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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Teen Wolf S4E9: Perishable.

Teen Wolf
S4E9: Perishable.

Someone's setting Parrish on fire. I – not much more I can say about that, although given that all the assassins have 'the something' names, I dub you the Burninator, Random Fire Starting Deputy. Seriously, all police officers in the US are armed, right? That's still incredibly weird to me and, as we have learned in the past fortnight and many times previously, a really bad idea, but wouldn't it be quicker for the Burninator to just shoot Parrish? Would that not do the job just as well? Parrish pleads with him, but he's unmoved, and lights the fire, burning a screaming Parrish to possible-death.

Later that night, Stiles and Lydia turn up to talk to the Sheriff about how Lydia's grandmother, Lorraine, might be a banshee who faked her own death who could also be the Benefactor or an accomplice of his. The Burninator – whose name is Heg, which would make me set people on fire too, to be honest – is surreptitiously trying to get money off the Benefactor for killing Parrish when Parrish himself, stark naked and covered in ashes but alive and angry, arrives. A fight ensues, with Heg accidentally shooting the Sheriff (but not, for all his efforts, the Deputy), before Parrish eventually punches him either to unconsciousness or death. It's unclear. 

He kinda looks like he's wearing blackface here, it's a bit weird.

Which raises the question of what Parrish is. Remember, werewolves can't easily survive burning, that's what took the Hales down. Banshees definitely can't.

After the credits, Scott, Stiles and Lydia peer at Parrish for a bit, and Derek decides for – probably the reasons above – that he's not a werewolf, while Scott reveals his Alpha-ness to Parrish. In the hospital, the utter barbarism of the US healthcare system is again painfully brought to light as a man literally with a bullet embedded in him is told that he'll have to pay for some of the procedure, so god help you if you get shot. It does lead to a sweet but, to be honest, really heartbreaking conversation between Stiles and the Sheriff, though.

Back with Parrish and the others, they surmise that Heg (might be Hague, actually) wasn't a professional assassin, and ponder how easy it is to get a copy of the dead pool. The answer, as Liam is discovering, is surprisingly easy, as his printer activates in the middle of the night to randomly print one out for him despite his not having demonstrated any interest in it, and also being on it. 

Unplugging it helps.

Lydia proceeds to tell them about her grandmother, in what is really a stunningly acted and directed scene. Long story short, her grandmother worked for IBM, and was away on business when her banshee powers manifested, warning her of the death of her lover, a woman with a love for boats and competitive yachting. Said woman died, and Lydia's grandmother started trying to figure out how she knew, with various scientists and studies, and in so doing found Meredith and functionally drove her to severe mental health problems.

Everyone leaves with food for thought, except Scott, who finally gets to find out that Derek's losing his powers. He returns the favour by informing Derek that his name broke the third list, and that this probably means he's in danger – or, as Derek points out, going to die.

Everybody appears to be cracking at the edges a bit the next day, with Scott obsessively counting his money out of a panic that it's gone – which I think everyone can sympathise with – and Liam growing increasingly paranoid. His best friend insists that he should come to a bonfire that's on that night and manages to convince him. This will end terribly. All parties in Teen Wolf end terribly.

Stiles and Lydia are trying to decode the encrypted message her grandmother left her, but – guys, why are you just randomly trying out names? As we established several reviews ago, there are ways of decrypting a Vigenere's cipher. Stiles absent-mindedly stuffs some paper into his printer, and doesn't seem to realise it's started printing without him, instead pondering more cipher keys. After finding out that Lydia and her grandmother used to read The Little Mermaid together (“You read that movie?” “It was a book first.”) they end up trying 'ARIEL', which it turns out actually is the key, so well done, guys. It's another list of names, and a quick trip to Parrish reveals that it's all people who died in the past ten years at Eichen House.

Team Sole-Responsibility-For-Advancing-The-Plot-This Week.

Speaking of lists, the printer problems are getting out of hand, as more and more printers are producing the dead pool. It's a slightly amended dead pool: Derek is no longer on it, since he's functionally human now, and Liam has absorbed his bounty, bringing him up to eighteen million.

