We're halfway through Teen Wolf's fourth season and our knowledge regarding the mysterious villain known only as the Benefactor rivals Malia's knowledge of Abraham Lincoln, which is to say it's basically non-existent. After pulling a Stiles and studying the facts of the situation, here's what we do know, gathered from the first six episodes of the season...
According to Meredith's choice of pronouns when she was confronted by Stiles and Lydia, we assumed the Benefactor was a man, but if Scott's theory from "Time of Death"—that the Benefactor is a banshee—is to be believed, we're not so sure anymore. Aren't banshees usually female?
Aside from that hiccup, everything else remains the same: We also know that the Benefactor prefers to have assassins do his/her dirty work. He/she is overly fond of cassette tapes, yet is still technologically gifted enough that he/shee was able to encode the Deadpool. He/she also understands the concept of wiring money, and unlike most of America, is prompt in his/her text messaging. The Benefactor has an unusual amount of backstory on the Hale family, including the location of their secret family vault under Beacon Hills High (LOL), and also knows Malia's true parentage, as her name is listed on the Deadpool as Malia Hale, not Malia Tate. The Benefactor was aware of Allison and Aiden's deaths, which may or may not have been common knowledge in Beacon Hills (we don't know because no one seems to ever mention the fact that their friends perished two months ago), and he/she is also predicting Derek's death—or, put another way, he/she plans on killing Derek in the near future. And finally, he/she knew Liam was a werewolf almost immediately after Scott bit him, and placed him on the list in relatively quick fashion.
So, who could it be? Regardless of sex and assuming the Benefactor is someone we've already met/someone we know about, here are the possible culprits. Take a look, then share your theories in the comments!
Why he could totally be the Benefactor: Peter is suspiciously absent from the Deadpool, something the show took care to point out in "Weaponized" when Stiles described him as either incredibly lucky or the Benefactor. There was also that time he was a CGI villain who turned Scott and also bit Lydia, which brought her latent banshee powers to the surface. Although he's proven on several occasions to be an asset to the pack, he's an opportunistic frenemy, a man whose loyalties are only to himself—so he can't be trusted, basically. It's no secret that he wants to restore his power and status as the alpha, and when you take into consideration that he's exactly the type of person who would enlist others to do his evil deeds, it's not hard to see him as the Benefactor. Furthermore, he seems to be growing stronger as Derek is growing weaker, it makes perfect sense that would have immense knowledge about the Hales—including the location of the vault—and he would know about Liam. And even though he doesn't strike me as technologically sound, he could have kidnapped everyone's favorite supporting character Danny, who's excellent with computers, to encode the Deadpool for him. At the very least it would explain Danny's absence this season.
Why he's probably not the Benefactor: It wouldn't be ridiculous to suggest that Peter staged his own robbery, but would he actually part with his money? Probably not. He's the most selfish character in Beacon Hills. It's more likely that Peter is just a red herring. He might be the most obvious culprit, but that's probably exactly why it's not him.
Why he could totally be the Benefactor: A former hunter who wanted to destroy the pack in Season 2, Gerard's story was left dangling in the wind. Having now lost a granddaughter, maybe he's thirsty for revenge. Since he's currently oozing black goo and unable to murder people on his own, it's plausible that he'd have to hire assassins to help him finish cleaning house. He would have plenty knowledge of the Hale family, would probably kill his were-jaguar daughter, and could've also had Danny kidnapped to serve as his techie. And of course, let's not forget MOUNTAIN ASH.
Whey he's probably not the Benefactor: Who cares about that old loon?
Why he could totally be the Benefactor: After appearing frequently throughout Teen Wolf's first three seasons, Danny has been suspiciously absent during Season 4 (which has been even more obvious during the frequent lacrosse scenes, as Danny was a talented member of the team). In the Season 3 finale, we learned that he's known about the supernatural creatures who call Beacon Hills home all along, and as I mentioned above, he's great with computers and definitely could've built the Deadpool.
Whey he's probably not the Benefactor: Danny is friends with the pack; he dated Ethan, a known werewolf; and he's generally liked by everyone. He's a kindhearted soul who just wants to make out with cute boys and have blacklight parties, not murder (by association) most of Beacon Hills.
Deputy Jordan Parrish
Why he could totally be the Benefactor: Despite the fact that he's one of our favorite new TV characters of the summer, we still don't know very much about Parrish. We know he's of supernatural origin and has a $5 million price tag on his head, but he's relatively new to Beacon Hills, which automatically raises our suspicions. He seemed unfazed by Lydia's ability to find a freezer full of dead bodies, which could simply mean that he's super chill (get it?)... or it could mean that he's a bad dude. Add to that the fact that we still don't know what type of creature he is (a phoenix? A siren? Another banshee with dormant powers?) and he's just as mysterious as the Benefactor.
Whey he's probably not the Benefactor: He's also on the Deadpool. Plus, he seems like such a nice guy!
That Dick at Eichen House
Why he could totally be the Benefactor: He's a dick, and he had access to Meredith.
Whey he's probably not the Benefactor: No one cares about that guy?
Why he could totally be the Benefactor: Mr. Tate has every reason to hate the supernatural, as his wife and young daughter were killed by Malia—a were-coyote/girl he thought was his daughter—when she accidentally transformed in the car during a full moon. It's possible that he discovered she wasn't his biological child, but rather the secret offspring of Peter Hale, and subsequently decided to take action by eliminating every supernatural creature from Beacon Hills. That would also explain why Peter isn't on the list: because Mr. Tate wants to save Peter for himself. Plus, the dude has some anger issues.
Why he's probably not the Benefactor: Malia is on the Deadpool list, and even though Mr. Tate tried to murder her once (when she was still in were-coyote form), would he still wish her dead?
Why she could totally be the Benefactor: Well, it would probably explain why the Benefactor had to hire assassins—can't very well go 'round murdering hunky teens when she's supposed to be dead. Plus, she's probably frail and all that.
Why he's probably not the Benefactor: It's more likely that she's working for the Benefactor/knows who the Benefactor is/wants to help the pack solve this annoying puzzle so she can go back to playing shuffleboard with her banshee buddies. Plus, Beacon Hills has already filled its grumpy, vengeful senior citizen quota.
Look, all I'm saying is that it could happen. We don't know Greenberg's life!
DARE TO DREAM.
AIRED ON 9/8/2014
Season 4 : Episode 12