This week on Teen Wolf
, Scott and Kira have the worst first date of all time, Argent taps into his anger, Derek's loft gets trashed again and both Kate Argent and Peter Hale have plans so complicated and ridiculous they are basically unknowable.
This episode had some major pacing issues, to put it mildly. Now that the Benefactor/dead pool storyline is wrapped up, it seems like life in Beacon Hills can finally return to normal. Normal in Beacon Hills involves looking into the eye resting in the self-drilled hole of a mad man in order to find out some information about vacation spots in Mexico. Just normal, everyday Beacon Hills life.
Mexico, the Berserkers and Derek Hale's turn as Benjamin Button are all back this week, as if the whole dead pool storyline was just a brief interlude instead overtaking the majority of the season. As usual, Teen Wolf's problem is one of scale and ambition. It might, at first glance, seem like a good idea to shove as many story elements as possible into a season. It rarely, however, results in something that hangs together in any kind of reasonable way.
So we get an episode like this one, which is full of story and action and character development, yet which feels disjointed. The action is herky-jerky: we slide from scenes that seemingly have little in common and everyone's motivations are in shadow. Why does Kate want to turn Scott into a Berserker? Why does Peter suddenly want Kate dead? What happened to his evil plan to kill Scott and take his powers? How does this all ultimately connect together?
This is the penultimate episode of the season, and yet it's picking up plot threads from a storyline we dropped around episode two. The problem with putting your real story on the backburner for so long is that everything now feels rushed and underdeveloped.
Liam's Afraid of the Dark
Poor Liam really just needs a nightlight and a good therapist. He's having nightmares about Berserkers, seeing them everywhere he goes. This is causing him to ignore Mason, try to bench press 300 pounds solo and lose lacrosse games. Remember lacrosse? Teen Wolf is pretending to care about lacrosse again this week.
Mason tells Liam that since everyone he tries to befriend in this town is either a serial killer or now deceased, he's just going to have to deal with Liam's weirdness. "I have limited options," Mason says in the world's most touching declaration of friendship.
Later, the lacrosse player Scott saved earlier in the season returns to give Liam a heavy-handed talk about the greatness that is Scott McCall and also about how struggle builds character. He sounds like a parent scolding a child who doesn't want to do a chore. "Now go kill that unstoppable bone creature, Liam. It'll build character."
Derek's Loft of Sexy Times and Crushing Loss
Things seem to be going well in the life of one Derek Hale. To wit: Scott finally returns the money from the Hale vault. It turns out the money was all Peter's anyway, which he got from ... what, exactly? Did Peter Hale invest in a lucrative v-neck T-shirt empire or something?
Derek is totally cool with the concept that Scott was thinking about stealing the money for weeks. Just totally zen. This new, human Derek is such a mensch. "It's all right, bro, for real. Hey, do you want to use my mostly unfurnished loft to impress your girlfriend? Nothing gets the ladies going like industrial ceilings, all gray furnishings and having as few places to sit as possible."
Derek has never been so happy, so successful, so full of life even. Whatever is going on in his relationship with Braden, it is really helping him find a calm oasis in the storm of terror that is usually his lot.
Of course, because this is a day in the life of Derek Hale, it starts with a water-logged Lydia appearing at his door to inform him via scream that he's a total goner. "Oh, it's fine," Derek says, dropping his gun. "It's just the sound of my eventual doom. Hey, what if I made you ladies some pancakes?"
It must be hard to get worked up about your impending demise when you're killed or maimed basically every other week. "Fingers crossed I'm not impaled or electrocuted or burned alive. Let's try something new at least!"
We also learn that Derek's money is tied up in real estate and that he doesn't own a television, meaning that lurking below those perfect abs is the soul of an 80-year-old man. Possibly the best moment of the episode is when Derek says proudly that he has his money invested in the building, and Scott immediately thinks he has a secret vault somewhere in the loft. "Does it also lead to the boy's locker room? Because that would explain a lot of things."
World's Worst First Date
For their first official date, Scott decides to take Kira to Derek's dank, unwelcoming loft. To give it a little pizzazz, he installs a bunch of hanging lights all over the loft. Kira lights them up with her kistune powers, an ability she uses for soft lighting but not when fighting giant skull creatures. Nice prioritization, Kira.
Now that the pair look like they're in a Mumford and Sons video, they decide to watch Star Wars. But George Lucas and his numbering system are just way too complicated for poor Scott's brain, so Kira skips to the sexy stuff right away.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the moment Kate and her Berserker pals break into Derek's loft. Somewhere in Beacon Hills, Derek gets a cold chill down his spine and realizes he's going to have to replace a full wall of windows. "My god, the contractor fees!" Now that I know Derek's building is where he invested his money, I'm going to be even more upset every time someone new trashes his loft.
