After Images is directed by Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey. Episode 613 marks his television directorial debut.
With a hunter’s arrow still sticking out of his chest, Brett Talbot runs through the woods of Beacon Hills. He knows he’s being pursued by both Tamora Monroe and Gerard Argent. He stops to catch his breath and looks at his phone, no service.
Brett attempts to pull the arrow from his chest, but, realizing he can’t, he presses himself up against the tree to drive the arrow further into him and out his back. With more of the pointy end of the arrow now protruding, he’s able to reach around, grab it, and rip it from his body.
Hogwarts for Hunters
Tamora Monroe is impatient with Gerard. She says they’re allowing Brett to gain too much ground. The old man calls her an amateur. She brags that she killed a hellhound and “took out” a werewolf, but he points out that Halwyn and the werewolf in question were both wounded and alone at the time. He warns her not to mistake luck for skill.
They bicker about tactics. Gerard says the longer they wait, the weaker Brett will become. She counters that the extra time will give him a chance to find help. He offers up a quote, “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” She recognizes it as Sun Tzu.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a beautified version of a quote from the Chinese general, military strategist, and author of The Art of War. In Chapter III of that book, Sun Tzu said – 是故百戰百勝，非善之善者也；不戰而屈人之兵，善之善者也 - which more closely translates to "winning a battle is great, winning without a battle is better."
Brett’s phone rings. Gerard and Monroe set off to follow the sound. They find the phone lying on the ground still ringing. Brett throws Gerard’s arrow back at her but the old man pulls her out of the way just in time, and it hits a tree instead. Monroe catches sight of Brett in the shadows and raises her rifle to fire. He dodges the shots and runs away into the night.
Fear is Rising
Mason and Liam play video games in Liam’s bedroom. Liam wins. Mason doesn’t want to leave and suggests a sleepover. Liam wants to know why since they’ve not had a sleepover since they were 10. Mason says that he keeps seeing the bloody, faceless lump of a body they found in the locker room earlier.
He explains about after images and an extreme version called Palinopsia. It means “seeing again” and the image doesn’t fade. Liam wants to know where Mason sees the body. “Everywhere,” he replies. Just over Liam’s shoulder, near the door, we can see the arm and lower torso of the bloody faceless lump.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Palinopsia is a real thing. There are two types. Mason is apparently suffering from Hallucinatory palinopsia where a previous visual memory is projected and ones’ visions are “formed, long-lasting, and high resolution.” In real life, this condition may be caused by brain damage or seizures.
Melissa McCall bolts the doors to the hospital morgue. She pulls out the drawer containing the bloody lump of a body intending to take a tissue sample. She hesitates and chides herself to “get it together.” She pulls back the sheet covering the body and gasps. She is afraid and quickly covers it back up.
Managing her fear but still breathing heavily, she pulls the sheet back once more. She retrieves a scalpel and reaches out to cut away a piece of flesh. As the tool comes close to the body, all the lights in the room flicker. She reaches forward again, almost makes contact with the blade, and the lights go out completely.
Melissa manages to get her phone light on. It appears that the body is no longer lying in the drawer. Fear takes her as she runs for the exit and out into the hall.
The Search For Brett
Lori finds Scott and shows him Brett’s broken and bloodied lacrosse stick. She says he’s missing and she heard gunshots.
Mason finds Corey in the Library courtyard at school and explains that Brett is missing. The pair meet up with Lydia in the chemistry classroom. Lydia focuses on the blue flame of a Bunsen burner. She is trying to concentrate, but Mason and Corey keep talking. She scolds them to be quiet. The both apologize but immediately begin chatting again. They discuss Lydia’s Banshee nature and how visions usually find her instead of her trying to initiate one. Mason says if Brett was dead, Lydia would already know.
She scolds them more forcefully to be quiet and let her concentrate. Corey can’t help himself, he reaches out for the Newton’s cradle sitting on the lab station. He plucks at one of the steel balls. Mason realizes what he’s doing just a second too late, there is a loud “click” before he can stop the kinetic energy toy from moving. They both apologize.
Lydia begins to hear something, a school bell ringing, and footsteps in the hall. The Bunsen burner flame blows out. Lydia beings to write.
