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Required Reading is the 6th episode of Teen Wolf Season 5. This episode is directed by British director Alice Troughton, best known for her work on Doctor Who and its spinoff shows and Merlin.


Scott and his friends follow Dr. Valack's advice; and experience strange effects as a result.

Full Recap[]

Scott McCall is lying on the floor grasping for an asthma inhaler. His breath comes in ragged gasps.

The Pathologist steps on the inhaler, crushing it and releasing the medicine within in a puff of gas.

The Dread Doctor picks Scott up by the throat and holds him against the wall of the hospital corridor. The elevator door chimes open and Malia Tate, with fangs bared, comes rushing out. The doctor casts Scott aside as Malia attacks. They fight but Malia makes little headway.

Melissa McCall rushes out and helps Scott back to the elevator. She injects him with a “bronchodilator” to ease his asthma symptoms.

The Pathologist grabs Malia by the throat but she manages to break free and runs to the elevator. The doors close just as the doctor reaches them, and inside the car, they hear a great thud and the elevator shakes. Scott tells Malia they should have never read the book.

Two nights earlier, Sheriff’s deputies arrive at Beacon Hills High School and find someone has dug eight large holes in the athletic field.

Sheriff Stilinski draws a red X through a picture of Tracy Stewart on the corkboard in his office. A picture of Lucas is marked in a similar fashion. Stiles and Malia explain that they have two dead chimeras and eight new ones (the holes). The sheriff believes there may be another one and ads a picture of Donovan to the board. He explains that the department's tech guys believe both the holding cell lock and the cameras were disabled by electromagnetic interference the night Donovan escaped.  

Stiles turns away. Malia says if Donovan was a failure then he is likely dead and moves to X out his picture. The sheriff stops her and says he would need to see a body first.

Stiles believes the teens were chosen by the Dread Doctors for a reason. They need to find what made these specific teenagers special.

Donovan's booking number, seen on his mugshot, is 008372782.

Lydia Martin and Jordan Parrish are training together. He reminds her to keep her arms up so that she can deflect the enemy's blows while still keeping watch on them. He worries about her recent surgery. She removes her jacket and lifts up her shirt to show him the stitches are holding and she is not bleeding.

He removes his jacket as well and they continue to spar. He gets the better of her and wraps her in his arms. He asks her what she did wrong and she says she forgot to keep her arms up. He says eventually she will do it automatically due to muscle memory. They have a moment where they suddenly realize they are in each other's arms. They do not pull away.

Parrish has his hand on her arm and it suddenly turns into the glove of one of the Dread Doctors. She has a series of flashes where she is on the operating table with the Doctors working on her. She jerks away. He asks what is wrong and she says, "Muscle memory."

Scott explains to Theo that they are looking for anyone at school acting "a little off or a little weird." Theo points out that everyone is a little weird in high school.

Theo warns Scott that Tracy went on a killing spree after reading The Dread Doctors novel (See: Dreamcatcher). Scott asks if Theo thinks it is a bad idea to read the book. Theo says he thinks Malia almost getting run down in the road (See: A Novel Approach) could have been bad.

Scott says they have not yet finished reading it but they plan to. Theo says he came to Beacon Hills hoping to find a pack, not to watch one fall apart. Scott says the book is all they have to go on. Theo volunteers to read the book too.

Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Malia, Kira and Theo gather at Scott's house to read the book. Stiles cracks a joke about how the book makes people have violent hallucinations. Scott says Malia is there just in case that or something worse should happen.

Malia says it is like what happened to Judy in the book. They all look at her. She explains that it is in Chapter 14.

Lydia is hopeful the book will work as Valack said it would because she saw the Dread Doctors during her surgery (See Condition Terminal). She says that if they did something to her, she needs to know.

They all take their photocopies of the book and begin to read.

The Dread Doctors by T.R. McCammon (Chapter / Page Unknown)[]

It was her salvation.
As if she knew what Judy was thinking, Amy turned and hissed a challenge. Her jaw extended impossibly low, revealing rows of deadly fangs
With a roar, Amy charged her friend. Judy swung the bat as hard as she could and connected with the side of Amy's head. The creature went down but was up again before Judy could react. In an instant the bat was out of her hands and clanging at her feet. Amy swiped her taloned hands ripping Judy's shirt and the skin beneath.
Judy cried out as she collapsed to the floor.
Before she knew it, Amy was on top of her, but not before Judy could get her foot up and under Amy's chest. Amy snarled and squirmed gnashing her teeth inches from Judy's face. With all of her might, Judy kicked as hard as she could sending Amy backwards against the concrete wall.
Amy righted herself, looked back to Judy and..
Crack! Judy smashed the bat across Amy's face. Amy hissed and...
...the floor and roll away. Her chest rose and fell again and again as she sucked air into her lungs. As the adrenaline began to wear off, Judy felt her eyes sting with tears. She looked away from the twisted remains of the creature that was once her friend as a wail escaped her lips.
With a labored step, Judy turned toward the open door at the end of the walkway. Blood pounded in her ears every step of the way like the droning of a great cloud of bees.
She pushed the door open until it clanged against the outside wall. Night air filled her lungs and for the first time in weeks Judy felt like everything was going to be all right.
She stepped outside into the darkness and ran like hell.

