Teen Wolf series finale recap: 'The Wolves of War'
Derek, Stiles, and more return to Beacon Hills to help Scott fight Gerard (and the Anuk-Ite)
Well, Teen Wolf fans. We’ve made it to the series finale, and I’m very interested to see how you all feel about the show’s farewell. But before we get to anyone’s thoughts, let’s talk about what went down as Scott and his pack faced off against the Anuk-Ite, Gerard, and a whole bunch of angry hunters.
The hour starts with a slight time jump as we find Scott sleeping alone in a motel, only to wake up to Argent knocking on his door. Together, they head into Los Angeles as Scott’s voiceover tells us, “I’m going to tell you a story. Maybe it will sound familiar. There was this kid — 16, alone and running for his life. And he couldn’t see them, but he could hear them getting closer. They had guns. Crossbows. They were hunting him. It started on the night of a full moon. Something came at him. Something bit him. And it changed his life. It changed everything.”
As we watch a kid on the run from hunters, Scott and Argent show up to save him. They then put him in the backseat of Argent’s car, where we learn his name is Alec. And as great as it is that we’re learning Alec’s story, I feel like Alec is the perfect representation of the Teen Wolf fandom because all he wants to know about is Scott’s story! As Scott tells him, there were parts of his story that he didn’t expect: “People I thought that would be with me forever are the ones that I lost.” (Well, there’s your first Allison reference of the finale.) And then he says, “Some people I thought I could never trust ended up saving my life…more than once.” Cue the smirk from Argent. But Alec, once again stepping in, wants to know how Scott’s story ends. THANK YOU DUDE, SO DO WE.
Cutting back to the moment where last week left off, Scott and company are trying to avoid getting shot by Monroe’s fast-approaching army. The bad news is that their fates are looking pretty sealed when — good news! — Stiles pulls up in Roscoe and hits one of Monroe’s men! And with him? Derek!
With Derek leading the charge, Scott’s pack starts fighting back, and when it looks like they’re winning, Monroe and what’s left of her army run away. Scott then turns his attention to a dying Deucalion, who informs Scott that Gerard’s greatest fear is that he can’t beat Scott and he knows it.
Scott then turns to Derek, who lets them know that the words “Beacon Hills” were written in blood on a wall in Brazil.
Scott: “You came back for Beacon Hills?”
Derek: “No. I came back for you.”
And cue the adorable man hug. Man, I’ve missed this. (I’ve also missed Stiles not wasting any time in a life-or-death situation to be annoyed about his friends leaving him out of the loop.)
But the reunion is short lived when Gerard comes through on Roscoe’s radio. And because he’s Gerard, he’s of course reading some Shakespeare (and it seems Derek is the only Julius Caesar fan in the house). Gerard lets Scott know that he has Jackson at the armory, his father in a jail cell, Parrish at Eichen, and Liam and company trapped at the hospital. So with his army positioned everywhere, Scott has to come to him. It’s time to wage war. (Next: Peter meets the Anuk-Ite)
First up, Scott calls Theo to help Liam at the hospital. The rest of them catch up at the animal clinic, where we get what’s probably my favorite scene of the finale just because we get to watch Stiles pretend he saved Derek from a SWAT assault when, in reality, Derek lets us all know that he ended up carrying Stiles out of the mission after he was shot in the toe. I’ve missed seeing all these guys together, and this is the one scene where they get to make fun of each other and remind us of that chemistry.
Case in point? They tell Stiles about the Anuk-Ite and we get this great interaction:
Stiles: “You’re telling me we gotta go up against this thing blind…and face our deepest fear?”
Scott: “Yeah, why, what do you fear most?”
As Stiles puts it, it “seems to be a situation of unfortunate overlap.” Do I need to say again how much I’ve missed him?
Scott tells Stiles and Lydia to rescue Jackson while Scott, Malia, and Derek are headed to the high school to try and figure out how to trap the Anuk-Ite. Do they know how to do that? Nope! But they’re going in anyway!
Meeting them at the high school is Peter, who hangs up his cell phone before he can be properly warned about not looking at the Anuk-Ite. About 20 seconds later, he’s turned to stone. But when Malia, Scott, and Derek find him, they can still hear a heartbeat, so immediately, the tension is taken out of this moment because it feels like they’re going to bring him back. Also, somehow, seeing Peter has made Scott realize how he can catch the Anuk-Ite? I don’t know about you all, but I’m confused.
At the armory, Jackson manages to break free of his cuffs by using his words…and his tail. Yep, he still has one. But by the time he breaks free, his rescue mission is already underway. When Stiles and Lydia round the corner, they run smack into Jackson, and Lydia is THRILLED. She runs into his arms — it’s all a little too close for comfort for Stiles, who eventually separates them.
Lydia quickly catches up Jackson on her banshee skills before he explains that he’s not leaving without Ethan. Wait, what’s Ethan doing here? Stiles and Lydia wonder as they slowly piece everything together. Lydia’s reaction to their relationship: “Oh my god, I thought you’d never figure it out.” While Jackson grabs Ethan, Stiles gets Scott something he needs from the armory.
Over at the hospital, Corey and Mason choose a very strange time to exchange “I love you”s while Mama McCall wakes up Nolan with smelling salts. It doesn’t take long for the gunfire to begin, and Theo arrives just in time to save Liam one more time. In the elevator, Theo and Liam agree to fight together, and despite the fact that they both take a bullet or two, they come out on top. The real loser ends up being Gabe, who’s killed by his own men, leaving Theo to take some of his pain in a moment that proves Theo is on the track to redemption.
