At this point, the most surprising aspect about season four of Teen Wolf is the fact that there have already been eight episodes. Eight episodes and yet it seems that nothing has been resolved; nor does the plot feel like it has been truly furthered. While last night’s “Time of Death” was one of the more interesting and engaging episodes this season, it still ended with only a minor hint at things to come, rather than any real resolution.
On the whole, season four of Teen Wolf appears to be attempting to reflect a poor man’s Twin Peaks, which is fun to watch. From the use of color to the Mute (who reminds me of the Giant) and the creepy dream sequences and visits to a limbo-like afterlife, it’s clear that the supernatural in Teen Wolf is taking on a distinctly eerie rather than action-packed feel. As a horror and Twin Peaks fan, this aspect of season four is one of the few things making the show still bearable. While the atmosphere is fun, the storylines are both too much and not enough.
Like the rest of this season, “Time of Death” suffers from having too much happening in one episode and nothing being resolved at the same time. From the Benefactor to the Mute and to Kate and her Berserkers, there are simply too many villains and not enough time. I truly wish the writers of Teen Wolf focused on simply one or two basic conflicts and really delved into them, making the narrative clean and crisp. Instead, we’ve got a mess of conflicts and storylines, destroying any chance for genuine suspense for the viewers. Instead, I was simply impatient for the episode to get on with it and end.
The high points of the episode include Melissa McCall and Noshiko Yukimura working together in the hospital (Team Moms!), Chris and Kate coming face to face in a tense standoff, and Braeden teaching Derek the ways of being human and also the two of them looking incredibly gorgeous together. Though I want to remain shipping-neutral, I have to admit a weakness for a badass interracial couple on television. Of course, it would be better for Braeden to exist as a character on her own merits rather than as a love interest to the perpetually poor-decision-making Derek but I would not be disappointed if Braeden was finally the woman who didn’t turn evil or died in Derek’s arms. I sincerely hope she survives this season and we get to learn more about her in upcoming episodes.
I also greatly enjoyed Lydia’s scenes at the boathouse as they finally gave us some backstory into her banshee powers. While it’s hinted that her late grandmother was a) a banshee as well and b) not really dead, it seems a little too much out of left field for this unseen and, until now, unmentioned character to be the mysterious Benefactor. While I have no doubt that Lydia’s grandmother and her powers will play a role in upcoming episodes, I would be surprised if she is the Benefactor. Nonetheless, Lydia’s scenes were intriguing and a welcome respite from the storyline in the hospital where, yet again, the power goes out and monsters attack. How that hospital is still open and getting funding, I’ll never know.
Scott’s scenes in the dreamy limbo that is Beacon Hills High School were a bit repetitive but ultimately an interesting look into what Scott could become. As Liam points out in these scenes, Scott is an Alpha and a predator. We’re so used to Scott being like a sweet, loyal, and kind of dumb puppy dog that we forget that he is physically capable of horrific things. The exchange between him and his father hinted at Scott potentially killing someone though perhaps that was simply a foreshadowing of his limbo-self killing limbo-Liam while he was “dead.” Perhaps our puppy dog Scott won’t actually kill anyone.
Once again, I was disturbed and bored by Malia’s storyline. Every scene in this episode featured her in conjunction with a man: Stiles, her not-really boyfriend, and Peter, her creepy, not-really father. I’m repeatedly exhausted by Malia’s existence simply because there are still so many unanswered questions about her life (why isn’t she in therapy and who is paying for her cell phone?) and because she obviously wouldn’t exist as a character if she didn’t have these connections to male characters. At this point, if Malia simply was written off, I’d be pleased if only because I can’t stand to see her in this secondary and one-dimensional role.
So viewers, what were your thoughts on this episode? Do you think the Benefactor is a banshee? Who do you think is in the most danger? Tell us below!
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