This week on Teen Wolf
, a link between Meredith and Peter is revealed, Scott almost goes full alpha and Stiles and Malia dismantle the dead pool for good. No one dies, no one is shirtless and a good quarter of the episode is spent looking at a wall. I'm not sure this is the episode I would have chosen to put in front of my big awards show, that's all I'm saying.
It's not the show's fault this episode feels a little off-kilter. First of all, it's weird to be watching Teen Wolf
when it's light outside. But just by the nature of putting the episode on before the Video Music Awards, MTV made this episode seem like a much bigger deal than it actually turns out to be. Usually when shows have the post-Super Bowl spot, for instance, they'll pull out all the stops to bring in new viewers. I doubt very much anyone associated with this episode knew it was going to work as a lead-in for the VMAs.
Therefore, as a stand-alone episode, it works to move the plot forward and provide some nice character beats. As a big episode to put before an awards show, however, it falls a little flat. It's a scheduling problem over a content problem, but the episode doesn't feel big or important enough for all the pomp and circumstance. This is an episode to move the ball down the field, not one to score a touchdown.
Still, with only a few episodes left in the season, this episode nicely ties together The Benefactor, Meredith and Peter Hale's diabolical plan in one neat package. The storylines are beginning to come together, even as more mysteries are emerging. Just what exactly is Peter's master plan? When revealed, will it actually make any sense? And just why is Argent hiding flowers in a safe? Hopefully, we'll find out the answers to these questions soon.
The Hit List
The episode begins with some werewolves running from hunters. Kira saves them by literally cutting arrows out of the air like a video game character. Of course, all of this happens in slow-motion, because Teen Wolf has never seen a fight that wouldn't be improved with some slow-motion. There's also rain, for added dramatic effect.
In fact, there is so much slow-motion this week in all of the fight scenes that I'm fairly sure at least half of this episode occurs at decreased speed. I wouldn't be surprised to find out the first cut of this episode ran short, and "slow-motion everything!!" was their solution.
Scott and Kira make out, then try to figure out what they're going to do with all these werewolves and supernatural creatures they're hiding in Deaton's office. "Submerge them in ice baths!" Deaton would have said, were he there. Where is Deaton these days? Maybe he's off having Mai Tais on a beach somewhere with Danny.
They take the whole pack over to Argent's Super Secret Lair of Semi-Automatic Weapons and Cheerful Yellow Flowers of Death. Argent is just stuffing a flower into his safe, eyes darting around, yelling "Nothing to see here, folks!" as Scott makes an appearance. It turns out the newest assassins are former hunters who, looking for more financial stability than knifing teenagers in the dark of night for free, have turned to more lucrative work.
Things are a little awkward between Argent and Satomi, since they've tried to kill each other before. Of course, if you defriended everyone who tried to kill you in Beacon Hills, you wouldn't have anyone left to talk to. Satomi talks about the violence and rage of a werewolf, and how it's hard to keep control.
This is obvious foreshadowing for Scott, who almost beats a hunter to death in a rage. More troubling, he starts to transform into a full wolf instead of just his usually "pointy fangs, long sideburns" variety of wolf.
Remember in the first season when the creative team was shooting this show on a budget of approximately $10? Back then, the alpha looked like a combination of leftover CGI from Planet of the Apes and a claymation figurine from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Obviously, the budget has come a long way since then, but part of me still wants to see that endearingly cheap alpha back again this season. The morph the show did on Scott's face was not only well-done, it was also legitimately scary. Teen Wolf has really come a long way since the first season when it comes to effects.
Meanwhile, Derek is still doing 100 times better without powers than he ever did as a werewolf, thanks in large part to his new girlfriend and secret weapon Braeden. "Look, honey, I'm winning! I'm really winning!" Oh, Derek, take your victories where you can.
When the dead pool is deactivated, it sends a text message to all of the assassins' phones in a hilarious synchronized beeping, like suddenly all these trained killers got a Gossip Girl blast. "You're not going to get any more money for murder. XOXO - The Benefactor."
If These Walls Could Kill You
Stiles is in the hospital again, because at this point all of these kids should probably have their own dedicated wing. Melissa McCall, the only nurse in all of Beacon Hills, is also a registered relationship counselor. When Malia comes to visit Stiles, she locks them in a room together until their teenage hormones win out and they end up making out.
Stiles uses the opportunity to apologize, once again, for hiding her identity. He explains that even smart people make mistakes, which is kind of an ego-centric way of apologizing. Malia says she's been picking up non-coyote habits lately, but forgiveness is a tough nut to crack. "Harder than math?" Stiles asks. The whole scene is unbelievably cute, and I have to admit that Stiles and Malia have really sweet chemistry together.
