The main thing about supernatural teen soaps is that they deal with real teen issues via metaphors. You know? Like, when a character is secretly a monster? That's a coming out story. Or when someone joins a satanic cult? Classic clique drama. Vampirism? That's like STDs 101. Pretty much anything teens have dealt with has been transposed to a monster metaphor at some point or another. That is because being a teen is terrifying and watching literal monsters navigate life-or-death situations helps remind us that maybe our real problems aren't so bad. Buffy kind of invented this model, but Teen Wolf has been carrying the torch all over town lately. When all is said and done, I think my favorite thing currently going on this season is the issue that Scott is a TEEN DAD all of a sudden? The mentor relationship between Scott and Derek was a pretty touching thing back in Season 1, but we all know Derek never turned Scott, so it was more like an older bro situation. But the Scott-Liam thing is way more about Scott having to deal with the repercussions of not using protection and now having to raise a werewolf baby all by himself. (Scott should have used a dental dam before biting Liam probably, but even with glowing red eyes, hindsight is 20/20.) Fortunately this storyline has been very fun and charming (whenever Liam isn't literally growling at everybody) and it is obviously much more fun than the Teen Mom franchise (wait, does Teen Mom have weight room scenes?).
"I.E.D." was a big continuation of last week's episode in that we mostly just learned more about certain characters and a second list of names was unveiled. Nothing too wild or crazy, just a very solid mid-season episode. Let's talk about it!
So we started with a good and fun cold open in which a lady without a hand ran around and jumped over a fence and leaned against a bus and only paused to occasionally stare at her stump which was making SIZZLING noises. That could only mean one thing:
Violet and her super-hot bolo tie were in hot pursuit! Which meant that this blonde lady was probably a monster, but don't quote me on that.
Not that being a monster would help her in any way. It's not like Teen Wolf's THESIS STATEMENT is that werewolf powers make you a superhero. In this case this werewolf lady was no match for a 15-year-old human girl with a hot bolo tie. But at least she had spunk...
...if not great decision-making skills.
Whoops! She hopped in a strange truck and got knifed by a dreamboat. There are worse ways to go, sure, but it was definitely not the best.
Then after some opening titles we got this fun montage of all the info our heroes had learned since the last episode.
For one thing, Stiles ran out of yarn and he had to put all his theories on a transparent white-board, which we ALL have in our bedrooms, right?
Back atcha bb.
Meanwhile they realized that the hit list Lydia uncovered last week only contained one third of the names, so Lydia was now spending all her time listening to her banshee records at the lake house, trying to crack the next code. Banshees are total vinyl snobs, it turns out.
Also those numbers next to each name were the fees that the assassins would earn. Which was kinda harsh. First of all, the wendigo guy was only worth $250K? With THAT bod? Meanwhile Kira, an immortal kitsune with a samurai sword, is only worth $6 million, but Lydia and her jalopy-like abilities are worth over three times that? And Derek is worth $15 million—which is a lot, sure, but I figured he'd be worth more. This is like the kids discovering a discarded slam book. Sometimes you just don't want to know what people think of you, you know?
My favorite thing about Sheriff Stilinski this season is that you'd assume knowing all these new facts about monsters would reinvigorate him somehow and he'd operate with much more confidence and precision now that life has started making sense to him. But instead he's SO OVER IT. Like, the second Scott brought up the Nematon, his eyes glazed over and it looked like he wanted to go to bed. Fair enough! I'm the same way when someone tries to talk to me about The Big Bang Theory.
These two. I guess this means that in the past few days they've earned $750,000? That is A LOT of money for a couple of underage teens. What are they going to spend it on? Don't say bear bones. As we know by now, that is NOT a secure investment.
Oh, and it's official: Kira has a sexy secret!
This was obviously a funny moment because at first she started coming clean about a "death pool" and murder and whatnot but her dad did NOT care. That's because a girl playing sports is much more worrisome I guess? In my opinion this town is weird.
