Teen Wolf 4×6 Review: Orphaned

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I want to preface this review by saying that I am genuinely enjoying this season of Teen Wolf. It’s been ridiculously heartfelt fun – everything that made me fall in love with this show – which is why it pains me to say that this episode was a bit of a mess. Not that it wasn’t enjoyable, and there were some memorable moments, but overall there was just too much going on. They’re going for action packed but it was just kind of packed.

Teen Wolf has had pacing problems before. That happens when you’re trying to tell 4 seasons worth of stories in just 12 episodes. So far this season has managed to find that perfect mix between a fast passed music video style and important character moments. Unfortunately it seems they were just saving all the information up to they could dump it all on the audience in “Orphaned”.

tw3There were essentially 3 main plots in this episode. They have to find Liam, they have to find Ken Doll’s pack, and they have to figure out the third cipher to unlock the final names on the dead pool. While each storyline is obviously leading towards the overarching season arc this episode does nothing to attempt to connect them; as a result it almost feels like the characters all on different shows. Occasionally they guest star in another person’s story without any explanation, which is super jarring, but none of them are interested in what’s going on outside their little bubble.

Maybe it’s just that it’s such a contrast from the last few episode, which have – much to my delight – involved the core characters working together or at least communicating in some way. Even when they were not actually talking to each other, they were still connected.

There was no flow and the transitions were stunted, which is just so disappointing because there were some seriously cool moments hidden between the convoluted mess of plots. Scott desperately searching for his new beta even though he’s still struggling with his role as alpha. Derek dropping knowledge bombs all over the place – seriously though I need more secret-werewolf-scholar Derek in my life. Malia just walking out of class because Derek crept onto school grounds and whispered to her from a distance. I live for that stuff! The rest of it, not so much.

For starters: badass Japanese werewolf Satomi’s entire pack are white. Why? That doesn’t even make any sense. It’s like they went out of their way to be less diverse. Ken Doll assassin (I didn’t bother learning his name) is the least threatening villain ever and I still don’t understand what his plan was. There was so much death and mortal peril in this episode, which should have made it more exciting but there wasn’t time to feel any of it. The Sheriff is in trouble, oh wait, he’s okay now. What?

Teen Wolf continued it’s fantastic track record of representing mental illness (that is sarcasm). The sooner they leave Eiechen House behind the happier I will be, especially now that Meredith is gone. She was the only good thing to come out of that place and I will forever be disappointed that her death was lost in the mess of this episode. While her death was heartbreaking and it will no doubt effect Lydia in the future the emotional impact was muted by the time limit because they tried to fit too much into this episode.

IMPORTANT: If you are someone you know is feeling suicidal please contact your local suicide prevention hotline

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This episode was not a total loss though, because it gave me something that has been on my wish list since season one: Kate and Peter teaming up to be evil together. It was everything I ever imagined it could be in a beautiful melodramatic Bond villain kind of way. I’m loving the parallels to Season 1 in these episodes and they way they are used to highlight how much and how little these characters have changed.

Derek and Scott’s personal journeys are definitely the highlight of the season and this episode in particular. I don’t really understand Lydia’s motivation. I get that she’s frustrated about her powers but it would be great to see them delve into her emotional state more. I do love all her scenes with Deputy Pretty Eyes and Stiles made a nice addition to that duo this week.

Speaking of Deputy Pretty Eyes, I’m just going to assume he’s evil until told otherwise because it will hurt less that way. He’s great though, a fantastic mix of ambitious motives and likability. He’s got to be too good to be true right? And he appears strangely unbothered by his name appearing on a hit list. Liam was great as well, pulling himself out of the belly of the beast ready to become second in line for the crown of Beacon Hills hero. Those are two new characters that I am falling for fast. I’m not at all sorry to see the murder teens go.

Finally, the ladies were under utilised this week – with the exception of Lydia. Malia and Derek were great together but she didn’t really have all that much to do and Kira was totally MIA – she was sorely missed. Stiles also had nothing to do, but he hasn’t really had anything to do all season. So many people are saying Malia is a ‘love interest’ when so far Stiles’ role has been more ‘love interest’ than Malia’s.

tw1As far as Derek’s name being the cipher key, well it’s not really surprising. It wouldn’t be Teen Wolf if Derek wasn’t being stalked by something that wanted to kill him. He’s been slated for death in every season, but who knows maybe this will be the time they actually follow through.