Liam finds the arrow Brett threw. Scott believes he set a trap and is fighting back. Lori retrieves the arrow from the tree and says they need to let Brett know they’re looking for him. She sets off to howl, but Malia stops her pointing out that howling would give away their position to the hunter.
Liam believes the hunter is a new and therefore they can take him. Scott is sure, if Brett were to howl back, they could get to him first because no human can track sound faster than they can. Scott says they’ve done this before and they know what they’re doing.
Malia can’t catch Brett’s scent. Lori says he’s masking his odor. Liam catches sight of some tracks and takes off running after Brett, Lori follows. Scott and Malia discuss the fact that Brett’s trap didn’t work suggesting the hunter may not be an amateur or is learning.
The Number 68
Lydia appears to have written the same thing over and over again in various languages and forms. Mason manages to translate part of it with his phone, it shows the Chinese portion of the page says 68. They recognize 68 written in Roman numerals as well. “Er” is also written on the page. Lydia realizes this is the symbol for Erbium, which has an atomic number of 68.
Lydia decides to return to the location of her last premonition (the giant web in the school hallway from Said the Spider to the Fly). She pointedly says she’s going alone due to Mason and Corey’s inability to pipe down.
Lydia walks down the row of lockers counting her paces. She stops when she reaches 68. The locker she stops in front of has a combination lock with a red cover. (is the same lock we see on Stiles’ locker back in Season 3). Realizing the lockers all have numbers, she races to locker number 68. She opens the door but it’s empty.
Nolan jerks awake at one of the desks on the upper floor of the library. He looks down and sees Corey and Mason trying to figure out what significance the number 68 might hold. He is joined at the railing by Aaron who starts plucking at the threads of Nolan’s beliefs about his Corey. He points out that Corey seems to “show up out of nowhere.” Nolan says he’s not sure what he’s seen to which Aaron says there’s a way he can be sure.
Brett Gets Smart/Chris Gets Scared
Brett lays down a false trail of blood and tracks to throw the hunters off his trail. He seems to be bleeding black now due to the poison in Gerard’s arrow. He ties up the wound so he won’t leave any more blood behind. He sees a squarish rock and gets an idea.
Chris Argent says he’s surprised that Melissa called him to come to the hospital. She says someone had to call someone. She hands him the scalpel and asks him to get the tissue sample. He asks if it’s a dead body and she says “mostly.”
Just inside the morgue, Chris begins to feel something is off. He is shaking and sweating by the time he reaches the draw with the bloody lump. He removes his coat and wipes his brow. As he reaches forward with the blade, the plastic wrapping on another table begins to rustle as the corpse inside appears to breathe.
Chris quickly rejoins Melissa in the hallway. They discuss how they both felt overwhelming fear/terror near the faceless body.
Gerard and Monroe reach the end of Brett’s blood trail. Gerard reminds her what he said about tracking, to look for signature prints, heel marks, and she realizes that they’ve been following a false trail. She suggests that Brett feels them closing in on him and wants to escape the pressure. Gerard says she shouldn’t think of Brett not as a teenager but as an animal. Wounded animals hide, which leads Gerard to believe Brett’s gone underground.
Malia and Scott have lost Brett’s trail. Scott says he might have just stopped bleeding. Liam suggests they split up. Malia doesn’t like the idea pointing out they’d be more vulnerable as individuals. Liam balks saying he’s been making decisions without her for three months. She turns to Scott to back her up but he’s distracted by the hunter tracks he found hidden on the ground. There are two sets of tracks.
Lori spots a formation of stacked rocks and realizes it’s a sign from Brett. Their Alpha Satomi taught them the art of rock balancing and the formation apparently tells Lori exactly where Brett is going.
The Failings of Youth
In the tunnels, Lori finds more signs that Brett is poisoned. She is on the edge of panic fearing that he might be close to death. She and Liam want to howl in order to find him. Malia again points out the risk and that Brett is still moving. Scott says they need to take the time to think. Lori is having none of the caution counseled by the others and says Brett needs to know that she’s there and coming for him. Liam agrees and lets out a loud roar that echoes through the tunnels.
Brett is lying across a pipe high above the tunnel floor. He hears the howl and struggles to lift his head. Just below, Monroe and Gerard are talking. The counselor wonders how Brett managed to get behind them. Gerard says the roar came from another werewolf “making a mistake.”
