Monday, July 14, 2014

Teen Wolf - 4.03 - Muted - Recap and Episode Awards

Previously - season 1 and lacrosse happened, Malia and Stiles kissed, Lydia pep talked Kira, Scott was into Kira, berserkers arrived, Kate de-aged Derek, Teen Derek defeated berserkers, and the Hales were robbed

In a nice Beacon Hills estate, Random Kid looks for his pet. At night. Yeah this ends well. Remember that kid who looked for his dog and became a Darach sacrifice. Yeah I barely do either. Good luck, Random Kid. He halfheartedly walks a couple steps before heading back inside. Generally this would be good but in a Beacon Hills cold open it just means evil is already in his house, especially when his mom doesn't answer him AND he turns off all the lights. He slooooowly walks up the creakiest stairs this side of a horror movie and still no answer from mom. Thus far Random Kid Monster Bait is unmemorable and yet he walks right into Teen Wolf history as the first square in our new Bingo Game - someone's shirtless. Thanks Random Kid! Sadly things go south when he finds bloody paw prints on his floor. He sloooowly looks under the bed and finds his bloody cat. Time to run…but it's too late. Someone with a hatchet is murdering his mom. Awww, Teen Wolf does a classic horror movie montage. How….gross. Poor Random Kid must be the only teen in Beacon Hills who does NOT know how to sneak out of his bedroom through a window at night so he barricades himself in the bathroom instead. Hmm, thinking like this will get you dead. Luckily Monster believes in playing fair and offers up tips in combat fighting via his computer. Say what? Monster has a Stephen Hawking program. He monologues about killing Random Kid's family and tells him to punch out the mirror and grab a shard of glass. Glass shard vs. hatchet. Not liking his odds. Ooh, he is smarter than he looks. Random Kid breaks the window and hops down to the street below. He must be supernatural himself because not only did he take that second story without damage, but the boy is running at Flash speed to get so far away in 3 seconds. Oh and Monster has no mouth. How…creepy. Everyone's calling him Voldemort's cousin but he looks more like a lanky Igor to me or a creepier Despicable Me.

Over in Derek's non-swanky, non-million dollar loft, Mystery Motorcycle Chick returns with poor etiquette. Ha! Peter chides her for putting her boots on the table. Peter: "The table's Italian." MMC: "So are these boots. Are we going to talk interior design and fashion or are we going to talk numbers?" Derek and I smirk at someone outsnarking Peter. Ha! Peter wants to hire MMC so they do the negotiation numbers dance. Peter: "We're hiring you to find Kate, not assassinate the president." MMC says it's not the target but the timing. MMC: "You're hiring me to find her first. Going against the Calaveras was what's going to cost you." After all, a girl's got to eat. Peter gets frustrated but Derek ends negotiations, saying they'll pay. Um, with what? Do you have another secret vault, maybe under the hospital, where your other hundred million is? And if so, upgrade your living arrangements. MMC leaves and Peter loses it. Derek says they've been searching for Kate for a week (eons in Teen Wolf time) but Peter is adamant. Peter: "If we don't find out who told Kate about the vault, we don't get those bonds back. What do you think I'm going to do then, huh? Get a job? My resume is slightly out of date." Ha! I can't imagine Peter at a job. Is anyone hiring for snark? I want that job. Peter makes the mistake of grabbing Derek's shoulder, who wolfs out for absolutely no reasons except to show off his nifty new yellow eyes. Guess he didn't mention them to Peter anytime this week. Peter: "Oh that's a new look for you. What happened to your eyes?" Derek: "I don't know but I'm willing to pay to find out." Really? I'd go with it. No constant reminder of SPN Krissy looking back at you in the mirror. You know what they say about gift horses, Derek.

And there you have it. Episode over. Shortest recap ever. What? You want to know what happens in the next 34 minutes. One long Nike commercial masquerading as lacrosse tryouts. It should have been a Bingo square. Stiles and Scott apparently need a break from their day and night jobs of defeating evil to quibble over team captainship and new kids and you really can't blame them for that. But first we get a missing character update. Scott texted Argent about Kate. Stiles: "You told him his sister Kate came back from the dead over a text." Yeah, some things need a more delicate touch. Scott: "I didn't have the money to call France." This would be a good time to try Skype, Scott. It's one of those newfangled technologies you missed while playing with the nemeton. Alas, the Stilinskis have money woes too, thanks to the MRI and Eichen House. What you talkin' bout, Stiles? Does the Beacon Hills Sheriff Department not have health insurance? Talk about a crummy job getting worse. I could see life insurance companies refusing to work with them, but health? I'll say it again. Time to move. Stiles: "Now what the hell are we even doing here anyway? We've got like 117 million problems and worrying about our status on the lacrosse team is not one of them." Try putting that into a song. And Stiles, I keep asking the same question all episode long. Scott is however distracted by the impressive new goalie. I'm distracted by ALL the new kids. Egads they blur together, but the slow-mo helmet removal is so absurd I laugh anyway. Bwah! Random Teen in Red congratulates Liam, Helmet Boy Goalie, and talks freshman captain. That gets Stiles' interest. It's now their goal to protect what is theirs. It is now my goal to fast forward. A lot.

