[This is a review of Teen Wolf season 4, episode 6. It contains SPOILERS.]
It's not easy being a supernatural creature in Beacon Hills at the best of times, and the addition of a couple of bloodthirsty teenage assassins doesn't make things any easier in the latest episode of Teen Wolf, 'Orphaned'. The title refers to the assassins themselves, Garrett and Violet, a pair of orphans who apparently took up the art of murder in order to make up for a lack of parental love. Therapy might have been a better path.
Like the silent assassin from previous episodes (who has the creative moniker, 'The Mute'), Garrett and Violet are gone before their backstory really has a chance to get interesting. It's a shame, since the concept of having all different kinds of assassins coming to Beacon Hills has a lot of potential that hasn't really been played out yet. Luckily, Teen Wolf has a whole basket full of other subplots to throw in when things get quiet.
Among the subplots that make a comeback this week is Kate Argent and her pair of ancient Aztec bodyguards, who join the hunt for the mysterious Benefactor and his stolen millions. Jill Wagner gets a chance to add a little more depth to the character, who so far has been a fairly one-note villain, as Kate and Chris finally meet again for the first time since her "death," and it's made clear that she isn't quite all the way to becoming a monster yet. Just most of the way.
In another corner of Beacon Hills (specifically, down a well) Liam gets some character development as he is poisoned by Garrett and left to scramble his way to the surface before the wolfsbane reaches his heart. It provides a nice underlying thread of tension to an otherwise quite jumbled episode, in which the various members of Teen Wolf's expert supernatural crime-fighting team split off into pairs in order to investigate disparate parts of the ongoing mystery.
For Derek and Malia, this means pursuing the pack of werewolves who have already had their ranks decimated by the assassins. It's revealed that the pack is led by Satomi, an elderly werewolf who played a brief part in a flashback episode from season 3 and therefore would probably have benefited from a more detailed reminder of who exactly she is. Her pack of Buddhist werewolves (yes, you read that right) have been hiding out in the Beacon Hills nature preserve, and the discovery of their corpses allows for a nice, subtle emotional moment for Derek that ties into his backstory.
The next pair is Stiles and Lydia, who return to Eichen House in order to further harass the second of Beacon County's two known banshees, Meredith, in order to obtain the key for the final part of the deadpool. It eventually transpires that the word is "Derek," which is only a few steps up from Archer's running gag of every password being "Guest." Considering the fact that the Benefactor is supposed to be an expert in mystery and concealment, the fact that he failed to even add a few bits of punctuation or a couple of numbers into each keywork (for example, "$D3r3k") isn't going to do his reputation much good.
Stiles and Lydia are joined by Deputy Parrish, who remains one of the more interesting characters on the show purely because there's still a question mark over his supernatural status. In fact, it's unclear if Parrish is even aware that he's not all the way human. Whatever he turns out to be, there's a pretty good chance that it will include Teen Wolf's stock monster effects of glowing eyes and sharp teeth.
Aside from the removal of Garrett and Violet from the picture, the other major development of 'Orphaned' was Lydia's prediction that Derek will be the next major character to bite the dust. It's certainly not out of the question (there's been a sense that the writers have been running out of things for Derek to do for some time now), but since death in Beacon Hills is only about as debilitating as a head cold, this could just be a ploy to keep fans watching for the rest of the season. Let's hope there's more to season 4 than just bad omens, however, because right now Teen Wolf is struggling to remain watchable.
Teen Wolf returns next Monday with ‘Weaponized′ @10PM on MTV. Watch the promo below.