Sunday, March 2, 2014

Teen Wolf - 3.20 - Echo House - Recap

Previously - Stiles had a degenerative brain disorder, Malia's family died in a car crash, Argent and Derek were arrested for Katashi's murder, Deaton poisoned Stiles, and everyone lived happily ever after. Just kidding. This is Teen Wolf. Everyone was miserable, especially the audience.

Note: As always, things in the recap are slightly out of order to consolidate plots. Also we open with, "Due to the mature theme of this episode, viewer discretion is advised." Many thought salacious but the theme they are talking about is likely teen suicide.

A sad piano plinks as the Stilinski's drive silently. They look at each other in turn, narrowly missing each other's gaze. As strings crescendo, I mentally prepare myself. Teen Wolf is determined to break my heart. When they pull up to Eichen House, Sheriff gives Stiles a questioning look and sad smile before getting out. My heart hurts already as my mind screams horror movie alert. Stiles nods and the depression is broken up by Scott's dirt bike. Scott: "Why didn't you tell me?" Sheriff: "Because we wanted to avoid something like this." That's a flag on the best friend play. Stiles says it's only 72 hours while Sheriff consults a specialist on his MRI, but Scott counters with Barrow's fly problem during his Eichen House stay. Then Sheriff pulls the trump card, parental worry. Sheriff: "Scott, I saw an MRI that looked exactly like my wife's, and it terrifies me." Stiles and I hard swallow. Lumps in the throat are a side effect of Teen Wolf nowadays. Confusion is another. Scott: "Stiles, I can't help you if you're in here." Stiles: "And I can't hurt you." Aww, I love how determined they are to protect each other. The Scott-Stiles brotherhood is the foundation of Teen Wolf folks. The show can't last without it, so no killing off Stiles. Scott argues other options through Deaton and Argent. "We're going to find something, and if we can't…" Stiles leans in to whisper, "If you can't, then you have to do something for me okay? Make sure I never get out." Ouch! Stiles, baby, you're killing me. Scott too. Two minutes in and I already feel like bawling, a new Teen Wolf record. Sheriff nods towards the door and they both go in, leaving Scott forlornly outside. Things get worse inside. A creepy nurse exposits rules, while Sheriff is distracted by all the zoned out patients, bars, and buzzers. He's increasingly agitated while Stiles is surprisingly calm about the whole thing.

By the time the nurse says no laces or belts, Sheriff full on freaks about forgetting Stiles' pillow. Apparently Stiles can't sleep without it. Hey, I completely understand. Stiles says he doesn't need it and Sheriff can bring it later, but Sheriff has latched on to the pillow for dear life to stop this admission. I wholeheartedly agree, Sheriff. Eichen House creeps me out. Sheriff: "Okay, you know what, stop. Stop. Enough. Stiles get your stuff. I'm not checking you in here if you're not going to get one good night's sleep." Stiles: "Dad, I haven't had a good night sleep in weeks." The Stilinskis hug; Sheriff's face crumbles. As Stiles walks away, the camera slowly zooms out from a crestfallen Sheriff. I swear the emotional tension in Teen Wolf will be the death of me. Stiles follows the nurse but is distracted by Malia and a kid committing suicide. He races upstairs to prevent it, but arrives too late. On the landing below, Mummy Mouth looks up at Stiles and grunts. Get out now! Stiles: "Okay I know it's the whole 72 hour thing but I really need to use the phone." Nurse: "The accident that occurred is being taken care of." Stiles: "You're seriously referring to that as an accident?" Nurse: "Incident." Stiles: "Slightly better. Still need to use the phone. I…just 5 minutes. 3 minutes, please. A 3 minute call." Nurse: "Would you like to go to sleep Stiles or would you like to be introduced to our 5 point restraint system?" Oliver: "I would go with sleep." Hello, Stiles' new roommate. You are not making a good case for Eichen House, tied to the bed like that. Nor with your happy-go-lucky attitude about suicide. Oliver: "Is it Monday? There's a much higher rate of suicide on Mondays." Stiles: "Okay then. Um, hey could someone…could someone just please let me out of here? Someone, anyone?" Not good. Really, really not good. Oliver rambles about echoes, which feels like 3B's version of currents. Something else is going on here. Oliver: "It's this place. Something about the way it was built. Everything echoes eventually. That's why they call it Echo House." Not ominous at all.

