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Recap

Teen Wolf Recap: Riddled


I don’t want to jinx things, but… I think Teen Wolf may be well on the road to recovery after a subpar first half of the season. We could still dive head-first into the maw of abandoned plotlines and logical inconsistencies, but after last week‘s great episode, and this week’s wonderful episode, I’m feeling proud to say I watch this show. It’s something I haven’t felt since season two. I missed it.

Stiles has gone on a nocturnal walkabout on the coldest day of the year, and he calls Scott to say heyyyy, buddy, I’m in the basement of an abandoned warehouse somewhere, and my foot’s in a bear trap, and there’s somewhere in here with me, so can you maybe get with the rescuing? He makes Scott promise not to tell his dad, and if this were another show and another character I’d want to scream, because your dad is the sheriff. You need to call your dad. Stop being stupid. But this is Stiles, whom we already know has some serious guilt issues regarding his father (see: Getting him almost fired, the season two hallucination scene about his mother that broke fandom’s collective heart), so him insisting that Scott not burden the Sheriff with his hopefully temporary missingness A) makes sense given his character, and B) makes me want to cry.

Lydia’s Banshee powers kick in while she’s hanging out in the high school after hours with Aiden. Her hearing Stiles’ half of the conversation interrupts the two of them getting their flirt on, and Stiles, I’m sorry that you’re in mortal danger, but thank God. Last episode Lydia was all “I don’t want to get with your thirsty self because you’re a jackass who killed Boyd,” and now she’s inviting him for some life drawing lessons? By the way, where was Ethan this episode? It’s like the twins have no development of their own—one or both of them get trotted out when one of the characters we actually care about (Lydia, Danny) needs someone to interact with, and when they’re done Jeff Davis puts them back in their box. Where do they live? Do they have any remaining family? What do they do for money? Do we care?

I swear I genuinely liked this episode, but I saw a post on Tumblr to the effect of “imagine if instead of the twins this season we had Boyd and Erica back,” and thinking about it’s making me bitter.

Anywhoodle. Lydia, Aiden, Scott, and Isaac have a confab in Stiles’ room, where they see Stiles has gotten a little funky with his red yarn and scrapbook wall of unsolved cases. Isaac, always willing to call it like it is, notes that it looks like “evidence of total insanity.” Lydia, Isaac’s partner in realness, turns on Scott because You didn’t call his Dad?! It’s the coldest night of the year! How stupid are you? Scott, realizing that Lydia tends to be right about everything, wises up and calls the Sheriff.

Pause for a People Making Smart Decisions Dance Party:

So now the Sheriff is on the case as well. With the help of a new Deputy named Parrish—whom we already knew will be joining the cast in a recurring role, though even if we hadn’t know we probably could’ve guessed, because he’s a cute white dude and this show loves them—they locate Stiles’ Jeep in the hospital parking lot, but Stiles himself is no longer there. Derek, who’s also been called in to look for Stiles, explains to Scott that there are a lot of Stiles’ “emotional scent markers” on the roof. Basically he was there, he underwent some sort of internal struggle, and he left.

Back in Stiles’ room Lydia and Aiden are trying to uncover any clues as to where Stiles went, though Aiden is being less with the helpful, more with the mocking Stiles—who’s missing and about to die, remember, because that’s the only time Lydia’s powers kick in—for his crush on Lydia.

Step back, Aiden. NOBODY WANTS YOU HERE.

With the help of her Banshee powers Lydia’s able to figure out that Stiles is at the Eichen House, the mental health center where Barrow was committed. Yeeeeah, Lydia, getting stuff done (even if it doesn’t always work out). Another thing I liked: Deputy Parrish getting his sass on with Agent McDouchebag when he comes to the police station to ask if there are any leads on the Demon Ninja epidemic. I know I was a little cynical about you three paragraphs ago, Parrish, but you were mean to Scott’s asshole father, and that’s the way to my heart. You can stay.

Meanwhile, the Nogitsune steps out of the shadows all OMG Stiles, I love you, you’re my favorite, except less fangirl and more scary-ass demon with razor-sharp needle teeth. He implies that Stiles is just imagining the bear trap on his leg (later on we find out that that Stiles was subconsciously trying to protect his friends from himself, ow), and tries to convince Stiles that he’s trying to save his—well, their, because of the possession sitch—life.

