Not to be a “sour wolf” or anything, but I was kind of bored with this episode. Sure, it made me question some things more and made me feel a few emotions, but it seemed like just a filler episode in my opinion. I mean, we’re three episodes in to a ten-episode final season, and I feel like were dragging behind a little. I guess I’m just expecting more for this final season, and I’m disappointed we aren’t really getting it yet. That’s not to say it wasn’t still a good episode, because it was. I just hope these next seven steps up the game a bit.
Side note: None of this is to take away from Tyler Posey’s directorial debut, though! He did a wonderful job and I’m so proud of him! 🙂
Now let’s talk about what went down in this episode.
“After Images” picks up right where last week’s “Raw Talent” left off. Brett runs through the woods at night with Gerard’s arrow still in his shoulder. He stops to catch a breath and check his phone, but it has no service. He tries to pull the arrow out on his own, but he can’t. So, he pushes himself and the arrow against a tree to push the arrow all the way through until he’s able to reach around his back and pull it out. He manages to yank the arrow out, but unfortunately, that’s not the end of his battle with the hunters.
Also still in the woods tracking Brett, Tamora Monroe (sketchy guidance counselor) is impatient with Gerard and his odd teaching tactics. When she states that they’re letting Brett gain too much ground, he calls her an amateur – which she is – but she brags about killing Halwyn the hellhound and taking down Brett. Gerard points out that both of her take downs were wounded and had no back up, and that it was pure luck rather than skill. He also states that Brett will only become weaker the longer they wait, but Monroe argues that waiting will only give Brett time to find help. He counters with a Sun Tzu quote, “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
They hear Brett’s phone ring and follow the sound, but find it by itself on the ground. Brett fires the arrow back at Monroe, but Gerard pulls her out of the way and it strikes the tree instead. When Monroe spots Brett, she tries to shoot her rifle at him, but he runs, managing to seemingly dodge the bullets. Unfortunately, that’s still not the end of his battle with Monroe and Gerard. You know how in plots there’s always supposed to be the beginning, the middle climax, and then the end? Well, that’s pretty much how Brett’s arc in this episode goes.
Meanwhile, Mason and Liam are just being your typical teenage boys playing video games in Liam’s room. When the game is over, Liam says he needs to study, but Mason doesn’t want to leave. Liam downplays it a bit and says they haven’t had a sleepover since they were ten. Mason is hesitant to admit it, but he’s clearly scared. Liam finally gets him to admit that he literally keeps seeing the bloody and faceless body that they found in the locker room everywhere. He explains to Liam what “after images” and “Palinopsia” is – to see again and the image never fades. Hey Mason, I don’t blame you. I’d have nightmares for weeks if I saw that thing in person.
At the hospital, Melissa is taking things into her own hands – quite literally. She locks herself in the morgue and pulls out the body that Mason, Liam and Corey found in the locker room. She wants to get a tissue sample, but you can see the fear on her face as she hesitates. She even covers the body back up after pulling the sheet down. After getting herself together a bit, she pulls the sheet back again and prepares to get the sample, still clearly afraid. As the scalpel inches closer to the body the lights flicker and then go completely out. She pulls out the light on her phone, though, but the body is no longer there. It freaks her out – as it should anyone – and she runs out of the morgue.
Brett is missing and his sister, Lori, is worried. She goes to Scott and shows him Brett’s lacrosse stick that is broken and bloodied (from Monroe stabbing him with it). She informs him that he’s missing and that she heard gunshots, and so the search for Brett begins. Keep in mind that none of the pack knows about shady guidance counselor much less Gerard.
After Mason informs Corey about Brett missing, they meet up with Lydia at the school. They go to the chemistry classroom so she can do her banshee thing to try to locate Brett (kind of like she did to remember Stiles last season). She tries to concentrate, but Mason and Corey are talkative dudes and keep causing her to lose her focus, even after she tells them to be quiet a couple of times. They keep talking about Lydia and how her visions work and Corey plucks the steel ball sitting on the table. Lydia gives them both a look and they apologize, but then she starts hearing a school bell ringing and footsteps in the hall. The burner flame goes out and she does her banshee thing by writing.
Back in the woods, Liam finds the arrow that Brett pulled out of his body and threw in to the tree. Lori pulls it out and says they need to let Brett know they’re looking for him. Malia thinks it’s a bad idea, though, because howling will only let the hunter know where they are. Liam, however, believes the hunter is new and that they can take him. And Scott really believes that if Brett howls back, they would get to him before the hunters since humans can’t track sound faster than them. He reassures them that they know what they’re doing because they’ve been through similar situations before.
