Teen Wolf Season 4 Review “Perishable”

I’ve watched this week’s episode of Teen Wolf at least three times and I still don’t know what to say about it. When in doubt, might as well start with a good ol’ fashioned recap of what happened to some of our favorite Beacon Hills residents.

Jordan Parrish, House Targaryen

The episode kicked off with a great cold open. Baby faced Parrish is tied to his steering wheel and that nasty deputy from a few episodes ago is dousing the car with gasoline. We knew from the previews that Parrish would be okay, but that didn’t keep me from being moved by the sadness and desperation in Parrish’s voice as he begged for his life. Great scene for Ryan Kelly. Just as Hague is inquiring about his $5 million, in comes Parrish – naked as a jay bird, full of anger and somehow managing to really pull off the charred look. Teen Wolf can be a bit heavy handed with the use of slow motion at times, but I thought it was very well done as Parrish “rose from the ashes” and dished out a little comeuppance to Hague.

Hague, sweetie, how many times are you going to say “you’re dead” to someone who is repeatedly bashing your face in and clearly not dead?

Parrish proved to be a perfect fit for Beacon Hills because like all of the other characters who have endured extremely traumatic, life changing experiences, he bounced right back and pushed forward with his investigation into: (1) what he is and (2) the identity of the Benefactor.

So you’ve discovered that you have some kind of super human ability after being doused with gasoline, set on fire and miraculously walk away with your hair, nails, life and not a single burn, where do you go to figure out what’s going on with you? The bestiary! No? We’re not going to the supernatural bible first? Okay. Next option. Deaton! He’s an emissary, he’s on the record as having seen a lot of things during his time in Beacon Hills – he might just have a few ideas! Yes! Let’s go see Dr. Deaton. No? We’re not going to see Deaton. I guess Deaton is off on some yet-to-be revealed quest for something that might help Derek figure out why he’s losing his powers. Wait, no. Because as far as we’ve seen, no one has consulted Deaton about the problem. Instead, Derek hires Braeden to find Kate so that he can ask her. Right. Because Kate is so hard to find these days. It’s not like she just rolled up in the Beacon Hills hospital, shortly after Derek left, with her two big bad ass berserkers. And I’m sure that Kate, the one we think did this to Derek, is eager to tell him everything. Sure. And if she doesn’t, that’s not a problem because human Derek is evidently pretty tough and has won way more fights than he did in wolf form. Maybe the pack will take Parrish to Chris. Like Deaton, the hunter has seen a lot of things and his family has a bestiary. Wait, no Chris in this episode. So now what?

We take him to Derek’s loft! Umm…okay. Sure. That makes total sense. The Hales have a bestiary, but first let’s have Dr. Hale take a closer look at Parrish. Derek doesn’t have a clue. Derek wasn’t a complete bust. At least he had a few good suggestions like – try the bestiary or try Argent. Somehow, these options did not occur to Scott and Lydia. And what happened to the Hale family bestiary? You know, the one with the scary kanima videos?

It was cute to see how clueless Parrish was, as he wondered if Derek and Scott were psychics like Lydia. Oh Parrish. So adorable. By the end of the episode, viewers were left as clueless as Parrish regarding his supernatural identity. The popular theory about him being a phoenix seems to be the most obvious choice, but that almost makes me want the show to go in a different direction. I’d like to suggest taking a page from Game of Thrones and making Parrish a fire resistant dragon, like Daenerys Targaryen.

Stilinski Family Feels – Sorta

During the melee at the sheriff’s station between Hague and Parrish, the sheriff took a stray bullet. Linden Ashby and Dylan O’Brien were fantastic in the scene at the hospital. I loved the dialogue, but the music was so sappy and melodramatic. When you’ve got two great actors nailing every emotional beat, you don’t need to overpower viewers with music to remind them that they should feel a certain emotion. Trust the actors!

I have also grown impatient with the lack of subtlety around monetary issues this season. We get it. Times are hard for everyone! In Teen Wolf‘s first season, the writers did a great job at subtly showing how things were tough financially for Melissa and Scott. Melissa would talk about working extra shifts and Scott pulled together a piecemeal suit that had a hole in the butt so that he could go to the school dance. This season, however, we’ve got someone in each episode reminding the viewers that everyone is struggling financially. I wish the writers would have a little more faith that we will get the message without having it reiterated week after week.

