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Stiles is in the car with his dad, and looking distinctly less evil than last we saw him. Sheriff drives pulls up outside Eichen House—the mental health institution we saw a few episodes ago, where shrapnel bomber William Barrow was housed. Scott arrives on his motorbike, wanting to know why he wasn’t told.
Stiles assures Scott that it’s only for 72 hours. Sheriff has been filled in on the supernatural aspects of Stiles’s condition but Stiles’s MRI did look exactly like his mum’s and that terrifies Sheriff. He’s heading to LA tomorrow to talk to a specialist. Stiles is the one who wanted to be put in Eichen House.
SCOTT: Stiles, I can’t help you if you’re in here.
STILES: And I can’t hurt you.
SCOTT: Deaton’s got some ideas, Argent’s calling people—we’re going to find something. And if we can’t—
STILES: If you can’t—if you can’t then you have to do something for me, okay? Make sure I never get out.
Sheriff and Stiles walk into Eichen House, leaving Scott outside on the pavement. Eichen House seems to have a lot more people hanging around the lobby than it did last time we saw it. An attendant greets them and takes them off to sign some papers. She tells them that, for the first 72 hours, there are no phone calls, emails, or visitors. Stiles will get a brief physical tonight and in the morning he’ll be assessed by a staff psychologist, speak to a social worker, and attend group therapy.
The attendant hands over a pair of slippers for Stiles to wear (no shoelaces allowed) and a container for the contents of his pockets. Sheriff starts worrying that they forgot Stiles’s pillow and he won’t be able to fall asleep without it. Stiles assures him that it’s all right and he can bring it tomorrow. As he empties change, his phone, and his keys into the little container, Sheriff listens to the constant sound of buzzing and slamming as patients are escorted back to their rooms.
Sheriff stands and tells Stiles to stop—he doesn’t want him in here if he’s not going to get one good night’s sleep. Stiles assures his dad that he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks. He gives Sheriff a hug and walks away with the attendant. Sheriff watches them go.
The attendant leads Stiles up a winding staircase. He pauses, thinking one of the patients is familiar, but the attendant urges him on. As they walk up more stairs, Stiles catches a glimpse of a man on the top landing, tying sheets around the bannister. The man mutters to himself over and over again, ‘I am part of the bird that’s not in the sky. I can swim in the ocean yet still remain dry.’ Stiles races up the stairs, yelling for the man to stop. The man ties the end of the sheets around his own neck and steps off the landing, hanging himself.
Welcome to your awesome temporary home, Stiles.
People gather at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at the dead man. Stiles sees the Nogitsune, in all its bandaged glory, among them.
Chris (who’s apparently still at the sheriff station) is on the phone to Deaton. Apparently he helped him poison Yuki the wolf last episode so Deaton could get to the lichen. Scott and Allison are at the animal clinic with Deaton, listening to the conversation on speakerphone. Deaton says they have two problems: the lichen is not a cure for the Nogistune; it’ll wear off in a matter of days. Hopefully, though, the Oni won’t visit Stiles in Eichen House while he’s Nogitsune-free.
CHRIS: What’s the second problem?
DEATON: I checked with your contacts in Japan. The Yukuza boss you saw killed by the Oni never found the scroll.
Deaton explains to Scott and Allison that he’s talking about a Shugendō scroll. Shugendō were the aesthetic mystics of Japan and the scroll had instructions on how to exorcise a Nogitsune. The last known buyer of the scroll is called Kincaid. Allison recognises the name and says that he was the one who met with Isaac to buy the gun (the werewolf with the extraordinarily deep voice).
From that, it seems like Silverfinger wanted the Shugendō scroll for himself but Sheriff has already told Chris that nothing like the scroll was found among Silverfinger’s effects. Someone as paranoid as Silverfinger would probably keep something that valuable on him at all times. Allison wonders if the Shugendō scroll might be smaller than they think. If it is, she might know where it is.
In Eichen House, the attendant takes Stiles to his room. Freaked out about the hanging and seeing the Nogitsune, Stiles wants to call his dad immediately. Rules are rules, though, and there’s no outside contact within 72 hours of checking in (apparently even if you witness a suicide straight-up and maybe want to delay your visit). She asks Stiles if he’d rather go to sleep or be introduced to their five-point restraint system.
Stiles’s new roommate, who seems to be undergoing the five-point restraint system, calls out that sleep is the better option. The attendant takes Stiles’s distraction as an opportunity to close and lock the door.
Stiles’s roommate introduces himself as Oliver and asks about the suicide.
OLIVER: Is it Monday? There’s a much higher rate of suicide on Mondays.