The calvary busts into the mental hospital, but Stiles isn’t in the basement, because there are still 22 minutes left in the episode. Agent McDouchebag realizes that the awful smell Stiles referenced in his call to Scott must mean he’s in the werecoyote’s den. He also figures out that Stiles is probably still asleep. Did… did Agent McDouchebag just do something helpful without being an asshole about it? He’s actually being nice, even when he and Mama McCall chat about his history of alcoholism.

Nope. Not gonna like him. Not happening. Because then he’ll die.

Mama McCall (and Agent McDouchebag helps too, I guess) rescues Stiles from the werecoyote den, but not before the Nogitsune can go all Gollum and initiate a game of riddles. “Everyone has it, but no one can lose it” is the one Stiles gets stuck on.

Isaac shows up at Allison’s apartment to ask her, Hey, everyone’s freaking about because Stiles is missing, and we called you for help because you and Lydia are the competent ones here, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Turns out someone turned off her phone. When she turns it back on she finds that someone’s left her a voicemail in Japanese. The next day she goes to Mr. Yukimura for a translation—pause for a People Making Smart Decisions Dance Party, Miniature Version

—and he tells her the message on her phone is instructions issued to Japanese internees during World War II. But the message is forged, because the internment camp the mysterious voicemailer references didn’t exist.

And that’s what there is for Allison this episode. I’m nervous. She’s the only main character who never got an evil spot-check from the Oni. And I don’t know if that’s relevant—there’s some Allison-specific weirdness going on this season, and the climax of that could certainly relate to some possession of her own—or if it’s just another example of Teen Wolf introducing a plot element and then ditching it. For example, the Darach attacking the werewolves in the motel last season. OK, I guess I’m not entirely over 3A.

So everything’s fine with Stiles now. He had a brief sleepwalking incident, but he wasn’t injured, and everything’s OK. Haha, no. Luckily everyone seems to know that that is not the case. Aiden tells Derek that he overheard Stiles talking about how he thinks he was the one who sicced Barrow on Kira. Derek’s initially skeptical that “skinny, defenseless Stiles” is the one possessed by the Nogitsune, but he has a lightning bolt (ah ha) moment and realizes that the Nogitsune used Barrow lighting up Kira as a way to give it power, allowing it to fully possess Stiles. That theory is confirmed when Derek and Kira go to the power station and Derek seeks Stiles’ bat magnetized to the wall.

OK, that’s… fine, whatever, I’ll go with it. I want to talk about Derek and how chill he is this season. Sure, it started out with him getting tortured. Par for the course. And later he was attacked by the Oni. But the rest of the time he’s been giving kids candy and swooping in to help people out during fights and being Scott’s werewolf Yoda and jump-starting Stiles’ Jeep. Can you imagine Derek circa seasons 1 through 3a getting his good samaritan on like that? He was too busy being angsty and broody and yelly! But it’s like he’s realized “Yeah, my life’s shit. I accidentally killed my first girlfriend, my second girlfriend killed my family, and my third girlfriend was an evil murderer Druid who tried to kill the only friends I have. On the Derek Hale Scale of Suckitude, me getting tied up and tortured—again—is like getting a splinter for a normal person. Might as well roll with it.” Beta Derek Hale is Zen.

The symptoms Stiles has been exhibiting are at least partially a result of demon possession, but they’re also evidence of frontal temporal dementia, an incurable disease that happens to be what Stiles’ mom died of. There’s an emotional moment between Scott and Sitles—my brooosssss—before Stiles goes in for an MRI. Scott tells Stiles that if he does have dementia then “we’ll do something”–like maybe turn Stiles into a werewolf? Erica’s epilepsy went away after she was bitten, after all. But the fact that there’s a potential magic cure-all waiting in the wings (that might not even work even if we’re meant to believe that’s what Scott was referring to instead of him just being generally reassuring, because demon possession) does nothing to mitigate the emotion of this scene.

