A Promise to the Dead is the 11th episode of Teen Wolf Season 4.

According to the Nielsen Company, approximately 1.3 million people saw the episode upon it's initial airing on MTV. A Promise to the Dead is the least watched new episode of Season 4 and the least watched episode of the series since Heart Monitor in Season 1.


Scott battles an old enemy.

Full Recap

In an unknown location, Patrick (Mark Elias) drags a black body bag into a refrigerated room where large, human shaped, pieces of meat hang. The bodies are wrapped in clear plastic pierced with metal hooks. As he gets down close to the body bag, something inside jumps, startling him.

He opens the bag. Inside, a girl with tape binding her wrists and over her mouth struggles. He calls her Kalissa (Dakota Gorman). She sees, over his shoulder, a collection of knives and cleavers suspendered on a magnetic knife rack. Patrick lets her know that he does intend to eat her and says her fear will actually improve the flavor. He then bares his teeth and hiss/growls at her making it clear that he is a Wendigo.

He forces her to look at him but instead she looks over his shoulder. Dr. Deaton is there. Patrick attacks him with metal meat hooks but Deaton has his retractable baton and makes short work of the supernatural. Once Patrick is down, he begs for his life pointing out that Deaton won’t get paid because The Dead Pool is over. Deaton says he’s not there to kill the wendigo but to take him back to Eichen House where they know all about Patrick’s “culinary practices.”

A very relieved Kalissa asks if Deaton is a cop. He smiles and says he’s a Veterinarian.

On a secret floor at Eichen House, Patrick is wheeled in on a gurney as Deaton meets with Dr. Conrad Fenris. In each of the cells, glimpsed through bars, there are a variety of heretofore unseen supernatural creatures. Fenris reluctantly allows Deaton to see a patient named Valack (Steven Brand) who is kept in isolation in a reinforced Plexiglas cell.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Valack’s cell is very similar to the cell holding Hannibal Lecter in the film ‘’Silence of the Lambs’’. This type of glass enclosure is used many times in movies and television to imply that the prisoner in question is too dangerous for any direct contact.

Fenris warns that the last person who went to see Valack “left the room but not the building” suggesting that they suffered a mental breakdown. Deaton insists and is allowed into the room.

He addresses the prisoner as “Doctor Valack” and explains that he wants to know about South American mythology. Valack corrects him and says he actually wants to know about Kate Argent “the Bone Woman” “La Loba.” Deaton says he needs to know what she did to Derek Hale (regressing him physically and stripping him of his abilities – (see 117) and if he is dying.

He says he needs to know because of a promise he made to a woman he loved.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The romance novels shown inside Valack's cell appear to be made specifically for the production. The Afternoon Wife was the title of fictitious book featured in the short lived sitcom Woman of the House in 1995. The book's author, Tom Hoffarth, shares the same name as a Los Angeles area sportswriter.

Valack removes a bloodied bandage from around his head revealing a ragged and bloody hole in the middle of his forehead. Deaton says he’s not impressed with Valack’s trephination and doesn’t believe it gives him extra sensory perception. Valack bids Deaton come closer and the vet does. Deep inside the hole in Valack’s skull, an eye suddenly opens inside what appears to be his bloody brain matter.

Scott returns home to find his mother standing over the bag of money he took from Garrett’s locker (see Orphaned). He explains that he is late because he was getting extra hours at the Beacon Hills Animal Clinic to get extra money. Melissa McCall shows him the bag and asks how much more he needs.

Scott explains where the money came from but Melissa knows it belongs to Derek and says Scott has to give it back. He says he was going to but with the family’s overdue bills and their financial struggles he was having trouble giving it up. Melissa says Scott “can save people’s lives but you cannot save people from life.” She points out that life is full of struggles. Scott says it doesn’t have to be. He points out that just one stack of the cash could pay for a new roof for their house; another could pay Stiles’ medical bills while one more would allow his mother to stop working double shifts at the hospital. Melissa asks “what about this one?” and hands Scott a blood-stained stack of bills. Scott nods.

The sounds of hand to hand combat are coming from Liam’s room. He and Mason are playing video games and Liam is winning. His friend is surprised and says Liam must have been practicing or “did you just suddenly get super-human reflexes?” Liam stammers out that he’s been practicing. Mason says he has to go study for his History text tomorrow. Liam doesn’t want Mason to leave. He’s already talked him into “one more game” four times. When faced with his friend’s imminent departure, he says Mason could study with him and asks him to sleep over. Mason, knowing something is wrong, asks if Liam is okay. Liam abruptly says Mason should go as he needs to study as well. Mason hesitates in the doorway. It’s obvious he wants to say something but doesn’t.

