This week on Teen Wolf
the Benefactor is finally revealed, Derek actually wins a fight for once in his life and it turns out Deputy Parrish is the Terminator. Also, apparently dubstep kills. The more you know!
I feel like I'm still chewing over the reveal of the true identity of the Benefactor. Does it make sense? Is it crazy? Is it genius? I'm not quite sure. I do know I've always liked Meredith Walker and Maya Eshet's performance, and this means she's still alive, so that's a good thing.
Since Lydia's grandmother drove Meredith crazy, it does seem as if she has a relatively solid reason for disliking the supernaturals in town. I'm sure we'll hear more of her reasoning, and her backstory, in the pre-VMA episode airing on Sunday. But congratulations are in order to the show for pulling out a surprise ending which feels both earned and legitimately shocking.
Kentucky Fried Parrish
Poor Deputy Parrish opens our episode locked in a car, doused in gasoline, and begging not to be burned alive by his co-worker Deputy Haigh. Listen, I'm not on Haigh's side exactly, but I can understand why there might be a real morale problem in the Beacon Hills police force. I mean, every six months at least half of the force is killed off.
"Where's John?" "Dude, don't you remember when that lizard creature ate him?" "Oh right, slipped my mind." Given the high mortality rate, they are definitely not getting paid enough.
Haigh throws in the lighter and roasts marshmallows while Parrish burns. That's way harsh, Haigh. This is why you never share salary information with your co-workers. There's the awkwardness, the resentment, the being burned alive. It's just a bad scene.
Later, Haigh is looking guiltily around the office while the Sheriff talks to Lydia and Stiles about Lydia's grandmother and the dead pool. Just as the Sheriff starts to wonder where his deputy is, Parrish bursts in both extra crispy and really pissed.
In Exposition Alley, Scott and the gang fill Parrish in on the supernatural world in which they live. "What's a kanima? Is it dangerous to be the only Terminator in town?" Parish wonders. The 17-year-olds just pat him gently on the head like he is a beautiful, adorable dunce.
Parrish does make a smart observation in the middle of his shock, and it's the fact that Haigh is far from a professional hit man. It seems like the dead pool is now getting around Beacon Hills, showing up in the printer tray of every person with a wireless printer.
Is there anything more terrifying than printer-related horror? I'm not sure, but Liam wakes up to find the dead pool printing in his room. "My god, it's using up my whole ink cartridge! Do you know how much those cost?! Noooo!"
The lacrosse team is having a bonfire, with alcohol, because what school doesn't allow alcohol at social events on school property? Beacon Hills: come to be eaten by werewolves, stay for the free booze! I guess at least that would explain why everyone hasn't moved yet.
At the party, some heavy dubstep is playing. You know in horror movies when the soundtrack gets really, really spooky and you know something terrible is about to go down? When you hear dubstep in Beacon Hills, murder is always just around the corner. And since Danny isn't around to convince everyone to strip, we don't even have the soothing balm of nudity.
Scott finds Malia dancing in the crowd, trying to get drunk. Scott informs her that because of her werewolf healing, it's impossible for her to get drunk, because Scott is a killjoy. They talk about Peter, briefly, and Scott warns her that he's up to something. But Malia isn't here for a lecture from Scott, she's just here to dance!
Soon, however, both Malia and Liam are getting woozy and sick. Scott thinks it must be something in their drink, but when he starts getting sick as well, he realizes it's the dubstep music.
"All my people in the crowd, grab a partner, take it down!" he yells. It's Scott against the music!
Unfortunately, Scott doesn't get too far before the security guards drag him, Liam and Malia off in front of poor, confused Mason. Beacon Hills must be having a real run on gasoline lately, because soon the kids are all doused and ready to be lit up like the bonfire outside.
Somehow, unbelievably, and with no information to back up this logic leap, Mason realizes the music is the problem and pulls the plug. This allows Scott to fight back and gives enough time for Braeden and Derek to save the day.
The biggest shock of the episode, even bigger than Meredith being the Benefactor, is that Derek Hale actually wins a fight. In fact, Derek seems to be doing better without his powers than he ever did with them.
