Sunday, February 23, 2014

Teen Wolf - 3.19 - Letharia Vulpina - Recap

Note - In order to make the recap flow better, I combined several scenes into single paragraphs. They flipped from Lydia to Argent to Scott back and forth all night so the order of events will be different in the recap.

Previously - Scott took the pain of a random woman, Derek used Talia's claws to commune with his dead mom, Allison pep talked Isaac, and DarkStiles arose taking out the hospital electricity.

For reasons I don't get, Teen Wolf cold opens on a psychotic Japanese mob boss who takes pleasure in drunk threatening his underlings over a pet wolf. It is the most overacted scene of the night and Coach appears in this episode twice. He blathers until Deaton arrives. Ah, that's the point. Deaton, good to see you. I hope you enjoyed your Tahitian vacation. Psycho: "Have you worked with wolves before?" Deaton: "Here and there." Ha! He suspects the wolf ingested a poisonous lichen and demands to see it. Oddly, the moss creeps out the big bad gangsters so the boss himself takes Deaton to the source. What? Deaton's in Japan? The cool fountain from Argent's flashbacks is back. Actually so are the flashbacks themselves, which is even weirder. Was Deaton there? If so, why didn't Argent mention it? If not, how does he know about the gun deal? Deaton gives Psycho a bottle and starts cutting off the lichen. Psycho: "Do you really think Yuki got in here and ate this stuff?" Deaton: "Actually I think Yuki probably doesn’t come anywhere near here. I doubt if you could even drag him in." Deaton knows about Psycho's father and the nogitsune, which doesn't go over well with Psycho. However, crafty Deaton put a paralytic on the bottle and Psycho drops to the ground hard, but not before we get a lesson in the title. Letharia Vulpina is wolf lichen, toxic to both wolves and foxes. Deaton gave the wolf a paralytic earlier too. Huh? How the heck did he get close enough to the pet wolf of a mobster to paralyze it. They obviously did not know him when he walked in. This opening makes no sense. Deaton monologues about why he needs this particular lichen. Deaton: "Born out of the blood of a nogitsune, this lichen is quite special, more powerful than you know." Psycho: "What? What are you going to use it for?" Deaton: "There's a fox hiding inside a teenage boy and I'm going to poison it." And apparently use mad ninja skills to get past the other mobsters.

Seven minutes in and I'm already confused. Good thing we head back to the hospital live wire that Stiles planned to attack Kira because he knew she would be right there….oh forget it. That made no sense either. It does make a good action sequence though. The wire targets Kira in snake-like movements but ends up distracting an ambulance driver who runs into a hydrant. Live wires and water are a bad combo. Instead of staying in the ambulance like a competent EMT, the driver steps right into the electrified water. Death #1 tonight. It won't be the last. Kira yells for everyone to stay away, which of course means Allison and Isaac head right for the water. Isaac pushes Allison to safety, but gets bug zapped himself. Beacon Hills is filled with complete idiots who keep getting out of their cars in the water. Again, take a freaking Red Cross class people. Even your EMT's are clueless. I'm momentarily distracted from the stupidity by Kira's Cirque du Soleil flips over a car. Apparently acrobatics is inherent in all kinds of were-creatures. She lands next to the live wire right as Derek and Scott get there. Thankfully Sensei Derek keeps Scott from heading into the water too. Kira grabs the live wire and intakes all the power, causing her eyes to glow orange. In front of every freaking person in the parking lot and coming out of the hospital. So much for a secret identity. Tell me no one got that on their camera. Instant YouTube fame. Derek is more worried about Isaac, and since he's not breathing, that's probably good. Suddenly we pan on to a sleeping Scott. Huh? Oh this whole section was a flash back. Snippets of a burned Isaac heading into the hospital and Kira's mom scolding her for putting on a show flash through Scott's head. Agent Parrish, snarky detective from last week, tells Sheriff that Stiles left the hospital and DoucheDad figures out the wire was cut. Whew, a lot going on in Scott's dreams.

