Teen Wolf – Recap: ‘Saw VIII’ Starring Stiles Stilinski
Riddle me this, pack! Teen Wolf continued tonight with what was probably the best episode of the season. The search for Stiles was on as Stilinski’s crumbling mind took him into an even darker place.
Episode 18 of Season 3 of Teen Wolf, “Riddled,” began with a terrifying phone call to Scott McCall (Tyler Posey). Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) had awoken to find himself bleeding, freezing, and trapped in some unknown dank basement. Think of the Saw movies. Saw VIII starring Stiles Stilinski, complete with bear trap around the ankle and a lurking shadow demon. As it turned out, however, there may be more to this possession story than meets the eye. While Lydia’s (Holland Roden) connection to Stiles was made totally clear, another kind of connection to Kira (Arden Cho) might be the only means of saving his life. Here is the Recap and Review of Season 3 Episode 18 of Teen Wolf, “Riddled”!
As previously stated, Episode 18 opened with a horrifying phone call to Scott in the middle of the night. Stiles, absolutely panicked and terrified, found himself in some unknown location, chained, lost, and smelling something truly rank. Stiles sleepwalks now, remember, and what we were initially led to believe was that this somehow landed him in this awful situation. We were also, supposedly, the only one’s privy to the truth that this dark kitsune had implanted itself inside the mind of Scott’s best buddy, so we could assume from the start that this was no ordinary sleepwalking fiasco.
While Scott and Isaac (Daniel Sharman) were tipped off by a direct phone call, Lydia and Aiden (Charlie Carver) had their steamy late-night painting session interrupted by one of our resident banshee’s episodes. The music stopped playing and in its place, Lydia heard Stiles’ pleas for help. Remember, Lydia only gets these sporadic warnings when someone is in grave danger, so this duo met up with that other duo, and the hunt for Stiles was on. #ListenToLydia, Scott. Scott had previously promised not to alert Sheriff Stilinski (Linden Ashby) to his son’s current predicament, but Lydia always knows best. Before we knew it, the whole police team was wrangled in to assist thanks to the tip from Scott. With their only lead coming from Stiles’ found jeep, they had no choice but to simply begin searching industrial basements.
At the hospital, Melissa McCall (Melissa Ponzio) was brought into the mix, though there was no sign of Stiles there. On the rooftop, Scott learned a new skill with some help from Derek. The air was laden with an intense scent, a smell that wolves could tap into to analyze the chemical-infused emotions of a person’s heightened state. A quick whiff alerted them to Stiles’ former presence in the area, a struggle that was absolutely filled to the brim with anxiety. What was most interesting, however, was that Stiles was clearly fighting with… himself.
Meanwhile, Lydia and Aiden took to Stiles’ bedroom to dig up some clues of their own. As Aiden pointed out, the general theme of utter insanity was all around them, yet he’d eventually inadvertently help Lydia to learn more about her own gifts. Remember, Stiles uses colored string to map out clues on his wall of evidence. This time, the string attached to a pair of scissors stabbed into the boy’s mattress. Dozens of red strings, that is, signifying a complete lack of understanding or knowledge about the situation that all ties back to him. A pluck of string sent a wave of audio clues to Lydia. Continued plucking filled her in on the whole truth. Stiles was locked away in the basement of the same mental hospital Barrow was committed to. This is interesting. Now it’s pretty clear that all of Lydia’s abilities are connected to sound. We’ve seen her tap into the buzzing of lights before and, of course, there’s her signature scream.
“Everyone has it, but no one can lose it!” As Stiles remained trapped and suffering, the temperature of the coldest night of the year began to drop. His leg, shattered in the grip of a bear trap and bleeding terribly, kept him chained in the presence of what could best be described as a significantly scary demonic figure. His face was wrapped in bandages and his razor teeth were all that showed through, yet Stiles was more concerned with answering the creature’s riddle. The shadowy figure chalked the symbol for Self on the wall of the hospital basement, and Stiles continued to lose it. “Everyone has it, but no one can lose it!”
