That would be the short recap of the “Teen Wolf” episode, “Letharia Vulpina.” From explosive revelations to actual explosions — plus a stabbing or two — things are going a little crazy in Beacon Hills. And this is just how the nogitsune living in Stiles likes it best.
The case of the disappearing Stiles
Chaos reigned at the hospital after Stiles shorted the power and walked out, all evil-like. Then he disappeared. He disappeared for two days in fact.
What happens in that time? Well, the flying power cord of doom doesn’t hit Kira, but it does cause an ambulance to crash into a fire hydrant. This causes water to spray everywhere, effectively creating a kill zone of electric shock. Isaac, unfortunately, becomes one of the victims, and he weirdly doesn’t heal back up (must be something to do with how electricity affects werewolves).
As for Kira, she does a crazy flip over a moving car and picks up the wire with no ill effect. She instead looks a little like a drug user getting a rush of her favored illicit substance. Things are getting weird with Kira.
The case of the reappearing Stiles
Just like he suddenly disappeared, Stiles comes back after two days. He’s in the school basement, luring in werewolf teens with one of Argent’s emitters. But Stiles doesn’t know how he got there or why he suddenly has a lot of maps and power tools and whatnot.
The boys do figure out that something is going on right where the students are about to run cross-country. A lot of running — some of it very fast and some of it ending in passionate embraces — leads the entire class and Coach to a clearing. There, Stiles finds a length of chain that … does nothing.
That’s because the trap is a trip-wire that sends an arrow into Coach’s belly.
Back at the high school that really ought to have its own police force at this point …
Screaming and more chaos ensue as a wrapped birthday present, a la serial killer William Barrow, is found on a bus. Some poor kid named Jared has the misfortune of finding the gift and has to sit there while Kira’s dad gets to be the first responder.
Eventually Sheriff Stilinski and his boy-faced deputy do arrive, and Baby Cop does the bomb-detecting honors. But it turns out that there is no bomb in the box, just Stilinski’s name-plate from the sheriff’s department.
If you can get out of handcuffs, get out of handcuffs!
So the bomb is in the sheriff’s office, which would be your normal level of tension and concern except for one thing: Derek and Papa Argent are in the office too.
It seems that someone — most likely Evil Stiles — has gone and murdered Katashi, aka Silverfinger. Money from Katashi shows up in Argent’s apartment at just the wrong time, and Agent McCall arrives to make an arrest. As Derek came by a few moments earlier, both men get cuffed and hauled off to the station.
Because there are bomb threats and partially disemboweled lacrosse coaches over at the high school, Derek and Argent pretty much get left alone. The two men banter a bit about how each of them could get out of the handcuffs like that, but they don’t.
Derek is done with the whole fugitive thing, and Papa Argent obviously wants to manipulate the situation. That’s fair.
No one gets to prove himself the Houdini-est of all, however, because of that pesky bomb. Derek shields Argent with his body — getting a bunch of shards all over that pretty back in the process — so they’re OK. At least one deputy dies though.
Peter is elsewhere, of course
There’s a rather important subplot happening in this episode. Peter Hale has resurfaced and wants to use Lydia’s banshee powers to gain access to a secret. It seems that his sister, Talia, removed a memory from Peter before she died. Now that Peter has Talia’s claws, he wants that knowledge back.
While Peter and Allison have fun threatening each other, Lydia gets frustrated to the point of magically impaling a wooden post with the claws. That’s when she starts to hear the claws’ voices. Because yes, the claws have voices.
The claws tell Lydia that Peter is not just an uncle. He’s a father too.
But who is the littlest Hale of them all? A quick use of smartphones seems to indicate that it’s Malia — the were-coyote that Scott so recently saved. Is Peter her real father?
Never trust a fox
Enough of that plot now.
Turning back to the main issue at hand, Kira overhears her parents talking about killing the nogitsune with the use of “tails.” It seems that Kira’s mom has magic rods stashed in a book. When she breaks them, Oni are summoned. Although she has already lost a few tails to the Oni quest, she insists that they just need stronger Smoke Ninjas to finish the job.
Because Kira is a teenager and therefore has complex loyalties, her first thought is to warn Scott and Stiles about what is coming. They decide to hide out at Dr. Deaton’s clinic, reasoning that the mountain ash traps will at least slow down the Oni.
While Stiles runs inside to hide, Scott and — surprisingly — Kira fight off the Ninjas. It seems that Kira suddenly has a few ninja moves of her own. She’s way more effective at Oni fighting than Scott anyway. This is evident when Scott gets a sword to the belly in the fight.
Inside, Kira moves to pull the sword out of her would-be boyfriend. But then everything changes.
More specifically, Stiles changes.
You see, despite the boy’s assertion that the nogitsune had departed and that Stiles didn’t remember the previous two days, there is a bit of a lie there. Foxes, even the supernatural kind, are tricky. And all of this was a trick. It’s been Evil Stiles all along.
Evil Stiles actually spent the entire day setting up situations in which werewolf Scott would need to absorb pain from others. Isaac, the Coach, a dying deputy … All that hurt stored up in one person? That’s a veritable feast for a pain-feeding nogitsune. As he twists the sword in Scott to maximize the suffering, Evil Stiles absorbs it all.
Then Deaton comes back. Not even Evil Stiles saw this twist coming.
The mysterious veterinarian had traveled all the way to Japan in order to collect a funky lichen from the site of the nogitsune slaughter of so many years before. This lichen, Letharia Vulpina, is poisonous to foxes.
And a needle of it into Stiles’ neck shuts down the demon fox’s reign of terror.
Too bad it’s not going to last. Evil Stiles will rise again, and it sounds like the stakes are only going to get higher and higher. More explosions are certain to follow.