'Teen Wolf' summer finale recap: Death, darkness and Alphas in 'Lunar Ellipse'

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Thank goodness that the "Teen Wolf" summer finale isn't the end of Season 3 -- instead, "Lunar Ellipse" simply marks the last of the new episodes for a few months. Then "Teen Wolf" will return in January for more craziness and shirtless young men.

Considering the teases and cliffhangers we have been left with at the end of this summer finale, that is a very, very good thing. Waiting a full year might be impossible.

So what happened? What did it all mean? The answers (such as they currently exist) are below:

Back to the beginning

While the start of this "Teen Wolf" evokes thoughts of a 1968 Cream song (look it up, kids), the appearance of the nemeton -- that funky druid tree stump -- quickly takes us back to the beginning.

I mean, the very beginning. We're talking about the beginning of the "Teen Wolf" series premiere. As it turns out, the central trio of the show -- Scott, Stiles and Allison -- all encountered the mystical tree on that first fateful night.

Each of them flashes back to that dark and stormy night while in the throes of mystical hypothermia. Scott sees the moment when Peter bit him, creating a werewolf in the process. Stiles sees himself stumbling away and getting caught by the Sheriff's search party.

"But Allison wasn't in that part of the premiere!" the devoted fans cry. That's true -- or so we thought. If you recall, Scott eventually stumbled out of the woods and into a road, only to be narrowly missed by a car that drove away.

Allison and her (then-alive) Psycho Mama were in that car. While Mom Argent wanted to keep going, Allison did insist on checking on the hit-and-run possibilities. In the process, the girl found an inhaler -- Scott's -- among the dark trees.

The connecting factor for each of these moments? All took place within feet of the nemeton.

Time flies when you're dead

Thanks to this important realization, Scott, Stiles and Allison burst out of the ice baths simultaneously -- and they all know where to look. Too bad those little dips in the frigid water took a little longer than expected. It seems that all three were essentially dead for 16 hours!

If that's not bad enough, the time jump means that the Full Moon -- along with that pesky lunar eclipse -- is coming soon.

Derek and Jennifer, the world's most depressing love story

Now that everyone has a destination, it's time to go save the parental units, right? Not so fast.

Before any rescue attempts can be made, Ethan stops by to express how the sweet love of Danny has made him into a good wolf. He wants to help Derek not get killed by Kali. Thus, he whisks away Lydia to Derek's increasingly depressing Warehouse of Doom.

Unfortunately, saving Derek isn't so easy. He's not an Alpha after saving Cora, so fighting is pretty much pointless. Peter and Cora are all for getting out of town, and Derek reluctantly agrees after Lydia pronounces his home a "graveyard."

Yes, the place is that depressing.

Whatever the vibes, Derek takes off, leaving others to fight his battles. Lydia and the Twins (since Aidan isn't going to hurt his quasi-girlfriend or brother) might have had to do so, were it not for the arrival of one Jennifer Blake, darach extraordinaire!

This way, at least Kali gets to fight someone. It's too bad that she (and her rotten pedicure) loses. Badly. Jennifer also rips the Wonder Twins in half, which is kind of disgusting. As for Lydia, she gets to live -- she just has to let out a "Derek come back!" scream.
 
Derek comes back. Of course he does! How could Derek miss out on a bad decision like that? It turns out that Jennifer really is in love with Derek and his hot-hot-hot body. She even kind of believes that killing Alphas is only meant to strengthen their relationship,

Having seen his girlfriend's slime face now, Derek only reluctantly agrees to go along with this. But what else is he going to do -- it's a bad decision, and Derek loves those!

Parents just don't understand

Meanwhile, Stiles rushes to the nemeton site while the others stop off at the Argents' for weapons and whatnot. Too bad Scott's dad got there first.

Agent McCall and his oh-so-unimpressed son have a chilly reunion before the interrogation begins. You see, when a bunch of parents go missing and people are getting murdered left and right, law enforcement (and absentee fathers) tend to pay attention.

But no one's talking.

After a short stint of stony silence, Allison takes charge. She points out that her dad is totally allowed to have a vast array of weaponry and uses the FBI's momentary confusion to set off a smoke bomb.

This is why no one should go up against an Argent. No one.

Showdown!

Having eluded his actual father, Scott heads out to meet his wannabe werewolf dad, Deucalion. They arrange a meet with Jennifer via video chat, and the climax of the entire half-season is finally here!

Jennifer shows up with Derek and a misplaced sense that this boy toy would actually fight for her on any meaningful level. Deucalion counters this by becoming the single most bada** werewolf ever to roam the earth. Seriously, this guy is suddenly the stuff of nightmares.

