There’s no simple way to sum up this episode. It was confusing, chaotic and showcased a cast and crew that were rejuvenated by a thrilling script by show runner Jeff Davis.
This was a fantastic episode of Teen Wolf-after two weeks of lack luster installments the show returned with a fire lit under them as everyone brought their A game. Chaos ripped through the town, Scott embraces his Alpha status, the nogitsune is confronted and everything is held down by a rooted and confident performance by Dylan O’Brien-once again taking double duty as both void, trickster Stiles and terrified human Stiles.
It begins with Allison, the Sheriff, Derek and Argent having a standoff with void Stiles to try and beat him into submission to see if the real Stiles still lurks underneath. It all goes according to the foxes plan as he ferociously takes on the group as he overtakes them all either through strength or wit and then reveals that they’re exactly where he needs them-protecting him as the Oni appear. The standoff as the nogitsune hollers for Argent to shoot him might be one the most tense scenes of the series as well as one of my personal favorite.
He disappears to unleash more hell as he finds Kira’s mother and takes her last remaining fox tail and cuts himself open to allow hallucinogenic flies to creep into the bodies of Ethan, Aidan, Isaac and Derek, turning the established pack against each other.
After a mildly displaced but cute scene between Kira and Scott we’re thrust into the next day where Lydia comes across a bleeding Stiles past out in an empty parking lot. Quickly the pack comes together to try and solve the problem and paralyze the nogitsune with Kanima venom so that when he awakes he can’t hurt anyone. Which was a smart move considering the second the venom touches his tongue he awakes and fights to get free-but it’s too late and he can’t move.
He taunts the group, forcing Ethan to leave to go and find his brother at the school-forcing the two angry parties in the same room and just before he can antagonize some more he’s quieted by a piece of duct tape.
Despite being silenced his presence is felt as he glowers and yells, muffled by the tape.
Scott, Lydia and Deaton discuss what is to happen to Stiles and they mention turning him but Scott isn’t sure because Stiles has never asked for the bite, but what if it saves him Lydia asks? Deaton quickly says that it could also kill him. Scott wishes to reach Derek to get his opinion but has been unable to reach him so Lydia suggests that Peter could also be an option.
Derek is too tied up being possessed and has tied Argent to a chair as he threatens to burn him alive, just like Kate did to his entire family. He says he’d rather wait until Allison comes home so she can make her watch.
Back with the group O’Brien showcases his tremendous ability to switch between his character’s personalities as he fools Melissa into taking the duct tape off as he sheds a few tears, only to reveal that it was once again a trick. He tells Melissa that if she can’t handle the pain of his son’s best friend how will she ever respond to Scott learning the truth about why his dad really left? She shuts him up soon after.
Which is just as well as Peter arrives to help-with a bargain struck between him and Lydia that if he does she’ll give him the name of his daughter. He tells them that Stiles doesn’t look like he’d survive the bite but what they can do is have Scott and Lydia venture into Stile’s mind and pull him out of the grasp of the nogitsune. The two of them agree and dive in.
Meanwhile this episode really shined a blinding light on the characters that appear to be nothing more than dead weight.
While the real action was taking place we had to watch as Isaac, Ethan and Aidan also all got possessed and tried to rip each other apart. The only redeeming aspect of their scenes was when it all came to a head at the school and Allison and Kira entered like the ass kicking heroines that they are to save the day. Despite how empowering it was to see Allison and Kira working together with zero bitterness and showcasing the great physicality that Crystal Reed and Arden Cho possess it was brought down by having to see the other three werewolves. It took away from a portion of the excitement.
As a fan of the show for the past three seasons I have a hard time finding much interest in any characters that lay beyond our core five unless they’re storylines intertwine such as the parents and to an extent, Kira.
Back with Scott and Lydia we find them in the dark corners of Stile’s minds, chained to hospital beds. Scott breaks free and then grabs Lydia but they’re soon separated. Lydia finds herself in a hallway that transforms into the hallway of the high school, reminiscent of the scene when she was bitten by Peter.
Kudos to director Christian Taylor who provides some truly eerie imagery as the balloons begin to cascade around her, allowing for practical thrills to dominate the unsettling atmosphere. She beings to become overwhelmed and Peter has to call for her to regain her composure. Scott hears the yell too as he begins to realize that him being in a closest with Allison is also a trick.
He and Lydia both make a run for it and find themselves in the same room where Scott, Allison and Stiles were when they had sacrificed themselves to the Nemeton. They see him in the distance sitting on the stump and playing a game of Go with the nogitsune and unable to hear their shouts. No matter how far they run they can’t seem to gain any distance and Lydia finally realizes the solution. She says that Scott considers Stiles as his pack right? And Scott responds with yes, of course, as if it was a question he had never thought he’d have to answer because the answer was just so obvious. Stiles, despite being human with no super natural strength, was likely always the first one in Scott’s pack.
She asks how does a werewolf signal to his pack his location. Scott responds by saying they howl.
And he does just that, alerting Stiles to where he is as well as knocking out the rest of his rogue pack.
They awake, seemingly having won until Stile’s begins to convulse and falls to the floor as he begins to pull the nogitsune’s facial bandages from his mouth. The group watches on with horror and the tossed up rags begin to build itself into the full being. Just as they’re about to attack Scott realizes that it’s Stiles, real, petrified Stiles. The other one has left, taken Lydia with him and has just upped the ante again as the last shot focuses on Stile’s troubled face.
The show has come a long way from its origins and this week’s episode highlights the growth from Tyler Hoechlin showing a range he’s never demonstrated before to the amped up climatic scene in Stile’s head. There’s two more episodes left of the season and I can’t even begin to predict where the show will be taking us next.