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Riddled is the 18th episode of Teen Wolf Season 3 and was viewed by almost 2.1 million viewers during its initial screening on MTV.

Synopsis

Stiles goes missing; Scott and the others set off on a search; Lydia tries to master her new abilities.

Full Recap

Scott’s phone is vibrating. He wakes, sees it is Stiles and answers immediately. There’s static on the line but then Stiles’ voice comes through in a whisper. Stiles explains in a frightened voice that he doesn’t know where he is or how he came to be there. He thinks he was sleepwalking.

Scott begins questioning him about his surroundings but Stiles says it’s dark and then the connection is broken. Increasingly agitated, Scott calls back twice but gets voice mail both times. Then his phone buzzes again. Stiles says he can’t get out of wherever he is because he can’t move, his leg is stuck on something and he thinks it’s bleeding.

Stiles describes a smell “down here” and says it’s brutal and his eyes are watering. A panicked Scott wants to call Sheriff Stilinski but Stiles, near tears, begs him not to call. He says his father worries about him too much already. Stiles insists that Scott come and find him without letting his father know.

Stiles then turns off the phone. Scott shouts for Isaac to wake up. Sleep addled, Isaac comes into the bedroom. Scott tells him to get dressed to help Stiles. Isaac asks “what’s wrong with Stiles?” Scott says he doesn’t know.

Lydia is sketching Aiden in the Beacon Hills High School Arts Classroom after hours. Aiden wonders if they will get in trouble if security finds them. Lydia scoffs saying due to the high homicide rate at the school no one will take a night job there. Aiden, realizing they are alone and unlikely to be disturbed, begins to flirt, taking his shirt off. Lydia says nude modeling is usually “done without the pants.”

Aiden promptly removes his pants but before he can remove his underwear, Lydia hears voices coming out of the "Bose Soundlink Mobile Bluetooth Speaker." Aiden still hears music playing but Lydia hears Stiles' voice saying “come find me.”

Stiles calls Scott’s phone again. He first asks if Scott called his father, then, with Scott’s prompting, he describes his surroundings. He says he’s in an industrial basement with a furnace and that it is freezing cold "down here." He then says he has to turn the phone off because it is about to die. Scott asks him why he is whispering. He responds “because I think there’s someone in here with me.”

Kira is on her bed studying. She reaches to turn on a table lamp but the bulb is out. She calls to her mother that the lamp is “dead.” She then removes the shade and reaches to remove the burned out bulb but as her fingers brush the glass of the incandescent bulb it relights briefly. She jerks her hand back but then tries it again more slowly. Small bolts of electricity come from each of her fingers and the bulb lights fully before exploding.

Mrs. Yukimura enters and seems angry wanting to know what Kira did to break the bulb. She then barks that Kira should be asleep. As her mom screws in a new light bulb Kira notices that her mom’s fingers also briefly glow with electricity.

Scott and Isaac burst into Stiles’ bedroom. Lydia and Aiden are already there. Stiles “murder wall” seen in More Bad Than Good has changed. Pictures and articles cover almost all the walls and the red threads (unsolved cases) stretch away from the walls and are all tied to the handles of a pair of scissors which is stabbed into the center of Stiles’ mattress. The overall impression is that of a spider’s web radiating out from the center of Stiles’ bed.

Aiden posits that Stiles thinks he is part of an unsolved case. Issac thinks it’s more direct saying Stiles believes he “is an unsolved case.”

Scott and Isaac catch the other two up on Stiles' description of his surroundings and his injuries. Aiden points out that it is to be the “coldest night of the year” with temperatures “in the 20s (F)” and that Stiles’ jeep is gone suggesting he was more than just sleepwalking.

Lydia manages to convince Scott to tell Sheriff Stilinski and he and Isaac head off to the Sheriff’s Station while Lydia insists on staying behind because there’s “something here.”

On a concrete floor, Stiles is shivering and fumbling with his phone. He turns on the flashlight app and shines it down toward his foot. He is wearing pajama bottoms and his left foot appears to be caught in the jaws of a large trap (like the ones seen in More Bad Than Good). His leg is bleeding from the calf where the metal jaws of the trap connect with his leg. He cries out in pain.

Stiles hears someone else in the room and speaks to them aloud. He gets no response. As he shines the light around the room we see there are metal beams supporting the roof and on the opposite wall sits a large industrial boiler. Behind this we see what appears to be man in a leather bomber jacket squatting with his back to Stiles.

