Warning: This recap of the “Heartless” episode of Teen Wolf contains spoilers.
Probably one of the perks of being an immortal monster (aside from the bodacious bod, am I right, fellas?) is getting to sit safely atop the food chain. Supernatural creatures — the evil ones at least — can eat whatever or whomever they want, and that includes mountain lions or orcas or whatever else regularly preys upon regular humans. But sometimes nothing invites drama like thinking you’re above drama, so even monsters occasionally find themselves on the business end of a fang. Take the Ghost Riders of Teen Wolf, for example. Heretofore all-powerful and seemingly invincible, this week a group of paranormal dog-children trapped one in a cage and a male model bit into its skull like it was an apple! Its anybody’s guess how a Ghost Rider’s brain-gland tastes, but the message was clear: Not even immortal mythological creatures are safe from a monster’s hunger pangs.
“Heartless” was an amusingly titled episode of Teen Wolf (because Theo’s personal hell involved getting his heart ripped out constantly, get it?) and also a highly entertaining hour in general. While the story may not have moved forward all that much, it was fun getting to see the kids’ scheme to catch a Ghost Rider pay off, and yeah, the aforementioned skull-munching was about as crazy as this show gets. Let’s talk about it!
We began in the hospital, where not even a morgue refrigerator door can contain a trustworthy hunk!
Theo (I trust him) busted out of a cadaver cabinet like he was trying to get born, and within seconds he was getting chased around by his own ghostly sister! And she wanted something from him.
She ripped his heart out! Which seemed pretty fair considering he’d caused her to be killed and had allowed the Dread Doctors to transplant her heart into him. But then this entire cycle continued three or four more times… Theo was stuck in some kind of loop where he was damned to have his heart ripped out over and over! This was what one might call a personal “hell.” Trust me, and trust Theo, it did not look fun.
I loved that from Theo’s hell-journey we smash-cut to him getting his ass handed to him by Malia on Scott’s kitchen floor. No matter where he went, physically or metaphysically, there was gonna be some lady ready to mess him up bad. Anyway, he was ready to stop getting beaten up a ton and start getting down to the business of saving Stiles. If only everyone else would get on board…
Hey remember last week when Sheriff “Noah” Stilinski ripped off the wallpaper and frowned at something? It turned out he’d found a secret room in his home! Which was all the more hilarious in that it was a GIANT room with big windows, meaning the outside of his home must have been very confusing to look at. What were those boarded-up rectangles overlooking the side yard? Didn’t matter! Well now he knew there had once been a bedroom here. But whose was it? Dead Wife did NOT care.
I don’t know what this lady’s deal is, but she could’ve done a better job of at least pretending to be supportive here. It’s not often that you discover a new wing in your home, so a little bit of enthusiasm was warranted. Even if you are a fake, dead person, show some support!
So the kids decided to go ahead with their plan to capture a Ghost Rider and, I don’t know, yell at it? So Theo and the gang convened at an abandoned shack where they’d assembled a giant chainlink cage and a lightning-capturing device that looked like a child’s science fair project. They were gonna let a Ghost Rider ride a lightning bolt into the room then trap it in a cage! Simple enough, right?
But Malia did not want to work with Theo in any way, shape, or (perfect) form. If they were going to enlist shady hunks to help them rescue Stiles, she had another one in mind… Her bio-father, Peter Hale. He was currently lying in a hospital bed covered in Vaseline and old salami, but fortunately Mrs. McCall still had some leftover “nine herbs” from healing Argent…
She injected them into Peter Hale and after screaming and vomiting green foam for about 20 minutes, all the old salami fell off his body and he was a snarky hunk again!
I loved the callback to Season 1 when Peter Hale attempted to date Mrs. McCall, mostly because he was the secret villain all season and wanted to get closer to his werewolf son, Scott. But also because he was lonely? Obviously we are rooting for Mrs. McCall and Argent to “go around” together, but wouldn’t this be a cute love triangle? As an elderly man nearly on my death bed, I can tell you that it would be delightful if the parents on this show got to have the best romances. Make it happen, show!
