Teen Wolf Season 3 “Riddled” Review – S.O.S.

Fellow Teen Wolf fans, let’s gather ’round the Nemeton, join hands and conjure up whatever supernatural powers we have in an effort to Save Our Stiles (S.O.S.). What . . . an . . . episode! I haven’t been hit so hard in the feels by Teen Wolf since Motel California in the first half of this season. In fact, let’s just get those out of the way now.

Pow! Right in the feels.

Gif from pandawhale.com.

In no particular order:

This, by the way, nearly killed me – in a good way.

Lalalalalalalala. I can’t hear you!

I found myself really distracted at times by how great these two are together.

This moment of brotherly love gave my everything I needed. Thank you, Talia Hale, for guiding your son from the great supernatural beyond.

Riddle me this . . .

Okay, let’s get down to the business of this week’s episode. As a general observation, I can’t say enough good things about Dylan O’Brien as an actor. We knew that he could do funny, witty and sarcastic, but the instinct Jeff Davis had to push O’Brien to do dark, twisted, tortured and evil has really paid off. I want Stiles to be okay and I certainly don’t want Kira’s mom to murder him in order to stop the dark spirit, but until we get to that point I’m going to wholeheartedly enjoy watching O’Brien dabble in the dark side.

In addition to the great performances, “Riddled” really felt like Teen Wolf hitting its stride. The episode made great use of almost all of the cast members without it feeling forced. In particular, I’m glad the writers didn’t feel it necessary to have both twins involved in the search for Stiles. The major players all made sense. Okay, I got a wee bit annoyed when Aiden wanted to spend time reflecting on how much Stiles liked Lydia, but even that feels right for the character. Being a good guy is new to him.

My only frustration about the characters featured in “Riddled” was the absence of Dr. Deaton. We got confirmation that Scott has been seeking counsel from his emissary via text messaging. Stiles and Deaton have developed their own relationship this season and I would like to see the writers build on that by actually having Deaton present. Further, I am a huge fan of Seth Gilliam and would like to see his lovely face from time to time.

Interestingly, Derek has been the voice of supernatural knowledge in Dr. Deaton’s absence. I love the idea of Derek using his “trade secrets” to help Scott, but I would prefer it not to be at the cost of also having Dr. Deaton involved in analyzing our weekly supernatural mysteries.

Along with Derek, the writers have continued to make good use of Lydia without it becoming too gimmicky. We learned during the death ritual last year that Stiles and Lydia have a connection that is deeper than his unrequited love for her. “Riddled” deepened the bond between the duo in two key ways. First, we saw Lydia being a good friend to Stiles. I’ve never questioned Lydia caring about Stiles as a friend, but it was nice to see her sense of urgency and concern. Second, there was a very interesting parallel between the disappearance of both characters on the show. Both of them disappeared mysteriously on the “coldest night of the year” in Beacon Hills. Lydia got an opportunity to return the favor to Stiles from season 2 when he was heavily involved in looking for her.

Everyone has it, but no one can lose it.

We might not be able to lose a shadow, but I’m sure hoping that Stiles can lose evil, possessed by dark spirits Stiles. If Scott’s pack can’t figure out a solution, it looks like Kira’s mom has a few ideas in mind – none of them that bode well for the sweet, witty, loveable Stiles who has been taken over.

There were some pretty serious words exchanged between Stiles and Kira’s mother. She’s not deterred by the “host” and Evil Stiles isn’t afraid of her fireflies. If the Oni can’t defeat Stiles, will Kira be charged with the task?

Other supernatural thoughts and observations . . .

*Gif from Gif-A-Day.

– Is it safe to say that Stiles is the new Isaac in terms of suffering and pain?

– Who turned off Allison’s phone?

– I’m loving Jeff Davis’ use of both mythology and history in this second half of the season.

– Rafael McCall made a nice step in the right direction by helping find Stiles. On the Wolf Watch after show, Jeff Davis indicated that we still have a long way to go before we stop thinking about Rafael as being an asshat and total pain in the butt. This is probably not surprising to fellow Teen Wolf fan, Melody Paris.

– Speaking of Rafael, looks like he was a bit of a drinker. Interesting tidbit. I wonder if he and Sheriff Stilinski were drinking buddies?

– Jeff Davis shared on Wolf Watch that Lydia is not the only banshee in town. Interesting. Is it possible that we’ll add another parent to the supernatural mix and discover that Lydia’s mom, who conveniently popped up at Beacon Hills High this season, is also a banshee?

– I like Scott and Lydia together – in a platonic sense. It’s fun when a cast is talented enough that you can switch characters around with good results.

– We got a little closure with regards to Cora’s whereabouts after the fire at the Hale house.

– Although the night truly belonged to Stiles, honorable mention should go to his bat for expanding its role from weapon of choice to major clue in the demonic possession mystery.

– I think it’s safe to say that Kira’s mom knows something is going on with her daughter. That look after she screwed in the replacement bulb said it all.

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– Are we really done with Kate Argent haunting Allison? Was she the one playing games with Allison’s phone?

– Likewise, are we done with Scott’s fear of becoming a monster? Have they both closed the door opened by the Nemeton?

– No Peter again this week. I don’t think he was necessary to the story, but it does make me question the character’s utility in general. It has been hinted that next season will be all about the banshee, which might require more Peter. We’ll see.

– That bandaged thing was just gruesome and the stuff of which nightmares are made.

– Stiles putting Lydia’s Nemeton drawing in a frame was so Stiles and so freaking adorable.

Until next Moon Day!

Sound off below on last night’s episode and let me know any theories you have after “Riddled.” Stiles, Evil Stiles and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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*Teen Wolf gifs courtesy of the show tumblr, Never Love a Wild Thing.