TV Review – Teen Wolf: Season 4, Episode 9

Is Stiles still good enough to eat? TV reviewer Katie Young looks at the sell-by dates and recaps Teen Wolf’s latest episode ‘Perishable’…

A shock return this week, as the identity of the The Benefactor is finally revealed, the kids of Beacon Hills get smashed out of their boxes, and Stiles continues his campaign to make me lactate with his stratospheric levels of adorability.

Another strong and pretty horrific opening as Deputy Parrish finds himself being doused in gasoline and set alight by colleague, Deputy Hank Haigh, or as I like to think of him, Hulk Jnr (we last saw him being mean to Derek earlier this season). Seriously, institutions of Beacon Hills, stop hiring sadistic assholes. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – background checks people! Hulk Jnr has gotten wind of the hit list and wants him a slice of that pie. He callously listens to his I-Pod while Parrish burns, then promptly returns to the sheriff’s office where he uses a police computer to chase up payment from The Benefactor. I think that’s worth repeating. A police computer. At the sheriff’s office. I would point out that Hulk Jnr is the dumbest cop in the universe, but that might make him angry…

Worryingly, this is his ‘good cop’ face…

Stiles and Lydia are also at the sheriff’s office, filling Stilinski Snr in on their suspicions about Grandma Martin being The Benefactor on account of her having devised the code for the dead pool. They have ring side seats when Parrish returns from the dead, angry, naked and (literally) smoking hot! I would like to state for the record that my money is on him being a phoenix. Newly badass Parrish accidentally shoots the sheriff, but he doesn’t shoot the deputy. Instead he pummels Hulk Jnr. with his fists and my Parrish crush ratchets up a notch. Clearly Derek Hale isn’t the only one around here with issue *whistles*. Speaking of Derek, he has no idea what Parrish is either, but now that he’s a supernatural, he gets to hang out in Derek’s loft and wear a v-neck with the other cool non-human kids.

Probably should have gotten out of the sunbed a little sooner.

Stiles and his dad have a heart to heart in the hospital and prove that this show can be really quite beautiful under the plot contrivances, product placement and intrusive techno beats. Dylan O’Brien consistently elevates every scene he’s in, and Linden Ashby is great here too. We’ll gloss over the fact that there’s surely no way a cop shot in the line of duty would have to pay his own medical bills!

Back at the loft, Lydia recounts the story of how her grandmother, Lorraine, found Meredith and drove her insane. It’s not entirely clear how she knows this story, but she looks extremely gorgeous and ethereal while she’s telling it. Lorraine, it seems, predicted the death of her lover, a woman called Maddy, and experimented on Meredith to help her understand her mysterious abilities, almost killing her in the process. I love how everyone in the loft is so blasé about Lydia’s grandma. I mean, the woman was a code-writing, San Francisco-based lesbian who worked for IBM, then basically became the female Aleister Crowley, and no one even raises a perfectly-arched eyebrow at that? These kids have seen too much.

Scott has a nosy about and finds Derek’s piece. Derek tells Scott to be careful when handling his weapon in case it goes off in his hand (I’m so sorry). Scott realises Derek has pretty much lost his wolf mojo and they discuss Derek’s name being a cypher key. Derek seems remarkably resigned to the fact that the grim reaper is coming for him, which makes me sad, especially as he’s been smiling so much of late, and Derek’s smile is a thing of great beauty. I would like to make it perfectly clear that if Derek is killed off, I will sulk forever.

Meanwhile, Lydia and Stiles work on decrypting the code Lorraine left. The cypher key this time turns out to be Ariel, the moniker Lydia chose for herself after reading The Little Mermaid with Grandma. Stiles ponders how one reads a film and Lydia does a brilliant derp face which almost makes up for the heinous suggestion that Stiles hasn’t heard of Hans Christian Andersen. This time all of the names unlocked on the list are unfamiliar. Parrish comes to the rescue, and informs them that every single name on the list committed suicide in Eichen House over the past decade. What a coincidence. He doesn’t realise until later, however, that every unfortunate was found dead by asylum worker, Brunski, a man so unwholesome he makes Peter Hale look like Mary Poppins. Still, Parrish works for a police force of murderous thugs, with terrible insurance cover, in a town entirely populated by monsters, so we’ll forgive him this oversight, especially what with him being set on fire earlier and everything.