There is a scraping sound and the man, with heavily bandaged fingers, drops a piece of chalk which rolls along the concrete floor. Stiles follows the chalk with the light and when he raises it again, the figure is gone. On the wall is a chalk-drawn backwards number 5. It is the Japanese Kanji for “self” which Stiles recognizes after hearing about the events in Silverfinger.

As Stiles speaks the word “self” aloud, a breeze flows through the room, rustling the leaves on the floor and turning the backwards five into a cloud of chalk dust that vanishes as if it was never there at all.

Sheriff Stilinski tries to maintain his calm but he is shaking. He begins barking orders which helps him focus. Scott and Isaac are standing by as are two deputies (Parrish and Cordova). The sheriff orders an APB (All Points Bulletin) on a “blue 1980 CJ5 Jeep” and demands a list of all the industrial basements or sub-levels of any building Stiles might have accessed while sleepwalking. He also points out that it is the “coldest night of the year so far” and says if Stiles is still out there barefoot in just a t-shirt he could already be hypothermic.

He then takes Scott and Isaac aside asking if there is anything they need to tell him that he can’t tell the deputies (he’s asking for any supernatural elements of Stiles’ disappearance). Scott says Lydia knew he was missing and is trying to help find him. He’s also called Derek and Allison.

Parrish enters and says they've found Stiles’ Jeep. It’s at the hospital with a dead battery. They suppose Stiles left the headlights on when he parked.

Inside, Melissa McCall has security guards searching every floor. The Sheriff and Melissa head for the basement. Scott and Isaac check the roof where they find Derek. Derek says Stiles isn't anywhere in the hospital anymore. Isaac leaves to tell the sheriff and to find Allison who is not answering her phone.

Scott remains with Derek who explains that scents can carry emotional messages, so called “Chemosignals" and Scott can smell that Stiles' scent is full of stress. Derek says he was struggling with himself on the roof.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Chemosignals are a real thing found by researchers in the Netherlands in 2012. They had subjects smell sweat samples from donors who were in a state of fear or disgust and the test subjects made facial expressions that matched the emotional state of the donors. This is a regular human ability but with enhanced werewolf senses the donor’s (Stiles in this case) emotional state is apparently much clearer.

At the Sheriff’s Station, Agent McCall is wondering where everyone went. He asks Deputy Parish if maybe there’s been a break in the case of the sword wielding maniac that stabbed him through the shoulder. Parrish indicates two “Wanted” posters, one depicting a cartoon samurai and the other showing a cartoon Zorro and says “we've got posters up all over town of your guy.”

McCall doesn’t take kindly to the joke saying the cartoons are not exactly how he described his assailant to the sketch artist. Parrish retorts that McCall isn't their highest priority of the night. Genuinely curious, McCall wants to know what the high priority might be.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Agent McCall’s attitude here suggests he didn't understand or doesn’t remember the supernatural aspects of his attack in Silverfinger.

At Stiles’ house, Aiden is snooping among the items on Stiles desk. He finds a photo Stiles and Scott from Lacrosse season and then one of the Nemeton drawings that Lydia was doing during the Darach killings. He says the fact that Stiles framed the image suggests that he really likes Lydia.

Lydia gets a text from Scott updating her on their search of the hospital. Derek is heading off to the School while Isaac looks for Allison.

Aiden idly plucks at one of the red strings connected to Stiles’ scissor-stabbed bed. As the string twangs with tension, Lydia hears whispering voices. She repeats the process and says the voices are saying something about a house. They find a picture attached to the red thread of a mental health center called Eichen House. This was the facility where William Barrow was committed after his attack on the school bus. Lydia is convinced that they will find Stiles there.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Eichen is German for “Oaken” as in oak trees or wooden furniture.

Stiles struggles with the metal trap that pins his left leg. He sees a shadow move across his field of vision and screams “Who are you!” A raspy male voice begins speaking in Japanese. Stiles doesn’t understand. We catch a glimpse of the figure. It is wearing a brown bomber jacket with what appear to be military patches on the sleeves. Its head is fully covered in bandages as are its hands.

The voice switches to slightly accented English and says “Not ‘who are you’ Stiles. Who are we?”

The bandaged man then begins talking about how cold it has become and the fact that Stiles has stopped shivering. Stiles recognizes this as the body shutting down to conserve energy as it falls into hypothermia. He knows this because he did his 5th grade science report on the topic. The bandaged man continues to use the “we” pronoun. Stiles tells him to stop but the man responds that “we’re trying to keep you from freezing to death. You better get out Stiles.”

We can now see that the bandaged man has the same sharp metallic teeth seen on the Nogitsune in Silverfinger.