Liam lies down to sleep. He pauses, looking in each of the corners of his bedroom, before turning out the lamp by his bed. The sound of the rain against the window seems to disturb him. In the darkness he begins to hear thumping, breathing and growling noises. He imagines a Berserker in his room walking closer to his bed and bending down over him. Liam repeats “you’re not there” over and over but eventually, in a panic, turns the light back on. There is no berserker.

Braeden and Derek are sleeping when the intruder alarm goes off in the loft. They grab guns scan the room. Noting a shadow under the front door they open it. A dripping wet Lydia Martin is standing there. She screams.

Malia tries to wake Stiles. Still sleeping, he mumbles as she points out that he has a practice and she was supposed to be at school early to study for a math test that will determine if she advances to the next grade level as a senior. She looks at Stiles murder board and seeing that his new investigation is “who is the Desert Wolf?” she flips him over and kisses him. Stiles protests that he’s not yet brushed his teeth but she kisses him again.

Scott returns the money to Derek at the loft. He responds with a simple “okay.” Scott asks if Derek wants to know why it took him so long to return it. Derek asks how much he makes at the clinic and when Scott says minimum wage, Derek says that’s why. He says everyone can be tempted “even a True Alpha.” Scott is amazed that Derek isn’t angry but his friend points out that the money isn’t his – it belongs to Peter Hale.

Scott asks the whereabouts of Derek’s money and he replies “you’re standing on it.” Misunderstanding Scott thinks there is another vault underneath the loft but Derek corrects him explaining that he bought the whole building. He says he also has money in bank accounts. He says all the money in the vault was Peter’s and they’d probably be better off if the rest never came back.

Scott changes the subject, pointing out that he knows Lydia visited the loft “last night” and that Deaton is working on finding out what Kate did to Derek. Scott says if anyone can find the answer, it’s Deaton.

Deaton is dreaming. He is in Mexico at La Iglesia on a stone slab covered in bones. He rises and looks around. Seeing a bone shard sticking into the stone, he pulls it out. It is covered in blood. The ground begins to shake and his vision whirls dizzily. Suddenly we see that Deaton is actually lying in one of the rooms at Eichen House. Doctor Fenris shines a light into his eyes and finds him unresponsive. He sighs saying, “they never listen.”

Malia is trying to get Lydia’s attention to show her a test paper on which she received a passing grade, C- or 72, but Lydia is distracted.

EDITOR’S NOTE: While written props have been a timeline problem for the production this season, Malia’s test seems to be accurate. She wrote “Malia Tate” in the blank for her name and the date is “3/1” which fits with what’s been said before about Lydia’s birthday coming up in “a few weeks.”

Lydia is unimpressed. Malia says Lydia’s notes are great “when they aren’t written in code” (see Muted). Coach Finstock then places another test paper on Malia’s desk. On this one, she scored a letter grade of “F” with just 54 points. Coach says he is “profoundly disappointed.” Lydia says she’ll give Malia her notes.

Lydia notices Coach’s lesson on the chalkboard. He’s been talking about the net worth of some of America’s richest men at the time of their death. The list, with the name and amounts listed, looks very much like the Dead Pool.



Realizing what Lydia is thinking, Kira leans in and says “it’s over, the computers are off” and there are no more assassins. She assures her that no one is dying. Lydia says “not yet.”

Liam is preparing to bench press as Mason warms up with dumbbells. He offers to spot for Liam, pointing out that he is getting ready to attempt 300 lbs in weight. Liam refuses forcefully. He does one press easily and dismisses Mason.

As Liam begins to lift again, he flashes back to his fight with the Berserker on the hospital roof (see Time of Death). As the visions come faster, his strength fails and he drops the bar on his chest. Unable to move it now, he is struggling for air. Scott shows up with Mason and lifts the bar off Liam. He coughs uncontrollably but says he’s “fine.” Scott says “If you don’t want to be with us that’s okay but don’t push your friends away too.” Liam looks at Mason for a moment then sees the berserker in the mirror behind him.

Chris Argent has tracked Kate to her stormwater drain lair. Peter is there. Chris asked how he found Kate’s lair and Peter says “keen sense of smell.” He asks Chris how he found her hideout and he explains that the bone removed from Scott’s side (see Orphaned) had traces of Calcium Hydroxide which is a compound used to treat water so pipes won’t corrode. Peter says he’s impressed but then sics a berserker on him.

