Teen Wolf is proving to serve much more consistently as a show anchored in mystery than it sometimes did as a show anchored in mythology, although the mythological foundation past seasons left in their stead is still appreciated here: new strains of wolfsbane, the Sherriff’s ever-growing scowl as he lists each new supernatural creature he’s learned about this year, and enough knowledge of lycan lore to understand exactly what has been taken from Derek, a born-werewolf, but still have no idea what he’ll have to do to get his powers back from Kate.
The show has been better than ever in Season 4 at patiently weaving a mass of new characters into its typically complicated supernatural narrative. Stiles opens the episode up with a bit of introductory exposition layered over imagery of him using his classic sleuthing skills (there's a lot of red tape) to help us keep up with recent dead-pool-related events: The wendigo Walcotts were killed by the Mute and his pesky tomahawk, who was then killed by Peter and his tendency for rage and destruction; DeMarco Montana, the keg-delivering werewolf with the name of a porn star, was beheaded by a mystery assassin; and now Carrie Hudson—the first ever werewolf to actually look younger than her supposed 23-years, and also a believer in DeMarco’s “the sun, the moon, the truth” stress relief chant—was killed by another mystery assassin.
(Where did Stiles get that fancy glass board for Lil’ Detectives in Training? I have no idea. Do I love that the Sherriff is finally able to help these kids out while still rationally fearing that he’s not keeping a safe enough distance to not get himself in trouble, and wondering if his Deputy is hiding an extra row of teeth somewhere? Definitively.)
That’s a lot going on in Beacon Hills, and don’t even get Stilinski Sr. started on what a dead pool of supernaturals with $117 million to spare could mean for Beacon County, at large. Coach Finstock, as chock-full of wisdom as ever this year, barks at Kira after pulling her from her first lacrosse game when she scores, but fails to pass during a play, "This is about teamwork!" It seems a little unfair, especially since, to my knowledge, no one has even told Kira how to play lacrosse. But with so many new players in the Teen Wolf rotation, this season itself is very much becoming about teamwork on every side; it’s not just Derek and Scott against the Alpha Pack, or the whole gang versus the Nogitsune anymore. It’s the McCall team of misfits, versus the Benefactor’s team of weirdos, versus every supernatural in Beacon Hills… versus a multicultural team of hunters… versus whatever the hell team of Berserkers Kate the werejaguar is working with. This hour felt like the calm before the storm.
The Benefactor is certainly accomplishing his/her goal, killing off six supernaturals from the dead pool in a matter of weeks, but tonight, his/her team reveals itself to be a little less than competent at being assassins, revealing their identities while failing to take down Brett (Cody Saintgnue) or Scott. As interested as I am to know where Violet and Garrett came from, the Benefactor’s P.Y.T mercenaries are basically just a couple of heartless 15-year-olds with close-range weapons and access to the school chemistry lab. You know who doesn’t have an assassin-like grasp on their emotions and urges yet? Teenagers. Violet, by all accounts a human, attacks an Alpha werewolf alone with nothing but a weapon that put her within his arm's reach. Garrett is able to use his pretty boy charm to lure Carrie into a false sense of security after his partner fails to kill her, sure, but all that glaring he did on the lacrosse field was kind of screaming: I'm the assassin! Avoid me!
The teenage assassins don't pose nearly the same threat the Mute did, but the Benefactor surely has something else big coming, and Scott’s pack, basically the Varsity of supernaturals according to their dead pool values, will need to be ready. And according to how much they learned tonight, they just might have a 50/50 shot, which is pretty good for a bunch of teenagers. Scott is still trying to get Liam under control after finding out that he's angrier than your average lacrosse-playing werewolf; Derek is advising Scott with fatherly eyebrows, Stiles is investigating with his dad, Kira and Malia are standing by for support, and Lydia is either about to go off the deep end or finally learn to harness her banshee powers. The arrival of Meredith, the banshee from Eichen House, suggests it could very well be both.
NEXT: She's not crazy, she just Banshees a lot.