"Derek, you just won that fight! Maybe you aren't doomed!" Scott says happily. "Oh no, brah. I'm definitely a goner," a chipper Derek replies.
Grandma Martin's Tragic Tale
If this episode has one major weak spot, it's all the hastily dumped exposition. Back in Exposition Alley, Lydia info-dumps a whole tragic backstory that sounds like what would happen if you took the plot to a Nicholas Sparks movie and turned it into a show on ABC Family.
Basically, Lydia's grandmother was in love with a woman named Maddy, who was also in love with the sea. One day, Lydia's granny got the feeling it was raining, even though it wasn't, and when Maddy went out on her boat she died in a storm. This caused Granny Lorraine to go off the deep end, putting together experiments, seeking psychics and finally driving poor Meredith Walker off the deep end.
Once again, it's wonderful how casually gay and lesbian characters are woven into the fabric of the show without one iota of attention being paid to their sexuality. No one in the episode even pauses to remark upon the fact that Granny Martin was in love with a woman.
Of course, this whole exposition dump leaves me with questions. Did Lydia's mother fill her in on this tragic backstory between episodes? It's a bit strange we never find out how Lydia knows all these facts about her grandmother suddenly. If it's because of her powers, you'd think that might merit a mention at least.
The Banshee and the Benefactor
Lydia and Stiles are soon hard at work trying to figure out the code to decipher the last part of the dead pool. Figuring it's sometime specific to her relationship with her grandmother, she hits on her obsession with The Little Mermaid when she was young. Lydia even kind of looks like Ariel, doesn't she? I mean, they both have perfect hair.
This unlocks a list of names of those who had previously committed suicide at Eichen House, including Lydia's grandmother. While Deputy Parrish stares at the police reports, hoping his Terminator powers are also good for deduction, Lydia and Stiles go to bribe Eichen House orderly Brunski.
They immediately get suspicious when they see Brunski has a mix tape similar to the ones handed out by the Benefactor. They should be suspicious because who has a cassette tape player in 2014 anymore except serial killers? Brunski soon ties them up, talking about how he was helping all the people he killed.
He then forces Lydia to listen to a tape of him killing her grandmother, as Stiles tries to help her tune it out and Lydia cries. This show can really go to some dark places. She hears her grandmother beg for someone not to hurt "Ariel" right before she dies.
Having tortured and extorted the two, Brunski decides to kill them with an apparent overdose. What he doesn't realize is that Parrish noticed the very obvious fact that Brunski's name was on every suicide report and has come to the rescue. Brunski taunts Parrish, saying that he doubts Parrish will shoot him.
What he doesn't know is that Parrish was just burned alive earlier in the day, so his tolerance for nonsense is at an all-time low. When Brunski tries to inject Lydia, Parrish quickly takes him out. As Stiles, Lydia and Parrish are high-fiving about killing the Benefactor, Brunski laughs. "Sorry, bros, I'm not the Benefactor!"
At this moment, Meredith Walker skulks around the corner in her usual strange, mysterious way. It turns out Meredith has been the Benefactor all along. Boom! Mind blown. Teen Wolf just dropped the mic on us.
The Shirtlessness Count
The Count: Deputy Parrish, extra crispy from a deep fry.
Best Pecks of the Week: It's too hard to resist this pun, but I want you to know I'm so sorry: Deputy Parrish is on fire.
Elsewhere in Beacon Hills...
-- How long until Mason figures out the whole werewolf thing? And seriously, where in the world is Danny?
-- Derek is hilariously casual about his impending doom. I guess when you die once per season, death just loses its sense of danger and mystery.
-- Stiles and his father have a serious heart-to-heart about their money issues. Given Brunski's murderous tendencies, I feel like the family waving a potential lawsuit should probably make them square.
-- Coach automatically knows that Scott is the ultimate narc. Scott doesn't even have the heart to be offended. Then he skulks around the party, staring at people and being creepy. He really has learned so much from Derek.
What did you think of the Meredith reveal? Did you guess she was the Benefactor? Did you like the twist? Sound off in the comments!
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV.