'Teen Wolf': Playing the Field

Scott races to prevent an assassination during a high-tension lacrosse game in 'Teen Wolf' season 4, episode 5, 'I.E.D.'.

[This is a review of Teen Wolf season 4, episode 5. It contains SPOILERS.]


This week on Teen Wolf, murder comes to the lacrosse field (again) and more layers of the serial murder mystery get pulled back, though unfortunately the magical Aztec de-ageing closet from the first couple of episodes still has yet to be explained. Picking up from last week's revelation that certain members of the student body are actually highly-trained assassins who have come to town in order to cross names off a list of targets, 'I.E.D.' opens with yet another unfortunate werewolf getting picked off by decapitation expert Violet and her lacrosse-playing boyfriend, Garrett.

Such a gruesome murder calls for a big board with bits of red tape connecting potential victims and suspects (Jenko and Schmidt would be proud), as Beacon Hill's crack team of teenage investigators make a connection between the six-figure sums being handed out for the assassination of the town's supernatural population and the $117 million that was stolen from the Hale family vault. Another piece of the puzzle falls into place as a second keyword for the code is uncovered, and it's yet another victim of the nogitsune's nefarious adventures in season 3, Aiden.

Thanks to Garrett's very helpful decision to use a blade hidden in his lacrosse stick as a weapon, the gang are also able to narrow down the list of suspects and realize that a lacrosse player is involved with the killings. Luckily it's not like there are going to be at least three supernatural creatures playing lacrosse that evening... oh wait.

Teen Wolf - IED - screenshot 3

As Liam struggles to get his anger issues under control with the help of Derek, Stiles and Scott, a new challenge presents itself in the form of the lacrosse team from his old school, who are all pretty resentful about the fact that he wrecked their coach's car during a fit of rage. The leader of the pack (no pun intended) is Brett, yet another werewolf who may or may not be a member of the same pack as the two previous victims.

Teen Wolf's penchant for casting young, pretty white dudes becomes something of a problem during the lacrosse game, since Dylan Sprayberry (Liam), Mason Dye (Garrett) and Cody Saintgnue (Brett) all look confusingly similar. As a result, the meaningful looks that they all exchange during the game lose some of their meaning in the fight to figure out exactly which character is on screen. Glenn McCuen's character, Sean Walcott, was yet another example of this eerie clone invasion, but luckily for us (though not for Sean) he was killed off before he had a chance to join the lacrosse team.

Speaking of casting, newcomer Khylin Rambo (who played Dink Meeker in the recent adaptation of Ender's Game) seems to have been slotted into the gay-best-friend-of-angry-jock role that Danny Mahealani filled for the first three seasons. Danny, along with Isaac and Jackson, has been rather awkwardly cut from the show, reportedly because showrunner Jeff Davis didn't think there was anything left for the character to do. If that's true then it seems a little counter-intuitive to simply insert a slightly different character into Danny's old place, but it certainly fits with the overall sense that season 4 of Teen Wolf is attempting to resurrect the spirit of season 1.

Teen Wolf - IED - screenshot 1

As mentioned before, the de-ageing and re-ageing of Derek Hale remains unexplained, but during Derek's brief appearances in this episode he does add a new element to the mystery: in addition to the color change of his eyes, he also seems to be losing his werewolf abilities. Never underestimate the power of vague Aztec magic.

The Calaveras also make a comeback in 'I.E.D.' in order to harass poor Chris Argent, who is trying to hunt down his own sister and take her to werejaguar prison. Their return isn't exactly a reason to cheer, since the season 4 premiere was the weakest episode of this season (and possibly the entire show) so far, and the way that Araya Calavera was written played a big part in making that episode as cringeworthy as it was.

A final plot development worth mentioning is the reveal that Deputy Parrish is some form of supernatural being, a fact that would have been more shocking had it not already been foreshadowed to death. Back in season 3 we put down some (hypothetical) money on him being a chupacabra, but feel free to throw out your own guesses in the comments.

Teen Wolf returns next Monday with ‘Orphaned′ @10PM on MTV. Watch the promo below.

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