Scott has prepared Derek’s loft for a date with Kira. He’s strung individual light bulbs from the rafters so that they hang down into the room at varying heights. He says he needs Kira to turn them on. She touches a single bulb and all the lights in the room warm and begin to glow. Scott asks if he did okay and she says for their first real date “it’s a start.” They kiss. Scott then asks if she brought a movie. She says she borrowed ‘’Star Wars’’ from Stiles who says Scott has never seen it and that he will “kill you if you don’t.” They both realize that Derek doesn’t have a TV.

They decide to watch it on a laptop computer but Scott becomes confused about which of the Star Wars movies he is to see. He asks her if it’s “the fourth one” but she explains that while it says “Episode 4” it’s actually the first movie and that “Episode One” is actually the fourth movie. They decide not to watch a movie and begin to make out again.

Scott senses something and pricks up his ears just before a fully transformed Kate and a Berserker come busting through the big loft window.

Sheriff Stilinski tells Stiles and Malia, who are studying, to drop what they’re doing because he’s taking them out to dinner. Stiles worries about the money but the Sheriff says Eichen House has forgiven their debt because one of their employees almost killed Stiles and Lydia (see Perishable). Stiles takes the letter of apology. He is much relieved and says “I have never been so happy to have almost been murdered.” The sheriff says they’re not out of debt entirely but that “for the moment” he can afford to take “my son and his girlfriend out to dinner.”

He asks Malia her favorite food. With much delight at the memory she says “deer.” The sheriff is speechless at this. Stiles just says “pizza, she likes pizza” and Malia smiles.

The Berserker has beaten Chris Argent into a stupor. Peter says he promised Kate that he wouldn’t kill Chris but he also can’t let him leave. He drives a piece of rebar into Chris’ side and through the concrete wall behind him. He then bends the rebar across Chris’ body, pinning him in place. Peter tells Chris to “rest here a while” saying he’s had a hard time for a very long time.

Mason show up in Liam’s bedroom. He throws some video game discs down on the bed. He says he knows Liam is going through some stuff he doesn’t want to talk about but he’s still Mason’s best friend. He says since the last good friend he made turned out to be a professional killer (see Garrett) he doesn’t have too many options for new ones. He says when Liam is ready to talk, he’ll be there. Until then, he says he’s pretty sure he can “kick your ass” at one of the games he brought. Liam picks a game he says he’s never played.

Scott wakes to find himself suspended off the floor. He realizes that the berserker is carrying him. The bone-covered creature throws him against the door to the loft. Kate kicks Kira sending her flying into a metal gate over the elevator shaft.

Scott and Kate fight but seem evenly matched with each absorbing the other’s blows and kicks. Kira mounts a defense against the berserker using a length of chain. While she gets in a couple of licks, the berserker manages to get control of the chain and pull her to him. He then knocks her senseless.

Kate disables Scott with a throat punch and pounds him against a wooden beam until he drops. Seeing that the berserker could kill Kira, he doesn’t get up. He asks what Kate wants and she says insight.

She points out that “the Argent family has been around for over 400 years, a powerful, wealthy, aristocratic family of werewolf hunters. But yet, somehow, in less than a year, this great family is decimated by a teenage boy. So my question is simple. What the hell is so special about Scott McCall?”

Scott says if Kate wants him, she should just take him and leave Kira alone. But Kate says they’re all going “to church” (a reference to La Iglesia).

Stiles and Liam arrive at school for the lacrosse game against Devenford Prep (Liam’s former school) but Scott is not there. Stiles says everything is fine, that he got a text from Scott “this morning” that he might be a little late. Coach Finstock overhears and freaks out. He can’t imagine what Scott and Kira could be doing together that would be more important that playing in the first game.

Sheriff Stilinski and Malia arrive at the game together as do Mason and Sydney (Claire Bryétt Andrew). Sydney has a sign that says “Go Liam.” The dot over the “I” is a heart.

Liam and Stiles are on the bench. Liam is still worried that Scott hasn’t shown. Stiles wants to know what Liam is really worried about. He suggests that it might be the full moon but assures Liam it’s “not for another 24 hours.” The night is clear and the moon seems almost full. Stiles says Liam will be fine but says he should “try not to rage out on anyone.” While Stiles says he is only “mildly worried” about Scott’s absence, he texts Scott “How late you gonna be? Very worried. Very.” Liam says they’ll lose the game without him but Stiles says he’s been practicing and is “getting good, really good.”

Stiles is a disaster on the field, getting hit in the head with the ball and tripping over his own feet. After he is hit by a rival player and knocked flat, He tells Liam he’ll call Scott again.

