Sunday, September 7, 2014

Teen Wolf - A Promise to the Dead - Recap and Episode Awards

Previously…the Fratellis wanted Kate but we got stuck with her instead, a Mexican church housed more bones than Beacon Hills, the dead pool list was anticlimactically just over and the fandom went "Huh," and Peter wanted to kill Scott and the fandom went "what's new." Such goes this season.

In the PENULTIMATE episode (yes I feel the need to capitalize a lot this recap), a new psycho supernatural holds a random non-blonde in a body bag in a meat locker. I have zero idea why they introduce a new bad this late in the game but at least it's not another teen blonde. He pets her hair, while explaining that food tastes better when frightened. Oh joy. Most likely he's another wendigo but at this point who knows? He yells at her to open her eyes. I yell at Jeff Davis for this mess of a season. Yet in the distance, both Random Brunette and I find hope. It's….Deaton? And he's kicking butt? Well woo hoo!!! Cannibal attacks via meat hook, which promptly gets caught in a side of beef. Ha! No brain trust, this one. Deaton knocks him to his knees with a swift baton, so Cannibal begs for his life. "No wait, stop. The dead pool's over. You're not going to get paid. It's over." Thanks for pointing out that waste of time, buddy. Deaton: "I'm not here to kill you, Patrick. I'm taking you back to Eichen House, where they know all about your culinary practices." Wow, they weren't kidding about the violent offender wing, but that means Eichen House staff know about the supernatural. No wonder Morrell is chief counselor and also, they're screwed. They're one asylum breakout from a season 5 plot twist. At Eichen House, PsychDoc thanks Deaton as they walk through a hall of supernatural creatures. So far this walk is more interesting than 70% of season 4. Deaton demands to see one Dr. Valack, but given PsychDoc's reluctance I say err on the side of caution. PsychDoc: "The last person who went to see Valack left the room, but not the building." Well that's ominous. Deaton insists.

Valack resides in a plastic cage like any good ubervillain, where his only entertainment is trashy romance novels. Don't blame him for going a little insane but self-trepanation is a bit much. Perhaps he couldn't get any brain bleach. Deaton introduces himself but Valack already knows about Kate and La Loba, the bone woman. Intriguing, as is Deaton's reason for coming. Apparently he promised the woman he loved to look after Derek. It's not that I care about a Talia dalliance but Deaton's track record of helping Derek, especially as an alpha, is downright abysmal. Way to not be an emissary to Derek at all, to not even try post-Hale fire. You've sucked as a resource to Derek Hale, sir. Sucked out loud. Valack snarks about romance novels and he's instantly more entertaining than all the dead pool story put together. Please say you're part of season 5. Unwrapping his bloody head bandage, he insists Deaton come closer to "see" what he knows. Deaton scoffs at his psychic powers. Um dude, it's Beacon Hills. That's the least unbelievable thing yet. Over my protests, Deaton creeps closer until we're both staring into Valack's cranial cavity. Thanks Deaton. As he inches forward, an eye opens INSIDE Valack's head. Ulgh! Thanks Triclops. I'll have nightmares about you all week. Maybe I should try Liam's technique. No, not bore me into an unwitting coma. Liam chooses to play hours of video games with Mason until he insists on going home to study. Mason again is sympathetic. Liam again shuts him out. 92nd verse same as the first. As Liam goes to bed, he's nervous about turning off the lights, mostly because he sees a berserker constantly. He yells out that it isn't real and one light turned on later, he sees he's right. Derek isn't sleeping either, although Braeden does just fine until the alarm goes off. It's eye candy all around as the half-naked duo get out the guns. Surprise! It's Lydia with a banshee wake up call. Never a good sign.

