Teen Wolf recap: 'Perishable'

In the twist we've all be waiting for, the shocking identity of the Benefactor is finally revealed, and it's somehow even more complicated than expected.
Ep. 09 | Aired Aug 18, 2014

FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS GET KILLED BY DJs Liam and Malia escape their drunken night with their lives and only slightly reeking of lighter fluid.

Scott Everett White/MTV

Please excuse me while I make this brief public service announcement, including an immediate spoiler: MEREDITH. Meredith! WE TRUSTED YOU! Meredith? MEREDITH?! Meredith.

Ahem, back to your regularly scheduled plot twist.

With death all around (and its seeming inability to stick), the most upsetting passing in Season 4 of Teen Wolf has to have been Meredith’s—an inherently interesting and sympathetic character who appeared to mostly be around to be misunderstood, used, and tortured for information. Assassins have been dropping dead left and right, and Derek basically has the Grim plastered over his perfectly chiseled face, but it was Meredith who we mourned along with Lydia. And now, she’s been revealed to be the torturer, rather than the torturee. But rest assured that she is most definitely still misunderstood. Meredith is one big ol' question mark.

As we near the end, this whole season of Teen Wolf has turned out to be highly focused on the Banshee—excuse me, the Teen Banshee—and it continues to feel like a wailing woman in and of itself: one big, ominous death prediction that we probably won't figure out until it's too late. At first, it was just a bolstering of Lydia’s story line; once Lydia figured out what she was, she started figuring out how to use her powers. But as with werewolves and kitsunes, there’s always a dark side to power. In "Perishable," Season 4 is following a more common Teen Wolf trope: defining each season by the Supernatural Big Bad we’ve been learning about all along. In Season 1, Episode 9, we found out Peter was the Alpha werewolf; in 2.9, Matt was revealed to be controlling the kanima; in 3.9, Jennifer Blake came out of the Darach closet; and in "Perishable," meet Meredith, the Banshee with a mysterious past you were pretty sure died a few weeks ago.

Teen Wolf is very capable of pulling off a twist, which they did tonight with gasp-worthy effect; but occasionally, those twists come at the cost of credibility. Now, Scott, Stiles, and the gang live in a world where some teens are half-wolf, some teens are high school freshman assassins, some teens are raised to be hunters, and some teens seem to wander the town with an endless supply of Urban Outfitters wear, but no actual home or parents to speak of—logic in Beacon Hills is more than flexible. But, for an episode that gave us more answers than any other all season, "Perishable" also added 100 more questions to the exploding list. We’ll be looking to the next three episodes to see if Meredith as the Benefactor can actually be explained in any logical way, but for now, let’s just assume that everything will make total sense soon and lay out what we've got.

The episode opened on everyone’s favorite open-minded Deputy locked in his patrol car, getting doused in gasoline by the newest Benefactor dimwit offspring: Parrish’s less likable partner, Deputy Haigh (who, by the way, is played by Lou Ferrigno, Jr.). Even though every trailer for this season has made it clear that a Parrish cannot be killed by fire alone, it was still startling to see that lighter hit his body. Parrish proceeded to also really go for it when he stormed into the Sheriff’s Department naked, alive, and covered in ash. I think Haigh spoke for everyone watching this episode when he said "But you’re dead," while getting punched in the face repeatedly by the supposedly deceased. Death is all relative here, buddy.

This season’s cold opens have been almost universally flawless, much like Parrish, who survived without so much as a blister, which means he gets to participate in his first impromptu pack meeting in Derek’s perpetually dim loft. Welcome to the McCall pack: Everyone has perfect skin, and on Wednesdays, they wear leather (or in this episode’s case, basic tees with festive pockets). Looking particularly Clark Kent-ish after his recovery, Parrish, like the audience, has a lot of questions about why he survived: why he’s worth $5 million, why Scott’s eyes are glowing red, what’s a kanima, etc. Also like us, he has no answers; not even Derek knows what he might be. But they do at least figure out that Haigh is no professional assassin, so the Benefactor must be reaching out to amateurs now.

NEXT: Printers really are supernaturally awful, though...

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