It’s time for Stiles to go get himself checked in for a little help.
What They Say:
Echo House – Scott and the others seek an important artifact; Stiles must make a decision about Eichen House.
With the way the last episode went, it was frustrating because we had so much good stuff in it but it was executed in a way that left me waiting for it to get to the point. Of course, a lot of it was in the last couple of minutes and the way they went about it makes sense but something about the way it unfolded just irked me and kept me from connecting with it. Getting what we did about Stiles and what’s going on with him definitely made it pretty engaging at the end though, especially when we began to get more about what happened to his mother, his connection to it and the absolute treat that’s coming from what Peter may have in his family that he didn’t know about. But a lot of what the focus turned to is the way that Stiles is just dealing with some really serious issues and he’s being surprisingly proactive with it, to the point of being put in an institution for his own safety – and that of others.
While Stiles is handling all of this well and understanding why he needs to do it, it’s freaking his father out in a big way as there’s too many bad memories. He’s looking for excuses to get him out of there, thinking of his son in a way that a father will, but still not quite understanding all that Stiles is going through. The father/son dynamic for Teen Wolf between these two has been really great throughout the series so far and this just reinforces not only the solid writing for it, but the way that the two actors engage and make it work so convincingly. Stiles first evening in the place is not one that goes well though, making him probably wishing for that pillow all the more, as there is definitely something not right with this place. Having someone hang themselves in the stairway during his initial walk up to his room doesn’t exactly raise the confidence level of those that work here.
Stiles ends up getting roomed with a guy named Oliver and both of them are pretty aware that there’s something not right with this place named Eichen House. There’s something dangerous roaming in there, though you get the sense that a lot of them are seeing things that don’t exist. But there’s also the fact that we’ve seen plenty of weird things that shouldn’t exist over the course of the series. The two get along in a fairly amusing way but there’s also an intriguing reveal that comes along as we find out that Malia is being treated here as well. What makes it all the more disturbing is that it turns out Morel is there too and she shows up just as Stiles begins to realize that he really has been held here before, which brings its own particular kinds of fears into play because his mind has been messed with so much lately. Having things come back that he wasn’t sure was real in a way is only going to test his connection to reality all the more.
The show spends a lot of time in Eichen House and it goes in a kind of haphazard way as Stiles tries to figure out what’s going on there, what he’s seeing and what his connection to it is based on his apparently past experience there in the basement. While this plays out, we get a few other stories running as well, but they’re definitely smaller pieces when you get down to it. We get the quest for the scroll, which is being executed in an amusing fashion as we get the girls making it clear what will be done and getting the guys, namely the twins, to understand that it’s not all about the fighting it out thing. It’s an important part of the larger story overall and it’s executed pretty well, with some good comedy as well when it comes to Scott asking for the finger, but it is definitely a lighter story overall compared to the focus that Stiles is getting. Which isn’t bad as it allows progress to be made here will making sure that the more serious material is Stiles’ story.
There are some surprising and enjoyable moments here, especially with the way that Stiles and Malia get ~really~ close, but there’s that part of you throughout this episode that wonders how much is real and how much is in Stiles head that you can kind of hedge yourself with what goes on. It’s all leading towards more and more small revelations to build the bigger picture, but there’s also the obvious twists that come along the way, including Oliver not being all that we thought he was. But when you take that whole guilt into a physical reaction idea and realize that he’s had some of the most noticeable physical reactions, you can see that there are issues to be had here. Stiles has been pushed and pushed into the corner that he’s in now and is just starting to grasp what it is that’s going on and just how screwed he is with the way that he’s being used and abused in order to get what’s wanted from him from the thing that’s inside of him. It’s disturbing and creepy but again, it’s the slow execution that keeps it from being really engaging.
I have to admit, that by the end here, I was really wishing for Stiles to let his foe into his head just so we can move forward more, but I know that this part of the arc is about giving the character his due. He’d been underused for the most part in the first half of the season so it’s his chance to shine, which isn’t a bad thing as Dylan O’Brien really does play him well and makes him a lot of fun to watch. The whole Eichen House storyline isn’t bad but it’s just kind of there with its little twists and turns that haven’t managed to engage me outside of the whole Malia angle. And with this dominating here, the other subplots don’t feel like they’re really getting their due, keeping them too far off the grid to be really engaging or seemingly important.