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'Teen Wolf' 'The Fox and the Wolf' recap: The nogitsune's origins revealed

'Teen Wolf' season 3 episode 21 "The Fox and the Wolf"
'Teen Wolf' season 3 episode 21 "The Fox and the Wolf"

Can they save Stiles? The Monday, March 3 episode of "Teen Wolf," 3x21, "The Fox and the Wolf," features Kira's mother spending a long time telling Kira and Scott that she doesn't think they can, while Sheriff Stilinski turns to two hunters and a werewolf for help.

Let's go back to the beginning

This "Teen Wolf" episode has a lot of flashbacks as Kira's mother tells her daughter and Scott the origins of the nogitsune. That photo that Stiles and Malia found was of Kira's mother in 1943, and she looks just like her daughter. It turns out she's actually 900. But don't worry, Kira, your father's 43. As for the sword, it was actually shattered the last time it was used against the nogitsune. Kira's father had lied to Allison about the internment camp because he doesn't trust hunters, and he had been so obsessed with finding out the truth about Oak Creek, it's now he met Kira's mother. (Maybe "HIMYM" could learn something from "Teen Wolf" – that was a nice, short story.) But where did the nogitsune come from in the first place? "Isn't it obvious yet?" Kira's mother asks. (No, it's not. Nothing is obvious on this show.) "It came from me."

In 1943, two soldiers were preparing to burn bodies of Japanese Americans when one kept asking the other riddles, including "What has a neck but no head?" That was when the nogitsune showed up, killed one soldier and repeated that riddle to the other before ripping his head off. But it took flashbacks showing what happened leading up to that to tell the whole story.

Kira's mother, Noshiko, went around stealing supplies, but there was one soldier, Rhys, who was nice to them, and it turned out she and Rhys were together. They were happy, it was sweet, and so it had to end badly. And end badly it did. The "Casablanca" story quickly took a tragic turn. Pneumonia spread at the camp, and while Noshiko wasn't affected because one of the kitsune's talents was never getting sick, others did. Rhys discovered that the doctor had two soldiers (the ones the nogitsune killed) selling medicine on the black market, so it wasn't available to those who were sick. After a boy died, a riot broke out, and a soldier ended up pistol-whipping an older woman who advanced on him. She turned out to be a werewolf, and she grabbed a Molotov cocktail the boy's father had made and threw it at Rhys. After that, shots were fired, and Noshiko was hit enough times to be so weak she appeared dead.

She and Rhys ended up in the truck together, and she called out to her ancestors to help her make the soldiers and the administration of the camp pay for what they did. But since the nogitsune has a dark sense of humor, it didn't possess her; it possessed Rhys, and all she could do was watch as it killed the two soldiers. By the time she returned to the camp, there were bodies everywhere. She took the sword and fought it in the tunnels, and after the werewolf got her claws in its back, she stabbed it with the sword. When she pulled it out, the blade shattered, and she caught the fly that came out of Rhys' mouth.

Noshiko explains to Kira that they need a bolt of lightning to put the blade back together, and that's where Kira comes in, because she's a thunder kitsune. It works, and the sword's now Kira's. If the oni can't stop Stiles, it's up to her. However, Scott doesn’t like that plan. "You want to save Stiles? Kill him. That's the only way," Noshiko tells him. Sometimes it doesn't help if you learn from past mistakes.

A final flashback sequence shows that Noshiko buried the jar with the fly in the roots of the nemeton. Scott, Stiles and Allison's sacrifice brought its power back. They were the ones to let the demon out of the cage.

Will new allies save Stiles?

While Parrish doesn't want to give Argent his stick that's "a few watts from being a lightsaber" as he and Derek are leaving the station after the Sheriff took care of the charges, Stilinski intervenes and recruits them to help him. It turns out we don't have to be worried about that MRI because it's the exact same one as Stiles' mother. The nogitsune tricked them because the best way to defeat an enemy is to take away their hope. It's not just a fight for Stiles' body, but for his mind as well, and the Sheriff is hoping they can use their experience to help him trap the nogitsune.

Allison joins the hunt as they realize the nogitsune is just getting them to repeat the same moves. They're trying to outfox a fox, and so they split up, with Argent and Derek sticking together and Allison going with Sheriff Stilinski, so he's the one who's with her when she has a mini-breakdown, which is normal given everything that's happened. It all begins when he mentions that he doesn't know how they do it, how they're all so strong and fearless and keeping their grades up too. (Well, she's failing econ, but the Sheriff will talk to Coach about that.) She then confesses, "I'm not fearless. I'm terrified. I'm always terrified. I act like I know what I'm doing, but I don't. I don't know if Isaac is dying right now. I don't know if I made a mistake with Scott. I don't know what my dad is thinking. I don't know if we should trust Derek. I don't know, I don't know anything." He hugs her and tells her she'll be okay, but then before they can continue on their way, his phone buzzes. He put cameras in his house as a precaution and the one in Stiles' bedroom shows him sitting on the bed waving creepily at the camera.

When the four convene in Stiles' room, the chess board he used to show his father everything is out, and Derek's name is on the king – and he's one move away from being in checkmate. (Isaac's not even on the board.) The Sheriff doesn't think it's a trap, however, and reasons that they're dealing with a trickster. All they need to do is come up with a new punch line for the joke.

What's nogitsune Stiles up to?

The nogitsune's not just sitting back and waving creepily at cameras in Stiles' bedroom. He does pay Kira's father a visit in his classroom to try to get the location of his wife's final dagger (the physical representation of her tails), and while he tries to direct the nogitsune to reading material, the trickster would much rather use a fly to try to get him to talk. "They always talk," he says. (But Kira's father is fine since Kira's mother had her bring magic mushrooms to heal him.)

After Sheriff Stilinski shows that he's caught on pretty fast to the supernatural happenings of his town, he's the one who opens the door to Derek's loft, and Stiles turns to greet him. "Hi, Dad." So nothing really happens all episode, but it's setting up something major to happen next week, especially if you just look at the midseason trailer.

"Teen Wolf" season 3 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on MTV. What did you think of episode 21, "The Fox and the Wolf"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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