Two days later, Scott greets the morning with Derek's voice in his head. Derek: "You have to tell Stilinski. You have to tell him what's really wrong with Stiles." Seriously, we're back to secrets. That never works. As Scott gets ready for school, he breaks Melissa's reverie for an update. I love how much she cares about Scott's friends. Melissa: "They're still looking for him. It's past the 48 hour mark but I guess if anyone's going to be missing for 2 days and turn up just fine, then it's Stiles." Scott: "What about Isaac?" Melissa: "Maybe we should go by the hospital before school." Sheriff is also deep in thought, staring at a text from Stiles. "Am ok. Please don't look for me. Be back soon." They need to microchip the kids in Beacon Hills. Parrish interrupts his anxiety so Sheriff can sign for office supplies and DoucheDad talks about the rising Yakuza problem. Say what? Deaton was in Beacon Hills? Argent's meeting wasn't in Japan? Again I'm so confused. I guess that proves the Oni aren't new to Beacon Hills though. The McCalls head to the hospital where Allison crashed all night. She explains she wasn't allowed to see Isaac since she's not family. Allison: " I told them he doesn't have any." Melissa: "Well he's got us and I've got a keycard. Be quick." Mama McCall to the rescue. Sadly the hospital is also out of rooms because they've shoved Isaac in the medical supply room where they faced Blake and the alphas in The Overlooked. Allison grabs Scott's hand as they stand over a non-healing Isaac. She asks about Isaac's pain and Scott takes it on himself until he can't any longer. Oh baby, all around. Allison: "Stiles really do this?" Scott: "Whatever's controlling him did it. Whatever's inside him." Allison: "Well then how do we get whatever's inside of him the hell out of him?" Scott: "I'm working on it." I love how Scott will not give up on Stiles no matter what.

At the high school, Kira exposits her nogitsune homework. Seriously, it's causing all this damage because someone hurt its feelings. Grow up, dark trickster and let Stiles go. While Kira talks about offending the nogitsune, the camera pans in on Coach. Bwah! Happy to see you, Coach. He yells about finding Stiles and bought a card for Isaac. Aww, I knew he was a softie. Deep, deep down. Coach: "There's a card on my desk for Isaac Lahey, and every one of you losers is not only going to sign it, you're going to write a personal message so profound and deep it's going bring a tear to Coach's eye. Who's first, huh? Danny, that's how you do it buddy. Keep it PG." Ha! I love Coach. He's often the only comic relief around. On the other side of the locker room, Scott and the twins worry. Aiden: "No Stiles, no demonic ninjas." Ethan: "Things are getting too quiet." Scott: "Yeah I know. Yeah it's making me nervous too." Anyone thinking calm before yet another catastrophe? Scott hears Argent's emitter stake and they follow it to the basement. Really guys? You're already living a horror movie. But it brings the first Stiles glimpse of the night, so yippee. 14 minutes without Stiles might be a Teen Wolf record. Stiles: "Okay, I know what you guys are thinking, but it's me. I swear to God, it's me." Yeah but for how long? The alpha twins agree. Attack time. They pin him to a locker but Scott pulls rank and out roars them. Stiles: "It's me, Scott. I swear it's me. I don't know where I've been the last 2 days or what I've been doing, but this is me I promise." Aw, good. Nice to have you back, buddy. Stiles pulls out the plans to blow out the hospital electricity and says he knows he did it. Sadly, it appears he planned even more. Aiden: "What the hell have you been up to?" Stiles: "I think something worse. A lot worse."

They uncover a map that intersects with Malia's car sanctuary and where GriefCrazyFather put all the traps. It's also where the cross-country team is practicing. Strangely lacrosse seems to have flipped from a fall to spring sport. Not much tension over traps on a lacrosse field I guess. There is some crazy outright sprinting going on for a cross-country practice though. Kira inherited speed with that fox glow. She easily outpaces Danny and Stiles' Jeep. Coach is shocked to see him but the runners already left. As Stiles tries to explain, Ethan and Scott book it. Ethan catches up to Danny, knocking him down. Danny: "What the hell are you doing?" Ethan: "Uh…I missed you." To cover his lame lie, they smooch passionately. Way to knock a guy off his feet, Ethan? Scott goes for a twirling grasp with Kira instead. She's excited about her new speed; Stiles is worried someone will walk into a trap. Surprisingly when Stiles tells people to stop in the middle of a beautifully lit forest with no sign of trouble, they actually do. Kira might want lessons given the electrified water fiasco. Stiles lifts up a chain, but it's a decoy. Coach trips the real thing and an arrow flies into his stomach. Coach: "Oh cr**." Sorry, but that totally made me laugh. Coach proceeds to have the most hysterical freak out in the history of freak outs. He screams about pulling the arrow out (again the need for emergency training) and how he's going to die. Aiden: "It will hurt less if you stop moving, Coach." Ah, the voice of reason again. Scott and Stiles have a silent conversation while Aiden demands everyone step back. I'd check the area first before any other arrows come flying. Just saying. Scott does his magic hands act, taking away enough of Coach's pain for him to pass out. No idea how that works, but I worry Scott's taking in too much pain today. Will it make him easier to overpower later? With a quiet Coach, it's time for Stiles to freak. Stiles: "I could have killed him. Alright what if it was his head or his throat or…" Scott: "But it wasn't and he's going to be alright." Aww Scott, you have all the right words tonight.