As a new day dawns, Stiles sits in the exact same position. Oliver: "Have you been awake all night?" Stiles: "Yeah, I can't sleep without my pillow." Ha, in the saddest way possible. Oliver starts hacking. Stiles: "You okay?" Oliver: "Yeah I swallowed a bug the other day. You ever do that? I keep coughing like it's still in my throat." Stiles: "That's disgusting, Oliver. You don't have any idea when they unlock the doors do you?" They hear footsteps outside. Oliver: "Now." Bwah! Bring the humor, Oliver. He also brings info. Apparently fake Jesus is popular at Eichen House, but the real crazies are locked in a separate ward. Stiles is more interested in the phone. Oliver: "How come you want to use the phone already?" Stiles: "Because after one night I've changed my mind about this place being safe for me or anyone ever." Agreed. A girl named Meredith is busy quoting conspiracy theories on the phone. "One of them is standing right behind me." She looks directly at Stiles. Stiles: "Who was that?" Oliver: "That's Meredith. She's a little weird." Stiles: "No, you're a little weird. She's a lot weird." Not that it matters since the phone is dead. Standard operating procedure after suicide. Yeah, that's comforting. Stiles is distracted by Malia but she's less than happy to see him, as a punch to the jaw confirms. Orderlies take them both down. Pressed against a grate, Stiles flashes to being down in the basement at an earlier time. Huh? Let confusion commence. Shockingly Morell returns to call off the orderlies. I thought you were dead, lady. I hoped you were dead. She realizes Stiles had a vision and he confirms he's been in the basement before. The same basement Lydia led them to a couple episodes ago. The one with the backwards 5 etched in it. Yeah, that one.

Back at the precinct, Argent uses his one phone call to conference with Deaton, Scott, and Allison. Deaton full on recaps the last episode. Seriously people, that's what previouslies are for. The lichen is not a cure for Stiles, although it sure sounded like one in Letharia Vulpina, which I remember just fine thank you. I still have no idea why Deaton took so little of it. Keep dosing him until you find a permanent solution. Argent asks about the Oni, but Deaton's not worried. "Eichen House has an unusual history. It might not be all that safe for the Oni there as well." Um, does that mean it's not safe for Stiles? Time for an asylum break, Scott. Deaton has more bad news though so rescues must wait. A scroll they need to cure Stiles is missing and Kincaid, Katashi's werewolf, was the last to have it. Allison surmises Katashi would keep the scroll in his finger, so score one for Smart Allison. Meanwhile, Argent and Derek are caged. Derek uses his wolf hearing to eavesdrop on Parrish who exposits an FBI file round up. Derek: "You know if all of this is true, people are dead because of Stiles." Argent: "But is it really Stiles? I mean remember we had this problem before." Aww, it's a Jackson kanima shout out. They must miss him since he's been mentioned every other episode. Derek: "But we got lucky with Jackson. What happens when you don't get lucky?" Argent: "I guess that depends on how little of Stiles is left." Duhn, duhn, duhn. Argent, I love you, but touch one hair on Stiles' head and I'll keelhaul you through this screen. Fair warning. Argent and Derek exposit berserkers before getting back to Stiles. Derek: "Would you feel any remorse putting Stiles down?" Argent: "Stiles, yes but not a nogitsune." This whole scene is future episode filler, a trademark this season, but it the only Argent and Derek time. Sigh. They're in good company because everyone else is shafted time-wise as well. Plus they're stuck in the most ridiculous Teen Wolf side plot in history. They're going to rob the scroll from an armored FBI truck. Someone watches too much Leverage. Good luck with that. Seriously Jeff, if there's nothing plausible for half the cast to do, give them the week off and come back hard with them next week. This sounds like a Ridiculousness plot. And no, that's not a compliment.

