'Teen Wolf' Recap: New Faces and New Monsters
'Teen Wolf' Recap: New Faces and New Monsters
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
This week on Teen Wolf, the gang spends most of the episode actually attending classes at their high school, which is kind of a Teen Wolf miracle. Scott and Stiles remember they care about lacrosse, a least a little bit, while a silent but deadly killer comes to town. It's a light and fun episode, which feels weird to say about an episode with bodies in meat lockers, nibbled entrails and a blood-soaked cat.

Showrunner Jeff Davis has gone on the record in multiple interviews promising that the fourth season will be more lighthearted and fun than the pitch-dark season 3. The show is going back to its roots, and lacrosse is a huge part of those roots. Remember when all anyone on this show talked about was lacrosse? Like the word "fetch" in Mean Girls, season 1 of Teen Wolf tried very hard to make lacrosse happen. 

This episode hit the back-to-school theme hard, showing just how far these characters have come from the boys obsessed with making the lacrosse team. It's been a long time since Lydia has worried more about math than about wandering into a meat locker filled with dead bodies, for instance. It's also been quite some time since Scott had the luxury of worrying whether he was still the lacrosse team captain. 

This season, Teen Wolf is making a concentrated effort to mix the frightening horror movie visuals, like an ax through the door or a bloody cat, with high school hijinks. This doesn't mean the storylines have been simplified, however. If anything, there are more storylines going on at one time than ever before. Scott and Stiles are worried about the lacrosse team, while the parents are dealing with a serial killer on the loose, and Peter and Derek are trying to track down Kate Argent. 

How all of these disparate storylines connect together, or whether they will, remains to be seen. But the overall attitude of this season seems to be well represented by Kira and Scott's faces as Stiles tries to pull them back into a dark world of murder and mayhem. They'd much rather stick around the halls and deal with the metaphorical hell that is high school than with the literal hell always waiting outside the doors. 

For once, the teen characters on Teen Wolf want to act like and have the same problems as actual teens. At least for now, it's a welcome respite from all the doom and gloom, even if I have to pretend to care about lacrosse again. 

Meet Liam!

Scott and Stiles are wondering about their position on the team, especially since they've spent the last few months not playing lacrosse so much as fighting Japanese demons. Scott wants to know if he's still the team captain, but Coach has put all the positions up for grabs. 

It's nice to know Coach is alive and well after getting shot in the gut with an arrow. It's also nice of everyone to completely avoid mentioning his near-death experience. That was last season, and this is a rebuilding year! 

The new superstar on the team is Liam, a handsome young lacrosse player who is seemingly impossible to defeat. Stiles immediately thinks Liam must be some kind of were-animal, but Scott says he doesn't smell anything. 

Liam has a certain Jackson cockiness about him but is young enough to make me uncomfortable during locker room scenes. Can't they just continue casting hot 35-year-olds so everyone outside the show's target high school audience doesn't have to feel weird about tallying moments of shirtlessness? Fun fact: Dylan Sprayberry is actually 16, so if you come to enjoy his shirtless scenes, you might need to have a little chat with Chris Hansen. 

Liam is totally showing up Scott because Scott refuses to use his alpha skills to give him an upper hand. After a few moments of embarrassment, Scott finally takes down Liam, but unfortunately just a bit too hard. Liam either breaks or sprains his leg, and Scott and Stiles help him hobble off to the hospital.

At the hospital, Scott feels incredibly guilty for his role in Liam's accident. Even though Stiles points out Scott wasn't using his wolf powers, Scott knows he hit Liam harder than he had to in order to prove he still had what it takes to be captain. "It's okay to want something for yourself," Stiles tells Scott. "It's human."

If Scott was having a hard time forgiving himself for a simple lacrosse accident, I can only imagine how guilty he's going to feel for turning poor Liam into a werewolf. 

Here's No Mouth!

The episode begins on a very horror movie scene: a cute, shirtless boy (aren't they all in Beacon Hills?) discovers his entire family has been murdered. The culprit is a creepy creature with no mouth, who uses a Stephen Hawking-like contraption to give Sean the opportunity to fight to the death. Instead, he runs off into the night, leaving his poor bloody and traumatized cat behind. This should be the first indication that Sean is kind of a jerk. 

