The effects of Stiles’ disappearance are felt almost immediately, though they may not be known to the pack right away. A simple lacrosse practice between Scott and Liam reveals Scott projecting Stiles’ faults onto Liam, and is rightly confused when he’s wrong. It’s one little sign for much bigger things to come for the Alpha.
Our focus shifts to Mason and Corey taking an extra credit lab for physics. Mason seems more than capable to handle it on his own, revealing his only there to spend his time with Corey. We’re lucky they did stay; a storm brings about a pair of horseman to the school, their target another teenager. Both are unaware of the battle taking place until Corey has them both cloaked with his invisible power. It seems to open up a new world in the library and gives them front row seats to their classman being strangled until he disappears. Without using his power, they can’t see a thing, but this allows a special window into what has been going on in the shadows. There is no indication if the horsemen can see them, as it is quickly over, leaving Mason and Corey confused on what they just witnessed.
Liam quickly picks up that Mason is in danger, dragging Scott with him so they can investigate further. Except, other than there being horsemen, neither Mason nor Corey can remember what happened. They know the horsemen take people, but cannot tell if someone was taken or how. If this is how the investigation is going to go, we’re going to have a long season ahead of us.
Stiles’ lack of presence is slowly rippling across the pack. Malia cannot sleep without being the big spoon, and Lydia is back to having out of this world dreams. No one seems bothered by this at first– not even Scott who notices the senior picture taken of Malia, Lydia and himself with a large space between them. Either he accept they have terrible yearbook photographers, or he’s okay with off balance photos but nothing makes him question it.
If anything, Scott’s immediate concern is Liam’s position on the the lacrosse team. He is in no way ready to be a captain, and according to Scott, he doesn’t seem to want it. It’s Liam’s fear that is stopping him– he doesn’t feel he belongs on the team– but Scott encourages him to step into the leadership role regardless. It seems to work until Coach Finstock steps in, excited to crush Liam’s face and remind us how inspiring he’s been this whole time. Sarcasm aside, it’s great to have Coach provide the familiar comfort we’re losing this season.
Corey and Mason have thrown themselves head first into Ghost Rider investigations, reminding me more of a Scott and Stiles team up than Mason and Liam. Mason has read everything he could about the subject, and while Corey is a little more apprehensive, he knows the horsemen were holding someone. It’s like his subconscious is trying to break through to what has been forgotten.
The older pack members are having a stronger reaction as they day goes on. Malia can’t ground herself anymore, leaving Lydia to try and get her in control. While Lydia in charge would be fine, she’s losing her grasp on reality. In class she sees a mysterious doctor sitting in Stiles’ seat and talking in train toots. Yeah, that’s how much she’s losing her grasp. She follows this doctor outside, reliving that stormy night where she lost Stiles and nearly getting hit by a car in the process. It’s Malia who saves her this time: if this isn’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what is.
Scott’s experience is not quite as dire. He’s drawn to Stiles’ locker and can’t seem to let it go, but the moment he attempts to open it, the mysterious new teacher stops him. Either that guy’s a stickler for the rules or he’s a part of this whole mess as well. Luckily, Scott’s not one to give up on a feeling so easily; he’s learned to trust his instincts.
Mason and Corey have not given up their investigation, stopping by the school office to see who did not come in and the sheriff’s office for additional information. They’re stopped both times, by Natalie and Parrish respectively, but for the same reason; nothing supernatural is going on. You’d think after everything they’ve experienced, a supernatural reason would not be that far fetched.
Liam is not okay with all of this, and he has a deep distrust in Corey for following Theo. He’s so blinded he can’t even see how much of a hypocrite he is– after all, he’s dating Hayden. The conversation is set out to hurt Corey, who was hiding in the locker room, and it seems to succeed. However, Corey doesn’t want to put Mason in the position where he’d have to choose between his best friend and boyfriend. It’s a big step for him to seek out Liam once Mason is gone, and suggest they investigate together. Liam reluctantly agrees. After throwing a tantrum, I’m thankful to see him be the bigger person for Mason.
A meeting with Deaton opens up the floor for Scott: he’s positive he’s missing memories. There is a nagging feeling that he’s missing something big. Deaton suggests sleeping, it may open his subconscious to him and give a clue to what he’s missing. It works, and he wakes up in the very forest he was bit in, providing the biggest push to who he is missing.
It’s coming together for the pack that the horsemen affected them as well. Malia doesn’t have the same control she once did, and when she tries to lock herself up she realizes it’s impossible without a second person. Neither Lydia nor Scott have spent full moons with her, who is she missing? The biggest show of the horsemen’s sloppy work comes with Scott’s forest revelation. What drew him out there? He didn’t have a police scanner to know of the dead body, he couldn’t drive himself, he could run with his asthma… the list goes on and on. He remembers the Sheriff looking for him, by name, but how and why? He knows he wasn’t alone.
Scott had a best friend, Malia had an anchor, and Lydia had someone she loved.
“What if we’re all missing the same person?” (YOU ARE!) I’m so glad Stiles’ absence wasn’t forgotten for long. Not only that, but we FINALLY receive the confirmation that Lydia loved Stiles back.
A shift to the Sheriff’s station turns this affirmation into one of shock. The Sheriff’s wife is waiting for him in his office, leaving me very confused until I see her. Sitting in his office is Claudia… That’s right. Claudia Stilinski. Stiles’ mom who we are all sure she is very much gone. What could this mean? Why does Stiles’ absence change her living status?!
More questions arise as we see Liam and Corey’s investigation bring up strong clues. When Corey makes himself invisible he can see things the naked eye can’t, including a student ID. At first it’s blank, but when they discover the name the information to the card and their memory comes flooding back. It’s more like when someone is taken a blanket covers up their existence. If they were gone forever, there would be no chance to be remembered.
This gives us a small bit of hope as Lydia is asked to mediate on her memories and see if this opens up who the pack is missing. It works! With her spelling out Stiles’ name and uttering the famous line, “What the hell is a Stiles?”
While this started off slow, there is no way the pack can forget Stiles. He’s left too big of an impact on them. I’m afraid what can of worms may be open when they find out about Claudia, and if this means he essentially switched places with her. At least Liam, Mason, and Corey are proving to be strong investigators, and may be the first to figure out this mystery.
All photos courtesy of MTV, thanks guys!