Teen Wolf: Muted (04×03)
By Elise Kulik
Synopsis: Whilst Stilinski investigates a murder, Scott has his place on the Lacrosse team threatened by a freshman.
We start out this week with a babyfaced blonde teenage boy we haven’t seen before looking for his cat (Willow) outside at night. After he can’t find her, he goes back into the house, none of his family responds to his calls, and then he reluctantly turns off the lights. He walks up the unnecessarily creaky stairs to his bedroom and throws off his shirt. The camera doesn’t linger, which I think, with an actual teenage actor in a show which tends to cast actors in their late 20’s so you don’t feel gross objectifying a shirtless Dylan O’Brien, who, we can all agree is a godsend.
Actual teenager looks down from his bed to find bloody pawprints. Poor Willow-the-cat. As the music picks up in the background, actual teenager leans down to look under the bed and finds …his cat! Only his cat is covered in blood, so maybe not the most comforting thing to find under your bed at night, but also probably not the most disturbing thing that some of my cats have gotten in to.
The boy hears screams and shattering glass outside his door, and bursts outside to the hallway to investigate. A hooded figure with an axe appears in the hallways, and babyface shuts the door to his bedroom as the axe goes through the wood. He’s barricaded himself in the bathroom with the axe murderer outside.
The figure gives him an ultimatum in a deep voice, telling him to defend himself and fight him or die like the rest of his family. Sean decides to take Door C and jumps out the window, running down the street. The camera pans toward the axe murderer’s face, a pale, bald man with smooth skin where his mouth should be. Think Voldemort’s second cousin. Family meals with Voldemort must have been so awkward when you don’t have a mouth.
Can I say that as much as I love the song and the aesthetic of the intro sequence, the ‘rising from the ashes’ theme is a bit heavy-handed? I mean, I get rebirth and redemption themes, but can we take a moment to talk about the fact that ALLISON IS DEAD AND NO ONE ON THIS SHOW HAS REALLY ADDRESSED THAT? Seriously, do not talk to me about emotional depth and character development in a season where NO ONE HAS MOURNED THE LOSS OF THE LEAD FEMALE CHARACTER.
Okay, done with the mandatory airing-of-Allison-grievances, and onto the show. Even though I also think Holland Rolland deserves a less passive opening if this is supposed to be her season. Even Dylan and Tyler got new intro sequences. Get Holland an action shot like Arden Cho- that katana is awesome. Aside over.
Peter, Derek, and Braeden, the bounty hunter, are negotiating her salary for finding Kate. Or rather, as Braeden claims, for crossing the Calaveras and finding Kate before they do. After a few more deliberate squiggles on a sticky note, Peter walks away from negotiations in exasperation. Derek insists they’ll pay her whatever sum as long as she finds Kate. Braeden leaves and Peter confronts Derek, angry that the family has just been robbed, and Derek wolfs out as Peter grabs him. Something’s different, though- Derek’s eyes are glowing yellow instead of their killed-an-innocent blue. He doesn’t know what’s up, but he wants Kate to find out.
Back at the high school, Scott and Stiles are gearing up for lacrosse practice. After a few more hints about how both of their families are in dire financial straits *raises glass to the season of bounty hunters and questionable morality* the boys’ attention returns to the field. A new freshman is playing goalie and blocking every shot thrown by the older players. We get a slow motion reveal of the new character as he takes off his helmet- and eh. Spikey-blonde haired Liam might be the first ever freshman captain, as one of the seniors enthuses, but he also looks like a missing member of One Direction.
Unfortunately he does not light up my world like nobody else. We’ll see, though.
Back at the hospital, axe-murder escapee Sean bursts through the door, leaving bloody handprints on the glass door. Melissa and the Sheriff look at body bags in the morgue- Sean’s family, and they’re all covered in deep lacerations from the axe.
We flash to Kira’s family, who are planning on selling their house and going back to New York. Kira’s understandably upset and flounders trying to convince her parents to stay. She names all her friends, leaving out Scott, “He wasn’t your first boyfriend, and he won’t be your last,” her mother says rather unhelpfully as she walks out the door. Kira looks flustered, “He’s not my boyfriend.” Poor Kira. Too bad nobody on this show addresses the emotional conflicts and reservations they may have from, say, the recent, unaddressed death of a major character.
Stiles and Scott confront secret-popstar Liam and find out he got kicked out of his old school. Stiles starts interrogating Liam and Liam isn’t having any of his attitude. This season is definitely going to feature a rivalry between Stiles and Liam, and I don’t think I’m into it. Jealous Stiles is not pretty Stiles, and we had enough of that unfounded animosity with Isaac last season. It plays one-dimensionally at this point.