Monroe is nervous about facing a whole pack. Gerard chides her for thinking from a place of fear. She says she’s thinking logically and mathematically because there are only two hunters and “too many of them.” Gerard urges her to think strategically because that’s Scott’s Achilles’ heel. The old man says that Scott, like most teenagers, thinks with his heart. Gerard says their strategy will be to divide and conquer.
Above them, a single drop of black goo drips from Brett. He manages to catch it before it falls too far and alerts the hunters below.
Fear And Loathing In Beacon HillsEdit
Chris holds his hand gun pointed at the head of the faceless bloody lump as Melissa once again tries to get a tissue sample. They’re both still scared. He suggests that she talk to keep them calm and she begins to list off all the logical things that might explain why they’re feeling so terrified of the weird corpse.
She suggests that toxins or gasses released by the body might explain it. She correctly explains that a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen (carbogen) causes a feeling of suffocation and causes anxiety fear. Bad smells can induce fear as can infrasound (sounds below 20 hertz).
The talking isn’t helping. Their fear is reaching a peak. They’re both shaking as he urges her to go ahead and get the sample. She slices off a thumb-sized sliver into a Petri dish. Chris slams the drawer shut and tries to catch his breath.
Melissa puts the tissue sample into a test tube and the test tube into a centrifuge. As it spins, she tells Chris that he doesn’t have to stick around because the scary part is over. He refuses to leave her alone with “that thing.” She believes it’s because he wants to know what scared the hell out of him because not much scares him.
She places the sample on a slide and the slide under a microscope. The tissue has no DNA, no cell structure. It is effectively nothing at all.
Later, Chris and Melissa are at the McCall House. She urges him to call if he finds anything in the Argent lore about bodies with no DNA that make you feel terrified. He speculates that the body isn’t causing the fear, just amplifying it. They both still feel afraid. The conversation turns awkward as he makes to leave. Chris says he should have called her after their kiss (see Riders on the Storm). She says she should have called and that she wanted to call. They almost kiss, but Argent says he has to go. Melissa says he doesn’t have to go.
Scott’s Pack and Lori continue searching the tunnels. Lori, not watching where she’s going, trips a wired trap. Scott sees it at the last second and pushes her out of the way. He catches a spiked spear in the gut.
Lori and Malia remove the spike. Malia applies pressure to Scott’s wound. He speculates that the hunters knew they were coming and have been a step ahead of them the whole time. Malia tells him to be quiet and heal. Lori is still impatient and insists that they keep moving. Liam agrees saying they still outnumber the hunters three to two. Scott says the hunters are smarter.
Scott puts all the clues together and decides they’re not dealing with amateurs. Liam still thinks they can take them. Scott points out that Liam has never fought hunters. Lori’s in a panic though and takes off after Brett by herself. Liam decides to go with her despite Scott’s words of caution.
Scott urges Malia to go with them, but she stays at this side.
Lori and Liam again lose the trail. Lori is frantic. Liam tries to reassure her saying he’s taken several hits from Brett on the lacrosse field that prove just how strong he is. He says when he sees Brett coming, he does everything he can to get the hell out of the way.
Lori explains that Brett started playing lacrosse because of her. She apparently didn’t have any friends at her old school. Brett learned that Devenford Prep needed lacrosse players, taught himself the game, and won a scholarship to the private school. He then said a condition of his playing for them would be that they let Lori attend the school as well.
They smell the poison oozing from Brett and follow the smell in hopes of finding him.
Gerard has Monroe set up in a sniper’s nest in one of the side tunnels. She’s tired of waiting but he assures her they will come passed this spot. As Monroe watches through the rifle’s scope, Liam and Lori run by. Gerard pushes the gun away interrupting her shot. Gerard explains that he’s not out to kill just one werewolf.
Malia wonders how they missed the trip wire Scott says they underestimated them. Malia pointed out the trap is pretty big to have been setup while they were in the tunnels. Scott sees rust on the trap’s spring and realizes it’s been down there a while. They speculate that it was Gerard since he and Chris were the last hunters they saw in the tunnels (back in Season 5).
