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"Frayed" is the fifth episode of Season Three of Teen Wolf. It was written by Angela L. Harvey and directed by Robert Hall. It is the twenty-ninth episode of the series overall, and premiered on July 1, 2013.

Synopsis

During a bus ride to a cross country meet, Scott and his friends flash back to the events of a preemptive strike against the Alphas that has left several injured and possibly one or more dead.

Recap

The cross country team is on a bus. Isaac tells Boyd to stop thinking about something. Danny asks Ethan if he’s okay since he keeps checking his phone obsessively. Scott is looking worse for wear and a flashback is shown of him in wolf form before Stiles interrupts him to quiz him on SAT words from an iPad. Stiles wants to talk about what happened, but Scott is trying to avoid it. Scott is in incredible pain but insists that he’s fine. Scott has two massive gashes on his torso. Apparently they’re taking longer to heal because their from an alpha. Scott says that he “can’t believe he’s dead.” It’s revealed that "he" is Derek.

Allison and Lydia are following the bus in Allison’s car. Another flashback shows Scott confronting Allison about a titanium arrow that he found at the school. Allison insists that she can take care of herself. They begin to discuss if Allison could actually take a Werewolf in light of the new alphas in town. For a moment in seems like play-fighting is going to lead to kissing, but Allison backs off. Scott proves his point when he easily pins Allison against the wall, and Scott begins to feel guilty. Scott closes by saying that his goal was to warn her about the alphas, not dominate her.

In a flahsback, Scott walks into the Hale loft to tell Derek that he knows where the alphas are after meeting Deucalion in the elevator at Allison’s building, but they already know and are forming a coup de main or preemptive strike. The flashback fast-forwards to fighting, most likely the planned preemptive strike. It seems that the Hale pack is struggling.

On the bus, Coach Finstock is sassing a kid named Jared, who apparently gets carsick every time they’re on a bus. Scott’s wound starts bleeding again, and Stiles points out that bleeding means that it’s not healing at all. Scott notices that Ethan is listening, but doesn’t think Ethan will try anything with that many people around. Stiles points out that Boyd and Isaac are just ticking time bombs, but Scott doesn’t think they’ll do anything either.

The flashback picks back up at planning the fight in the loft. Scott doesn’t like the plan to just go kill everyone, and Peter makes a smart comment while Cora asks why “this kid” is necessary at all. Derek points out that Scott helped to save Cora’s life. When Scott says that there’s no way to kill that many alphas, Cora corrects that they’re only trying to kill one, Deucalion. Peter compares the pack to a hydra, a mythological monster with multiple heads that would grow two new heads for everyone one that was cut off, to suggest that this plan my backfire.

Back in present time, Lydia points out that Allison’s car is running on fumes. Lydia realizes that Allison’s realized that she’s involved with Aiden. Lydia swears that nothing’s going on, although a scene of her hooking up with Aiden in a classroom is shown. Boyd begins to shift, and both Isaac and Scott prepare to intercept him if necessary.

The flashback moves backward to when Scott meets Deucalion in the elevator. He immediately unsheathes his claws. Deucalion taunts him and tells him that he may find himself in a situation where he has to kill someone to protect another. Deucalion reveals that he lives in the building and he wants to see what Scott’s made of.

Reverting back to the fight in the mall, Derek is fighting with Ennis on an elevated platform. They end up both tipping on the platform and falling, landing on an escalator that appears to be two or three stories below. Both are no longer moving. Cora is investigating an escalator, the same one that Derek and Ennis fell onto, when Peter shows up. Neither trusts the other, and it is revealed that both bodies are gone.

A conversation between Scott and Deaton is shown, where Scott is afraid that Derek is going to get his entire pack killed and wonders if he should try to stop them. Deaton tells him that he shouldn’t stop them, but lead them.

Back on the bus, Scott tells Boyd that he needs to calm down because he can’t do anything to Ethan right now. When Boyd tries to fight, Isaac helps to keep Boyd in his seat. The movement causes Scott’s jacket to shift, and Isaac asks about the blood. Scott says he’s fine and asks Boyd to wait for him come up with a plan. Boyd agrees. Stiles notices Ethan checking his phone and sends Danny a message to ask Ethan what’s going on. Danny refuses, and Stiles continues to ask. Ethan notices that Danny's phone keeps going off and gives him a concerned look. Eventually Danny does ask Ethan what's going on. Ethan realizes that it’s Scott and Stiles who want to know, but he still tells Danny, who passes on that “Someone close to him is sick. Might not make it through the night.” Apparently Ennis isn’t dead after all.