Still exposition filler and heist hijinks are more interesting than Morell's group session. Meredith throws furtive looks at Stiles, making me think she will be important later. Malia and Mummy Mouth are also there. They talk about physical symptoms of guilt and Stiles starts scratching at a rash on his neck, which causes Morell to immediately stop the session to talk privately with Stiles. The rash is a Lichtenberg figure, the result of lightning strikes. Morell: "The fact that they are appearing on you after a shot of wolf lichen is both significant and strange." Stiles: "By significant and strange, do you mean hopeful and optimistic?" Oh poor, naïve Stiles. This is Beacon Hills. Morell: "When the marks fade, the nogitsune's grip over you will return." There's the depressing news I expect. Morell gives Stiles amphetamines and says he's vulnerable to the nogitsune when he sleeps. Stiles: "So all I have to do is stay awake." Morell: "For now. If your friends haven't figured out something by the time those marks are gone, I'll come find you." Stiles: "To tell me what to do?" Morell: "No to give you an injection. Pancuronium bromide. It causes respiratory paralysis." Stiles: "That sounds a lot like death." Yep, because killing a teenager is a much better idea than hitting the nogitsune with the lichen again. My eyes roll so hard it hurts. Stiles: "So when the nogitsune takes over, you're going to kill me." Morell: "I'm going to do what I've always done, maintain the balance." Stiles: "Okay then, I've missed our talks. Thanks for the illicit drugs." Stiles takes it far better than me. I'm tempted to come through the screen to take out Morell myself. How come her idea of balance is always contrary to the pack and general decency. First she protects Deucalion. Then she threatens Stiles. Just die.

Stiles goes on the offensive, trying to get in the basement except he doesn't have keys. Time to learn how to pick locks, Stiles. Perhaps Neal Caffrey or the Winchesters can teach you. Oliver shows up and says only the head orderly, Bronski, has keys to the basement. Oliver: "If you want 'em, you'll probably have to figure out a way to trick him." Stiles: "Well a part of me is getting very good at playing tricks." Apparently so is Malia. When Stiles takes the pills in the bathroom, he finds Malia there, showering. Malia: "Don't worry Stiles. You didn't just accidentally walk into the girls' room." Stiles: "Thank God. Okay, so what are you doing in the boys' room?" Stiles stammers adorably, adding much needed levity; Malia is more matter of fact. There's no designated bathrooms in nature, so she wants the hottest one. Becoming human leaves her cold in more than one way. Stiles: "Uh, I was kind of wondering why you punched me." Malia: "Did you think I was going to thank you?" Stiles: "Well…maybe. We did kind of save your life." Malia: "You're right, Stiles. Thank you. Thanks for invading my home, for putting me on the run, for turning me back to human so that I can look at my father every day and try to figure out how to explain to him that the reason my sister and mother are dead is because I almost ate them on a full moon. Thank you so very much." I like this speech because it rings really true. They didn't take into consideration how Malia was going to feel with the change, but they did so with the best intentions. Malia wants to go back to being a coyote full time, so Stiles strikes a bargain. Scott or Derek will help Malia learn how to change if Malia helps Stiles get Bronski's keys. I'm good with this quid pro quo.