Lydia’s still freaked out about how her Banshee powers led her to the wrong place. She knows something’s wrong—she keeps hearing things super-loud—but she insists to Scott that everything’s fine. Except when Stiles’ MRI starts she can hear every loud clang of it, and… that’s not good. Meanwhile Derek and Scott get a little bro time in while they wait for Stiles’ results. Derek tells Scott about his conversation with his mom, and how the Hales used to be the protectors of Beacon Hills. Now Scott, as the Alpha, can protect the town, and Derek can be his guide.

Scott realizes that the internal struggle Stiles was going through on the roof was against the Nogitsune, who must’ve been trying to make him do something bad. When he and Derek get back up there they discover that NogitStiles did something funky with a power line. Speaking of the Nogitsune, while Stiles is undergoing his MRI it threatens to kill everyone Stiles cares about unless he answers his riddle and lets the full possession commence. A crying Stiles agrees, gives the answer (a shadow), and…

DEMON STIIIIIIIIIILLLLLEESSSSSS.

And also

Such a good scene.

At the exact moment Stiles’ consciousness “dies” (sorta) and is replaced by that of the Nogitsune, Lydia does her Banshee scream. Stiles (who does have frontal temporal dementia according to the test results, BTW), now Demon!Stiles, causes the hospital’s power to go flickery. He walks around a bit and is confronted by none other than

MAMA

YUKIMURA

who, you’ll remember, had some sort of “special heritage” in her family that’s the reason her husband took her name. We found out in an earlier Kira scene that she, like her daughter, is a kitsune with electricity powers. Oh, and she’s the one controlling the Oni. OH, AND SHE’S STONE-COLD AWESOME.

She tells the Nogitsune that she’ll mess its business up, she doesn’t even care if the host is a teenage boy. And if the Oni can’t defeat him (which I’m guessing they can’t, because the Nogitsune took care of them pretty easily last episode), well, she knows someone who will.

CUE PROBABLY SIGNIFICANT CUT TO KIRA, who’s hanging out in the parking lot.

And who’s about to get hit by the rogue power line that Stiles, under the influence of the Nogitsune, cut up on the roof.

BUT SHE’S NOT GOING TO BE HURT BY IT BECAUSE SHE’S THE ONE WHO’S GOING TO COME INTO HER ELECTRICITY POWERS AND FIGHT THE NOGITSUNE AND MAYBE SAVE THE DAY.

ASDFGHJHGFD

SDFGHJNGFDSDFG

DFGHJKHGBNBGFDFGH.

Other Things That Went Down:

  • We learn from Lydia that apparently all it takes to not get attacked if you’re at the high school after dark is to lampshade the fact that being on school grounds after dark is a pretty sure recipe for death. If only Deputy Tara had known.
  • Derek makes an offhand mention to what happened with Cora: He dropped her off in South America, which is where she spent a lot of her time after the fire. That’s… that’s it? That’s what we get? Welp. I guess we just have to accept that that particular storyline, unsatisfying as it was (dammit, Gage Golightly, why did you have to leave?), is over. At least we got some closure. But then again, the hunter family earlier on in the season was interrogating Derek and Peter for information on a mysterious “she-wolf,” so… maybe it’s not over quite yet? Maybe they’re leaving room for Cora to come back if Reign, the show actress Adelaide Kane is currently on, gets cancelled? I’d say that’s a bonkers way of showrunning, but Teen Wolf hasn’t exactly proven itself to be good at planning ahead, so….

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  • astrofelt

    Dylan O’Brien was so spot on this episode. I mean he’s usually great, but he’s not usually possessed by a demon so he gets extra points.

    I hope the writers aren’t getting too overwhelmed with the amount of characters on the show right now because 3B is going to some really cool places and it’d be a shame to see go downhill.

  • Caroline Wright

    What an awesome episode! I really hope they can keep this up. The only thing that could have made this better would be if freaking Aiden wasn’t a character. Every time he’s there I’m like “Get off my damn screen!” but he never does.

    Also BROTP. Scott and Stiles foreva! I really need more fics focusing on them… or Lydia and Allison… There just needs to be more gen in the Teen Wolf fandom in general.

