This episode opens on Parrish, who’s been targeted by a fellow police officer. The dude lights him on fire in his car, but Parrish miraculously survives thanks to his still-unknown beastieness. When he returns to the police station all sooty, the kids decide it’s time to induct him into the supernatural club, and reveal their own natures and the nature of the list.
Lydia and Stiles then set to work decoding the cipher Lydia’s grandma left her last episode. After a long and kind of unnecessary backstory in which I’m pretty sure Lydia said her grandma was a lesbian, Lydia figures out the key and deciphers the code, revealing another list. Unfortunately, she doesn’t recognize any of the names on this list except for her own grandmother’s.
Back at school, the big start-of-season lacrosse party is going down, and Saint Scott McCall is patrolling the party making sure no one gets sick-drunk or hurt. He tries to warn Malia and Liam that they can’t get drunk due to their healing factor, but for some reason they are exhibiting some drunken behavior. When Scott starts to feel it too, he realizes that new assassins have infiltrated the party, but it’s too late. The beastie kids are escorted off the grounds by assassins in police uniforms, who dump gasoline on them and nearly immolate them before Derek and Braeden show up to save the day.
While all this is going down, Stiles and Lydia head back to Eichen House to try and get some more information about her grandma and the deaths that had happened there. They’re double-crossed by the skeezy orderly, who ties them up and tries to kill them. It seems like we’ve finally discovered who the Benefactor is, but thankfully, Parrish shows up and shoots him. Except heyo: it wasn’t the orderly after all. Turns out Meredith is alive and was controlling him, and she’s the Benefactor!
I’m of mixed feelings about the Meredith reveal. On one hand, I’m excited about it. Not only is she alive, thank God, she’s turned out to be a character who makes decisions rather than a prop for the other characters to use when necessary. Except, with most villain reveals like this, there’s some sort of backstory that hints at the reveal, so that when it happens we say “Oh, shit, I knew it!”, not “…whaaaa???” We never got enough backstory for Meredith, so this wasn’t foreshadowed at all. Furthermore, we’ve been given no hint yet what her motivations are, and so I expect we’re going to get a “Why I’m Evil” Monologue™ next episode. Can’t wait for that exposition dump!
I’m also not excited because, if you’re a lady villain on Teen Wolf, you’re gonna die. That’s been statistically proven over the last several seasons. And given that Maya Eshet, Meredith’s actress, is also a lady of color, I’m not looking forward to her chance of living or being redeemed, even though I’d really like it to happen. I just don’t trust Jeff Davis to give her a realistic redemption arc and of all the things he’s likely to give us in the last few episodes of this season, a complex disabled lady villain of color is very low on the list.
We finally got our Parrish reveal this episode… sort of. He clearly wasn’t faking his confusion about his name being on the list in previous episodes, as he had no idea how he survived being set on fire. We still have no clue as to what sort of beastie he is. I’m banking on phoenix, though, given the really obvious symbolism of his coming back to life after being set on fire. I wonder what that will mean for his powers—will he have any besides insta-resurrection? Also, I had to sit and take several deep breaths after I realized that the title of this episode was a god damned pun on his last name. Why must you do these things to me, Jeff Davis?!
I was also kind of thrown off by the pacing this episode. The first half of the episode was very different in tone and intensity than the second half. The former featured sassy Coach Finstock monologues, lesbian grandma backstory, Lydia reminiscing about her childhood, and evil printers—yes, everyone’s printers were going mysteriously haywire and printing dozens of copies of the deadpool—and the latter had teenage werewolves soaked in gasoline, the return of sinister mental health professional guy, and Lydia and Stiles tied in a basement being threatened with a syringe full of something unpleasant. It was kind of off-putting to switch from one to the other—it reminded me uncomfortably of last season’s overdone grimdarkness.
On that note, while I appreciate the continuity of Sheriff Stilinski still owing medical bills for Stiles’s treatment last season, I really wish that Davis would just let Eichen House die. Any potential it had to offer representation of actual mental health facilities and characters with disabilities being treated with respect has been flushed down a dirty stereotypically disgusting horror asylum toilet. Of all the things to hold onto for continuity’s sake, this is the last thing I would have chosen.
And speaking of bills, Scott is continuing to angst about the money under his bed, and I am continuing to yell at my screen “Just give it to your damn mother, already!” It may be ill-gotten money, but it’s Peter’s money and I hate Peter so much. Mama McCall and Sheriff Stilinski need that money way more than that creepy leech does.
That about wraps up my thoughts for this episode. All in all I found it kinda confusing, and while I hope that we get some explanation next week, I also fear that that explanation is going to come in the form of obnoxious info-dumping. At least we don’t have as long to wait—the episode airs at 7pm EST on Sunday next week, I assume in deference to the Emmys on Monday. See you then!