Stiles points out that his leg is trapped but the Nogitsune rejects this. He claims that there is no trap and says the trap was on Stiles’ right leg before.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is not true. Up until this point the trap was on Stiles left leg in all scenes in which it is shown.

The trap switches to Stiles right leg and the Nogitsune again says “we’re trying to save your life.”

The Sheriff, Scott, Lydia and Aiden arrive at Eichen House and demand access to the basement. Lydia is sure she feels Stiles there. Indeed the basement looks almost exactly like the one where Stiles seems to be captive but he is nowhere to be found. None of them notice a backwards five scratched on the wall in the Eichen House basement.

Agent McCall has been reading the transcript of Scott’s phone conversation with Stiles. He’s focused on the bit about the smell making Stiles’ eyes water. Melissa shows up saying she just finished her shift and wanted to help.

Melissa and her Ex drive out together. He posits the theory that Stiles is still asleep and has been the entire time. He tells a story from when they were married about coming home drunk. From Melissa’s reaction it happened quite a bit during their relationship. His story has to do with the fact that he thought the bedroom closet was the bathroom, was convinced of it while asleep to the point that he tried to pee into a laundry basket. He says Stiles may be convinced of where he is but it may be just a dream.

Stiles is deteriorating fast. He is almost convulsing with the shakes and can barely keep his eyes open. The Nogitsune is drawing another backwards five on the wall. He says Stiles doesn’t understand that it’s a riddle. He then asks if Stiles knows any riddles. Stiles says “a few.”

Riddles of the Nogitsune:
  • Q. What gets bigger the more you take away?
  • A. A hole.
  • Q. What gets wetter the more it dries?
  • A. A towel.
  • Q. When is a door not a door?
  • A. When it’s ajar.
  • Q. Everyone has it but no one can lose it, what is it?

The last riddle is asked a number of times, Stiles says he doesn’t know the answer and the Nogitsune gets more and more agitated until it is screaming in Stiles face.

It then grabs the trap attached to Stiles leg and begins to drag him across the floor. He screams and screams and suddenly he is in Melissa McCall’s arms outside the cave where Malia Tate lived as a coyote for eight years.

Isaac is pounding on Allison’s door. She has just woken up when she answers it and surprised that everyone was looking for her since she didn’t get a call or text. Then she finds her phone was off. She claims she never turns her phone off. As the device starts up, a rush of texts from Scott show up on screen and there are also a bunch of voice mails from “Unknown Number.” The recordings are in Japanese.

Derek and Aiden give Stiles’ Jeep a jump start. Aiden questions if Stiles was just sleep walking or if there might be something more to it. Derek says in Beacon Hills there’s always “something more.”

Aiden confesses that he overheard Stiles confess to Scott that he was responsible for the blackboard message that sent Barrow after Kira.

Derek is incredulous “You think Stiles, skinny, defenseless, Stiles is the Nogitsune, a powerful dark spirit?” Derek suggests that the demon might want to possess someone bigger and stronger with more power. This makes him think of Kira.

In the hospital hallway, Sheriff Stilinski and Agent McCall get into an argument over Stilinski’s attempt to show gratitude for saving Stiles’ life. He reports to Scott, Lydia and Melissa that Stiles is sleeping and is just fine.

Lydia is disappointed that her Banshee abilities didn't help find Stiles. She says she was so sure about the Mental Health Clinic. A loud clanging noise begins but only Lydia can hear it. She tells Scott she doesn’t hear anything.

Scott is in the locker room texting Deaton. His message: “Anything yet?” Deaton’s reply: “Still working on it.”

Scott is preoccupied in the school hallway and seems not to notice when Kira calls out to him. Derek is there though and offers to help but quickly admits he wants to know everything that happened at the power station with William Barrow.

The Sheriff and Melissa are discussing Stiles symptoms. They’ve both come to the same conclusion –Stiles may be suffering from the same disease that killed his mother. The list of symptoms shown: Impulsive, Hallucinations, Insomnia, Night Terrors, Dissociative, and Confusion. The Sheriff concludes that they need to do some tests.

Kira shows Derek the scene of her kidnapping. There is an aluminum bat (Stiles’ bat) magnetized to one of the metal equipment cases. Derek says he needs to know everything Kira does about foxfire (her ability to produce and absorb electricity).

At school, Allison and Isaac play the Japanese voicemails for Mr. Yukimura. He says the voice is giving instructions to Japanese-Americans as they arrive at internment camps during World War II but he says the recording must be a fake because the camp mentioned in the message, Camp Oak Creek, didn't actually exist in California.