Scott checks in on the group but so far the book seems to make the readers only tired and hungry.

Malia pours coffee and notices Stiles rubbing his shoulder. She asks about it, saying she could smell the blood. He lies and says the hood of the jeep fell on it. She listens to his heartbeat. Theo overhears the conversation.

Stiles asks about Malia's flashback to the accident. She lies, leaving out the bit about seeing her birth mother (the Desert Wolf) firing pistols at the car. Theo overhears this as well.

Kira takes a nap.

At Sinema, Hayden Romero is selling glow sticks instead of shots. A patron complains because his stick does not glow anymore. She explains that they do not last forever. He asks for his money back and she gives him another glow stick saying she hates "all ages night."

Liam arrives with $43 to help pay for the drinks he caused Hayden to spill (See Condition Terminal). She refuses to take it despite the fact that she earlier told him that he owes $200.

The power goes out. Liam follows Hayden to the fuse boxes in a nearby room.  She tells him that if he is trying to be a nice guy, she really does not care. He says he is just trying to make up for the 6th grade. She says nothing will make up for that.

She manages to push the lever on one of the fuse boxes but the other is stuck. Liam places his hand on hers and helps her push up the lever, restoring full power to the club.

He says she can go on hating him if she wants but he owes her $200 and offers her the $43 again. She takes it.

Everyone has fallen asleep while reading the book. Only Theo is still awake and he records Kira speaking Japanese in her sleep on his phone.

The next day at school, Scott speculates that they might need some sort of trigger, like Malia’s driving, to make the book's supposed memory-inducing function to work. Stiles wonders how they are supposed to trigger a memory that they do not remember. Scott suggests it might be a delayed thing.

The lights in the school hallway flicker.

They both look at Kira. She denies responsibility for the electricity issue. Scott says they need to keep an eye on each other throughout the day. Stiles says they should also keep an eye out for eight, potentially homicidal, chimeras. Kira says they should also look out for the Dread Doctors. Stiles says he is beginning to see the appeal of a third eye.

Mrs. Finch explains invasive species in AP Biology. She uses the real-world example of the Cane Toad in Australia.

Lydia notices Sydney (Claire Bryétt Andrew) scratching her head and texts Theo, "Chimera?"

Theo texts back, "Look at her hair."

Sydney pulls out a handful of hair and looks panicked.

Finch says, "once an invasive species is introduced, everything changes."

Sydney quickly gets up and places a "course drop" form on Finch’s desk. Finch calls it a "wise decision." Lydia gets up to follow Sydney out of the classroom. Scott stares down at his own "course drop" form.

Lydia finds Sydney in another room. Sydney explains that she has been losing her hair for three years whenever she is under a lot of stress. She shows Lydia the bald patch. It transforms from a slightly irritated bit of hairless skin to a ragged trepanation hole and Lydia flashes on something from her childhood.

Lydia's Flashback[]

Lydia hears her mother's voice saying she told her to stay in the car.
Lydia as a child walks through one of the metal mesh doors at Eichen House. She hears a drill and water running. She then sees a power drill with a bloody drill bit lying in a sink.
An older woman, Lorraine Martin (Marcy Goldman), is in a bathtub. Blood oozes from a nickel-sized hole in her skull just above her left ear.
Natalie Martin and an orderly are with her. Blood and bathwater covers the floor.
Natalie turns to yell at Lydia, "I told you to stay in the car!"
Lorraine leans up from the tub and address her granddaughter, "They're coming Lydia. They're coming for all of us."
EDITOR'S NOTE: The flashback sequences were shot in a wider aspect than the rest of the episode and were presented on screen in "anamorphic format". Jeff Davis explains the change in aspect was Director Alice Troughton's idea and says he "really liked the look."

Lydia comes back to consciousness with Scott leaning over her and Theo standing nearby. Her hand is shaking but she says she is fine. They help her up and she explains that she did not remember anything about the Dread Doctors or the surgery. She says it was about her grandmother at Eichen House. Natalie Martin runs in and asks if Lydia blacked out or fainted. Her daughter lies and says she fainted.

Kira is trying to read the book in school library. Mason comes and sits with her. He asks if she speaks Japanese. Kira explains that she does not speak Japanese or Korean and is pushing a C average in English. He explains that he has been reading up on Kitsunes and has found that fox spirits have trouble with language. He says it is why, in Japan, they have the tradition of saying "moshi, moshi" for "hello" when answering the phone.

