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So this week's Teen Wolf episode included a prolonged fever dream/sleepwalking nightmare in which Stiles is confronted by the nogitsune/"shadow self" in what he imagines is the basement of Eichen House, the mental health hospital that housed Barrow after his school bus bombing incident. Teen Wolf's not been shy in the past about sowing mysteries it never fully reaps, and generally it adds to the rich background of its characters and gives them a sense of history beyond the immediate needs of the plot, but this one seems different. The trajectory of the season seems hellbent on its mysteries: the identity of the nogitsune, his relationship to the Stilinski and Yukimura families, and the dark history of Beacon Hills. So I've assembled a few observations.




1. The nogitsune as he appears in Stiles' vision in "Riddled" is a uniformed World War II fighter pilot, including a leather bomber jacket with an Army Air Forces winged star patch (below), which is briefly visible a few times in the scene.

It was, as far as I know, only used for the Army Air Forces, which was only active during World War II before being replaced by the United States Air Force in 1947.

2. The nogitsune speaks Japanese, if in a strange and hilted cadence.

3. Assuming Mr. Yukimura told Allison and Isaac the truth, Allison's mysterious voicemail includes instructions in Japanese for internment camp prisoners during World War II at an otherwise undocumented Oak Creek facility.

4. The Yukimuras—Kira's mother's family—had long lived in Beacon Hills, moved away while Kira was young, and just recently moved back. Since Mrs. Yukimura appears to be the one controlling the Oni, she is likely the owner of the anonymous feet early in Season 3B and the one who called them out of the nemeton.

5. When confronting nogitsune-Stiles at the end of "Riddled," Mrs. Yukimura claimed the nogitsune knew her, which he then acknowledged. Although this could perhaps be only a recognition of each character's supernatural identity—i.e., that the nogitsune is a nogitsune, and that Mrs. Yukimura is whatever she is (another kitsune?)—it seems more personal than that. It seems that they have met before, or, given the potential chronological gap, met with her family before.

6. Barrow was an inmate of Eichen House—a name possibly derived from German die Eiche "oak"—for years before escaping and using Kira's kitsune powers to jump start Stiles' inner-nogitsune. (This may or may not be related to the internment facility Oak Creek, or the nemeton itself, or indeed the local druids, since "druid" may be derived from proto-Celtic "oak-knower" and 3A's villain was, of course, the darach "dark oak". It may also be that the Teen Wolf writers just like to play around with the idea of oaks or that Beacon Hills is particularly rife with them.)

7. In his dream, Stiles imagines himself trapped in the Eichen House basement though there is no indication that he previously knew what it looked like. When the sheriff and company discover the room, the "self" kanji—used by the Oni to mark un-possessed people—is scratched into the wall, though in Stiles' mind it is drawn with chalk.

8. Eichen House does appear on Stiles' detective wall, probably associated more with Barrow but of course part of the web that leads back to Stiles himself.

9. Stiles is exhibiting the same symptoms that his mother showed before her death. She was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and died, according to her file earlier this season, in 2004.

10. None of the three "sacrifices" from 3A—Scott, Stiles and Allison—have yet closed their "door".


So, by the very virtue of the list, I think most of these observations will somehow be related as the plot begins to coalesce. All arrows point to some (possibly supernatural) atrocity in Beacon Hills during World War II, but let me know what you think. Also, please feel free to correct and/or elaborate any of the details.
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Great post!!! Didn't Kira say that the nogitsune would only go as bad as it has only if was offended? After reading your post I wonder if the offense was an stay at the internment camp.... Now the mental hospital? Sorry if someone else has posted this theory already! I REALLY enjoyed your observations!
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Thanks. I originally wrote the post before "Letharia Vulpina" so Kira hadn't yet mentioned offending the nogitsune, but I think you're right. It certainly keeps pointing to one particular event in the past that's coloring a lot of the nogitsune's activities now. No doubt, the nogitsune enjoys the chaos and the mischief, and he certainly gains power from the pain and madness, but there's something pointed about his targets in Beacon Hills. I can't wait.
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I also noticed, while re-watching the series, that Stiles was the only one present when his mother died. Could it have been something supernatural passed on to him in that situation and was only awakened after the sacrifice?
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These are very good observations. I'll add some of my own thoughts that I mentioned earlier and have had time to think about.