Back at the McCall House of Money Woes, Scott has issues himself. Mama McCall finds the Blood Money Gym Bag under Scott's bed. Because it was so well hidden. Oh Scott, you've got some 'splainin' to do. He apologizes for being late, citing extra shifts at the vet job I thought he abandoned months ago. Frankly, I thought Deaton was pity paying him gas money. Scott: "Got more hours to earn a little extra…money." Mama McCall looks at the duffle's thousands. "How much more did you need?" Busted! Scott recaps its origins. Mama: "This belongs to Derek. So you're just, uh, keeping it safe for him in a gym bag underneath your bed." Oh Mama McCall, you're the best. Scott admits he kept it too long as the episode's best scene hits full gear. Mama asks why he waited and he admits he's worried about their money situation. Mama: "Oh Scott, you can save people's lives but you cannot save them from life. Life is full of struggles." Best Yoda ever! Scott: "Do you know what just one of these can do? Uh, this gets us a new roof, and…and this pays for Stiles' MRI. This pays for Eichen House and this one means you don't have to work the double shift at the hospital and come home totally exhausted." Mama hands him a stack of money literally covered in blood. "What about this one?" Ouch! It hits Scott hard. He looks at her and nods. Awww, I love these two. Scott dutifully returns the cash, but Derek is unruffled. Scott wonders why he isn’t mad but Derek understands minimum wage blues. "Everyone can be tempted Scott. Even a true alpha." Blech. It also helps that none of the money is his. It's Peter's. Scott asks where his money is, making me laugh when he confuses Derek's answer for another underground vault. Don't blame you, Scott. I figured he kept it under the floorboards. Apparently Derek should teach econ at Beacon Hills High because he actually uses banks and real estate investments instead of vaults and duffle bags for his cash flow. Good on you, sir.

Before leaving, Scott mentions Lydia's visit and I'm irked we never saw Derek's reaction. Scott says Deaton is searching for answers to save his life but Scott has more faith in him than I do, especially when he wakes in a wacky bone crypt complete with berserker spear. Fun times. Zooming out, PsychDoc stares over an unconscious Deaton. Uh oh. When the doc said avoid Triclops, he meant it. Deaton may not leave Eichen House anytime soon. Unlike Malia and Stiles who still have sleepovers. I can't believe Sheriff's cool with Malia staying over every night. I don't care about her background or that it's Beacon Hills. He's the sheriff. This is not Dawson's Creek and it sure isn't Twilight. Can it! Malia's less concerned about Child Protective Services and more upset about missing extra math study time. Stiles won't wake up for lacrosse practice or tutoring. Malia: "If I'm going to watch an entire lacrosse game, you better not suck." Ha! I feel the same way, Malia. Sadly I think a sucky game of lacrosse is in both our futures. She pleads that if she doesn't pass math, she won't be a senior with them next year. Huh? I call shenanicanon. How is she that old? After digging in Teen Wolf Wikia, it appears Malia is 13 and 15 and 16 and 17 and 18 per Teen Wolf lore. Good to know, show. Nothing like making your own canon clear as mud. I swear this show takes place in 2016. But Teen Wolf can't be bogged down by mundane timeline issues when there are make out sessions to begin. Malia, getting nowhere traditionally, kisses Stiles awake. He protests since he hasn't brushed his teeth, but Malia doesn't care. I'm far more interested in the PlexiWall of Death, which shows Malia told Stiles about the Desert Wolf. Maybe they are beyond the secrets now. One can only hope.

Presumably Stiles did get up as Malia's all smiles after earning a C- on her test, guaranteeing that she'll be a senior too. She thanks Lydia. "Your notes are great when they're not written in code." Ha! Lydia's less impressed, as is Coach since Malia got an F on the econ test. Lydia promises to send notes for it too. Kira notices Lydia's distracted by notes on Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Ford's net worth when they died. I'd be too since it's hundreds of billions. Yikes! Kira: "It's over. Computers are off. No more assassins, no more murders, no one's dying." Oh, Kira the Naïve. Lydia: "Not yet." Yep, that's more like Beacon Hills. Sadly girl time ends so Liam can be a complete douche to Mason, round 32. Liam puts 300 lbs of weight on the bar (he's apparently not trying to hide his super strength) and then mouths off to Mason, who is just trying to help. At this point, Mason should find other friends. Even the teen assassins treated him better. Again Liam's rattled by berserker recapitations and panics, pinned down by the weight. Scott to the rescue, so we can't be rid of him even after he's a douche to Mason yet again. Scott: "If you don't want to be with us that's okay, but don't push your friends away too." Better yet, move. Mercifully, the scene changes to Argent stalking Kate's sewer. I swear they need apartments down there. It's getting crowded. Peter shows up too and they trade Kate-tracking tips. Argent went with science; Peter went with collusion. Oh Peter, don't give away your complicity yet. You need to be the final season super villain. A berserker joins the party and the fun begins. Well not for Argent. Peter: "Unfortunately while I promised Kate that I wouldn't kill you, I also can't let you leave." He plunges rebar into Argent's abdomen and bends it to pin him to the wall. Peter: "Now you rest here awhile. You've had a hard time for a very long time." Awww, poor Argent.

