If I am any less enthused by this episode opposed to the previous four it’s due to the necessary but dull exposition that we’re forced to sit through for the first half hour. This episode is the telling and learning episode where we all get character backstory, motives and revelations of the evil.
Argent tells Scott, Allison and Isaac about his first gun trade (because that’s totally a thing that happens in this universe) and how he originally met the demons called the Oni. He watched as a group was killed before saving one man, Mr. Katashi. He, Isaac and Allison must track Katashi down and once they do after some maneuvering-learn more about the Oni. They’re told that the Oni are unstoppable and aren’t looking to hurt any of them, simply seeking out all of the supernatural, trying to find the one who’s been possessed by the dark spirit.
Kira believes this is her as she, Scott and the wolf pack guard Scott’s house along with some nifty mountain ash. They’ve learned she’s a kitsune, a trickster spirit, and they don’t know much about it yet which leaves her doubtful of her innocence. Scott trusts her though and allows for the Oni to face them willingly. It turns out that Scott’s instincts were right and that he and Kira were both cleared.
So who is it?
Stiles at the start of the episode had gone to the hospital after he realized how rapidly his mental stability was deteriorating. Melissa led him to a patient’s room and sedated him to allow him to get some much deserved sleep. However, when he awakes he wanders the halls of the hospital and ends up alone in an abandoned room and that’s when the Oni appears. It looks for a moment like he’s trapped but suddenly-in a wonderful bit of directing by this week’s director Jennifer Lynch-Stiles turns possessed and grabs the Oni effortlessly and tares out an evil firefly from the Oni’s chest, killing it. Then, shaking but controlled, he turns to face off with the others.
Scott finds him after he and his mom have rushed his dad to the ER and asks him if he’s okay. Stiles turns, looking nonplussed and says that he’s fine. He doesn’t seem to remember anything.
The Weak Bits:
~Allison is still disconnected from the rest of the group. I’m willing to accept her and Isaac as a thing, couple, whatever but part of the joy of the show is watching all of the teen characters interact together and try and figure the mysteries out together. I would have loved to have seen some more scenes between her and Scott or her at the house standoff at the end of the episode.
~The first thirty minutes were pretty dull made all the more recognizable when the last half was so jam packed with action.
~They’re really trying to sell us on the twins aren’t they? Probably should have thought of that more during the first half of the season where the show had them on the evil side of things.
~Haven’t we seen that ending before? Remember Jackson? Remember in season two when the group was holed up in Scott’s house as Derek and the hormonal wolf trio waited outside and everyone believed that Lydia was the kanima? Only for the last minute of the episode to reveal that it had been Jackson all along?
It is interesting to note the parallels between the two storylines although there’s one mighty difference: in the Stiles, possession version we get to watch an actor who can act beyond bulging eyes, facial tics and heavy panting.
Sorry Colton Haynes, I’m sure you’re wonderful on Arrow.
The Good Bits:
~The last fight, as déjà vu as it was, was still pretty awesome, especially when Scott’s dad got stabbed and didn’t conveniently pass out. No, he saw the whole thing which makes the season all the more interesting. I’m a sucker for group bits so watching as it went from Scott and Kira, to the two of them and Scott’s parents, to Derek barging in to help followed by the twins was fun. A group working together to defeat a force of evil if oftentimes more entertaining that watching one hero have all of the fun.
~The Oni are still pretty awesome. The choreography for the Oni is very composed and still which makes them all the more creepy and when they attack our young heroes you’re genuinely worried about their well-being. They’re likely some of best thought out monsters the show has done thus far.
~Stiles…oh my word they’re really going all out with his storyline this season huh? Granted he’s in the episode for about ten minutes total but what is done with his character in that brief amount of time is stellar and surprisingly, heartbreaking. When Melissa sedates him and he calls her mom as the drugs kicked in? And the face she looks at him with afterwards.
Ouch man, I don’t watch Teen Wolf to get emotional.
Then that last fight-was anyone else unnerved? Is it because we’ve never seen Stiles or, similarly, Dylan O’Brien act in such a manner? We’re used to Stiles as erratic, over the top, all hand gestures, hammy facial expressions and flailing limbs. Dark Stiles? He’s still, quiet and contained, he’s slow looks and controlled moves of actions.
There was something uncomfortably jarring about the tonality of the last 15 minutes of the episode and I can’t help but attribute it to seeing our comedic center of the show being so off kilter with his typical demeanor.
By no means was this a bad episode, simply lackluster after the action packed, highly entertaining past four. And next weeks episode? That looks killer. What are your predictions? Is Stiles the dark kitsune or is that a red herring? What will Scott tell his dad? How will Lydia fit into all of this and were any of the foreshadowing moments actually going to come true?