The Benefactor is supposed to be some big reveal but I can’t help but feel cheated. Cheated of this great big reveal only for it to mean absolutely nothing because I was too busy trying to make sense of what the hell actually happened this episode. There were convoluted plots that were poorly explained, awful pacing and awkward edits. I’m declaring it: this episode is the worst episode of recent memory for Teen Wolf, even after it started out so strong.
What’s so freaking problematic about this is that it just feels off. I’m sure the editors did their best with such a choppy script that we can blame the show runner and writers for. With everything except the performances, everything is slightly off and not up to caliber, which is odd because the beginning is so exceptional.
Our assassin/victim of the week is Haig and Parrish, two deputies on different sides of the same coin. Parrish has been knocked down and zip tied to a Sheriff’s car as Haig pours gasoline and lights him on fire because of money. It always comes down to money. Back at the office, Lydia and Stiles are updating the Sheriff on the Benefactor when Parrish, naked and covered in ash, busts in to beat the hell out of Haig. During the struggle, the Sheriff is shot as everyone stares at Parrish’s surprisingly hot and fit form.
Clothed at Derek’s loft (and in Derek’s clothing?), Parrish is informed that he’s something, but they aren’t sure what. He cutely assumes everyone is psychic like Lydia and cannot understand what a kanima is; unofficially, Parrish is part of the team!
But before we get too excited, remember we have an injured Sheriff on our hands. We get a very lovely scene between Stiles and the Sheriff, at the hospital, about money problems and taking care of one another. It’s really welcomed because they haven’t had a lot of screen time together, especially alone, this season. (Though, wouldn’t the department pay for this hospital bill?).
This is when things go from pretty good to terribly confusing to downright awful.
The first thing I noticed: the credits. Only a handful of those credited are named, sparser out. The actors are, but it isn’t until more than midway through the episode that more credits are dished out. Like they were too embarrassed to name everyone for this episode, or wanted to ensure that those who gif won’t have credits in the important parts. This honestly bothered me.
The second thing is how this long exposition about Lydia’s grandmother comes out of nowhere. Like, last week we learn she had a grandmother, and then this week, we get this ridiculous mess. Which ended up being one giant misdirect on what Lydia thought had happened.
It’s just a giant, convoluted mess about a woman we didn’t even know mattered until last episode. See, Lydia gives her grandmother some back-story that doesn’t work because we don’t see it. It’s just words with people we’ve never met before. These kinds of reveals were useful in past seasons when we actually saw the action, but instead we get Lydia narrating the events. See, Lorraine Martin was in love with a woman named Maddy, with whom they shared a lake house. Lorraine was away on business in San Francisco (I love that they add she worked for IBM, as if it proves she may be evil) when she got this terrible feeling: she heard rain and thunder so loud she screamed. Her lover was dead.
To figure out what happened, she enlisted a bunch of parapsychologists and built the study in the lake house. All were failures until they found Meredith in Eichen House, who ended up going insane from trying to help. It’s such a big lie because, guess what? I’m ripping off the band aid early: Meredith is the Benefactor. And guess what? That band aid was keeping Teen Wolf from bleeding out.
See, in addition to this crazy reveal we get a weirdly, weirdly structured episode. Point number 3: the pacing is way, way off. Frankly, it’s bad. The two things that are supposed to happen are the lacrosse bonfire and Lydia and Stiles’ search for Lorraine’s code. And these things do not go well.