Lydia is hearing all the sounds, locker doors slamming, doors opening, and feet walking amplified to 10+. Scott invites her to come see Stiles at the hospital but she decides to go home instead.

The doctor says he’s not sure how to pronounce Stiles’ first name or “if it’s not just a misspelling.” He goes on to explain how the Magnetic Resonance Imaging device will be very loud as it takes pictures of Stiles brain. The noise is from the electrical pulses through metal coils that will be surrounding him inside the tube-like device. Stiles confesses to Scott that the tests are looking for frontotemporal dementia which is the same illness that killed his mother, Claudia Stilinski.

Stiles accurately describes the incurable disorder in which areas of your brain begin to shrink.

Scott says if Stiles has it he will “do something” implying that he will attempt to cure him by way of his alpha werewolf bite. The boys embrace.

Kira and Derek pull up outside the hospital. She is nervous about going in because Derek is about to tell Scott that William Barrow used Kira’s foxfire to jumpstart the power of the Nogitsune so that it could take over Stiles. Derek says she should stay outside.

Stiles slides into the machine. The noise is makes is the same as Lydia heard the night before. She is sitting in her car and can hear the same noise again. She turns up her car radio to try to drown it out.

Derek and Scott have a heart to heart. Derek says he took Cora back to South America where she lived after the fire. He explains that his conversation with Talia Hale revealed that the Hale’s didn't just live in Beacon Hills, they protected it. Derek says the town needs someone like Scott to protect it again.

This sparks the realization that Stiles’ stress on the hospital’s roof had come from his struggle with himself to protect his friends. Scott says Stiles was struggling to “not do something.”

They rush to the roof where they find a bag of tools. Just above them, Scott and Derek see a large gauge electrical wire that has been partially cut. A few sparks fly from it.

The noise of Stiles’ MRI becomes so loud in Lydia’s ears that she lets out a Banshee scream.

The images of Stiles’ brain show atrophy (deterioration) in a couple of different areas. The doctor points to the frontal and parietal lobes.

Inside the machine, the noise continues and Stiles looks near to panic. Suddenly the noise is gone and he is standing up. The MRI room is all fuzzy and out of focus. The Nogitsune is there too. He repeats his riddle from earlier. He says if Stiles answers correctly they might consider letting "them go." He says all Stiles' friends, family - anyone who ever meant anything to him - will die one by one.

He repeats the riddle again and again until he is screaming “Everyone has it but no one can lose it, what is it?”

Stiles finally answers “a shadow” just as the Nogitusne removes the last of the bandages revealing that he now has Stiles face.

Stiles awakes in the MRI machine but he is no longer himself. A power surge dims the lights briefly. Stiles leaves the room in the darkness.

The cut power cable on the roof explodes knocking out power to the hospital. Stiles calmly ties his shoes and makes his way down the hall to where Mrs. Yukimura is waiting in the elevator.

She says “You know me.” Stiles nods and she explains that he knows she won’t be deterred by his choice of host even if it is an innocent boy.

Stiles responds very calmly “you threatening us?” Two Oni appear flanking Mrs. Yukimura. Stiles says he’s not afraid of her “fireflies.” She says that if the Oni can’t defeat him, she knows someone who will. Stiles smiles at this.

Outside, Kira watches as the severed power line whips around and off the roof flying straight at her face.

Soundtrack

  • Harleighblu - "Let Me Be"

Scene: In the art classroom, Lydia draws a picture of Aiden.

  • Claire - "A Million Drums"

Scene: Kira reading in her bedroom.

  • Snow Ghosts - "Gallows Strung"

Scene: Coach Finstock talks to Scott about Stiles.

  • Zhala - "Slippin Around"

Scene: Lydia blasts music in her car to drown out the sounds in her head.

  • Ruu Campbell - "The Call"

Scene: Sheriff Stilinski receives the results from Stiles' MRI.

Gallery

Video




Episodes List

Season 2 Season 3 Season 4
#01 Tattoo #07 Currents #13 Anchors #19 Letharia Vulpina
#02 Chaos Rising #08 Visionary #14 More Bad Than Good #20 Echo House
#03 Fireflies #09 The Girl Who Knew Too Much #15 Galvanize #21 The Fox and the Wolf
#04 Unleashed #10 The Overlooked #16 Illuminated #22 De-Void
#05 Frayed #11 Alpha Pact #17 Silverfinger #23 Insatiable
#06 Motel California #12 Lunar Ellipse #18 Riddled #24 The Divine Move

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