It’s all about the backstory for those demonic ninjas this week as Teen Wolf pulls a bait and switch on viewers that’s genuinely exciting.
Let’s bitch it out…
So Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), huh? I can honestly say that I didn’t see that coming. I feel silly for believing that Kira (Arden Cho) was the supernatural creature that the Oni – the demonic ninja smoke monster things – were after. After all Teen Wolf is rarely predictable and the writers do like to throw in the occasional surprise twist. What I’m basically saying is that we probably all should have seen this coming.
But Stiles? We love Stiles. He’s our stand-in. He’s effectively us! Stiles is funny and goofy and human. He can’t be possessed by a dark spirit. He can’t go around killing Oni and crushing their little firefly hearts!
In reality I’m not actually that upset because dramatically this development is delicious. All of the reasons that it’s surprising and upsetting that Stiles is now a villain are the same reasons why this twist has so much potential: because we actually care about the outcome. Let’s put it this way: I like Kira, but there’s no way that we would care as much if she turned out to be the bad guy (as we assumed she would). We don’t know her, so the pay-off would have paled considerably. Compare this to Stiles, whom we’ve known for the entire series and have built an emotional investment in. This development is huge. It’s the same argument that applied to Jackson in the S2 Kanima storyline. We spent so many episodes getting to know him that when something happened to him, it was a big deal. And if we’re being honest, Jackson was a bit of a prick. So now that Stiles is in the same position, it’s even more significant. And exciting! Where does the show go from here?
That’s really more of a question for next week. As it stands the majority of ‘Silverfinger’ is more of a ruse: we spend the majority of the hour watching Scott (Tyler Posey) protect Kira while Argent (JR Bourne) leads daughter Allison (Crystal Reed) and Isaac (Daniel Sharman) on an undercover mission. The Scott stuff is pretty straight-forward: he thinks Kira is being targeted so he and the other wolves (sans Isaac) hold up at Scott’s house to wait out the night. Action (and violence) ensures.
The Argent scenes offer something more promising…at least initially. I’m talking primarily about Argent making faces and forcing Isaac into uncomfortable situations. I love how the writers keep forcing werewolf hunter Argent to chaperone awkward encounters with his daughter and her new kinda/sorta boyfriend. It’s like a ridiculous situational comedy, which suits me fine because Bourne and Sharman have proven themselves adept at comedy and they always end up in these wacky situations that allow them to break out.
As great as these two are, their side-mission to track down Kitashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), another Oni survivor from 24 years ago, feels undercooked. Tagawa is utterly wasted in the role, offering little more than a boring personal history so that Allison can tell Scott to “do nothing” during the climatic confrontation with the Oni. Sure we get to learn about Yakuza pride and see flashbacks to Japan, but it ultimately just boils down to Allison’s simple message. Considering how much screentime is dedicated to this, I expected a greater pay-off. Part of me hopes that we’ll revisit Kitashi before the end of the season, but another part of me feels like we would only get more blah-tastic exposition. Pass.
- How hilarious is the scene when Allison lets Isaac grab her ass under the pretense of giving him a shot of courage before his undercover stint? I know that whenever I need to impersonate an antiques dealer, I just throw on my best suit and cop a feel of the nearest glute. Sooo silly.
- Also silly: Allison’s slow-mo disarming technique of Hitaki. It’s meant to look cool…but it’s not. #sorryI’mnotsorry
- The opening sequence with an 18 year old Argent encountering the Oni during an exchange with the Yakuza has the potential to be cool, but like the later Hitaki scenes, the opener doesn’t really offer much beyond cool visuals.
- Melissa (Melissa Ponzio) discovers that Stiles is suffering from the same symptoms as his deceased mother after she diagnoses him with sleep deprivation. Does this mean that there were supernatural elements in his life long before the events of S1? Could the answer be as obvious as “his mother was possessed”?
- Things that sound hot (but aren’t): the twins (Max and Charlie Carver) telling Scott they’ll be with him all night and day. I think I saw a porno that started this way…
- Oh yeah, Scott’s dad (Matthew Del Negro) – whose name I can never bother to remember – got stabbed and nearly died. But didn’t! Yay? Does anyone care if he reconciles with Scott? Anyone? Bueller?
- Isaac (getting dragged into Hitaki’s room): “Guys, they have a werewolf, too.”
- Ethan (to Kira, immediately after Hitaki suggests the Oni seek dark spirits): “It’s Kira, isn’t it?” Nicely edited, Teen Wolf.
Your turn: did you find the Hitaki bits lacked pay-off? Were you surprised that Kira wasn’t the true target? Are you surprised at Stiles’ supervillain status? Was Stiles’ mom also possessed? And would you watch a buddy comedy with Argent as the disapproving father who doesn’t like Isaac, his daughter’s new boyfriend? Sound off below.
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm EST on MTV