After all the many devastating events of the last 2 seasons, the Pack are all pretty sad and depressed. Elena especially so since she has had that magical vision of her dooming them all.
Rachel is sad because Logan is dead (after being underused and drastically decreasing the show’s very few POC with his death) leaving her to raise his baby alone and with no idea what to do in the future or what the pack will decide
And Jeremy is super sad and angry because the Pack has lost so many members – they’re decimated and they badly need to fill some gaps. And he plans to do this by recruiting Mutts – non pack wolves
For some of them this makes excellent sense – they even show them recruiting a werewolf who has excellent control and skills and will be an asset to the Pack
But Jeremy has abandoned sense – he wants every mutt in North America to join the Pack or be killed. Elena, naturally, considers this a very dubious way of ensuring you have a large force of loyal members – but Jeremy has gone full on dictator and refuses to listen to any questioning or reasoning. He wants all the Mutts to join so they join or die, end of.
He is driven even further when some remnants of the former Spanish pack-leader’s family (who he killed last season) decide to start hunting his pack – with guns. They kill one of the extras who has been hanging around for a while for a whole lot more grief and horror (especially from Nick who was a good friend of Joey’s). They do catch the sniper who isn’t that good at running from werewolves and bring him back for questioning
And by questioning, we mean brutal torture. Clay continually tries to back out, Elena is thoroughly sick of always being under threat and always responding with violence, violence and yet more violence – in a constant bloody war. Again, Jeremy doesn’t care, and refuses to listen even as Clay desperately tries to avoid participating in more horrors.
As the victim gives up the Spanish wolves, we already see one of those recruited werewolves turning on the pack – that was predictable.
The whole supposed theme of this episode is how Jeremy has gone off on the deep end. He’s draconian and dictatorial. He won’t listen to anyone questioning him. He is forcing Clay to perform acts of brutality that are clearly destroying Clay. He’s ruthless, reckless and his policy has great big flaws in it which no-one is allowed to point out to him. He’s becoming the Alpha that the Alpha council said he should be
Which is… different from the Jeremy we’ve seen in the past two seasons, why? I mean, going by the books, this is an incredible change of personality and definitely not in character. But next to the TV series? Jeremy has never been developed this way. Ever. This is a problem the last season made as well – constantly relying on the books’ characterisation of Jeremy which is constantly at odds with how he is actually depicted in the show
The side plot of this episode is presenting Elena with a different choice: up in the Yukon off everyone’s radar is a werewolf who has been living in isolation. He then learns that Elena exists thanks to a grossly misogynist werewolf who he duly guts.
He goes looking for Elena with his family – he is Sacha, his son is Alexie and his human daughter, Katja. Why is he looking for Elena? Because he is her long lost father…
I guess this is supposed to be the conflict between the two family choices? I suppose it could be interesting especially if they draw in Rachel and her predicament as well - the whole idea of families being part of the Pack