Thankfully Mama McCall rescues us from lacrosse wars. Contrary to popular belief, Mama McCall does not indeed do everything in the hospital. Of course budget cuts hit the hospital hard so she might as well. Doctor: "This hospital has seen a bizarre amount of damage and the insurance isn't going to cover it." Way to master the understatement, Doc. However we've stumbled upon season 4's theme - money woes. Let me guess. The teens get jobs to help out or actually show up to them if they are nebulously employed (cough Scott cough). The Benefactor ends up mall security and jacks the local Jared's. Wackiness ensues. Hey, it's more interesting than this episode. Mama McCall works on the budget conundrum, when Random Kid literally falls into the hospital a good 6 hours post-opener at least. Okay. Suddenly the view switches to a body bag. Huh? Oh, Mama McCall and Sheriff examine the latest morgue additions - Random Kid's mom, dad, and brother. Sorry honey. In a surprise twist, Mama McCall says it's not supernatural. I beg to differ. Sheriff prefers to handle it without teen help. How nice. Sheriff: "If this is every day homicide instead of the supernatural kind, then maybe we can give them the day off from the world of murder and massacres." Mama McCall: "When do we get a day off?" Um, when you change jobs or move. Nurses and cops see a fair share of death even outside of Beacon Hills. Speaking of moving, the Yukimuras are smart. Mama Fox says Beacon Hills was temporary. Kira: "That was after you told me I was a kitsune and was going to have to destroy a dark spirit by stabbing and killing one of the few friends I've made in this town." Mama Fox: "And you didn't have to. I call that a win." Bwah! Way to look on the bright side. Definitely a win. Kira awkwardly stumbles through a sentence like always but the key revelation is that History Dad taught at Columbia, a top 5 Ivy League university. Say what? Kira, your dating life doesn't stack up to that. I'm equally shocked to hear Kira had other boyfriends. Shouldn't she be less insecure then?

Scott and Stiles are also insecure, grilling Liam in the locker room. Scott uses his fully functioning werewolf hearing to realize that Liam was kicked out of prep school last semester. That's not suspicious at all. Stiles says they don't need any more good players, but given they're down a few I'm with Scott. Stiles and I are still wary though. Stiles: "Have you ever been out in the middle of the woods during the night of a full….." Bwah! When did Stiles and Scott turn into Jackson by the way? Malia instead turns into teen me. Heading to math, she sees equations on the chalkboard (we've talked about this already Teen Wolf) and walks right back out again. Strangely Stiles forces her to go to class. I'm surprised you even know where yours are, Stiles. He tells Malia math is important for tipping as Lydia gives him the classic side eye and mentions medicine, economics, and engineering because she's smart and we don't get a lesson of the week this time. For some reason Malia's teachers haven't gotten her file and keep calling on her. Not that she'd ever be in Lydia's classes anyway. Stiles encourages her but she growls at him. Another Bingo square covered. At the board, Malia tells Lydia her notes are far too complicated so Lydia gives her the answer instead. Lydia: "And sweetheart, put away the claws." Malia looks down; her werewolf is showing. Oops. Stiles gets a text about the murders and fills Scott and Kira in. He and I expect them to ditch faster than a lacrosse pass, but Scott's all about econ. Huh? Oh, Mama McCall told him to stay out of it. Stiles: "Are you guys kidding me? There's a family murdering axe murderer. We're not going to do anything about it?" Kira: "Maybe we should just let the adults handle it?" The incredulous look Stiles gives her is priceless. Stiles: "So the two of you, you just want to stay here at school, go to class. I've never heard anything so irresponsible in my life." Ha! He walks off and Scott soon follows, but not before giving Kira a quick kiss. She looks stunned. It's not until he's in class that Scott realizes what he did.