Where they once had Brett’s scent (Lori was positive that the blood was his because she’s his sister and it’s the same as hers), Malia can’t catch it now. Lori states that he must be masking it to hide better. When Liam spots tracks, he and Lori take off following them. Scott and Malia believe that since Brett’s trap didn’t work, the hunter may not be such an amateur after all. If only those youngsters would take a minute to realize that as well.
Lydia’s scribbles end up being the same thing repeated in different languages and forms. Mason pulls out his phone to translate a portion that’s in Chinese. It translates to the number 68. There is also the Roman numeral of 68 and the symbol “ER” is also 68. She states that she’s going to go back to where her last premonition took place… by herself. She walks down the hallway by the lockers as she counts her steps. When she hits 68, she’s stopped at a locker with a red lock on it, but then she realizes that the lockers are numbered so she goes to locker 68. When she opens it, it’s empty.
Nolan wakes up at a table on the upper level of the library. He looks downstairs to see Corey and Mason trying to figure out the significance of the number 68. Aaron (the kid who borrowed Liam’s gear and got attacked by spiders) comes up beside him and starts influencing Nolan and his beliefs in the supernatural, specifically about Corey. He makes a point that Corey always shows up out of nowhere. Nolan still isn’t sure what he believes and Aaron tells him there’s only one way to find out. I don’t trust this Aaron kid, y’all. Or Nolan for that matter.
Back in the woods, Brett leaves a false trail of blood to throw off the hunters. And remember that arrow Gerard shot him with? Well, it did more damage than we thought. Apparently, it was poisoned because Brett is now bleeding black – definitely not a good sign. He ties up his wound so not to leave any more blood and spots a rock that gives him an idea that will surely help his sister find him.
Melissa called in Argent as a reinforcement since she’s clearly still afraid to go get a tissue sample off that body. While still in the hallway, he states that he’s surprised she called him. “Someone had to call someone,” she responds. She hands over the scalpel and asks if he’ll get the tissue sample off the “mostly” dead body. Inside the morgue, Argent can feel that something is off, and honestly, I’ve never seen him so terrified. He’s literally shaking and sweating the whole time. As he goes to get the sample, another covered corpse behind him starts to rustle, causing Argent to rush back out to the hallway with Melissa. She asks him if he felt the overwhelming feeling of fear too, but he says it was more like terror.
Monroe and Gerard have followed Brett’s false blood trail to its end. He reminds Monroe of what he’s already taught her about tracking – signature prints and heel marks. It’s then that they realize it was a false trail. She believes Brett knows they’re closing in on him. Gerard tells her to think of Brett as an animal, not a teenager. Since wounded animals hide, Gerard suggests that Brett is hiding underground – aka the tunnels that we always seem to come back to.
Meanwhile, Scott, Malia, Liam and Lori have also lost Brett’s trail of blood. Liam suggests that they split up, but Malia argues that it will only make them more vulnerable to the hunters. Liam argues back that he’s been making his own decisions for the last few months. They both turn to Scott to get his opinion, but he’s too distracted at noticing there are two sets of hunters’ tracks, not just one, meaning there are two hunters. It’s then that Lori spots stacked rocks and claims that Brett did it. Satomi (their alpha) taught them rock balancing, and Lori believes it tells her where Brett was headed.
Lori’s beliefs led the group to the tunnels where she finds that Brett could be poisoned, and she starts to fear the worst that he’s close to dying. The two youngsters (her and Liam) want to howl to try to find him, but Malia once again argues the risk of doing so. Scott, being the wise alpha that he is, wants to take a minute to think of their next move, but Lori doesn’t want to. Brett needs to know that she’s trying to find him. Liam agrees, and before anyone can stop him, he lets out a loud – almost alpha like – roar.
Brett hears the roar, but is barely surviving on a pipe above the tunnel floor, literally just above Monroe and Gerard who also heard the roar. Monroe gets confused as to how Brett got behind them, but Gerard states that it was a different “werewolf making a mistake.” Monroe gets nervous about taking on more than one werewolf and Gerard reprimands her for being fearful. She’s thinking logically though because there’s only two of them (hunters) and an unknown number of werewolves. Gerard tells her to think strategically. Scott thinks with his heart. Their (the hunters) strategy is to divide and conquer.