At the vet’s office, the doorbell rings and Morell enters with Aiden and Kali, carrying a mostly dead Ennis. Deaton doesn’t want to help them, and the pack can’t force its way in because the the clinic is made of mountain ash. Morell reasons that if Ennis dies the alpha pack will be out for blood and end up hurting the pack, and Deaton opens the gate.

On the bus, Jared is looking worse and worse, and Coach Finstock goes on a rant about nothing stopping them from making this meet, although traffic is not moving. Stiles suggests getting off at a food exit to wait out the traffic, but Finstock isn’t hearing it. Apparently Scott’s been trying to call Deaton, but he hasn’t gotten through. Stiles decides to call Lydia and Allison, who he noticed behind them hours ago, calling them “pathetic.”

Lydia’s phone rings, and she tries to pretend that they’re at a movie, but Stiles isn’t having it. Apparently the blood around Scott’s wound is now turning black. Allison says that Stiles needs to convince the Coach to stop at the rest area. Stiles’s attempts fail, but Stiles goes to bother Jared, and the team is seen rushing off the bus. Apparently Jared threw up. Allison and Stiles get Scott into the bathroom. The blood in the wound is entirely blackened, and Scott’s beginning to fade. Lydia suggests that it’s psychological. Stiles asks “Psychosomatic?” and Lydia counters with “Somatoformic.” Somatoform Disorders is an old term for a physical injury or sickness that has a psychological cause. These disorders are now called Somatic Symptom Disorders. Stiles pieces together that it’s because of Derek, that Scott isn’t letting himself heal because Derek died. Lydia suggests that they just need to stitch him up and make him believe that he’s healing. At the vet’s office, Deaton begins to work on Ennis.

Stiles and Lydia leave to get Scott’s bag and make sure the bus doesn’t leave as Allison prepares to stitch Scott up. Allison is beginning to get visibly upset and can’t thread the needle. She hears her mother’s voice, chastising her for her failure. She gets frustrated, and Scott is momentarily startled before fading again. Allison finally gets the needle threaded and begins to stitch Scott up. Scott has no reaction. Coach Finstock begins to get the players back on the bus. Allison finishes the stitching, but Scott is still not responding. Apparently he’s stopped breathing.

Back in the flashback, Scott realizes that Derek and Ennis are both dead and is pulled away from the edge of the platform by Isaac.

Allison finally gets through to Scott, who says that it’s his fault, although the viewer has seen nothing to suggest that. Allison helps him stand and gets him a new shirt.

Back in the flashback, Scott tells Isaac that he’s going to get food. Isaac insists on coming, knowing that Scott’s not actually getting dinner. The boys arrive at the abandoned mall where the fight happened, and Scott insists that there will be talking only.

Allison brings Scott out of the bathroom with Lydia’s help.

Scott and Isaac walk further into the mall where Deucalion has already arrived. Derek is already there and shifted. It’s revealed that the rest of the alpha pack is also at the warehouse, but so are Boyd and Cora.

In present time, Isaac is beating the crap out of Ethan while Boyd watches with a smile on his face. Scott yells at Isaac, and he realizes what he’s doing, pulling away a little guiltily as Danny rushes toward Ethan.

Peter and Cora arrive at the Animal Clinic. Peter realizes that the entire alpha pack is at the clinic. Deucalion arrives and talks with Deaton before crushing Ennis’s skull with one hand. Deaton is more than a little disturbed. Outside, Cora wonders who’s actually in the clinic before Aiden and Kali exit the clinic. Kali roars while held back by Aiden, and Peter comments that that probably wasn’t for Derek.

