Time to visit the nuthouse, children! Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) checks himself into the titular Echo House psychiatric facility for a few days, only to find a fox and a coyote have followed him in.
Let’s bitch it out…
‘Echo House’ is very nearly the all Stiles, all the time show. In fact when we cut away to discover what Scott (Tyler Posey) and the rest of the crew are doing – robbing an armoured truck! – the episode loses momentum. These other scenes are important because they remind us that the group is concerned about Stiles and they’re rallying to find some kind of cure while he’s locked up for 72 hours, but taking us away from the confinement of the facility hurts the pacing and tone of the episode.
The issue is that Scott’s scenes have none of the atmosphere and tension that Stiles’ do. The lighting and colour palette of the facility is as dim and bland as you would expect*, and it works to create a certain amount of dread and fear. When the doors are locked, or the basement is accessed, the moodiness of the setting goes into overdrive, particularly when the horror movie representation of the Kitsune reappears in head wrap and gnashing teeth to stalk Stiles. Clearly Teen Wolf and mental institutions go together.
*The exception are scenes taking place outside on the porch where the patients seem to casually wander like they’re extras on Downton Abbey.
So atmosphere is a big check. What about actual plot? Well as far as plot goes, ‘Echo House’ is a bit light. The majority of the episode is about Stiles trying not to sleep (very Flatliners meets Nightmare on Elm Street). His goal is to search the basement for clues before the mark of Dr. Deaton’s (Seth Gilliam) poison wears off. There Stiles discovers a body hidden behind a false wall. He takes something from the corpse’s pocket, but naturally we’re not privy to its contents before Stiles’ easily manipulated roommate attacks and nearly kills he and Malia (Shelley Hennig). Presumably this is something that will be instrumental to unlocking his cure, but now that Stiles’ is back to being possessed who knows when that information will come out? One can only hope that Malia’s decision to seek out Scott will help both her and Stiles.
- Nothing screams “lose your virginity here” like a dust covered couch in the basement of a mental asylum. And yet Malia and Stiles go for it anyways, proving that there is nothing that doesn’t act as an aphrodisiac for teenagers.
- Argent (JR Bourne) and Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) remain in jail with little to do. While I would have cared for a bit more of their comedic two-man show, at least they’re actually still in jail and not out on a technicality or convenient time jump (let’s be honest: Teen Wolf does have a tendency to do this).
- Case in point: how strange is it to have Ms. Morell (Bianca Lawson) suddenly show up at Echo House as a counselor? Has she been here the whole time? Is this undercover work advocated by her brother, Dr. Deaton? This development feels extremely convenient from a plot perspective and, hilariously, no effort is made to explain her presence. Just accept it and move on!
- I never fail to appreciate just how useless Lydia (Holland Roden) is until everyone pitches in during a battle. Kira (Arden Cho) and Allison (Crystal Reed) may not make a huge impact on the hulking brute that is Kinkaid, but at least they do some fighting. Lydia just kinda helps Allison up.
- Finally, the scroll that the twins (Charlie and Max Carver) help steal from the truck – hidden in Silverfinger‘s finger – reveals that the spirit can be forced out of Stiles’ body if they can “change it”. I admittedly thought that meant transfer it to another body, but Scott’s thinking immediately turns to making Stiles a werewolf. Huh…that could be interesting.
What are your thoughts on Stiles’ mostly solo episode? Do you want to see him as a werewolf? What do you think he found on the corpse in the basement? Will Malia help Stiles or is she only interested in returning to coyote form? And do you miss Daniel Sharman? Sound off below
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm EST on MTV