Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Teen Wolf, Season 3, Episode 18: Riddled

The middle of the night and Scott gets a call from Stiles – a staticy panicked call because Stiles has no idea where he is or how he got there. He’s cut off after he says an ominous “there’s something wrong with my…” Scott manages to reconnect to learn Stiles is somewhere dark and he can’t move his leg – which is also bleeding. Stiles begs Scott not to tell his dad who is already so worried

When Stiles hangs up Scott wakes Isaac so they can go hunting for him.

Did I mention that Teen Wolf can really hit some acting highs?

To Lydia sketching Aidan at the school at night – he’s worried about security but in a moment of glorious lampshading Lydia tells him there is no security – there have been so many murders at the school that no-one will take a night job there. Aidan leaps on some interesting ideas with them all alone, when Lydia’s Bean Sidhe senses kick in – she hears voices instead of music on the radio saying “…find me”.

Did I mention that Teen Wolf is doing a great job with the creepy this season?

Scott gets another call from Stiles – brief because of his dying phone – revealing he’s in a basement of a large building and it’s freezing. And he’s whispering because he thinks there’s something in there with him

Meanwhile at Kira’s house, Kira’s bulb goes. As she reaches for it the dead bulb glows – but when she touches it, it explodes. Her mother arrives to replace the bulb – and when she puts in the new bulb it glows as well. Looks like her mother’s also a kitsune.

Scott and Isaac arrive at Stiles’s room to find Lydia and Aidan already there, guided by bean sidhe senses – and find dozens of red strings from his mystery boards threaded through to the bed; the red strings he uses for unsolved cases. Apparently they’re there to pick up Stiles’s scent which seems a little off that Scott and Isaac don’t already know his scent, but maybe it’s the start of a trail, except Stiles’s jeep is also missing. Lydia isn’t impressed by the whole promise not to call his dad – they need the police, especially since, as Aidan reminds them, Lydia only gets bean sidhe feelings when someone’s about to die.

Scott goes to the police station while Lydia stays to commune with the room because she’s sure something’s there

Stiles is in a basement – and his leg is caught in a bear trap, ouch. He searches the room with his phone as a torch to find the person he can hear moving around – and sees a man crouched in the corner. We can’t see much of him but what we do see seems to be badly scared – he draws the Oni’s kanji on the wall in chalk. Seeing it, Stiles gasps “stop” and a wind runs through the basement, stirring the dead leaves and lifting the chalk from the wall in a line of dust

Sheriff Stilinski rallies his men to find Stiles – everyone’s worried that it’s the coldest night of the year and Stiles is dressed in sleep clothes; the Sherriff is also smart enough to check any supernatural help.

They find the jeep outside of Melissa’s hospital and head in, Melissa already has her minions sweeping the hospital and she leads the Sherriff to the basement. Scott and Derek go to the roof and Derek thinks Stiles is gone – but they find his scent on the roof and after Derek gives him a crash course on smelling emotional signals, they smell that Stiles was stressed, anxious – there was a struggle, apparently with himself.

Agent McCall, who is not dead damn it, he’s not even missing any significant body parts, wants to know why the police station is deserted (and why the sketches of his attacker are really not even close to what he described because even the sketch artist hates him) only to be informed that he’s not anyone’s priority.

Aidan pokes Lydia about Stiles’s oh-so-obvious crush on her and then plucks one of the strings (fiddling with things while bored) and Lydia hears more mystery voices thanks to bean sidhe hearing. She plucks several strings and is guided to Eichen House, the mental health centre where Burrows was committed.

In the basement of said house, Stiles is still trapped and struggling and the shadowy figure talks – in Japanese. He translates – the question isn’t “who are you, but who are we?” so I take it this is the nogikitsune possessing Stiles and may even be a hallucination. Bandaged-probably-illusion bloke tells Stiles the symptoms of hypothermia – which Stiles knows and is suffering from and wants Stiles to get out because otherwise “we” (yes possessing nogkitsune) will die otherwise. Stils can’t escape – there’s a trap on his leg – but Bandaged Guy points out that a second ago the trap was on his left leg – now it’s on his right. Bandaged Guy (with vicious fangs) is trying to save him.

Lydia leads the crew into the basement – but Stiles isn’t there. They leave – but, unnoticed by them, the kanji has been carved on the wall.

And Melissa and Agent Oh-god-can-someone-please-kill-him are on the case and McCall (who needs to die) has the idea that maybe Stiles is still asleep and may not even be in a basement (he has an anecdote of him being drunk and doing something similar).

Back to Stiles in Dreamland playing riddle games with Bandage Guy. When Stiles can’t answer “everyone has it but no-one can lose it,” Bandage Guy – who I’m just going to call nogikitsune, grabs the leg trap and pulls Stiles across the floor by it. Until he wakes screaming and in a panic – being held by Melissa who tries to calm him down.