Stiles yells to be let out of the room but no one responds. He sits down on his bed and Oliver continues asking about the suicide; he heard it and knows it must’ve happened in the stairwell because of the echo.
OLIVER: It’s this place—something about the way that it was built. Everything echoes eventually. That’s why they call it Echo House.
In the morning, Oliver wakes to find Stiles sitting exactly where he was the night before, looking out the window. Stiles says he can’t sleep without his pillow. Oliver coughs; he swallowed a bug the other day and keeps feeling like it’s still in his throat.
The doors are unlocked and Oliver is apparently done with his five-point restraint time. He leads Stiles around the grounds of Eichen House, pointing out some of the patients. Most of the violent ones are in a closed unit but they have a bunch of people with OCD or who think they’re Jesus Christ.
Oliver leads Stiles to a phone. After what happened last night, Stiles has decided that Eichen House isn’t the safest place for him—or for anyone. The phone is being used by a girl.
GIRL: No, I think you’re wrong. I really think I should tell them. They’re going to want to know the story—the whole story. I really think they should know. Yes, I do. One of them is standing right behind me.
The girl hangs up the phone and walks away. Oliver says that the girl’s name is Meredith. Stiles tries to use the phone but it’s dead; phones are turned off for 24 hours after a suicide. Oliver never thought to tell Stiles because Stiles didn’t ask. Meredith wasn’t talking to anyone.
Stiles walks away from the phone, saying he needs to find a way to get out of ‘this nuthouse’. Oliver tells him it’s not really the appropriate way to describe this kind of facility. Stiles sees the same girl from last night and calls out to her. It’s Malia Tate.
STILES: Hey—Stiles. Do you remember me? I’m friends with Scott? Remember, we were the ones who helped you out with—
Malia decks him and two burly orderlies appear, restraining both Stiles and Malia. Stiles is pressed facedown onto a grate with round openings. He suddenly remembers seeing the grate from his dream a few episodes ago—the one where he was stuck in the basement with the Nogitsune.
Ms Morrell (Deaton’s mysterious sister, former emissary to the Alpha pack, and apparently a current staff member at Eichen House) suddenly shoves through the crowd, telling the orderly to let go of Stiles. He struggles to his knees, still looking at the grate.
MS MORRELL: Stiles, you saw something, didn’t you?
STILES: The basement. I’ve been down there before.
Derek and Chris have adjoining cells in the sheriff station. Derek uses his werewolf hearing to listen as Deputy Parrish tells someone that the investigation into Silverfinger’s death is now a federal investigation and everything from the sheriff’s station that wasn’t blown up needs to be placed in a federal lockup. Derek relays the information to Chris.
If all this is true, then people are dead because of Stiles. Or Void Stiles. They’ve had this kind of problem before—in season 2, with Jackson and the Kanima and they got lucky. Now their luck depends on how much of Stiles is left.
CHRIS: Did you ever hear of the Berserkers?
DEREK: Germanic warriors. They wore the skins of bears to channel their ferocity.
CHRIS: They didn’t just wear them—they became them.
Chris tells of how, a few years ago, a family approached the WEREWOLF HUNTERS about their son. He was involved with a group of teenagers who were dabbling in Berserker rituals. Berserkers, not being tempered by the moon, lose their humanity quickly. The boy was soon killing people—tearing them apart. Eventually, Chris had to tell the family that their son was gone. It took three HUNTERS to put the boy down, and every bullet they had.
When it was over, Chris felt no remorse because he knew the boy was long gone. He would feel remorse for putting Stiles down but not for killing the Nogitsune.
Stiles attends his promised group therapy session, which Ms Morrell is conducting. Oliver sits beside Stiles, still coughing at the feeling of a bug in his throat.
Malia sits beside Ms Morrell. She’s wearing earrings. When did you get your ears pierced as a coyote, Malia? Surely if you had your ears pierced as a kid, the holes would’ve closed up after eight years of neglect. Or maybe she just stopped being a coyote and was like, ‘First stop: piercing.’
Ms Morrell wants to talk about guilt, saying that it’s a rather mature emotion and can often become physical—like how Malia has said in the past that guilt makes her feel sick to her stomach. Stiles looks over his shoulder and sees the Nogitsune, wearing a white lab coat, talking to a patient.
Ms Morrell asks Stiles a question but he doesn’t hear it.
MS MORRELL: Guilt. What does it make you feel?
MS MORRELL: Like a sense of urgency? You feel an urgent need to make up for something you’ve done—to apologise.
