Teen Wolf: “Riddled” Review

7165044izdsoxmu1Last night brought us a heart-pounding episode of Teen Wolf. A lot of things happened this episode. Derek becomes more of an older brother for Scott, Agent McCall doesn’t act like a total dick, and our worst fears for Stiles are confirmed, much to Scott and Sheriff Stilinski’s dismay.

So, without further ado, let’s talk Teen Wolf.

With the exception of some season finale episodes, I think it’s safe to say that most episodes of Teen Wolf ease you in to the upsetting, drama-filled portion of each episode.  Usually, our heroes go to school and flirt with significant others for a bit before something life-threatening happens. That was not the case this episode. We start with Scott immediately receiving a panicked phone call from Stiles, who says he thinks he was sleepwalking and now he’s trapped in some sort of basement with his leg hurt and unable to move. On top of this, temperatures are dropping to below freezing and Stiles is in nothing but his pajamas. Stiles, crying and scared, begs Scott to come find him, and reveals that he doesn’t think he’s alone in the basement. Scott wants to call Stiles’s dad, but Stiles makes him promise not to. Scott tries to avoid making the promise but eventually does and yells for Isaac so that they can search for Stiles.

tumblr_n0tay6YOWT1qe3p9bo2_250Meanwhile, Lydia and Aidan are in the school after dark so that she can draw him. The two flirt, but then Lydia hears Stiles calling for help over the radio due to her special banshee powers. Lydia, Aidan, Scott, and Isaac all meet up at Stiles’s house, where they discover the walls of his room are covered with pictures and newspaper clippings all attached with red string and connecting to a pair of scissors stabbed in Stiles’s bed. Lydia explains that Stiles uses red string for unsolved cases. She tries to piece together what Stiles was doing in his room, while Isaac and Scott finally decide to go to Stiles’s dad for help. Obviously Sheriff Stilinski is distraught over his son’s disappearance and the whole police force is sent out to look for him before he freezes to death. Lydia, by examining Stiles’ room and possibly communing with the dead, believes Stiles is at an old mental institution, but when Scott and the Sheriff go to look, they find no trace of him.

Stiles, trapped somewhere, keeps seeing a mysterious figure with sharp teeth and covered in bandages. This figure keeps referring to Stiles and itself as we, which of course freaks Stiles out. On top of this, in a weird, creepy, Gollum-like fashion, it keeps asking Stiles riddles, finally ending on the riddle, “What does everyone have and no one can ever lose?” But Stiles can’t figure the answer out.

Agent McCall arrives at the police station late to the party, probably because of the injuries he got last episode. When he finds out Stiles is missing, he also starts trying to find a way to help and develops a theory based on the transcripts of Scott and Stiles’s telephone call. Melissa shows up to help, and she and Agent McCall set off to find Stiles. Agent McCall, thankfully, figures out that Stiles was in a coyote den and he and Melissa are able to save him in time and bring him to the hospital. Melissa and Sheriff Stilinski both reveal they suspect Stiles is suffering from the same disease that killed Stiles’s mother and they take him to get an MRI.

tumblr_n0ss6hQyor1qixosbo2_250Derek, who has been helping Scott this whole time, has a brief discussion with Aidan where Aidan mentions he suspects Stiles is possessed by the nogitsune. Derek thinks this idea is ridiculous at first because Stiles is so weak, but then he starts to put together a theory and runs off to seek out Kira. Scott, meanwhile, is distraught over Stiles and heads to the hospital to be with his friend during the MRI. Stiles explains to Scott that the doctors are looking for frontotemporal dementia, which is a wearing away of the frontal lobes of the brain; it is the only form of dementia teenagers can get, it has no cure, and Stiles’s mother died of it. Scott comforts Stiles before he goes into the MRI. This is the saddest, most touching hug ever in a TV show. It has been really great to see the absolute love Stiles and Scott have for each other. So many fanfics and Tumblr posts make bullshit arguments that Scott is this selfish asshole that doesn’t care about Stiles. Well suck it, haters! Scott McCall is a prince!

tumblr_n0sqevOAr51qixosbo2_250Derek finds Kira and discovers that when Barrow attacked her, he used her powers to kickstart the nogitsune’s powers in Stiles, allowing this demon to take control. While in the MRI, Stiles starts hallucinating the creepy figure again. It reveals that they are going to kill everyone, but that they might spare the people Stiles cares about if he can answer the riddle from before. Stiles struggles but eventually comes up with the answer of “a shadow” and the mysterious figure removes the bandages from its face to reveal evil!Stiles. Now in control, demon!Stiles causes some sort of power surge and leaves the MRI room only to be confronted by Kira’s mom! She is controlling the Oni and warns the nogitsune that no matter the host it has chosen, she won’t be deterred in destroying it. The nogitsune doesn’t seem very scared, but it does seem to pause when she mentions that if she can’t kill it, she knows someone who can. It’s likely this someone is either Kira, who I’m guessing will follow in her mother’s footsteps, or Scott with his True Alpha/best friend of Stiles powers, or maybe both.

tumblr_n0sj0f2MJl1qixosbo5_500I was really pleased with this episode overall. Dylan O’Brien has revealed himself to be an amazing actor by being able to handle the more dramatic and horrifying scenes he has been given this season. It was cool to finally have the reveal that Stiles is possessed. Considering what Derek learned from Kira and how Stiles’s mom had the same symptoms as him, this sounds to me like Stiles’s family has this nogitsune trait. This dark spirit is always in or around them, waiting to be unleashed. Unless Stiles has both frontotemporal dementia and is possessed, which I doubt, since that would mean that Claudia, Stiles’s mom, was probably also possessed. Furthermore, I wonder how much influence Claudia Stilinski had on our Teen Wolf universe. In the preview for the next episode, it’s mentioned that the nogitsune thrives on chaos and pain, and Derek told us in this episode that when he spoke to his dead mother, she explained that the Hales didn’t just live in Beacon Hills, but protected it. What if a possessed Claudia Stilinski was battling it out with Talia Hale over Beacon Hills? Kitsune are known to be tricksters, so what if Claudia helped push Derek and Kate together, and even pushed Kate over the edge enough to cause the Hale fire in order to kill Talia? What if Claudia fought against the nogitsune and died, or what if Talia found a way to kill her? It seems possible that Claudia would be sick around the same time that the Hales were still alive.