Only slightly less painful is Scott McCall planning a first date. He takes Kira to…Derek's underfurnished loft? Um, who thought this was a good idea? Scott, consult your mama or Lydia before making future plans. At least he remembers Kira's a kitsune, so he has her turn on the lights. Awww, he decorated with hanging light bulbs, so there's that. Stiles is no better at dating since he loaned Kira Star Wars for their first date movie. I love Star Wars but not as a date movie, especially since it's Stiles and Scott's inside joke. Nothing like thinking about your buddy on a first date. Besides, Derek has no TV. Great planning all around. They find a laptop but Scott's confused about the numbering since the first movie is labeled #4. He's got a valid point. Alas instead of running Star Wars commentary, Scott and Kira round the bases until Kate and her berserkers interrupt. Nice timing. Over in the land of normal, Sheriff interrupts Stiles and Malia studying - yes, actually studying. He's come to take them to dinner, but Stiles brings up more money woes. "Dad, I don't think a man in your debt should be treating anyone to anything." Surprise! The Eichen House debt is gone as quickly as it began. They canceled all money owed as an apology for Stiles and Lydia almost getting killed by CrazyPants DoucheOrderly. Stiles: "I have never been so happy to have almost been murdered." Ha! If every place in Beacon Hills canceled debt for near murder, there'd be zero money issues. Sheriff: "At least for the moment, I can afford to take my son and his girlfriend out to dinner. Malia, what's your favorite food?" Malia: "Deer." Stiles: "Pizza. She likes pizza." BWAAAHHH!!! Funniest moment of the night! I adore these guys together. My feelings take a sharp turn at YET ANOTHER Liam and Mason playing videos scene. Mason: "I know you don't want to talk about it, but you're still my best friend. And um, considering the fact that the last good friend I made turned out to be a professional killer, I'm thinking that I don't have too many options for new ones. So when you're ready to talk, talk." Oh Mason, the assassins treated you better. Run while you can.

Unfortunately that's not an option for Scott and Kira. Scott gets thrown in a game of berserker catch while Kate kicks Kira to the wall, as action comes back to Teen Wolf. Kate and Scott go one-on-one, complete with werewolf gymnastics. Kira instead grabs a chain and tries to defeat a berserker with it. It doesn't go well. I know she didn't bring her sword, but why does everyone forget that she can electrocute this freak? What's the point of being a kitsune if you don't use it to your advantage? Besides Kira's one of the few that has an actual mentor to train her. Do you even talk with your mom, Kira? With Kira down it all depends on Scott, who being a true alpha must of course be taken down by a mere werejag. Sigh. Better to be human than an alpha on this show. Scott asks what Kate wants, which is answers. "The Argent family has been around for over 400 years. A powerful, wealthy aristocratic family of werewolf hunters, but yet somehow, in less than a year, this great family is decimated by a teenage boy. So my question is simple. What in the hell is so special about Scott McCall?" Not much at this point, sadly. I'd blame the crazy running through your genes though, Kate. Scott says to leave the others alone, but no dice. Kate channels her inner Peter: "Oh no, we're all going. We're all going to church." Oh joy. Um, scratch that. I'd happily go with Kate if only to avoid YET ANOTHER reassuring Liam scenes. This time it's Stiles. Liam flips over Scott being late to the lacrosse game. I side eye the idea of more lacrosse. Nothing good's come from it this season. Happily Coach breaks into the conversation as Stiles explains that both Scott and Kira will be late for the game. Hey, wait a minute. Scott planned his date for BEFORE the game? Face palm. Yep, definitely need a dating coach. His real coach is not happy either and demands to know what they're doing. Stiles hems and haws about them having sex. Coach: "What could Scott and Kira be doing right now that's more important than playing in the first game?" Stiles: "Oh Coach." Ha!