Then we’re back to the Malia-is-bad-at-school storyline, which brings me back to the ‘why the hell is Malia doing calculus when she’s been living in the woods for the past ten years? Did no one give her a placement test beforehand?’ plot hole. Lydia’s been giving Malia her notes, but they aren’t helping.
After class, Scott and Kira talk and Scott dashes off to class as the bell rings, but not before giving Kira a peck on the lips. Mortified, Scott realizes that was their first kiss. “It was like how you kiss your grandmother when you’re five.” Stiles: “Chaste. It was a chaste kiss.”
Creepy axe-murderer takes out a silver plug from his neck and feeds himself through a tube and looks at random text on a screen. This will be relevant later. Bounty hunters, guys.
Open tryouts at lacrosse practice, and Scott’s captainship is up for grabs. From the bleachers, Malia smells Kira’s anxiety and Kira tells her about the kiss and how she wants her and Scott to be ‘more.’ Which, yes, understandable. But also can we talk about how Scott just lost the first love of his life and maybe he needs time to grieve? Oh no? Okay then. Moving on.
Liam’s killing it on the field while Scott and Stiles are dying. We finally get to see Stiles and Scott play well as defenders- the two take three guys to the ground as Coach cheers from the sidelines. And now it’s Liam’s turn. He effortlessly glides past the two and scores. “That was luck! Do over!” Malia screams. “Ten bucks on Scott and Stiles!” Coach: “I’ll take that action. Get back in there, Liam!” This is why I love Coach- he’s perfect comedic relief without being ridiculous. He’s believable, and we know from last season that he’ll protect his students at his own expense.
Liam rushes the duo, and this time Scott wolfs up and flips Liam to the ground with a sickening crunch. Liam’s going to the hospital.
Annnd back to the murdered family. Lydia’s wandering through their house, with the dazed banshee look on her face. She’s discovered by cute, mysterious, maybe-not-entirely-trustworthy sheriff’s deputy Parrish. They semi-flirt about her always finding dead bodies and her possibly being psychic. Lydia brushes past him and finds a hidden passageway. The two wander down the hallways into a game locker with cloth bags suspended from the ceiling. Cute deputy opens one of the bags to reveal a dead body, and certainly not venison as he hypothesized.
Scott apologizes to Kira about the kiss, saying he doesn’t want things to be weird or awkward before he dashes into a classroom. Kira sits on the stairs, looking dejected- “You know what, I’m not sorry,” Scott rushes back and kisses Kira properly.
Good on Kira, but I weep for Allison.
Stiles and Malia are studying and making out at various intervals, and it’s pretty adorable. Stiles looks at Lydia’s notes to try and interpret them for Malia, and finds that she’s written what looks like the same symbols that were on the computer screen Voldemort pulled up when he was tube-feeding himself.
Liam’s waiting for an x-ray with his father, who’s a doctor at the hospital. Lydia calls Scott frantic- he needs to get to the hospital and find Sean NOW.
Melissa opens the door to Sean’s room, and finds Sean feasting on the intestines of the deputy who was stationed outside of his door. Sean’s eyes are opaque and glowing, and he has three rows of sharpened teeth- he’s covered in blood and lunges toward Melissa. Scott’s already wolfed up and ready to defend his mother, while poor Liam is about to become the unwitting victim of Sean.
“I’m just SO HUNGRY!” Gosh, we believe you. You probably shouldn’t have freaked out about your cat being covered in blood, though. Continuity, folks.
Scott chases Sean to the roof, where Sean’s holding a panicked Liam over the edge of the roof. “Whatever you are, we can help you!” Scott shouts. “Wendigos don’t need help- we need FOOD!” Sean huffs dramatically like he’s horribly misunderstood and moves to push Liam off the roof. Scott catches Liam dangling off the edge of the building. Sean attacks Scott from behind, and Liam’s fingers are slipping and he can’t hold on.
Sean removes Scott’s grip from Liam’s arms, forcing Scott to bite into Liam’s arm to keep him from falling from the roof. Suddenly, Sean is pierced by an axe and falls backward, and Scott pulls Liam up from the roof. Voldemort killed Sean, and he places a leather gloved finger to where his mouth should be in a shushing motion and walks away all the while making prolonged eye contact with Scott.
The episode closes with Liam nursing his wolf-bitten arm. Whether or not you like One Direction boy, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him.