S4E8: Time of Death.
I find it interesting how Stiles' character has been built upon lately – and not just Stiles, actually, although it's most obvious with him. There's a tendency for television shows to start off ensemble and then slowly find themselves narrowing down onto the most popular characters, whereas Teen Wolf started off as very much The Scott McCall Show, and in Series 3 started to expand out into being an ensemble show. I raise Stiles in particular because he's really grown from being Scott's sidekick to being arguably a protagonist of equal importance these last two series.
Anyway, onto the episode. In the aftermath of the last episode, everyone – or at least Stiles and Scott's father – seems to be having a bit of an off night, as Stiles can't sleep (there's a cute sequence of him curled up with Malia, but unable to sleep properly unless they're spooning with him as the little spoon, until it's revealed a moment later that Malia's not there, being presumably still furious at him for the whole 'lying about her parentage' deal), and Scott's father is putting together a report on how he shot Mad Scientist Exam Invigilator – which he's quite deeply affected by, for obvious reasons, even if said Mad Scientist was about to shoot a teenage boy in the head.
The next day, Scott and co have hatched a plan: Since the Benefactor requires visual confirmation of every death on the dead pool, they figure that if one of them dies, he'll have to come himself, in person, to get said confirmation. The chosen target for death, it seems, is Scott, as we see him flatline in hospital shortly thereafter.
|Yep, he dead, man. He dead.|
(Given Melissa's reaction a scene or so later, either she is an amazing actress or Scott may be winning an award for Worst Son Ever in the near future.)
At Derek's loft, Braeden sneaks over to a sleeping Derek on the sofa, lifting up his shirt to peer at his not-healing wounds. While Derek tries to evade the subject, it comes to light in short order that he's all but lost his powers.
After a flashback where Kira, under the guidance of her mother (who predicts that Scott might have dreams while 'dead'), uses her kitsune powers to induce a death like state in Scott, Melissa goes into Scott's hospital room – and yes, she is just a very good actress, and also doesn't particularly like this plan. Mrs. Yukimura guides her to feeling Scott's very very slow heartbeat, which is apparently just enough to sustain an Alpha, and the group warns Melissa that if Kira doesn't wake him up after forty-five minutes, he'll die for real.
Stiles meets up with Chris Argent, playing the role of assassin in this little theatre. He contacts the Benefactor – much to Stiles' adorable chagrin that he's not spicing it up with some spy fiction phrases – and informs him that Scott is dead. While the Benefactor insists that visual confirmation is required, Chris responds that if the money isn't transferred to him, then he'll be coming after the Benefactor.
Meanwhile, I'm increasingly uncertain the Benefactor is actually alive. We've never seen him or her, his Vigenere cipher keys all relate to the dead, and the only person we know who was in contact with them without the use of a computer was Meredith, a banshee.
|Aw, look at them being all mission-controlly.|
Derek and Braeden, meanwhile, have an adorable scene straight out of hurt-comfort fanfiction. There's not much to say about this scene except that I really like these two as a pairing, and I really like Braeden just – in general. I'm glad she's gotten a bigger role this series, and I kinda want to see her role get increased more.
|At least he's not wincing manfully.|
As Mrs. Yukimura predicted, Scott is dreaming, although whether he's really dreaming or in Bado is – very unclear. His dreams are full of creepiness, as in them, Liam guides him through the school to a computer, where he decodes a ciphered list with his own name to reveal all the dead assassins so far. He insists he's not a murderer, and Liam's response is that he is a predator, and while Scott tries to explain the obvious, that being a predatory creature doesn't mean that he has to kill indiscriminately, he can't get the words out. Then Liam gets hacked to death by the Mute, which kind of broke the creepiness factor for me.