He says the repeated word would confuse a kitsune because it is a language trick. Saying moshi twice confirms the person on the phone is not a kitsune. Mason says The Dread Doctors book is just one long language trick and that is why Kira is having trouble reading it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: While there is some information on the internet to back up Mason's claims, all of it is apocryphal. There may be reliable sources written in Japanese, but we have yet to find one.

The lights in the library flicker. Kira again denies responsibility.

Scott presents his "course drop" form to Ms. Finch.

Scott’s student ID number is V 10 – 92 – 7681.

She calls him back because he forgot to sign the form. She asks him why he is dropping and he says time commitment. She reminds him of why he took the class in the first place, because he wants to be a vet and it is a prerequisite for the college he wants. Finch says she does not think Scott should drop the course.

Scott begins having trouble breathing and collapses. Ms. Finch calls for help.

Scott's Flashback[]

He sees a bloody leash. Two dogs are fighting. One of the dogs' collars says "Roxy."
Scott is at the hospital and sees his younger self (Steele Gagnon) rolling in on a gurney. Melissa McCall is with him. She tells him he is okay and that he just needs to breathe. The bloody leash is looped around his arm and he asks, "Where's Roxy?" Melissa says she did not make it.

In the present, Scott's breathing comes in shallow gasps as Ms. Finch begins to freak out demanding to know where she can find his inhaler. She calls out to nearby students to find an inhaler.

On the athletic field (Location: Palisades Charter High School Pacific Palisades, California), Liam is practicing lacrosse while Hayden is practicing soccer.

In the stands, Mason and Brett Talbot discuss the possible chimeras. Brett says everyone at Devenford Prep is abnormal to him. Mason ticks off the things for which they should look: heightened strength, smell, hearing, speed.

Brett adds the ability to see in the dark. Mason says, "Glowing eyes." Brett says, "Eyes that reflect the light." Mason says they should also look for visible scorpion stingers protruding out of limbs. Brett says they should also look for three-foot lizard tails.

Liam takes a shot at goal but it goes high. Hayden sees this and smirks. She kicks and scores a goal. Liam shoots again and scores this time. They repeat the process, goal for goal, several times until Liam strikes the goalie with the ball and knocks him down.

Mason explains to Brett how Hayden and Liam's rivalry began. In 6th grade there was fight in the hallway between Liam and another guy. Hayden walked into it and got a busted nose. It was apparently close to the time for yearbook photos. Mason displays the yearbook on his phone. Hayden has a piece of tape over the bridge of her nose and two black eyes. Brett asks what she then did to Liam and Mason shows a yearbook photo of young Liam with two black eyes.

A student runs onto the field asking if anyone has an inhaler. Liam suddenly knows Scott is in trouble.

He runs into the room with an inhaler. He gives it to Scott, who just holds it. Liam's eyes flash yellow and he growls Scott's name. Scott snaps alert and sucks on the inhaler. Hayden is watching from the hall and smiles.

Lydia and Stiles arrive at the hospital. She has come to the conclusion that, because her vision of her grandmother had nothing to do with the Dread Doctors, her memories of the doctors have something to do with her Banshee abilities. She believes the memories belong to someone else and she wants to return to the operating room to see if she hears anything.

Theo is working out at school when he senses someone coming toward the gym. He strips off his shirt and, bare-chested, continues his workout as Malia comes in.

She wants to know why Theo has not revealed to the others about her memory of the Desert Wolf. He says he did not figure she wanted him to tell Scott. She says she does not. He continues to work out until she grabs the Butterfly Press and holds the weight in place.

She wants to know if he expects a favor in return. He says he does not need any favors. She demands to know what he wants. He says he wants in the pack. She says it is not up to her. He says she should tell Scott about her memory if she wants but "If you’ve got something else in mind, I'm okay with that too."

Malia releases the arms of the butterfly press and the weight snaps back. Theo rubs his chest as if the machine caused some strain.

Deputy Clark rushes up to Hayden at school. They are sisters. Hayden had apparently forgotten a bottle of prescription meds at home. She says one bottle costs $200. Liam overhears this conversation. Deputy Clark says Liam "got cute" which he also overhears. Liam smiles.

Scott and Theo discuss his asthma attack in the locker room. Scott says he thinks the memory triggered a psychosomatic reaction.

Theo reveals that he recorded Kira speaking Japanese in her sleep. He says he used a web-based translator and that she is saying, "I am the messenger of death." Scott explains about the changes he senses in Kira's aura. He says it is supposed to be part of her but it seems to be taking over. Scott says he does not know if he can trust Kira anymore.

The lights in the locker room flicker.

Scott and Theo both hear a sound like wires sparking. It is coming from the basement.