I'm more confused by No Mouth who sits in the dark on his laptop before unplugging his neck and jacking a tube into it. Say what? Is he's pumping in blood or motor oil? If he's an android, that's right up there with time travel and aliens, No time for actual plot development though. Scott has relationship angst. Stiles and he talk about chaste kisses, which feels like a SAT Prep word they cut from 3A. Blah, blah, blah. He's really wigged out about it. Scott: "Maybe I should text her." Stiles: "No, just no with the texts." Ha! If Scott decides to break up with a girl, she better watch out. Happily tonight's saving grace appears…Coach! Welcome back sir. So glad you didn't die. Coach tells us it's a rebuilding season, which is funny since this season's tagline is "Keeping Moving Forward. Can't Go Back." Hmm, apparently this episode did NOT get the memo since the entire thing screams season 1. He even brings up Jackson and Isaac. Sniff. Why do we need new kids again? Coach: "Greenberg, the one guy I actually wanted gone was held back. Again." Crazy coach say what? I thought Greenberg was the good kid who always did the homework. Coach sends everyone to the field while Scott hems and haws over his captain position. Kira's awkward speech patterns are catching. Someone call the CDC before no one in Beacon Hills can speak a complete sentence without stammering. Now my school didn't have lacrosse but we did have state level sports and I've never seen so many people show up to WATCH a tryout in my life, especially guys. Guess they didn't want Kira and Malia to feel weird. Still that's not a good thing for Scott and Stiles, considering how poorly they're doing. Stiles is winded and dead last running, even though he spends more time running for his life than anyone else there. Scott can't shoot to save his life. Liam is golden at everything. Stiles: "Is he even human? What is he like…a werecheetah? Does that even exist?" Ha! That would be interesting. This is painful.

Lacrosse is the new chick on Teen Wolf and everyone wants her attention. It's a vicious love triangle. So much so that Stiles and Scott turn into Jackson. It's fan fic run amuck. Remember when Jackson was hated for bullying Scott for being good at lacrosse? Congrats, Stiles and Scott are the new bullies. Bet there's less uproar in the fandom about their antics. Stiles: "I hate this kid." Scott: "You don't have to hate him. The team needs new players." Stiles: "What about a new team captain?" Oh jealousy, the only thing more prevalent on this field is Nike trademarks. Up in the stands, Malia calls Kira on her anxiety. It isn't worth the 30 seconds it takes so lacrosse montage. Kira: "Isn't the captain supposed to be one of the best players on the team? Or good?" Ouch, but true. Stiles is equally stymied. "Dude, what is going on with you?" Scott: "I don't know. I'm having a really off day." Stiles: "Off day, you are dying out there. I feel actual physical pain watching you." Scott: "I haven't seen you make any shots." Stiles: "Yes, that's because I'm terrible though, Scott. You…you are the alpha." Hmm, I recall Stiles being a lacrosse hero earlier and why is he arguing for Scott to wolf out on the field? Since they suck on offense, Coach moves them to defense where they discuss how non-supernatural Liam is (say what?) and actually make a good team. They take down Garrett. Coach: "That's my boys. Those two are like sons to me." Um, since when? You just learned Stiles' name. You know what, never mind. I can go with it. The Basher Twins continue taking people out, fisting pumping and chest bumping, until they get to Liam, who sneaks past them of course. In slow-mo. Oh Teen Wolf. Malia calls foul. "That was luck." Stiles: "Oh no. Malia, don't get involved." Malia: "Do over." Coach: "Sweetheart, there's no do-overs. This is practice." Malia: "$10 bucks on Scott and Stiles." Coach: "I'll take that action." Bwah! Round 2 (in slow-mo) and Liam's down with a bum ankle. Tryouts over. Thank goodness. But not before Kira catches a ball headed for Malia's head. After a stunning pass back, Coach wants her on the team.

Now that Nike's got its money's worth, the plot awaits. Um, maybe. In Derek's loft, MMC strips out of the marshal uniform she used to get the police case file. Derek is there to make it abundantly clear that MMC and he will screw in the future and thus begins her slow walk towards inevitable death. Sigh. They flirt and she realizes that Derek is all about eye color. Oh and Derek gives her one week before launching his own investigation. I knew Derek was the Angel of Teen Wolf. Which makes Kira the less smart Fred. She and Scott are particularly awkward about their granny kiss and Scott puts her off one more time. Not sure if she wants to talk moving or lacrosse at this point. They're sorry; I'm bored. Scott walks away from a super sad Kira, but then races in to give her a proper kiss. Aww, can we move on now? A recently crippled kid awaits for medical care. Kira: "Text me later." Maybe they are perfect for each other. Over in a plotline I care about, Parrish looks at garish photos outside Random Kid's house when he notices a shadow inside. He goes in and finds…Lydia. Nice to see you. Lydia: "I'd try to explain it, but I've never gotten a satisfactory explanation myself." Parrish: "Just an unusual habit of showing up at places where people've been brutally murdered." Lydia: "Are you saying I have a reputation?" Oh Lydia, that ship sailed in season 1. Parrish: "An unusual one. Maybe you're psychic." Okay? Lydia and I upper eye him. He says she's too late for bodies as I snicker. Poor, na├»ve soul. Lydia stares at wood paneling doing its best Munch impression and pushes on it. It opens in a rush of fog. Nope. No way. I'm not going down there. Alas, Lydia and Parrish don't heed my misgivings. Why Parrish allows Lydia to go with him and doesn't make her wait outside for backup is one of life's little mysteries. Inside they find the basement is now a freezer for dead bodies. Parrish: "That's not venison." Yep, it's Beacon Hills.