By repeatedly raising the issue, it becomes something I want to view logically (which is typically not a good idea on Teen Wolf), as opposed to just accepting the financial issues because the writers want me to do so without further inquiry (which happens quite often on this show). A few examples:

The McCalls: I know Rafael isn’t a perfect dad, but it is hard to believe that he would be at Melissa’s house sleeping on the couch and not contributing to the bills. True, Melissa might not share everything with him, but what happens when he stops by and the power has been shut off?

The Stilinskis: I really want to see the sheriff’s insurance plan. If his high-risk job doesn’t cover a gunshot, then I suggest he sue Hague. I could go into a long rant about the bills related to Nogitsune!Stiles, but I won’t. I’ll just say this, I would not pay for an x-ray that turned out to be a duplicate of my dead wife’s x-ray. The doctors know nothing about the trickster spirit. Without that knowledge, it looks like they screwed something up and it should warrant a discount, a payment plan, something. Otherwise, call a lawyer.

The Martins: Natalie is taking every substitute teaching gig she can get at the high school. She’s also selling the family’s lake house because they need the money. How is Lydia casually strolling around with $500 cash? Lydia barely goes to school, so you know she doesn’t have a job. And why? Why is she carrying that much money on her?

The Little Mermaid – Part 1

Although I poked fun at Lydia, Parrish and Scott going over to Derek’s loft, I really enjoyed the scene in which Lydia told them about her grandmother and how she crossed paths with Meredith. Holland Roden did a great job handling the thankless job of banshee exposition. I really enjoy Lydia/Scott scenes, particularly when they’re opening up and being vulnerable with each other. This was another scene in the episode where I wish the music had been a bit more understated. I wish the writers hadn’t unraveled the emotional momentum developed during Lydia’s scene by later revealing that Meredith wasn’t dead. More on that in a bit.

We finally got the long overdue investigative match up of Lydia and Stiles. As we saw, the Martin family mystery was a perfect fit for his new dry erase board. How much are transparent dry erase boards going for these days? It looks expensive. Moving on.

I love watching Stiles and Lydia solve a mystery and I’m happy that last night’s episode made up for the past few weeks of both Derek and Lydia being isolated from everyone else. As much as I love Stiles, revel in his bravery and believe in the power of his bat, he and Lydia really should have had another supernatural companion with them. For all the time the characters spend pursuing the Benefactor, their actions suggest that they forget that most of them are on a dead pool. This would have been a great opportunity to bring Kira into the episode. I liked her and Lydia together at the start of the season. We also don’t see Stiles and Kira interact much, so that could have been interesting to watch. She’s also smart and inquisitive, which would make her a perfect companion to help with the investigation and pull out her sword when necessary. Alternatively, Malia could have shown a little character development by pushing aside her anger with Stiles and tagging along with the pair to Eichen House. She has a history with Eichen House and she’s spent time this season trying to help Lydia figure out the dead pool pass key. Oh well. None of that happened because Malia wanted to get drunk at a bonfire. Speaking of questionable choices . . .

Deadpools Are The New Scratch and Win

News of the dead pool is rapidly circulating and people looking to get rich quick have apparently decided that they’d rather try to kill another person instead of playing the lottery or some other old fashion way of trying to get a windfall. I was astonished to learn that no one had bothered to tell Derek that his name, along with the names of two dead people, was a pass key for the dead pool. How do you not tell someone that right away? Even if you have to send him a text message, which isn’t ideal, it is the kind of information you should not delay in sharing – especially in Beacon Freaking Hills!

I guess Derek had to remain in the dark so that we could get the touching scene with Scott. Don’t even get me started on Derek not telling Scott about this power outage until last night. I can’t believe that this is the first time Scott is inquiring about Derek’s eyes or that the two are exchanging supernatural notes. Here’s my take:

Derek: “Hey Scott, thanks again for coming to Mexico to save me and for looking out for me through the age regression. I think something Kate did is turning me human, so if you see that crazy bitch – tell her I’m looking for her.”

Scott: “No problem, Derek. You creepily followed me around when the Oni were trying to give me the bad touch, so I figured I owed you one. I just saw Kate the other day.”

Derek: “Really?”

Scott: “Yeah. I had my sometimes kitsune, sometimes ninja girlfriend and her mom help me fake my death so we could try to trap the Benefactor. It didn’t work and I had terrible nightmares. Never mind that. Chris told me that Kate came to the hospital to confirm that I was dead.”