I also believe that there was a Japanese internment camp that's no longer on the official books, and it probably was at the Eichen house. What if the nogitsune spirit got a hold of someone held there doing WWII? That would explain the "self" character scratched on the wall in the basement, and why the basement is the focal point of Stiles' nightmare. Kira's mother said her family had been in Beacon Hills before, so her family may very well have had prior experience with this particular nogitsune. Perhaps her family had banished it from the first victim, but not completely from the house.

And I do believe that Stiles' mother may have also been a patient at that house too. If she'd been having "mental issues", it makes sense that she would've stayed some time there. I'm kinda' thinking that the nogitsune might have been able to enter Stiles' mind because it had once taken a hold of his mother's mind. And who knows, Stiles might even have visited his mother there, leading to an even stronger tie to the house.

So here's Stiles committing ritual suicide to save his father's life, and opening a door that really should never have been opened since there was an evil spirit already hanging outside the spaces of his mind. Stiles was the least prepared for the ritual, and is now the most strongly affected by it.
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A few other people have mentioned the possibility that Claudia Stilinski was also committed at Eichen House. It is, I suppose, possible, but highly unlikely that a woman suffering from dementia of any kind would be housed at the same mental health facility as a murderer. Given the apparent security at Eichen House, including the large fence—which is, in retrospect, kind of suggestive in light of Allison's voicemail message—it is probably a mental hospital for the criminally insane. Unless there's A LOT we haven't heard about Mrs. Stilinski, I find that unlikely.

The possibility that Eichen House could have been, or been part of, the internment camp is more likely. The markings on the basement wall could just as easily date back to the 1940s as the early 2000s. If something particularly horrible happened there, it could also help explain why records of its existence have been expunged. Barrow, then, could just have provided an opportunity for the nogitsune to leave Eichen House.

Also, I don't know that anyone would disagree that there's some kind of correlation between the arrival of the Yukimuras back in Beacon Hills and the emergence of the nogitsune, but I don't exactly know the order. Did the Yukimuras—Mrs. Yukimura, in particular—return because of the threat of the nogitsune? Did their arrival somehow instigate the activity of the nogitsune? Are either or both somehow connected to the "activation" of the nemeton by the sacrifices of Scott, Stiles and Allison?

The other question I have is about the kids Barrow killed. If they did indeed have glowing eyes, which in Beacon Hills isn't improbable, who were they? What were they? Derek didn't mention anything about them being Hales.
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While the Eichen house may be an institution for the criminally insane now, that doesn't mean it has always been so. It could easily have been repurposed within the last 5 - 10 years; just considering all possibilities.
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Amazing observstions, its given me a lot to ponder.
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Kira's mother basically gave it away that Kira is the answer to Style's parasitic traveller.
I was most relieved to find out it wasn't Mark Hamill under the bandages.
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It was a very Darth Vader cave moment. Though, I would have been weirdly delighted to find Mark Hamill under the bandages.
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these points are great they help a lot! I find interesting the idea that the mental institution is where the "internment camp prisoners during World War II at an otherwise undocumented Oak Creek facility" was. I kind of love all this history thing.
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Alright: based on the information you've gathered, I'll expand your theory to this. The "Oak Creek" internment facility was in fact Eichen House. The nogitsune (before he was a dark spirit) was a Japanese-American who served in the Army Air Force and was interned in Eichen House, where he carved the kanji for self onto the wall of the basement. He was eventually released and had children, and his descendants are the Yukimuras. When he died he became the nogitsune, and began possessing victims to hang onto life. Over the years he made his way to the Yakuza, and then Stiles' mother, and now Stiles. Everywhere he went the Yukimura family followed so they could expel him from his new host. And now it's come full circle and they've returned to the place of his suffering, where he will (hopefully) be defeated once and for all.
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I totally agree on the mental institution being some sort of internment camp type thing and clearly the show gave that to us in the name. I have been trying to reconcile my theories as to who exactly the bandaged guy is with the Kitsune knowledge I developed (i.e., Kitsune come into their full power around age 100 thought they don't physically age that much, so I sort of wonder if Kira's mother is a fully empowered Kitsune yet or what) and why he might have a particular grudge against the Yakimuras (or if that was just the Nogistune). I have thought of three options, either he is a former host of the Nogistune who maybe was able to return because of the reawakening of the Nemeton, he is some sort of personification of Stiles' head (like he saw this guy's image in is research and someone has to have taken a picture of Stiles' walls), or he is a mental patient who just picked up that clothing. I sort of lean more toward the second, that the Nogistune doesn't actually have any physical identity but Stiles needed to form a person and he just adopted a scary image from his research. Like, hell, the bandaged guy was just rocking his great grandfather's coat, but he was one of Barrow's victims.
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There are a lot of good ideas here. If I understand the mythology correctly, kitsune—including nogitsune—are physical bodies as well as spirits, foxes that can transform themselves into humans and eventually possess other people. I think Teen Wolf may have inverted the fox-human transformation process, but the general rule probably holds. Teen Wolf's nogitsune was at some point not just a spirit, if indeed he is now. This could be the bandaged fighter pilot, or it could precede him.