In Season 1, Stiles recognizes Derek and knows he’s not much older than him, but doesn’t appear to know much more about him. Derek, throughout the show, seems to have little knowledge about supernatural things that aren’t werewolves, but in this season immediately recognized the Kira as a kitsune, knew what a nogitsune was, and knew how to recognize them, implying that he or his family dealt with this type of creature before. And we already know that Talia was an extremely powerful Alpha that protected Beacon Hills. It would be interesting, at the very least, if the entire course of the show was affected by two powerful women. It would also make the tentative alliance that Stiles and Derek have even more fragile, adding more strife between the characters.

Speaking of Derek, we got some solid growth this episode for Derek and Scott’s relationship, finally establishing them as brothers and allies. It was nice to see Derek finally transitioning into a good person and mentor to Scott. Talia Hale had protected Beacon Hills, and to Derek, that implies that the town always needs someone to protect it. Since Scott is an alpha, and not just that but a True Alpha, Derek sort of passes the reins to him and offers him support and guidance. Scott seems grateful for Derek’s help and the two seem to be relying on each other much more now. Derek has always kind of been a Scott McCall fanboy, but both Scott and Derek have really hurt and betrayed each other in previous seasons, so it’s nice to see them come together after so much bad blood between them.

It was also revealed this episode that Agent McCall was a drunk, establishing at least one reason to why Scott’s parents divorced and why Scott hates his dad so much. I’m hoping to learn much more about the McCall family this season and so far I am not disappointed. While Agent McCall did act a bit nicer this episode, I think mentioning he has a drinking problem vilifies him more. At the end of Season 3A, Agent McCall specifically asks Stiles if his father is still drinking. This, combined with going after Sheriff Stilinski and trying to get him impeached, makes him come across like a real hypocrite. But still, the way he helped Stiles and seemed concerned for him, and even the civility between him and Mama McCall, painted him in a bit better light. I did think it was ridiculous that Agent McCall didn’t know about the supernatural after being attacked by the Oni—like he really thinks some ninja looking guy with a sword attacked him? I mean, come on! I also think it’s odd that Agent McCall didn’t pursue finding out why Kira and Scott broke into his office and hacked his computer. Scott’s dad is an FBI agent, so that doesn’t seem like something he could ignore even if he wanted to, but I have a feeling this will be one of the Teen Wolf loose ends that pop up here and there.

tumblr_n0si1zRgNJ1qixosbo5_250I think the biggest reveal this episode was not Stiles’s being possessed but that Mrs. Yukimura is a badass who fights the nogitsune—though I must say I am worried she will be killed off to further the plot of Kira and Stiles. I really hope that doesn’t happen: we have a bunch of badass dads on the show, but Mama McCall is the only prominent bad-ass mom. Plus this show needs more women of color in general so it would be really awesome if Mrs. Yukimura doesn’t die. Please, Jeff Davis, please!

The only thing I was really displeased with this episode was Lydia and Aidan’s relationship. In the episode “Illuminated”, Lydia tells Aidan he’s a bad person and she doesn’t want to be with him, so why is she with him now? There is no explanation or character development; Lydia simply went from seeming like she didn’t want anything to do with Aidan any more to flirting with him again. I think it was pretty out of character for Lydia and that’s rather disappointing.

How I feel about Lydia being out of character.

How I feel about Lydia being out of character.

Speaking of ladies, I have to say I’m pretty pleased that Cora Hale isn’t dead, but that’s about the only thing about Cora I’m pleased with. The actress who played Cora, Adelaide Kane, left the show for the lead role in Reign, so the writers can’t be blamed for Cora’s sudden disappearance, but they can be blamed for the poor writing of her character in general. Cora in 3A appears out of nowhere saying she survived the Hale fire, but that was never explained, and now Cora has vanished to South America, which is where she apparently was before. While I love the addition of lady characters, Cora added nothing to the plot, other than to help Derek lose his alpha powers. Nothing about her is explained or delved into, and now she is gone.

Some of our other female characters might be suffering the same fate. Braeden was discovered to be alive this season, but how she survived and who she really is has not been explored, and she has yet to make another appearance. We haven’t heard from or seen Malia, our werecoyote, since Scott forced her back into her human form and returned her to her dad. Also the hunters that attacked Derek and Peter, with the badass female leader, also haven’t been seen or heard from in a while. Come on, writers, let’s not drop the ball on awesome lady characters, please.

Looking forward to next week’s episode!

2 thoughts on “Teen Wolf: “Riddled” Review

  1. I love your theories on Claudia stilinski. I had another thought about Claudia. In the first episode of 3b, stiles mentions that someone took the flowers from Claudia’s grave. That always seemed like that was some kind of a foreshadowing statement to me. Like maybe Claudia isn’t deAd and is the one who stole those flowers?

  2. Pingback: Magical Mondays: Teen Wolf Does Banshees | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

Comments are closed.