The trickster comes out to play in a breakneck episode of Teen Wolf that proves you should never believe someone who is possessed just because they tell you they’re fine.
Let’s bitch it out…
At a few points during ‘Letharia Vulpina’ I almost wished that I had a seatbelt so that I could buckle up. This episode basically moves like an out of control train, barreling through plot points from one action sequence to another with barely a pause in between. The result is an incredibly fast-paced hour that keeps things moving, but suffers a little because nothing has the chance to resonate before we’re off to the next set piece.
We don’t know it at the offset, but everything that happens in this episode is a ruse set-up by Evil Stiles (Dylan O’Brien). When Scott (Tyler Posey) seeks Kira (Arden Cho) for intel on the Kitsune, she tells him that the fox spirit is a trickster who delights in causing chaos – they’re only really dangerous when they’ve been badly offended. Judging from the events of ‘Letharia Vulpina’, Evil Stiles has been severely offended because he wreaks bloody havoc all across Beacon Hills. The “trick” angle is embodied in the sack of plans and objects that Stiles lays out for Scott and the twins (Max and Charlie Carver) when they discover him in the school basement. The rules are simple: if the clues can be deciphered in time, the destruction can be prevented. Evil Stiles has essentially created a game of real life Clue with close friends and family as the victims. This means Isaac (Daniel Sharman) is fried at the hospital with a power line, Coach (Orny Jones) is shot in the woods with an arrow and multiple members of the town’s police force are bombed at the Sheriff’s office. The goal is actually relatively simple: the Kitsune wants to force Scott to take on as much pain as his wolf powers will allow so that he can feed on it.
It’s all very devious indeed. And could have had some pretty serious ramifications for Scott had Dr. Deacon (Seth Gillam) not returned after a long absence to save him. The knowledgeable vet makes a fun return, completely owning the cold-open wherein he collects the titular wolf bane. He promptly disappears for the remainder of the episode, only returning in the final moment to slip Stiles a mickey and prevent him from doing further damage.
There are other minor revelations along the way, including:
- It’s probably best that we overlook how Deacon knows where the the Letharia Vulpina is or how he slipped that wolf a sedative. Instead let’s just celebrate that it’s kind of badass.
- Kira’s mother has a limited number of Oni remaining, but she can make them stronger. It’s strange to kinda/sorta be rooting for them now.
- Apparently Kira is a super hero when she puts her mind to it. Exhibit A: preventing too many people from getting deep fried by the water / electricity danger combo at the hospital. Exhibit B: kicking some Oni ass with badass ninja moves in the alley outside of the veterinary office. Badasses all around on this series, I tells ya!
- In the strangest call-back to earlier this season, Lydia (Holland Roden) and Allison (Crystal Reed) visit Peter (Ian Bohen) and help uncover from the nails of his sister that he’s a father to the little girl wolf that Scott and Stiles rescued back in the mid-season two parter (1 & 2). I’m happy that there’s continuity with the early episodes, but considering how everything else unfolds, this B-plot needed better timing to be effective. It awkwardly executed (like, why is this being introduced now?)
- Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) and Argent (JR Bourne) = handcuffed and bitching at each other. That sounds like another fun Teen Wolf spin-off, no? It is a little worrying that two grown men were framed for Silverfinger‘s murder by a possessed teenager, though, no?
- FYI: If you ever want to stop your on-again, off-again BF from running into potentially fatal danger, just tackle him and make-out with him. It works for Danny (Keahu Kahuanui), who completely falls for a little affection. Slut… 🙂
- Finally, I love how the kid on the bus with the bomb, Jared, totally hits on the Deputy at the most inopportune moment. Time and place, my little junior gay!
- Deputy (dropping off a box of batteries with Sheriff Stilinski): “Not a bad idea considering the number of electrical problems in this city.”
- Coach (encouraging the boys to sign a card for Stiles): “Danny, that’s how you do it…keep it PG”
- Peter (when Allison accuses him of having an agenda): “No, I’m dedicating my life to helping out narcissistic teenage girls. Of course I want something.”
- Deputy (distracting Jared): “It would be helpful if you can resist throwing up on the bomb.” Who is this guy?!
What are your thoughts on the episode: too fast or enjoyably frantic? Did you figure out that Evil Stiles was faking being normal? Did you think Peter’s story was too out of the blue? Would you enjoy a Derek and Argent spin-off rather than an Argent / Isaac one? And how will they get the trickster fox out of Stiles without killing him? Speculate away below.
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm EST on MTV