Teen Wolf 3×18 Review: Riddled

1656064_746346132044277_312700916_nJeff Davis, if you happen upon this article, just FYI: it is not okay to put your viewers through the emotional ringer two weeks in a row!  By the end of this episode, I was like Spock in Star Trek after his confrontation with Kirk; emotionally comprised and unfit for command.  But I am willing to power through this review because The Geekiary readers are awesome and this is an episode to be analyzed to bits.  So without further ado, let’s jump into my thoughts on “Riddled”!

Obviously this is a very Stiles-centric episode, and Dylan O’Brien acted his ass off!  Seriously, if I had it my way I would throw every acting award possible at the guy because he did an amazing job tonight.  At the beginning of the episode we found Stiles locked in some sort of room with a monstrous figure lurking in the shadows.  My best friend and her TW-watching buddy called Stiles being trapped inside of his mind, and I thought that was really well done.  The hunting trap from earlier episodes was used as a great metaphor for that concept.  Who else was reminded of the riddle battle scene between Bilbo and Gollum from The Hobbit when the figure started asking Stiles, finally stumping him with “Everyone has it and no one can lose it”?  I really loved the moment when Melissa pulled Stiles into her arms, which was so reminiscent of “Anchors” when the Sheriff did the exact same thing when Stiles was having that nightmare.  This child is so starved for maternal affection, and I adore the fact that they allow Melissa to step into that role.  Speaking of maternal… we finally know what killed Claudia (officially… unofficially is a totally different story): frontotemporal dementia.  Putting on my Bill Nye the Science Guy cap and explaining in layman’s terms, it is a neurodegenerative disease that causes extreme degeneration of your frontal and temporal lobes.  Why is this so detrimental for Stiles?  The temporal lobe is responsible for memory, understanding, and language while the frontal lobe deals with thinking, planning, organizing, problem solving, emotions, and personality.  In summary, this disease attacks the parts of your brain that form the essence of who you are.

1900065_746346118710945_1556499653_nNow whether or not this a side effect of the possession remains to be seen, but either way, if Stiles does have this, it’s bad news bears.  He’s known on the show for being the problem solver (his bedroom being a literal testament to that), and the mind boggles at the thought of that ability being taken away from him.  The scene between Scott and Stiles in the MRI room broke my heart into a zillion pieces, and when Scott told him “If you have it, we’ll do something.  I’ll do something”, I think we all knew what he meant by that: giving Stiles the bite.  Perhaps that is the status Davis teased of Stiles losing before the season started?  I know he said when the first season ended that Stiles would be staying human, but when you issue what is an effective death sentence to a fan favorite…what else can you do?  The dual confrontations with himself and Mrs. Yukimura were very exciting and raised some interesting questions.  From the confrontation with himself, we learned the answer to the previous riddle was “a shadow”.  Of course, that raises the question of whether this being has been with Stiles for quite some time and how it got there to begin with.  And if you read the theories (and this is one that I fully believe), you will know that some fans believe this being was the thing that killed Stiles’ mother and transferred itself to him, being let loose when the “door” to his mind was left ajar.  The scene with Mrs. Yukimura had shades of a Mexican standoff.  She knew who or what the being inside Stiles was and knows who can defeat it.  This makes me wildly curious as to Mrs. Yukirmura’s past and whether she will share her knowledge with Scott and the others.  Side note: does anyone think that maybe she was somehow behind the voicemail messages on Allison’s phone?

1888701_746346125377611_1529024982_nSpeaking of Scott, we had some great moments between him and Derek, the older wolf becoming a guide since Deaton seems to have effectively vanished from the show.  Derek proved many times in tonight’s episode that he’s more than just a pretty face, which I really appreciated.  I may ogle Hoechlin’s body, but him dropping knowledge is just as sexy.  I was proud of Davis when his explanation for Cora’s absence did not include killing her or making her evil (Derek took her “back to South America” but how the bloody hell did she get there in the first place?!), and his sharing of his family history of protecting the town was touching.  It almost felt like he was passing the torch to Scott when he said, “This town needs a hero, and that hero is you.”  I really like them working together, but I’m still hoping that sometime soon, we will have an explanation about what Derek saw in his vision with his mother.