No Mouth shrugs, pulls his tomahawk out of the door and then goes back to his evil lair to plug himself into a computer. Some weird liquid substance moves through the tubes and into No Mouth's throat, while No Mouth writes code, watches cat videos and gets into a fight in the comments section on YouTube. All in a typical day for No Mouth, I guess?

Sean, meanwhile, heads to the hospital and right into the waiting arms of the only nurse ever on shift during disasters: Melissa McCall. No wonder the hospital needs cutbacks when half their staff is routinely killed (and sometimes eaten!) every six months. 

"Ugh," says Melissa, discovering Sean gnawing on a guard's small intestine. "The police department just hired that guy!" 

At this point, the recruitment budget for the Beacon Hills police department has to be at least 90% of the budget. "Come to Beacon Hills: you will definitely not be eaten in the line of duty. That has never happened. No one gets eaten here!" Surprisingly, this is not a very successful marketing strategy.

Still alive and not digested, Deputy Parish goes to investigate the murders and bumps into Lydia. She, of course, just kind of wandered to the scene of the crime thanks to her Banshee powers, which Deputy Parish is wise enough not to really question very thoroughly. This is how you survive on the Beacon Hills police force: if you see a teenager wandering around a triple homicide, you just accept their help and don't ask questions.

Lydia sees screaming faces in some wood paneling, and before you can say "Holy Hannibal Lecter!" the two are in a meat locker filled with people. Lydia calls Scott and tells him to find the boy who escaped right away. He saves his mom from becoming food, but is unable to stop Liam from being held hostage.

In a fight on the rooftop of the hospital, where all the good fights happen in town, Liam nearly falls off the building. In a moment of panic, Scott bites Liam to help him potentially survive the fall. But he might have acted a bit too soon, since No Mouth pops up to finish the job with his handy hatchet. 

Then he puts one finger in front of his non-mouth, which either means he's a huge fan of Pretty Little Liars or that he's a terrifying monster who is also kind of a bro. Scott just stares after No Mouth, puzzled, and then realizes he's going to have to deal with Liam now. Imagine how good at lacrosse he'll be now? He's going to be unstoppable!

An Epic Kiss

Kira's parents are ready to move out of Beacon Hills, making them officially the most intelligent people on this entire show. Kira, however, isn't so sure she wants to head back to New York. 

The biggest reason is Scott, who isn't really her boyfriend except for how he's been treating her like they've been dating for months. Scott makes a huge mistake when he gives her a tiny peck after a conversation at their locker, realizing only once he's sat down in class that this chaste kiss was actually also their first kiss. Both are trying to figure out where they stand with each other, and the result is rather awkward and adorable. 

After a disastrous apology for the non-kiss, Scott finally decides enough is enough and comes back for a real kiss with Kira. It's just as dramatic as any fight scene on the show, with back-lighting and slow-mo and multiple angles. It's also very, very cute. Despite a lot of awkwardness between the pair, they make a ridiculously cute couple. 

Elsewhere Around Beacon Hills...

-- Peter and Derek are still trying to find the true culprit behind the heist on their multi-millions. They employ Braeden in the search, but her fees are expensive. Peter is really worried about his financial future, because who would ever employ Peter Hale? Derek, meanwhile, is much more interested in why his eyes are suddenly amber and not blue. 

-- There's basically no mention of the fact that Derek was 17-years-old just a few days ago. Poor Derek is so used to horrible things happening to him that I guess he doesn't even question randomly getting Benjamin Button'ed. He does, however, throw a little smolder Braeden's way. 

-- Having spent her entire life as a coyote, Malia is still having a hard time adjusting to life as a human. This week, she's having a tough time with math instead of history. Of course, it might have helped if Lydia's notes were actual notes and not some weird code courtesy of No Mouth.

The Shirtlessness Count

As if to make up for the dearth of shirtless bodies in previous episodes, we got quite a few moments of shirtlessness this week. In fact, we even returned to the most powerful shirtless location in Beacon Hills: the boys' locker room. 

The Count: Sean as he escaped from his house, Liam in the locker room and Braeden changing at Derek's loft. 

Best Pecks of the Week: This has to go to Sean, for getting stuck in a horror movie plot while shirtless. 

What did you think of the episode? What do you think of Liam? Are you glad lacrosse is back or are you over it already? And what is going on with No Mouth? Sound off in the comments!

Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV.

(Image courtesy of MTV)