Teen Wolf Season 3 “The Fox and the Wolf” Review – Nogitsune Origin Story

On this week’s episode of Teen Wolf, we finally got some long overdue information regarding the origins of the nogitsune that is currently taking up residence in Stiles. It reminded me a lot of Visionary, the Derek/Demon Wolf origin story in 3A. Unfortunately, we did not get the joy of watching Gerard spew out Mountain ASSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

His suffering sustains me.

Although I was happy to get the nogitsune’s origin story, the slow pace at which Mrs. Yukimura unveiled it was frustrating at times. Of course, this was due in large part to her trying to stall Scott and Kira until the oni could arrive at night and make one final run at Stiles. After seeing the action-packed trailer for the final episodes of the season, I am admittedly antsy to get to the action.

Teen Wolf Origins: The Nogitsune

Teen Wolf has never shied away from taking on complicated mythology, but in last night’s episode the writers added another dimension to the mythology with historically-based events. In a nutshell:

– Kira’s mom is at least 900 years old. I have no idea how age works in the supernatural world on Teen Wolf. We know that a young Noshiko was a spitting image of her daughter Kira. Arden Cho did a great job last night at portraying her mother in the flashbacks. We have no idea when and/or why Noshiko began aging, but she looks damn good for someone who has walked the Earth for 900 years.

– Noshiko is responsible for the nogitsune, which makes sense given the personal responsibility she seems to bear for ensuring that the evil spirit is eradicated. The sword in the case Malia took from the body of the nogitsune was shattered when Noshiko last battled and defeated the nogitsune. With her power of thunder, Kira was able to repair it.

– The story of Noshiko and the nogitsune dates back to World War II/1943 when she was in a Japanese internment camp. It turns out that Mr. Yukimura lied to Allison and that Oak Creek was a real camp. It was in his pursuit of more information about the camp that he met and eventually fell in love with Noshiko.

– Conditions were not good at the internment camp due to the shortage of supplies. Noshiko, with the assistant of her boyfriend/soldier, stole supplies and food for people at the camp. A deadly illness breaks out, which cannot be controlled due to a shortage of medical supplies. The residents became enraged upon learning that a crooked doctor has been selling medicine meant for the camp on the black market.

– A terrible riot breaks out and one of the soldiers hits a quiet, older woman (Satomi) who frequently advised Noshiko to practice restraint. The violence escalates and Satomi throws a Molotov cocktail that ends up hitting Rhys. The crooked doctor and other soldiers eventually get the upper hand and set out to cover up their misdeeds by burning the bodies of the dead – including Rhys and a seemingly dead Noshiko.

– Noshiko awakens and summons a dark spirit to help aid her in her mission to avenge the events at Oak Hill. In a classic be careful what you wish for moment, the dark spirit arrives, takes possession of Rhys and the bandaged nogitsune is “born.”

– The fox (Noshiko) teams up with a wolf (Satomi) in order to put a stop to the death, violence and chaos created by the nogitsune. The only thing left of the nogitsune was a single fly, which Noshiko buried under the nemeton. Much like Derek, Paige and Darachifer, the sacrifice Stiles, Scott and Allison made to save their parents from death by darach empowered the nemeton and Noshiko’s nogtisune.

And that, fellow Teen Wolf fans, is the nogitsune’s origin story.

Present Day Nogitsune Problems

As Scott, Kira and her parents took a haunting trip down memory lane, a fresh out of jail Derek and Chris worked with Allison and Sheriff Stilinski to find a solution for destroying the nogitsune without destroying Stiles. I’m always a fan of crowd sourcing solutions to supernatural problems, so I was thrilled to see this group working together. In fact, if the Teen Wolf folks are looking for a spin-off idea, I’d gladly watch a show with this group if they threw in Deaton.

