'Teen Wolf' Recap: Has the Benefactor Been Revealed?
'Teen Wolf' Recap: Has the Benefactor Been Revealed?
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
This week on Teen Wolf, Lydia learns some disturbing family secrets, the group comes up with another terrible plan that mostly goes awry and Derek joins the NRA.

Teen Wolf is available on Amazon Prime.


Last week's episode, which was sponsored by tea, was a bottle episode occurring pretty much entirely in the high school. At this point, to say an episode of Teen Wolf occurred mostly in the high school is to say an episode of Teen Wolf just aired. Teen Wolf has about five locations, and at least half are Beacon Hills High adjacent. 

This episode wasn't quite a bottle episode, but it did center much of the action around the hospital, where the gang desperately hopes their newest terrible plan will pan out this time. "How could it fail? I mean, okay, the last time we killed people for a plan, it let in a terrible evil. But I have a feeling, based on no evidence, that this time will be better!"

Last week, my major complaint, tea nonsense aside, was that the episode didn't spend the time in its limited location by focusing on the characters. Instead, it zoomed from one plot MacGuffin to the next with little breathing room. This week, there's more of that kind of narrative push because this is Teen Wolf, but there are also plenty of quieter moments set aside to explore the characters. 

For every moment of Kira fighting a beserker with a katana, there is a moment of Scott facing his worst fears about himself, Malia discovering more about her family or Derek facing down the idea of being mortal. The episode moved at a fast clip and the action was nonstop, yet the episode left breathing room for small scenes, like the one demonstrating the relationship Stiles and Malia had before she found out the truth. It even took time for a sweet moment between Scott and Kira, where they talk about going to see a movie like it would be the most exciting thing in the world. 

Teen Wolf knows how to do action and it's great at creating scary moments. But what has always made this show so infinitely watchable is the way it balances the sometimes crazy story beats with more realistic and grounded character moments. When the show is working at its best, like this episode, it manages to balance the crazy with the mundane, keeping the characters feeling like real people even in the midst of supernatural menace.

Also, it probably didn't hurt that Derek was finally shirtless again. Thank you for your kind service, Derek, it will never be forgotten.


Who is the Benefactor? 

The episode opens with the whole group talking about a plan they label "dangerous and idiotic," which are really the only words I would ever use to describe any of the plans on this show. Having studied hard at the Deaton School for Unnecessarily Killing Your Friends in Hopes of Profiting Somehow in Some Nebulous Way, the group decides to kill Scott and then tell the Benefactor to come get his body. There is no way this brilliant plan could backfire. 

Liam tells everyone that will listen that this is maybe a stupid idea, and they all pat him on the head. "Oh, sweet summer child, you know nothing of Beacon Hills. This might be one of our most logical plans."

So Kira and Scott make cute googly eyes at each other, and then Kira electrocutes him to death. Ah, young love. 

Melissa and Mrs. Yukimura are both less than sold on this plan because they are logical and intelligent, but they go along with it anyway to be supportive to their dumb kids. Argent is in favor of this plan, but then again Argent used to tie Allison to chairs and leave her there as a form of parental bonding, so his judgment isn't exactly unquestionable. 

Shocking and surprising zero percent of the viewing audience, this plan does not go off without a hitch. Kate shows up with her Beserkers to terrorize the hospital, while all the power goes out. 

It must be noted that Kate's Beserkers are giant beasts made of skeletons, look like they jumped directly out of a Saturday morning cartoon and terrorize the entire hospital in plain view of everyone. Will this ever be brought up in Beacon Hills again? My guess is no. 

Kira and Liam put up a brave fight, but mostly just get their butts kicked by the Beserkers. Melissa asks Mrs. Yukimura if she's still a kistune as a Bersker closes in. "Shoot, I don't even know. The mythology is so convoluted. I'm going to say yes?" 

While Mrs. Yukimura tries to figure out whether or not she still has powers, probably by taking an hour-long flashback into her youth, the Beserker just stomps on her and sends her to the hospital in Palo Alto. 

Argent squares off against Kate, who briefly seems like she might be the Benefactor. "That would be too obvious, bro! Now give me Scott's dead body!" Argent explains that Scott is actually mostly alive, and sends Kate on her way by just asking really, really nicely. 

Meanwhile, Scott is rolling around the afterlife having an existential crisis. Unfortunately for Scott, the afterlife is actually just facing your demons in Beacon Hills High. 

There is literally no escaping the high school. Not even death will help you escape. The morgue leads directly to the school because everywhere in town leads directly to the school. Beacon Hills is a flat circle. There is no escape. Scott is 17-going-on-25 and he only just took his PSATs. He's going to be attending that high school until he's older than Argent. 

In his dreams, Scott deals with the idea of needing to kill in order to help his friends. It hooks into an earlier conversation he had with his father about how to deal with taking a life, even if it's justified. By the end of his dream, which fast becomes more and more nightmarish, he's killing a friend, not a foe. And he's enjoying it. Obviously, Scott still fears his alpha powers and what they might eventually turn him into.

Later, Scott tells Kira the plan might not have been for naught after all. "That's adorable that you don't think I killed you for no reason," Kira begins, kindly. But Scott explains that the only person who wouldn't actually need visual confirmation of a kill would be a banshee. 