They got through so much narrative this week they should be able to go back to reasonable pace in the next episode. Hopefully “Orphaned” was an anomaly and next week Teen Wolf will be back on form because I really want to go back to enjoy this show the way in did during the first 5 episodes of this season.

What did you think? Were you sorry to see the murder teens go? Are you excited to see Kate and Peter work together? Does Coach have the plague? Do any of these kids even know what a cassette tape is? Let us know in the comments.

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.


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About the author

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.

Comments

  1. I completely agree. It felt like there was a lot of nothing that really mattered. I wasn’t as into this episode as I have been in the past 5. I love Parrish, he’s very likable. His reaction to being on the dead pool was hilarious to me. Anyway, I hope they get back on track next week.

  2. I agree…a lot happened, but nothing that actually mattered…Violet and the other boy have to be the worst villains ever, and i have no idea why his cash was in the locker when it was clearly shown two episodes back that the Benefactor wired his money…i know people boycotted the show and i agree with Robb in the comments…many people who read the reviews or recaps might see that nothing happened and might not tune in for another week.

    Meredith was the best thing in Teen Wolf ever, and i don’t want her dead…like Jeff couldn’t think of something to write for a girl who wasn’t acting as someone else’s love interest, similar to what he did for Danny? I hope she appears as visions to Lydia cos i think Banshee’s are supposed to be dead already

    Derek being targeted again….Yawn!!….and yes! Peter being a schemer and evil..i love that kind of Peter!

  3. I’ve been enjoying S4 too but I agree this episode was over-crammed and rushed.

    I think their main idea for Stiles in S4 was for him to return to being the comic relief, Scott’s sidekick and the supernatural detective of the gang. Which (to be fair) has been Stiles’ role in most TW seasons. Other than the possession arc in 3B, Stiles doesn’t usually lead the action, he just gets swept up in it all. That said, I’d like to see Dylan O’Brien have more to do in S4 too.

  4. Episode was ok. I was just pissed about Meredith’s death i felt it was soo disrespectful. Maybe the writers are ignorant to how mental health facilities work.

  5. There are too many subplots, and too many new characters this season, for the show to be able to do justice with them all. This episode exemplifies that. Garrett and Violet never became interesting because a) they were tossed into the show in the midst of a bunch of other new and new-ish characters, b) it was clear that they weren’t meant to be anything but short-termers that the writers themselves didn’t care about, and c) they served no purpose that The Mute couldn’t also have served. So their deaths (assuming they’re dead?) meant nothing. Yet the show spent time on them for multiple episodes, working them into the world of Beacon Hills via Lydia’s lake house party, the school, and Liam and Mason. I feel like all of Garrett and Violet’s scenes were time wasted that could have been better used telling any other part of this seasons’ stories or addressing character or relationship development. There was no need for me to feel invested in them at any point.

    The plot contrivances continue to grow. Rafe doesn’t help Melissa in providing financially for his son even though he’s living at the house, because the show needs to establish that the McCalls are more in debt than usual? Melissa, who’s a competent nurse, doesn’t know it’s been three months since she paid her electric bill? It bothers me when characters are shaped around the need for a plot point. And Malia still doesn’t know that it’s not normal to offer to track people by their scent like a dog?

    I’m not sure what to say about Meredith and the suicide (if that’s what it turns out to be). I hate the idea that they may have used suicide for shock value again (as they did in Eichen House), and it’s not much better if they used it as a means of heaping on the Lydia-angst. I know Teen Wolf is a horror show, but there are still certain things that leave a bad taste.

    I will admit to loving Deputy Pretty Eyes, though.

  6. haha…kind of realized that Malia is safe even if she’s on the list cos a ‘Malia Hale’ doesn’t really exist in Beacon Hills and i don’t think any assassin is going to go after a ‘Malia Tate’ that’s running around ;)…have no idea why TW would overlook such a thing

  7. I actually really liked this episode, if only for the Liam parts ’cause he’s starting to be awesome. He’s like a baby badass.

    And I do agree the whole splitting up into mini-teams and not talking to each other thing is weird. Definitely a narrative issue.

    Also, the whole the McCalls are broke thing doesn’t work. First, Melissa is a super competent nurse in a dangerous town. Why does she have money issues? Nurses make pretty good money. It’s not like she makes $10 an hour.

    But also, seriously, they’re giving us the poor single mom bit when they live in that super nice house and can afford to spend $300 on food?

    Poor people, even temporarily poor people, don’t tend to have fridges full of that much food.

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