Teen Wolf Season 4 Review “The Benefactor”

After the cold open of this week’s episode of Teen Wolf, am I the only one out there who wants a spin off in which Stilinski, Chris, Parrish and Derek go around investigating supernatural occurrences? Of course, the spin-off would not be complete without a few cameos by Peter and his sassiness. On to this week’s episode . . .

The Trouble With Scott

This season, we’ve seen Scott frequently lying and/or withholding truth to deal with his problems. Much like the revelation of Rafael’s big secret last season, most of Scott’s lies and obstruction have left me scratching my head. I don’t understand keeping the truth from Malia about her father and I’m not sure I follow the logic of not telling the Sheriff that Liam was on the roof during the Wendigo showdown. I can appreciate not telling the Sheriff that he bit Liam, but why omit him from the story altogether? Scott could not have anticipated that Derek would have been called in as a special investigator, but there is a pretty good chance forensics will be run on a crime scene. I suppose this is just minor nitpicking and it ranks pretty low on my list of Scott-related concerns.

I can appreciate the difficult position in which Scott has found himself as a new maker of a Beta. However, it was astounding to see Scott rely on the exact same “welcome to the brotherhood” speech that Derek unsuccessfully used on him. I suppose Scott may have forgotten just how much he hated Derek and how little he trusted him in the beginning. Anything but the speech that Derek gave him would have been a better, more logical start for Scott.

Finally, I still have a lot of True Alpha Qs and would appreciate a few As. I’m willing to accept that being a True Alpha might mean different things depending upon the character of the person. In Scott’s case, we’ve seen his compassion and concern for others give him the strength to break through a barrier of mountain ash. Likewise, we’ve seen him use his growl to tame other members of his pack, including Isaac as he relentlessly beat on one of the twins and Malia when she was “trapped” in coyote form. Why not use the growl to tame Liam?

Don’t get me wrong, Scott will always be my favorite Teen Wolf. Watching him struggle as an Alpha and now as a “maker” is something I’m looking forward to this season, but I would love some more context on what being a True Alpha means – beyond having excellent character. I love that the consequences of Scott biting Liam has repercussions for everyone. Liam has to adjust to being a werewolf and the pack has to accept him as a part of the group because that is what their leader, Scott, expects of them. My frustrations with Scott not using the howl aside, the scene in which Scott compassionately tells Liam that he is not a monster was great. Liam’s history of anger management issues should be an interesting wrinkle in his adjustment to the pack.

Full Moon Struggles

Liam was not the only supernatural struggling to maintain composure during the full moon. Unsurprisingly, full moons are another issue on a very long list of issues Malia is working through as she adjusts to life in human form. I have mixed feelings about the choices Stiles made with Malia versus those he made with Scott in season 1. I appreciate that Stiles would not leave Malia’s side and that we got to hear him reflect on being possessed by the nogitsune. I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t mention that choosing not to be in the room with Scott during his first full moon seemed like a much more practical decision. Ultimately, it’s no different than Allison wanting to stay with Scott in season 2 when he made the odd choice of going to Isaac’s house, a crime scene, and deciding to contain himself in a deep freezer Isaac’s father used as a tool of abuse. The pack could have used a few of those deep freezers last night.

Despite all of the chaos surrounding them, Scott and Kira found time to be adorable and lovey dovey. Normally, this would really annoy me, but I like this couple and their slow-paced relationship. Besides, this is nowhere near as bad as Scott and Allison having sex while they were supposed to be looking after Jackson in the stolen police van during the season 2 kanima shenanigans. Slow dancing and a few innocent kisses is an improvement.

The Benefactor

The characters not struggling with the full moon or helping someone struggling with it spent the episode learning more information about the mysterious Benefactor and his drop list made up of the supernatural residents of Beacon Hills. The fact that the password Lydia used to find the list is “Allison” has to be a red herring – right? Time will tell, but I’m hoping that the person behind this comes as a genuine shock to us all.

Helping The Benefactor remove names from his drop list can be quite lucrative for a high school freshman, as we learned from Garrett and Violet. Liam’s fear that he was becoming a monster was quite fitting, as we saw the humans behaving like monsters when Violet killed an innocent beer delivery guy for profit. Will their friendship with Liam trump their greed if he ends up on the drop list?

Other supernatural thoughts, observations and feels. . .

– Break out the streamers and sheet cake, Derek won another fight! Woohoo! Derek deserves a special champagne toast for not only kicking ass, but actually getting to use his knowledge of the supernatural to help Sheriff Stilinski.

– I got a strong Danny-like vibe from Mason in last night’s episode. Like Danny, he was more of an observer to the strange things happening around him. I wonder if Mason, like Danny, is aware of the supernatural presence in Beacon Hills? Will he write a paper on currents? Speaking of Danny, I was all set to question his absence and found this great image to boot.

Image from BriannaJWhatt’s Tumblr.

Unfortunately, Holland Roden shared at the Wolfs Bane 2 Con this weekend that we would not see Danny this season and that Jeff Davis did not think there was anything left for the character to do. Danny was never a major character, but I thought the revelation that he knew about werewolves might mean more for him this season. Of course, Holland could be teasing us and Danny could be revealed as The Benefactor. He is pretty computer savvy, after all.

– Arden Cho is so freaking great at portraying Kira. Although Kira could use a little more confidence, I loved that Kira fell down the steps while trying to entice Liam and the way she took the fall in stride.

Gifs from the Teen Wolf Tumblr

– I will always love Teen Wolf for its moments of levity, including Sheriff Stilinski telling a man with no mouth that he had the right to remain silent. Ha!

– Words cannot describe my joyful squeal when my favorite silver fox, Chris Argent, emerged from the shadows rocking a grief beard and ready to help Scott because he received his text. It was glorious. It’s also interesting to learn that Scott texted Chris about Liam. I suppose Scott can make room for two mentors in his life – Chris and Deaton. I’m not sure what that means for his father, unless Rafael is let in on the supernatural secret soon.

– More money problems? Although the scene with Lydia and Mason was muted, closed caption revealed that the lake house had been put on the market for sale and that it was important that the home being in good condition because her family needed all the money they could get from the sale. Divorce can be financially taxing and we know that Lydia’s got lots of credit card debt and her mom probably isn’t making big bucks as a teacher at the high school. It was still interesting, however, to learn that yet another member of Scott’s pack is facing money woes.

Until Next Moon Day!

Overall, “The Benefactor” did a great job at advancing the drop list mystery. The revelation of Garrett and Violet’s murder for hire activities was an unexpected and interesting twist. The writers are doing a good job at keeping the characters connected, despite the different circles in which they move (high school vs. the sheriff’s precinct). What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off below!