Not so much the car heist. Even Scott who always sees the good agrees. Scott: "This is a really bad plan." Lydia: "It's not that bad." Ethan: "It's not that good." Lydia, you're delusional. Listen to them. Basically Allison puts a GPS tracker on the car, the twins pretend to be in an accident to stop it, Scott busts into the back and Ethan takes the finger. Ethan: "It's not his actual finger, is it?" Lydia: "We are so out of our league." There's your brains kicking in. The only thing good about this plan is Aiden interrupting to ask when they attack the whole time. Sorry buddy, you are as much out of luck as this plan is. Allison begs to differ and launches into a pep talk, but I firmly believe she's possessed so not listening to her is a great idea. Sadly the idea of saving Argent from prison and rescuing Stiles is too potent, pushing common sense aside. Heist hijinks resume. Back at Eichen House, Stiles plans his own heist. Oliver attacks Malia so she can palm Bronski's keys, which she hands off to Stiles. Alas when Stiles uses them, Bronski catches him. Apparently no one has keys to the basement, which isn’t in the least suspicious at all. Bronski: "Into the quiet room, little man. Want to tell us where you got these?" He holds up the pills. Stiles: "Vending machine." Ha! Bronski: "I always love the sarcastic ones." You and me both, Bronski. In classic genre ignorance fashion, Bronski orders the guards to inject Stiles with haloperidol, a sedative. Again, this will not end well as Stiles freaks out but then fades asleep. Good going, Bronski. Meanwhile Argent gets a visit from Mama Fratelli, the one who tortured Derek and Peter in the midseason premiere. Yet another character I didn't need to see again. Argent: "They told me my lawyer was here, so either I'm going to congratulate you on recently passing the bar or I should be worried about something." Ha! Jail didn't affect his snark. It's another "probably important in a future episode" filler scene about family honor, but all I get out of it is more proof Allison's possessed. MamaFratelli: "Your family's very complicated though, isn't it?" Argent: "What do you really want to know? Is this about Allison? What are you fishing for?" MamaFratelli: "I don't fish, mijo, I hunt." Ouch, that line actually hurts.

Cue Allison's replacement and my biggest rant, Kira. She comes to help just as Scott leaves for the heist, but Scott has doubts. "People who help us usually end up getting hurt badly." Understatement! Kira says it's fine since she's been practicing her ninja skills. Kira: "I've been picking this up fast, like crazy fast." She pulls out a sword, nearly beheading Scott in the process. Scott: "You sure about that?" Bwah! Scott gets a joke tonight! What's not so funny? Kira is instantly a ninja warrior queen with skills that far surpass anyone on the entire show, even Argent. Just call her Chuck because apparently the skills were downloaded in her at the onset of her nogitsune awareness. (Start rant) I call foul here. A great big, everyone in the penalty box, foul! Way to turn a previously cool character into a plot device, Jeff Davis. Instant superior skills? You might as well name her Mary Sue and get it over with. I understand you obviously think spending screen time on training is a bore, unless it's shirtless hot guys working out, but this is ridiculous on a teen armored truck heist level. Kira was interesting right up to this point. You've shortchanged her character and made Allison even more obsolete to boot. She's Scott's love interest, supernaturally tied to the mytharc, and now a warrior. What's left for Allison? Maybe I'm hypersensitive with the whole trashing of Laurel to build up other females on Arrow, but this smacks of enhancing one character to eliminate another and that's not worthy of the normally awesome writing on Teen Wolf. You could have added powerful female scenes by having Kira learning from Allison. This shortcut will haunt you in the end and sours the entire episode for me. What next? Kira suddenly downloads the ability to fly helicopters too? Welcome to the Matrix, in the worst possible way. (End rant.) These newly found skills gets Kira a pass into the lame heist and my scorn for episodes to come.

