"Motel California" is the sixth episode of Season Three of Teen Wolf. It was written and directed by Christian Taylor. It is the thirtieth episode of the series overall, and premiered on July 8, 2013.


Stranded at a motel for the night because of the postponed cross country meet, Scott and the others suffer strange experiences that cause them to believe members of their own group may the mysterious killer's newest targets.


An unknown man drives a truck in the California desert. He pulls up to a motel and bloodied hands and a leg wound are shown. A newspaper reveals the date: 5 March, 1977. The man enters room 217, and a bite mark is seen on his chest when he lifts his shirt. It's a full moon. The man empties his pockets and bag and loads a gun. His eyes turn yellow and he recites the orignal Argent code, Nous chassons ceux qui nous chassent, before shooting himself off screen. A close up of his ID shows that this man is Alexander Argent from Massachusetts.

In present time, the cross country team's bus pulls up to the same motel, called the Motel Glen Capri. Apparently their meet has been postponed until the next day. The students are told to pick a partner to share a room with, and Coach Finstock states that he'll "have no sexual perversions from you little deviants!... Keep your dirty little hands to your dirty little selves!" Lydia has a really bad feeling about the motel, but Allison, her chosen roommate, somewhat dismisses it.

t the motel, Stiles and Scott lie on their respective beds in their room discussing possible suspects for the sacrifices. Stiles mentions Derek, who was apparently on Stiles's original list twice, before adding Harris, their chemistry teacher. Scott is skeptical and asks if it's someone at school, considering that they had no clue about Matt Daehler being the kanima's master. Stiles sits up quickly to point out that he called that from the start, but no one took him seriously. Scott is mollified and asks who else is on Stiles's list. Stiles lists Cora Hale, since even Derek doesn't really know her anymore now that she's been mysteriously gone for six years and she's a Hale, and Deaton because he finds the "Obi-Wan" thing suspicious, a reference that's lost on Scott because he still hasn't seen the Star Wars films. Stiles's last suspect is Lydia, remembering how she was completely controlled by Peter Hale in the past.

Ms. Blake brings Derek back to the loft, but seems to slip because of the awkward way she's trying to support Derek's weight and they both fall just inside the door.

At the mall where the fight took place in the last episode, Chris Argent uses the footprints, claw marks, and other remnants of the fight to envision what happened.

At the motel, Scott is disturbed when he sees his eyes flash red. Stiles goes downstairs to the vending machine and sees Boyd already there, although he ignores Stiles's prescence. Boyd's crackers get stuck, and Stiles offers to help, but Boyd just punches through the glass and takes his food before walking away. Stiles is caught off-guard, but he takes the free food that the broken machine is now offering.

In the shower, Allison calls out to Lydia asking if she was able to get new towels. Scott walks in, and Allison quickly wraps the shower curtain around herself, asking Scott to leave since she's in the shower. Scott makes no move to do so, stating that he's "seen her naked before." Allison becomes worried because Scott is acting really strange, but just as Scott goes to reach for the shower curtain, he realizes what he's about to do and leaves.

At the front desk, Lydia goes to ask about the towels. Behind the woman at the desk is a placard with the number 198 on it. Lydia asks what it means, and the woman tells her that it's an inside thing that her husband does and that she probably doesn't want to know what it really means. Lydia insists that she does, and the woman tells her that their motel will never be the top for customer service, but they are number one for one thing in the state of California: guest suicides. Isaac flicks through static on the television with a disconcerting smile on his face.

Allison is on the phone with her father. He recognizes the name of the motel and tells her that he'll come pick her and Lydia up. Allison insists that they are fine. Chris seems to think that she's keeping secrets from him, which she denies, but he has found Allison's arrows at the mall.

Jennifer has gotten Derek onto the bed and begins checking his wounds. There is a slightly flirty tone, but Derek has little reaction, positive or negative.

Lydia tells Allison about the suicides. Considering when the motel opened, this would mean that 4.95 suicides happen every year. Lydia starts to hear two people talking about guns, but Allison doesn't hear it. The sound seems to be coming from the vent. The voices agree to shoot on three, say that they love each other, and then shots are heard. Lydia realizes that she just heard a couple commit suicide by shooting each other. She and Allison go to the next room, but there's no lights on. The room is empty, and it seems like it's being renovated. They find a construction light, and Lydia tells Allison more about what she heard. Allison insists that she believes Lydia, and Lydia sees two screaming figures in the wood paneling.

