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Teen Wolf Recap: Letharia Vulpina

Teen Wolf keeps their hot streak going in an episode where Allison tasers Peter and the Nogitsune’s up to something and Allison tasers Peter and Derek behaves like a champ and Allison tasers Peter.

But before we get to Allison taserig Peter: Deaton! He manages to get his hands on some Nogitsune poison, a plant called letharia vulpina that grew from the blood of the Yakuza boss/Nogitsune that the Oni killed in Chris Argent’s flashback. The whole scene is basically Deaton being a BAMF. No wonder the writers only have him show up a few times a season; if he helped the Beacon Hills Scoobies with any consistency, all their supernatural problems would be fixed before they became problems, and there’d be no show. *coughbadwritingcough*

Back in Beacon Hills Kira avoids the live wire that was heading her way, but an ambulance isn’t so lucky; it crash lands into a fire hydrant, turning the parking lot into electrocution central. Isaac gets himself fried trying to rescue the driver, and Scott and Derek can’t help him lest they get turned into crispy werewolves, too.

Luckily, Kira laughs in the face of electrocution. She does a sweet backflip over a car (do all supernatural creatures in Beacon Hills get vouchers for free gymnastics lessons, or is there something in the air that makes them able to do backflips?) and diffuses the live wire with her bare hands.

Scott is so turned on right now.

In the aftermath of the Nogitsune’s sabotage, Isaac is wounded and won’t wake up, Derek wants Scott to tell the Sheriff about Stiles (still missing, two days later—he also texted the Sheriff saying not to look for him, damn you Nogitsune) being possessed, and Kira’s mom knows about Kira’s electricity powers. Mama Kira warns her daughter not to let anyone else know, as if she did not exercise those powers in a hospital parking lot. I’m just saying, it’s not an abandoned warehouse. Even if the crowd that assembled around the ambulance wreck did so after Kira saved the day, there was still someone driving that car she flipped over and did her Kitsune magic right in front of. That driver will go home and drink to forget all the obvious supernatural shenanigans happening around her, just like the hospital orderlies will conveniently “never notice” that electrocution made muttonchops sprout on Isaac’s face. ‘Tis the Beacon Hills way.

There’s a cute scene with Allison and Scott visiting Isaac, who should be healing but isn’t. Scott takes some of his pain, because he’s a champ like that. Later, Kira tells Scott that the Nogitsune is basically chaotic evil—it’s a trickster, and it’ll mess you up if you offend it, which someone in Beacon Hills must have done. GREENBERRRRRG!

The NogitStiles lures Scott and the Twins into the basement, where he manages to convince them that he’s Stiles, because they’re ding dongs. Seriously, have none of you watched Supernatural? The demon rarely just leaves. Seriously though, all through this episode you can tell that Scott’s suspicious, but I guess he just really wants to believe that his friend is still in there. It’s naïve, but it’s also optimistic in a Scott McCall sort of way. I wanted another “I had a plan, too” moment where it came out that Scott knew the whole time that Stiles was really the Nogitsune, but, well… this episode gave us Allison tasering Peter. You can’t have everything.

Major props to Dylan O’Brien for his acting here, by the way. He’s playing Stiles possessed by the Nogitsune trying to pretend he’s Stiles, and you can totally tell what’s going on just by his line delivery. It’s Stiles, but more… deadened.

Stiles says that the sabotage at the hospital wasn’t all he did while he was possessed. He thinks he also set up some sort of trap around the country club track. The four of them jet there to save the day, and while they do manage to stop Kira and Danny in time, the Coach gets shot through the gut with an arrow.

It’s just a flesh wound!

Also: This scene saw Ethan stop Danny from getting to the NogitStiles’ booby trap by tackling him to the ground and kissing him. Writers, can you please give Danny some narrative purpose this season that doesn’t involve him making out with guys? I love that Teen Wolf is a show with multiple canon LBGT characters, as opposed to characters-who-we-totally-want-you-to-read-as-LGBT-but-we-won’t-actually-say-they-are-because-queerbaiting. But Danny used to banter with Jackson, and even Stiles occasionally. So far in 3B, with the exception of a few tiny moments (Danny being the first one to sign Isaac’s get well card, because he’s nice like that), all the screen time he’s been given has revolved around his being gay, specifically him being Ethan’s love interest. LBGT people aren’t defined exclusively by their sexuality, y’know? They have other stuff going on in their lives, just like straight people do. I know, take your time, it’s shocking.

