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‘Teen Wolf’ Season 3 Episode 21 Recap: “The Fox and the Wolf”

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Kira realizes her unusual abilities.

And we’re back for another “Top Ten Moments of a Teen Wolf Episode!” Let’s jump right into the recap.

1. Flashbacks Galore

This week’s episode of Teen Wolf makes a few trips back to 1943 as it explains how the nogitsune came to be. In the first flashback, we see two American soldiers unloading the bodies of Japanese-American civilians into a mass grave, when the nogitsune appears and kills them both.

2. #SomeoneHelpPapaYukimura

Papa Yukimura is randomly doing work at the high school on a Saturday afternoon – which is convenient, because now Completely Possessed Stiles can swan in and intimidate Papa Yukimura into giving up the location of his wife’s tails. His chosen method of intimidation is sending a fly down Yukimura’s throat to “make him talk.” First off, ew, and secondly – wait, how’s that supposed to do anything?

Thankfully, Papa Yukimura is saved from choking to death on a demon fly by his wife, Kira, and Scott (with a little help from magic mushrooms.) Mama Yukimura then, finally, decides to update everyone on what the fuck is going on by way of sepia-toned flashbacks.

3. Mama Yukimura and the Secret Fountain of Youth

Okay, not really. What Mama Yukimura actually reveals is that she’s around nine hundred years old and lookin’ like a hottie who’s barely aged at all. The first time she and her Oni did battle against the nogitsune was in 1943, at a Japanese internment camp called Oak Creek – which should sound familiar to y’all, because that was the camp mentioned in Allison’s strange voicemail a few episodes back.

A series of flashbacks take us back to 1943, where we discover that Noshiko Yukimura had been in the Oak Creek internment camp. She was a bit of a spitfire back then, stealing extra supplies and rations and having a secret (and surprisingly cute) relationship with an American medic, but all that ended when Japanese-American people in the camps started getting sick with pneumonia, and vital medicines were being stolen away from them.

The existence of the camp was covered up after certain events took place there – events like Mama Yukimura’s younger self causing the nogitsune (but more on that later!)

4. Djesus How Long Have These Guys Been In Jail

Papa Stilinski gets the charges against Derek and Papa Argent dropped, so they’re free to go – but before they do, Stilinski shows them the brain scans of his wife and son. Stiles’ brain scan is impossibly identical to his mother’s, which means the nogitsune is using Stiles’ knowledge and fear of the disease to play mind games with him and bend him to its will. Papa Stilinski asks for Argent and Derek’s help in trapping the nogitsune.

5. Avengers, Assemble

The newly released Papa Argent and Derek meet up with Allison and Papa Stilinski later on to work on a game plan to “outfox the fox.” There’s a brilliant scene between Allison and Papa Stilinski as they’re prepping for their takedown, where Allison confesses to being terrified all the time, and that not knowing is killing her. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Crystal Reed is fantastic and probably the best actor out of the teen characters.

Papa Stilinski comforts her by telling her she sounds just like a cop, and Allison pulls herself back together so they can go on their mission – just in time for a notification to pop up on Stilinski’s phone saying Stiles has broken into the Stilinski house.

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6. The Birth of the Nogitsune

Angry about their medicine being held back and grieving for their dead, the people in Oak Creek rioted – and when one of the Japanese-American women is hit by a soldier, her secret werewolf side rears its head. She throws a Molotov Cocktail, burning Noshiko’s lover Rhys to a crisp. The rest of the American soldiers open fire on everyone. Noshiko is shot, assumed dead, but her kitsune powers kept her alive. Later, she discovers that the Americans were covering up the incident by getting rid of the bodies, and that Rhys had died in pain from his extent of his burns.

Noshiko woke up on the truck taking the bodies to the mass grave to find Rhys next to her. She prayed to her ancestors for a nogitsune to avenge them, one that “feeds off chaos, strife, and pain” to take control of her body – but the trickster spirit had other ideas, choosing instead to possess Rhys. It was Rhys’ body, controlled by the spirit, that killed the American soldiers in the initial flashback.