Argent and Melissa are back in the morgue attempting to get the tissue sample again. They’re both still visibly scared – to the point where Argent has a gun pointed at the body’s head just in case. Noticing her hesitation, and feeling his own fear, he suggests that she talks about something to keep them calm. She starts rambling about the logical explanations of why they’re feeling so afraid of this corpse – primarily how bad smells (like toxins or gasses released by the body) can cause such fear. The talking isn’t helping, though, as they both continue to shake and sweat with nerves. Argent urges her to hurry up and get the sample, and she quickly slices off a sliver of tissue. Argents quickly pushes the body back in the drawer and slams it shut.
Still searching for Brett in the tunnels, Lori trips a wire and Scott catches it in just enough time to push her out of the way. Unfortunately, the spiked spear stabs through his midsection. Ouch! Malia and Lori pull the spear out and then Malia applies pressure to the wound. He wheezes that the hunters must have been one step ahead of them the whole time. Malia hushes him so that he can heal. Lori, still panicking about her brother, insists that they keep searching and Liam agrees. They may outnumber the hunters, but Scott states that they’re clearly smarter, deciding that they can’t be dealing with amateur hunters. Liam still believes they can fight them, but Scott reminds Liam that he’s never fought hunters before. Lori doesn’t care though and takes off to continue her search for Brett and Liam follows, telling Scott that he knows “we are. We never give up, especially when it’s someone innocent, someone alone.” Scott tells them all to go, but Malia stays with him.
Melissa puts the sample into a test tube. She informs Argent that he doesn’t have to stay since the scary part is over, but he refuses to leave her alone with that body. She suggests that it’s because he wants to know what it is that scared them so much, especially since not much scares him. She examines the tissue under a microscope, but is shocked to see that it has absolutely no DNA or cell structure, which isn’t possible. Well this just got a whole lot weirder!
Lori is still panicked as her and Liam run through the tunnels in search of Brett. He tries to calm her panic by reassuring her that Brett is really strong. Lori then tells the story of how Brett started playing lacrosse for her. She didn’t have any friends at their old school, and when Brett learned that Devenford needed lacrosse players, he taught himself the game. He managed to snag himself a scholarship, but gave them the condition of him and his sister being a packaged deal. How sweet! But then Liam and Lori catch the scent of Brett’s poisoned blood and quickly run off to find him.
Gerard and Monroe are standing around the tunnels, but Monroe is tired of waiting. She watches through her rifle’s scope and Lori and Liam run by, but Gerard stops her from shooting. He confesses that he’s not trying to just kill one werewolf. Of course you aren’t, Gerard, because you’re evil. Ugh.
Want to know who’s gone crazy? Nolan’s gone crazy, that’s who. As Mason and Corey are still discussing the number 68 in the library, Nolan interrupts them when he slams his book on the table. He states that he’s studying for the Bio test and starts rambling about organisms evolving and changing. Corey makes a point that their test is on DNA vs RNA, not the evolvement and changing of organisms. Nolan just keeps rambling on, wondering if organisms can change and then change back. Mason tries to play along, but then Nolan starts questioning about being able to tell if any of them have changed back. Let me point out that the whole time he’s rambling, he gets creepier by the second, and then he really loses it when he stabs Corey in the hand with a pen! Blood starts gushing out and Corey tries to cover it, but Nolan grabs his hand and holds it up for everyone in the library to see that it healed. Mason tries to reassure their fellow classmates that Corey is fine. Creepy Aaron watching from the second level with a creepy smile, and Nolan rushes out of the library with his bloody pen.q
Meanwhile, Malia is still by Scott’s side. She wonders how they didn’t see the trip wire and Scott states that they clearly underestimated these hunters. They realize that the rusty trap has clearly been there a while. They put two and two together and realize that Gerard must be one of the hunters since he and Chris (Argent) were the last hunters they saw in those tunnels. Malia argues that the trap wasn’t Gerard’s style since it wasn’t deadly. When they realize that it was merely meant to slow them down and split them up, they also realize that Lori and Liam just walked right into a bigger one. So, they take off to go find them.
Coincidentally, Nolan walks out into the hallway – holding up his bloody pen – as Lydia is still walking the hallways. She notices his lacrosse number on his hoodie – 68. She asks him about Brett, but he claims he doesn’t know any Brett. He looks at her weirdly as he realizes that Lydia is “one of them” – aka supernatural. She asks, “one of who?” and he runs off before Lydia could say anything else.