Back at the mall, Derek makes the first move by running at Deucalion before being intercepted by Kali. Boyd takes on Ennis while Isaac goes for the twins in their combined form, and with resignation, Scott shifts and joins the fight. Deucalion simply watches as his pack takes on the Hale pack and Scott is shown receiving the torso wound that Allison had to stitch up. The alpha pack brings the fight to a stand still, and Deucalion delivers the ultimatum that Derek must kill Boyd, but the others will be let go. Derek hesitates, and Kali tells him that he must choose between pack or family while shifting her position on top of Cora, making the bones in Cora’s neck creak. As Derek struggles to make a decision, Allison appears with flashing arrows.

Allison and Chris are discussing Allison going to help out the pack. Chris insists that they need to stay out of it, but Allison refuses, saying that sounds like her just “saving her own ass.”

The arrows cause enough confusion for both Cora and Boyd to get up. Scott rushes at Ennis with red eyes, but they quickly fade to yellow. Derek and Ennis begin to fight. Scott claws at Ennis’s calf, the only thing he can reach, and Ennis stumbles, which is the movement that causes both him and Derek to pitch off the platform. This is most likely why Scott states that it’s his fault earlier in the episode.

On the bus, Stiles and Lydia are discussing what they now know about the darach. Lydia adds that in some ancient cultures, humans were sacrificed to prepare for battle. Allison tells Scott that if Derek’s really dead it’s not his fault. Scott thanks Allison for being there that night. She mentions his eyes, which she saw go red.

Dr. Deaton warns Morrell about what she’s gotten herself into. Ms. Blake is shown getting into her car right as Derek arrives, leaving a bloody handprint on her window before fainting.


Cast

Staring

Guest Staring

Trivia

Goofs

  • It is good to sterilize the needle, but what's the point if you spit the thread.
  • When coach is blowing his whistle to interrupt Stiles attempts at getting him to stop at the rest stop, his hand changes from holding and not holding his whistle between the shots in front and behind his head.

Quotes

Lydia: What's wrong with him?
Stiles: What's wrong with him? I don't... do I have a PhD in lycanthropy? How am I supposed to know that?

Stiles: Ethan keeps checking his phone, like, every five minutes. It's like he's waiting for something, you know, like, a message or a signal of some kind. I don't know, something evil though, I can tell. I have a very perceptive eye for evil, you know that.

Lydia: [Making out with Aiden] I mean your hands.
Aiden: They're on your waist.
Lydia: I know. What am I, a nun? Put them somewhere more useful.

Deucalion: Come on, Scott. Put those away. I'd have to be blind, deaf and quadriplegic for you to be an actual threat or maybe you should take a chance.

Stiles: We shouldn't have come. I knew it. We shouldn't have come.
Scott: We had to. There's safety in numbers.
Stiles: Well, there's also death in numbers, okay? It's called a massacre - or bloodbath, carnage, slaughter, butchery...

Scott: Why is the default plan always murder? Just once can someone try to come up with something that doesn't involve killing everyone?
Peter: You never get tired of being so blandly moral, do you?

Coach Finstock: Jared, I'm warning you. I'm an empathetic vomiter. You throw up, I'm gonna throw up back on you. And it will be profoundly disgusting!

Stiles: So it's the sacrifices, right? Everything has to do with them and someone who thinks he's, like, a dark druid of some kind.
Lydia: Or actually is a dark druid.
Stiles: A darach.
Lydia: You know... some ancient cultures sacrificed people in preparation for battle.
Stiles: So we got alpha werewolves against a dark druid.
Lydia: Yeah.

Kali: Are we serious with this kid? Look at him, he's an Alpha? To what, a couple of useless teenagers?
Deucalion: Some have more promise than others.

Scott: [Doing PSAT prep] What's the word?
Stiles: "Anachronism."
Scott: Something that exists out of its normal time.
Stiles: Nice. Okay, next word..."incongruous."
Scott: Um, can you use it in a sentence?
Stiles: Yes. Yes, I can. It's completely incongruous that we're sitting on a bus right now, on our way to some stupid cross-country meet after what just happened...

Chris: Threading the needle; finding a safe path between two opposing forces.
Allison: Sounds like saving your own ass.

Soundtrack

  • This Is What It Sounds Like - of Verona
  • Future Stars - Private Parties
  • Hounds - Valleys
  • Girlfriend - Watch the Duck
  • Hey Now - London Grammar

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