Teen Wolf: “Orphaned” Review

teen-wolf-season-4Teen Wolf continues its exciting fourth season with another action-packed episode. More werewolves in Beacon Hills? Check. Last of the deadpool revealed? Check. Gratuitous berserker violence? Double check. Join me in a recap and review after the jump, but watch out for those spoilers! 

More of these pecs.

More of these pecs.

At the school, Violet is led away by the cops and recognizes Parrish’s name from The List, and Agent McCall seems to recognize Violet’s thermo-cut wire necklace. McCall confronts Violet about this weapon and reveals that the Bureau knows of her group, The Orphans (and is needlessly mean to her about it in the process). Over at the Deaton animal clinic, Brett, the young werewolf from Liam’s old school, is reacting hella weird to the rare, yellow wolfsbane in a scene that I think was primarily there to reiterate that Derek is losing his werewolf strength. Brett recites that “the sun, the moon, the truth” mantra we’ve heard two other werewolves reciting in times of duress. I’m assuming this means they’re all part of the same pack? Some kind of family motto? Deaton recognizes the mantra as Buddhist; cut away flashback to that one Japanese werewolf who helped Noshiko fight the nogitsune in the internment camp. We find out her name is Satomi, and she must be the source, since obviously all Buddhists are Asian and she is apparently the only Asian werewolf in the world.

Teen Wolf Derek

The Hales are bad at tracking werewolves, but good at tracking Buddhists.

Derek calls Malia out of class to help find this other pack, which he apparently knows enough about to know they have some “secret meeting place in the woods”, yet he failed to ever mention them to anyone before. He gives Malia Brett’s jersey to catch his scent in order to find the rest of the pack, but she claims she’s “not good” at that stuff yet. You’d think spending eight years as a coyote would mean her senses and tracking skills would be better than anyone else’s, but what do I know! When they fail at this mission, Derek tells her secret werewolf power #37: some advanced werewolves can actually mask their own scent. Because reasons. Then they deduce that Buddhists like to hide in eastern places (cuz the Buddha faced east under the Bodhi tree, you know), but when they arrive at the eastern part of the woods, the whole pack has been massacred. Surprise: Braeden is there with them? Still alive, but barely. I don’t think she’s a werewolf, but what was she doing with them? It’s almost tough to believe she’s just a human, what with her uncanny death-evading skills.

Have I mentioned how terrifying these guys are?

Have I mentioned how terrifying these guys are?

Scott found the Benefactor’s money in Garrett’s locker, just in time too, as we next see Mama McCall on the phone with the power company because she is months overdue with her bills (I know that feel, Mama McCall). Liam took a little jog with Mason, but was interrupted by Garrett hitting him with a car, stabbing him with the wolfsbane-laced blade, kidnapping him, and literally throwing him down a well (who does that?). Garrett calls Scott and demands the return of the money and Violet in exchange for Liam’s release. He wants Scott to derail the van transporting Violet, but the Berserkers have beat them to it. Garrett tries to take them on with his lacrosse-spear (which has grown like three feet somehow), but they’re freaking Berserkers, so they just kill him. Scott tracks the Berserkers and Kate back to some old building that Papa Argent says used to be owned by the Argent family business. Violence ensues, but the Argent siblings refrain from killing each other (Violet was not so lucky, we see). Kate runs off with the ‘serkers and Scott manages to find Liam, who had almost successfully crawled out of the well.

Meredith's scream literally made Lydia's ears bleed. I thought this was going to be accompanied by a clue, but I guess it was just ear-blood.

Meredith’s scream literally made Lydia’s ears bleed. I thought this was going to be accompanied by a clue, but I guess sometimes ear-blood is just ear-blood.

Stiles and Lydia show Parrish the deadpool, and he doesn’t know why he’s on there; to be fair, he doesn’t understand why any of those people are on there. He’s either clueless about his own supernatural nature or being a real sneakster. They go to Eichen House to get Meredith’s help in uncovering the third cipher key. She is reluctant to tell them, saying the Benefactor doesn’t want her to! What? Since when has she started hearing from him? After this unsuccessful trip, Stiles and Lydia alone try to figure out the third key. Stiles says since banshees predict death, maybe the third name isn’t someone who is already dead like the first two, but someone who is going to die. Um, patterns come in threes (they made a big deal of that in 3A) and breaking that rule doesn’t really make any sense to me. Are they saying The Benefactor is a banshee? Regardless, Lydia trances out for a sec and types a name: Derek. Some of the names revealed here include Meredith, Malia, and Liam—sidebar: how is Liam already on this list? He’s only been a werewolf for what, like two episodes? And who outside of Scott’s pack even knows about his transformation? Anyway, the cipher key really should have been Meredith: Parrish tells them the tragic news that she has hung herself in her room at Eichen.

The final scene shows Peter finding Kate and the berserkers hiding in the sewers. He offers to help her master control over her lycanthropy, and says he wants his money back, but mostly he wants what he’s always wanted: power. Big surprise there. Onto some musings.

One of those brief reminders that yes, season 3B actually did happen.

One of those brief reminders that yes, Season 3B actually did happen.

Well, I thought it was cool beans how they mentioned Satomi as alpha of the other Beacon Hills pack, actually tying bits of 3B to 4. Each season is pretty stand-alone, so it’s always nice to have a bit of continuity that reminds us that we are indeed still watching the same show. However, major plot holes. If Satomi’s pack has been there the whole time, what are the odds that they never would have been encountered or involved in any of the previous seasons? You’d think especially in 3A with the alpha pack, they would have come into play, since Derek said Satomi is one of the oldest, and presumably most powerful, werewolves alive. Maybe their scent-masking abilities, a.k.a. a never-before mentioned skill pulled out as a plot device, kept them out of the action? Who knows.

R.I.P. Meredith :'(

R.I.P. Meredith 😥

But you know what really sucks? The writers’ handling of poor Meredith. She was literally just used by the pack for info. No one ever said, “Hey, Mer, let’s grab some lunch or catch a movie!” As soon as she stopped being useful to them, she dies. Her death is all kinds of wonky too: first off, it’s suspicious—she is on a hit list, after all. Someone could have killed her and made it look like suicide. The Benefactor was clearly onto her; perhaps even making contact with her? But more problematic, Meredith was mentally ill and never got proper care or a real support system. She never had the group of friends Lydia had to help her when her banshee abilities manifested, so it understandably took a toll on her mental health. Lydia would’ve been in the exact same position if it weren’t for her loyal friends there to support and nurture her. Meredith provided invaluable information for the pack, and I’m really sad that she’s gone before they had a chance to do anything good for her in return.

The mid-season trailer looks super-cray, and the action is only gonna get more intense from here on out. The List has been revealed in full, I guess, so the biggest questions left to answer are: 1) who is the Benefactor? 2) what kind of supernatural is Parrish? Personally, I kinda think banshee (manshee?), but I’ve read fan theories that range from siren to selkie to dullahan to barghest to some kind of raven-related being, or even a lyngbakr. He looks more physical than psychic in the mid-season trailer, but who knows how much of a clue that is. And finally 3) Danny?! At SDCC, Jeff Davis apparently said: “You have not seen the last of Danny.” Plot twist: he’s the Benefactor. Maybe! His knowledge of the supernatural and his techno-wizardry skills would make him an ideal candidate, and Allison and Aiden, the first two cipher keys, were supernatural-caused deaths that would certainly have upset him on a personal level. Only time will tell! Until then, leave me your thoughts, comments, and theories down below!

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