The episode opens with a flashback to Clay’s childhood in East Baton Rouge, highlighting traumatic events that led up to him becoming a werewolf
Clay’s old wounds, stinging once again after he receives some information about his past on a visit back to his childhood home, aren’t as raw as Elena’s. She’s coming undone.
It shows in the way she jumps out of her skin every time her phone buzzes and in the rash decisions she’s been making. (Like almost allowing Malcolm to slip through The Pack’s grip.) She wants justice—or at least vengeance—for Philip’s death. She’s still not really sleeping and she’s doing everything she can to not snap, taking her anger out on The Pack, on Malcolm, and on some innocent flatware in a Bear Valley cafe.
It’s the worst time for her not to be on her game. Rachel is still unaccounted for. Jeremy is at risk of losing his Alpha status if he doesn’t hand over Malcolm. The witches, Ruth and Paige, have their own plans for the old wolf (and for the bowl of walnuts on Jeremy’s coffee table, it would seem).
And then there’s that bigger, mysterious force that’s hunting all of them. The force that hit Malcolm’s hideout in Rochester. The force behind those mindless, unfeeling human disciples that have proven themselves quite the nuisance to The Pack. Elena better get it together before whatever this is catches up to her. She’s the walking wounded, and they smell blood.
Elsewhere we’re finding out a bit more about the two women we were introduced to in episode one: Ruth and Paige are, as we’d guessed, witches. They’re slightly more sophisticated in terms of the otherworld and it’s denizens, something they like to make a point of every chance they get, showing off with little magic tricks to unhinge, or impress, The Pack. (Um, who thinks Paige was actually flirting here? She totally has eyes for Nick, right?)
He definitely had eyes for her earlier on in the episode (much to his horror).
Anyway, the pair ultimately let the wolves in on the reason behind Malcolm’s sudden popularity: they know someone who wants him, and they want to make a trade for a young witch who has been kidnapped by this someone. But The Pack have their own reasons for holding on to Malcolm—Jeremy’s Alpha status and territory are at stake.
Speaking of Jeremy, he was busy tying up a few loose ends in this episode. Loose Spanish ends.
Not that his little demonstration went anywhere with Malcolm, who remained as defiant as ever, taking every opportunity he could to goad Logan, Clay, and Elena to let him out of the cage for a fight to the death.
In the end, we learn that what the witches told the wolves was right: brute force won’t be enough to defeat what’s coming. It’s not even enough to hold on to Malcolm.
-What is so important about that book Clay found, that Miss Yoruba in Louisiana died protecting?
-What was in that burlap sack of terror Nick encounters in the woods (right before his eyes become waterfalls of blood)?
-How powerful are the witches? Ruth says they’ve been around a lot longer than werewolves. Is The Pack even useful to them?
-Why does Elena hate cutlery so much?
-Who kidnapped the young witch Paige and Ruth are trying to help and why?
-What freaky thing did Ruth do to that bowl of walnuts at Stonehaven?
“Scare Tactics” by the Numbers
Approximate number of scare tactics used in “Scare Tactics: 11
Number of shirt and vest combos worn by Jeremy: 2
Number of deaths: 2 (coincidence? We think not)
Number of hours Elena has gone without sleeping this episode: 20
Minutes until Elena snaps: very few, the countdown is on