There's an epidemic in Beacon Hills, and it's not just an outbreak of creepy assassins; as the high schoolers are quarantined, new secrets (and old Alphas) reveal themselves.

By Jodi Walker
Updated March 11, 2015 at 05:19 PM EDT

Will the Hale vault ever cease to amaze? First, $117 million in bearer bonds, and now tea; this is either the vault of one super complex family, or one super old woman. But don’t let your guard down around old women, either… Alpha Satomi will put you on your ass in 10 seconds flat, and that’s a lot faster than any Hale I’ve seen.

Tonight’s episode was half horror film, half infection outbreak propaganda (and of course, 100% still a TV show about teenage werewolves). And although it doesn’t seem like Scott’s pack is much closer to figuring out who the Benefactor is, it seems they’re at least beginning to understand who their enemies are. The answer is anyone with access to a cassette tape player, a camera phone, and a pretty loose moral compass. At one point, some random blonde just blazes out of the hospital elevator with a semi-automatic pistol, ready to take down a few seven-digit dead pool supernaturals. Excuse me, but I prefer my baddies with a little forethought; for example, the Chemist (James Urbaniak).

We’re now on our third fully-realized Benefactor assassin, and things are drifting further toward an episodic procedural then they have in a long time: a new bad guy every week, a new case, open and shut by Wolf Watch. Too much of that would be a bore, but with the overarching Benefactor story line, this season continues to move forward with a controlled chaos that will hopefully reveal the whole that these moving parts represent sooner rather than later. Each assassin has proven to have their own method of killing—the Mute with sheer strength, the Orphans with brazen stupidity, and the Chemist with mad science—but it’s the Benefactor’s way that’s most concerning: anonymously efficient.

“Weaponized’s” cold open is one for the tone-setting record books: One creepy scientist conducting experiments on black goo-spitting werewolves in a mountain ash laboratory. Two teenagers sitting cross-legged on the floor of their childhood bedroom with $500,000 of stolen/re-stolen blood money between them. A were-coyote girlfriend showing up at the door to tell them that a whole pack of werewolves is dead in the woods—poisoned—while another werewolf bursts into the hospital with a supernatural mercenary in his mostly-human-strength arms. And the local neighborhood emissary partaking in a brief Matrix-style fight with a triple-digits-age Alpha who is apparently immune to whatever poison just took out her pack.

Welcome to Teen Wolf, we’re only four minutes in!

It’s become clear in the past two episodes that though lacrosse has returned, love is in the air, and Teen Wolf: The New Class is now on board, it is officially time for the midseason turn toward the dark side. Play time is over; now it’s just avoiding murder, figuring out what the hell Peter is up to, and, most importantly, trying to focus on the PSATs. Or as Scott explained it, “Because, while we’re trying not to die, we still need to live.” But living might be a little easier if the guy from the werewolf murder lab wasn’t administering the PSAT, and Ms. Martin wasn’t finding Coach Finstock passed out two doors down from the testing room with lesions all over his back.

NEXT: “Hello? Center for Disease Control? Yes, hi, it’s the high school again… I’m afraid it’s another deadly outbreak!”

Cue the sweet girl worried about getting a college scholarship passing out in the middle of the test and Ms. Martin getting the Center for Disease Control on the line. Because if there’s going to be a deadly epidemic in Beacon Hills, you betcha it’s starting at the high school.

An interesting twist to the escalating suspense of this episode is that while the stakes are high, the mystery could hardly be any lower. As an audience, we’re fully aware that the assassin is in the school with Scott, Stiles, Kira, and Malia, and even without Braden telling us about Satomi’s pack, we know he’s created a virus capable of infecting werewolves from the cold open. What we still don’t know is why. And the closer our main characters get to being killed, the more imperative it is to figure out exactly what the Benefactor stands to gain from their deaths.

Lydia is busy trying to figure out the “why” of it all in her lake house’s Very Special Banshee Room. She has a box of Meredith’s things and is speaking out to her almost as though she’s praying. And though she receives no answers to her questions, she does realize that maybe what she really wants to say is that she’s sorry: “I wish I could have helped you.” As she packs the belongings back up, she finds a picture of Meredith—standing in the very lake house room Lydia is currently in. It is… highly creepy.

Things aren’t any better at BHHS, where the hazmats and feds have arrived to quarantine the kids inside the school. But as Scott and Malia can already feel themselves being unable to control their shift, they realize they need to quarantine themselves from the quarantine: to the Hale vault! Malia has already become suspicious that Stiles and Scott are hiding something from her, but misses that they need her claws specifically to get the vault open. And I guess their successful entry inside is our official answer on her parentage (other than her strong eyebrow game and tendency toward dramatic entrances, which was pretty much proof enough that she’s Peter’s daughter).