But enough of that, time for a party! Scott is there, and there's fire, and Malia is there, and there's strobe lighting, and Liam is there, and there's alcohol, and essentially I'm saying that something terrible is going to happen to one of these three.

Something great isn't happening to Stiles and Lydia either, as their search for information leads them to Eichen House's creepy orderly, who Lydia has to bribe to acquire the help of. In the process, however, they see he has a mixed tape – remember, the Benefactor sent out mixed tapes to his assassins. They contained, among other things, instructions on how to get their money. This seems to just be a mixed tape of music, but it's still kind of suspicious.

He takes them down to the archives, where they start looking through files. Before they get a good chance, though, Stiles notices that Lydia has written another name onto the list of already dead people: His own. Before they can ponder that, the Creepy Orderly tases them.

All is going predictably awry at the party, as Malia is getting drunk, despite that being impossible. It looks like she's been poisoned. So has Liam, and he's barely had anything, but then, the kid looks like he'd be a lightweight anyway. Scott has apparently also been poisoned, and he hasn't had any alcohol, though. Scott realises that it's not the drinks, it's the music: The DJ, who handily already has a 'the something' name, is a hip young assassin. 

He's only murdering people until his band gets a record deal, man.

(At the Sheriff's station, Heg is alive! Braeden, in her US Marshall guise, turns up to interrogate him. He continues to act in a less than polite manner. Parrish, in the meantime, is examining those incident reports.)

At Eichen House, Creepy Orderly starts playing a tape of Lorraine's death. You know, Stiles, this would be a great time for you to reveal those Nogitsune powers that fandom has collectively decided you still have. When Stiles yells at the Orderly to stop, he gets a punch in the face for his troubles, and vexingly, the Orderly does not then proceed to start vomiting fireflies. What the Creepy Orderly really wants is for Lydia to interpret Lorraine's last words: Those being 'Don't hurt Ariel.' Lydia, of course, realises that she's Ariel right away.

At the party, Scott heads after the DJ, but is dragged away by several security guards. A few more come to take Liam and Malia, and get overly rough with Liam's BFF. I'm going to let you imagine the current events related remarks I could be making about authority figures getting violent with a young black man.

It turns out the security guards – and presumably the DJ – are Heg's men. Just what kind of operation is Heg running here? He's not a professional, but he has guys who can infiltrate the security of a party, and a DJ with werewolf-incapacitating music? This from a guy who was taken down by his angry naked co-worker. 

And is about to get taken by a teenage boy who uses
'ephemeral' in casual conversation.

Liam's BFF switches off the music just in time for Scott to stop them all being set on fire, and for Braeden and Derek to arrive and kick ass together. I do really like those two as a pair, and I just really like Braeden. I said at the start of this series that I wanted to see her get a bigger role, and my wish has been granted.

At Eichen House, Lydia says nothing about being Ariel, and Creepy Orderly preps to kill the both of them, with the cover story that they broke in to try out drugs like them youths of today do and stuff. He starts with Lydia, but Parrish triumphantly arrives, pointing a gun at him. Creepy Orderly's immediate response is 'I bet you've never even fired that.' He – must not have been watching when we found out way last series that Parrish was a soldier. I mean, he worked in bomb disposal as I recall, but still.

Another chance for Stiles to have revealed residual Nogitsunery lost. Alas.

Lydia and Stiles theorise that Creepy Orderly was the Benefactor all along, but, I mean, he's clearly not. He says as much, and they quickly go back on that theory, just in time for the real Benefactor to be revealed.


… Jesus Christ.

Meredith? I didn't see that coming at all.

I've been complaining about how there hasn't been much plot movement of late, but there was a fair amount in this one. The Benefactor's plan entered a new phase (printer malfunctions), we got some hints as to what Parrish is, we have a new clue in the form of the new list and, most importantly, we now know who the Benefactor is, and I don't think anyone had correctly predicted who it would be.

… Wait, wasn't Meredith on the list? Argh, that's the kind of trick I would pull, I can't believe I fell for that.

With the next episode, we enter the final quarter of the series, with just three episodes to go.

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