Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Teen Wolf, Season 4, Episode 9: Perishable

Parrish wakes up, tied to his steering wheel with his fellow deputy, Hague, covering his car in petrol and explaining that the list says Parrish is worth $5,000,000 dead. So we have another assassin. Hague throws a lighter into the car and sets Parrish and the car on fire.

Lydia and Stiles do that most fun of activities – try to convince poor Sheriff Stilinski some new plan/scheme/revelation/idea. This time that Lydia’s grandmother faked her own death and is actually the Banshee Benefactor arranging to kill all the supernaturals in town. Hague’s also in the police station, playing innocent and using police computers to contact the Benefactor about his payment

He probably won’t be getting paid though because whatever Parrish is, it’s fireproof. He walks into the police station, covered in soot (and no clothes) but unmarked. He’s not happy with Hague and leaps on him, wrestling with his gun. The shots are hard by the Sheriff in his meeting; Parrish, rather justifiably beats Hague brutally, but Sheriff Stilinski takes a bullet in the shoulder during the struggle (TV shoulders are bullet magnets.)

Afterwards, Scott, Derek and Lydia check out a fully dressed Parrish and confirm the lack of any kind of injury. They confirm he’s supernatural (wow that took some deducing), not a werewolf but even he doesn’t know what he is. Or what they are – Parrish even thinks Lydia’s a psychic and they may be as well. Scott shows off his alpha eyes.

That established they warn Parrish about the assassins (personally I want to know how the Benefactor knew that Parrish was supernatural when even Parrish doesn’t know he’s supernatural). But they also realise Hague isn’t a professional assassin – he’s just an opportunist. The list has now become more readily available to anyone willing to take a pot shot.

Cut to Liam being woken in the middle of the night by his printer just randomly spewing out the deadpool list – with names crossed off. Wait, is every printer in Beacon Hills randomly firing off the deadpool list now? So much for all the complex cracking the code in the first half of the season!

At the hospital, Sherriff Stilinski (who still doesn’t have a first name) goes through the paperwork before surgery – he’s worried about medical bills again (ok, I admit to knowing little about the US system, but a police officer can be bankrupt by bills from an operation to treat a bullet wound he got while on duty? Is this actually a thing?), since they’re already having trouble with Stiles’s bills. Stiles also frets and tells his dad he knows about all the money troubles and they have a deeply sad and powerful argument about Stiles’s urge to look after his dad and the Sheriff angry and upset that his son feels the need to look after him when it should be the other way round. These two have some of the best scenes.

Lydia gives us an info-dump. Meredith did go to her grandmother’s lakehouse – and her grandmother knew her through Maddy, who was apparently her grandmother’s partner. Lydia’s grandmother, Lorraine, discovered her banshee powers when she had a premonition of Maddy’s death – and she didn’t warn Maddy about it because she didn’t believe it. Afterwards, Lorraine obsessed about how she knew Maddy would die. She put a team together and that team, after much frustration, found Meredith and used her – and nearly killed her in the testing. The damage they caused is part of the reason Meredith was mentally ill. Lydia concludes that her grandmother drove her insane and she drove Meredith to suicide.

Wait, where did Lydia get all this information? Wherever she did, she then pulls out the page of code – but this one doesn’t have a cypher key to translate it.

After the meeting, Scott and Derek have a consult – Derek passing on that he has a gun because he’s lost his werewolfness. And Scott compounding the bad news with the fact Derek’s name was the one that broke the last cypher (now rendered pointless) meaning he’s probably been predicted to die by the Banshee Benefactor.  Derek is surprisingly calm about all this

Scott goes home and realises the money under the bed they got from the Orphan assassins has been messed with – and some of it is missing.

Next day at school Liam is all nervous, it seems his printer firing up has caused him to hallucinate berserkers to distract him while Mason randomly talks about a party (and reminds us that, hey, yes he’s gay, this counts as inclusion, honest).

In the locker room this bonfire party is also referred to by coach who decides that Scott is in charge of stopping the Lacrosse team doing something too ridiculous while drunk around open fires. Uh-huh, I think stopping assassins may be easier than that.

Stiles and Lydia try to figure out the cypher – Stiles grasping it was supposed to be a code only Lydia could guess so it had to be something Lydia and Lorraine shared – they read the Little Mermaid together (Stiles: “you read that movie?” Lydia: “it was a book first.” In the most perfect tone). Ariel is the code word – and we get a new list of names. None of which I recognise – except the last name on the list. Lorraine Martin, her grandmother.

At school, Liam tells Scott how his printer frightened him – and Coach is infuriated by the school printers spewing the deadpool list a hundred times. Stiles’s printer does the same. And the list has changed – Derek isn’t on it any more and Liam is worth a lot lot lot more money.

Braeden is continuing her own investigations, impersonating a US Marshall so she can interrogate Hague. Well, to hit him anyway.

Lydia and Stiles call in Parrish to check the new list and it isn’t a deadpool – because everyone on the list is already dead by suicide – in Eichen House (seriously? Can we have an investigation into this place, please? Because that’s some seriously shoddy medical ethics and competence).

So they decide to break into Eichen house to investigate by bribing the corrupt orderly, rather than, say, speak to Ms. Morrow who is supposed to work there. Nope, she has fallen down the plot hole. So they bribe arseholer orderly with $500 that Lydia pulls out her wallet. He also ominous changes tapes which is ominous (apparently? According to the music?)

