"Not all monsters do monstrous things." —Lydia Martin, banshee
I’ll shoot you straight—watching Teen Wolf while the sun was still out made me a little uncomfortable. In fact, this entire episode was pretty unnerving. Technically, the Benefactor and his/her scheme have now been fully explained to us, and yet there’s still a lot to reconcile between Peter, Meredith, and those big ass computers in Lydia’s lake house. Let me continue to come clean to you when I say that I don’t totally get what’s going on in Beacon Hills right now. If "Monstrous" was a science fair project, it's Question might be, "Is the Benefactor really a Benefactor if he’s not aware that he’s the Benefactor?" Hypothesis: Inconclusive.
If Teen Wolf was aiming to grab a few extra audience members by airing early in front of the VMAs pre-show, this episode was probably a good one to dole out to anyone waiting around for their Sunday dose of Lucy Hale and Sway in formal wear. No one went into any freaky headspace, there weren’t any plans that involved briefly losing your pulse, and while there was an extreme excess of bullets, there was still only one really gory moment, and that was mostly distracted from by Scott’s face turning a wolfy shade of CGI Alpha. But there was also a lot—A LOT—of exposition that, even with Ian Bohen's fanciful accent, the most avid of watchers couldn’t fully suss out.
Last week it was revealed that Meredith was the Benefactor, or rather, it was heavily implied that Meredith was the Benefactor. And going into her interrogation tonight, there were a lot of questions floating around, but I had to agree with the Sherriff: "I’m only interested in the why if it tells me the how." Ironically, we got a whole lot of "why" tonight, and let’s just hope a little more "how" is still to come.
Like, how did Scott ‘n the Gang not know there is a whole group of hunters in Beacon Hills, willing to kill for money. The episode opened on another horror vignette, with Brett the Beta who looks like a karate movie villain and another young member from his pack running from something. When they end up in the middle of the lacrosse field—definitely on Lonely Planet’s "Top 10 Places to Die" list for Beacon Hills—suddenly they’re surrounded by laser scopes all pointed straight at their chests. It seems that monsters aren’t the only ones capable of monstrous things. Luckily, Kira arrives out of nowhere to fend off the hunters’ arrows with her katana and send the other two to safety.
Safety is Scott, who is currently passing a symbolic second motorcycle (okay, scooter) helmet to Liam before they head off to save Satomi's pack with Kira. But Liam isn’t so sure he’s qualified to wear that metaphor of a helmet. He’s not like Scott; and he doesn’t mean his werewolf skills, in which he seems pretty confident. No, Liam doesn’t understand how Scott and his friends do it, how they keep trying to save everyone. "Have you been doing this the whole time… how are you all still alive?" And then Scott hits him with an Alpha dose of reality: "Not all of us are."
Teen Wolf has gotten some criticism for not addressing the deaths of Season 3 enough in Season 4. But after a while grief isn’t an ever present sadness, but something that hits you when you’re least expecting it. I certainly wasn’t expecting Scott to let Liam in on his pain in that moment, and it was especially poignant next to the restraint that’s come before it. Even more so for the palpable fear that has been shining more and more in Dylan Sprayberry’s eyes each week as Liam realizes that being in Scott’s pack is a lot more than just shifting on the full moon. Not everyone wants to be a hero. Tonight, Liam just wants to go home.
NEXT: When it came to technology, Lydia's grandmother wasn't big on change...