Getting back to the high school, Monroe shoots Scott with a bullet containing yellow wolfsbane, which leaves Derek to act fast and pull Scott into the chemistry classroom so he can burn the wolfsbane out of his system. Anyone else flash back to Derek burning Scott’s tattoo into his arm in this scene? (Next: The return of Void Stiles)
When Derek starts to feel the Anuk-Ite’s fear, he leaves Scott to heal while he heads into the hallway, claws out. But when the Anuk-Ite takes the form of Jennifer — the Darach/Derek’s girlfriend from season 3 — Derek is eventually tempted to open his eyes and look at her. Of course, when he does that, he turns to stone. I have to be honest: This bothers me. Derek KNOWS not to open his eyes, and even though this thing is speaking in Jennifer’s voice, the fact that it keeps telling him to open his eyes is further proof it’s the Anuk-Ite. Derek is smarter than that!
The Anuk-Ite also successfully fools Jackson, Ethan, and Malia, leaving Scott to fend for himself in the library.
But before we get to the big showdown, I have to mention Stilinski’s badass moment when he shows up to rescue Parrish from Eichen and kicks the asses of three of his deputies despite the fact that they’re all, “What are you, like, 60?” I love that Stilinski got that moment.
While all of this is going on, we also get an Argent family reunion when Kate realizes that her decision to give Gerard the yellow wolfsbane wasn’t smart, seeing as how he made an extra bullet…for her. Yep, Gerard shoots his own daughter because he’s the worst. Thankfully, Argent shows up just in time to tell Gerard that Scott figured out how to save everyone.
Back at the library, Scott keeps his eyes closed as the Anuk-Ite appears to him as just about every bad guy you’ve seen on this show: He’s Void Stiles!!! Then he’s the Nogitsune, then he’s Derek, Malia, Lydia, a Berserker, the Oni, a Dread Doctor, etc. Honing in on Scott’s greatest fear, he reminds him that he has failed his friends. “You failed everyone, especially her…especially Allison.” And there’s your second heartbreaking Allison reference of the evening.
But really, can we please just get more Void Stiles?! That might be my favorite return of the finale.
Scott, never opening his eyes, reveals that he knows how to trap the Anuk-Ite. After gauging out his own eyes with his claws — yep, that was fun to watch — Scott fights back. Scott informs the Anuk-Ite that if it wants to be a shapeshifter, it has to accept the rules that come along with that, including “lines that we can’t cross.” And cut to Gerard once again whispering “mountain ash.” Just then, Stiles shows up and throws down the mountain ash that he stole from the armory. And it works.
With the Anuk-Ite trapped, everyone who turned to stone is able to break free (and thankfully Finstock is there to save Jackson and Ethan from one last hunter). As for Argent, he leaves Gerard in the hands of Kate — who’s now gone full jaguar, so that won’t end well for the old man.
Just as Monroe asks for an update over the radio, Liam informs her, “You lost.”
But everything isn’t perfect yet: In the library, Scott’s eyes aren’t healing. He’s having trouble focusing when Malia comes to his side. As Lydia takes Stiles’ hand, she remembers their first kiss and how she got Stiles to focus when he was having a panic attack. “Malia, kiss him,” she says. And so Malia does, and it works. By getting Scott to focus on something other than healing, he’s able to heal. (Next: The war’s not over)
With the war over, we’re back to Scott’s voiceover, letting us know that the hunters “ran that night.” And after that, a lot fewer people were willing to use weapons. “They weren’t afraid of us anymore,” Scott says. “Now we have allies who used to be enemies. We have protectors. We have friends willing to fight for us.”
A montage shows us that Liam and Nolan are now co-captains of the lacrosse team, Deaton is helping Corey and Mason, and we get final glimpses of both Theo and Peter before MELISSA AND ARGENT KISS! And then there’s Jackson and Ethan, who successfully made it home to London.
As Scott tells Alec, “The rest of us have been looking for others, like you.” Standing in a parking lot, Scott explains that Monroe still has thousands of followers all over the world and tonight, they need all the help they can get. Just then, Stiles, Lydia, Malia, Derek, and Liam arrive. Scott introduces Alec to his pack and invites him to join if he’s willing to fight.
Alec tells Scott that Monroe called him a monster. And, revisiting the line from season 4, Scott tells Alec, “You’re not a monster. You’re a werewolf. Like me.”
The series then ends with Scott and his pack — which now includes Alec — walking toward their next battle. And with one final smirk from our True Alpha, we say goodbye.
And that’s the end of Teen Wolf. Personally, I was surprised that the show left things on this note, particularly after I felt that the previous two finales almost could’ve served as better series finales. The end of season 5 had a wonderful tribute to Allison and really gave a sense of closure, and then 610 had that very full-circle moment of Scott and Stiles hopping in the Jeep to go check out a dead body in the woods. I would’ve been happy with either of those as our farewell.
This finale felt like more of a cliffhanger than anything the show has done before, which is a strange choice when writing the series finale. I don’t love knowing that there’s a huge war to be fought and that’s where all these people are going. How many are going to die? How long until they can live a happy life? It’s not the most uplifting note to leave things on.
Additionally, I understand the idea of bringing things full circle by introducing a new werewolf who has a similar story to Scott, but I think it was just a bit much in an already packed finale. Had they introduced the kid in the season premiere and worked in that story throughout the year, it could’ve worked better, but it just felt like a character I didn’t care about was taking time away from the ones I did care about.
And then there’s the whole “somehow everything came together perfectly and everyone made it out of this war unscathed” part of it all. Suddenly, defeating the Anuk-Ite is as simple as grabbing some mountain ash? Where’s the tension? Even when Scott was shot with yellow wolfsbane, we had no time to panic, because less than five minutes later, Derek was healing him.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the many callbacks and familiar faces, and as an episode, I’d give this a better grade. But as a finale, this one left me wanting more.