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"Letharia Vulpina" is the nineteenth episode of Season Three of Teen Wolf. It was written by Jeff Davis and directed by Russell Mulcahy. It is the forty-third episode of the series overall, and premiered on February 17, 2014.

Synopsis

Stiles is back and Scott must prevent a disaster; Lydia and Allison seek help from an unlikely source.

Recap

A man drinks scotch on the balcony of his home in Japan. He asks one of his subordinates why the doctor for his wolf is taking so long, and his man assures him that the vet is on his way. The boss picks up his gun and starts shouting at his men that he asked why it was taking so long, not whether the vet was quality. "Do you think I would pay for an idiot?" He asks why his pet hasn't moved in 12 hours and demands to know where the doctor is. Just then the door chimes. The door panels draw back, revealing Dr. Deaton, flanked by more yakuza men. Deaton addresses the man in Japanese and apologizes. The boss tells him to apologize if he can't do anything. "Have you worked with wolves before?" the boss asks. Deaton smirks and replies, "Here and there." The wolf's name is Yuki. Deaton examines Yuki's teeth and then asks if he's been around any unusual plants, something that looks like moss. It would be bright green, almost neon. The yakuza all give each other shifty looks. Deaton tells them that he needs to know if Yuki has eaten any, and the boss is distressed. He wants Deaton to just treat him if he knows about the lichen, but Deaton insists that he needs to know the species of lichen first. The boss relents. He orders one of his men to take Deaton into the garden, but the man refuses. All of his men refuse to go into the garden. "Superstitious idiots," the boss says, and leads Deaton out.

The head into the same garden where Chris Argent's first deal with the yakuza and first encounter with a nogitsune went down. The boss looks nervous and motions toward a fountain in the middle of the garden that's covered in lichen. This fountain is where the nogitsune bled as the Oni stabbed him. Deaton opens his bag and hands the boss a glass bottle. He gets down and starts to cut free a sample, while the boss asks him if he really thinks Yuki got into the garden and ate lichen. "Actually, I think Yuki probably doesn't come anywhere near here. I doubt if you could even drag him in." Deaton inspects the lichen and says that some part of the wolf probably senses what happened in the garden. "...to your father and the nogitsune possessing him," Deaton says. The yakuza boss points his gun at the back of Deaton's head. Deaton continues, unruffled. "This particular lichen is called letharia vulpina, wolf lichen. They used it to poison wolves and foxes. They'd put out pieces of meat with crushed glass and bits of lichen in it." The glass would perforate the intestines and allow the poison from the lichen to get in. The boss demands to know what Deaton did to his wolf. "Well, I didn't poison him with lichen, but I did give him a powerful paralytic agent." He used kanima venom, which he also put on the glass he handed to the boss. The boss loses his grip on his gun and collapses. Deaton takes his jar back and brandishes the lichen. "Born out of the blood of a nogitsune, this lichen is quite special. More powerful than you know." The boss asks what he's going to use it for, and Deaton replies that he's going to poison the nogitsune inside a teenager.

Kira watches in the Beacon Hills Hospital parking lot as a live wire whips down toward her. It seems to come straight for her and try to touch her. She backs away, and an ambulance drives into the wire instead. The truck goes wild and busts open a fire hydrant. The wire lands in the water, electrifying it. Allison and Isaac drive up. The ambulance driver gets out of his vehicle and steps in the water. He dies instantly. Kira screams at everyone to get back. Allison starts running toward the water, but Isaac throws her back. The water rushes over his feet, and he falls. Another woman gets out of her car right into the water and also dies. One guy drives right through the water, and Kira uses his car as a bridge. She runs up the hood and does a flip off the roof that puts her right near the live wire. Derek and Scott make it down to the scene from the roof of the hospital and watch as Kira grabs the wire and smothers it with her hand. Her eyes glow yellow. Scott stares at her. People flood out of the hospital, and Noshiko sees what her daughter has done. As soon as the electricity stops, Derek runs for Isaac while Scott just keep staring at Kira. Derek checks Isaac's pulse and yells to Scott that Isaac isn't breathing. Scott remembers Derek's words in a half-waking state. He recalls them wheeling Isaac into the hospital, the side of his face covered in burns. Noshiko pulled Kira aside to tell her that she saw what she did but that now is not the time for anyone else to see. He recalls Deputy Parrish telling the Sheriff that two people saw Stiles's Jeep leave the hospital. Rafael McCall picked up the wire and noted that it was cut. Finally, Scott plays back Derek telling him that he had to tell Stiles's dad what was going on.