Did Keahu Kahuanui kick Jeff Davis’ dog?

Meanwhile the NogitStiles has planted an emitter in Chris Argent’s apartment, which leads Derek there, which is really convenient because it lets him frame them both for Silverfinger’s murder! Yes, he’s dead. Shang Tsung, nooooooooo! The two of them do some bonding while they’re cuffed at the Sheriff’s office. Derek says he didn’t think Stiles was “smart enough” to frame them for murder. Derek. There’s no need to play the big bad former Alpha here. I know you’re lying. Even if this were just Stiles, instead of possessed demon Stiles, he could totally frame you for murder with five minutes of prep and MS Paint as his only tool, and you know it.

While all this is going on Lydia and Allison go to Peter to ask for banshee tips.



I do not accept this.

Has Lydia even bothered (or, rather, have the writers even bothered to have Lydia bother) calling Deaton, aka the supernatural expert? Dude’s a freaking druid. He probably has banshees on his speed-dial. He probably has banshee drinking buddies. Instead they have her go to Peter, who mentally, physically, and emotionally abused her, for help. All because Lydia feels guilty about she couldn’t help Stiles, and not because she wants to know about her powers.

She learned archaic Latin. For fun.

This is character assassination.

When they come into Peter’s loft he turns around and delivers some line like “The hunter and the banshee, here at least.” You overdramatic asshole. You were totally watching daytime TV and eating Cheetos in dirty novelty boxers when you heard them coming up the stairs, and you  rushed to wait by the window so you could do your backlit dramatizing as soon as they entered.

The saving grace of this is that Allison is having absolutely none of Peter’s bullshit, which is particularly bullshiteous this episode. “I didn’t mean to kill you when I attacked you on the lacrosse field. Anyway, you should thank me, because I brought out your banshee powers. Oh, and if I hadn’t manipulated you into bringing me back to life I wouldn’t be here to be your Yoda, so you can thank me for that, too. Let’s just ignore the fact that I was being a psychopathic little dickweed the entire time.”

If Lydia doesn’t kill him I will be so pissed.

Peter agrees to help Lydia learn how to banshee, but in return he wants her to use her powers to hear a memory that Derek’s mom stole from Peter, which is now stored in her talons.

Yeah, I’m gonna let that one go.

The memory, as it turns out, is that Peter is the father of Malia Hale. So that’s how those plotlines come together. Lydia and Allison don’t figure out who the kid is until later, though. While they’re at the loft Peter tries to physically intimidate Lydia into telling him who his child is (which, again, she doesn’t know yet), but Allison’s all like LOL no and tasers him.

Show, please do not let Peter Hale having a kid be the beginning of some kind of redemption arc. I do not want to see anything Peter Hale-related that does not involve him getting tasered, slapped, or killed, preferably by Lydia. He was a fun villain for a while, but it’s past time to kill this particular white male baddie.

Back in the forest it turns out the NogitStiles prepped another bomb to go off in a school bus… or at least that’s what it wants everyone to think. Papa Kira, Action History Teacher, evacuates everyone with the exception of Jared, the carsick classmate from Frayed, who’s stuck holding the bomb.

Such bad luck this kid has. It could only be JAAAAREDDDDD!

Deputy Parrish volunteers to go see if the bomb is really a bomb, and in the process he has a cute chat with Jared, whom he manages to distract from his potential imminent death by talking about the importance of a healthy diet. Part of me wishes that I could be more cynical than I am and resist the writers’ obvious attempts to make me like Parrish. You killed Erica and Boyd. I’m still mad at you. The other part can’t help but get sucked into his dreamy eyes. I’m weak.

Back in the school Kira sees her mom summon some Oni by breaking a pair of ceremonial knives that I really, really want. Also it turns out that the bomb isn’t a bomb, and the acutal bomb is in the Sheriff’s station. When it goes off Derek shields Chris Argent with his body, even though before he was all leather-clad and broody and “Fine, I’ll stay here with you until you figure something out, but don’t expect me to risk my neck for you if something happens, GRRRRRRR.”

Derek Hale, you fluffy bunny.