Lydia, not so much, especially after seeing her mom flirt with Peter. That can never end well. She goes to confront him, but Peter disappears in the crowd. He told her mom he was from the Health Board, there to schedule hearing tests. Lydia: "Hearing tests? He was talking about hearing?" Mom: "Yes, hearing. I'm guessing we should sign you up. He gave me his card." Lydia: "Mom, this is a piece of paper with a phone number written on it." Mom: "I know. Still got it." I see where Lydia gets it now. Lydia's mom actually cracks me up so I hope we see more of her. (She's also playing mom to an alien on Star-Crossed in case you missed it.) Lydia decides to get help with her banshee skills from Peter. Allison objects to this plan. "While it's smart to bring me with you, I still think the rest of this is totally insane." Going to Derek's place to meet Peter? Yeah that qualifies as insane. Lydia is more focused on answers however, as she still feels the sting of Stiles not being in the mental institution. Lydia: "Look I just…need to figure this out and he is the only one offering help." Allison: "Peter doesn't offer help. He offers a chance for you to be manipulated into giving him what he wants." So very true. They go in anyway. Hello Peter snark, I've missed you. Peter: "The hunter and the banshee, ladies come in." I'd follow that spin-off. Lydia and Peter argue over Allison's presence, but Lydia prevails. Lydia: "The last time I was alone with you, I almost bled out on the lacrosse field. She stays." Good point. Peter tries to spin the situation as actually doing Lydia a favor, which, since it is 5 miles deep into Crazy Town, doesn't work. Allison votes to leave but Peter proves he can help Lydia focus the noise in her head. They stay but Peter wants help in recovering a memory Talia stole from him. I knew those claws were trouble. Lydia: "Why would your sister want to steal a memory from you?" Peter: "Well if I remembered the memory, I might be able to tell you." Ha!

Peter's banshee advice boils down to concentrate, so he's pretty much useless to Lydia. He is however a fount of knowledge for us. He claims Lydia's scream drowns out background noise; the scream itself is not important. Lydia powers without killing my ears? I'm good with that. Peter: "Your hearing is attuned to a level of the universe no one else can hear, but only if you're listening." Probably hard to concentrate with you yammering at her like this, Peter. Allison agrees and bring out a cattle prod. Peter brings out his claws. Peter: "Your aunt had one of those. Auntie Kate?" Lydia: "Stop it, both of you." Peter: "Didn't do her much good as I ripped her throat out…" Allison: "She didn't shove it up your…" Lydia breaks the tension by hurling the claws like darts into the wall. Woo hoo, I love when Lydia stands up for herself. I guess yelling works as well as screaming because she now hears a whisper. Lydia: "You're not just an uncle." Huh? What the heck does that mean? Peter looks stunned as well. Maury Povich: "You are the father." Oh come on, you know you were thinking it too. Peter wants details, but Lydia is fuzzy on them. Lydia: "I said I don't know. I don't know its name, if it’s a boy or a girl or if it's some mutated wolf baby." Bwah! I can't wait for the spotlight on Lydia in season 4. Peter is less impressed and goes ballistic, so Allison tasers him. Allison: "Now we're leaving." Bwah! 10 points to Allison. Back in the car, Lydia knows more than she said. Malia is Peter's daughter. Huh? A wolf and a coyote? What? Oh whatever. Peter as a father is a terrible idea.