Although the group has not come up with a solution, Sheriff Stilinski wisely observed that maybe the first step in defeating the trickster is to trick the trickster. It looks like Stiles is still fighting against the nogitsune, as evidenced by the chess board he left out for his father to find. At least I hope that was a message from Stiles and not another trick. Thanks to the Tumblr account of fellow Teen Wolf fan, buckybarnesss, we’ve got a before and after shot of the chess board.

Before (3A)

After (3B)

As the group observed, the most notable change is Derek going from knight to king and the status of the king on the board. In a season in which the writers and actors have been warning fans about a death coming up, it’s a little disconcerting to see “King Derek” with no moves left. I liked the call back to chess, which was used in 3A and in season 2 when Gerard Mountain Ash told Scott he’d have to be willing to sacrifice a few pawns (poor Isaac) in order to win the game. It’s also a nice setup for the finale, entitled “The Divine Move,” which is a rare, difficult move in the game “Go.” Go is a game that originated in China and became popular in Korea and Japan. Satomi was actually playing Go in last night’s episode. I’m hoping that some of the more disturbing scenes in the trailer for the end of the season are part of Sheriff Stilinski’s plan to trick the trickster.

There are a few new additions with Ethan and Aiden being added to the board as pawns. Isaac’s position is interesting, as he is a new addition as a piece – but not even on the board (or in this episode for the second week in a row). Other characters who have a stake in the supernatural game, but are missing from the board include Lydia, Ms. Morrell, Demon Wolf, the Yukimuras, and Malia. Because he’s battling an evil spirit, I’m guessing Stiles only had time to add the new players who were actually pertinent to the nogitsune’s plan. I find it quite interesting that Jackson is appropriately isolated and seemingly not in the central action on the board, but Kate Argent is still on the board and appears to still be in the game. As much as I love the Teen Wolf writers for using the chess board as a message from Stiles, I love the show’s fans even more for the endless images and speculation that I will certainly partake in as we wait for next week’s episode. I’m equally excited to return to this image after we see how things unfold in the finale.

Pow! Right in the feels.

Gif from pandawhale.com.

Presented without comment – Allison Argent and Sheriff Stilinski.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
All Teen Wolf gifs are from the show tumblr, Never Love a Wild Thing.

Other supernatural thoughts, observations and a wee bit of speculation . . .

*Gif from Gif-A-Day.

– I previously wondered if Mr. Yukimura’s explanation to Allison about the mysterious voicemail message was a lie and indeed, it was. Finally, one of my hunches is correct! Because the episode was so reminiscent of Visionary, I wonder if Mrs. Yukimura- like Peter and Gerard – is an unreliable narrator. There’s something I still don’t quite trust about her.

– Likewise, I’m still frustrated with the Yukimura’s secretive approach to dealing with this issue. I know that they are hesitant to trust others in Beacon Hills, but how many times do you watch the oni get defeated by supernaturals before you decide to have a chat with them about your nogitsune destruction mission?

– It should have been a huge relief to learn that Stiles is not suffering from the same ailment as his mother. That feels like more of a backburner issue now that he’s been overtaken by the nogitsune. Also, that nogitsune is a real bastard for using Claudia’s death to torment Stiles. It could at least be kind to its host.

– I’m starting to experience nogitsune fatigue. Thankfully, Dylan O’Brien’s performance keeps me engaged. I loved the look on his face as he looked up and waved at the camera in his room.

– I’m intrigued by the internment camp being named Oak Hill and how that connects to all of the wise oak/dark oak information learned during 3A.

– Public Service Announcement – Teen Wolf did a very high-level, topical look at the Japanese internment camps in last night’s episode. The use of internment camps is an important part of this country’s history and worthy of additional exploration. It wasn’t a major part of my U.S. history curriculum until I got to college. Hopefully text books have changed and it is now taught earlier.

Here are a few sites with more info for those interested in learning more:

National Archives – Japanese Relocation and Internment During World War II
Children of the Camps (PBS)

Until Next Moon Day!

What did you think of last night’s episode, Teen Wolf fans? Sound off with your thoughts, theories or speculation below!