BY MERCEDES MARKS
“Orphaned” opens up on Kate Argent and a slew of bloody wreckage. And gosh, I missed that werewolf hunting little firebug. Her return this season and her transformation into a weremonster grappling for control has made her the seasonal baddie I love to watch and can’t quite bring myself to hate. Kate, like Team Teen Wolf, is looking for the Benefactor, and she doesn’t care who she needs to go through to find them.
At Beacon Hills High, Scott is still dealing with last week’s lacrosse debacle. Violet is carted away, and Scott takes Liam on a sidequest to track down her main squeeze and fellow assassin Garrett. Garrett remains M.I.A., but Scott does find his stash of deadpool earnings and surreptitiously lies to Liam about the score. The reason for this is revealed quickly after, when Scott sits glumly in his room listening to his mother beg collectors not to shut down their power.
It’s an interesting dilemma for Scott, whose moral centre and whose relationship with his mom have always been heartlines of Teen Wolf. Does he give the money back to Peter Hale, whom it belongs to, but who sure as hell doesn’t deserve it? Or use it to help his mom, despite the act’s divergence from his lawful, good tendencies?
If Stiles were around, I’m sure he’d push Scott to take the money and never look back, but he’s busy with Derek and Deaton (still the coolest veterinarian of all-time), working to save the werewolf Garrett tried to ice at the lacrosse game. When Deaton realizes he is part of an ancient pack, Derek becomes determined to warn them about the deadpool. However, with his werewolf powers still draining, he needs a bit of help, so he sneaks onto school property (of course) and pulls Malia out of class.
Malia and Derek might be my favourite team of the season yet. They both have a kind of deadpan straightforwardness that reminds me they are definitely related, even if neither one knows it yet. And when they eventually track down the pack and they are all dead, Malia asks one of the most sensible questions on Teen Wolf since Jackson demanded where Scott was getting his juice: Why doesn’t everyone just leave Beacon Hills and never look back?!It must be a murder capitol of the tri-state area by this point.
Garrett resurfaces to kidnap Liam and throw him down a well, holding him as collateral until Scott helps him recover Violet. Scott agrees, but when the two of them arrive, the transport car has been overturned, Violet has been taken, and there are beserkers on the scene. Garrett gets skewered, and Scott gets a little stabbed too, but luckily he has Deaton to patch him up–and Chris Argent to get him there! He’s on the hunt for his sister Kate, so as soon Scott is on his feet, they head back, since Kate is rarely far from where her beserker minions lurk. Unfortunately, his confrontation skills remain a little rusty, and things quickly devolve into an all out melee, during which Scott discovers a very dead Violet, and a sinking realization that with both her and Garrett, he has no way to find Liam.
Liam may be trapped in a well, but he’s working to get out, endlessly trying to scale the rocks, Dark Knight Rises style. When frustration overtakes him, he roars, and Scott hears him and rushes to his rescue. Deaton tends to Liam (seriously, what would these kids do without him?), and Scott makes the grim, bold statement that he won’t let anyone on the deadpool list get hurt, which is so Scott McCall that I want to simultaneously cheer for him and shake my head at his idealism.
While everyone else has been tramping around the woods getting in fights and discovering corpses, Stiles and Lydia have been working to unlock the third part of the deadpool list. They seek out Meredith, but she either can’t or won’t help them out of fear of the Benefactor. And considering Mer doesn’t make it out of the episode alive, perhaps that fear was well placed.
Lydia and Stiles struggle to crack the code, trying names of fallen friends in adherence with the pattern so far, until it dawns on them that they have been gleaning this information from banshee magic, and that a banshees skill lies in predicting death, so the third cipher could be somebody who isn’t dead–yet. Lydia takes a breath and types in a name: Derek. It works. And it’s perhaps the most focused demonstration of Lydia’s powers that we’ve seen thus far.
Does this mean inevitable death for Derek Hale? There are rumours flying that there will be a major death this season, and Beacon Hill’s grumpiest werewolf has dodged quite a few silver bullets already. And what’s with Malia being listed as “Hale” instead of “Tate” on the deadpool? The list of people who know her true lineage is still awfully small (even Malia herself remains in the dark). And where the heck was Kira all episode?!
“Orphaned” was an episode that shifted a lot of game pieces, and raised a lot of questions, but ultimately felt kind of disjointed. But like Scott, I remain idealistic, though. With all three ciphers cracked, Scott McCall on a mission, and a diabolical alliance made between Kate and Peter Hale in the final forty seconds, I’m looking forward to a big payoff next week!
Top Line: “I’m worth five dollars?!” — Deputy Parrish
Top MTV Twitter Hashtag: #thinklikestiles
MVP: Dr. Alan Deaton