Meanwhile back to a story that makes sense, Argent returns to find his apartment door ajar. (See what I did there.) For a kick butt arms dealer, Argent sure has problems with security. He finds an emitter stuck in his beautiful desk and an angry Derek on the attack. Argent: "Why are you breaking into my apartment?' Derek: "Why are you leaving emitters in my loft?" It's a stalemate with Argent's gun at Derek's temple and Derek's claws around Argent's throat. The tension is awesome. They call truce since they've both had no luck searching for Stiles. Apparently no one thought to call to say Stiles is okay. They need a phone tree or social media. Derek: "Okay, we're both trying to find Stiles. Mind if I ask what you plan on doing if you find him." Argent: "Well that depends on which Stiles I find." Yikes! DarkStiles better watch his back. Argent finds the briefcase of cash they didn't take in the gun deal and before they say trap, DoucheDad walks in with Katashi's silver finger. Huh? Katashi's dead and guess who just became prime suspects? Handcuffed to a bench in the police station, Derek and Argent are as confused as me. Argent: "So I don't suppose you have any idea why Stiles would frame us for murder." Derek: "I didn't think Stiles was smart enough to frame us for murder." Bwaahhh!!! Argent is skeptical about being framed; I'm skeptical of having any real clue of what's happening this episode. Argent wants his attorney to represent both of them. Now Derek is skeptical. Basically Argent wants time to figure things out before they are questioned. Sounds like a good plan to me. Derek: "I could easily get out of these, you know?" Argent: "So could I, but I'm not interested in being a fugitive from the law." Derek: "Well I'm not interested in being a victim to a 17-year-old possessed by a psychotic fox." Ha! Derek can turn a phrase. Argent: "Just give me a few more minutes. Derek!" Derek: "Fine. If something happens don't expect me to risk my life trying to save yours." These two are fantastic together! We need more time on this partnership.

Back in the woods, an ambulance whisks away Coach while Stiles and Sheriff hug in the background. Aww, my heart hurts for these two. Sadly, the moment passes when Aiden finds wrapping paper in Stiles' Jeep. That can only mean one thing - bomb! Scott and Aiden figure the bomb is on a bus, which sends Kira's dad into a panic. They clear everyone out except…poor Jared, the vomiter on the cross-country bus trip. He has no luck on buses. Sadly, he picked up the present-wrapped bomb. Even worse, the police evacuate the kids only about 100 yards. Say what? Those kids would be halfway to another town in any normal school. Exploding bus shrapnel is not covered by insurance. Parrish, our new favorite deputy, tells Sheriff he has mad Army bomb diffusion skills so he heads over despite Sheriff's misgivings. Nooo! I just bothered to learn your name. Parrish: "Jared, it would be very helpful if you could resist throwing up on the potential explosive device." Bwaahh! Best quote of the night. No dying for you. Jared is nervous about Parrish's age so he cuts him off midsentence. Jared: "You…you look really…" Parrish: "Handsome. Thank you. For a second there I thought you were going to say I look really young and I was going to have to launch into my explanation about how I'm actually 24 and anyone can look young if the eat right and exercise. Although it's probably just good genes anyway, right?" No, Agent Parrish has NOT just lost his mind. He rambles to take Jared's mind off the bomb while he cuts the ribbon. Nothing happens. Surprise, no bomb! Instead it has Sheriff's nameplate in it. Uh oh. Sheriff flashes back to the office supply delivery. I guess it really wasn't filler. Sheriff: "Oh God, there is a bomb but not here."

While Parrish defuses the non-bomb, Kira spies her parents having a secret shady meeting in his classroom. FoxMom: "You hid them in a book? Couldn't you find something more secure." HistoryDad: "How many high school students do you know who'd willingly open a book?" I cry for the future. I'm also confused, again. The hollowed out book reveals what looks like blades, but HistoryDad calls tails. When FoxMama breaks one, a green light is emitted as HistoryDad cringes. FoxMama breaks another and promises the new Oni will be stronger. It certainly lets out a swarm of fireflies. If breaking tails creates the Oni, she may want to conserve some until they're all on the same page. Secrets kill in Beacon Hills. Speaking of kill, things get frantic in the police station. Sadly no one tells Argent or Derek what's up although a helpful officer uncuffs them. Derek's superstellar werewolf hearing actually works tonight. He hears a bomb and screams, "Get down!" He shoves the police officer out of the way and shields Argent with his own body as an explosion rocks the sheriff's office. Shrapnel flies everywhere. Sheriff, Scott, and Stiles arrive to blood and chaos. Stiles calls Scott to help with a dying deputy. Nice to see they aren't worried about Derek and Argent. Argent: "Derek, Derek!" Derek: "I'm okay." Um, your definition and mine vary, Derek. Dazed and having glass protrude from your back doesn't seem "okay" to me. Argent: "You saved my life." Aw, again I want more of these two. Back to our other fearless duo, Scott tries to help the deputy but it is too late. He dies while Scott is connected to him and the anguish on Scott's face is palpable. Oh baby. That sucks out loud. Sheriff sees Scott and Stiles and demands they leave. Thank goodness. No kid should witness this. As Scott pulls Stiles away, Kira rushes in to tell them the Oni are coming. Scott: "Stiles, we've got to get you out of here." Aww, I love how protective Scott is of Stiles tonight even after all the stuff he's gone through.

