The last nine episodes of taking on Ghost Riders have all come down to this. Lydia, Scott, and Malia pulled out their best Stiles memories last week to open the rift, but the midseason finale of “Teen Wolf” still has them fighting their way to saving Beacon Hills as they take on the “Riders on the Storm” again.

A father-son reunion

The final moments of last week’s episode might have made it seem like Lydia and Stiles would be the first to reunite, but not so. Stiles comes face to face with his father in the train station while trying to find his way to Lydia’s voice. His father not only fires a shot to get the crowd away from Stiles, but also decides to buy Stiles some time.

And boy, does he. He shows up again in the last ten minutes of the episode to save Stiles, yet again, though this time from fake-Claudia. The Stilinskis really have a knack for timing, which is important in an episode where timing really is everything.

Stiles and his baseball bat

While Scott doesn’t think Lydia remembering Stiles worked to bring him back, he’s proven wrong fairly quickly as Stiles takes a bat to Mr. Douglas in the middle of a fight. Not only is it great to see Stiles and his weapon of choice back in action, but it’s also great to see someone logical join the fight.

He’s the only one who takes into account that Parrish in his hellhound form is a fire that needs to be put out. What does he do?

Grab a fire extinguisher. You have to wonder why no one else thought to try that in the last few episodes. It’s nice to have someone back in the game who thinks like a human instead of jumping to supernatural steps first.

Cory is the key

The group has spent so long trying to get Stiles back, but it all seems for naught when we reach the halfway point of the episode only to find that the train station is merging with Beacon Hills thanks to Cory.

Cory, who can see between worlds and bring the Wild Hunt into reality, is being used to make the two one.

What does this mean? It means anyone and everyone is going back and forth between the train station and Beacon Hills throughout the episode. We’ve got Liam riding a horse into the Wild Hunt. We’ve got Malia and Lydia finding Peter in the library, despite him sitting on a bench in the station, while Malia is forced to make an emotional connection to wake him up.

We’ve also got Scott and Stiles snapped back to another area by Mr. Douglas. We even get Melissa and Argent in a wild west showdown with a Ghost Rider. Theo is even still alive and taking on Ghost Riders.

Lydia saves Stiles

Lydia uses her banshee scream to get a Ghost Rider away from him. First of all: why hasn’t she done this before? She’s been face to face with plenty of Ghost Riders, and if she could have just screamed them all away, this whole thing would have been over. Second of all: fans get a moment they’ve been waiting for a long time.

Lydia, tearfully telling Stiles, “I didn’t say it back,” reminding him of their last conversation, gets a real reunion with him as he tells her that she doesn’t have to.

They get a moment in the midst of all of the chaos to share a kiss, and I can’t be the only fan saying, “finally” to my television when that happened. Lydia and Stiles having feelings for one another has been built up since the very first episode of the show, and it’s about time they acknowledged that.

That ending

There are still 10 episodes left, but it certainly felt final, didn’t it? Scott and company are heading off to their last summer vacation before college. It seems like all is well. Obviously, something big must happen next.

The verdict and what’s next

There’s a lot of “why didn’t anyone realize this before” going on in “Riders on the Storm,” which is unfortunate. There are so many things they could have tried months ago to take the story in a new direction.

Other than that, it’s emotional and action-packed, and well worthy of a midseason finale slot.

3.5 of 5 stars.

Get ready for a long wait. New episodes won’t be available until this summer.

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