Scott, Stiles, and Kira get to the sheriff’s station, where Scott leeches a dying deputy’s pain, just like he did with Coach and Isaac earlier. The three of them skedaddle to the animal clinic, where they’ll be able to avoid the Oni for at least a little bit. Scott and Kira fight the Oni, and he yet again thinks she’s the best thing ever when she starts walloping the demon ninjas.

He then has approximately two seconds to be all

before an Oni stabs him in the stomach.

In the animal clinic the NogitStiles knocks Kira out, which is enough for Scott to realize, heyyyyy, you think my friend’s still possessed? Maybe? The NogitStiles then twists the sword that is still impaling Scott. You wanna be even more sad? Imagining Stiles, the real Stiles, seeing this from inside his head and being unable to do anything.

The Nogitsune feeds off pain, which Scott has been taking from people all episode, so it does the friendly thing and offers to take it off Scott’s hands. It’s a scene that’s not at all suggestive. The NogitStiles has a whole monologue that basically boils down to

And that’s when Deaton shows up and tranqs him with the letharia vulpina.

This week wasn’t as good as last week, but still, I liked it. I’m a little nervous about the way all the individual plots—the NogitStiles, Malia Tate, Peter Hale plotting his revenge—seem to be coming together into one megaplot. That’ll take some deft handling to avoid the Pit of Plot Holes, and my faith is still somewhat shaken after 3A. I’m sure you understand. Just focus on a few things at a time, writers.

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  • Anonymous

    As to Peter, me too. From a couple of interviews it kind of seems like to me that the whole Peter/Lydia/Allison story was set up for Season 4 where it appears that Peter will be Number 1 baddie again (I might brace yourself for something that surface like appears to be heroic he does, I bet he can match manipulative wits with the Nogistune and will remind everyone that he doesn’t do anything without a benefit to himself later on if he helps out Stiles). I kind of suspect that Malia might be a red herring and the kid next season is the actual kid, because the age and the girls actual collaborative detective powers isn’t that useful, but it does seem like Mr. Tate might have done something useful and deposited her at the same mental institution Stiles is in next week (and plus, he is busy being hexed in New Orleans) and I am guessing the two storylines might intersect.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really understand how the Malia Tate thing makes sense. Wasn’t Peter already sort of dead at that point? I can’t remember.

    Man, Allison was awesome this episode. What are friends for?

    Also, if Mama Yukimura sacrifices herself, I’m going to be very sad. Also also Stiles noooooooooooo Isaac noooooooooo

  • Paola

    The have four episodes left, they can make it, if they just dont throw anything too crazy into the mix.



  • cheesy

    Scott spent the entire episode so incredibly turned-on by Kira that I can’t really fault his iffy-decision making, I guess. And I loved the cold-opener, with Grouchy Wolf Owner guy and Deaton, mostly because Grouchy Wolf Owner’s irritation with his underling not actually answering his question made me gleeful.

    I don’t know about this episode, though. I appreciate that your reviews are always on the optimistic side, but 3a is still so fresh in my mind, and parts of this episode felt like the beginnings of a slippery slope into wtf-ness. It started with Isaac being incapacitated…because! And devolved into the Peter thing. Ugh. (I initially thought Lydia was saying that Peter was Derek’s father and that the Hale’s had been keeping in in the family, but alas…) Instead, we got Peter as father and…it’s Malia? Because? (Shit, show, I was joking when I commented on how close her name was to Talia’s.) Who is a coyote…not a wolf? Because? And how old was Peter when he fathered this child, since last season he looked fresh out of high-school approximated 6-8 years ago? Was he like…twelve? Hate this entire story line. Hate that apparently secret Hales are the new secret Targaryens. Hate Lydia going to Peter for help. Hate hate hate.

    That scene was only saved for me by the Lydia and Allison interactions. Love those kids.

  • cheesy

    Nah, Malia appears to be about the same age as Scott + Co, which means she would have been roughly 8-10 at the time of the Hale fire (hard to say, chronology on TW is something that happens to other shows). Peter would have been SUPER young though, apparently, since this is what he looked like right before the fire.

    So it still doesn’t make any sense.

  • Brittany K

    Those weren’t werewolf muttonchops on Isaac’s face, they were really awful burn marks. Also, the nogitsune didn’t put the emitter in the Argent’s apartment, Derek did, because the nogitsune put it in HIS apartment.

    I’m still super annoyed that Lydia hasn’t been finding answers on her own (or with Deaton’s help) and I absolutely loathe the idea of her working with Peter in any fashion.

