The team behind Teen Wolf certainly did an excellent job sending us off into the fall hiatus with some serious contemplating to do during our time away. However, one thing they didn’t do quite such a bang up job on, was deciding to send Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) off into the unknown for a hiatus of his own.
There was a lot of flair in this episode that will leave fans gasping until we get something new to gawk at in the second half of the season. The intense opening sequence where Scott (Tyler Posey), Allison (Crystal Reed), and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) sacrifice themselves (in a completely temporary way) in order to find their parents brought the show back full circle. It tied this highly emotional night to the night when Scott was originally bitten in the first episode, and acted as the perfect retrospective leading up to Scott becoming a true Alpha.
Over the last two and a half seasons Teen Wolf has evolved from a show about a boy turning into a werewolf and his struggles within this new supernatural lifestyle, to a show that deals with much more developed and substantial issues. We’ve seen the characters meander through the traumas that life has thrown at them, whether as a result of Beacon Hills being a supernatural epicentre (which we were pretty much guaranteed more of) or from natural causes. One thing we haven’t been privy to as of yet is the loss of a character that the show has depended on to make or break almost every storyline since Teen Wolf‘s inception.
Several episodes ago we discovered Scott had the potential to become an Alpha even without knocking Derek off his elite pedestal. It was only by coincidence that Peter masterminded a way for Derek to lose his status prior to this happening. Otherwise, maybe they could have shared the leadership spot?
At this point, it’s not a secret that the show ended with Derek heading out of town under the auspices of “finding his way” now that he’s no longer an Alpha, ergo has his own pack. I suppose this makes him essentially an Omega – even though technically he’s probably more or less a member of Scott’s pack.
Can Teen Wolf survive without the influence of one of its leading men? Sure. There is definitely enough testosterone left in town to keep it going, and there are other strong characters – Scott, Allison, Stiles, etc. – but Derek has an air about him that keeps viewers tuned in just as much as most of the other characters combined – and frankly, it just wouldn’t be that much fun without him around. If I had to guess, we probably won’t see him much when Teen Wolf returns in January for dramatic effect, but when Uncle Peter (Ian Bohen) starts wreaking havoc to the point where it seems hopeless, Derek will show up fashionably late to save the day. His sense of responsibility for protecting the people he cares about is too ingrained in him to not come through in the clutch.
Until then it will be like an extended version of the episode when we thought Derek was dead.
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