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‘Teen Wolf’ Season 3 Episode 18 Recap: “Riddled”

teen wolf riddled

Stiles goes missing; Scott and the others set off on a search; Lydia tries to master her new abilities.

Five second recap of last week’s Teen Wolf: Stiles may or may not be possessed by a dark kitsune spirit known as the nogitsune. Either way, he definitely has the ability to kill un-killable things. Shit is going down.

This week, Stiles goes missing in the middle of the night with no idea as to where he is, how he got there, or how to get himself out. Let’s jump into the top ten moments recap!

1. Teen Wolf, the Horror Movie Edition

In the episode’s gripping first scene, a panicky Stiles calls up best buddy Scott McCall to say he must have been sleepwalking because he’s trapped in an unknown place in the middle of the night, and can Scott get him out of here right now please? It’s an intense, dizzying opening sequence; because all we see is Scott’s side of the conversation as he’s standing in a darkened room freaking out, Stiles’ faint voice coming in over the phone sounds even creepier.

Stiles doesn’t have much to tell Scott about where he is, but he’s very adamant about one thing: no matter what, Scott can’t tell Papa Stilinksi that Stiles has gone missing. He trusts Scott to figure this out himself, but Scott knows rescue missions work better with groups, so he enlists Isaac’s help as Stiles’ phone begins to die. By the time Isaac is dressed and ready to go a-rescuing, Stiles calls them back, tells Scott he’s figured out he’s in some sort of industrial basement, he’s pinned and bleeding from the legs, it’s really, really cold, and… there might be someone else in the basement with him. NOOOPE. So much nope.

2. Kira’s got powers, they’re multiplying

Some of the mystery around Kira and her kitsune powers is explained in this episode, when Kira accidentally makes a lightbulb explode when her foxfire makes it get too hot. Kira’s mother – Mama Yukimura, as I shall dub her from now on – goes in to chastise her daughter for staying up late, then screws in a replacement lightbulb. As she does so, a few sparks visibly fly from her fingers and into the new lightbulb. Ohh, so that’s where Kira got this thing from! She got it from her mama!

3. Red threads are for unsolved cases

Scott and Isaac head to Stiles’ house, where they run into Aiden and Lydia (whose powers allowed her to overhear Stile’s conversation with Scott). Aiden and Lydia want to help, but Stiles’ room, which has been converted into some sort of giant corkboard for cases Stiles has been trying to singlehandedly solve, is a little over everyone’s head.

Lydia is furious when she finds out Scott and Isaac haven’t called the cops yet. Aiden helpfully points out that Lydia only gets these Feelings of hers when someone is about to die. They’re able to convince Scott, who heads straight to the Sheriff’s office to find Papa Stilinksi.

4. Bear traps seem to be in style this season

Our first glimpse of Stiles in this episode is him crying in pain with his foot trapped in a bear trap. Not gonna lie, my first thought jumped to Papa Bear Trap, AKA Malia’s trigger-happy father from a few episodes ago, because who else in this show would buy bear traps in bulk? I know, I know, crazy theory that’ll be proven untrue in like five seconds.

Stiles hears sounds of someone else in the basement with him. Using the flashlight on his phone, he looks for his would-be attacker, and ends up having some sort of hallucination involving the chalk he used to damn Kira, and the oni’s symbol for “self” scrawled on the walls.

5. And the search continues

Sheriff Stilinski embarks on a desperate rampage to find his missing son. With the combined efforts of the cops and Scott’s pack, they pinpoint where Stiles’ Jeep is – Mama McCall’s hospital – and track Stiles’ scent to the hospital roof, where the scent then goes cold. Isaac runs off to find Allison, who hasn’t been answering her phone because it was shut off without her knowing. Derek and Scott stay behind where they figure out Stiles had been struggling with himself on the roof, and that his strongest emotions prior to going missing were stress and anxiety.

Derek heads to the high school to find more leads as Scott joins up with Papa Stilinski again. Meanwhile, Lydia and Aiden discover a new layer to Lydia’s powers; whenever they touch one of the strings on Stiles’ giant corkboard of death, Lydia hears whispering voices that point her to the mental health center where William Barrow the Shrapnel Bomber was committed. That’s where Stiles is. Mystery solved! And now to actually save him before he freezes to death or is mauled by demons.

teen wolf riddled nogitsune

6. Speaking of demons…

We return to a still panicking, still freezing his ass off Stiles. The man who’s been in the room with him finally reveals himself, speaking Japanese to Stiles in an frighteningly ominous tone of voice. When Stiles asks who he is, the man switches to English and states, “Not ‘who are you,” Stiles. ‘Who are we.'” Is this the nogitsune spirit in Stiles?!

All signs point to “yes,” as the creature/man opens its mouth to show shiny metal spikes for teeth, like in the other nogitsune spirit we’ve seen. The creature tells Stiles that “we’re trying to save your life,” and urges Stiles to leave the basement before he dies of hypothermia. Then it starts asking Stiles riddles, because it can’t just be a nice little demon spirit and show Stiles the way out itself. When Stiles fails to answer one of the riddles, it begins to drag Stiles away into the dark.