Since the hospital wasn't equipped with an old-school Say Anything-style boombox for Stiles to listen to the tape of Lorraine, he and Malia head out to find a quiet place to listen. "Wait, I found a cassette player," Melissa says as Stiles and Malia walk out hand-in-hand. "Oh, it's okay, Mrs. McCall, I need a tape player."
Listening to the tape, Malia hears the sound of the record player in the background and they discover Lorraine wasn't killed in Eichen but in the Martin lake house. Man, the property value of that lake house goes down every second.
At the lake house, they try listening to the record player with no luck, but just as they're about to leave, Malia hears another noise. Stiles follows a plug in the wall, pulling the plug entirely out of the wall. Then the two work together to rip the wall apart and find a huge 1970s computer hiding behind. This is apparently the computer which has been running the Benefactor list.
I'm not entirely sure this whole thing hangs together or if I understood all the exposition correctly. So Lorraine got a huge banshee premonition of a bunch of people who were going to die and encoded the list in a computer behind a wall. (Was this in the '70s? Why use such an old computer?) Then Meredith picked up the dead pool idea from Peter and, I would assume, used Lorraine's list to create The Benefactor's list.
Does that make sense? I really can't tell; the only thing I do know is that poor Mrs. Martin is never selling that lake house. "Sorry about the wall! On the plus side, your electric bills for this place should be much smaller without an outdated piece of computer equipment constantly running. You're welcome!"
Thanks to a wine stain and an assist from Lydia, Malia and Stiles discover the key to the computer and turn off the dead pool. So I guess the dead pool and assassin storyline has officially been wrapped up. I have to say, it's a little anticlimactic.
Peter Hale's Evil Plan
While Scott is fighting in slow-motion and Stiles and Malia are staring at inanimate objects, the bulk of the action in this episode occurs in the Sheriff's station. Lydia is camped out there, trying to figure out why Meredith would create the dead pool and how it can be stopped. When the Sheriff finally lets her talk to Meredith, she refuses to speak to anyone except Peter Hale.
Peter saunters into the station, all sassy attitude and v-necks, but he seems a little spooked when Meredith touches his face. It turns out Meredith seems to know him, but he doesn't know her. He plunges his claws into her neck to take us to flashback-land, where we find out that after Lydia's grandmother nearly killed Meredith she ended up in the hospital next to a half-crispy Peter Hale.
Kentucky Fried Peter was a much more angry guy than regular Peter, which is really saying something. With both Meredith and Peter in a coma, she could only sit around and listen as Peter ranted at her about his crazy idea to wipe out all the supernaturals in Beacon Hills and create a better version following only him. I can't imagine a fate worse than being stuck next to Peter Hale as he goes off on one of his melodramatic tangents, so no wonder poor Meredith is so scattered.
When they discover Peter is to blame for the dead pool, everyone is furious. Lydia manages to talk the Sheriff down from shooting Peter, but just slightly.
Later, Lydia and Meredith talk about what happened. Meredith says she decided to go through with the dead pool idea implanted by Peter when she heard Lydia scream after Allison's death. She says that too many people die because of them, and even banshees are monsters. "I don't believe that," Lydia says. "Not all monsters do monstrous things." Meredith seems to realize the severity of her actions at that moment, and to feel some remorse.
Elsewhere in the Tunnels of Scenery Chewing and Dramatic Standing, Peter and Kate are busy talking about the progress of his evil plan. This scene literally could have been ripped right out of a Saturday morning cartoon.
Kate notes that Peter actually looks a bit rattled, which leaves the question of how much of the dead pool was part of his plan and how much was just him taking advantage of the circumstances? Kate asks if he wants to bail on his plan, but he says he's too close now. He's too close to killing Scott and taking back his rightful alpha powers.
A scene in which Peter talks about his evil plans without dramatic shouting or maniacal laughter really throws me off-kilter. Since when is Peter understated?
The Shirtlessness Count
Another week, another absence of abs. This season has really been doing us wrong in the nudity department. I'll give my Best Pecks of the Week to Derek Hale anyway, though, because he could really use all the wins he can get.
Elsewhere Around Beacon Hills...
-- When Peter lists off the assassins he can hire, one of them is named "Desert Wolf." Is that Malia's mother?
-- What's the deal with Argent and the flower? Is this something I totally forgot from earlier or is it a brand-new mystery?
-- Will we find out more about Deputy Parrish's power of regeneration?
-- As they prepare for battle, Derek gives a rousing speech to the troops. Considering Derek's general win-loss record, wouldn't a speech from Derek just kind of make you give up hope? "Derek says we can definitely win this, so the odds are pretty high we're all dead."
What did you think of the episode? Did you find it slow? What's the next step in Peter's evil plan? Does all this dead pool stuff actually hang together if you think about it for more than two minutes? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments!
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV.