Aptly named “Relics,” this episode truly encapsulates just how lost the wolf pack are. Not only are things coming up short in the case of the “Who’s Stiles” mystery, but the gang has been defeated over and over again by the Ghost Riders and it may be hitting home that this is a foe that won’t be so easily bested like the others they’ve come across. I’ll admit, this episode starts off slower than others and the disinterest starts to trickle in. How long can you care for a missing character that’s been gone three episodes? How long are you supposed to care that the clues leading to Stiles all lead the gang absolutely nowhere?
Part of the disconnect for the missing Stiles arc, is that it’s meant to be an emotional stake to the heart. What’s Buffy without Willow? Most of you know the answer to that, but in order to feel the loss of Willow, we need to be constantly reminded of her. We need to see Buffy’s banter lacking because Willow’s dweeby puns are absent. Same here with Stiles. Yes, he’s been taken and is subsequently forgotten. But it almost feels as if the show runners forgot about him too here. Luckily, he’ll be the center of next week’s episode along with the others taken by the Ghost Riders.
Stiles aside, this episode did an exceptional job of containing the story. It has a distinct beginning, middle and end, and the middle and end are where the gang finds themselves in multiple “oh sh*t” moments. Scott and the pack have agreed to protect all of those who saw the Ghost Riders at the party in the previous episode. Since the Riders leave no witnesses behind, each and every student that gazed upon them will be taken. So the team splits into two groups. Scott and Liam play the Lacrosse home game while defending two other students disguised as fellow lacrosse players. Malia and Papa Argent guard the bulk of the teens in an underground bunker, while Mason, Deputy Parrish and Hayden guard the school.
The result is a bust on all fronts. Each and every team despite their advances and preparation fails and inevitably loses the battle. The Ghost Riders win again, and not even Parrish’s Hell Hound abilities save them. And this is a severe loss, we’re talking at the very least 20/30 students gone missing, which hits Scott and Liam hard. These are some of the best episodes in Teen Wolf lore. I mentioned season 3 is where the team felt at it’s most dire, but these moments are strong enough to compete with that season. Each leader – Liam, Scott and Malia – all question their ability to save those around them and it’s incredibly moving, but also the most human we’ve seen these werewolves in a while.
But let’s not walk away with our tails between our legs, something tells me there’s gonna be a win for the pack soon. Until next time folks.