Needless to say, Sheriff Stilinski was elated to hear the news of Lydia’s discovery, but the team came up short when they arrived in the hospital basement. Yes, this was the exact room we witnessed Stiles struggling in, but there was simply no one there. Lydia couldn’t understand how her power had deceived her. What did go unnoticed, however, was the carved sign for Self on a nearby wall…
The actual location of Stiles was revealed by a very unlikely source. Agent McCall (Matthew Del Negro) managed to piece together the fact that Stiles could very well be sleepwalking and imagining a very different location than the imaginary prison that plagued his mind. We all have a story where we drank too much booze and mistook some other household receptacle for the toilet! So relatable! Well, don’t judge me… In any case, Stiles had been going on about smelling something rotten, and on a wild hunch, Agent McCall pegged the abandoned coyote cave as the correct location! It had, of course, been sprayed with repellent. Melissa yanked her son’s bestie from the dirty cave and snapped him back to reality. Later, the Sheriff thanked the Agent and the two shook on it.
This is where Episode 18 took some really interesting turns. First, Derek was tipped off by Aiden that this dark spirit the ominous Oni have been searching for could have very well hopped in Stiles’ head for a ride. Why, though, would it choose Stiles? Derek managed to deduce that something of great power must have shocked the Void into Stiles. Suddenly, Kira was looking like a valuable ally. The next day, Derek pulled Kira aside at school and managed to convince her to join him on a field trip to the power plant. There, they discovered that Stiles’ bat had been intensely magnetized presumably by the explosive electricity that flowed into Kira that night.
Allison (Crystal Reed), meanwhile, missed all of the action of Stiles’ wild evening because her phone had been mysteriously turned off. That’s illegal for teenage girls, of course. Upon listening to a series of voice mails with Isaac, wacky messages in Japanese, the two had no one to turn to but Kira’s father at school the next day. The messages were commands from a World War II Japanese internment camp officer, but the strangest part seemed to be that Oak Creek, the name of the camp, was fictitious. Why would someone leave such bizarre messages on Allison’s phone?
Scott spent his day comforting Lydia, who seemed incredibly sensitive to noise following her unfortunate showing the night before. Perhaps the reason why our banshee was so unknowingly distraught was because Stiles remained hospitalized while undergoing tests. If you remember, Scott’s mother had managed to figure out that Stiles was exhibiting several of the same symptoms that his mother showed before passing away, and his father had made note of the same worrisome facts. Could Stiles have Temporal Frontal Dementia and a shadow spirit in his mind?
One of the best scenes of the week had to be Stiles’ brain scan. Beforehand, Stiles revealed the true nature of his deceased mother’s condition to Scott, who stood by in support. #Brothers. That had to be the best moment of the season. For some fans, that tearful hug might have been the best moment of the series. The test, which could have lasted an hour, saw Stiles lying still as the machine pounded away while testing his mind. Lydia, from the privacy of her car, went through the entire ordeal with him before screaming in a bout with the unbearable insanity of it all. In the end, the scans showed true signs of deterioration in Stiles’ mind, which was obviously some harrowing news for his father to hear. Stiles, however, was busy dealing with the Void inside his head once again. Finally, he figured out the answer to the riddle. He was told that if he could do so, the (what we’re assuming is a) dark kitsune promised to maybe not kill everyone in Stiles’ life for fun. “Everyone has it, but no one can lose it!”… A shadow. The figure unwrapped its head and revealed his true face… Stiles’ own.
At this point, Stilinksi had left in a supernatural flash, much to his father’s shock. The lights began to flicker, and from the rooftop of the hospital, Derek and Scott finally pieced together the puzzle. Much of Episode 18 focused on Derek’s revelation that his conversation with the spirit of his mother showed him the true nature of the Hale family’s purpose in Beacon Hills. They were its protectors, and now, Scott must lead the way to keeping his town safe. This way of thinking made them realize that Stiles’ personal struggle was probably one of the same mentality. As the electrical circuits around them began to blow, it became clear that the dark kistune was winning. Kira watched from the street below as the explosions began.
Speaking of Kira, her mother was the one to confront the spirit in Stiles inside the hospital to close out Episode 18. With two Oni at her side, she stood her ground and reminded him that she’ll let nothing stand in her way when it comes to destroying him… not even the life of an innocent boy. If the Oni cannot stop it, she knows someone who will. Hmm… who radiates foxfire? Anybody? Any guesses?
What did you think of Teen Wolf Season 3 Episode 18, “Riddled”? Will Kira put an end to whatever is controlling Stiles? Is Stiles seriously mentally ill, or is the presence of this dark spirit the thing that is causing the atrophy of his brain? What was up with Allison’s phone messages? Do we think this dark kitsune is a fallen Japanese soldier of some kind?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Teen Wolf Season 3 Episode 18, “Riddled”!