Since this season is all about Liam, he has his own lacrosse groupie. Someone must love emoangsting. He continues kvetching about Scott being gone until Stiles finally asks if it's the full moon, which conveniently is tomorrow, that's bothering him. (Hello season finale plot twist.) Nope, more berserker hallucinations. Suddenly Triclops trepanation sounds enjoyable. Stiles reassures Liam again, but he's also worried about Scott given his frantic text messaging. As nothing of importance can happen in this PENULTIMATE episode, Liam talks lacrosse and Stiles says he's been practicing. Cue Stiles being a complete failure on the field. I'm sure this should be funny, but again complete failure. Stiles gets sacked and decides to call Scott again. Anything to get away from lacrosse. Stiles ditches the game with his dad to go find an unanswering Scott and Kira. Can I go with? No such luck. He leaves after reassuring Liam AGAIN, but Liam sees berserkers on the field. Oh and Tall Prep Blond is there. Never thought I'd be excited to see him, but he plows Liam down and tells him to get his head out of his butt. Thanks, Tall Prep Blond. PTSD is a serious issue, but for the love of entertainment, it is already old. I'd rather wake in Mexico on a bed of corpses like Kira than watch more lacrosse, especially given how shortchanged Lydia is onight. She shows up at Eichen House, which is now easy to both get in and out of I guess. PsychDoc wants to transfer Deaton to a more permanent room, but Lydia protests. "You're not taking him anywhere." Doctor: "Well unless you're family, I don't think you can make that decision." Lydia: "We're close enough." Aww, love how this pack is indeed a family. PsychDoc warns that Deaton may not be able to hear her. Lydia: "Trust me on this. He'll hear me." And then…nothing. Are you kidding me? We go through umpteen versions of Liam's issues and don't even get to see Lydia communicate with Deaton. Foul! Foul on that play!

Meanwhile in Kate's Cramped Sewer, Parrish joins the fun. He followed Peter and discovers Argent, who tells him to warn Scott. Alas, the new "it" spot has no cell service and Parrish won't leave Argent. Aww, you're a complete idiot, Parrish. Go up, call 911, call Scott, and then go back down. It's not like Argent will be better off if you get him unpinned with no ambulance there to help. In fact, basic emergency training says unpinning him will make him bleed out faster. Again, Beacon Hills emergency training for all. Sigh. Common Sense wails with neglect this season. Argent wails in pain as Parrish tries to unbend the rebar. Parrish: "I need you to help me. I know you're hurt and you're tired, but I need you to gather everything you've got and help me." Argent: "I've got nothing left. Please. Just go. We're running out of time." Parrish counters that Argent needs adrenaline and since he's not going to get it with fear, he needs to get angry. Argent: "I'm too tired to be angry." Parrish: "Okay, I don't know much about you or what you've been through, but Lydia told me some of it and I know about Allison. I know how she felt about Scott and I think if she knew what was happening to him, she'd be pretty angry. At least angry enough to try one more time to get the hell out of here. So whatever trigger you need - if it's Allison or your sister or Peter - use it. Use it right now!" Way to pep talk your way into Argent bleeding out, sir. All snarking aside, I'm back on the Parrish bandwagon. Kudos to both Ryan Kelly and JR Bourne for great acting! While I do think Parrish is overlauded in the Teen Wolf fandom, this scene was fantastic. Add in his eyes glowing orange when freeing Argent from the wall, and he's easily the most intriguing regular character of the night.

