Teen Wolf 3 x 21 Review: The Fox and the Wolf

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Last week we received an extended look at the final four episodes of this season of Teen Wolf. It promised a lot of action, violent injuries, fight sequences, and genuinely spooky moments. So how does the start of this four-episode conclusion begin? With an hour of exposition, backstory, and a motley team-up of characters talking about what they should do instead of actually doing it.

Let me begin by saying that I think it’s really significant for MTV to discuss the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. This is an important topic that is often overlooked if not totally ignored in American schools so bringing it to the forefront of a show with a huge teenage audience is great.

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I’m not that familiar with the Japanese internment camps or what life was like in them so I can’t say whether or not the way it was portrayed in this episode was accurate or not. Of course, it’s a television show with a young audience so it’s not going to be terribly graphic (though it is interesting that an episode taking place in a mental health facility gets a trigger warning but one that heavily featured an internment camp did not). For those who are somewhat familiar with this portion of history, how do you feel with its depiction in “The Fox and the Wolf”?

Unfortunately, what could have been a really interesting dip into history and clarification of Kira’s family background took an agonizing hour to get across. Like Katashi’s lecture back in “Silverfinger”, Kira’s mom simply stood around and told this long story about her powers, her (yet another Romeo and Juliet) love story with an American medic at the internment camp, the criminal doctor and soldiers, and finally, that she created the nogitsune, which accidentally possessed the body of her dead American lover. She did this all while slowly piecing together a powerful katana for Kira to use.

Look, I appreciated the mom’s backstory and I thought the glimpses into the interment camps were well done. I just wish it been more punchy and exciting. Instead, what could have been a compelling and quite horrific narrative of corruption, pain, and blatant racism turned into a long yarn about forbidden love and the inability for foxes and wolves to get along.

The highlights of this sequence, however, included Kira’s father who manages to survive an attack from Stiles and continue to be quietly funny, compassionate, and understanding. Let me just add him to my collection of favorite Beacon Hills parents. I also enjoyed the self-awareness Teen Wolf has finally seemed to be growing with Kira and Scott’s impatience with Kira’s mother’s storytelling skills. Scott’s declaration that she told them nothing at the conclusion made me laugh because it seemed like a wink to the audience and a “Yeah, we know,” admittance of the show’s questionable writing.

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Also, doesn’t it feel like Scott isn’t the main character anymore? For the last couple episodes, it seems that all he does is stand around in the background as the other characters gather information about Stiles. If anything, it’s like Stiles is the main character and Scott has been pushed to the wayside. I genuinely miss him and want to know more about how he is handling all of this. He’s our hero, after all.

The other main storyline again could’ve been really interesting. It’s not everyday that we see Derek, Chris Argent, Allison, and the Sheriff team up. I wish we had seen more of them in action rather than the four of them hashing out plans and then discussing the weaknesses in them. While I enjoyed seeing them try to deduce the nogitsune’s next steps over the meaningful chessboard in Stiles’ room, I wish that the episode wasn’t simply more filler and less action. Also, the audience never saw the Sheriff be made aware of the nogitsune’s presence in Stiles. Yet this episode opened with him knowing about it. This seemed like a pretty big oversight on the writers’ part.

tw4Nonetheless, I am glad to see him playing an active role in trying to get back his son and his scene with Allison, who finally cracks under the pressure, was moving and one of the most genuine this season.

The conclusion of “The Fox and the Wolf” seems to gear us up for the final three episodes. It rather feels like we’re at the top of a rollercoaster and things are about to get crazy. I certainly hope so because this last episode was a lot of exposition and build-up for what has been promised to be an explosive conclusion. We’ll see.

What are your thoughts?

  • How do you feel the Japanese internment camps storyline was handled?
  • What do you think was the significance of the chessboard? And what do you think is the nogistune’s plans?
  • Do you miss Scott as much as I do?