7. Fox and Wolf Team Up, 1943 Edition

The nogitsune didn’t stop there, however – it went on to terrorize all the survivors in Oak Creek, Japanese-American and American alike. When Noshiko finally made her way back to the internment camp, she found everyone dead, and realized she needed to stop him. Grabbing a sword (how the hell did she sneak that into the camp?), Noshiko and the nogitsune face off in an alleyway. The werewolf woman from before appears to help her out, and together they seem to be able to slay the creature. So how did the nogitsune come back now? And why?

8. Finally we get to the “Kira’s Abilities” segment of this episode

Honestly, Mama Yukimura. You’re badass, you’re gorgeous, and I love you, but did you really have to take all this time to tell your story? It’s almost sundown! You couldn’t give the spark notes version?!

We jump firmly to the present, where Mama Yukimura helps Kira to use her lightning bolt-esque powers to restore the katana that had been shattered when she killed the nogitsune the first time around. We also get an official name for what Kira is: a Thunder Kitsune!

9. Dark!Stiles Continues His Mind Game Fuckery

The rest of the crew (Stilinski, Allison, Derek, and Argent) reconvene at the Stilinski household to see what Stiles was doing there. In Stiles’ room, they find a chessboard with sticky notes attached to the pieces – the same method Human!Stiles used awhile ago to explain all this supernatural stuff to his dad. Allison and her father interpret the message to be a threat from the nogitsune, but Papa Stilinski thinks it’s playing another trick on them, and to outwit the fox, they need to “come up with a new punchline.”

10. Cliffhanger Time!

With the katana now fully functional, Mama Yukimura hands the blade over to Kira, saying “my power is now yours,” and that if the final Oni can’t stop the nogitsune, the duty falls to Kira and Scott, her wolf. When Scott points out that Mama Yukimura actually didn’t tell them anything helpful regarding how to stop the nogitsune, she tells them that killing Stiles is the only way.

Allison texts Scott the location of the final showdown – Derek’s loft – and Scott decisively tells the Yukimuras that he’s not going to kill his best friend, that he’ll find another way. But as Kira leaves with him, she trades a loaded look with her mother, a look that might mean Kira’s going to have to do what Scott can’t.

Now alone, the Yukimuras reveal one last surprise for the audience: Noshiko hadn’t actually killed the nogitsune the first time around, instead trapping the nogitsune firefly in a jar and burying it under the nematon. When Scott, Stiles, and Allison sacrificed themselves last season, they released the demon from its cage.

Rating: B-

Memorable Quotes

Nogitsune: What has a neck but no head? [rips soldier’s head off]

Kira: You’re not seriously giving Dad magic mushrooms?!

Kira: Okay. Why not. Dad, how old are you?
Papa Yukimura: Forty-three. But I’ve been told I look mid-thirties.

Baby-faced Police Dude: That thing’s a few watts away from being a lightsaber.

Woman: The young fox always knows the rules so she can break them. An older, wiser animal learns the exceptions to the rules.

Noshiko: Are you seriously quoting Japanese proverbs at me?
Rhys: “The snake that sticks out gets hammered down.” It’s a good proverb.

Rhys: I thought you liked it when I’m tough.
Noshiko: I like chocolate more.

Kira: Okay, stop, just stop! We don’t wanna hear your Casablanca story, we wanna know how to save Stiles. [I died of laughter]

Derek: I’m not gonna be the first wolf to run from a fox.

Papa Stilinski: I don’t know how you guys do it. You’re all so strong. You’re fearless. And you manage to keep your grades up.
Allison: …Well. I am failing Econ.

Mama Yukimura: Do you trust me?
Kira: I just found out you’re 900 years old. I don’t think I’m ever gonna trust you again.

Papa Stilinski: It wants irony. It wants a trick, it wants to play a joke. All we have to do is come up with a new punchline.

Papa Yukimura: Sometimes history does repeat itself, Scott.
Scott: Only if you don’t learn.
Yukimura: Sometimes even then. Fate conspires against you.