Stiles is seeing the Nogitsune everywhere: walking around corners, in the person sitting next to him. Stiles rubs his neck, drawing attention to some weird lines on his skin. Ms Morrell ends the group session abruptly and asks Stiles to come with her.
Ms Morrell takes Stiles to her office and examines the marks on his skin. They stretch down from his neck and onto his left shoulder. Ms Morrell says the marks are called a Lichtenberg figure and they appear on lightning strike victims. The fact that they’re appearing on Stiles after a shot of wolf lichen is both significant and strange. (I guess either Stiles or Deaton has filled Ms Morrell in on the current supernatural occurrences.)
STILES: By ‘significant and strange’, do you mean ‘hopeful and optimistic’?
MS MORRELL: When the marks fade, the Nogitsune’s grip over you will return.
She hands him a bottle of amphetamines. Because Stiles is vulnerable when he’s asleep, he has to stay awake for now. If Scott and the others haven’t figured out how to exorcise the Nogitsune by the time the Lichtenberg figure disappears, Ms Morrell will come find him and give him an injection.
MS MORRELL: Pancuronium bromide. It causes respiratory paralysis.
STILES: That sounds a lot like death.
MS MORRELL: It’s used for lethal injection, yes.
STILES: So when the Nogitsune takes over, you’re going to kill me?
MS MORRELL: I’m going to do what I’ve always done: maintain the balance.
STILES: Okay, then. I’ve missed our talks. Thanks for the illicit drugs.
As Stiles leaves her office, Ms Morrell reminds him to stay awake.
Stiles tries a locked door at Eichen House and is startled when Oliver walks up behind him. The doorway leads to the basement but even the doctors don’t have a key to this door. Only Brunski, the head orderly, has a key and he keeps them on him at all times. Since part of Stiles has gotten very good at tricking people lately, he’s up to the challenge.
Allison, Lydia, Scott, and the twins gather at the Argent apartment to discuss finding the Shugendō scroll. All the evidence is being moved to federal lockup probably within the next few hours, so they’re going to have to try and rob an armoured car.
Stiles goes to the bathroom to splash some water on his face and give himself a pep talk to stay awake.
The shower is running and he turns around to see Malia standing in the steam. He averts his eyes and Malia assures him he’s in the right bathroom. Stiles babbles, trying to tell her that he didn’t see anything through all the steam.
Malia doesn’t care what Stiles saw; in the woods, there was no boys’ and girls’ room. The water temperature in the girls’ showers is lower than the boys’ and, since becoming a human again, she can’t seem to get warm.
STILES: Maybe you just have a low core temp. You know, you might just be sick or—
MALIA: I used to have a fur coat.
STILES: Or it could be—hey, it might be that. It’s probably that.
Malia turns off the shower and grabs a towel as she walks over to Stiles. When he’s done with a little bit of staring, Stiles asks why Malia punched him earlier.
MALIA: Did you think I was going to thank you?
STILES: No. Maybe. We did kind of save your life.
MALIA: You’re right, Stiles. Thank you. Thanks for invading my home, for putting me on the run, for turning me back to human so that I can look at my father every day and try to figure out how to explain to him that the reason my sister and mother are dead is because I almost ate them on a full moon. Thank you so very much.
Malia wants to go back to being a coyote and Stiles might know someone who can help with that. But he wants her help getting into the basement.
At the Argent apartment, Aiden thinks the plan would be better if they could just attack the driver of the armoured car but the girls wants something less obvious. They’ll attach one of Chris’s GPS trackers to the car and then set the twins up in the middle of a road, making it look like they got into a motorbike accident. When the driver gets out to help, the twins will distract him so that Scott can break open the back door and grab Silverfinger’s prosthetic.
Stiles and Malia’s plan to get the keys off Brunski is working perfectly. Malia pretends to pick a fight with Oliver (who’s screaming that Malia said people would drill holes in his head) and, when Brunski arrives to break it up, steals the keys and gives them to Stiles.
Chris walks into an interview room to meet his lawyer. Instead, he’s confronted with that Spanish WEREWOLF HUNTER woman, who grins evilly and calls Chris ‘Christophe’.
Stiles tries multiple keys in the basement door and is caught by Brunski, who says no one has the key to that room. Well, someone does. How else did Sheriff get in there two episodes ago to try and find Stiles?
Brunski and some other orderlies take Stiles into the ‘quiet room’ (an empty, white tiled room). Brunski wants to know where Stiles got his amphetamines. When Stiles sarcastically replies that they’re from the vending machine, an orderly gives him an injection of Haldol—a sedative. Stiles tries to apologise for his comment, saying he can’t go to sleep but it’s too late. The sedative is already taking effect. Brunski laughs as Stiles falls to the ground.