Lydia’s new found banshee identity seems to be out of whack, and I’m curious about what’s causing it.  She was essentially right when she said that Stiles was there in the mental institution, but as we know, it was more of mental manifestation than a physical one.  If you watched the episode of “Wolf Watch” following this episode, Davis explained that the voices Lydia keeps hearing are other banshees warning her of upcoming deaths and teased that there is another banshee in Beacon Hills.  Now before the season started he said that the connection between Peter and Lydia would be further explored this season. So let me ask this: what if Peter is a banshee?  In the preview for next week’s episode we see him writhing on the floor screaming in agony, and Beacon Hills’ favorite villain seems to have a knack for recognizing unfound supernatural potential.  What if he targeted Lydia in order to bring her abilities to the surface?  A wild theory, I know, but I’m just throwing it out there.

1911826_746346128710944_109360937_nBut before I devolve further into wilder theories, I am going to end this article and throw it out to you guys.  What are your thoughts on “Riddled”?  Do you believe there is a link between Stiles and his mother and this mysterious being?  What do you think causing Lydia’s banshee abilities to go haywire?  Whatever your theories are, comment below and thank you for reading!

Author: Sarah Sue


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  1. Dylan O’Brien is hands down the most talented from the cast. He handles the material perfectly. I enjoyed this episode. There has to be a connection between what happened to Claudia and what’s happening to Stiles (i read that meta too and it’s quite interesting). Hah! I knew Kira’s mother was in BH for a reason. I really enjoyed the character interactions. Stiles with Mama McCall and Scott. However, i don’t want Stiles to get the bite and turn into a werewolf. Maybe he will be saved by the nematon like Jennifer was? He does have a spark..Derek had it too and he gave it to Cora…so like every supernatural being has a spark in them but it’s different somehow? maybe Stiles will take the place of Scott’s emissary (Scott can bite him, but the pack’s emissary won’t/can’t turn? cos Jennifer didn’t and Kali messed her up good? and he ends up healing or something?)

    Deaton seems to be on vacation…i still think he will be the final big bad. Peter could be a banshee, but is there a thing like a banshee+werewolf? he does seem to share a connection with Lydia…maybe the LaLoba is a banshee? weird how the she wolf hasn’t been mentioned since episode 14.

    This episode must also be a treat for Sterek shippers. Derek realizing the struggle Stiles had to go through, noticing the spark and why the Nogitsune might go for Stiles, being in the hospital waiting room…i don’t know, but Derek and Stiles not being in the same scene for six episodes now seems to be indicating something important and i want to know what Talia told Derek..it has to be more that just ‘BH needs a protector’.

    Allison missing in most of the episode was suspicious and also not being checked by the Oni. Have read fans saying she might be under a dark influence too. But i am still waiting for the ‘kitsune’s are master manipulators’ storyline to appear.

    1. Without a doubt, there’s some sort of connection as to what is happening to Stiles and what happened to his mom. I just feel it in my bones! Kira’s mom is quite the shady lady, and I can’t wait for them to elaborate on that exchange between her and Dark!Stiles. Honestly if they turn Stiles, I won’t be upset. I think it would be hilarious to see him practicing with his newfound powers.

      Deaton has turned into Carmen San Diego, man! Where the heck is he? He’s been a guide for Scott up until this point but then to just disappear like this? Fishy, fishy. I can’t wait to see Lydia and Peter possibly interact because of their awkward history. Plus Ian Bohen is simply amazing as Peter and I love watching the man work.

      Oh yay, Davis finally threw the Sterek shippers a bone. Talia had to have said something about Peter for Derek to look at him the way he did. I just feel it in my gut! That scene feels so important and it drives me crazy that we haven’t heard anything more on it!

      I want to know what the voicemails on Allison’s phone were all about and they’re heading with the constant references to the Japanese interment camps. I love how they seem to be working history into this story with supernatural twists.

  2. This Epi. was nice with a somewhat quirky pace,but I guess the Pace fit the Stiles storyline.

    Stiles:
    This was a nice change of pace seeing Stiles’ struggle. This “Locked in his own mind” aspect was one of the most fleshed out character plots so far in teen wolf. The way the writer tied in his childhood affliction(sleep walking) with his present almost makes the viewer feel like you watched him grow up. Then seeing his friends uncertainty the classic teenage angst ” to tell or not to tell ” ; his dad’s fear over his missing son tided into the medical history of Stiles’ mother. Kudos this part was very nicely done.