There's a bunch of short scenes here, which you know I always just love, and absolutely never end up having to shuffle around so that I don't end up with a string of single sentence paragraphs. Malia and Peter meet, with Malia taking her own adoption files from his safe, which Peter says she can't leave with, but can read. A shorter, but more striking scene is Melissa and Mrs. Yukimura talking about Scott and the gang: Melissa seems justifiably appalled that they're letting children fight these battles, and Mrs. Yukimura presents the counterpoint that, actually, if they didn't those children would just have to run and hide instead.
Also, a camera goes out on the roof and Kira and Liam leave to investigate it – I don't know why when they're both targets on the dead pool, when Stiles, who isn't, is right there – and Lydia's mother finds her at the boathouse and demands to know what's going on. She recognises a picture of Meredith too, which really does make me wonder if there's more to Lydia's mother than she's letting on.
|What a lovely boathouse.|
Scott has another dream with Dream!Liam, this time about his being an Alpha: Scott's been changing and developing more fangs, and he worries he's becoming more of a monster. Once again, the Mute turns up to kill Liam and the mood. Go away, Mute. You were not an effective villain in life and you are even less effective in death.
Everyone's a-flutter over the power going out in the hospital, and all the cameras being gone now, which it turns out is the work of a Berserker. Which is – odd. I thought the Berserkers were working for Kate. Kate who's a target on the dead pool and definitely not working with the Benefactor. Either way, it's bad news for Kira and Liam, who are now on the roof with one.
Braeden and Derek continue their romance fic shenanigans and it's – really, really cute. In the name of training, they go through Braeden disarming Derek before he can point a gun at her a few times, before he kisses her and points a gun at her while she'd distracted. Braeden points out that that's cheating, and Derek reveals that it's actually his new plan to just make out with his enemies and then kill them while they're distracted.
… That might work!
Either way, they end up canoodling.
Liam and Kira are off fighting with the Berserker, with limited success – Kira, have you thought about electrocuting him? We saw you induce near-death in someone just earlier this episode, it's worth a try. Actually, Kira, why did you go on this scouting mission to the roof at all, when you're the only one who can revive Scott, which is a time-sensitive process?
It's not just a Berserker either. As Stiles and Chris discover, Kate is present in person to take Scott's body. She's not the Benefactor, she just – she needs it. Chris urges her to leave, because they have a plan, and she sees that there's only three minutes to wake Scott up – which, it seems, is something she probably wants.
(While this is happening, Lydia's mother tells her about her paternal grandfather – seemingly also a banshee – and how she wanted Lydia to scatter her ashes across the lake. When Lydia reaches into the urn, though, she discovers that it's not got any human ashes in it: It's full of supernatural-creature-warding-substance mountain ash, and when she throws some it sticks to the border of the boathouse to raise a barrier, just like the one Deaton made around the McCall residence last series.)
In Scott's last dream, the Mute doesn't even bother waiting for them to build up any tension, he just hacks Liam up right away and then gives Scott the hatchet to finish the job, which Scott does with surprising glee, just before waking up. Celebrations are short, though, as Kira's mother has been injured: Although whether by a Berserker or an assassin it's not clear.
|Pictured: Happy Evil Scott.|
Malia, meanwhile, has a lot to think about, as she suspects, despite Stiles' protests, that she might just be inherently a murderer. Why Stiles didn't go 'Well, look at your Uncle Derek! He's fine! Your Aunt Talia was a really nice woman too, I hear!' I don't know.
Scott theorises that since the Benefactor never showed up, they might be a banshee, and thus able to tell when someone's dead without being there. I can see a few flaws in that theory, but it seems to kind of bear out, as Lydia's mother gives her the last thing her grandmother ever wrote down: A section of the Benefactor's code.
Well, that was an episode. A good episode but, again, an episode in which I feel like not much changed as far as the status of the plot. All that's really changed is that now we know that Lydia's grandmother was a banshee and might, possibly, be the Benefactor. Still, we're three quarters through the series now and there's only three episodes left, so we can bet that plot points will be coming thick and fast from this point on.
Speaking of which, where's Danny? I feel like I'd rather Danny had become a regular than Liam be introduced.