'Teen Wolf': Stiles has brain damage ... EVIL brain damage
"Teen Wolf" has made the brilliant choice to take Stiles -- skinny, defenseless Stiles -- and turn him into an evil monster by the end of Monday's (Feb. 10) episode, "Riddled." After an hour of tension, horror and revelations, that's almost too much to take.
It's also wonderful. Here's why.
When sleepwalking, be sure to fully charge your phone
"Riddled" begins on a note of tension when Scott gets a panicked call from Stiles. He doesn't know where he is, other than it's a basement somewhere. Also, Stiles' leg is caught in a bear trap. Oh, and there's a crazy person with a bandaged face speaking Japanese and brandishing pointy teeth.
Too bad Stiles' phone battery is about to die.
While Bandage Guy is telling riddles and asking Stiles to avoid hypothermia, roughly half of the town goes out on the hunt. This includes Lydia, who interrupts a late-night drawing session with her Twin in order to listen to whispering voices and vibrating strings.
Seriously, vibrating strings. Lydia's super power is weird, isn't it?
It's also effective -- the whispers lead Lydia and most of Beacon Hills' law enforcement to an insane asylum. They search the basement but find nothing. Lydia is confused, which is fair, considering that earlier scenes and a backwards "5" on the wall indicate Stiles was indeed there.
At least, he might have been there. Maybe he just believed he was? As the gang finds in Stiles' bedroom, there is lots of crazy (involving red strings) in the boy's mind these days.
Where is Stiles, really? It's not a shock that the boy has wandered back to the mystical tree stump. Agent and Mrs. McCall find him there -- fortunately before hypothermia sets in -- and take Stiles to the hospital.
All is well!
No, it isn't
Like anything could ever be well midseason on "Teen Wolf." That's not how this works.
It does, however, briefly seem like all might be well with Stiles, who gets to sleep it off. The rest of the characters spend that time gathering clues and exploring leads. Allison (who missed all of the previous night's adventures because her phone was mysteriously off) and Isaac investigate strange voicemails. They're in Japanese and seem to refer to a World War II internment camp called Oak Creek.
Derek, meanwhile, drags Kira back to the power station where Barrow tried to kill her. Or did he? Derek finds Stiles' aluminum baseball bat magnetized and stuck to a metal wall. Maybe Barrow's plan was to use Kira's foxfire to spark nogitsune-possession in Stiles?
Two important things here: 1) Did anyone notice Stiles not having his bat after Kira was attacked? 2) Why was Allison's phone turned off? This is undoubtedly going to be important later.
Everyone has it but no one can lose it
Remember how, a couple paragraphs ago, Stiles was doing well? Scratch that. Everything is awful on a whole lot of fronts for Stiles.
First of all, it looks like he really does have what killed his mother: It's a rare form of incurable dementia that can strike at any age. Fun times! At least Stiles has an Alpha werewolf for a best friend -- Scott basically promises to fix things with a bite if it comes to the withering-away of Stiles' brain.
Scott might not have the chance to take up Stiles on the offer. Shortly after an MRI shows that Stiles does indeed have brain damage, the kid has another hallucination/dream/vision/whatever. Bandage Guy is back and insists that Stiles answer a riddle:
"Everyone has it but no one can lose it."
With the added incentive of maybe not letting everyone he loves die, Stiles finally comes up with the answer: A shadow.
That's not very helpful though. Bandage Guy slowly unmasks himself, only to reveal ... Stiles. Evil Stiles, aka, a shadow. It looks like it's going to be Evil Stiles in the driver's seat from now on.
Will this at least help with the brain damage?
RELATED: 7 reasons why Evil Stiles is a great idea for "Teen Wolf"
When he was bad, he was horrid
Evil Stiles has stuff to do and can't sit around in an MRI. There are pre-set electrical explosions (Stiles was busy during his sleepwalking) that seem to rock the hospital to its foundations while simultaneously trying to electrocute Kira.
There's also a challenge from Kira's mother. Apparently she knows all about the nogitsune and plans to take out the creature with the help of some Oni. When Evil Stiles points out that the Smoke Ninjas are rather ineffective, Kira's mom mentions that someone else can finish the job.
Evil Stiles still isn't impressed. He's too busy heading off to cause chaos and suffering and Lydia's screams.
This is going to get messy, isn't it?