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Motel California is episode six of MTV's Teen Wolf Season 3. The episode was viewed by 1.855 million people during its initial broadcast.


Scott and the gang undergo strange experiences when they are stranded at a motel, causing them to believe members of their own group may be the mysterious killer's newest targets.

Full Recap[]

A man in a pickup truck pulls into the Motel Glen Capri in the fictitious town of Fairvale, California (the same town name is used in the movie Psycho). The headline in the local paper gives the date as “March 5, 1977”.

When he exits the truck, we can see a large wound on his leg while his pants and hand are covered in blood.

On the room key, the motel’s address is given as P.O. Box 217, Fairvale, CA 92289. In the real world this zip code does not exist in the United States. It is, however, the postal code for Ursensollen, Amberg-Sulzbach in Germany.

In room 217, he pulls up his shirt and examines a large Alpha bite on his torso. He is wearing the Argent Necklace last seen in Season 1. He sees the full moon out his window. He then takes a sawed-off shot gun, places it under his chin and says "nous chassons ceux qui nous chassent" or "we hunt those that hunt us" which is a Werewolf Hunter Motto. His eyes then begin to glow a bright yellow and he pulls the trigger.

In the pooling blood on the floor we see his Massachusetts Drivers’ License on which his name is listed as  “Argent, Alexander”.

In present day, the Beacon County School bus pulls into the same motel parking lot. As the members of the Cross Country team, Allison and Lydia disembark, Scott comments on the quality of the motel saying he’s seen worse. Stiles challenges this asking where that might have been.

The Coach Bobby Finstock explains that the cross country meet to which they were traveling has been postponed until the following day and that Motel Glen Capri was the only one that had enough vacant rooms and “the least judgment when it comes to accepting a bunch of degenerates…”.

Students are staying two to a room and the Coach warns them against “sexual perversions” and calls them all “little deviants.”

As the bus pulls away to park, Allison notices Lydia hasn’t moved and is just staring at the Motel. When questioned, she says she doesn’t like it. Allison explains that they’re just staying one night to which Lydia replies “a lot can happen in one night.”

In their room, Scott and Stiles discuss their top 9 (10 really but he counted Derek twice) suspects in the recent human sacrifice murders but only explains four. Stiles’ list includes –

Adrian Harris Just cause he’s missing doesn’t mean he’s dead.

Cora Hale “No one knows anything about her and she’s Derek’s sister.”

Dr. Deaton “I don’t really like the whole Obi Wan thing he’s got going on. It freaks me out.”

Lydia Martin “She was totally controlled by Peter and she had no idea.”

Scott says it might be someone else at school and brings up Matt who was the Kanima Master and responsible for several deaths in Season 2, saying that back then they “didn’t know that he was killing people.”

Stiles scoffs and points out, correctly, that he'd said Matt was responsible long before they actually learned the truth.

At his loft back inBeacon HillsJennifer Blake struggles to help a badly injured Derek inside.

Exhausted from supporting him she drops him on the floor.

At the abandoned mall where the big battle in Frayed took place, Chris Argent is piecing together clues of what happened there.

Back at the motel, Scott checks his eye in the bathroom mirror and it suddenly flashes Alpha red.

Stiles is going for a snack and finds Boyd standing at the machine. While Stiles is chatty, Boyd remains silent as he pushes the buttons “2 0 1.” When the machine’s mechanism stalls and doesn't drop his snack (peanut butter crackers), Stiles offers to help but Boyd simply puts his fist through the glass front of the machine and takes his selection pulling part of the mechanism out as well. Stiles also steals an handful of snacks and heads back up to his room.

Allison is in the shower, Lydia has gone to ask for new towels. Scott is in the room. He startles her. Appearing to be in a daze, he starts walking toward her saying they should be closer friends and could perhaps fix their relationship. He grabs her hand and suddenly snaps out of the daze and quickly exits.

Lydia has gone to ask the motel clerk for new towels. She explains that the ones in their supposedly “smoke-free” room reek of nicotine. The clerk turns toward her revealing that she has a tracheotomy tube in her throat. While it is not as common as is portrayed in popular media, such a device is often presented as a visual short cut to show that a person is a heavy smoker and suffered throat cancer or some other ailment as a side effect.

Lydia notices a series of numbers framed on the motel office wall “198.” When she asks about them the clerk explains that the 40 year old motel has the highest number of suicides in all of California and they're currently up to #198 “and counting.”

In the room Isaac and Boyd are sharing, Isaac flips through channels of static on the TV. The channel numbers go from 199 to 200 to 201.

Chris Argent is still at the abandoned mall. He’s on the phone with Allison and offers to come get her. When she mentions the name of the motel he says it sounds familiar. He wants to come get her but she says she’s fine. Once they hang up, he sees evidence of her involvement in the battle at the mall.

Jennifer removes the tatters of Derek’s shirt and, while shocked at his injuries, still manages to flirt saying her gasp of astonishment at the sight of his bare chest “would be for your unbelievable physique if it weren't for the fact that you’re bleeding black blood.” Derek passes out and she begs him not to die. She puts her ear to his chest to listen for a heartbeat. Once she hears it she sighs with relief.

Lydia works out the math on the motel’s suicide numbers. Over 40 years it breaks down to an average of 4.95 suicides per year which, she explains to Allison, isn't unexpected. She still finds it weird that the motel likes the number enough to post it in their office. Lydia then lays out the methods of suicide, “hanging, throat cutting, pill popping, both barrels of a shotgun in the mouth”.

Lydia then hears the voices of a couple coming through the air vent. The male voice asks the female which one she wants. She replies “the smaller one I guess”. He says smaller is better because “there’s less kick.”

Lydia stands and turns toward the vent. She climbs up and stands on the bed to get closer to it. The male voice says “I’ll chamber the round.” The female then wants to know how they are going to proceed wondering if they go after the count of three or “on three.” She ultimately decides they go “one, two, then pull the trigger.”

They declare their love for one another then the male begins the countdown. A gunshot follows the count of 2.

Throughout this exchange, air is flowing through the vent as is evidenced by a silver streamer blowing outward. After the gunshot, the stream falls back against the vent as the airflow is cut off.

Allison didn't hear any of the voices but Lydia is convinced and heads to the room next door to investigate. Inside room 217 they find construction equipment but no dead couple. In the grain of the wood paneling Lydia notices what appear to be screaming faces staring back at her.

Boyd is getting ice from the large machine outside in the parking lot. While he is filling his bucket, he hears a girl’s voice calling his name. The voice says “don’t leave me” and “you weren't supposed to leave me” and “why did you leave me?” and Boyd says the name “Alicia.”

He then digs down uncovering the face of a young girl buried in the ice. She opens her eyes. Boyd drops the bucket and backs away.

Lydia wants to leave but Allison doesn't see the danger because the deaths were suicides not murders and “it’s not like this place is haunted, right?” Lydia thinks maybe it is, wondering if the suicide couple she heard were real and did the deed in “that very room.” She also wonders if the reason the room is under construction might have to do with trying to remove their brain matter from the paneling.

Isaac is lying on his bed, eyes closed, when he starts to hear noises like tools and chains. He looks to the ceiling fan which is rattling as it spins above but then is startled to hear his father’s voice asking for a 7/16th inch wrench.

The voice continues “What the hell? This is the 9/16th you moron.” The voice continues berating him about the difference between a 7 and a 9 and calling him a dumbass. Isaac begins to play both parts in the exchange answering as himself and as his father explaining that the difference between a 7 and a 9 is a “stripped bolt.”

He then starts repeating “I can’t fix this now” over and over again until his father’s voice tells him to “grab the chains” and “get in the damn freezer.” Isaac leaps backwards onto the bed and hides beneath the comforter. He hears whispering and peeks out to find himself in the freezer in the basement at his old house. He screams as the lid slams down, trapping him inside.

Back in the motel office, the numbers on the wall have changed from the “198” we saw on Lydia’s earlier visit to “201” as she and Allison reenter. The sign says the clerk is gone until 6AM leaving them with no answers about the suicide couple she heard. They wonder about the increase in the death toll and think the number might mean more deaths are about to happen.

In Scott’s room the phone rings. He answers the call and hears his mother’s voice. She seems upset and apologizes saying “he just came in the house” and “I tried to stop him.”

She then tells him to look outside. When he does he sees Deucalion holding his mother by the throat. Deucalion says Derek is dead and that Scott is now the Alpha and he is coming for everyone he loves. He then rips Melissa McCall’s throat with his claws and she falls to the pavement.

Stiles enters and Scott looks away from the parking lot for a moment, when he looks back there is no one, the whole scene with Deucalion and his mother was a hallucination.

Stiles gets a text from Lydia on his Nokia Lumina that says “Need to talk. Just you.” According to the phone it is 12:21.

Danny and Ethan are sharing a room. Shoes, socks and a shirt lay on the floor apparently removed in haste and dropped there. On the bed Ethan, wearing only his jeans and boots, is on top of a nearly fully clothed Danny. Ethan apologizes after kicking some text books off the foot of the bed then teases Danny about bringing homework on the trip and suggests that he let Danny “get back to that.” In response Danny pulls Ethan closer and the pair kiss.