‘Hiya IT support, my printer seems to be suffering from demonic possession..’
‘Have you tried turning it off and on again?’

Over at the school, Coach Finstock and baby wolf Liam are being harassed by possessed technology. Yes, really. Some mysterious force is causing reams of paper detailing the dead pool to spew out of printers and hitting the cancel button does nothing to stop it. Oh the humanity! I understand their pain because this is exactly the sort of shit that happens to me at work on a daily basis. Liam is also seeing Berserkers since he got scratched by one (on the hospital roof, because, you know, he didn’t learn his lesson the first time he went up there and got turned into a werewolf), and that can’t be good. It’s also worth noting that his dead pool value has increased substantially, which suggests he is no longer merely a fledgling beta. Mason pops up to convince Liam to attend the annual lacrosse team bonfire party so he can hit on jocks. I wonder if he ever bumps into Danny when he’s off in the occasional gay character wilderness.

Sticking with the bonfire party for a minute, what the actual fuck is going on here? No wonder there is financial strife abound when the town’s lasers and Wicker Man fire show budget is so exorbitant. It looks like a bunch of arsonists went to a Jean Michel Jarre concert and had themselves a real good time. Why on earth would the school sanction a night of under-age drinking and debauchery with poor Scott left in sole charge of the safety of the lacrosse team? Malia’s flagrantly swigging from a hipflask (subtle) to forget she was once a twinkle in Peter Hale’s eye. Liam is spiking his own drink to escape his horrific printer-based flashbacks. And all this right under the noses of the local constabulary. It’s up to Scott to piss on this particular bonfire though, informing the wolflings that they can’t actually get drunk with their amazing metabolisms, because the officers in question are not interested in preventing these kids from liver damage and casual sex. They are actually working with Hulk Jnr!

Hey, check out my mad yoyo skills man!

Hulk Jnr is in the hospital, looking pretty unscathed considering the pasting he got from naked Parrish. That is until Braeden finds him and breaks his nose. I love Braeden. She and Malia should have their own spin off where they’re misanthropic bounty hunters or something. Malia sniffs out the bad guys with her coyote nose, and Braeden brings them in. And has hate sex with them probably. But I digress.

Malia and Liam start acting all Lindsay Lohan, and Scott is feeling a little giddy himself. He realises there must be something in the music which is making the were-creatures woozy. Indeed, Hulk Jnr’s buddies are using the phat beats to drain Scott’s powers so they can make themselves a killing. Literally. Luckily, Mason is on hand to pull the plug, but not before he gets roughed up by the nasty, corrupt cops. Seriously, what is it with Jeff Davis and his spookily topical detailing?!

Derek, Braeden, and Parrish turn up in time to save Scott from being flambéed. I love that Derek has to use his fists because he won’t risk shooting and torching his little bud, Scott. Thoughtful Derek makes my heart pitter-patter.

But back at Eichen House, Lydia and Stiles are not doing so well. Brunski has them Tasered and tied up in no time, and forces Lydia to listen to her grandmother’s death at his hands. Once again Dylan O’Brien acts everyone under the table. Brunski’s been ‘mercy killing’, Harold Shipman style, and Lydia assumes he has been controlling Meredith and using her to create the dead pool. But when Parrish bursts in and shoots Brunski, Meredith comes out from hiding, revealing that not only is she alive, but also The Benefactor!

Perhaps this throws up more questions than it answers. Why would Meredith, a banshee, need visual confirmation of kills? How did she know about the Hale vault and the money? What motive does she have? It seems to be a very long-winded revenge ploy. Maybe her terrible haircut made her do it? I must admit, it seems a shame that the emotional weight of her suicide and Lydia’s guilt over her part in that has now been negated. With three episodes left in this run, it remains to be seen whether everything is as it seems. Teen Wolf has never been afraid to pile twist upon twist, so hopefully there is more ridiculousness to come.

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