They all head to Deaton's because it's covered in mountain ash. No idea how Scott can be there in the first place but hey, trivial details. As they arrive, so do the Oni. Scott throws Stiles the key and tells him to get inside. Stiles tries to get Kira inside but she's busy throwing animal cages at demonic shadow ninjas. Bwah! Scott punches out two Oni with stellar gymnastic moves, when Kira grabs a pipe to play Whack-a-0ni until Scott gets stabbed. Ain't nobody gonna mess with Kira's boyfriend. She power kicks the Oni to another zip code and helps Stiles get Scott inside. Woo hoo, I love this kick butt new character. Best fight scene of 3B so far. As Kira goes to remove the katana from Scott's abdomen, Stiles slams her head into a table. What? No! Kira is unconscious and DarkStiles has taken control. This hurts already. Scott: "Please don't. Stop." Stiles: "It's okay." People need to stop using "okay". It doesn't mean what they think it means. Scott and I are horrified as DarkStiles pushes the katana farther into Scott's stomach, almost to the hilt. DarkStiles: "You really should have done your reading, Scott. A nogitsune feeds off chaos, strife, pain. This morning you took it from Isaac, then you took it from Coach, then from a dying deputy. All that pain, you took it all. Now give it to me." The pain travels from Scott to Stiles, as he flashes back to how he's manipulated Scott into taking pain all day. Stiles: "Ah, you really have to learn, Scott. You really have to learn not to trust a fox. Mnnhm Mnhm, no 'cause their tricksters. They'll fool you. They'll fool everyone." Deaton: "Not everyone." Whoa, where'd you come from? Deaton has some powerful ninja skills himself. He injects Stiles with the Letharia Vulpina, which quickly knocks him out, and then takes the katana out of Scott. I may have whimpered in sympathy. Scott's had a hard day. Still the first thing he asks is if the injection was a cure for Stiles. Aww, baby. You are straight up rocking tonight. Sadly Deaton goes cryptic. "The fox is poisoned but it's not dead, not yet." You better not kill Stiles in the meantime, VetBoss. You hear me?

This episode of Teen Wolf was better in the first airing than in the rewatch. When I first saw it, it moved so quickly and I was distracted by having an actual bomb. In the rewatches, my logical side took over and I was left with a big…huh? Again there were too many coincidences and plot devices. Still I love DarkStiles and Scott was the best character of the night for me. This doesn't happen often, but I love how caring and brotherly he was towards Stiles, keeping faith in his best friend even after being tortured by him. Theirs is a strong bond and it is great seeing Scott so determined to protect it. I also love that Scott and Kira fight alongside each other. I look forward to many more action scenes. Lydia and Allison working together was also a high point. I hate the soap opera move with Malia, but I like how Allison had Lydia's back and how Lydia was strong enough to stand up to both Peter and her best friend. It shows tremendous character growth on Lydia's part and I hope they continue to develop her leadership skills. The best interaction though was far and away Derek and Argent. I love how they started off as mortal enemies with Argent breaking out Derek's car windows. Now Derek saves Argent's life. It cements my theory that Derek is going to die though, which is not a good thing. There's no other reason to change Derek's character so quickly and with no explanation. Other than that, there is no downside to Derek and Argent working together. In fact, I wish they had done this in 3A. They would have gotten much more accomplished sooner if everyone had shared. Plus I am dying for Argent to train someone and since they've forgotten that promise with Allison, Derek will do instead. Frankly I'm now hoping for a Derek, Lydia, and Argent spin-off.

Grade: B-

Best Scene/Best Action - Scott and Kira fight the Oni in the rain
MVP - Scott
Funniest - Coach (in both scenes)
My Theory - Allison is also part of the nogitsune, hence the trickster thing. Her phone mystery, she was there when Scott took away Isaac's pain, Stiles keeps saying "we", and the fact that she hasn't been in the presence of the Oni is very suspicious to me.
Best Quote - Parrish: "Jared, it would be very helpful if you could resist throwing up on the potential explosive device."
The "They've Come a Long Way" Award / Best Interaction - Derek and Argent
Best Eyes - Kira's kitsune orange eyesMost Sadistic Moment - DarkStiles goes all piano fingers on the katana protruding from Scott's abdomen
Worst Surprise - Peter the father
Best Surprise - those beginning filler scenes weren't actually filler after all
Worst Secret Identity - Kira, sucking electricity from the wire in front of everyone
Best New Addition - Kira, although Parrish is rising up fast

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About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group, and guests on ArrowCast for DVMPE. Right now she is creating a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely adore Argent and Derek working together. I hope we get a lot more of it.