    I’m also really annoyed about Danny/Ethan. I mean, yay representation and all that, but everybody is so worried about protecting people all the time, yet they’re letting someone who is sort of their friend date a serial killing werewolf without bothering to tell him. Of course, after nobody filling Lydia in until they absolutely had no choice, and then still not telling her Aidan was an alpha werewolf even once she was in the know, I shouldn’t be surprised.

  • Brittany K

    He’s apparently canonically 35 despite Fjordbak looking about sixteen or seventeen. I think Malia was stated to be 15, so he would’ve been 20. Buuuut Teen Wolf’s timeline is a bit of a mess so who knows if any of what I said is actually going to still be true in a week or two.

  • cheesy

    Aw, thank you for the info! I don’t listen to interviews and so on, so thank you for sharing!

  • Brittany K

    Haha, no problem! I actually made the same point as you on tumblr last night, and one of my friends had to fill me in :D

  • Bailey Fields

    i’m still confused, like did Peter attack the car and kill Malia’s mother & sister (i figure because the claw marks on the car that Scott and Stiles were looking at seemed way too big for a werecoyote…also they were on the outside of the car), and are we supposed to now assume Malia’s family was actually her adopted family, like this means Mr Tate must be her step dad or adopted father?? and why make her a werecoyote at all why not just a werewolf? urgh my head hurts with the badness

  • Jason Atkins

    Are we not going to mention Allison and Lydia’s super-scientific
    technique of googling an article on Malia and comparing it to a picture of Peter that one of them inexplicably had on their phone, and going “Yup, close enough. Got it on the first try – go team!”? Because that was kinda bonkers.

    I’m kind of glad for Peter being around at the moment. We’ve lost our
    Stiles throwing in sarcastic comments, and I feed off sassy one-liners
    the way a nogitsune feeds off pain. Yeah, it’s a little absurd having Lydia go to see him: but bearing in mind that Deaton flew to Japan and back this episode, I’m prepared to allow a benefit of the doubt off camera moment where they tried and failed to get in touch with him. Japan and back within the 2-3 days that they’ve known Stiles is possessed pretty much nixes mentor time.

    I really hope that if Malia is Peter’s kid, they’ll use this opportunity to explain the “going full wolf” thing. Talia can do it, Peter could do it, and Malia went full coyote… but unless I’m having a brain fail, Derek and Scott have never done so, even as Alphas. I’m wondering if maybe both of Peter / Talia / Malia’s parents were werewolves, whereas only one of Derek’s parents was? Sorta… full-breed versus half-breed. I also wonder if Peter broke some serious rules having a kid (maybe he turned the mother after he found out she was pregnant? Peter seems to like offering that to people), and wound up with some sort of abomination baby that Talia was angry about, and she’s the one who shredded the car? I feel like there’s some sort of Talia exposition on the way, what with us not knowing what she told Derek and such.

  • Anonymous

    Yeeeeeah, I wondered about the whole Malia thing. Why did she immediately jump into their heads? Plus, if she’s a hereditary coyote, wouldn’t she have changed before the car accident? Maybe Lydia got some hint from her vision.

    Unfortunately, birth secrets are one of my least favorite tropes. Hopefully they do this Peter one with a modicum of consistency and not too much crazy.

  • Anonymous

    didn’t have a problem with her going to Peter, did kinda have a problem with the fact that no one has thought to look up Banshee’s in the Argent Bestiary? really? Really people?
    I agree about Danny though. I kinda like the twins so i don’t have an issue with them. I do have an issue that Danny is more of a set piece.
    Back to the twins versus peter, they at least seem like they WANT to be redeemed, Peter is straight up evil, even with this whole Daddy reveal i don’t see him wanting to walk down the path to redemption. if anything, this makes him MORE dangerous.
    two points i am nit picking in this episode… if Malia is his daughter, why is she a coyote and not a wolf. If she was turned, okay i can see circumstances (as the bite can reflect the inner state) but if she is a born “were” shouldn’t she be a wolf?
    the second was, Lydia was electrocuted too… why did she seem to recover no problems, and Isaac doesn’t seem able to heal….

  • K.J. Martin

    Excellent recap — you covered it all . . . with snarky flair!


  • Anonymous

    oh no no, they dont even come close to targaryens

  • Anonymous

    talia wasnt mad about the baby, she didnt want him to corrupt it