Ethan opens Danny’s shirt and begins to kiss his chest. Just below the pectoral muscle, there is a scar. When Ethan asks about it Danny explains he has two of them. The scars are from a surgery he had to correct misshapen cartilage with which he was born. They had inserted a bar when he was 14 to support his sternum for two years so that his heart and lungs wouldn’t be crushed.

Ethan says “what if there was a way you could make them disappear?” He’s hinting at the effects of an Alpha bite without saying it. Danny wants to keep his scars. He says they make him feel like a survivor, to which Ethan replies, “I really hope you are.”

They kiss again but as their passion rises, Ethan suddenly arches his back. Ripples appear in the skin around his spine, similar to the effect we saw when the twins merged together. He freaks and runs to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror, he sees a hand and face begin to push out from the skin of his stomach. He returns to Danny, throws on his clothes and runs out of the room.

Stiles, Allison and Lydia discuss how weird the werewolves are acting. Lydia wants to leave. She grabs the bible out of the desk drawer and says if they don’t leave someone needs to do an exorcism before the werewolves go crazy and kill all of them. Stiles wonders if they were drawn to the motel on purpose. Noting that the number in the office went up by three, he says the Darach may be after the werewolves as its next three victims.

Noticing something in between the pages of the bible, Stiles takes it from Lydia. They find clippings describing all the suicides that took place in the room in which they are standing.

The headlines include “28 year old man hangs himself at the infamous Glen Capri” and “Modern-Day Romeo and Juliet: Suicides Continue at the Glen Capri Motel” and “Local Karate Instructor Commits Hara-Kiri at the Glen Capri.”

They speculate that there may be similar clippings tucked away in bibles in all the other rooms. Lydia wants to investigate the suicide couple she heard in room 217.

They find the door locked and then hear a SKILSAW running inside. They bust into the room to find Ethan holding the saw and preparing to slice into his torso.

Stiles rushes forward and begins trying to wrestle control of the saw from the Alpha. Lydia notices the power cord for the device and pulls it from the wall just as Siles gets the saw away from Ethan. It falls to the floor and Stiles falls after it, his face stopping just centimeters from the spinning blade.

Ethan extends his claws and moves to rip open his torso. Stiles and Allison each grab an arm trying to stop him. He tumbles into a space heater and burns his hands. The pain snaps him out of his daze and he seems to have no memory of what’s happened. He quickly leaves the room.

Back at Derek’s loft, Derek is trying to get out of bed but his injuries are too severe. He tells Jennifer that he must “find the others” because they think he is dead.

She points out that many characters in literature use false deaths to their advantage. She mentions “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo, “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens and “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare. She blushes when she mentions the last since it is the story of two lovers and she is still managing to flirt with the nearly dead man before her.

Ethan refuses to talk to Stiles, Lydia and Allison about his suicide attempt. He says he doesn't know how he got there or what he was doing. Stiles points out that he should be more helpful since they just saved his life. Ethan responds that they “probably shouldn't have.”

Allison goes off to find Scott. Stiles reluctantly brings up his theory that Lydia may be connected to all the crazy events since it’s very similar to the time she poisoned everybody at her birthday party with wolfsbane (See Party Guessed).

Boyd sits on the bedside. The radio turns itself on with a burst of static. The clock reads “12:46.” He quickly switches it off. In two seconds it switches back on with more static and a man’s voice asking questions of a child.

The man asks “You remember what time it was when you last saw her?” to which the child responds “I don’t know I can’t remember.” The man pushes on saying that “sometimes it helps to put yourself right back in the moment” he then says “Imagine you’re seeing Alicia skating on the ice rink, plenty of other people around and then what?”.

The boy is meek in his response “and then, then she was just gone.”

Boyd turns off the radio again but within a couple of seconds it’s back on. The boy voice on the radio, in a pleading tone, says “I told you, I was watching her. I didn’t want to skate anymore. I, I was tired and I swear I was watching her!” The man’s voice in a comforting tone continues “It’s alright, we’re just trying to piece together what happened.”

Boyd grabs the radio off the nightstand, pulling the cord out of the wall at the same time. As he stares at the now powerless radio, it suddenly lights up again and the voices continue with the boy asking “Is she dead?” and “Is it my fault?” and “Is she dead?” again.

Boyd begins to repeat the boys words saying “Is she dead?” and “It’s my fault”. He throws the radio against the wall, smashing it. The radio again lights up. This time Boyd walks out of the room, crushing the radio with his foot on the way out.

Back at the loft, Derek seems to be feeling better but says Jennifer shouldn’t be near him because everyone around him gets hurt. She says she’s been hurt before and has a feeling about him. She begins to kiss him, hesitantly at first then with more passion. Boyd enters the motel office and notices the safe.