Which also means hospital shenanigans. Stiles and Scott get Liam to the hospital so Mama McCall takes over. Stiles goes to study with Malia, but Scott looks glum. Stiles: "Hey I don't need to say this wasn't your fault, right?" Scott: "I don't know." Stiles: "Scott, if you had used any wolf power that kid wouldn't be limping. He'd be crawling…back to the other half of his body." Scott: "If I hadn't been so worried about being captain, he wouldn't be hurt either." Stiles: "It's okay to want something for yourself once in a while - team captain, alpha werewolf. You're still only human." Aww. In this plot-deficient episode they are still the win. Their brotherhood is and will always be the pinnacle of Teen Wolf. Other than that, there's no reason to stay in Beacon Hills, which is exactly Mama Fox's point. Kira sabotages her Open House but at least History Dad now has a name. Hi Ken. Since this episode appears to be a montage of house jumping, it's Malia and Stiles' turn. It's a classic case of boy wants to study-girl wants to jump his bones. Stiles puts the brakes on and asks about her highlighting system. Malia: "Green is for the stuff I understand. Yellow is for I'm working on it. And red means I have no clue. I'm mostly using red." Aww, there's a reason Malia uses red even if it makes no sense for highlighting. (Neither does marking up text books like that. Whole other issue.) Stiles glances at his new Wall of Weird in case we missed that Malia's color scheme is exactly like it. He gives her a sweet look and kisses her, but this time she stops to study. She asks why math's hard. No clue, sweetie. Stiles says Lydia has great notes but not the ones she gave Malia, which look suspiciously like the gobbledy gook on No Mouth's laptop. Malia: "Then somebody needs to give me notes on Lydia's notes because I don't understand any of this." Stiles: "Okay, say Lydia wrote these." Malia: "Yeah. What are they?" Stiles: "They're not math." Duhn, duhn, duhn.

Back at the hospital, I finally care one iota about Liam. Mostly because his stepdad is the doctor from the first Mama McCall scene. His ankle does not look good. Liam: "It's broken and it's my fault." Doc: "You want to tell me what happened?" Liam: "I went up against 2 juniors, one was captain of the team." Doc: "Liam, remember what we always say. Play smart not hard." Scott overhears the conversation and takes it hard. Liam isn't much better. Liam: "You mad at me?" Doc: "No, of course not. Your mom might be mad at me for getting you into lacrosse, but maybe we should both wait for the X-ray before we panic. And trust me, I have more reason to panic that you." Aww, have I said how much I love parents on Teen Wolf? Welcome to the club, sir. This touching moment is interrupted by a frantic call from Lydia to Scott. She tells him to find Random Kid fast but he's not fast enough, since Mama McCall finds him munching Deputy Intestine. It's a delicacy. Random Kid: "I couldn't help it. I'm so hungry. I'm just so hungry." Mama McCall has been to this rodeo too many times, so she should really start running much faster. Scott arrives just as the psycho grabs her. Buddy, do NOT mess with Mama McCall or the whole pack'll descend on you. Scott and Random Kid tussle before Scott is thrown into the wall. Bingo space - check! Mama McCall: "I'm okay. I'm alright." Scott: "Are you sure?" Mama McCall: "Go get that SoB." Alas the SoB snatches Liam before taking dinner on the roof. Scott offers help but no dice. Random Kid: "Wendigos don't need help. We need food." Scott grabs Liam as Random Kid tosses him off the roof. I have zero idea why he wants his meal flattened or why he doesn't run while Scott's distracted, but it conveniently allows him to hold back Scott's arms so he has to catch Liam with his teeth. Ruh-roh. Luckily No Mouth takes out Random with his hatchet, but Liam's going to have a rough few days a month. Scott is going to emoangst forever. Sigh.

