Teen Wolf season 4 episode 6 review: Orphaned

Orphaned welcomes back a great villain for a particularly blood-thirsty episode of Teen Wolf. Here's Ron's review...

This review contains spoilers.

4.6 Orphaned

I think the decision to bring back Kate Argent for the role of this season’s big-bad has turned out to be a great one. Jill Wagner is phenomenal as the show’s bad guy, and the denouement after the blistering fight scene between Scott and Chris Argent and Kate’s berserkers was a brilliant bit of television, if only because it’s the scene that launched a thousand “Halegent” ships. That’s right, Kate and Peter, two of the biggest baddies in Teen Wolf‘s run, are apparently joining forces – presumably only to double cross one another once final victory over the forces of good is achieved. She’s really a natural fit for Peter: obsessed, violent, a bit vain, and apparently very difficult to kill.

However, Teen Wolf has made it clear that Peter and Kate might be dangerous, but I don’t believe either of them are the mysterious Benefactor. After all, Peter’s broke and Kate’s Kate, and she doesn’t need to pay people to kill for her, not when she has her pals the berserkers at her disposal. So, the Benefactor is clearly neither of them (unless it’s all a Peter plot, which is feasible despite his name being on the Dead Pool). Maybe it’s a returning Darach? Maybe it’s Kira’s mom? Maybe it’s… well, it could be a lot of different people (though probably not Coach, it could definitely be Danny or maybe even Jackson). This isn’t a show that’s afraid to bring back villains, even ones thought dead, so there’s a list of folks it could be.

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Super villain team-up aside, Teen Wolf goes for a very, very high body count in Orphaned this week, with dozens of people being found in various states of death or mutilation, from a misery-induced hanging (RIP Meredith and great work Maya Eshet, you were spectacularly freaky) to what looked like a mass poisoning (Beacon Hills has more than one werewolf pack… er, had) and Kate Argent doing what Kate Argent does (killing a horde of bounty hunters who were trying, and failing, to stop her). That’s not counting Violet getting tortured, Sheriff Stilinski and Agent McCall getting mangled, and Liam getting thrown into the well from The Ring after a poisoning. There was a pretty high amount of violent content this week, and the show’s better for it.

You’ve had your romance, your coming-of-age story, your struggles for power, and your WWII revenge tale, but very rarely has Teen Wolf become and outright action movie. From what we’ve seen thus far of season four, and what we’ve seen of teasers for the rest of the season, this is shaping up to be the Aliens of the Teen Wolf multiverse, and it’s pretty clear that Jeff Davis is enjoying that. This week revels in violence, and while there are some good character beats (Lydia seems to be taking on the bulk of the dramatic moments this season, agonizing as she is over Meredith’s death), the episode is mostly about characters like Kate and Garrett making threats and putting lives in danger and lots of kill-fighting from folks like the Orphans. (Violet and Garrett are apparently well-known serial murderers who named their gang after one from The Warriors.)

Basically, it’s an opportunity for Russell Mulcahy and Teen Wolf‘s special effects team to show off. Kate Argent’s transformation scenes have improved, and her character’s were-design looks much cooler than, say, the lizard man from the second season did. The berserk are also great-looking characters, even when compared to the simpler, creepier design of the Oni from last year. The berserkers are campier, and that’s part of the fun. They’re like Power Rangers villains, in the best way possible, and a good counterpoint to scarier villains like The Mute from previous murder scenes.

There’s a certain amount of cheese that’s to be expected from Teen Wolf. As Liam struggles to climb out of the well, you know at the end of the episode Scott’s going to take him by the arm and help him over the top. You know that if Braeden is mangled by attackers, Derek is going to be there to help her. You know that Peter and Kate are going to size one another up in a creepy storm drain after some villainous jawing. It’s just part of the show’s charm, brains and heart and fun and scares in equal measure. In the end, the right folks win, and while some friends might die and people might suffer, good always triumphs eventually—even if it’s only for a season or two before Jeff Davis brings the bad guys back for a second go-around.

Read Ron’s review of the previous episode, I.E.D., here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is very excited by the chaos-filled promise of Teen Wolf’s fourth season. Just when you thought it couldn’t get crazier, apparently there’s plagues and hunter wars and more on the horizon. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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