    Is it just me or is Derek a lot more genre savvy these days? I have a headcanon that he’s spent the whole time between seasons channeling his inner Stiles and researching, partially so he can survive, but mostly so he can show people. “Oh yeah Scott, I know things. Look up to me. I’m cool, I swear!” “Haha, stupid twins don’t know every single legend about kitsunes.” Some day, it’ll be a face off between him, Lydia and Stiles for most in the know… If Stiles gets back to normal that it *cries*

  • astrofelt

    I just picture Derek taking “me time” while in South America. Like learning meditation, taking in the local culture and trying new food, reading more, and just doing a lot of introspection, hahaha.

  • Anonymous

    No lie, I actually punched the air every time they willingly told each other things and acted as a team. I know it started before 3A, but I felt like the first half of this season cemented the show as a hot mess of characters acting irrationally, withholding important information, and then mistaking each other’s motives and making more of a mess.

    3B is actually starting to explain itself instead of continually spitting out new mysteries and not mentioning them again. This episode in particular was really tight with regards to us seeing all the characters interact, instead of just jumping from dramatic action scene to dramatic action scene (except for Allison who def has some nogitsune-related weirdness going on). I was even happy to hear that Cora was in South America, since that was more info than I ever thought we’d get.

  • Caroline Wright

    Yeah me too, mostly ’cause at this point I want only good things for Derek Hale. I’d watch a spin off show of just him going about his daily life. I want him to get a kitten (FUZZ THERAPY) and drink tasty smoothies. And not be tortured or shirtless.

  • http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/ Fangs for the Fantasy

    Stiles’s character development has been pretty epic
    throughout – and has really been carried well by the actor making a really
    awesome character. I quite like the new Derek and I think it fits the
    development BECAUSE he’s not alpha any more. Maybe a classic example of someone pushed into leadership who just didn’t want it or isn’t really suited for it – but he was always either the only werewolf with any experience then the alpha

    I’d love to have Erica and Boyd still around – but instead of the twins? That would remove one of Teen Wolf’s only 2 gay characters and remove the one chance we have of actually having a storyline involving Danny that’s more than blink-and-you-miss-it appearances. It would reduce it’s already very limited inclusion. Now, if we want to dump Peter to keep Boyd and Erica as characters, I’m all for that. Or Scott’s father- in fact can we have Erica, Boyd and the twins all wolfing out and EATING Scott’s father?

    I don’t think Alison got the evil spot check because the Oni target supernaturals – not the average human. Alison is human through and through – the only one of the gang who is.

  • Lup Lun

    They’re already overwhelmed. We haven’t noticed it yet because they keep the most popular characters in focus, but I’m still waiting for Deaton or Peter to do something important this season, not to mention that we have no clue how Coyote-girl is supposed to tie into the plot.

    They’re smart to focus on Stiles, though. Dylan O’Brien is definitely the best actor on this show.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    man Walking Dead comes back with a bang, Lost Girl finally gives up some answers, and now Teen Wolf making me feel the feels (I admit to a Vader style “nooooooo” when Lydia bansheed in the car during the MRI). Heck, even Bitten got its sh*t together and gave us some interesting backstory. Good week for genre tv.
    I don’t want Stiles to die (or kill anyone), but I’m looking forward to that throwdown. I’ve been loving the way they’ve opened the show up to not just be about werewolves (there’s only so many “pack dynamics” stories you can tell), I just wish they had gone with something other than kitsune. They’re like the go-to critters of Japanese mythology. I want my tanuki brethren to get some tv love.

  • Anonymous

    I did NOT expect Mama Yukimura being the one controlling the ninjas. GOOD JOB, SHOW.

    Also, Demon!Stiles. Awesome. This guy is good, everything about how he moves is totally different from Stiles. You can even see the EVIL in his attitude xDDD

  • cheesy

    This was a good episode (frankly, most of it was awesome) drug down for me only by Lydia’s twin. Not only is she suddenly all flirty with him again (emotional continuity whaaaat?) but Derek, Derek whose only experience with that asshole was when he was killing Boyd by FORCING HIM DOWN ONTO DEREK’S CLAWS is like…completely chill and joke-y with Murdering Asshole Twin? WHAT? What is up with that? ARGH. (Though I admit it is not particularly out of character for Derek, a man that acts only mildly annoyed when he has to interact with the man that CUT HIS SISTER IN HALF.) I am pretty sure Jeff Davis wrote this episode, because I am becoming pretty sure Jeff Davis has never experienced anger and so does not understand how people react when they’ve been wronged, or that most people don’t look at people who murdered their friends and go :)))). BUT WHATEVER.