Father-Daughter Reunion

While the hospital becomes a battle zone, a different kind of battle is playing out between Malia and Peter. She's returned to the vault, where she easily pries open the saddest little safe in town to look at her adoption records. 

Peter pops up, because Peter probably just waits in darkened corners all over town, biding his time until he can make a suitably dramatic entrance. 

He tells Malia that he's just misunderstood, and that all those murders he committed were just because he was really bummed about being in a coma. Malia gives him a series of faces that are fantastic in their ability to convey incredulous disgust. Finally, however, Peter hits on something that sticks: he wants to help Malia find her mother. 

Peter claims not to remember anything about her mother because Talia removed the memories. The only thing Peter knows about Malia's mother is a nickname: "the desert wolf." Malia immediately perks up because that's just another way of saying coyote. 

Later, Malia wonders if killing is in her blood, because before the accident she had gotten in a fight with her adoptive mother and wished her dead. Stiles tries to tell her that's not how it works, but Malia is really not about to hear anything Stiles has to say right now. 

How Derek Got His Groove Back

In Derek's Loft of Pain, Sadness and the Inability to Win at Even Arm Wrestling, Braeden wakes up and is immediately drawn to Derek's abs like a moth to a flame. Who can blame her really? Derek wakes up to find a near stranger fondling his abs and just accepts it because such is life when you are Derek Hale.

Really, Braeden is looking at Derek's wound, which hasn't at all healed. She realizes Derek is losing his powers bit by bit, including his superior strength. Derek still thinks he's strong enough to take Braeden in an arm wrestling match, which is adorable because it would mean Derek would have to win at something. Spoiler alert: he doesn't. 

Braeden then tries to teach him how to use a gun, which Derek is a little reticent to try. "Once you've been shot as often as I have, you get a little weird around guns. Also, I'm afraid of teachers, pipes, drowning, fire, bows, arrows, lawn gnomes and most people. Basically, I've been impaled by most weapons, and also most household items. But I still think I could probably win in a fight!" 

Even with a gun, Derek is still easily beaten by Braeden. Braeden, finding Derek's mixture of rock-hard abs and unfounded self-assurance intoxicating, immediately hooks up with him. Later, as she sleeps, Derek surveys her pile of weapons. 

"What if I shoot other people, instead of them shooting me?" he wonders to himself. "Is that even possible?" Spoiler alert: it's probably not. 

Lydia Learns Some Family History

Out in the cabin, Lydia is still trying to figure out what's going on while dealing with Meredith's death. Her mother comes out to see what she's up to, and is worried Lydia seems to be spending all her time staring at cabin walls instead of hooking up with boys or winning science trophies or having better hair than everyone else. 

When Lydia mentions Meredith Walker, her mom seems to know exactly who she's talking about. Weirdly, it is never really cleared up why her mom would know Meredith. Was it because Grandma Martin used to be in Eichen House and she bumped into Meredith while visiting? But the way the two talked, it seemed like Grammy had died ages ago. 

Anyway, it turns out Lydia's grandmother had been put in Eichen House for talking to herself and being kind of strange. After she died, she left her ashes to be spread in the lake by Lydia on her 18th birthday. 

"Your birthday isn't for a few days, but what the hey! You look like you could use a pick-me-up! How would you like to shove your hand into your dead grandmother's ashes?" Lydia just looks blankly at her mother, thinking about how some teenagers get cars for their birthdays but she's getting the crispy remains of her crazy grandmother. 

Lydia opens the can and immediately tells her mother it's not Grandma. Honestly, her mother does not look as disturbed by this announcement as she probably should be. I know this is Beacon Hills, and you have to account for that, but even on the Beacon Hills spectrum, that is what some call The Exorcist nonsense Lydia is sprouting. 

Lydia shoves her hand into the canister and tells her mother it's filled with mountain ash. In fact, the entire cabin is made of mountain ash. Far off in the distance, if you listen hard enough, you can just barely hear Gerard scream, "MOUNTAIN ASH!!!" into the cold, uncaring night. 

Lydia wonders if Grandma Martin is really and truly dead. Instead of reacting with confusion and horror to such an assertion, Mama Martin is pretty calm. "Well, it's not like I cremated her myself, darling. So anything's possible! Who wants ice cream?"

So now the odds look pretty good that Lydia's grandmother might be the Benefactor. Okay, I'll admit, I didn't see that one coming. 

The Shirtlessness Count

After weeks of a verifiable shirtless dry spell, the shirtlessness gods were once more smiling down upon Beacon Hills.

The Count: Derek getting patched up, Scott dead in the morgue, Derek having sexy times with Braeden and Scott being brought back to life.

Best Pecks of the Episode: Derek wins this award because he really needs a win right now. 

Elsewhere in Beacon Hills...

-- Of course, Stiles is the little spoon. Of course.

-- Kate and Peter are still working together. And for some reason, Peter is relieved that Scott isn't really dead. Does he hope to take the alpha powers back from Scott somehow? 

-- Any guesses on who Malia's mom might be? Do we think it's someone we've met before?


What did you think of the episode? Is Derek human for good now? Will Kira be back soon? And just who is the Benefactor? Share your theories in the comments! 

Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV.

(Image courtesy of MTV)



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