I'm also generally of the opinion that the yakuza nogitsune is different than the one currently controlling Stiles. In the same way it would be premature to assume that any particular werewolf is the same because they are both werewolves, I think it's too hasty and too unfounded at the moment to assume they're the same person because they're the same type of creature.

I also have an inkling that the nogitsune might also BE a Yukimura. Tragedy and injustice make villains of a lot of people. It would also explain the sense of responsibility Mrs. Yukimura seems to feel about it.
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I thought this nogitsune was the same one and that is why Deaton went and got that moss to defeat it.... I hadn't thought that it could be a different one! Interesting!
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I like the idea that he was on of Barrow's victims!
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And looking ahead a random casting has a guy named Kincaid who is played by an actor who has played in action stuff which seems to match the physical stature of the bandaged guy and who background werewolves have looked like. So I'm going to stick with he is one of the glowing eye victims and judging by how crazy Dedication went when he went blind it would seem to create the ideal host victim.
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I agree with you up to a point, but I'm unsure about whether the nogitsune was the Japanese-American or whether it was just possessing him. The compulsive scrawling of "self" on the wall indicates to me that it might be someone who was possessed and trying to keep a hold of their own consciousness rather than being dragged under and controlled, like Stiles is at the moment. It looked like the kanji had been carved over and over again (there were multiple lines).

Of course, if you were locked in an internment camp then it also makes sense that you'd want to keep a hold of your sense of self and individuality, rather than becoming just another faceless one of the inmates, but in that case I would expect it to be a name, rather than 'self'.

So maybe it was the nogitsune, but he was possessing the soldier rather than actually being him and the carving of 'self' was like Stiles and the red string and the phone call. His subconscious trying to fight the possession.
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The nogitsune possessing the Japanese American fighter pilot does make more sense. I'm excited to see if we're close, because I'd love to see Teen Wolf actually tackle a social issue. But, as I've said in a discussion before, I love being wrong when I'm theorizing about a TV show because, (1) guessing plot points 2 or 3 episodes away takes all the fun out of a show, and (2) that means the writers are taking the story in a new, unexpected direction, which is always better than a theme or storyline we've seen before.
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I love both to be right AND to be surprised. It proves the show-writers have been letting in interesting and important details in the dialogue and production design, but it also means they've kept enough close to the chest to keep me guessing. Something should always feel like you could have gotten it completely before you knew, but you didn't quite.
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You took the words out of my mouth I agree with everything today you win the Internet
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Great post, lots of nice points to ponder! Thank you! :)
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Okay...I would like to say this is probably the first real response, but I was having various thoughts this morning that are a little all over the place, so this might be posted much later than I am writing it.

I noticed that patch on the Nogistune's arm (I've decided this, I think the Nogistune is a parasite that needs a host and maybe it can skip around and maybe it was attracted to a mental patient or, hell, maybe a person who was impacted by Barrow's bombing) and at first I was kind of thinking, didn't the Stiles in the movie Teen Wolf end up sort of dressing like that? But I haven't really sorted out what the heck it means, but I'm sure its connected to the internment camps and we are going to be learning that maybe the Hales did a lot more than protect Beacon Hills, maybe they cleaned it up too (like around Talia Hale's grandparents generation).

I am becoming more and more curious about Kira's mom, so if she is controlling the Oni (and clearly it was her that removed the plant, which I suspect is the plant in the title of next week's episode and as it is poisonous to wolves and foxes, she had to use gloves), but you have to wonder if she thought of warning her daughter? Or knew her daughter would be subject to the evaluation? Then, according to the Kitsune lore, a Kitsune becomes more powerful as she gets older and doesn't reach her full power until she is 100. I wonder....