    The rest of the episode was kick-ass awesome. Somebody start throwing awards at Dylan O’Brien. Scott and Stiles are the best brothers on my television atm, ngl. Kira went from a dork to wearing a leather jacket and a shirt with motorcycles, and I LOVE IT (also, Kira, bb, Scott is not going to be upset at you. Have you met Scott? He will want to give you a hug and make sure you are okay, not get angry.)

    Alsoalso, I am pretty sure that the reason Lydia went to the hospital is because Allison was there, bc Allison is also possessed (that’s why the demon in Stiles kept saying ‘we’, I think). Also why Allison was awol all night long.

    And, man, all the stuff with Stiles’ mom. It’s so sad and good. I have a feeling that the Nogitsune has been hanging around BH since the internment camp days, possessing people here and there, including Claudia. It causes the brain damage. I have a depressing theory that she figuring out what was going on, and fought it off, probably whilst it was in the middle of trying to make her do something terrible (kill Stiles, maybe?) and she attempted to kill herself to stop it. Maybe while Stiles was there, for max trauma! She didn’t succeed immediately, got taken to the hospital, and died after a few days (also while Stiles was there!) Sheriff and Stiles just figured it was bc she couldn’t take the disease, but now…

  • cheesy

    This was a good episode (frankly, most of it was awesome) drug down for me only by Lydia’s twin. Not only is she suddenly all flirty with him again (emotional continuity whaaaat?) but Derek, Derek whose only experience with that asshole was when he was killing Boyd by FORCING HIM DOWN ONTO DEREK’S CLAWS is like…completely chill and joke-y with Murdering Asshole Twin? WHAT? What is up with that? ARGH. (Though I admit it is not particularly out of character for Derek, a man that acts only mildly annoyed when he has to interact with the man that CUT HIS SISTER IN HALF.) I am pretty sure Jeff Davis wrote this episode, because I am becoming pretty sure Jeff Davis has never experienced anger and so does not understand how people react when they’ve been wronged, or that most people don’t look at people who murdered their friends and go :)))). BUT WHATEVER.

    The rest of the episode was kick-ass awesome. Somebody start throwing awards at Dylan O’Brien. Scott and Stiles are the best brothers on my television atm, ngl. Kira went from a dork to wearing a leather jacket and a shirt with motorcycles, and I LOVE IT (also, Kira, bb, Scott is not going to be upset at you. Have you met Scott? He will want to give you a hug and make sure you are okay, not get angry.)

    Alsoalso, I am pretty sure that the reason Lydia went to the hospital is because Allison was there, bc Allison is also possessed (that’s why the demon in Stiles kept saying ‘we’, I think). Also why Allison was awol all night long.

    And, man, all the stuff with Stiles’ mom. It’s so sad and good. I have a feeling that the Nogitsune has been hanging around BH since the internment camp days, possessing people here and there, including Claudia. It causes the brain damage. I have a depressing theory that she figuring out what was going on, and fought it off, probably whilst it was in the middle of trying to make her do something terrible (kill Stiles, maybe?) and she attempted to kill herself to stop it. Maybe while Stiles was there, for max trauma! She didn’t succeed immediately, got taken to the hospital, and died after a few days (also while Stiles was there!) Sheriff and Stiles just figured it was bc she couldn’t take the disease, but now…

  • cheesy

    Stiles is human too, though.

  • cheesy

    Stiles is human too, though.