Scott stops to talk to his mom as he leaves for school. It's been over 48 hours since anyone saw Stiles. She says that if anyone is going to be missing for two days and turn up fine it would be Stiles. Scott asks about Isaac, and Melissa suggests they stop by the hospital before school.

Sheriff Stilinski stares at his phone with a text message from Stiles: Am ok. Please don't look for me. Be back soon. Parrish interrupts his brooding to have him sign for some packages. Parrish says it's just printer cartridges and batteries for the next blackout. "Not a bad idea considering the number of electrical problems in this town." The Sheriff signs, and Parrish leaves as Agent McCall comes in. He asks if the Sheriff has had any issues with yakuza, specifically Katashi.

When they get to the hospital, Scott finds Allison asleep outside Isaac's room. He wakes her and asks if she's been there all night. "Yeah, they won't let me see him 'cause I'm not family. I told them he doesn't have any." Melissa says he's got them and she's got a key card. She opens the door to Isaac's isolation room and tells them to be quick. Scott and Allison walk forward cautiously, and Allison takes Scott's hand. They approach together. Allison wonders why Isaac isn't healing from the burns. Scott thought he'd be healing too. Scott touches Isaac's blackened arm. "Is he in pain?" Allison asks. Scott nods and draws some of the pain out until it hurts so much he can't stand it. Allison looks worried for them both. "It won't heal him, but it helps with the pain," Scott says. Allison gets suddenly serious and asks if Stiles really caused all this. "Whatever's controlling him did it." "Well then how do we get whatever's inside of him the hell out of him?" Scott tells her that he's working on it.

At school, Kira explains to Scott that kitsune are tricksters who are mischievous and unconcerned with things like right or wrong. Scott asks if that means the nogitsune is just causing problems for the hell of it. "No, there was something else I found. If you somehow offend a nogitsune, it can react pretty badly." Scott reasonably asks how you would offend a nogitsune, but Kira doesn't know. She just sure that it's very highly offended to be acting out this way.

The Coach tells everyone in the boys locker room to contact the first available teacher if they catch wind of Stiles. Secondly, he got a card for Isaac, which they are all going to sign and include a personal message so profound that it brings a tear to Coach's eye. Danny volunteers to be first, and Coach tells him to keep it PG. The twins tell Scott that they're worried because there's no Stiles and no demonic ninjas for two days. "Things are getting too quiet." Scott admits that it's making him nervous as well. Then he hears the distant sound of one of Argent's sonic emitters. They follow the sound down to the basement and find Stiles standing in the corner holding the emitter. Stiles turns to face them. "Okay, I know what you guys are thinking. But it's me. I swear to God it's me." The twins ignore his pleas, flash their eyes and fangs, and attack him. Scott orders them to stop, but they don't. He throws Ethan off Stiles and grabs Aiden. Scott roars Aiden into submission. Stiles swears that he's himself. He doesn't know where he's been or what he's been doing the last two days, though. Ethan asks him if he knows what happened at the hospital. Stiles shows them his bag full of electrical gear and a blueprint of the hospital's wiring. Ethan picks up a saw from the bag and asks Stiles what he's been up to. "I think something worse. A lot worse."