Deputy Parrish finds Chris Argent in the storm drain. He says he’s been following Peter Hale ever since his interview with Meredith Walker (see Monstrous). He is unable to move the bar himself. Chris says he needs to leave because Kate is going after Scott but Parrish says there is no cell service and Chris will bleed out by the time he gets back.

Devenford Prep is leading 4–0 as the timer ticks down to the end of the first quarter. Coach is apoplectic. Stiles says neither Kira nor Scott is answering their phone and he needs to see what’s going on. He reassures Liam that he will be okay on his own in the game. Stiles makes it to his father and explains the situation. As Liam returns to the field, he picks up the end of their conversation with his enhanced hearing. Malia says she will stay behind in case Scott shows up.

Devenford Prep gets possession and is coming down the field toward Liam. He begins to hallucinate a berserker on the field. He sees it knock down several Devenford players before skewering number 28 (Brett Talbot). Liam, frozen by his fear, stands by as the players run right past him and score.

Peter shows up at the game and sits next to Malia.

At Eichen House, Doctor Fenris says they’re still not getting a response from Deaton and may have to move him “to the 6th floor.” Lydia shows up and stops them. She says she needs to talk to Deaton. Fenris says he’s not responding to any stimuli but Lydia says “trust me on this – he’ll hear me.”

Liam has the ball and makes his way down the field. He avoids several defenders but Brett comes out of nowhere and knocks him on his behind. Brett says he knocked him down because Liam is afraid and he “can smell it on you from across the field.” He points out that Liam isn't hurt and encourages him to get up and play.

Malia says that after what happened between Peter and Meredith that she can do “without any kind of one-on-one father daughter time.” Peter tells Malia he’s “definitely” found her mother (the Desert Wolf) but that he wants her to do something for him before he’ll give up the information. He wants her to kill Kate Argent. He says he can’t do it on his own.

Kira wakes on a pile of bones. She is in a cell of some sort with a crosshatch of metal bars keeping her in and a tangle of roots running down from a metal grate in the ceiling. She screams for Scott.

Brett visits Liam after the game, which Beacon Hills lost. He says he helped Liam because Scott saved him and what’s left of his pack. He explains to Liam how lucky it is to have a True Alpha “that means he didn’t get his powers because he was born with it. He didn’t get it by stealing it or killing someone. He earned it.” He says Liam’s strength doesn’t lie in how much wait he can lift “you’re strong because you endure.” He says Satomi calls it “strength of character.”

Parrish is trying to pull the rebar from Chris’ side causing the former hunter enormous pain. Parrish says he needs Chris to help him pull it out but the older man says he has no strength left. Parrish sets out to draw on Chris’ anger over the loss of Allison as well has his hatred for Peter and anger at Kate to generate an adrenaline rush. He hopes it will be enough to help the injured man help save himself. It seems to work as Chris pushes and screams in pain, Parrish pulls and the bar begins to bend. Parrish’s eyes begin to take on a fiery orange glow.

Stiles and the Sheriff join Braeden and Derek at the loft. They’re all looking for Scott and Kira. Lydia and Deaton call and explain that Scott is in Mexico and they have to follow if they want to save his life.

Scott wakes on a stone slab inside the church in Mexico. He is tied with rope draped in purple Wolfsbane which seems to have weakened him.

Kate regales him with the Greek myth of Artemis and Actaeon. The goddess turned the hunter into a deer after he saw her bathing naked. His hunting dogs then ate him. Kate says she’s going to turn Scott into something his friends won’t recognize “what they're fighting, or killing.” She then places a berserker bear skull over his face as he screams.


Little May - "Hide"

Scene: Malia tries to wake Stiles.

The Glitch Mob - "I Need My Memory Back"

Scene: Liam in the gym.

The Kite String Tangle – "Given the Chance"

Scene: Scott and Kira in the loft

FMLYBND - "Gold"

Scene: Lighting the lacrosse field.

Afrojack – "Faded"

Scene: Stiles assures Liam the team will be fine without Scott.

Gesaffelstein – "Belgium"

Scene: Brett urges Liam to get up on the field and not be afraid.

Cousin Marnie - "Cain"

Scene: Kate puts the berserker skull on Scott.

Episodes List

Season 3 Season 4 Season 5
#01 The Dark Moon #07 Weaponized
#02 117 #08 Time of Death
#03 Muted #09 Perishable
#04 The Benefactor (Teen Wolf Episode) #10 Monstrous
#05 I. E. D. #11 A Promise to the Dead
#06 Orphaned #12 Smoke & Mirrors



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.