Teen Wolf "Silverfinger" Review: Enter the Yakuza, Obviously (PHOTO RECAP)
Whoops, here we go. This is it! The Teen Wolf roller coaster stopped click-click-clacking up that big hill and we've crested and we're plummeting all the way down and the tracks ahead look frenzied and spectacular and we're all screaming and the sea breeze is getting in our eyes but it doesn't matter because we feel ALIIIIIIIIIVE. Guys, this is my favorite part of EVERY season, when the show goes from a merely very entertaining teen monster serial to suddenly barreling into INSANITY territory at breakneck speed. For one thing I love when the mythology gets so complicated that I have straight-up NO IDEA what's going on. I talk about this all the time, but I love a show that trusts me to keep up even when I am clearly not keeping up. It's a breathless, brain-shocking way to tell a story and I love every second of it. Last season it happened when we realized there were MULTIPLE villains all working against each other and their backstories were hilariously, intricately intertwined. And now here we are with all the weird Japanese mythology exploding like a dirty bomb right in our brains. Like, you know an episode is going to be instant-classic when the cold open involves THE YAKUZA. But then we got a truly scary and breathless home invasion centerpiece sequence. We discovered the demon ninjas are possibly GOOD guys? And they were being controlled by a single firefly, Krang-style? Also Scott's dad discovered the truth finally. Scott's Mom remained MVP of the season. Oh and Stiles is PROBABLY A SUPERNATURAL VILLAIN NOW? Leave it to Teen Wolf to bust out what would normally be a season FINALE on any other show for its FIFTH episode. So much happened. This was one of the best episodes of Teen Wolf I've ever seen I'm pretty sure. No I am VERY sure.
If I gave letter grades to each episode, "Silverfinger" would earn the grade of WOWOWOWOW, on account of WOW. Because WOW. Let's talk about it!
We started in the Argent penthouse with a thorough explanation of why Mr. Argent had come staggering into the apartment that morning looking A MESS. And I do mean it was a THOROUGH explanation. It went back in time thirty years and involved no less than THE YAKUZA. (Much like most of my hangover stories.)
Uh, first of all. Look at Young Mr. Argent. Holy moly, this show. But anyway, yes:
Hahahaha oh man. It's like every time you think Teen Wolf is PERFECT it gets even more perfect. Guys, this cold open involved THE YAKUZA. So the gist was that Young Argent was on his first weapons deal (?) in Japan and learned the hard way that his clients were Yakuza JUST WHEN they were all attacked by demons made of firefly toots. But if we're being real they only seemed interested in harming those who were seeking to harm them first.
And they seemed ESPECIALLY interested in this dude:
And they straight-up KILLED him, silver fangs and everything! Meanwhile, Young Argent had an extremely clever idea:
He shot one of the demon guys and broke his mask off (which he now keeps in a box in his home office) and behind the mask? DARKNESS. Ugh so good. Legit scary. (Can TV shows win the MacArthur Grant? Because this sh*t is genius.)
So that's how Mr. Argent came to be familiar with these demon guys. As for who beat him up the night before, he'd apparently attempted to go visit a former Yakuza dude (the only other survivor from that flashback, and also a guy with a silver finger because why not) and the Yakuza dude beat him up BAD. Or his bodyguards did. Doesn't matter. Moral is, try not to go bother former Yakuza if at all possible, they hate it.
Then we saw Kira come home all aglow from having ridden on a motorcycle and touching Scott's werewolf face:
Haha okay, to be fair there was a lot more emotional underpinning to this moment. Like, the fact that they had both essentially come out to each other as different but the same. That must have been a very good feeling for both of them! But also he trusted her enough to wolf out in front of her and let her feel his sideburns. This scene was very good and heartwarming to me, sorry. I'm just being honest. I like this love story a lot. Nice kids.
Meanwhile the next day at school Scott could NOT shake a pair of twins who REALLY wanted to keep him safe from Japanese demon beings.
I also found this VERY charming. I love these twins so much now. They all knew that the demon guys were not big fans of sunlight, but Ethan and Aiden still insisted on being Scott's bodyguards "all day and all night." FAIR ENOUGH.
Meanwhile Stiles tried to show Scott that he'd been the one to write commands to Doug Jones to murder Kira, but somebody had erased the blackboard and also his glowing key was missing!