Scott and Kira both fight as hard as they can, but to no avail. Kira ends up in a bone-filled prison, while Scott is strapped down to a table. Kate says she's taking him to a church, which I assume is in Mexico.
Now I'm sad we missed the opportunity to see Kate and her Berserkers take a road trip. Do you think the Berserkers were in charge of snacks and changing the radio station? Do you think they played car games on the way down? Since nothing about Kate's plan makes any sense at the moment, the mental image of the Berserkers bopping along to Ke$ha and eating Red Vines as the car speeds down the highway is really all that's sustaining me.
Kate tells Scott that the Argent family has been fighting werewolves for 400 years, but now they're all but wiped out thanks to Scott. She wonders what it is about him that's so special. "I'm the main character on this show," he says, before the Berserkers carry him Lion King-style over their heads.
In Mexico, Kate starts talking about Greek mythology, which is the section of book learning Scott missed that summer when he took up reading while doing chin-ups. She says she's going to turn him into something his friends will find unrecognizable, and then they'll kill him.
This is a very TV villain plan, because isn't the most direct path to just kill him while he's strapped down on the table, completely helpless? Kate's version of the scheme is like planning parkour: why take the easy route when you can needlessly complicate your own life in the name of dramatics? Never change, Argent family.
Who is the Desert Wolf?
Speaking of the Argent family and their flare for dramatics, Argent follows Peter Hale and gets impaled for his trouble. "I told Kate I wouldn't kill you, but I said nothing about impaling you to a wall and slowly letting you bleed to death. The devil is in the details!"
Deputy Parrish, who has been following Peter around since the whole dead pool debacle, finds Argent and refuses to leave him to bleed to death. "It's time to get angry, sir," Parrish says, polite even when instructing someone on how to get a tire iron out of their intestines. Argent gets angry thinking about Allison, Parrish's eyes glow and presumably medical attention is imminent.
Meanwhile, Stiles has made finding Desert Wolf his new pastime. Because, god knows, these kids would be nothing without their vague and complicated mysteries.
There is joy in the Stilinski household, since Eichen House dropped their bill due to the whole "murderous orderly" issue. "Thank god you were almost murdered by a psychotic serial killer! Who wants ice cream?"
Speaking of Eichen House, it turns out the mental institute has a whole floor just devoted to supernatural creatures. Because why wouldn't it? Deaton comes to visit some guy with a suave accent and an eye in his forehead for wisdom about what happened to Derek in Mexico. He also hints that he's trying to help Derek keep a promise to a woman he loved. So were Deaton and Talia Hale an item?
Deaton goes into a coma, and just as they're about to transfer him down to another floor, Lydia stops by for a visit. "I know what will save him: ice baths! Just kidding! Of course, we're not going to bother telling the audience how Deaton got out of this coma ... so it could have been ice baths!"
Meanwhile, at the lacrosse game, Stiles and Liam are both making a poor showing. In the stands, Peter sits next to Malia for some weird father-daughter bonding. He promises he'll tell her how to find her mother if she does him a solid. What favor does he want in return? Obviously, it's for her to kill Kate Argent. Because sure, why not?
These plans may or may not come together into a form that eventually makes sense. With Teen Wolf, you just never really know.
The Shirtlessness Count
The Count: Not much shirtless action, but this season some nudity is better than none. We see the world's most attractive couple, Derek and Braden, without shirts when Lydia stops by for an unplanned visit.
Best Pecks of the Week: This one goes out to Derek, for his complete nonchalance in the face of his own predicted death. "Oh, hey, Lydia! What's that, I'm definitely going to die? Would you like some coffee and a hair dryer? I don't have a television, but Braden and I do a badass shadow puppet theater if you want some entertainment while breakfast is cooking."
Elsewhere in Beacon Hills...
-- This is your regularly scheduled reminder that we haven't seen Danny since last season. Kickstarter to start a search party to find Danny.
-- We get a great scene between Scott and Melissa McCall talking about their money problems and how that doesn't mean you can steal your friend's giant bag of money. I wish we got more quiet moments with the McCall family.
-- So how many people in Beacon Hills know about the supernatural stuff if Eichen House has a whole wing of wacky misfit supernatural creatures? I guess the better question is: how many people in Beacon Hills don't know about the supernatural?
-- Poor Malia is just never going to graduate.
What did you think of the episode? Will these plans ever come together? What is Peter's endgame? What will Scott become? Will Derek survive? Share your theories in the comments before the finale!
Teen Wolf airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV.
(Image courtesy of MTV)