Lydia is walking down the hallway at school when she sees her mom talking to Peter Hale. She rushes over to break them up, but Peter disappears into the crowd before she can get to him. Lydia's mom tells her that Peter was from the Health Department and they will be scheduling hearing tests for the students. "Hearing tests? He was talking about hearing?" Lydia asks. Her mother comments that she clearly needs to be signed up. "He gave me his card," Mrs. Martin says, and shows Lydia a piece of paper. "Mom, this is a piece of paper with a phone number written on it." "I know. Still got it," she replies brightly.

Scott, Stiles, and the twins unpack the bag with Stiles's gear. Scott finds a map with the cross-country trail highlighted. The highlighting ends at the crash location of the Tate's car, where Malia's dad put the steel-jawed traps. Coach blows his whistle and tells everyone in gym class to start running. Danny and Kira quickly get to the head of the pack. Kira grins at Danny and takes off at supernatural speed.

Chris arrives home to find his apartment door ajar. He draws his gun and enters cautiously. The door to his office is also open, and he looks in to see a sonic emitter jammed into his desk. "Lose something?" Derek says from behind. Chris turns to fight, and Derek grabs his arm. Chris puts his gun to Derek's head, while Derek has his claws on Chris's throat. "Why are you breaking into my apartment?" Chris asks. "Why are you leaving emitters in my loft?" Derek replies. Chris tells him that he has no idea why an emitter would be there and points his gun away. Derek lets him go. Chris says that he spent all of the last two days trying to find Stiles but he hasn't had any luck. "Mind if I ask what you plan on doing if you find him?" Derek asks. "Well that depends on which Stiles I find," Chris answers.

Scott, Stiles, and the twins pull up to the trail. They tell Coach there's a problem.

Chris notes that a cabinet in his office is broken. He opens the door to find a briefcase inside. "This isn't mine," he says. Derek reaches for it, but Chris tells him to be careful and checks the box for triggers before taking it out. He opens it to find the $150k that Katashi was going to pay for the French pistol. Derek asks whose money it is, and while Chris is explaining, Agent McCall shows up. He has Katashi's silver finger in an evidence bag.

Danny is running away from the pack, when Ethan appears out of nowhere and tackles him. They roll through the leaves. "What the hell are you doing?" Danny asks. "Um. I missed you," Ethan replies, then kisses him. Scott runs at Kira and catches her, swinging her high into the air. Stiles runs up and tells everyone to stop. He looks in the leaves and finds a length of metal chain. Stiles pulls the chain up, but when he gets to the end, there's no trap. Stiles frowns. Coach asks if somebody could tell him what the hell is going on. He takes a step into a trip wire and gets shot in the gut with an arrow. "Oh, crap," he says as he falls.

Lydia and Allison go to Derek's loft to confront Peter. "While it's smart to bring me with you, I still think the rest of this is totally insane," Allison says. Lydia explains that she's been a colossal failure at using her powers and she wants to know if Peter can really help. "Peter doesn't offer help. He offers a chance for you to be manipulated into giving him what he wants," Allison counters. Lydia is fine with seeing what Peter wants. She pulls open the loft door, and Peter is standing in front of the window. "The hunter and the banshee. Ladies, come in."

Coach screams in pain and orders them to get the arrow out of him. He keeps shouting and squirming in pain and panic. Stiles gives Scott a nod, and Scott starts taking some of Coach's pain. Coach passes out. Stiles looks at his blood-covered hands. "I coulda kill him. What if it was his head or his throat?" Scott assures him that it wasn't and Coach will be fine. Aiden hears an ambulance coming, and Stiles points out that his dad will be with them.

Derek and Chris are handcuffed to a bench in the sheriff station. Chris asks if Derek knows why Stiles would frame them for murder. "I didn't think Stiles was smart enough to frame us for murder," Derek replies, apparently forgetting that other time Stiles got him arrested... for murder (although not framed, there was no planted evidence). Chris isn't convinced that that's why they're there. He says McCall will come out in a minute and they'll talk attorneys. He asks Derek to tell McCall that he's going to be represented by Argent's attorney. Derek would like to know why he should do that, and Chris tells him that it's to buy time, because he's not calling his attorney just yet.

Peter tells Lydia that Allison has to go, but since the last time Lydia was alone with Peter she almost died on the lacrosse field, she's thinking Allison is going to stay. Peter claims that he wasn't trying to kill her. She was his backup plan. Plus the Bite brought out her banshee powers. "I'm the spark that lit your fire, sweetheart." Allison says that he attacked her and nearly killed her. "Power doesn't come without a little pain and struggle," Peter replies. Lydia reminds him that she never asked for any of this, and Peter's reply is that it's okay because she's embracing it now. Allison brings up the fact that he brainwashed her to bring himself back to life. "So that I could be here now to help you master your abilities. Isn't it amazing how things come full circle." Allison isn't taking any more of this insanity. She takes Lydia's hand and pulls her toward the door. Peter decides to tell her something helpful. "It's not the scream that gives you power. All the scream does is help drown out the noise. Allowing you to hear." Peter claims he can help her focus her hearing. "But you want something in return?" Allison asks. "No, I'm dedicating my life to helping out narcissistic teenage girls." He grabs the triskele urn and dumps Talia's claws onto the table.

Ethan rummages around in Stiles's bag in the back of the Jeep, while Stiles talks to his father. Ethan calls Scott over and shows him wrapping paper, the same wrapping paper they used on Coach's birthday present. Ethan reminds him that that was Barrow's thing, a bomb wrapped in a birthday present. Scott realizes that there's another bomb and it's going to be on a school bus.

At the school, Mr. Ken Yukimura races toward the bus where Jared sits with a wrapped present in his lap. "They told me not to move," Jared says. Mr. Ken Yukimura assures him that it's all right. Mr. Ken Yukimura gets close enough to take a look at the present.

Allison holds up one of Talia's claws. Peter explains that before Talia died she stole a memory from him. "That memory is locked inside those claws." "Why would your sister want to steal a memory from you?" Lydia asks. "Well if I remembered the memory, I might be able to tell you," Peter sasses back. Lydia asks what she's supposed to do.

Sheriff Stilinski arrives at the school and continues getting students away from the bus. He tells Parrish that they're going to wait for the bomb squad, but Parrish was certified HDT (Hazardous Device Technician) in the Army. Parrish says he can at least find out if the bomb is real. He puts on a vest and heads for the bus.

Peter orders Lydia to focus, but she's frustrated. He tells her that her hearing is attuned to a level of the universe that no one else can hear. "I am trying." "Try harder." Peter growls and lunges for her but Allison stops him with an electrified baton to the throat. He turns on her and takes out his claws. "Your aunt had one of those," he says to her. Peter tries to antagonize Allison, but Allison just stares at him calmly. Lydia orders them to both stop. "Didn't help her much as I ripped her throat out." "She didn't shove it up your--" Lydia yells at them to stop it and throws the claws. They sail across the room and embed in a pillar. Lydia can hear crying and voices. Peter keeps interrupting her as she's trying to listen. "What did Talia take from me? Tell me what she knew!" Lydia turns toward him. "You're not just an uncle."

Derek looks down at the handcuffs. "I could easily get out of these, you know." Chris could too, but he's not interested in being a fugitive. Derek isn't interested in being a victim to a 17-year-old possessed by a psychotic fox. Chris argues with him, and Derek agrees to give him a few more minutes. "If something happens, don't expect me to risk my life trying to save yours."

At the school, the Yukimuras meet in the history classroom. Kira watches her parents through the window in the door. Mr. Ken Yukimura takes a very large book of the shelf, and his wife is incredulous. "Couldn't you find something more secure?" "How many high school students do you know who would willingly open a book," her husband replies. They open the book revealing nine small knives. They are Noshiko's tails. She has already sacrificed five of them and three of the Oni are gone. Her husband worries about how many of them she's willing to sacrifice. "If I have to, all of them." Noshiko pulls one of the blades out of the book and snaps it. Then another. "These Oni will be stronger. Much stronger."

Parrish kneels next to Jared and tells him that it would be very helpful if he could resist throwing up on the potential explosive device. Parrish goes to cut the ribbon on the box when Jared says, "You . . . you look really--" "Handsome? Thank you. For a second there I thought you were going to say I look really young, and I was going to have to launch into my explanation about how I'm actually 24 and that anyone can look young if they eat right and exercise, although it's probably just good genes anyway, right?" Parrish cuts the ribbon and slowly lifts the lid off the box. He reports to Sheriff Stilinski that it's not a bomb but there is something int he box. It's his name plate from the station. The Sheriff remembers the delivery from that morning and realizes where the bomb really is.

Everyone at the sheriff station starts rushing around, much to Chris and Derek's distress. A deputy starts to unlock their handcuffs, and Derek focuses his senses. He hears the bomb. He throws the deputy away and shields Chris with his body as the bomb goes off.

The Yukimuras watch as the sun sets. Fireflies come out of the nemeton and form more Oni.

The Sheriff has arrived back at the station. He calls for ambulances. Scott looks around in horror. Stiles finds an officer who is dying and calls Scott over. Chris grabs Derek, who looks like he's about to pass out. There's glass embedded in Derek's back, but he says he's okay. "You save my life," Chris says. Stiles asks Scott if he can do something about the officer. "Take his pain? Anything to make it easier?" Scott does, and the man dies as Scott is siphoning the pain away. Scott looks even more horrified than before. The Sheriff is yelling something at the both of them, and Scott eventually grabs Stiles and drags him away. Kira runs into the station and reports that the Oni are coming. "Stiles, we gotta get you out of here," Scott says.

Peter advances on Lydia demanding to know more. "I said I don't know. I don't know it's name, if it's a boy or a girl. Or if it's some mutated wolf-baby." Peter accuses her of lying. He grabs her, and Allison hits him with the electrified baton, knocking him to the floor. "Now we're leaving," Allison says, and grabs Lydia's hand.

Kira, Scott, and Stiles are in the Jeep. They're going to the Animal Clinic because it's lined with mountain ash just like Scott's house, which will buy them time. Stiles points out that they can get through it, but no one has any better ideas. Allison and Lydia pull up pictures on their phones. Lydia has a photo of Malia Tate. They compare it to a photo of Peter and declare Malia to be Peter's daughter.

Stiles pulls up to the Animal Clinic in the pouring rain. Three Oni appear right behind them. Scott tosses Stiles the keys and orders him to get inside. Scott wolfs out and fights the Oni. Kira tries to help and discovers that she can somehow fight. She flips an Oni on its back, then starts beating on the with a pipe. Scott gets distracted watching her, and an Oni runs him through with its sword. Kira screams and kicks the Oni once, knocking it on its ass. Stiles runs out to grab Scott and hauls him into the clinic.

They bring Scott into the exam room. Kira goes to pull the sword out, but Stiles grabs her arm to stop her, then slams her head into the table. Stiles is now clearly being ruled by the nogitsune. He runs his fingers along the handle of the sword. "Okay?" "Please don't. Stop," Scott says, but he seems mesmerized by the transformation. The nogitsune grabs Scott by the shoulder and the sword by the handle and twists. The nogitsune tells him that he should have done is reading. "The nogitsune feeds off chaos, strife, pain. This morning you took it from Isaac. Then you took it from Coach. And then from a dying deputy. All that pain. You took it all. Now . . . give it to me." It grabs Scott's face and draws all the pain out of him with a look of ecstasy. The nogitsune tells him that he should learn not to trust a fox. "They'll fool you. They'll fool everyone." Deaton appears. "Not everyone." And then he injects Stiles with letharia vulpina. Stiles collapses. Deaton pulls the sword out of Scott in one swift move. Scott asks if Stiles will be okay now. "The fox is poisoned, but it's not dead. Not yet."

