grasping her arm in the same spot. That kind of kills the mood.

NEXT: Reading Rainbow’s worst nightmare…