Scott is about to leave for the armoured car heist when Kira rocks up at his house, carrying a long thin bag, saying she wants to help. She still feels like her mother summoning the Oni is her fault. Kira says she’s been practising and ‘picking this up really fast—like, crazy fast’. She pulls out a sword and nearly decapitates Scott. She apologises and then shows him her mad new ninja skills and super speed.
SCOTT: Okay. You’re coming.
Stiles opens his eyes and finds himself dreaming. It’s almost the same dream he had in the first episode, where he’s stuck in a locker and screaming to be let out. Only this time the Nogitsune is walking around outside, demanding to be let in.
Stiles is woken by Malia. She broke the lock on Stiles’s door; if she concentrates, she can be pretty strong. Super strength is kind of a given for werewolves but maybe not for werecoyotes. Or maybe Malia’s supernatural powers are taking a while to manifest in human form? Either way, she pulls Stiles to his feet, saying that there’s another way to the basement. It’s through the closed unit, where they keep the real psychos.
Kira’s part in the plan is placing the GPS tracker on the truck while Allison and Scott keep watch. Just as Kira gets the tracker in place, Deputy Parrish walks out of the station—apparently he’ll be accompanying the truck. Or he would have been, if the driver weren’t already unconscious and bleeding from the head. Kira ducks on the other side of the truck as Parrish draws his gun and starts looking around.
Before Allison and Scott can do anything, Kincaid (Mr Deep Voice) jumps out of the truck and knocks Parrish out cold.
In the interview room, Chris talks to the Spanish WEREWOLF HUNTER Lady. She’s not happy that Chris has abandoned the code and says that it’s more than a code of behaviour: it’s a code of honour. Chris wants to know where in the code it said that his wife had to kill herself for being bitten. Mama Argent may have honoured the WEREWOLF HUNTERS by killing herself, but she would’ve honoured her daughter by living. The Spanish WEREWOLF HUNTER Lady remarks that the Argent is a very complicated family.
Chris wants to know why she’s really here and what she’s fishing for. The Spanish WEREWOLF HUNTER Lady tells him she doesn’t fish: she hunts.
Kincaid grabs Silverfinger’s prosthetic from the evidence truck. Scott and Allison approach him, Allison with her crossbow drawn, and says they need the finger. There’s a briefcase with $150,000 in the truck that he can take instead. Kincaid points out that the scroll in Silverfinger’s prosethtic is worth $3 million.
SCOTT: Give me the finger. You know what I mean.
Kira jumps off the evidence truck and tries to tackle Kincaid but he throws her off with no effort. His eyes glow blue and he roars, ready to fight.
Malia leads Stiles into the basement. Apparently they had no trouble getting through the closed unit and they didn’t need a key for this door. Seems dumb that they didn’t try that way first. Stiles sees the Nogitsune’s carving on the wall immediately. He tells Malia that it’s the kanji symbol for self.
MALIA: Maybe you should tell me more.
STILES: You might not like me if you know any more.
MALIA: Try to remember that I’m a werecoyote who murdered her own family. I won’t judge. Promise.
Scott, Allison, and Kira try to take on Kincaid but he’s built like a brick shithouse so they’re not having much luck. Kincaid knocks Scott to the ground, saying that he has the eyes of an Alpha but none of the strength. Ethan and Aiden (aka The Strength) arrive and start doing a better job at beating the crap out of Kincaid. Lydia, who’s suddenly appeared as well, closes her eyes to block out the violence.
Stiles and Malia sit on a couch in the basement and go through old paperwork on procedures including ice baths, electric shocks, and trephination (the head-drilling Oliver was screaming about earlier). Did you think Eichen House was going to have paperwork on how to get rid of Nogitsunes, Stiles? That is super specific.
Stiles asks Malia to check the marks on his back and she tells him they’re almost gone. Based on Stiles’s silence, she guess that’s a bad sign and pulls down his shirt for him. Her hands are freezing and Stiles tries to warm them up for her. After a slight awkward silence, Malia leans in and kisses Stiles.
STILES: Was that your first kiss?
Malia nods, smiling.
STILES: Was it okay?
Malia nods again.
STILES: Wanna try it again?
Malia nods a third time and they go in for a make-out session. Malia then says she wants to try something else and gets SHIRTLESS. Look, congrats on figuring out bras so quickly because sometimes the right fit is difficult. But, really, should you have a bra in a mental health facility? I feel like it would be possible to somehow hang yourself with a bra but I don’t KNOW. It’s a pretty-ish bra, though. Has some lace. You just do what you do.
Malia and Stiles lie back on the couch and resume kissing. I just … Stiles, you are in a mental health facility because you’re being intermittently possessed by an evil spirit. Malia, you are here because you haven’t been a human since you were nine years old. Maybe—MAYBE—you learned all that stuff as a coyote because, you know, animals mature at different rates I read that female coyotes do go into heat once a year. So maybe you’ve even had coyote babies before but at the moment I’m going with the fact that you, as a human, are still mentally nine years old and this is NOT OKAY WITH ME.
Both Lydia and Scott yell for the twins to stop before they kill Kincaid. The twins point out that Kincaid will come after them again.
ETHAN: Scott, we’ve seen guys like this. Trust us, he’s dangerous.
SCOTT: So are we. And he looks smart enough to remember that.
Are you kidding me, son? Were you even paying attention just then? You got your butt handed to you and the twins are the only reason you’re not dead right now. OKAY, MR DANGEROUS.
Scott pulls the prosthetic finger out of Kincaid’s pocket and finds the Shugendō scroll.
SCOTT: We’re here to save a life. Not end one.
He drops the silver finger one the ground.
Finished with their make-out session, Stiles and Malia have a snuggle on the couch. Malia has put her shirt back on. (We now know that this was just making out and not sexy times because Dylan O’Brien (Stiles) confirmed it in an interview at AlphaCon but my horror at the insinuation still stands.) They look pretty pleased with themselves.
Malia gets off the couch and returns to look at the Nogitsune carving on the wall. She taps against the wall and hears that it’s hollow. Stiles breaks through the wall with a pipe. Inside is a skeleton, covered in bandages and cobwebs. It’s the Nogitsune. Malia isn’t bothered by dead people so she has a look for clues, eventually finding a faded photo in the Nogitsune’s jacket pocket. Stiles looks at the picture. He recognises one of the people in the photo and says he has to get the photo to Scott.
Before Stiles can do anything, he’s Tasered by Oliver. Apparently he took the Taser from Brunski. Oliver Tasers Malia and pulls out a needle. He also got Brunski’s Haldol. That guy really should just be better at his job and not let patients just take his stuff all the time. He injects Malia. Oliver picks up an electric drill and says he’s going to let the evil spirits out using trephination. Dude. Be real. This dude stole a Taser, a sedative, and he’s now got an electric drill. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE IN A MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY? FIRE ALL YOUR STAFF AND START AGAIN.
Stiles wakes up and finds himself bound to a chair using the five-point restraint method that Oliver is now so used to. Oliver coughs and holds out his hand. It’s smeared with blood and he’s finally coughed up that bug he swallowed.
Oliver starts moving the electric drill towards Stiles’s head until a voice tells him to ‘start with her’. It’s the Nogitsune. He’s just chilling out in the basement.
STILES: You did this. You got into his head.
NOGITSUNE: Every Dracula needs a Renfield.
Stiles sees that Oliver is going to start drilling into Malia’s head. She’s restrained in the same way of Stiles and seems to still be unconscious.
The Nogitsune says that he’ll let Malia go if Stiles lets him in. Stiles struggles against his restraints, tears streaming down his face. Suddenly, he relaxes, his head lolling to the side.
The Nogitsune takes control of Stiles’s body, helping him break through the restraints. Oliver stops before the drill can touch Malia and stands, waiting for instructions. Void Stiles takes the drill from Oliver and knocks him out with it.
Malia starts to stir and murmurs Stiles’s name. Void Stiles smirks and leaves the basement.
At the animal clinic, Deaton examines the Shugendō scroll. His Japanese isn’t great but the scroll seems to say that one way a Nogitsune can be expelled is to change the body of a host.
DEATON: Which begs the question: how do we change Stiles’s body?
SCOTT: By turning him into a werewolf.
You guys had better get someone else to verify that translation before you go biting people willy- nilly.
Malia is dressed in street clothes and is apparently checking herself out of Eichen House because you’re totally allowed to do that when you’re a freaking minor. Or she’s just walking out and no one cares—including Ms Morrell, who knows that Malia is looking for Scott McCall.
MALIA: You know him?
MS MORRELL: I can tell you where to find him.
Yes, it’s called a high school and he should be there Monday-Friday between approximately 9am and 3pm. Congrats on your brilliance, Ms Morrell.
Malia strides out of Eichen House with some kind of weird long package in her hand. Not a euphemism. I don’t know what that is, though. As Malia walks to the gates, her eyes glow blue and she smiles.
END OF EPISODE