Peter is fun too. He joins the lacrosse audience to Malia's chagrin. "I told you not to come here." Peter: "If you want to have a clandestine meeting, you need to choose a clandestine location." Huh? Malia doesn't need any more daddy-daughter time, but Peter comes with news about her mom. Alas he's only willing to share if Malia kills Kate for him. Malia: "Do you always have to get something in return?" Peter: "When it's something I can't do on my own, yes." At least he's honest and far more fun than Liam. As if Jeff Davis is purposely trying my patience, Whiny Liam is back, this time with a pep talk from Tall Prep Blond. If you're counting, that means Liam's been reassured by Mason (several times), Scott, Stiles, and TPB in one episode. ARGH%@#%^&#$! TPB sings the virtues of True Alpha Scott McCall, making me want to vomit a bit, and tells Liam to count his blessings. TPB: "You're not strong because you can lift a lot of weight now. You’re strong because you endure." Um, say what? I wouldn't call it enduring as much as making everyone else's life miserable with his self-pity. Including mine. TPB tells Liam he's lucky to have Scott, but Liam kvetches about Scott not being by his side. Die. Just die already. Back at the Abandoned Loft of WereJag Shenanigans, Stiles and Sheriff join Braeden and Derek. They're stumped at what happened but Lydia along with an awake Deaton (again, we didn't get to see that scene - oh hell no) fill in the pieces. Kate took Scott and Kira to Mexico. Road trip to the home of the Fratelli's again. After all, Teen Wolf must get its money's worth from that set. Scott awakes tied to a bone altar with a simple belt. Not sure why he can't loosen his arms at least. Then he could stop Kate from babbling about Artemis and Actaeon in Greek mythology. Blah, blah, blah, Actaeon is turned into a deer. She lifts up a berserker skull. Scott: "What are you doing?' Kate: "Oh I'm not going to turn you into a deer, but you are about to become something unrecognizable to your friends. They won't know what they're fighting or killing." Scott protests as she places the skull on his face. Uh oh!

If I only had one word to describe this episode, it would be boring. As in yawn inducing, mind numbing, may be the worst episode of all, "how the heck is this the penultimate episode?" boredom. This episode suffers greatly from "Too Much, Not Enough" syndrome. 1. Way, way, way too much of Liam and not enough of Lydia or Derek or Malia or Stiles or Team Parent or everyone else on this show. Unless Liam goes to Mexico and attacks Scott the berserker this plot has zero importance and even if he does, we got it the first 3 times. No need to continue. 2. Too much romance, not enough action. This is the penultimate episode for goodness sakes. Did we really need to watch Scot and Kira's hapless first date? Did we need to watch Malia kiss Stiles awake? I realize you killed the 10 episode story arc and still have 2 episodes left, but for the love of my sanity, act like this is the penultimate episode and not the epilogue. 3. In fact too much human woes, not enough mytharc scenes. Cutting out Lydia actually getting her banshee skills to work was a h-u-g-e mistake. Instead we get finance issues in at least 3 scenes, more berserker hallucinations than anyone should have to sit through, a completely pointless school scene, and yes, more lacrosse. Argh! I didn't think anything could top the utter mundanity of episode 3 but this is worse by the sheer factor of its episode placement. Even the best scenes were largely filler in an episode made almost exclusively from packing peanuts. Jeff Davis, please stop. Just stop. Let's pretend season 4 is a bad nematon-induced nightmare. Please.

Grade - D-

Only Important Scenes - Kate tries to make Scott a berserker / possibly Triclops if he continues in season 5

Best Scene - Mama McCall confronts Scott about the money

Best Quote - Mama McCall: "Oh Scott, you can save people's lives but you cannot save them from life. Life is full of struggles."

MVP - Parrish / Malia

Best Reason to Watch - none, just watch the previouslies next episode to get caught up

Most Overdone - Jeff, I promise you shoving Liam down my throat like this is NOT helping. I didn't think I could care less about the kid until this episode. You keep pushing new lows. A full quarter of an episode devoted to Sappy Blond is about a quarter too much.

Funniest Scene - Sheriff invites Stiles and Malia to dinner

Most Interesting - Triclops, who may end up the best villain of the whole season

Best Sign - looks like money woes will end as quickly as they came. Good riddance.

Most Gratuitous Eye Candy - Braeden in her underwear with a gun

Screencaps by TV Fanatic, Pinterest, Show Spoilers, and Teen Wolf Wikia.

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."
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