As Scott, Malia, and Kira’s symptoms get worse, Scott starts itching to tell Malia the truth. But Stiles, who has also been pretty hesitant about filling in the Hale boys on the recovered assassin money, is equally resistant to fill in the Hale girl in on whom her real father is. He’s worried that when they tell her, she’ll seek out Peter and he’ll get into her head, “like he does with everyone else… including us.” And Stiles is right on that point: They let Peter walk around like he’s not a bad guy, when he has proven over and over again that just because he’s got a little werewolf knowledge, does not mean he can be trusted: “Scott, he’s not one of the good guys.”

But he’s wrong about all the secrets. Where did keeping people in the dark get them with Lydia? Her Banshee powers could be locked and loaded right now. With all the trust that Malia has put in Stiles, she would likely think twice before running off to V-necks McEvilFace just because she learns she’s related to him. Maybe wait it out and see if he’s the Benefactor, at least.

Still, despite his secrecy, Stiles cares deeply about her. These two actors, and their characters’ dedication to each other, make for some randomly heartfelt moments; Stiles holds Malia until the moment he knows he can’t wait any longer to go check back in upstairs. His friends are dying, and while he’s not doing great himself, being the token human is finally giving him at least a bit of an advantage. He leaves Malia with his jacket and a promise that he’ll be coming back for her: “I’d never leave you behind.” Oh boy.

NEXT: Derek helpfully has a memory for warm, smelly beverages…

In the hospital with the adults, Satomi and Deaton have brought one of her infected pack members to Melissa McCall, supernatural RN extraordinaire. She isn’t able to save the werewolf, but Deaton is able to diagnose the virus as Canine Distemper, and with the help of a little nostalgia and Derek’s resemblance to his mother, they realize Satomi wasn’t affected because of a reishi mushroom tea she drinks. And Talia Hale kept some of it in—you guessed it—the vault.

When Stiles makes it back to the quarantine room, he realizes that Coach is the only adult who was infected, and upon further inspection of his office, finds that at some point very recently he got ahold of a new stamp pad much like the one the PSAT administrator used to take the now-infected students’ finger prints. But just as he makes that pretty genius connection, the creepy Chemist shows up with a gun, silencer and all. He tells Stiles that the humans will get better soon, so why not give up his friends and at least he will live. He’s clearly never heard of a little epic friendship called Scott ‘n Stiles.

And just as the Chemist gets to the end of his three-count, gun-to-head, a shot rings out and blood splatters all over Stiles’ face. Because Rafael McCall is standing behind them, gun in hand, in all his tall, redemption-arc glory. He tells Stiles that Melissa texted him to tell Scott the reishi tea antidote is in the vault, and it’s a tribute to him that he just doesn’t ask any questions about that absurd text… yet.

Unfortunately, in addition to the tea, the Hale vault is now full of three extremely sick, extremely blind supernaturals. Just as Stiles collapses from screaming to them on the opposite side of the door from where Scott is collapsed from sickness, Scott harnesses his Alpha sight to track down the reishi mushrooms and smash the jar on the ground, releasing its antidotal powers.

It was unlikely that three of our main characters were going to be taken out tonight, so even though suspenseful, there was no real surprise in their survival. But it was beginning to seem plausible that with a strong pack, a Banshee on the verge of a breakthrough (or, okay, a breakdown), and a strong decline in assassin material, Scott and Stiles just might be able to track down the enemy; so, the real surprise here comes from the way they sabotaged themselves. Malia finds the dead pool list in the pocket of Stiles’ jacket with a very telling name on it: “Malia Hale.”

I loved the early-season laughs and romantic moments in creepy basements as much as the next fan, but it can no longer be denied: There’s a bad moon on the rise now, and it’s pretty damn intriguing. Malia feels betrayed by her pack and is headed out into the Peter-filled unknown with a dangerous look in her eye; Stiles seems ready to use that stolen money no matter what; and the pack is only one cassette closer to finding the Benefactor. The death toll may have slowed down a touch this episode, but all that means is that the dead pool is still wide open for business.

Best Quote: Malia attempting to have some smiley girl talk with Kira to see what she knows about the bag under Scott’s bed, followed by Kira’s standard awkwardness: “What? I’ve never been under Scott’s bed… or in it. Just on it—wearing clothes!”

And a few lingering questions:

–Where does Peter fall for you on the Beacon Hills big bad scale: a bad guy, or just a guy who’s not a good guy?

–What do you think of Derek’s “I’m protecting my investment” heart-eyes for Braeden? Can a mercenary ever really be trusted?

–Does Malia immediately assume Peter is her father, or just realize that she’s a Hale, in general? There used to be quite a few of them roaming around Beacon Hills.

–Is Lydia being purposefully ostracized from the rest of the pack? It seems it’s a lonely world out there for a Banshee. Also, WHAT was Meredith doing in that picture?

–Finally, has so much light ever been shed on a character so quickly as when Ms. Martin revealed that Coach is 15-years sober?