Previously on Teen Wolf: Malia gets the best lines; Lydia unofficially moves into the lakehouse; Peter takes the crown for smarm; Argent apparently has nothing better to do than hang out with a bunch of high schoolers; Derek and Braeden mix business with pleasure; Kira reminds us all she’ll never be more than a second-tier Allison; Liam growls a lot; Scott and Stiles come up with increasingly awful plans; and Kate continues to be the worst.
S4 E5: I.E.D.
Violet and Garrett continue their were killing spree, aiming for a beta…but surprisingly not Liam. Brett, Liam’s arch nemesis from his old school is also a were, and after a brief chase, the Orphan killers take him out with a wolfsbane-poisoned dagger in Garrett’s lacrosse stick net thingummy. Violet tries to kill Scott, but Alpha powers trump burning jewelry I guess. Lydia and Malia try to trigger her banshee magic, with no luck. They rope Deputy Parrish into bringing Meredith to the station, where they quiz her into giving up a code that spells out “AIDEN”—the second password. Derek and Argent chat about Kate. Argent then gets a visit from the Calaveras hunters, who aim to shame him into doing his damn job.
S4 E6: Orphaned
Deaton saves Brett’s life, and learns the beta is also part of Satomi’s pack (the were from the internment camp arc last season). Garrett takes Liam hostage, poisons him, and dumps him in a well in the woods. He then blackmails Scott into attempting to break Violet out of police custody, but they’re ambushed by the Berserkers. They kill Garrett and kidnap Violet. Derek and Malia stumble upon Satomi’s dead pack and an almost dead Braeden. Derek also lets it slip that he’s losing his were powers, and in a conversation with Peter it’s hinted that the latter is suspiciously stronger now that Derek is suspiciously weaker. Lydia, Parrish, and Stiles go to Eichen House to try to get the last name from Meredith, but the Benefactor’s already gotten to her. Lydia frightens her so much that Meredith eventually hangs herself. Fortunately, Lydia comes up with the key anyway. Unfortunately, it’s Derek’s name. Argent and Scott fail to rescue Violet, and Kate and her Berzerkers kick their asses. Peter offers to train Kate to control her powers.
S4 E7: Weaponized
So, remember all those dead wolves at Lookout Point? Turns out they were infected by a supernatural creature-killing virus. It knocks out the kids taking the PSATs at the high school, forcing Scott, Kira, and Malia to quarantine themselves in the Hale vault. Stiles pieces together Coach’s mysterious illness to the ink they all touched, but it’s all too late. The creepy PSAT proctor is the newest Beacon Hills dead pool killer, and he’s not above shooting Stiles in the face to get what he wants. Agent McCall makes a questionable tactical choice to shoot the dude in the head right in front of Stiles, probably giving the kid a serious case of PTSD, but whatever. Point is, Derek knows the cure and McCall passes it on to Stiles who passes it on to Scott. Good thing the cure is a bunch of old tea leaves conveniently in an easily accessible jar with them in the vault. Derek and Satomi bring one of her sick pack members to Deaton and Mama McCall, but the poor slab of beefcake dies before they can cure him. An assassin shows up just long enough for Satomi to do her best Neo impression and ram a spike through the killer’s head. Oh, and Meredith has been in Lydia’s mother’s lakehouse bedroom. Not creepy at all.
S4 E8: Time of Death
This episode is basically 5 separate episodess randomly stitched together. Braeden teaches Derek to fight and then they get it on. Lydia and her mom talk about her never before mentioned crazy grandmother who supposedly died in Eichen House years ago. Her urn and the boathouse are made of mountain ash (shouldn’t Scott have noticed that?) and her last note is in the Benefactor’s code. Malia and Peter have a circular conversation about her lineage in which absolutely no new information is revealed. The rest of the cast concoct a dangerous plan to nearly kill Scott in order to draw out the Benefactor. Scott dreams he’s becoming more of a monster by repeatedly causing Liam’s gruesome death. Everyone else gets their asses handed to them by Kate and her Berserkers (and Peter in secret), who are also there to draw out the Benefactor.
And looks like we’ve hit the infamous midseason slump. Most shows are afflicted by it, and some pretty much live there (side eyes at Supernatural). Because of Teen Wolf’s two-part, tangentially-related half-seasons, we get saddled with the middling fluff twice. Wheel-spinning is the bane of a show like this, where adrenaline and adventures should be the order of the day. Kate’s plan to do whatever it is she plans to do (be grumpy, live in a sewer, make threats, or whatever) continues unabated. Derek continues his slow march toward death, Lydia continues her slow march toward insanity, and the show continues to disappoint me by not having Danny anywhere near it.
Stuff happens, to be sure, but it’s the same stuff over and over again with slight tweaks to the formula. Instead of Garrett and Violet trying to kill the teenage supes for money, creepy teacher tries to kill the teenage supes for money. Scott deus ex machina’s his way out of it, first by being immune to thermo-cut necklaces, and second by somehow being able to find (on the first try!) one random jar filled with the magic poison cure despite being blind and in his agonizing death throes. Laziness doesn’t even begin to describe the storytelling here. As has been said many times before, Teen Wolf is very good at being very good, and equally as talented at being terrible and insipid. “I.E.D.,” “Orphaned,” “Weaponized,” and “Time of Death” prove that adage in spades.
I’ll tell you what, though. Dylan O’Brien’s performance in “Weaponized” was hands down the best part of the entire episode. Scott may be the hero of Teen Wolf, but the star is Dylan O’Brien. His acting is fearless, intense, and complex, and he throws his whole being into every line. Each season, hell, each episode, he gets better and better at honing his craft. Kid’s gonna have a long film career after this, and I can’t wait to see where he goes next. If he plays his cards right, he could be the next Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Radcliffe, or Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
- “If I could grade you on how profoundly you disturb me, you’d be an A+ student.”
- “I only make $40,000 a year. Maybe I should kill myself.”
- “Oh no, that’s right. You don’t have any parents. That’s why they call you the orphans.”—Dude. Agent McCall. Take it down a notch.
- “You. I like you. I’m going to keep you.”
Stiles: “Five hundred thousand dollars. Do you know how much money that is?”
Scott: “…It’s five hundred thousand dollars.”
- “I gotta buy a better safe.”
- “Mom, are you sure grandma’s dead?”—You win, Teen Wolf. You win.
- Parrish is awesome. More Parrish. We can never have too much Parrish.
- We should make a spinoff of Stiles, Malia, Lydia, Parrish, and Danny wandering the country side, fighting evil, and being snarky.
- Peter was kind enough to make sure the only thing in the safe was a file folder helpfully labeled “MALIA TATE—ADOPTION PAPERS” in nice clear print.
- “Time of Death” was one of the most disjointed episodes in recent memory. It was like the writers had all these pieces of scenes cut from other episodes, edited them together, and hoped we wouldn’t notice.
- I have this whole fanfic in my head where Argent is really the Benefactor and is acting out as a way of punishing the Beacon Hills supes for getting his wife and daughter killed. But I guess Lydia’s meemaw works, too.
Alex Brown is an archivist, research librarian, writer, geeknerdloserweirdo, and all-around pop culture obsessive who watches entirely too much TV. Keep up with her every move on Twitter, or get lost in the rabbit warren of ships and fandoms on her Tumblr.