Malia suggests it’s not Gerard’s style because the trap wasn’t lethal. They realize it wasn’t meant to kill, it was meant to slow them down and split them up. Realizing that Liam and Lori are walking right into a bigger trap, Scott struggles to his feet and they take off down the tunnel after them.
Lori and Liam hear Brett’s heartbeat and run toward it. They find him slumped over a crate. He has black goo leaking from both eyes, his nose, and mouth. Brett says Liam is a dumbass for helping him. A bright light flashes and the tunnel begins to fill with smoke. They run in the opposite direction.
Monroe and Gerard bicker about missed opportunities. He tells her to trust him. She says she’s not a trusting person. He says that will make her a good at what he has in mind. He says he’s building an army to hunt all werewolves.
Nolan Gets Stabby
Corey and Mason discuss alternatives involving the number 68, Route 68, 68 degrees. Corey says he just wants to help. They’re interrupted by Nolan slamming a book down on the table. He claims he’s trying to study for a biology test. He starts talking about how organism evolve and change. Corey points out that their test is on DNA versus RNA.
Nolan wonders aloud if organisms can change and then change back again. Mason, trying to follow the thread. He correctly explains that the lifecycle of a parrot fish includes a transition from female to male, just as Hawkfish and earthworms transition back and forth through different sexes.
Nolan wonders if there is a test to see if any of his classmates have changed and if there would be any way to tell if they had. He quickly stands up and stabs Corey in the hand. Blood rushes out and covers his hand. Everyone in the library is now looking. Nolan grabs Corey’s hand. It’s completely healed. He shows it to his classmates screaming “Look at him!”
Mason tries to calm the other students claiming that Corey is fine and that it was just a scratch. Aaron watches from the second floor and smiles. Nolan takes his bloody pen and makes a quick exit.
Distracted, Nolan runs into Lydia. She notices the number on his lacrosse hoodie, 68 and calls to him. She questions him about Brett. He doesn’t know Brett. Then he realizes that Lydia is “one of them” and runs away.
Later, Lydia fills in Corey and Mason about her encounter with Nolan. The whole vision was about him. Lydia realizes Nolan’s stabbing was to expose the supernaturals because he’s afraid of them. Everyone entering and exiting the library courtyard is staring at them. She realizes her premonition about people turning on each other was wrong, the people are already turning on the supernaturals.
The Old Man With The Plan
Scott can’t make it much further and collapses to the floor of the tunnel. Malia tries to take his pain but cannot. Malia says they should have called Stiles. Scott reminds her that they promised they wouldn’t. This conversation shifts into one about how Stiles would feel about a burgeoning relationship between Scott and Malia although it’s never expressed in those terms. Scott intimates that he believes Stiles would be fine with them being together.
Scott passes out. She reaches up to touch his face and begins to absorb his pain. It trails through her bloodstream and down her arm in black lines.
Liam finds some of Gerard’s sonic devices and realizes they’re being herded. He tries to stop Brett and Lori but they are too far ahead and already up the ladder to the outside.
They exit a manhole on Muse Street. Seconds later, a large truck slams into both Brett and Lori. Liam wolfs out and leaps up to the street. Lori is holding Brett’s hand, he appears to be dead. She tells him to close his eyes. She says she couldn’t take away his pain and then appears to die too.
Liam roars, bearing his fangs, claws, and glowing eyes to a growing crowd of onlookers who point in his direction.
The driver of the truck gets out, spots Gerard and Monroe in the distance and nods in their direction. Monroe realizes that Gerard set the whole thing up. He says the lesson for her is that the best way to build an army is through fear.
|← Season 5 Season 6|
|#01 Memory Lost||#06 Ghosted||#11 Said the Spider to the Fly||#16|
|#02 Superposition||#07 Heartless||#12 Raw Talent||#17|
|#03 Sundowning||#08 Blitzkrieg||#13 After Images||#18|
|#04 Relics||#09 Memory Found||#14 Face-to-Faceless||#19|
|#05 Radio Silence||#10 Riders on the Storm||#15 Pressure Test||#20|
- Little & Ashley - "Born Free"
Scene: Liam and Mason play video games together.
- Waterstrider - "Black Blood"
Scene: Malia tries to heal Scott.