Teen Wolf: The Benefactor and Muted

I am perfectly capable of admitting when I’m out of my depth, and by the end of “The Benefactor,” I was thoroughly confused. I’m not a gambler and not an odds girl, so the who and how of betting on somebody’s demise is over my head. But that’s where we are four episodes into the fourth season.

Last week’s episode veered off from the robbery/burglary and instead focused on Liam, a new arrival at the school who raised the hackles of Stiles and Scott because he seemed highly likely to bounce Scott from his Lacrosse Captain’s spot.

Scott takes him out on the field, injuring him to the point that he feels really bad about it when Liam has to be hospitalized. He also accidentally kisses Kira and then apologizes, and then unapologizes and kisses her for real. Kira also makes the Lacrosse team when she blocks an errant pitch at Malia’s head. Her parents spent that episode trying to put their house on the market but that didn’t come up again last week.

The other story track two weeks back was the stalking and murder of a young man by a mouthless figure who uses a voicebox gizmo to menace his prey. The kid survives his family’s murder, and then Lydia and Parrish stumble onto a lair in their basement that reveals they were victims this time, but they seem to have been killing people themselves, and stockpiling corpses in a freezer.

This comes to a head when the hospitalized kid flips out on Melissa and she pretty much tells Scott to kill him. They end up on the rough, with Liam, because he’s dumb like that, until Scott winds up with his arms pinned behind him and the only way he can keep Liam from slipping off the roof is to chomp down on his forearm. The mouthless figure shows up in time to take the kid out and save Scott.

When we pick up with the most recent episode episode, Malia is working on her transformation control during full moons, and the gang sort of kidnaps Liam to help him, too. They all convene at Lydia’s lake house, which her mother has surrendered the keys to with the strictest instructions to be very careful, so you can imagine how wrong that goes.

Liam inadvertently invites the entire freshman class, which helps drown out the howling in the basement and the boathouse. Then Lydia finds a soundproof room in the house and gets a clue to a Vigenère cipher she drew for Malia instead of math notes. It’s unclear whether the room is real or a vision but Kira goes into the room, too, so I’m guessing there’s some hidden family business to discuss.

Stiles stays with Malia while she transforms and she begs him to leave but he doesn’t and then she breaks her bonds and lunges at him but he stands his ground, and she changes back before she can hurt him. So he’s her calming device as Allison was for Scott. They also had a cute moment two weeks back where she was highlighting her textbooks in multiple colors and Stiles realized they were the colors of the diagram strings in his room.

Kira and Scott keep Liam outside in the boathouse after Kira knocks him out and then they have a sweet scene where they slow dance to an iPod and Kira tries to test Scott’s self-control. Liam breaks free of his chains and bails off into the woods, getting the upper hand on Scott and then disappearing.

Thankfully, Papa Argent shows up and helps Scott trap Liam, and it’s a great moment when he arrives because Scott’s visibly afraid about whether Argent’s going to hunt him or help him. Scott talks Liam down and explains what hes’ becoming.

Back at the house, a couple of the kids at the party team up to kill a delivery man who’s a werewolf we’d not yet met, and then they transfer funds, tying back to the mouthless man’s device that the Hales hand off to Stilinksi. He and Derek go looking for him at the school, but after they catch up to him and dodge an IED, Peter, who survived an attempted assassination by him, shows up and tears the guy apart, so that’s a dead end.

Finally, Lydia deciphers the code and finds a hit list of the supernatural folks in Beacon Hills with a number beside each name. They pronounce it a dead pool. So, not good, but it’s unclear who’s assigning the kills, and where the hell these new kids came from.

I like the pairings of Scott and Kira and Malia and Stiles. Shelley Hennig was so buttoned up on The Secret Circle that’s it’s fun to see her bounce off Dylan O’Brien. A+ casting there. And I love that the Sheriff can be concerned about Stiles with a girl vs. all the other Beacon Hils-ness–the scene where he walks in on them strength testing shackles is hysterical. I hope Lydia gets some peace soon, too. There’s an interesting moment in the last episode where she flips out about wine on the floor and we hear for the first time that her family is having money trouble and the house’s sale was their Hail Mary. We’ll see where that goes.

Glad to see Argent back–Scott summoned him about Kate–which Stiles condemned him for doing by text, but it worked. And Derek is Derek again. In case you wondered.

We’re up to five tonight and we only have 13 this season. Feels like the stakes are higher.

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