So Beacon Hills High definitely has a weight room now, and here was Liam bench pressing EVERYTHING. Also his friend who has a name that I intend to learn soon was curling eight pounds and gossiping about Garrett, which to be fair is all I would ever do if I was in that situation. Also we found out that the lacrosse team was about to scrimmage with Liam's old high school and Liam did NOT seem happy about that.
But then Liam found himself alone and stressed out in the locker room!
It was Derek, and he was here to push Liam's buttons!
But it was all a trick I guess? Scott gave Liam back his REAL pole and sent him on his way.
I honestly have no idea what was going on here:
Derek did something with his face and it freaked me out. Anyway, he seemed pretty proud of Scott for accepting his new responsibility as Liam's teen werewolf dad.
But yeah, it was going to be a lot of responsibility, seeing as Liam had mental problems and Scott had a lot on his plate already. Except you can't always be prepared for parenthood and Scott was just going to have to deal.
Did this part make you feel funny be honest. Lydia was trying all her old tricks to somehow force herself to have banshee visions, but Malia tagging along wasn't really helping, oh well.
Meanwhile the assassins were in the science lab inventing new anti-werewolf potions.
It wasn't made clear via dialogue but I'm guessing this super-wolfsbane smells TERRIBLE? It looks like it smells terrible. Like anti-freeze and cat pee. Count me out.
Meanwhile the rival lacrosse team arrived and Liam attempted to keep his cool when he saw his nemesis get off the bus.
It was funny when Stiles had to jump in and make sure Liam didn't bite the hunk-dick's face off. Stiles is a pretty good mediator sometimes. So then he and Scott threw Liam under a cold shower to get him to literally chill out.
At that point they informed him that they believed the assassin was a lacrosse player (due to the werewolf girl's stab wounds matching the shape of a lacrosse stick don't ask) and one of them might get killed in the game that night. Also Liam let them know that it had been Garrett who paid for the keg at that one party, so now everyone pretty much assumed that Garrett was the assassin. Meanwhile he was walking around school looking like a total assassin:
Oh, Garrett. I am pretty sure you sleep in a storm drain now, but hopefully you can get out of the murder game soon and take up a better hobby like fishing or being all of our boyfriends.
Meanwhile down at the station Deputy Parrish was getting in on the action!
Oh hey, Meredith! Still a crazy-person, I see. But guys, Meredith was NOT here to party. She was here on banshee business, the most serious kind.
Meanwhile at that night's lacrosse game, the kids had a certain amount of anxiety over the fact that an assassin was probably going try to kill one of them on the field, typical lacrosse problems.
Meanwhile the jerk on the other team took off his shirt for some reason, doesn't matter why.
Meanwhile on the other side of campus, a couple of older gentlemen were paying a visit to the underground vault under the school.
Clearly Argent and Derek were on the same page that Kate Argent needed to be stopped; the main question was how?
But Derek wanted to personally handle Kate for personal reasons.
Not only did she steal away his murder (blue eyes are cooler than yellow eyes in this world I guess) but almost all of his werewolf powers were weakening. Was Derek UN-turning? Couldn't he just go out and have some unprotected bites with other werewolves and get turned back again? I don't know.
I love the recurring thread this season that nobody has any money anymore. Lydia's family is broke, Stiles' family can't pay his mental health bills, the lacrosse team can't afford equipment or even proper lighting. Did the Benefactor steal the whole TOWN's bear bones? Or had Peter Hale been stealing them all along? Also will the assassins' paychecks trickle down into the economy? And what happened to that cool mil the Mute left behind? Did he have a wife and kids? Did any of them have mouths? I realize there is a joke to be made here about not having a lot of mouths to feed, but maybe you can write it I'm so tired.
This was a cute moment on the field:
Ugh, Liam was going to be so mortified when he found out that Scott had personally asked his nemesis to take it easy on him. But come on, Scott, did you really think that would work? You can take the bully out of the dick but you can't take the dick out of the—whoops, nevermind.