I also was confused about Stiles imagining the mental health institution's basement (and can I say, what a beautiful lobby) unless the Nogistune was using a previous host to communicate with Stiles and that was where he was more familiar with and Stiles was just substituting some of his issues (like that he had freaked himself out recently with what he wrote in chalk so he substituted). The only thing that made sense led me to Lydia and that who she was actually following all night was the Nogistune not Stiles (this seems supported by the idea that some of the whispers she is supposed to hear is other banshees trying to talk to her, if they are somewhere else, they probably were aware that the McCalls were likely onto saving his physical body at the time, but they want Lydia to concentrate on the Nogistune). Then when you add it that she was receiving warnings before the MRI and it was becoming unbearable as the Nogistune was making its appearance, this is why I suspect she is who Kira's mother was talking about and not Kira.

Another question I have had (and this is kind of why I am a little worried about Allison still, I believe they have all dealt with their doors, but I think Scott managed to actually close his), is Chris said that the Oni go after the people with a connection to the supernatural. So, I get why they never even really bothered with Allison. But, as far as we know, Stiles has even less of a connection to the supernatural than Allison. Right?

I know people were comforted by the preview of next week's episode by what appears to be normal Stiles. I wasn't particularly assured. It would seem to me that the Nogistune has full access to Stiles and can play him pretty well. I mean, I think Scott is a little suspicious of him in that scene, but not really sure. Either that or maybe the Nogistune can only take over at night at this point.
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I also suspect Kira's mother was talking about Lydia. I have a feeling, and boy do I wish to be wrong, that they are going to rehash the stupid human love thing from season 2. They again mentioned Stiles has a thing for Lydia in this episode...

As for Stiles, I think Stiles might have something supernatural about him. His symptoms matched his mom exactly and they are the result of the Nogitsune, so maybe she was possessed as well?

Also is it possible his mom was in that institution?
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I trust Teen Wolf to treat the Stiles-Lydia relationship well. Yes, Stiles has a lot of affection for Lydia, but at this point in the series she has for him as well. It may not be romantic, though eventually it might be where they go, but it is strong. Aidan's teasing about Stiles' crush on Lydia struck me as both jealous—since he probably already knows that Lydia would save Stiles over him if forced to choose—and condescending in a way that completely underestimates and misunderstands what friendship and love actually are. He's getting there, especially in the sense that he's now starting to see what he's been missing all along, but Aidan's voice is not Lydia's or the show-writers.

Lydia is Stiles' anchor. Unlike Season 1, when hormones and puppy love would probably have motivated him to do so, I don't think Stiles would be with Lydia unless he felt it were reciprocated.

Ultimately, even the Allison thing for Scott from early in the series turned out to be a misunderstanding on their part. It's not that the feelings aren't real, even if they aren't permanent, but Allison's tempering effect on Scott's werewolf animalism was less about their love than it was about Scott's instinct to protect others. She was just the one he felt most protective and elated around. It just took him a while to realize it.
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Probably very likely she was in the mental institution, I mean those symptoms and she was likely home with a little kid under the age of 10? Crap, this just occurred to me, maybe this is the issue between Agent McCall and the Sheriff, Sheriff had maybe drunk too much one night, little Stiles calls Scott, his father overhears and goes over there and there is some dangerous situation existing and McCall takes mom into custody and puts her in the institution and takes Stiles home. And like, Claudia never comes home. Anyway...I have sort of wondered, there is one really popular form of European mythologies that they have stayed away from and that could be the stuff more Roma things are based on, and that might encapsulate both the Sheriff and Claudia's ethnic background...basically Stiles could have some medium type ability.

I actually think Lydia's ability to access the Nogistune will be more important than her connection to Stiles, I think her connection to the real Stiles might just keep him fighting the Nogistune as his anchor to the real world.
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Yeah, I think you're bouncing around a lot of the same points I am. And I'm excited to see where it all goes. In particular, I like the idea that Lydia is tuned into the nogitsune rather than Stiles.

I assume you're referring to letharia vulpina on the nemeton stump. I'm confident that's not right. Letharia vulpina is a lichenized fungus.

The plant that was yanked out of the nemeton looked much more like a sapling, though what kind it's difficult to tell in the light. I had previously assumed that when Allison, Scott and Stiles sacrificed themselves and empowered the nemeton, the tree began to grow again out of the old stump.
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I've seen that picture you posted too, but, yeah, the lighting and angle of that shot made it sort of unclear (though it did look more like a weed to me). But then I keep going, Malia doesn't look like the coyotes that haunt neighborhoods in my neck of the woods. In fact, she looks a bit more wolfish to me.
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i loved reading this. i hadn't noticed the winged star on the bomber jacket and i didn't know the mental institute's name translates into oak. just bringing those two to my attention changes my understanding of what was going on during the episode. thank you.
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