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'Teen Wolf' 'Riddled' recap: Fighting their inner demons

'Teen Wolf' season 3 episode 18 "Riddled"
'Teen Wolf' season 3 episode 18 "Riddled"

"Teen Wolf" season 3 continued Monday, Feb. 10, with episode 18, "Riddled." Last time, Allison, Isaac and Mr. Argent got a history lesson in the Oni, the demonic ninjas, which checked Scott and Kira to see if they were marked, and everyone learned they were after the nogitsune. Meanwhile, Stiles went to Melissa for help (anyone else still not over "Thanks, Mom"?) and ripped a firefly out of one of the Oni when they showed up to check him.

Before getting into what happened in this week's "Teen Wolf", we have to say that Dylan O'Brien absolutely killed it in "Riddled." The episode itself was intense, insane, and hold-your-breath-and-sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-and-calm-your-racing-heart exciting.

It began with Scott in bed when Stiles called and told him he didn't know where he was and thought he was sleepwalking. It was dark, something was wrong, and he hung up. Scott tried to call him back, but just got his voicemail, but then Stiles called back and told him that something was wrong with his leg and it was bleeding and it smelled terrible. He made him promise not to call his father before hanging up, and Scott called for Isaac to get up. Stiles called back when Scott and Isaac were leaving and told them he was in a basement and it was cold – and he wasn't alone.

Meanwhile, Lydia was drawing Aiden in the school and not at all worried about being caught. "No sane person will ever take a night job here again," she pointed out, but his stripping was going to have to wait when she heard "come find me" over the radio. Elsewhere in the realm of weird, the bulb in Kira's lamp was dead until she touched it and then it shattered, and when her mother came in, she changed the bulb and had the same electric fingers as her daughter. Instead of addressing this weird family trait, she just told her to go to sleep.

When Scott and Isaac got to Stiles' to pick up his scent, Lydia and Aiden were already there. "It gets more confusing when you ask," Aiden advised. And talk about confusing: there were a bunch of red strings from the papers on the wall, signaling unsolved cases, all tied to a pair of scissors in the middle of Stiles' bed. Despite Stiles' request for Scott not to call his father, it was the coldest night of the year and Lydia got those feelings of hers when someone was about to die. They didn't have a choice, so Scott and Isaac headed to the station to tell Sheriff Stilinski.

Back with Stiles, he discovered his foot was caught in an animal trap and saw someone against the wall. That person, head wrapped in bandages, had drawn the kanji for "self," which Stiles recognized on the wall in chalk. But then the person vanished and the kanji smoked away.

Once Sheriff Stilinski found out his son was missing, that became the number one priority for everyone, and his Jeep was found in the hospital parking lot, dead. Scott and Isaac found Derek on the roof, and Derek gave Scott a quick Chemo Signals 101 lesson to pick up emotions. Scott felt stress. Stiles had been up there, and there was a struggle – with himself.

The bandaged figure returned to Stiles, and after a few sentences he couldn't understand, the person corrected him: "Not who are you, Stiles. Who are we?" That "we" was part of the rest of their conversation, as the bandaged nogitsune, going by those teeth, also revealed that the trap around Stiles' foot had switched legs. "We're trying to save you."

After Aiden briefly teased Lydia about Stiles having one of her drawings and liking her, he plucked one of the red strings and Lydia heard something. She plucked again and heard whispering about a house and followed the string to a photo of Eichen House, a mental health center. It was where Barrow had been, and that was where Stiles was. Or so she thought. When they got there, the basement was empty, Sheriff Stilinski was frustrated, and Lydia couldn't understand why he wasn't there. But there was the kanji on the wall…

So where was Stiles? After learning that no one cared about the sword-wielding maniac who stabbed him, Agent McCall actually proved to be very useful, thanks to his blackout drunk days. He had once been so sure he was in the bathroom only for it to turn out he was in a closet. He thought Stiles was still asleep, and he had an idea where he was after reading the transcript of his phone call.

The bandaged nogitsune then rattled off several riddles, which Stiles was able to answer, including "When is a door not a door?" until he asked, "Everyone has it, but no one can lose it. What is it?" Stiles didn't know, and as the nogitsune began dragging him through dirt, he screamed, only to discover Melissa had him. He was in the woods. Hey, the first episode with Agent McCall where we didn't hate him.

Isaac went to check on Allison, who was surprised to discover her phone was off. She, like any other teenager, never turned her phone off, and her voicemail inbox was full of Japanese from an unknown number, which set off warning bells.

"In this town, there's always something more," Derek told Aiden, which would make for a good town motto, when the other werewolf wondered if Stiles could have just been sleepwalking. Remember when Scott told the twins not to listen when he spoke to Stiles? Well, Aiden didn't listen, and so he had a theory. "You think Stiles – skinny, defenseless Stiles – is the nogitsune?" Derek couldn't believe it, wondering why it wouldn't take someone bigger, stronger and with more power.

With that in mind, he headed to the high school the next day to pick up Kira so she could show him what happened at the power station. They found Stiles' bat magnetized against a power box with drag marks leading up to it, and with that, he had a pretty good idea of what happened – and Kira wisely decided to stay outside while he went into the hospital to tell Scott that Barrow used foxfire created by her to jumpstart the nogitsune's power inside Stiles.

While leaving the hospital with Scott, Lydia had heard a noise, though she denied hearing anything, and the next day at school, she was flinching at every single noise and still denying anything was wrong. Also at school, Allison and Isaac turned to Mr. Yukimura for a translation of her weird voicemail, and he told them it was a message for evacuees to stay back from fences surrounding Japanese internment camps – but a fake one. There was no Oak Creek one in California. So what were the voicemails about exactly?

As for Stiles, his father had been writing down the symptoms he saw in his son for the past couple of weeks and had come to the same conclusion as Melissa: they needed to some tests. Stiles knew what they were looking for: frontotemperal dementia, the only form of dementia that could hit teenagers and what his mother had. There was no cure. If he had it… "I'll do something," Scott promised his friend. Their parents watched as they hugged. And that moment between brothers was the most heartbreaking scene of the episode. As the clanging began for his MRI, Lydia sat in her car and turned her music up louder.

In the hall, Derek gave Scott a brief rundown of what he had been up to while he was away. He took Cora back to South America, where she had spent most of her time after the fire, and found out after a talk with his mother that his family had protected Beacon Hills. "This town needs someone to protect it, someone like you," he told Scott, who realized that Stiles ha been trying to protect them from himself. Back on the roof, they found a bag of tools. Stiles had done something to one of the wires. And with that, Lydia screamed.

The MRI scan revealed that Sheriff Stilinski and Melissa had unfortunately been right, but Stiles had bigger problems, like taking a trip back inside his mind during the MRI and facing that bandaged nogitsune and that riddle once again. "A shadow," he finally answered as the bandages came off and he faced himself – well, his dark, creepy self. Then came a power surge in the hospital, the lights flickered, and Stiles disappeared from the MRI as everything went haywire on the roof.

After getting dressed, dark Stiles faced off with Kira's mother. "You know me," she told him. "Then you remember that I won't be deterred by your choice of host, even if it's an innocent boy." Two Oni appeared behind her. "We're not really afraid of your little fireflies," dark Stiles said. "If the Oni can't defeat you, I know someone who will," she warned him as he walked away. Outside, a live wire swung toward Kira.

"Teen Wolf" season 3 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on MTV. What did you think of episode 18, "Riddled"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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