And he's winning. Derek is no contest, as expected. Surprisingly, even Jennifer isn't much of a match for Deucalion's scary ways. She would be super-dead right away, in fact, if Deucalion didn't want Scott to finish her off.

Scott doesn't, because he's Scott and therefore has this whole "moral goodness" thing that everyone else keeps forgetting about.

Morality is unfortunate here though, since the hesitation brings us right up to the lunar eclipse. The werewolves are suddenly and completely useless.

Jennifer uses her 15-minute advantage to pretty much beat Deucalion's head into a bloody pulp (much like her own). That would be that, were it not for the interference of Derek. He points out that the blind werewolf isn't suffering enough, since he can't see Miss Blake's slime face. So Jennifer heals her mortal enemy's eyesight.

Here's the thing that Jennifer Blake has overlooked in her love for Derek's hot-hot-hot body -- Derek is always wrong. Always. Never follow his plans if you want to live.

At least this time, Derek uses his essential ineptitude to score one for the good guys: Healing Deucalion's eyes leaves Jennifer too weak to fight, maim or otherwise wreak havoc. Whoops.

Then her superiority -- much like the fleeting nature of flame -- has had its 15 minutes. The eclipse is over, and Jennifer is essentially screwed.

Meanwhile, in a hole in the ground

Lest we forget, the senior members of the Stilinski, McCall and Argent families are still tied up in a hole. Stiles is supposed to save them, but a darach-induced super-storm delays him with a car crash. Allison and Isaac eventually make it, but nature's continued upheaval means that the kids arrive just in time for a cave-in.

This is probably because Isaac is there. Poor kid should know not to go anywhere near enclosed spaces. It always ends badly.

Isaac can't even hold up the roof when his werewolf strength goes poof during the eclipse. Things are going the way of that garbage scene in "Star Wars" until the group is saved by its own R2-D2 equivalent: Stiles. With a baseball bat.

Yay Stiles!

Circles of dust are no match for Super Scott!

It's pretty much over for Jennifer now, even though mean druid manages to retreat to the safety of an ash circle. No werewolf can cross that -- except one can. That would be Scott.

Even though it was an epic fail before, Scott starts pushing through the mystic special effects brought on by the circle. The shininess takes on a rubber-like quality. And Scott's eyes slowly redden with intensity until the magic protection is no more.

"I'm an Alpha now." Yeah you are, Scott!

He's still Scott though and not prone to killing. Deucalion takes care of that part, handily slashing Jennifer's throat and bringing an end to the reign of funky druid terror on "Teen Wolf."

You'd think Scott would be thankful for this. He isn't, not really. But Scott does let Deucalion go in the hopes that the bad man has learned his lesson and will be good from now on.

Because that will totally happen.

The end ...

Now that the fighting is done, we get our ending in the form of Scott narrating events for Dr. Deaton. These events include:

  • Allison informs her dad (or minion, as the case may be) that they're going to help the weak now, living up to a French motto.
  • Danny and Ethan and Lydia and Aidan get to walk the halls in the throes of love.
  • Allison and Isaac are still flirting.
  • Derek takes Cora on a much-needed vacation.
  • Dad McCall is sticking around, despite the fact that neither his ex-wife nor son want to talk to him.

Scott has that depressing darkness in his heart now (from being dead and all) too, but he has his friends and doesn't dwell in the dark place. Maybe. A final moment of Scott and Stiles walking through the hall reveals the boys' newly dark expressions (and some rather impressive acting from Tyler Posey and Dylan O'Brien).

So that's it, right? Happily ever after ...

... Or not

What happened to Jennifer Blake? Somehow, her body disappeared after Deucalion's attack. That's because she's not dead yet.

Nope, the Druid-That-Just-Won't-Die has crawled back to her beloved nemeton, pleading for some of that healing natural embrace.

She doesn't get it. Instead, Jennifer gets a visit from Peter Hale. Jennifer isn't too surprised -- after all, nothing ever seems to get Peter. He's always OK. It's almost like he's biding his time, hiding some evil until he can take the Alpha mantle off Scott and lead again.

That's not quite it though. Instead, there is another explanation, best summed up in Peter's own words: "Again? Again? I am the Alpha. I've always been the Alpha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Then he kills Jennifer, which is unfortunate, because that was too awesome a declaration of villainy for everyone on "Teen Wolf" to miss. Oh well. They'll find out all too soon when the show returns in the winter.

Photo/Video credit: MTV