And thus ends the most fillery of all filler episodes Teen Wolf has ever done. It even out fillers the bowling episode in season 1. Teens - 1, Plot - 0 (until the end), Dahne - 0. (Deep sigh) While this was better in rewatch when I already knew nothing would happen for long stretches of time so I didn't expect anything, it still is chock full of things that simply did not move the plot forward. Similar to the season premiere, the pacing dragged for long minutes of time before popping in for 30 seconds of even less important filler and heading back to more lacrosse/teen romance wanking. Until the last 10 minutes, zero happened at all that mattered. Add in all the indistinguishable new blonde kids and it's even worse. While I wasn't a fan of Allison dying last season, I did like that they trimmed the cast down significantly. Teen Wolf was far too packed to allow enough screen time for all its many characters. That meant ones like Derek, Lydia, Coach, and Danny often got shafted in time and story. By cutting back the cast, I hoped they were going to develop the characters they already have. Instead we have Isaac 2.0, when I didn't even care about Isaac. No way I give 2 figs about Liam. Sean wasn't even worthy of a name for the majority of the episode and will always be Random Kid to me. As for Garrett, I agree with Stiles. Shut up! Even worse, we spent an infinite amount of time on lacrosse for no reason at all and we didn't even get Danny. How is that even possible? Argh! One reason why I love Teen Wolf (besides the frantic pace) is that for a teen show, it seldom feels teen. This episode refuted that. Most of the time I felt like I was watching an ABC Family drama. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, it's not what I signed up for with Teen Wolf and I wouldn't be watching the show anymore if it were. These teens have gone through too much to slip back into a season 1 mode. The new tagline is Can't Go Back, but that's exactly what they are doing and it's not to the show's benefit. If this is where we are heading this season, I am going to be sorely disappointed.

Grade: C- (up from a D- in first watch)

Best Scene - Braeden and Peter negotiate

Best Quote - Peter: "We're hiring you to find Kate, not assassinate the president."

Best Speech - Stiles tells Scott that it's okay to want something for himself

Best Question - Stiles: "Now what the hell are we even doing here anyway? We've got like 117 million problems and worrying about our status on the lacrosse team is not one of them." I have no idea, buddy.

Best Reason to Watch - fan live tweets, which were very funny and completely divided between loving and hating the episode

MVP - unusual pairings of Lydia and Parrish / Derek, Braeden, and Peter

Best Reason to Fast Forward - romance awkwardness / lacrosse

Best Moment - Stiles' face when Malia growls at him in math class

Biggest Disappointment - there was zero action

Best Character Interaction - Stiles and Malia / Derek, Braeden, and Peter

Strangest New Character - lacrosse, which has become the love triangle du jour

The Charlie Brown Award - Scott and Kira, who every time they speak all I hear is "wah, wah, wah"

Most Ambiguous Villain? - No Mouth, who killed the wendigos. So far it's a win but I have a feeling he gets less helpful as we progress.

Biggest Game Changer - Scott makes a beta….and we're stuck with Liam. Oh joy!

The "Hey, It's Good to See You for More than 30 Seconds" Award - Derek Hale. Seriously buddy, I was concerned you's age into Grandpa Derek and we'd never see you again.

Best Fan Tweets:

Manisha @vidjeti - #TeenWolf Can't believe I thought I missed all the lacrosse though I hope something comes of Kira's latent talent.

Riff Randle @animaniac23 - Yo Lydia could find a dead body in the middle of the ocean, 200 leagues down, inside a safe, that a whale swallowed and popped out

meaghan @meeaghansolo - wait is there more than one new white boy c'mon Jeff Davis I can't keep track of this sh**

Gen @genwithaG215 - Can they all just be terrible at lacrosse so they don't have to play it on this show anymore? #TeenWolf

Brady Begin @bradybegin - Tonight's episode has been sponsored by Nike, in case you're blind and/or missed it. #TeenWolf

Akela Cooper @AkelaCooper - Haha. We've got 99 problems and dead bodies are all of them, but damn it, gotta keep our spots on the team! #priorities #TeenWolf

Denise Salinas @kyuubified - Dear #TeenWolf hair and makeup; the 90's called, they want their econo tub of hair gel back.

How About No-gitsune @obrien_army - The Nogitsune eats what you feel...the Wendigo just eats you #Muted

lurrel @lurrel - Peter Hale is literally willing to murder rather than get a job #TeenWolf

Bobby J. Milagrosa @sumfinscookin - Aw. Poor Stiles. You'd think running away from supernaturals would give you better cardio.

Screencaps by

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", Sleepy Hollow "Headless," and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
Recent Reviews by Dahne (All Reviews)

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