I also loved this scene with Lydia and her mom having a heart to heart about fake people. And by fake people I mean paranormally conjured persons who seem to exist but don’t actually exist. You know? (I don’t.) Like that drowned boy from last week, or Stiles’ mom. Do they exist? Yes, you can see them and touch them and interact with them, but are they real? The dream logic here was off the charts! And what was especially touching was how Mrs. Martin totally knew what Lydia was talking about and they worked it out together. This show.
Fast forward to some lightning bolts hitting the shack, and suddenly a Ghost Rider was present! Hayden and the fellas lured it into an enclosed space and before we knew it, it was surrounded by chain-link fencing and mountain ash, and no amount of lightning could let him out.
Though the Ghost Riders haven’t really spoken up until this point, it was clear that this guy did not appreciate being trapped by teens. Especially when it became clear that they didn’t actually know what they were going to do next. Chat? Scream? Play Uno? Nobody knew, and the Ghost Rider found this very annoying. Understandable! He had citizens to whip.
Sheriff “Noah” Stilinski (seriously, it’s like I’d been mind-wiped by a Ghost Rider — is his name actually Noah? How did I miss this for going on SIX seasons now? Should I be in a facility?) was not ready to forget about this hidden bedroom, so he invited Lydia over to check it out. She started remembering the objects that had once been in there, including Stiles’ old lacrosse jersey. And despite a last-minute panic about never having had a son, “Noah” suddenly touched the jersey and realized that Stiles had been REAL.
But if Stiles had been real, then what if Lydia was also correct about his wife being fake? What then? This family was very complicated at the moment.
Back to the Ghost Rider… The boys realized that the Ghost Rider did not want to talk to them and would probably only talk to Parrish. That’s because at the house party from a few episodes back, the Ghost Rider had gurgled in Parrish’s direction. So they summoned Parrish to this shack and within seconds the Ghost Rider was gurgling at him, and this seemed to trigger Parrish into a trance-like state. And if you’re wondering if his clothes suddenly burned off, BINGO. He also tried to free the Ghost Rider, but the boys stopped him. Bad hell hound! Sit!
While Scott and Liam were outside throwing Parrish into some bushes, guess who showed up? Mr. Douglas! The hot physics teacher who was also a brain-eating Nazi werewolf! As it turned out, he and Theo definitely remembered each other (Lord knows how many hours Mr. Douglas had to watch Theo do P90x from within his cryo-tube) and they were not fans of one another. But he forced Theo (whom I trust) to break the mountain ash barrier so that he could get up close and personal with the Ghost Rider. And do you know what Mr. Douglas did THEN?
He bit into the Ghost Rider’s head and sucked out his pineal gland! In werewolf terms, he ate a Ghost Rider’s SOUL. That was an unexpected turn of events!
Theo didn’t know exactly what this meant, but he knew it was mega disgusting and I agreed. When Scott noticed that not only was the Ghost Rider dead, but that his whip had been stolen, it just made Mr. Douglas seem even shadier. Stealing accessories off a corpse is the lowest of the low.
Poor Corey. He was just wandering around outside, probably still feeling all flushed and buzzed about Mason being especially romantic toward him in this episode, when suddenly a glowy-eyed hunk showed up and whipped him into a puff of green smoke!
Mr. Douglas’s eyes were a dazzling shade of green now, which I guess meant he was part Ghost Rider? A werewolf Ghost Rider. A Nazi werewolf Ghost Rider. An accredited member of the teacher’s union Nazi werewolf Ghost Rider. Anyway, he was going to be whipping some teens, in my opinion! The school board was going to have a field day.
“Heartless” was a series of intense moments that continued setting up a thrilling endgame for this season. Few things excite me more than when two different villains suddenly turn on each other, so to see Mr. Douglas rise up and best even a Ghost Rider really put a smile on my face. That, plus the sliiiight redemption of Theo were a nice surprise this week. Now if we could just get Stiles back already! Come back, Stiles! Miss you bb.
What did YOU think of “Heartless”?
Teen Wolf airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on MTV.