Welcome, Teen Wolf fans, to our first season 6 episode without Stiles/Dylan O’Brien. And oddly, Stiles being absent from the episode makes him the focal point of just about everything. Because as the Ghost Riders will soon learn, you cannot erase Stiles from Beacon Hills. He is too important.
The episode starts with the Ghost Riders riding through town just as Scott helps Liam work on his lacrosse back shot. Only, Liam’s back shot is nearly perfect. Hmm, “I must’ve been thinking of someone else,” Scott says, giving us our first Stiles mention right off the bat.
Meanwhile, inside the high school, Mason and his 4.9 GPA are staying after school — as in 9 p.m. — to help Cory and his 2.7 GPA through a physics lab that involves building a magnet. At least until Coach Finstock kicks them out in an attempt to teach them that “Your teenage years are not the time for academic achievement.” If Coach had it his way, they’d be out wreaking havoc like normal teens.
But when Mason forgets his phone and has to go back into the school, the real havoc begins when the Ghost Riders stop by to take their next victim. Thankfully, Cory makes himself invisible and even the Riders can’t see him.
Cory tries to warn Mason to stay away, but his curiosity gets the best of him. Mason enters the library to find the Ghost Riders choking out a student … until said student disappears. Cory’s there to make sure Mason isn’t seen, but just because the Ghost Riders don’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t affected. By the time Liam and Scott arrive, neither Cory nor Mason remember that the Ghost Riders took someone. All they know is that they were there, and then they left.
Across town, Malia is spending her nights with a new, yet-to-be named man while Lydia is being woken up by the sound of a train passing through her room. In other words, typical teenage things. As for Scott, he finds the “candid” photo from the first episode, but this time, Stiles is missing from it, and clearly, Scott realizes something’s off.
The next day at lacrosse practice, Scott — who’s taking some time off to focus on his grades and, you know, graduating — is doing his best to convince Finstock that Liam is captain material. Liam, however, isn’t nearly as convincing. So instead, Scott focuses his attention elsewhere: On trying to figure out why there are holes in his memory, and furthermore, what his subconscious is trying to tell him.
Here’s where everyone starts realizing something’s off, whether it’s Malia pausing at the sight of the word “style” in her textbook, Scott trying to break into what would’ve been Stiles’ locker, or Lydia being pulled into her own memory of the night Stiles was taken. SHE EVEN HEARS HIS VOICE.
Things only get more intense from there: Scott wakes up in the woods before calling Malia and Lydia, who are currently figuring out that someone must’ve helped chain Malia up during the full moon. But who?
NEXT: Lydia remembers … sort of
By the time Malia and Lydia meet Scott out in the woods, Scott tells them about the night he became a werewolf. Why was he in the woods? And how did he get there? As Scott puts it, “I think I had a best friend and I think he was out here with me that night.” For Malia, she knows someone helped chain her up and wanted her to stay human. And then there’s Lydia, who was so sure she was supposed to meet someone this morning. As Lydia puts it, “Whoever it is, I think I loved him.” AAHHHHH!!!
Scott then pulls out the “candid” photo from the first episode and they all agree: They’re missing the same person.
While all this is going on, Cory and Liam agree to work together for Mason’s sake, and as a team, they find a school I.D. left behind by the Ghost Riders’ latest victim. They run it through the system, and just like that, they all remember: Jake Sulivan was taken.
And that brings us to the episode’s big twist: At the sheriff’s station, Stilinski has a visitor … HIS WIFE. In this reality, Stiles’ mother is alive. And in a heartbreaking moment that you know can’t last forever, Stilinski gets to hold his wife in his arms and just be happy.
Back at the animal clinic, Deaton tries sending Lydia into a trance-like state. By letting go of all thought, she will trigger something called “automatic writing” so that they can get to what her subconscious is trying to tell her. And it works. Lydia writes … a lot. But it’s the same word over and over again: Mischief.
However, zoom out, and all those words form one big one: Stiles. Then, Lydia asks the million dollar question, “What the hell is a Stiles?” (How many of you were hoping she’d write out his real name?!)
Overall, I appreciate that they’re already working to solve the Stiles puzzle, and from here, I can only imagine things get more emotional.