Teen Wolf Review: “Riddled” (Season 3, Episode 18)


Teen Wolf Review: "Riddled" (Season 3, Episode 18)

Teen Wolf offered up a dismal episode last night highlighting Stiles’ (Dylan O’Brien) further decent into mental instability. The first half conquered his delusional mind, and the second part covered his possession by an evil spirit. And in the meantime, all the other characters ran around town looking like chickens with their heads cut off trying to figure out what was really going on. If it wasn’t for Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) and his modicum of rational thought, there would have been no salvation.

There’s been a lot of speculation as to whether Stiles will make it through this season. The closer we get to the finale, the less likely that looks like it will happen. At the most basic level, Teen Wolf is a show about two best friends – Scott (Tyler Posey) and Stiles. Even after Scott was bitten and turned into a werewolf, their friendship was one of the central pillars of the show. Stiles has been essential in the side kick role, and the idea of him not being firmly planted in that position is definitely a grey area for the continuing narrative.

Before Scott became the Alpha he is now, or even the impeccable Beta he started as, he was pretty much a loser. Obviously growing up in Beacon Hills gave him an advantage when it came to knowing who his peers were, but it was pretty much the Scott and Stiles show airing 24/7. He has certainly branched out since he became a werewolf, partial credit going to his new lack of inhaler look, but if anything, Stiles has become an even more integral part of his life since that point. With every new character that he meets, there’s the issue of trust. Can he trust someone new?

It’s always a loaded question when you think about the kinds of people that have been mysteriously attracted to Beacon Hills. In this season alone, the entire Alpha pack and Ms. Blake (Haley Webb) can serve as an example. Now that “they” as a whole are gone, there are still the Twins (no longer Alpha material), Ethan (Charlie Carver) and Aidan (Max Carver) to consider. They are both desperate to become members of Scott’s pack. Or so it seems. It could turn out later on that this is simply a power play. First, get off the Omega list. Second, trick Scott into trusting them. Third, eliminate the Alpha. After all, they must have learned some nasty tricks from Deucalion (Gideon Emery) along the way.

Stiles is usually the person that tips Scott off as to where individuals land on the trust meter. Now that Stiles has been compromised, who can he rely on? Derek? They did bond over the idea of protecting the town on this episode of Teen Wolf (too bad protecting the town may include killing Stiles). There’s a certain charm about Derek losing his Alpha status and falling into a mentor role. He has the knowledge and experience to guide Scott and his pack, and at the same time it makes him an invaluable member of Scott’s entourage. It gives him clout.

Derek returning to town was predictably timed, as well. Scott and his brood are entering into a new layer of the Teen Wolf mythology. Besides there being werewolves, there are also coywolves (or werecoyotes), and now Japanese shape-shifters (Kitsune). Kira (Arden Cho) and her mother are both part of the latter, along with the latest antagonist who has taken up residence in Stiles’ body. Under Derek’s tutelage, the pack is just starting to see the bigger picture.

If the only way to save the town is to sacrifice Stiles, will Scott be able to let him go? How are Lydia’s (Holland Roden) latest episodes related to what’s going on? As always, let us know all your Teen Wolf theories in the comment section below!

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