Derek: “Wait. What? Are you okay? Kate was there? How did she know you were dead? Is she the Benefactor? Was she looking to make a little money?”

Scott: “I don’t know how Kate learned that I was dead. Hmmm…never thought about that. Doesn’t look like the Teen Wolf writers did either. Yeah. Kate was there and she brought her pets along with her. Liam and Kira took them on. I’m really starting to worry that Kira might become irreparably harmed if she keeps getting hit upside the head so many times.”

End scene. End rant. Although I’m not buying into the logic of the situation, I did buy into the sincerity of Scott and Derek’s mutual care for each other. It was a really good scene for Posey and Hoechlin, although I wished Posey would have been a little more pensive because the conversation should have been a painful reminder to Scott that Allison is dead. It would have also been a great opportunity for Scott to feel bad about Derek’s situation and try to cheer him up by telling him that he found some of his money. Oh well. I’m sure that Malia will mention it to Peter, which is exactly what Scott and Stiles were trying to avoid.

The Little Mermaid Part 2

Thanks to a childhood memory, Ariel Lydia unlocks her grandmother’s pass code. Thankfully, she and Stiles made the wise choice of telling Parrish about the list, which ended up saving their lives. This is now the second time in a matter of weeks? days? that Stiles has had a near death encounter and watched someone get killed in front of him. This child needs so much therapy and Lydia needs to be right there with him. O’Brien and Roden were really great in that scene. They were a good balance to Aaron Hendry’s over the top portrayal of Brunski, which I thought hit the right notes of Teen Wolf campy and evil. As many of you already know, Hendry also portrayed the bandaged version of the Nogitsune last season.

Not to be outdone, Scott, Malia and Liam continued their ride on the trauma train too. Raise your hands if you thought that the bonfire was a big ol’ smokestack of wolfsbane at first. I certainly did. Evidently really loud, jarring club music can also be an effective tool in taming supernaturals – or at least those of the werewolf, were-coyote, were-whatever variety. You know what they say about knowing . . .

Luckily for Scott, Braeden is excellent at impersonating a federal agent, which allowed her to rally Derek, kick some ass and snap some necks. The teens also got an assist from Mason, who pulled the plug on that awful music, which I think was killing me a little as well. I was all high on Derek and Scott feels:

Scott: “What happened to the gun?

Derek: Silly Scott, you’re covered in gasoline.

Scott: Oh yeah. Thanks!

Derek: You got it, little buddy.

Malia: Oh yeah, I’m related to that guy.

Liam: I’m getting too old for this shit.

Me:

Unfortunately, my feels high came to a crashing halt because of the next scene. Meredith, like so many characters thought to be dead on Teen Wolf, isn’t dead. Yay.

It’s the sarcastic one. And oh, by the way, Meredith is the Benefactor. Confirmed. I’m sure she’s not working alone, but there you go. I have no further comment on this. None.

Other supernatural thoughts, observations and feels. . .

– Scott really has to find somewhere better to hide that money.

– At least Liam seems to be troubled by what he’s been through. I love Scott being pack daddy to baby Liam. It might be time to enroll the wee one in Scooby Doo 101. When a portion of the dead pool list mysteriously shoots out of your printer, you need to let someone know IMMEDIATELY.

– Good news, Derek! Your human status has officially cleared you from the dead pool.

– I give the Teen Wolf writers a hard time on occasion for continuity shenanigans, so I feel compelled to applaud them for the callback to Scott’s previously failed attempt to get drunk in season 1. Way to go!

– Good use of Braeden tonight. Short, sweet and effective.

– I LIVE for angry Alpha Scott. LIVE for it!

– I think we’re getting in Mason what we would’ve gotten from Danny if Colton Haynes had not left the show after the second season. In his very limited time on screen, Mason has shown himself to be a good, supportive friend whose concern and curiosity is probably going to expose him to some dark shit. Poor thing. If done properly, Mason could be a great hybrid of Danny and Stiles.

– The music in the Draeden saves the pack scene was also way over the top.

Until Next Moon Day!

Friendly reminder that next week’s episode of Teen Wolf will air on Sunday before the VMAs. As always, I LOVE hearing your thoughts on anything and everything Teen Wolf-related. And that’s sincere. Sound off below!

Gifs and images from AllGeekToMe, Wiki and Quickmeme.