Boyd goes outside to get ice and hears a voice in the ice box. It's a girl saying, "Don't leave me." Boyd thinks it's "Alicia" and starts digging frantically through the ice. He sees a face, causing him to drop the ice and run. Lydia wants to leave the motel, suggesting that the motel is renovating to cover up the latest suicide.

Isaac wakes up in his room and calls for Boyd, who's not there. He tries to go back to sleep, but he hears something. It's his dad, talking about a construction project. Isaac responds, and he begins to have a conversation with his dad's voice, probably a repeat of something that happened when Isaac was younger. Isaac begins to become more and more distressed. Eventually his dad's voice tells him to get in the freezer, and Isaac hides under the covers, now triggered into a flashback.

When Lydia brings Allison back to the front desk the number has changed to 201. They realize that this must mean that three more suicides are about to happen.

Ms. McCall calls Scott and tells him to look outside. Scott goes to the window and sees Deucalion holding her by the throat and telling him that he's an alpha now. Deucalion then rips Melissa's throat out. Stiles asks if Scott is okay, and Scott looks again and realizes that nothing is there. Stiles goes back to brushing his teeth and receives a text message from Lydia, so he goes to talk to her.

Ethan and Danny are making out on the bed. Ethan notices scars on Danny's torso, and Danny tells him that he had to have a bar through his torso when he was fourteen. Ethan asks about a way to make them disappear, referring to the Bite although Danny doesn’t know that, but Danny says that he likes them because they make him feel like a survivor. Ethan tells Danny that he hopes that he is a survivor and continues to kiss him before pulling way hastily feeling his back shift. He goes to the bathroom and sees what looks like someone trying to claw out of his stomach. He rushes out of the room.

Stiles, Lydia, and Allison talk about what they’ve discovered. Lydia thinks it’s the motel causing so many suicides and pulls the Bible out of the room’s nightstand. In it, Stiles finds several newspaper clippings about suicides in that very room. They go back to the room next door and now it’s locked. They plan to leave, but then they hear the rotary saw turn on. Ethan has it and is bringing it to his stomach. Stiles fights him while Lydia unplugs it. Ethan simply unsheathes his claws and Stiles dives at him again. They both stumble into the heater, and suddenly Ethan snaps out of it.

Jennifer stands at the window in the loft as Derek comes back to consciousness and sits up. Derek tells her that he needs to get in touch with the others and tell them that he’s okay, but Jennifer discourages him, pointing out the advantage of faking a death as seen in Les Misérables, Tale of Two Cities, and Romeo and Juliet.

Stiles, Lydia, and Allison chase after Ethan, who’s refusing to tell them anything. They decide to split up, knowing that they need to get the Werewolf out of the motel. Stiles is looking at Lydia funny, and she convinces him to spill. He says that they’ve been through this before at her party, when she poisoned everybody with wolfsbane.

Boyd sits in his room alone, suggesting that Isaac’s gone. The radio keeps turning on, and he hears a police officer interviewing him about how his sister, Alicia, went missing while they were at an ice rink. He unplugs it, but it turns back on. His younger self asks, “Is she dead? Is it my fault?” and in the present time, Boyd repeats it before completely destroying the radio.

Jennifer tells Derek that she can’t find any kind of first aid in the loft. He tells her that usually all he needs to heal is time before saying that she shouldn’t be there. When she asks why he says that, “Everyone around me… everyone gets hurt.” She tells him that she’s been hurt before and ignores his protests, moving steadily closer to him. They kiss, and she pulls away, hesitating. Derek leans in to kiss her again, and then Jennifer responds by deepening the kiss, seeming unconcerned by how he’s still covered in blood. The scene ends with the two of them sinking into the bed.

The number 201 is seen again as Boyd, barefoot, goes into the empty front office and the camera focus on a safe. Allison goes to Scott and Stiles’s room, but it’s empty. Lydia is offended by Stiles’s earlier insinuation, and Stiles attempts to backpedal. Lydia hears a baby crying and a stressed mom yelling. There’s water running.

Meanwhile, Boyd is running water in the bathtub. Lydia realizes that the woman is going to drown her baby. Boyd puts the safe on top of himself and gets into the tub. Lydia and Stiles find Boyd, but they can’t lift the safe. Stiles hits the heater and remembers that the heater made Ethan snap out of it, suggesting that heat could be the solution. Lydia remembers that there would be flares that can burn under water in the bus’s emergency kit, and Stiles runs to get them. Lydia hears heavy breathing and crying in the room and finds Isaac under the bed. He shrinks away from her in fear. Stiles lights a flare and brings it to Boyd, who’s eyes turn golden as he sits up, causing the safe to fly off. Stiles brings the flare to Isaac as well.