After all the drama Isaac knocks on Alison’s door because she’s been absent from the whole drama and not answering her phone. Her phone is off – which is odd because her phone is never off. She also has a gazillion missed calls – when she checks one it’s a man speaking Japanese.

Aidan asks Derek what he thinks about the whole chaos – and confesses to Derek he listened in to Stiles and Scott when Stiles told him that he was the one who wrote the message to Burrows to kill Kira. Derek laughs at the idea of Stiles –skinny, weak Stiles (hah, only in Beacon hills, the land of the Sculpted Torsos can Stiles be skinny and weak) as the nogikitsune when he could have possessed someone with more power.

At the hospital the Sheriff thanks everyone including should-be-dead guy for finding Stiles who is fine. Lydia is bemused that her powers didn’t work – and she hears a ringing; but she denies it to Scott, doubting her bean sidhe powers. Lydia is definitely having problems, repeatedly hearing metallic bangs she tries to ignore and hide from Scott

To school and Scot texts Deaton who he apparently has researching something – but he’s got nothing. And Derek drops in on Kira to find out all about what happened at the power station. She takes him there and they find a grove on the floor and Stiles’s baseball bat stuck to one of the cabinets, magnetised. He asks her about foxfire.

Melissa and Sheriff Stilinski have a beautifully understated scene where they both talk about they’ve noticed symptoms in Stiles (just like his mother) and the Sheriff thinks they need to do some tests.

Isaac and Allison take her voicemails to Mr Yukimura who translates them as instructions prison camp guards gave Japanese inmates of the internment camps during World War 2; but the internment camp, Oak Creek, never existed.

Stiles goes in for testing (with Scott for moral support) with an actual doctor who isn’t Melissa (they exist! I know I’m stunned as well) and the running joke that he has no idea if Stiles’s first name is written correctly or how to pronounce it. With Scott Stiles tells him he knows what they’re testing for – a form of dementia his mother had; it’s incurable. Scott promises they will do something and they hug wile Stiles cries and Melissa and the Sheriff look on.

As Stiles goes into the MRI and hears the loud clanging it makes, Lydia in her car cranks the radio to try and drown the sound of metal hitting metal – a similar noise.

Derek and Kira arrive at the hospital though Kira decides to wait outside because their news is that Kira using the foxfire to kill Burrows may have jump started the nogikitsune inside Stiles.  Derek meets Scott in the waiting room and they talk – about learning from each other, about Cora returning to South America (to the plot box with ye!) and the message Derek got from his dead mother – his family protected Beacon Hills and needs someone to do so – someone like Scott. Scott agrees but adds he needs Derek to teach him the “trade secrets”. And Scott has an epiphany

Stiles was trying to protect them – protect them from himself. They rush up to the roof where they smelled Stiles struggling with himself. Struggling not to do something – they find tools and a frayed wire

And in her car, Lydia is driven to the edge by the banging and screams.

In the hospital, the doctor examines the scans and tells the Sheriff and Melissa that there are signs of atrophy. Stiles has the disease. Damn…

In the MRI, Stiles becomes more distressed, closes his eyes and enters a dream world complete with nogikitsune who wants an answer to his riddle – saying he may “let them go” if he does: his friends and family, the nogikitsune intends to destroy all of them. He keeps chanting the riddle as he takes off the bandages and Stiles hits the answer – Shadow. The nogkitsune takes off his last bandage to show his face – Stiles himself. Evil Stiles

And it’s Evil Stiles who wakes in the MRI – who then vanishes when the lights flicker. On the roof the big box of electrical stuff explodes while Scott and Derek watch. While the hospital is full of people panicking and running, Evil Stiles calmly walks among them until he runs into Kira’s mother. She confronts him “I won’t be deterred by your choice of host, even if it’s an innocent boy”. She’s backed by the Oni; he scoffs, he’s not afraid of fireflies (and now speaks in the plural). She has a plan B though if the Oni don’t defeat him

Outside, a live wire comes free from the electrical thing and whips down to the bottom of the hospital – to Kira.

Teen Wolf is just one of the best shows on at the moment – the acting, the atmosphere, the weird story. However, I call a question on Agent McCall’s rather huge leap of logic here – especially since he doesn’t even know about Stiles’s lucid dreaming or health issues. Could Scott or Melissa have guessed this? Yes, because they’re in a position to do so – but there’s no reason why Agent Should-be-Dead would make this leap of logic.

Stiles, his illness, his friendship with Scott, Melissa and the Sheriff… it’s powerful and cannot really be praised enough. It’s scenes like this that make Teen Wolf a powerful, emotional show and not just campy light escapism.

There’s not really much commentary to add except to loudly yell MOOOOAR MOOOOOAR in a rather undignified fashion. Epic, emotional, exciting and awesome.