The operating room at the hospital is dark. Stiles tries the lights but they do not work. He suggests that they do not need the lights since Lydia is trying to listen. She says she would like to see as well and sends Stiles to find someone to get the lights on.

Melissa explains to Stiles that they have been having power issues for the last hour and that the operating room is on backup lighting.

In the basement of the school Scott and Theo find a bundle of wires that have been ripped out. They spark and fizzle.

Lydia hears a beeping in the operating room and is drawn to a surgical monitor. She hears the voice of The Surgeon saying, "Hayden," over and over.

Malia joins Scott and Theo at school. Scott asks about Kira and is told she is still at the library while Stiles and Lydia are at the hospital waiting for the power to come back on. Scott quickens his pace.

On the roof of the hospital a chimera with very large fangs (Josh Diaz) is chewing on a power cable. 

At Sinema, Phil the bartender (Billy Snow) is interviewing a potential employee. He explains that the base pay is not much but with tips one could make up to a grand in one night. He has the young man (porn star Brett Beckham) remove his shirt and then says he would probably make less money.

Liam is trying to give Hayden $25. He says he heard about the medication and wants to pay what he owes her. She says it does not matter now and Phil takes half her money anyway. She says it was not his fault. He, thinking she is talking about the 6th grade again, says he punched her in the face. She means the drink spillage. She says the medicine is Mycophenolate which is to keep her body from rejecting a kidney transplant she received "a few years ago." She says she works at Sinema so that her sister will not have to pay for all of it.

She says she will make the money back somehow. Liam asks if Phil actually takes half of it and she urges him to listen to him brag about it. Liam turns his werewolf hearing toward Phil and hears, "It's not like they're going to do anything about it. They're all under the table because they're too young to be selling alcohol anyway."

Liam seems to realize something about Hayden and asks her to close her eyes. She eventually agrees and he cracks one of the glow sticks. He holds it up to her face and asks her to open her eyes, they are highly reflective.

Lydia hears, "Hayden," again from the surgical monitor. She then sees the young man from the roof (Henry Zaga) on the operating table. The Dread Doctors peel back his skin revealing a glowing blue musculature underneath. They say, "Your condition worsens."

Stiles' Flashback[]

Stiles enters the elevator at the hospital and sees, reflected in the doors, a woman standing behind him.
She brushes past him when the doors open and he follows, calling her "mom."
He follows her onto the roof where she stands on the ledge. Sheriff Stilinski brushes past him and urges "Claudia" down from the ledge. She says, "I couldn't stand to be in that room anymore, not with him looking at me like that. He's trying to hurt me. I don't care if you don't believe me but he is! He's trying to kill me!"
The Sheriff reminds her that her dementia makes her paranoid. It becomes clear that Claudia is paranoid about Stiles who is 10 years old. Stiles, in tears now, looks down at his shadow and sees it is that of a young child.
Claudia begins to scream at him to "stop looking at me like that." She rushes forward but as she begins to beat on him.

Stiles comes back to reality and sees his attacker is actually the cable-chewing chimera seen earlier on the hospital roof.

Scott, Theo, and Malia split up to find the others in the hospital. Scott is immediately attacked by The Pathologist and the scene from the beginning of the episode plays out again with the added detail of a tazer-like device in the doctor's glove that he uses to injure Scott.

Theo arrives on the roof and attacks the chimera. As they fight, sparks fly from nearby wires and lights. Theo slashes the chimera's throat, killing him.

He asks Stiles not to tell Scott. Theo says Stiles should keep the secret because Theo did not tell Scott about Stiles killing Donovan.


  • Conway - “Attack”
Scene: Parrish teaches Lydia how to fight.
  • Naughty Queen - “Famous & Rich (Angello & Ingrosso Remix)
Scene: Hayden sells glow sticks at the club.
  • Proper Villains & Metric Man - “Bust One (2 Beeps Remix)
Scene: Liam watches Hayden kick the soccer ball into the goal.
  • Timmy Trumpet & Savage - “Freaks”
Scene: Liam and Hayden square off after he makes a goal.
  • The Bright Light Social Hour - “Ghost Dance”
Scene: Malia questions Theo while he works out.
  • Ethel and the Chordstones & Ryan Levine - “It’s Good”
Scene: Liam tries to give Hayden more money.

Episodes List[]

Season 5 Season 5 Season 6
#01 Creatures of the Night #06 Required Reading #11 The Last Chimera #16 Lie Ability
#02 Parasomnia #07 Strange Frequencies #12 Damnatio Memoriae #17 A Credible Threat
#03 Dreamcatchers #08 Ouroboros #13 Codominance #18 Maid of Gevaudan
#04 Condition Terminal #09 Lies of Omission #14 The Sword and the Spirit #19 The Beast of Beacon Hills
#05 A Novel Approach #10 Status Asthmaticus #15 Amplification #20 Apotheosis