Stiles, Allison, and Lydia finally find Scott in the parking lot. He’s doused himself in gasoline and is holding the last flare. Scott says that there’s no hope for him or Derek, who he thinks is still dead. Meanwhile, Derek and Jennifer are having sex. Allison tells Scott that Derek wasn’t his fault, but Scott counters that whenever he actually tries to help people just get hurt or get killed. Stiles tells Scott that this isn’t him, but Scott insists that it is. He believes that this is the best thing he could do for everyone else.

As Derek and Jennifer continue, Derek’s wounds finally heal. Scott talks about what it was like before he was bitten, when him and Stiles were “nothing” and “no one,” and states that “maybe he should just be no one again” before lifting the flare. Stiles steps forward telling Scott that he’s his best friend, his brother, and that he needs him. He steps into the puddle of gasoline around Scott and grabs the flare, telling Scott that, “If you’re going to do this, then, I think you’re just going to have to take me with you.” Stiles takes the flare and throws it behind him. Lydia notices the flare rolling back toward the puddle of gasoline and runs towards Scott and Stiles, tackling them to the ground as the gasoline ignites. In the fire, Lydia sees a figure in a cloak, and chanting is heard.

Coach Finstock gets on the bus in the morning to see Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Allison, Boyd, and Isaac all already on the bus. Apparently the meet has been canceled. Ethan sits next to Scott and tells him that Derek’s probably alive, but he killed a member of the alpha pack. This means that he either needs to join the pack or Kali’s going to kill him. Stiles joins Scott as Lydia notices the coach’s whistle. She blows it into her hand and wolfsbane comes out. This is how the Werewolf got poisoned; every time the Coach blew the whistle on the bus the wolfsbane was released into the air. Stiles grabs the whistle and throws it out the window just as the bus drives off.

Chris goes to see his father at the nursing home. Apparently the man from the very beginning of the episode was Chris’s uncle. Chris wants to know who bit him, and Gerard tells him that it was Deucalion.



Guest Staring


  • Felisha Terrell as Kali (archive footage)
  • Brian Patrick Wade as Ennis (archive footage)
  • Max Carver as Aiden (archive footage)
  • John Wesley Shipp as Mr. Lahey (voice)
  • Jeremiah Sutheim as Jared


  • Dylan O'Brien wrote the scene where Scott and Stiles discuss Star Wars and The Darach.


  • A road flare will not burn underwater.



Scott: It all started that night, the night I got bitten. Do you remember the way it was before that? You and me, we were... we were... we were nothing. We weren't popular. We weren't good at lacrosse. We weren't important. We were no one. Maybe I should just be no one again. No one at all.
Stiles: Scott, just listen to me, okay? You're not no one. Okay? You're someone, you're... Scott, you're my best friend. Okay? And I need you. Scott, you're my brother. All right, so... so if you're gonna do this, then... I think you're just gonna have to take me with you.

Stiles: Yeah, your boss. I don't really like the whole Obi-Wan thing he's got going on. It freaks me out.
[Scott gives him a blank look]
Stiles: Oh, my God. Have you still not seen Star Wars?
Scott: I swear, if we make it back alive, I will watch the movie.
Stiles: It just makes me crazy.

Stiles: That's a beautiful thing. Most places leave a mint under the pillow. This one leaves a record of all the horrible deaths that occurred.

Coach Finstock: Listen up. The meet's been pushed till tomorrow. This is the closest motel with the most vacancies and least amount of good judgment when it comes to accepting a bunch of degenerates like yourselves. You'll be pairing up. Choose wisely. And I'll have no sexual perversions perpetrated by you little deviants. Got that? Keep your dirty little hands to your dirty little selves!

Desk Clerk: We are number one in California when it comes to one disturbing little detail. Since opening, more then any other motel in California, we have the most suicides.
Lydia: 198?
Desk Clerk: And counting.

Lydia: I don't like this place.
Allison: I don't think the people that own this place like this place. It's just for a night.
Lydia: A lot can happen in one night.


  • Your Man - Guards
  • Hush Now (feat. Tina Grace) - Fink
  • Touch - Daughter
  • Revelation - Dino Meneghin
  • Sleep Paralysis - Gabriel Bruce

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