7. Where in the world is Stiles Stilinski?

On Lydia’s urging, Papa Stilinski, Scott, Lydia and Aiden head to the mental health center’s basement. Stiles, however, isn’t there – which frustrates Papa Stilinski (who after this is probably going to want his son to stay as far away from the supernatural as humanly possible) and confuses Lydia, who’s beginning to doubt her powers. It turns out the location is correct, when we see the oni’s symbol carved into the wall, but Stiles has somehow been moved… or did he leave of his own accord?

Agent McCall and Mama McCall join the search as well, with Agent McCall offering a theory that Stiles may still be asleep and sleepwalking, and that none of the information that he gave Scott – being in a basement, having his legs trapped, etc – is anything they can use to find him. We’re also treated to some background on the McCalls’ failed relationship: Agent McCall apparently used to come home drunk a lot.

Luckily, Agent McCall has more than just a theory about Stiles’ sleepwalking; he also has a hunch about where Stiles is. And for once, he’s right on the money! He and Mama McCall are able to save Stiles, wake him up, and bring him to the hospital.

8. And yet, everything is still not okay

The next morning, Stiles is still resting in the hospital, Mama McCall is uncomfortably telling Papa Stilinski about his son’s symptoms matching those of Claudia Stilinski’s before she died, and Derek Hale has sort-of kidnapped Kira from school to get her to show him what happened that night Barrow tried to kill her. (He has a theory about the nogitsune possessing people with strength and power, and is more than a little skeptical of why it would choose Stiles for its purposes. Seems like everyone has a theory today.) Derek asks Kira to tell him everything she knows about foxfire.

Back at the school, Isaac and Allison approach history teacher Papa Yukimura to ask about some strange audio messages in Japanese that Allison found on her phone. He translates some of the messages, describing a man instructing people to stay away from some fences constructed around Japanese internment camps during World War II. Wait, but how did those get on Allison’s phone? Yukimura believes the message to be a fake, because the name of the internment camp – Oak Creek – didn’t actually exist in Californian history.

9. Lydia, your powers are speaking truths to you so LISTEN

Lydia’s been hearing sounds ever since last night when she and Scott last saw Stiles, but she’s doing her best to ignore them, believing that they’re going to steer her wrong again. Meanwhile, Stiles is getting some tests done at the hospital. As the room clears, Stiles tells Scott about frontotemporal dementia, a disorder that his mother had and that the doctors suspect he might have as well. Scott tells Stiles that if it comes down to it, he’ll do whatever it takes to save him – like, perhaps, turning him into a werewolf to save his life. Ugh, my heart.

Stiles goes in to take his tests, and that’s when it all clicks; the clanging sounds Lydia has been hearing, are the sounds coming from the machine that Stiles is currently in. Something is about to go terribly, terribly wrong.

10. Derek imparts some knowledge, Stiles answers riddles

Derek believes that Barrow used Kira’s foxfire to jumpstart the nogitsune’s possession of Stiles, and goes to tell Scott just that. He also gives a minute-long exposition on where Cora has been all this time (South America, otherwise known as starring in The CW’s Reign), and what that whole ritual with Derek’s dead mother’s werewolf nails told him (that Beacon Hills needs a protector, and Scott’s it.) The conversation makes Scott realize something: that Stiles had been trying to protect his loved ones this whole time. The struggle on the hospital roof wasn’t just Stiles fighting with himself, he was fighting not to let the nogitsune do something terrible… and Scott figures out just what that is, when he and Derek discover a bag of tools, and a cut fuse on some very important machinery.

While they’re making that discovery, Stiles ends up diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia – parts of his brain are showing signs of atrophy. Stiles falls back into his hallucinations as the nogitsune tells him he must answer the final riddle. The creature rips off the bandages concealing its face, screaming at him as Stiles tries to think… and when Stiles finally gets the answer right, the final piece of cloth falls off, and it’s Stiles underneath the mask. Oh man, I knew what was happening as soon as the bandages started coming off but it’s still so good.

The nogitsune seems to fully take over Stiles just as the power station above the hospital, the one with the cut fuse, blows up. As the rest of the hospital flees, Stiles prowls the empty halls before coming face to face with none other than Mama Yukimura, who seems to know exactly what it is that’s possessing Stiles, AND  has a posse of Oni to help her smack it down. Oh, Mama Yukimura, you badass.

As Stiles walks away pretending to be unconcerned, she warns him that if the Oni can’t stop him, she still knows what will – and the camera cuts to Kira standing outside the hospital as a giant cable of electricity comes barreling towards her.

Rating: A

Memorable Quotes

Scott: Stiles, why are you whispering?
Stiles: Because I think there’s someone in here with me.

Aiden: [Stiles] likes you a lot, doesn’t he?
Lydia: Maybe he likes the drawing a lot.
Aiden: [Reading note on framed drawing] “From Lydia.”

Papa Stilinski: McCall. Can you shut up, please, and accept my sincerest gratitude?

Lab Tech: Okay, Stiles, this is going to take about forty five minutes to an hour. Now remember, try not to move. Even just a little bit.

Nogitsune!Stiles: Are you threatening us?
Mama Yukimura: [Two Oni appear behind her] Now I’m threatening you.