Um again, a CHARMING scene. Scott not only accepted what Stiles was saying at face value, he reassured him that Stiles just simply isn't a murderer so there must be some other explanation. Scott is such a good friend. Poor Stiles though, he was looking very rough and raggedy here. Sleep deprivation is no joke! Unless you are a photo-recapper in which case everything is a joke. #cry4help
Meanwhile Mr. Argent wanted to regroup and try again to contact that Yakuza guy. The reason was that he felt the Yakuza guy would know how to defeat the firefly demons, but since the Yakuza guy was shy they'd have to pose as arms dealers and pretend to sell him a very expensive gun that Mr. Argent keeps safe behind plexiglass. Needless to say Isaac and Allison would NOT be going to school that day.
Oh and then there was THIS PART. Quick question: Were you in the mood to cry prior to watching this episode?
Plotwise, pretty straightforward: Stiles' medical conditions were worsening. Insomnia, anxiety, hallucinations, just a smorgasbord of Grade-A mental issues. Mrs. McCall's solution, of course, was to shoot him up with a sedative so he could get some proper Z's. That made me nervous because whenever the parents would do that in the Freddy movies, things would not turn out well. In this case it turned out pretty well though.
Except he accidentally called her MOM when he was dozing off. At that point you probably had to pause your DVR so that you could find the pieces of your heart that had exploded everywhere. My living room was a mess. TOO MUCH. TOO MUCH. Too much. And Mrs. McCall's subtly devastating reaction? Ugh. I'm getting emotional just thinking about this.
But this scene wasn't JUST about murdering us with emotions. There was a very fascinating discovery that Mrs. McCall made because she is a PRO-ACTIVE THINKER unlike 95 percent of the parents on other supernatural teen shows. She remembered there had been another patient with symptoms identical to Stiles'. But WHO was it?
Oh, thanks, suggested hashtag. Way to undercut the sense of discovery and poignancy. (Somebody please kill all suggested hashtags please PLEASE.) Anyway. A perfect scene between two perfect characters. And then a perfect twist. WHAT IS GOING ON? Oh man, whatever it is, it doesn't seem like a good thing, I'll tell you that right now.
This looks like a good thing, however:
Isaac wore Allison's dad's suit! And he claimed that he looked terrible and awkward but our eyeballs begged to differ. Still though, he felt like an impostor trying to pose as an arms dealer selling a musket gun to the Yakuza (fair enough), but Allison is a very excellent ladyfriend and she gave him a shot of go-go juice to perk him up.
Unless I'm mistaken that was their FIRST KISS right? It was very adorable. Oh, and then THIS happened:
"Bad to the Bone" was not actually playing when Isaac walked into a Yakuza warehouse and doffed his shades, but IT KIND OF WAS.
But right away we knew that the men working for the former Yakuza bossman were NOT what they seemed.
I mean, we all walk into rooms with our werewolf nails outstretched, right? All the classiest werewolves do that. But oh right, here was the whole plan: Isaac was supposed to distract the guards with the sale of a priceless gun, and meanwhile Mr. Argent and Allison were going to sneak in and confront the Yakuza dude directly. So these Isaac scenes were all charming because he was merely trying to stall everybody by drawing out the sale as long as possible.
In my opinion Isaac ended up being right: He really did just seem like a teenager in an ill-fitted suit. Still though, he GOT RESULTS:
The Argents were IN THERE.
Meanwhile Scott and Kira snuck off to his house to better protect themselves from shadow demons or whatever. That's when she busted out her Japanese folklore book and told us more about her kitsune properties.
Apparently there are 12 kitsune with different abilities (like Pokemon or something) and Kira's variation has multiple tails and seems very chill, except in her book there was a picture of a foxfire kitsune (foxfire is her type, like the Angelina Jolie movie) fist-fighting some wolves, so who knows what that will mean. Then Scott and Kira almost kissed on the mouth but suddenly there was a racket downstairs!
Agent McCall had a security system on his laptop that takes peoples' pictures when they use it and he found out that Scott and Kira had been using his laptop to charge her cell phone the other night. For a second Scott seemed very busted, but then he was all sassy to his dad like, 'Get outta my face dad!' (paraphrasing). And then the sun went down which meant the demon warriors were on the way.