    Lydia:
    To me watching Lydia’s process was interesting. Watching her struggle with this ability trying to learn the ropes without a guide is like rolling the dice; we get the feeling the her uncertainty grows when the answers aren’t/ don’t appear to be what or where she thinks i.e. ( the mental institute ). She is in that space where she thinks she is just making things worse so maybe she can just ignore what she feels and hears. It is like the writer wants viewers to ask the question…. Will the teen wolf team’s victory or defeat hinge on Lydia’s confidence/patience or fear of her ability.

    Derek & Scott:
    Ok for some reason I find myself stranded at my episode 3×15 conclusion with these two. It was nice seeing them work together without the tension of Derek wanting to kill someone and good boy Scott only wanting to save them. This change in Derek’s path leave me with questions ???? of what exactly did Derek’s mom tell him that made him look at his bad but oh – so – cool uncle Peter with such disbelief yet at the same time seems to have cemented his loyalty to Scott. I hope the writers don’t think that little 4 or 5 line chat with Derek and Scott about Cora going back to South America and his family former role as town protectors covers it ( because if so that was a weak attempt). Why is he so willing to turn over his families job to Scott? What is their connection?
    (I still think they are siblings). So I am sticking to my “what if” path
    I have a feeling that Derek’s mom told him that one of his brother’s survived the fire. Peter knew about it. What if someone carried a baby out of the burning house and gave it to a local to protect (Melissa & her Husband). What if Scott was that baby and that’s the reason why Peter chose/bit him in season 1. My reasoning for this is because for some reason from the very beginning Derek seemed to instinctively need to protect Scott (e.g. letting himself be captured by the Argents so Scott could get away, taking multiple arrows to protect Scott or stopping Scott from attacking the girl he loved i.e. Allison in the car with Jackson). Then I remembered that Cora in season 2 or early season 3 said that she came back because she’d heard that one of the Hales was building a pack.
    Finally Scott’s mom and ex-husband seem to have a secret they are keeping but more importantly in episode 3×17
    Derek pointed out that the twins may be willing fight and kill for Scott but they are not willing to die for him hinting that Derek was/ is willing to die to protect Scott…. That line alone made me question why, what has changed Derek to foster this new level of loyalty?

    1. What they’re doing with Stiles is pretty awesome and Dylan does such a great job with it. I’m excited (and terrified) to see where this story will take us. I think Lydia will reach out for help in trying to understand her banshee nature in an effort to try and master it. The girl learned classical and archaic Latin; she’s not going to take this laying down. Lydia is definitely not a quitter.

      I think with Derek, it’s about moving on. I think he sees his mother’s strength in Scott and is willing to help him foster that inner strength. Towards the end of 3A, Derek and Scott started working together, really joining forces in the finale. To me, it doesn’t seem so bizarre for him to be willing to help Scott now and work with him because he saw what being at constant odds with everyone did to those around him. Now I don’t know what Talia told him, but Scott being his brother seems a bit iffy to me. It’s not interesting theory, but the “facts” such as they are, don’t really add up. Scott and Stiles are the same age, and Stiles clearly remember the Hale fire. Now Davis introduced the aspect of werewolves aging differently from humans, but my theory is that only pertains to born-wolves. And Scott was very much human at the start of the show. I think Derek’s reasoning behind “passing the torch” and being loyal to Scott is that he knows that his family’s time as protectors has passed. He’s been through hell and has lost almost everyone he held dear. And he sees the potential inside Scott to be something truly great, so he’s decided to help him in any way that he can. This is all just conjecture, and I’m really excited to see where Davis takes this.

      Thank you so much for commenting! Peace, Love, and Happiness to You…Sarah

  3. I am DEAD. Dylan acted his butt off here. He is really remarkably talented. It’s been apparent since the first season when he stood out as a fan favorite, but now they are actually giving him room to show off his full range of acting chops and I’m impressed. Shows like this aren’t award winning shows, but if anything was going to be up for a Globe or Emmy it’d be him. Unfortunately MTV just isn’t a great battle ground for awards, but oh well. He deserves it.

    -Admin Angel

    1. He just killed me in that episode! Where he was so raw with Melissa and yet completely blank when the being was in control. That scene in the MRI where he just changed…sooooooo amazing! Dylan O’Brien…all the awards!

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