Teen Wolf has been burning through villains like it has something to prove this season, but even without the assistance of a shiny new assassin this week, "Time of Death" sends a clear message about just how high the stakes are for these kids and their parents at the hands of The Benefactor. Each villain we’ve seen this season—the Mute, the Orphans, the Chemist, even Peter and Kate—are all just vehicles for the most imposing force against the pack: the constant threat of imminent death. Oh, well, and Lydia’s unseen grandmother. She and her Mountain Ash definitely seem up to something. But we’ll get there.
Of course death is the pack's main enemy, you say. But has Teen Wolf ever beaten us over the head quite so thoroughly with our main characters’ fragile mortality as they have in the latter half of Season 4? Death isn’t just coming for them anymore; it’s here. It’s here in the form of the Benefactor and his fountain of stolen money; it’s here in the form of viruses, and vengeance, and greed, and a lot of pressure on poor Lydia; and as the pack once again calls on death as an actual tool in another one of it's fool-proof plans, the ever-looming threat circles even closer. There aren’t just forces out there who want power or money anymore; the pack's enemies want them—and every other supernatural in Beacon Hills—dead. Very dead. Extra dead. As dead as they can get them: visual confirmation required.
And for a bunch of people who are trying so hard not to be killed, the Beacon Hills gang sure do like to play around with their own mortality. But even with the ability to occasionally use death to their own advantage, to borrow from the old sports saying, Scott’s pack can’t stop death, they can only hope to contain it. At one point, as the minutes count down on her son's life, Scott's mom asks Kira's mom, "Why are we doing this? Why are we asking them to fight these fights?" to which Ms. Yukimura answers, "Because otherwise we'd be asking them to run and hide." The McCall pack is not one to run and hide, even when the stakes are higher than they could possibly bear. They head into tonight's action with a plan that is so ridiculous, it could be only be crafted by a group of people who know that no matter what, good plan or terrible plan, they'll keep fighting.
So, while the rest of the pack attempts to execute an insane plan that really could have used their top mind's input, Lydia spends the night digging through her boathouse, trying to figure out how a picture of Meredith in her Very Special Lake House Room could possibly exist. Her mother, worried about Lydia's new affinity for weekends at the empty lake house, followed her out and says she just wants to help with whatever has Lydia upset, so Lydia shows her the picture of Meredith without explaining that she is a Banshee who recently committed suicide. Ms. Martin immediately recognizes her as "Meredith Walker."
In the changing of scenes, we don't hear why Ms. Martin knows Meredith, but the picture has inspired Ms. Martin to get out Grandma Martin’s ashes. Just another relaxing night by the lake for the Martin gals! She died in Eichen House after Lydia’s father boarded her there because she was "hearing voices." The ashes are conveniently in the boathouse because Grandma Martin wanted Lydia to spread them on the lake herself when she turned 18. As Lydia is just a few weeks away from 18 anyway, she uncaps the urn, and…sticks her hand deep into the ashes. LYDI—oh, wait, it's just Mountain Ash, not her dead grandmother's ashes, we're good.
While Lydia looks into her family's past, the rest of the pack has decided to fake Scott’s assassination to lure the Benefactor to them. Or rather, they're just going to actually kill Scott, because suddenly he's flat-lining in a hospital bed, and Liam’s doctor dad is calling his time of death before the opening credits have even rolled. Then, we have to experience what it would be like to actually watch Melissa McCall get the news of her only son’s death, not knowing if she's in on this plan, and it is excruciating thanks to Melissa Ponzio’s incredibly believable breakdown. So, in addition to being the best (and only) nurse is Beacon Hills, Ms. McCall can also believably convince an entire hospital staff that her son has just died, even though it’s revealed to us that she is in on the plan and intends to see Scott alive again within the hour. That should go over fine with Dr. Liam's Dad.
NEXT: Dream a little dream (of watching your Beta die over and over again)...