Teen Wolf is back for season four and the first thing it’s doing is making sure all the fans know that this is an entirely new season. References to previous events are limited (Sorry, Allison!), the setting has changed (at least in the premiere), and you’ll notice some big character changes right off the bat.
“The Dark Moon” is all about sadness and grieving, and the latter is exactly what fans will be doing when they tune in and realize that Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) isn’t quite himself. As opposed to this being another example of his healthy appreciation for the concept of arriving fashionably late which viewers have become accustomed to, he doesn’t make an appearance at all in the season four opener. Instead, the end of the episode leaves off with the realization that Derek has been transformed back to a teenager – played by Ian Nelson, the same actor we saw take on the role in “Visionary,” when Teen Wolf writers gave us a glimpse into Derek’s troubled past.
Hoechlin may be taking a break from the show for now (hopefully he’ll be back before too long), but there was plenty of screen time to go around for the other actors. The opening sequence showcased a dynamic performance from Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) and Lydia (Holland Roden), and really set the season off to a great start. As always, Stiles delivers his lines to perfection, setting the bar fairly high, while Kira (Arden Cho) and Malia (Shelley Henig) used their natural female abilities to distract the locals.
Season four starts off in Mexico. Scott (Tyler Posey) and his friends have tracked their only lead as to Derek’s whereabouts to a family of Hunters. We briefly saw these peripheral characters in the last season when they held Derek and Peter (Ian Bohen) captive, searching for the she-wolf. Up until now, it appeared that they were looking for Cora (Adelaide Kane), Derek’s younger sister, but it doesn’t take long to realize that they are actually in search of Kate Argent (Jill Wagner), who like Peter, just wouldn’t stay dead.
We haven’t heard much about Kate since season one, since she was presumed to be dead (getting your throat ripped out pretty much captures the market in that sense), but now she’s coming back in a whole new way. The matriarch of the hunter family called her a shape shifter, but later on in the episode we heard the term ‘were-jaguar’ thrown around. It’s hard to tell if that was in reference to Kate also, since the shape you end up with based on her form of being turned apparently has something to do with her mental state. And if you recall, that mental can best be described as psychotic.
Teen Wolf is introducing a whole new mythology to the show with these new forms of werewolves, as well as the different ways to become one. Originally, the show kept it simple. You could become a werewolf by either being bitten, or being born with it. As the show has evolved, so has the different methods – and the results. Fox, coyote, jaguar, the options seem limitless.
Obviously the writers believe in diversity, but more than that, they seem to concentrate on strengths and weaknesses. There are no invincible characters on Teen Wolf, and that’s how we like it. Watching to see how the characters overcome obstacles makes this a solid watch. On the same note, it’s refreshing to see that there are so many strong – both mentally and physically – female characters on a show that draws in a lot of younger viewers. There are no damsels in distress on Teen Wolf. Or at least no more than the number of men who need saving.
If the season four opener is any indication, it’s pretty clear that Teen Wolf has another hit season on their hands. Let us know if you agree!