  • http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/ Fangs for the Fantasy

    Well, first I question how sure we can be on that. But he is – but the nogikitsune isn’t. From what I understand of what they said, the Oni arrive, check every supernatural around to see if the woo-woo they’re sensing is the nogikitsune then move on. So even if Stiles is human, he’d read supernatural and they’d test him because of the nogikitsune inside. Whereas other non-woo-woo humans they either ignore (Allison) or kill if they get in the way (the yakuza, Agent McCall)

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Ditto the hunter family who was torturing Derek and Peter. Maybe they’re setting stuff up for next season? Because whatever that is, the nogitsune stuff, and the coyote girl add up to a whole lot of subplots to tie up in six episodes.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    I HATE your Stilinski Family headcanon. Where’s my Kleenex…

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  • Anonymous

    i actually don’t hate the twins… I mean… i hate Peter more than i hate the twins (they at least were acting out of coersion and a extremely skewed sense of loyalty, and lets not forget the power Alpha’s have over Betas. yes they were Alpha’s but they were Betas under a main Alpha) If they legitimately work to making amends (and by THEY i mean the writers and the Twins) i’ll be okay with it. Honestly, it’s Peter that annoys me the most… i mean all that he has done… and he’s more like the annoying sidekick…. (one can’t help but think of the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog with him). Honestly I am not trying to be an appologist… i just like me a good redemption arc, and willing to give everyone (in real life too… i might be a bit of a doormat) the benifite of the doubt/a second chance….
    LOVE the development they are doing with Lydia though (according to Wolf Talk they are going to introduce another Banshee so Derek is not going to be the only Yoda around!) and MY GOD Dylan was AMAZING this whole season!!!!!

  • Brittany K

    I must say this half of the season has been approximately 3000 times better than the first half, but there is one thing that has been majorly bugging me. Lydia is basically a genius, she learned Archaic Latin FOR FUN.
    So why on earth do we not see her spending every spare moment researching banshees and trying to figure out more about what she is? Instead of wasting time drawing Thing 1 she should be holed up with the Argent’s bestiary.
    And as for the Murder Twins, can we just be done with them already? Ugh. Jeff stop trying to make the Murder Twins happen.

  • Brittany K

    I get the feeling there won’t be much with Peter this season, I feel like that big “I’ve always been the Alpha!!” thing from the end of 3A is a set up for a future season, maybe 4 or 5.

  • Lup Lun

    It’s quite possible she has been, but hasn’t been able to find anything reliable. When myth and legend gets mixed up with reality, there are always discrepancies somewhere, which means that ultimately, any information you find could be right, wrong, or misleading, and you have no way of knowing until you experience it firsthand, at which point your false assumptions bite you in the ass.

    As far as the bestiary goes, there might not be anything there. The Argents are not all-knowing on matters supernatural. Nobody is, come to think of it. Not Deaton, not Blake, not Derek, not Kira; no single character has had knowledge of everything that’s been encountered thus far. Everybody’s knowledge is limited. Maybe what these people really need is a wiki…

  • Brittany K

    That’s all very reasonable, however as far as canon goes we haven’t seen her even consider doing any research, which is ridiculous. All it would take is one throwaway line like “Oh well how would I know what’s truth and what’s myth” but the Teen Wolf writers are too busy alternately forcing Lydia/Aidan or Lydia/Stiles down our throats to worry about what Lydia would actually do.

    After reading over my reply I realized it sounded sort of hostile, but I don’t really know how to word it differently. My hostility is not meant for you, I’m just sort of annoyed at Teen Wolf for their lack of character consistency.

  • Brittany K

    Haha, well I’m glad to hear that :D

  • delia

    soooo many sub-plots. plus, the end of 3A was Peter being way too evil and excited about tricking derrick and/or achieving his goal of becoming alpha again, but so far I haven’t noticed any threads on that plot.

  • Anonymous

    Ohhh right, tanuki! I love kitsune/gumiho so I haven’t minded, but there is a literal metric shit TON of Japanese monsters, spirits, and demons out there that would be awesome to see. They’re probably worried that not many people know about things other than kitsune, but they need to get over that and teach people.

  • Kagi Soracia

    I wouldn’t say they were Betas but they were definitely under Deucalion’s power in a way that the other Alpha pack members weren’t. They legitimately felt like they didn’t have a choice. The problem I have with Aidan is I don’t think he cared, or feels any regret or remorse about it. The only reason he’s trying to make amends now is for survival, because they are pretty screwed if they can’t find a new pack.

    Ethan on the other hand, has always shown regret and remorse, and didn’t like or want to do the things they were being ordered to do even at the time, plus he obviously genuinely cares about Danny, which gets him points in my book. I think he deserves a second chance. His brother, not so much.