Author: Kerry


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Comments

  1. OMG, I couldn’t miss Scott more! Glad to hear I’m not the only one. And not only would I have liked to have seen the Sheriff learn of his son being possessed, I’d have liked to see Melissa sitting down with Scott and explaining to Scott that the MRI does in fact point to Stiles having FTD. I want some Scott and Mama McCall bonding over this really traumatic turn of events.

    And yes, the episode, while everyone in it did great, it was in fact boring and drawn out. It also opened up plot holes, like if Kiras mom is 900 years old, why did she look like a teenager 75 years ago (when she was over 800), but a 40 year old now? I really hope that the last three episodes aren’t repeating last seasons history by derailing and crashing and burning with story lines that went nowhere and meant nothing in the end. I only came back to 3-B to see Posey, and thats been close to pointless due to his lack of screen time (and really, they aren;t using him in the plot nearly as well as they could). If this season has had some truly great moments and episodes, but if it falls apart again I’m not sure if I’d bother coming back, unless I heard the story was going to be about Scott again. :/

    1. re: Kira’s mom’s age. I figured that she just looked however she wanted to look. If you want to settle down with a human man and raise a kid, you gotta look like you’re aging, or things are going to get weird. She seems to be very powerful, and tricksters are pretty well known for disguising themselves. So, she wants to look like a normally aging woman, and she does, and when she wants to look like a teenager again, she does.

  2. I was happy Teen Wolf got 24 episodes for S3, but seriously, they need to stop with the filler eps..would appreciate a 10 or even 18 episode season if that is able to give a more connected storyline….i still don’t know how that explains why Eichen House is still off the rails

    Would’ve loved to see Sheriff understanding about Stiles himself or even Melissa talking to Scott…and yes, i am missing Scott this season..it’s not as if he can’t get more screen time because i can see a lot of places where he could’ve done ‘more’ instead of just being in the background and seeing other character do stuff….so we are to accept that Maila just showed up and gave Scott the pic and sword? Ooookayyy, Jeff, whatever you want *eye roll* where is the conversations in this show?

    The Sterek fandom must’ve flipped when they showed Derek as the king on Stiles’s chessboard…let’s see why Derek is so important to the whole plot and why he needs to be protected

    Did Deaton know about the Nogitsune being trapped inside the Nematon…i still don’t trust him, who knows what he has in mind in order to ‘maintain the balance’

    lol at Kira’s mom for being the reason the Nogitsune problem occurred ^^

  3. I just found this website yesterday and I am loving it. The reviews, round tables and comments are all very informative, well written and logical. Thank you for putting this together.
    Ok so I do remember learning, briefly, in school about Internment Camps, howver I read a book a few years back that told the story of them from the people’s point of view. The book is called The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. I liekd the book and learned alot about how American’s treated Japanese people.
    As for this episode I completely agree with all of your comments. I felt like I was sitting in a lecture watching a terrible documentary. There are so many holes in this season I fear that the writers are going to pack every answer (or most answers) in the last episode. I would rather have had 18 episodes like what was mentioned in the previous comment then these filler boring episodes.

  4. I feel like the internment camp storyline was handled far better than I anticipated. I went into the episode preemptively wincing with dread, but…they did better than I thought they would. So there’s that.

    I honestly think the chessboard was only there to look cool and be a callback to 3a. I find the idea of it to be cool, but I don’t think that it’s going to have a huge part to play. I also don’t buy Derek as the king at all. I’ve said it elsewhere, but poor Derek has always been someone’s pawn. It’s interesting that you mentioned Scott taking a back-seat, because that actually makes sense if he’s the king (which he seems to be). He’s a powerful piece that doesn’t actually do much. (I’d also say that, honestly, his reduced role in 3b seems to be working for me. I had a hard time caring very much about Scott in season 1 and 2, warmed up to him a little in 3a, and have become besotted with him in 3b, and I think that was helped by the narrative not focusing on him so heavily. In an ensemble show, where the weight isn’t completely on his storyline, which I often find boring and dull, I feel like he’s getting a chance to shine as the diamond that he is.)

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