They go into the record room and Stiles sees Lydia has written his name on the list – and she knows nothing about it. Which is when evil orderly tases Stiles since he assumes they’ve found him out when they really haven’t.

Parrish, investigating still, finds all the suicides were reported by the same orderly – Brunski. The corrupt orderly

Kidnapped Lydia tells kidnapped Stiles that all the suicides were murders, in case you missed it. And Lorraine sent Lydia a message probably because she predicted her own death. Brunski arrives to justify his murders as “helping” people who needed “release” (which is not an uncommon excuse among Angel of Death style serial killers).

Before he kills them though he wants Lydia to explain one of his tapes from Lorraine which he plays, tragically replaying her last moments while Stiles tries to distract Lydia as she cries listening to it. On the tape Lorraine begs Brunski not to hurt “Ariel”. Which is what Lorraine called Lydia.

He plans to kill them both and pretend they had broken in and stolen drugs with which they then used to overdose – but Parrish has finished putting 2 and 2 together and runs to the rescue. Brunski laughs, the kid deputy wouldn’t even dream of shooting him – and Parrish shoots him before he even finishes his sentence. Go Parrish.

Time for the bonfire party. Scott is the boring sober one wandering around the party and runs into Malia – to inform her the sad sad news that werewolves (and coyotes) can’t actually get drunk. Liam’s definitely trying. Mason’s with him desperately focused on helping his straight friend through whatever angst is plaguing him, as any GBF should. And Malia really doesn’t want to talk about Stiles, Scott or Peter. She wants to get drunk – and she’s succeeding. Which she shouldn’t be able to – poison is afoot!

Scott notices someone in a police uniform which seems to worry him (Brunski I take it). Scott continues to worry about the drink but even he feels woozy and he hasn’t drunk anything. Scott makes the huge logical leap that it’s the music. Fear wolfsbane music!

As they collapse, “security” arrives to take Liam, Malia and Scott away. They’re dragged into the school, the security works with Hague and plan to douse them in petrol and set them on fire. Or you could use a knife. Before he gets to burn them, Mason decides to follow Scott’s last instructions and unplug the music.

The security assassins now have an unhappy, undazed alpha to deal with. Braeden and Derek also arrive at this point, I presumable because Braeden has beaten the truth out of Hague. The fight is shirt.

Lydia and Stiles conclude that Brunski not only killed Lorraine, but used Meredithj to create the dead pool. Then  killed her when she tried to help them; this idea makes Brunski laugh – because it wasn’t him. As he dies he claims “she was controlling me”. He dies and Lydia realises he wasn’t the Benefactor

And Meredith arrives, quite calm and very alive. No, Brunski wasn’t the Benefactor and he wasn’t on Meredith’s list. But he was a “bad person”.

So Lydia’s grandmother was bisexual or a lesbian. And both she and her partner are already long dead so probably won’t be playing a big role. Aha, the Teen Wolf writers saw some minor/already gone roles and thought it was time to get in there with some more of their LGBT inclusion – because this show is so pro-LGBT guys! Hey, speaking of, remember Danny? No? Can’t say I blame you! And Mason? Is he actually going to do something? Anything? No, following a straight guy around and constantly fretting about him isn’t “doing something”.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Parrish, I do, but did this show need another straight white guy most of their POC and all of their LGBT characters are rotting in the plot box or drifting around with little in the way of actual storyline or motivation?

And while I’m like that Braeden is hanging around a bit more, I would actually like a crumb of motivation from her. Or for her to be on screen for more than 5 seconds. Or for some history/back story/characterisation. And for Ms. Morrow to actually exist again – and Dr. Deaton to exist when people aren’t using him as arandom information source. And you’d think Satome would like to be involved in this investigation that killed her pack

AND WHERE IS KIRA?! Alright she went with her mother to a hospital but couldn’t Scott at least call her to check in?

I am glad to see Meredith back, because she deserved far better than she got. And I have to admit I didn’t even remotely guess her as the Benefactor – of course, now we’re raising the trope of the murderous mentally ill person so while I’m happy to see her, I’m wary about where we’re going

Not well explored but mentioned and worth mentioning is the serial killer orderly who killed inmates in Eichen house because he was “releasing” them. This isn’t an unheard of MO for medical professional serial killers – or at least the excuse they give. The mentally ill, the elderly and the infirm can be preyed upon very easily by those in positions of power over them and their deaths are often overlooked precisely because the victims are expected to die and killers are considered beyond reproach.

Honestly, I’m also reaching a level of plot holes that I can’t step past. And I want to, but there’s a limit – and having the list be so impossible to crack one week and then just spewed out to any random amateur, really? I mean, what would be the point? The assassins so far have been relatively deadly and had expertise and skills – plucking random wannabes out and sending them after supernaturals doesn’t seem useful. I’m not sure why Liam is due an upgrade, either.  And an assassin that uses music? There’s creative and there’s dubious. And if you have someone helpless, why this obsession with burning them to death? And why would Mason think to turn off the music. What, because Scott said so? Really?

I’d also quite like to know where Hague found an entire gang of guys, at presumably short notice, willing to burn teenagers to death.