Allison arrives at Scott’s room but he’s not there.

Stiles is still apologizing for suspecting Lydia is responsible for the crazy.

Lydia hears a baby crying and a mother yelling at it. She believes it is coming from a large drainage grate in the middle of the parking lot. She kneels to get closer to it and hears a mother preparing to drown her child.

Back in Boyd’s room the bath is full and the tap shuts off. Boyd stands, holding the heavy safe. He lies back in the water, with the weight of the safe on his chest holding him under the water.

Stiles and Lydia rush into the bath. Stiles tries to drain the tub but can’t free whatever Boyd used to block the drain. He accidentally backs into the wall heater and burns himself. Remembering how Ethan snapped out of his daze when he was burned, Stiles decides to do the same thing to Boyd. Lydia reminds him that road flares will still burn in water. Stiles runs to the bus to find them.

While he is gone, Lydia hears something under the bed. Pulling up the covers, she sees Isaac is hiding under there. He dives away from the light back into shadow.

Stiles returns with the flare. They light it and burn Boyd, who throws off the safe and rises from the water his claws and fangs coming out.

Stiles then returns to Isaac and burns him with the flare.

Lydia and Stiles reunite with Allison and they find Scott standing in the parking lot dripping with gasoline and holding another lit road flare as a pool of fuel spreads over the pavement. Scott says there’s no hope for him. He says there’s no hope for him or for Derek.

Derek is having sex with Jennifer.

Allison says Derek wasn't Scott's fault but he says no matter what he does people end up getting hurt and dying. He thinks killing himself might be the best thing he could do for everyone else.

As Derek and Jennifer enjoy a post-coital kiss, his wounds begin to heal until there is not a trace of injury left.

Scott mourns for the loss of his life before the bite, saying it was better when he was no one special, not good at lacrosse, not popular and not special. He says it would be better to be no one again, no one at all.

Stiles steps forward. Tears are streaming down his face as he explains that Scott is someone, his best friend and that he is his brother. He steps into the pool of gasoline saying that if Scott is going to kill himself then Stiles is going with him.

Stiles slowly grabs Scott's hand, pries the flare from his fist, and flings it away. It lands on a dry piece of pavement but begins to roll toward the pooling gasoline. Lydia sees what’s happening and throws herself at Scott and Stiles pushing them out of harm’s way.

As the fuel explodes, Lydia sees a figure, cloaked, with a deformed face, in the flames.

The next morning, Coach Finstock finds Boyd, Isaac, Lydia, Allison, Stiles and Scott sleeping on the bus. He announces that the meet has been canceled. Ethan thanks Scott for saving his life (Stiles reminds Ethan that it was actually him) and tells him Derek is alive. He also warns him that the death of Ennis, for which Ethan blames Derek, will result in one of two things. Derek will be forced to join the Alpha Pack (which would mean killing his Betas) or Kali will hunt him down and kill him.

Lydia notices a purple stain on Finstock’s shirt where the coach’s whistle rests. She asks to see it and discovers it filled with wolfsbane powder. This means, each time he blew the whistle on the bus, everyone got dosed with wolfsbane which might explain how the Darach caused the hallucinations.

Stiles throws it out the window and the bus drives away.

Chris Argent opens the door to room A151. An old man sitting in a wheelchair reaches down with shaking hands to turn the chair to face his visitor.

It’s Gerard. Black ooze still leaks from his nose and down his mouth and chin.

Chris relays the story of Alexander Argent’s final trip to the Motel Glen Capri. He wants to know the name of the Alpha that bit him.

Gerard, smiling, says “Deucalion.”


  • Guards - "Your Man"

Scene: The school bus pulls up to the Motel Glen Capri.

  • Fink ft. Tina Grace - "Hush Now"

Scene: Danny and Ethan make out.

  • Daughter - "Touch"

Scene: Derek and Ms.Blake kiss each other for the first time.

  • Gabriel Bruce - "Sleep Paralysis"

Scene: The bus leaves the motel.



Video Recap[]


Video Preview[]


Episodes List[]

Season 2 Season 3 Season 4
#01 Tattoo #07 Currents #13 Anchors #19 Letharia Vulpina
#02 Chaos Rising #08 Visionary #14 More Bad Than Good #20 Echo House
#03 Fireflies #09 The Girl Who Knew Too Much #15 Galvanize #21 The Fox and the Wolf
#04 Unleashed #10 The Overlooked #16 Illuminated #22 De-Void
#05 Frayed #11 Alpha Pact #17 Silverfinger #23 Insatiable
#06 Motel California #12 Lunar Ellipse #18 Riddled #24 The Divine Move