Then the Yakuza bodyguard got tired of Isaac's games and outed him.
Meanwhile the Argents made their move and finally confronted the Yakuza guy who had all of the info that they wanted! (Also he was played by Emily's sensei from Revenge. But the sensei POST-face transplant, I guess.)
It was a classic Father-Daughter double-team and the guy didn't even stand a chance!
Meanwhile, just when it looked like Scott's dad couldn't get more useless, at least he bore witness to THIS nightmare in the living room:
AND THEN HE GOT STABBED WITH A GHOST SWORD! Nobody was sad. Kira was just exercising good manners when she screamed.
It was kind of just a courtesy scream. Anyway, then all the shadow warriors invaded and a big monster brawl broke out!
And there were surprise guests!
Haha it turned out Derek had been following Scott around all day and all night like the twins had threatened to do. I had been missing Stalker Derek (Stalker Derek was a big part of Season 1), so this was a big return to form!
Oh then the twins showed up! I know they don't really combine into a brute Alpha anymore, but I was still kinda hoping they would for old time's sake. Oh well.
So anyway, that's when they realized they needed to set off the monster alarm system that Deaton had set up, which involved basically pushing all the ghost demons out the front door and then using magic powder to create a forcefield. (We all have security systems like this, no big deal.)
So anyway, that's what they did:
Haha, those firefly toots were BANNED, man. Stay on the porch, dummies.
Meanwhile Mr. Argent and Allison were FINALLY getting answers about just who those demon warriors even were.
This is where my brain just could NOT keep up. But let me try to explain this. Those guys are known as Oni, and they are a force of nature that tracks down dark spirits. So they'd been going through Beacon Hills looking for a dark spirit that had escaped and had been capturing/branding the monsters who were clear. In the flashback scene the one Yakuza guy was an evil kitsune and they killed him. Now they were looking for a new dark spirit and I guess we were supposed to believe that was Kira. Also this guy, whose named was Silverfinger, felt that he owed Argent his life because Young Argent had fired a gun in an Oni's face and broke his mask. I don't know. It was a cool story though.
Meanwhile back at the house, the Oni were starting to break through the force field!
I was glad the writers didn't cop out and make Scott's dad unconscious for this whole scene. Nope! He was alive and perceptive during all this insanity. Hopefully it gives him a more chill 'tude toward Sheriff Stilinski. He even sort of admitted that he'd been a bad father or wrong about junk, I don't know. I was honestly more concerned about the stains he was leaving on that duvet. Ugh, Mrs. McCall just could not catch a break!
Then the demons broke through!
But Allison had called Scott on the telephone and told him that when it came to deal with these guys there was nothing they could do but peacefully allow them to do their jobs. And he had such faith that he and Kira were not dark spirits that he took her hand and they stepped up for examination.
And guess what? BOTH CLEAN! No dark spirits here. Way to waste everybody's time you big firefly weirdos. Where can Mrs. McCall send the cleaning bill?
But then at the hospital THIS HAPPENED:
STILES IS THE DARK SPIRIT! STILES! IS THE DARK SPIRIT! And also, wow, that whole army of ghost demons was controlled by one little firefly, sort of like Krang in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So Dark Stiles ripped it out and it died!
Then Scott walked in and Stiles went back to normal.
And then the firefly evaporated. Circle of life.
How was THAT for a twist, everybody? I will answer that question for you: It was an amazing and riveting and incredible twist. Stiles! Part of me was weirded out because I liked that he was always pretty much the human character who still seems as formidable as the monsters. I realize his possession probably won't be permanent. But still, this is amazing. He's secretly a villain! That was quite frankly a reveal I didn't see coming and I LOVE not seeing things coming. Love it.
"Silverfinger" was an instant classic for me. It seems weird every single week raving about an episode only to then see another episode I like even better the following week, but that's how the world works right now, and that's especially how Teen Wolf works. This was an episode firing on all cylinders: Insanity, shocks, action, and a huge dose of feels. What more could you want out of a TV show? Literally nothing more.
... Did you expect that final twist?
... Will Scott's dad chill out finally?
... Was the death of one of the twins foreshadowed by Derek's question asking whether they'd die for Scott? If so, which twin will bite it?
... Which relationship is more compelling to you: Allison-Isaac or Scott-Kira?
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