Liam and Lori finally find Brett slumped in the floor looking really rough… like close to death rough. There’s black blood seeping from pretty much every whole in his face. Lori instantly runs to him to help him up and Liam soon follows suit. When Brett sees Liam, he’s a bit surprised and calls him a dumbass. Liam: “Is that your way of thanking me?” Brett: “No, that’s my way of calling you a dumbass, but thanks.” There’s a flash of light and the tunnel starts to fill with smoke in their opposite direction. Liam tells Brett and Lori to run as he holds them off, and then emitters start sounding off and he tells them to go as he covers his ears, his eyes glow yellow, and he roars. He runs and sees the emitter and yanks it out of the wall only to realize that there was nobody there. He runs off to find Lori and Brett as he realized it was a trap to corral them.
Side Note: I enjoyed this quick little banter between the two enemies turned… frenemies? It’s like they had finally gained a somewhat mutual respect. Unfortunately, things aren’t looking too good for Brett.
Monroe is really fed up with these missed opportunities of killing the werewolves, but Gerard tells her just to trust him. HA! Yeah… right. Oddly enough, she says she’s not a very trusting person. Okay? Then why exactly are you seemingly trusting him to kill supernaturals that have collectively saved the town multiple times? Gerard then informs her that her trust issues will be good for his plan to build an army “to hunt them all.” Oh. Cool. That sounds friggin’ fantastic.
Elsewhere in the tunnels, Scott is really struggling since he still hasn’t healed. He collapses to the floor. Malia kneels beside him and tries but fails to take his pain away, and it frustrates her. He says it’s not okay, but she doesn’t think any of this is okay. She believes they should have called Stiles, but Scott reminds her that they promised they all promised they wouldn’t. She says it was a stupid promise. He reminds her of how they almost lost him last time, and she states, “yeah, and now I’m gonna lose you too.” Scott is a little confused by that statement. She corrects herself and says, “all of us” and how Stiles would not be okay with this, he’d kill them. Scott then says he thinks Stiles would be okay with it. Malia: “This?” Scott: “With us.” She gets confused, but he passes out. She reaches out to his face and she’s finally able to take his pain away.
Chris and Melissa are at her house, he starts to leave and tells her to let him know if she wants to upgrade to something with a little more kick – referring to her stun baton – but she says she’s good for now. She then tells him to let her know if he remembers anything about his family history that deals with bodies with no DNA. He says he doesn’t think the body that’s causing the fear, but rather just amplifying it. They both still feel it. The conversation gets a little awkward as they both say they’ll call if they find anything. He starts to walk away again, but then stops and says he should have called. She said it’s okay, but then questions whether she should have called. He asks if she wanted to, and she says she did and he admits that he wanted to too. They get closer but he says he should go, then she tells him that he doesn’t have to.
Lydia meets up with Mason and Corey in the school courtyard area and confesses that her premonition was about Nolan. Corey would have liked to have known that before he got attacked, but Lydia says he wasn’t trying to hurt him. Instead, Nolan was trying to expose him as a test and he failed – practically the whole library saw. Lydia said he’s afraid of them – the supernaturals. As they’re talking, students walk by staring at them. Corey: “They’re going to turn on us.” Lydia: “I think it’s already started.”
Brett and Lori follow the sonic emitters – walking right into the trap – and climb out of the tunnels before Liam can manage to stop them. They exit the manhole onto a street only to be rammed down by a truck. Liam jumps out of the manhole, wolfed out, and sees Lori beside Brett who hasn’t come to. She holds his hand and cries that she couldn’t take away his pain because he’s dead. She leans over his body and cries more – seemingly also dying beside her brother. Cue my heart shattering into a million pieces. RIP Brett Talbot.
Liam roars with fangs, claws, glowing eyes and all in the middle of the road. Scott and Malia both hear him while they are trying to get out of the tunnels. A crowd of onlookers start to form around him, Brett and Lori. They all witness and stare in shock and terror as Liam grunts and growls. The driver that hit Brett and Lori climbs out of the truck and gives a nod to Gerard and Monroe in the distance. As Monroe realizes that it was all a set-up, Gerard tells her that “the best way to build an army is through fear.” Liam continues to growl and roar, terrifying the onlookers.
And that concludes the episode. Like already said, it seemed more like a sad filler episode to me, but that’s just my opinion. Gerard’s army of hunters is slowly forming, but the pack finally know that he’s the one seemingly behind it. So, what will they do to stop him?
Tune in Sunday nights at 8/7c on MTV to find out!
Featured Image Credit: Teen Wolf Wikia