Teen Wolf: “I.E.D.” Review

teen-wolf-season-4Another week, another Teen Wolf. This week’s episode has two main focuses: first, all the hoopla surrounding the decoded deadpool, and secondly, a stress-ridden lacrosse scrimmage against none other than the school Liam was expelled from.

(Might I take this time to point out that Danny was both excellent at codebreaking and is on the lacrosse team? Fuck you, Jeff Davis.)

The episode opens on Violet, the teenage assassin from last week, stalking yet another never-before-seen werewolf girl. The girl tries to attack Violet and escape, but is tricked by Violet’s skeezy boyfriend and offed. Yet another dead lady added to Teen Wolf’s already awfully red ledger.

panda

Look, we were all thinking it, I’m just saying it.

Meanwhile, Stiles has his tape out and is trying his damnedest to connect the dots between the murders from last episode and the deadpool and the mysterious benefactor. The numbers refer, obviously, to the prices on each character’s head, and suspiciously enough they add up to the $117 million that was stolen from Peter. As the episode progresses, Stiles figures out that some of the murders have been carried out with a bladed lacrosse stick, meaning that one of the Beacon Hills team members has been killing off supernatural folk. This is especially bad news given the scrimmage: not only are they playing Liam’s old school, where every team member is trying to knock the shit out of him, one of Beacon Hills’ own is gunning for Scott, Kira, Liam, and anyone else on the field who isn’t strictly human. The stabbity kid gets cocky, though: after he and Violet take down one of the rival school’s supernatural players in the locker room, she turns her superheated garotting wires on Scott. Scott doesn’t have time for that shit, and easily pulls the wires out of her hands and knocks her out.

teen-wolf-4x05-1Throughout the episode Lydia’s been trying to commune with her banshee powers to figure out the rest of the code—the “Allison” keyword only unlocked a third of it—but she has no luck. Malia eventually suggests going to Eichen House to confer with the only other banshee they know, but legally they can’t visit Meredith. Thankfully, Meredith breaks out of her awful mental hospital and comes to them with clues. Eventually, they discover that the second code key is “Aiden”, and a whole new slew of supernaturals is revealed. Shocking almost no one because of his suspicious “I just felt drawn here” line last season, Deputy Parrish is on part two of the hit list. He doesn’t have a particularly large price on his head, though, so I wonder what sort of beastie he is.

Finally, the Calaveras have shown up in Beacon Hills, and they’re not happy. Mrs. Calavera corners Chris, who’s spent the rest of the episode working amiably with Derek on case stuff, and bullies him into claiming allegiance to the original hunters’ code: “We hunt those who hunt us.” We end there, with Scott and Stiles standing over some bodies in a locker room, Lydia sitting in the police station with a newly-revealed-as-beastie Deputy Parrish, and me fuming at Chris for so immediately discarding the new code Allison had sworn him to.

So let’s start there. I think that Chris must be planning to double-cross the Calaveras; it would be downright incongruous for him to be helpful and fatherly to Scott and companionable (and boyfriendly) with Derek and then turn around and lose three seasons of character development because some near-strangers needled him about it. Furthermore, Chris is clearly affected by Allison’s death and it would be a horrible mischaracterization to show him abandoning her code, “We protect those who can’t protect themselves”, so soon after her death.

Moving onto Lydia, I’m pleased that such a large portion of the episode was dedicated to her development. She had so many conversations with Malia that this episode shockingly passed Bechdel. I’m also especially pleased that we saw Meredith again. When I saw in the episode description that Lydia was going to seek help with her banshee powers, I was terrified that it meant she was going to go to Peter or someone equally awful for help; it was a great surprise that instead we got ladies mentoring ladies.

kira scott lacrosse

Also, Kira gets benched for being too good at lacrosse.

Finally, to Scott. We had some adorable brotherly Derek and Scott interactions this episode, as well as some more hapless but heartfelt attempts on Scott’s part to be the Best Alpha Ever to Liam. Scott and Stiles are making a concerted effort to basically be pack mom and dad (or maybe good cop/bad cop) around Liam to try and control his out of control anger issues and that’s also entertaining to watch. And as dark (lighting-wise) and kind of confused as the lacrosse game itself was, I am always happy with lacrosse scenes because they mean Coach Finstock. They did also introduce Intermittent Explosive Disorder (hence the title of the episode) as the source of Liam’s anger problems, but he says he refuses to take the medicine because it makes him too tired to play lacrosse. While this could lead into an interesting storyline dissecting why some mentally ill people choose not to self-medicate, it will probably just be an excuse to let Liam keep being randomly angry for plot purposes.

On a last note, we did get in-show evidence of Mason’s gayness, so yay for another queer character! Sadly, however, he seems doomed to go the Danny route: to be a witness to all the supernatural goings-on of Beacon Hills without ever actually meaning anything to the plot. This is why people want you to make characters like Scott or Stiles or Kira or any major character a queer character, Teen Wolf. I can’t believe I have to explain to a gay show-runner that having meaningful queer representation is important, but that’s Teen Wolf for you, I guess.

All in all, this was a decent episode with good plot movement and some great character moments. I’m nervous to see what’s up with Chris and I want to know will happen next with Deputy Beastie most of all, but I’ll just have to wait till next week to figure it out. See you on the other side of San Diego Comic Con, nerds!

2 thoughts on “Teen Wolf: “I.E.D.” Review

  1. Stumbled across your review and while i’m all for being critical of the media we enjoy I also i’m slightly irked by your “shockingly passed bechdel test”. It has been a great source of enjoyment to me how much better the show seems to be doing with women this season. Obviously there’s still potential to fail spectacularly, and it’s no where near the caliber of other shows on television, but I’ve been extremely proud. 4 out of 5 episodes so far this season have passed the bechdel. Episode 1: Kira and Malia’s conversation on the dance floor, followed by a brief but present conversation about the creature in the woods, (with the honorable meantion of Lydia’s conversation with Araya about her banshee powers centered on one of the unnamed male guards but was not about him). Episode 3: Lydia and Malia talking about math on the blackboard, Malia and Kira talking about why Kira was feeling anxious, (honorable mention Kira’s discussion with her mother about moving which talked about the pack in general) (not a pass with flying colors as both conversations were extremely brief) but a pass. Episode 4: (which was the second best after this one in terms of bechdel although not necessarily the best in terms of women) Kira and Lydia’s conversations about the the code on her computer book ended the episode. You could even make an incredibly weak case for episode 2 if you want to count the single lines exchanged between Kira and Lydia about not looking at a corpse or the use of credit cards or if you want to disregard the fact that their discussion about what happened in Mexico was a veiled conversation about Scott. Furthermore, the first episode of the season had more speaking women then men (Araya,Lydia,Kira,Malia,Breaden vs Scott,Stiles,Araya’s second in command whose name i forget, and an unnamed male guard). And previously an episode pretty much never passed the bechdel test unless it was Allison (usually with her mother, Lydia, or Morrell) passing it (once or twice Lydia and her mother did) now we have three different combinations of women passing, plus Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Yukimura, and Meredith being mixed in. Finally, on an extremely shallow note, the intro credits are for the first time ever split evenly between men and women (with two poc out of six as opposed to one out of six and then five). Overall, I’m extremely pleased with this seasons development of women and while I agree with most of your critiques (especially about Danny) I found your bechdel test point troublesome. I also just wanted to share some of my pride

    • No, that’s a good point! I guess I was more thinking of the show as a whole than about this season in particular, but it has definitely been making strides on that front. Thanks for commenting!

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