Cast

Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Clark Freeman as Dying Deputy
  • Robert Huynh as Ikeda Bodyguard
  • Jeremiah Sutheim as Jared

Trivia

  • The lichen Letharia vulpina exists, but it does not grow naturally on rock, as suggested in the show. The natural habitat of L. vulpina is the dry bark of conifer trees (pine, spruce etc).
  • Although the common name for the lichen Letharia vulpina is "wolf lichen", the Latin species name "vulpina" actually refers to foxes. E.g. the binominal (scientific) name for the common red fox is "Vulpes vulpes".

Connections

Quotes

Stiles: [Possessed] It's okay. Does it hurt? Hey, look at me. You should have done your reading, Scott. See, a nogitsune feeds off chaos, strife and pain... All that pain. You took it all. Now, give it to me! You really have to learn, Scott. You really have to learn not to trust a fox.

Lydia: Why would your sister want to steal a memory from you?
Peter: Well, if I remembered the memory, I might be able to tell you.

Allison: Did Stiles really do this?
Scott: Whatever's controlling him did it. Whatever's inside him.
Allison: Then how do we get whatever's inside him the hell out of him?
Scott: I'm working on it.

Chris: I'm not interested in being a fugitive from the law.
Derek: Well, I'm not interested in being a victim to a 17-year old possessed by a psychotic fox.

Aiden: No Stiles. No demonic Ninjas.
Ethan: Things are getting too quiet around here.
Scott: Yeah, I know. It's making me nervous too.

Coach Finstock: Congratulations, Stilinski. You found a length of chain. Can somebody now please tell me what the hell is going on?
Scott: [Sees the coach step on a trip wire] Hey, Coach.
Coach Finstock: [Gets hit with an arrow] Oh, crap!

Coach Finstock: There's a card on my desk for Isaac Lahey, and every one of you losers is not only going to sign it, you're going to write a personal message so profound and deep, it's gonna bring a tear to Coach's eye. Who's first? Ah, Danny! That's how you do it, buddy. Keep it PG.

Boss: You really think Yuki got in here and ate this stuff?
Dr. Deaton: Actually, I think Yuki probably doesn't come anywhere near here. I doubt if you could even drag him in. Some part of him probably senses what happened here. To your father and the nogitsune possessing him. This particular lichen is called Letharia vulpina. Wolf lichen. They used it to poison wolves and foxes. They'd put out pieces of meat with crushed glass and bits of the lichen in it. The glass perforated the intestines of the animal so the vulpinic acid could reach the internal organs faster.
Boss: What did you do to my wolf?
Dr. Deaton: Well, I didn't poison him with lichen. But I did give him a powerful paralytic agent. The same one I put on that jar.

Derek: Okay, we're both trying to find Stiles. Mind if I ask what you planned on doing if you find him?
Chris: Well, that depends on which Stiles I find.

Lydia: I just need to figure this out and he's the only one offering help.
Allison: Peter doesn't offer help. He offers a chance for you to be manipulated into giving him what he wants.
Lydia: Fine. Let's see what he wants.

Derek: So, I don't suppose you have any idea why Stiles would frame us for murder?
Chris: I didn't think Stiles was smart enough to frame us for murder.

Peter: [about Allison] She goes.
Lydia: The last time I was alone with you... I almost bled out on a lacrosse field. She stays.
Peter: Do you actually think I was trying to kill you when I bit you? You were my backup plan, remember? Not to mention, the bite is what brought out your nascent abilities. You think power like that was going to come out on its own? I'm the spark that lit your fire, sweetheart.
Allison: You attacked her and nearly killed her.
Peter: Power doesn't come without a little pain and struggle.

Aiden: What the hell were you doing? Building a Terminator?
Stiles: Thank you for that.

Soundtrack

  • Renegade (Radio Edit) - DANK
  • Dreaming of You (Svenson & Gielen Remix) - Thrillseekers
  • 2 Thingz - Basecamp
  • Apple Pie - Cameron the Public
  • Hold On - William Fitzsimmons

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