Thankfully it's back to Stiles, a plot that works. Alas, he's stuck in a locker with Mummy Mouth taunting him on the outside. It's a high school hell nightmare all over again. Stiles' brain just won't stop picking on him. Mummy Mouth demands to be let in. Stiles: "Okay screw you and your stupid riddles." I said that 2 episodes ago. Stiles begs to be let out in a heartbreakingly sad meltdown but it's mercifully short, since Malia breaks into the quiet room to wake him. Her latent coyote skills left her with the strength to break locks. Hmm. Why'd they need keys again? She found a way to the basement through the closed ward and they get in easily. Malia: "Do you know what you're looking for?" Stiles points to the backwards 5 and tells her it means self, but she wants more info. Stiles: "You might not like me if you know any more." Malia: "Try to remember that I'm a werecoyote who murdered her own family. I won't judge. Promise." Wow, Malia's rising quickly in my favorites list. Great answer. Too bad it's cut for…pack heist hijinks, including Kira running in slow motion 15 steps to the armored car. Yes, slo mo. No, I don't get it either. She beams success until Parrish appears, forcing her to hide. Things get worse as Parrish sees the guard's dead body in the truck. Scott starts to rescue her when Kincaid pops out of the truck to take Parrish down. He'll have a nasty headache in the morning. Allison tries to bribe Kincaid, Scott trades 10 year old boy humor about the finger with him, and Kira tries to take him down. None of it goes well. Kincaid: "I guess negotiations are over." Fine with me because it's fight time. Alas Scott is still hurt from the Oni stabbing and Kincaid kicks his butt badly. Kincaid: "You have the eyes of an alpha, but where's the strength?" Aiden: "Up here." Ha! Finally the Alpha Twins get to attack, relishing the opportunity a little too much. Scott and Lydia have to call them off. Scott: "We're here to save a life, not end one." They take the scroll as Kincaid skedaddles. One botched armored car somewhat heist of ridiculousness complete.

In the basement of timeline mystery, research uncovers the worst of mental hospital remedies. Nothing like electroshock, ice bath, or trepanation to set the mood. Malia: "No wonder they don't want anyone down here." Something tells me it's only the beginning. Stiles asks Malia to check out his Lichtenberg lines, but they are fading fast. Malia: "I'm guessing that's bad." If you only knew. Malia's cold hands cause Stiles to shiver, so he warms them up for her. It's endearing but we all know where this is leading….Smoochville. Stiles: "Was that your first kiss? Was it okay?" Aww, how sweet. Malia's up for more than kissing, leaving both virgins no more. It's a huge deal in the fandom, mostly from a shipping standpoint. For me it's about sex in an abandoned basement of a mental asylum with no protection. MTV is way too high on Teen Mom melodrama. Just saying. I don't get the argument that Malia is emotionally a child though. Not at all. She hasn't acted like a child and quite frankly I suspect living alone in the woods makes one grow up faster, not slower. Our ways may be strange to her, but sex wouldn't be. A bigger problem is of course that neither of them are in a stable mental state, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from screwing in the whole history of mankind. Simply put, the timing and place are horrible but it's not exactly a surprise. What is though is the mummy corpse hidden behind the "self" sign. The nogitsune had a body, wrapped like Mummy Mouth? Say what? I thought it was a spirit creature. Malia continues to earn my respect and disgust by rifling through the corpse's pockets until she finds a picture. Stiles recognizes someone in it and wants to talk to Scott. No fair. Share with the class, Stiles.

