Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Teen Wolf Recap 3.21 “How I Met Your Nogitsune”

Teen Wolf Recap 3.21 “How I Met Your Nogitsune”

Teen Wolf this week is basically really long, really convoluted history porn. Although this episode is ways off from the quality of earlier ones like ‘Riddled’, granted it’s a huge improvement from last week’s sexy mental hospital debacle, the only redeeming quality of which was Dylan O’Brien’s butt in sweatpants. Sexy WWII detainment camp works much better.

The episode opens in 1943, with two dudebro soldiers cracking riddles while getting rid of dead bodies. Classing bonding moment. The Nogitsune pulls a Jesus and rises up from the pile of dead bodies, shoots one dudebro, and kills the other by ripping off his head. That’s one way to start an episode.
“What has a neck, but no head? LOL.”

Cut to Mr. Yukimura in school on a Saturday (classic Asian) and is confronted by Nogitsune!Stiles. He looks to be running on about -123456 hours of sleep and 700% demon fox power, which is basically what I look like on a good day. Stiles is looking for the knives, the physical representation of the kitsune’s tails. The nogitsune does this whole asshole cat syndrome, knocking books off shelves and his weird finger tapping thing; and when that doesn’t work, tries to make Yukimura talk by choking him with a fly. “They always talk,” he says. Even when they’re choking on a fly and physically incapable of speech?
Still Perf.

Cut to Kira and Scott, who are looking at the photo Stiles and Malia found near the Nogitsune’s body. It’s dated 1943, of a woman who looks exactly like Kira. They’re interrupted by Kira’s father choking on a fly, and rush to school. All’s good when Mrs. Yukimura feeds her hubby magic mushrooms. Turns out the woman in the photo is actually Kira’s mother, Noshiko, and she’s about 900 years old. Billions of questions here. Why did her aging suddenly accelerate after WWII? How does she and Mr. Yukimura deal with an age gap of 858 years? Why does she look better at 900 than I do at 20?
She’s so pretty I want to punch her in the face.

Kira brings a katana to her mother, and Noshiko explains that the blade was shattered the last time it was used – on the Nogitsune, and she needs Kira’s help to put  it back together. Cue a bajillion scenes of exposition and flashbacks. Noshiko lived in Oak Creek, a Japanese internment camp during the 1940s. Mr. Yukimura is in on the secret, as he met Noshiko while trying to find out about the camp.And that’s how you do the thing, HIMYM. Nine seasons versus 10 seconds worth of exposition.

At the camp, she goes around stealing supplies for her friends, much to the disapproval of an older lady obsessed with following rules and playing Go (sort of like Japanese Chess). All the soldiers are total douchebags, except for one, Reese, who Noshiko is totally dating. They’re super cute, canoodling and butchering French together, which obviously, is why one of them has to die.
What’s a romance without a little immolation?

The camp prisoners start getting sick, except for Noshiko, since apparently Kitsunes are super healthy. There’s not enough medicine, and pneumonia was a pretty big deal pre-penicillin. Turns out the camp doctor is pilfering the meds and selling them on the black market.  A riot commences, and the Go-obsessed lady turns out to be a bitten werewolf. She’s aggravated enough by the commotion to lob a firebomb at Reese, barbecuing him alive. He’s sent to Eichen house to be treated for burns. Burn victim in Eichen house? Whomp, there it is.

Naturally, the solution to a riot is to kill them all, and even Noshiko is not impervious to dozens of bullets. Army dudebros try to cover up the incident by piling up all the bodies and taking them to the desert, including Reese. Enraged but weakened, Noshiko calls on her kitsune ancestors to summon the Nogitsune, to possess her bodyrain havoc down on the soldiers and the administration. But since the Nogitsune’s a trickster prick, he possesses Reese instead, and basically kills everyone.

Noshiko rushes to the camp to stop him, only to find the courtyard littered with dead bodies. She chases the Nogitsune down into the tunnels, and with the help of Go-lady-werewolf, stabs him with her katana, shattering it to pieces. As the Nogitsune dies, he exhales out a fly, which Noshiko captures and puts in a jar, burying it under the Nemeton.

Once again, super confusing.  The thing with the fireflies versus the normal flies is just a massive plothole. While insects are inherently disturbing, they can’t really carry an entire plot by themselves. Is the Nogitsune actually the fly or is it just a manifestation of his power? Are flies his secret demon minions? If Reese was just another possessed body, why does the Nogitsune torment Stiles with that form?  Or does Jeff Davis just get a kick out of exploiting classic horror movie tropes?

This episode is basically the ‘Visionary’ of 3B, with all the exposition and flashbacks. It’s basically a less titillating episode of Game of Thrones. It’s loads more compelling than Derek’s never-ending roulette of manpain, but that it partially due to the Kitsune’s more interesting backstory, and how Arden Cho manages to look boss even when covered in blood and guts. Still, it’s a an hour’s worth of clunky exposition about a supporting character’s mom, instead of an hour of Scott and Stiles cuddling or Derek doing angry pushups in his burned down house. Scott speaks for everyone when he says, “You didn’t tell us anything.”

Basically the whole point of the 8-hour exposition marathon was to drill in the whole Scott must kill his one true love best friend.  She totes blames Scott, Stiles and Allison for the whole ice bath thing, which resurrected the Nogitsune. Never mind that she was the one who called it in the first place. She insists that the only way to save Stiles is to kill him. Remember the whole ‘change the body’ cure they had going on last episode? Nope? Well, neither do the writers. Kira basically superglues the katana back together using her Thunder Kitsune powers of electricity, and off they go to commit pseudo-fratricide.

In other news, Sheriff, Chris Argent and Derek are the broodiest bromance to ever bromance, breaking each other out of jail, and having serious man talk around an important table for about 10 minutes. Sheriff finds out that Stiles brain isn’t really broken after all, the Nogitsune’s really just a douche. They team up, plus Allison and agree to save Stiles. There’s a really tender/sad moment when Allison breaks down in the Sheriff’s arms, by far the most realistic reaction to all the shit that’s been going on in the psychotic town. (NGL, I’m still clinging to the idea that Allison is also evil/possessed, was waiting for her to go all Roose Bolton on Sheriff Stilinski.)
The Lannisters send their regards.

The Sheriff’s phone beeps, and its his security system; someone’s breaking into his house. It’s Stiles, sitting on his bed, waving creepily. I never know whether to be turned on or terrified whenever Nogitsune!Stiles is on screen. Basically, fear boner. So off they go to Casa Stilinski, and find a chessboard, the same one Stiles used last season to explain the whole werewolf thing to his dad.

 It’s all set up like a game, labeled with their names. Derek is king, and one move away from checkmate. It’s either a message from Stiles or a threat from the Nogitsune. The Sheriff pitches the theory that this might be just one sadistic joke, and all they have to do is change the punchline. Makes no sense, but I hope they’re setting up the biggest dad joke of all time.So they go to Derek’s loft, and seriously, he needs a security system, or at least some locks, because Stiles is there, standing in the middle of the room. Cue dramatic turn.
“Hi, dad.”

Next Week: More gratuitous torture scenes, 40 backflips in a row, and Derek gets his ass kicked.