So then Kira scored a goal!
Unfortunately the coach took a quick break from being a crazyperson and rationally explained that Kira hadn't followed the play and he benched her for the rest of the game.
I don't know, that felt pretty sexist to me considering every lacrosse game we've seen so far has had a bunch of monsters running around doing whatever they feel like. Meanwhile a tiny teen hunk assassin kept making sustained eye contact with Scott:
Way to play it cool, Garrett. BB put that knife-pole away and chill out for a minute.
Meanwhile at the station Meredith was having a hard time being a sane person, but the gang must have remembered that time she got horny for Isaac so Deputy Parrish stepped up to take his place.
And sure enough, she started spouting off numbers that would maybe help Lydia crack the code! Unfortunately there weren't enough numbers for it to be a phone number and everyone got so steamed at Meredith.
Meanwhile the lacrosse game was going about as well as you'd expect:
There was this big tussle and everybody got hurt and also Garrett's blade was out, so who got stabbed with the werewolf poison??
Liam hadn't been stabbed though, he merely had a broken arm which his teen dad fixed for him. But then Lydia cracked the code and got list #2 and we found out who Garrett's REAL target had been.
It was the sexy dick-jerk-hunk-bully! He was a werewolf too! (Which in retrospect should've been obvious seeing as he was a star lacrosse player?) Suddenly Violet was yanking him around the locker room with a hot bolo tie.
But that wasn't the only interesting discovery on the new list:
HAHA WE KNEW IT YOU RASCAL. Only Stiles is allowed to be both cute and a human. But back to that new list for a second, I got kinda bummed that Kira's mom's life was only worth $5 million. What does a kitsune have to do to get any respect around Beacon Hills? Certainly not be a WORLD WAR II SURVIVOR.
Anyway, then Scott ran into the locker room to try and save the dick-bully but Violet intercepted him with her hot bolo tie!
SO GOOD. Violet got too ambitious thinking she could take out an alpha. But also it was nice to see a werewolf actually overpower a human teenage girl finally? Call me old-fashioned, but I think that werewolves should be deadlier than humans. At least the Argents had exploding arrows and whatnot. Anyway, Scott bonked Violet's head against the wall and she took a nap. Also the dick-bully survived his decapitation attack, so expect to see that torso again soon.
And then we came to our final moment: Argent was confronted by some familiar faces!
It was Mexican Mama Fratelli and she was VERY curious as to why Argent wasn't so much of a hunter anymore. She even guilt-tripped him by name-checking his dead family members, and then she forced him to recite the old-school hunter's mantra (even though Allison had changed theirs). Eventually he went with the flow.
I guess we were meant to believe that maybe Argent was going to become a blood-thirsty hunter again, but yeah right. You don't spend several months gazing into Isaac's eyes and still feel the need to harm a werewolf, sorry. Not buying it.
Can I just say how much I'm glad that Allison keeps being name-checked this season? It's nice that this show hasn't swept her death under the rug and is continuing to honor her as being in the very DNA of the show. From passwords to weaponry to the ghost of her moral code, Allison still lives on and that feels very satisfying to me.
"I.E.D." refers to Liam's medically diagnosed psychosis (don't worry, he quit taking his medication), but it's also the title of a fun and suspenseful episode of Teen Wolf. This was very much a fifth episode of a season, more concerned with fleshing out concepts and characters while setting up dynamics to be resolved later. But it never felt like wheel-spinning, and that's a tough feat for any rip-roarin' serial that tends to back-load its fireworks, you know? Good times, I liked it.
... Where is Kate sleeping these days?
... Do Garrett and Violet have a joint bank account?
... Is Scott a good dad?
... What and I mean WHAT is Deputy Parrish?
AIRED ON 9/8/2014
Season 4 : Episode 12