Before he can, Stiles and Malia are tasered by Oliver. Yikes! How exactly did Oliver avoid the closed wing? He's got Bronski's keys, stun gun, and Haldol. Plus a drill for trepanning. Does nothing end well for Stiles in 3B? Sedatives, crazy, and power tools are never a good combination. Stiles: "Oliver, what are you doing?" Oliver: "I'm going to let the evil spirits out." Oh like hell you are! Save Stiles is 3B's mantra. Awakening from the sedative, Stiles finds himself and Malia bound to chairs. Oliver: "I borrowed a few pointers from the 5-point restraint." Great! A psychopath learning trade skills. He coughs up what I thought is a firefly, but Lilith assures me is a fly. She makes more sense, given the Barrow connection. Either way, bugs are bad omens in Beacon Hills. Oliver goes to give Stiles an extra hole, but Mummy Mouth stops him. Stiles: "You did this. You got into his head." Mummy Mouth: "Every Dracula needs a Renfield." Ugh, not Dracula and his coolant obsession. Please no. As Oliver finishes restraining Malia, Stiles begs for her life so Mummy Mouth offers a trade. "Let me in. Stiles, do you want her to leave here alive? Do you want us to leave? We can walk out of this place." Stiles tries desperately to loosen the restraints to no avail; Mummy Mouth looks over his corpse. It's creepy. Once Oliver starts the drill, Stiles goes into full freak out. He has no choice. Tears roll down his face as he slowly goes unconscious. He's let Mummy Mouth in because he can't let Malia die. It's a hero's choice that is likely to haunt everyone. Dark Stiles breaks the restraints, grabs Oliver's drill, and cold cocks him with it. Well that's one good thing. Even worse, the fortune cookie scroll offers no help according to Deaton, who is as shady as his sister these days. Maybe he's possessed. Deaton says that "one method of expelling the nogitsune is to change the body of the host." Perfect, get it to jump into another body, and be done with it. Scott has another interpretation. Deaton: "How do we change the Stiles' body?" Scott: "By turning him into a werewolf." Noooo! Scott isn't the only one on a mission. The next day Malia walks right out of Eichen House (yeah, I don't get it either) hell-bent on finding Scott to get some answers. I wish you the best of luck, Malia. I need answers too.

Echo House is a tale of two episodes for me. Everything with Stiles, Malia, and Echo House was fantastic, while everything else was ludicrous, filler, or plain boring. I'm not sure why they add a silly armored car heist except to make sure the other characters had something to do. For me, that's worse than not having them in at all. I feel the same way about the filler scenes they keep putting in before they are pertinent. I am all for laying the groundwork for your mytharc, but randomly placing scenes in breaks up the flow and makes it far more likely that your audience won't remember them when they actually become important. I felt the same way about Allison and Isaac talking about the voice mails with Kira's dad as I do with the berserker and honor code conversations in here. Speaking of Isaac, there was strangely no word about either his or Coach's condition this episode. Considering both are in critical condition and possibly dying, it might have been worth a few seconds mention in between heist hijinks. Sadly, there was no Melissa either, since she always brings amazing acting in the mix. Another issue, besides the whole Kira fiasco, is Scott's dwindling ability as alpha. Perhaps it's the alpha's curse to be less competent than he previously was. After all, Derek has gotten 10 times smarter since becoming an omega. He's a veritable fount of biology, history, and common sense answers now. I realize that Scott got stabbed by the Oni in the previous episode, but it rarely takes Scott long to heal. I was hoping he could at least get a few licks in on Kincaid before being defeated. On a brighter note, Dylan O'Brien's acting continues to fascinate. Watching him in the throes of giving up and then the next second being Dark Stiles was powerful as were the opening two scenes. It has been a joy to see him challenged so much this season, even if it is becoming harder and harder to watch Stiles constantly getting beaten by the supernatural.

Grade: A for Echo House scenes, C for everything else

Best Scene - Sheriff has second thoughts over putting Stiles in Eichen House and flips out over a pillow
Best Quote - Stiles: "You might not like me if you know any more." Malia: "Try to remember that I'm a werecoyote who murdered her own family. I won't judge. Promise."
Best Interaction - Stiles and Sheriff
Key Player - Malia
MVP - Stiles
MIA - Isaac, Coach, Mama McCall
Most Hated - Morell
Most Inept - Beacon Hills police for not finding the scroll in their #1 piece of evidence
Most Ridiculous Plot - the pack heist
Best Reaction - Stiles to seeing Malia showering
Most Realistic Reaction - Malia telling Stiles that they ruined her life
Most Unnecessary Scene (to put in this episode instead of later) - Argent and Mama Fratelli
The Eye Roll Award - Kira is suddenly a ninja warrior
The "Me Too" Award - Brunski: "I always love the sarcastic ones.

Screencaps by and @dylanocryin

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 know I keep saying it, but Dylan O'Brien is really rocking this Dark Stiles role. Can't wait to see how this ends.