With dance parties, death, werecreatures of all kinds, and a killer cliffhanger, Season 4 of ‘Teen Wolf’ kicked off with a bang. Full recap of the premiere below!
Fresh from the horror that was Season 3B, Season 4 of Teen Wolf opens with our intrepid heroes in search of Derek Hale, currently in Mexico after being kidnapped, because it’s just not a season opener or finale unless Derek is experiencing some kind of pain or another. The absences of Allison (Crystal Reed) and Isaac (Daniel Sharman) are keenly felt as Kira and Malia take on expanded roles to pick up the slack, and it’s mostly effective. With everything you’ve come to love and expect from Teen Wolf — inexplicable rave scenes, casual murder, werecreatures, more mythology than you can handle, and a stellar cliffhanger — the premiere was a fantastic, if occasionally confusing, way to kick off the season. Check out the full recap and tell me all your thoughts!
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: The Scooby Gang Are In Mexico Searching For Derek; The McCall Pack Showing Derek This Much Regard Is Making Me Emotional
“The Dark Moon” opens with Lydia (Holland Roden) and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) in Mexico, armed with what they deem the stupidest plan ever. They’re probably right. Lydia is convinced they’re going to die, but it’s not a banshee prediction — it’s a prediction coming from a person who doesn’t want to die. I am loving Lydia and Stiles’ snappy, platonic, Hardy Boys friendship, I really am.
They arrive at some party for which they need a special card to gain entry, and the party is poppin’. What follows is a hilariously dramatic exchange in which Stiles and Lydia go to the bar for a drink and a mysterious man offers to buy them one, but then Lydia tells him “we’re not here to drink,” and drops a bullet with a skull insignia on it into a shot glass. What a waste of good alcohol, honestly.
They’re taken upstairs, and Lydia tells Araya (Ivonne Coll), the leader of the Spanish werewolf hunters who were looking for “La Loba” last season, that they’re looking for Derek Hale. This is everything I’ve ever dreamed about — someone showing Derek Hale enough regard to head to Mexico with a stack of cash to retrieve him. Bless.
Stiles gives her $50,000 for Derek, and when Araya asks him how a teenage boy gets that kind of money — maybe Japanese mafia? “Not smart to come alone,” she tells them. “What makes you think we came alone?” Stiles asks. Then, in a scene more dramatic than the one before, the camera pans around the dance floor downstairs to find Malia (Shelley Hennig), Kira (Arden Cho), and True Alpha Scott McCall (Tyler Posey)! Stiles, you’re a smart guy — why would you tell them that you weren’t alone?
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: Kira And Malia Have A Dance Party; A Thousand Ships Set Sail
Kira dopes to the fact that something is happening, perhaps that Stiles betrayed their location and now people are actively looking for them, and she doesn’t know what to do. Malia — of all people — tells her to blend in. And then, a thousand ships sailed as Kira and Malia danced together, very closely, in the crowded club. The dancing goes on for a while.
Araya tells Stiles and Lydia that they’ve come at a terrible time — during the Dark Moon. It’s a time for grief and loss — “I wonder why, when you and your friends have suffered so much loss, you would risk it again for someone like Derek Hale?” (I’m not crying — it’s just been raining on my face.) “Because we don’t like to lose,” Stiles says, which is not really the answer I wanted to hear.
Downstairs, Scott has taken out one of their henchmen, and uses his walkie-talkie to tell Stiles to take 10 grand off the table. Lydia urges her to take the deal, and Araya declines — despite her being generally keen to take the warning of a banshee.
As a result, Kira and Malia’s super-secret cover of dancing on the dance floor has been blown, and Kira breaks out some glowstick nunchucks, which, wow. Hilarious. This show is perfect. “Just give us Derek. You don’t want him anyway! Haven’t you noticed what a downer he is? No sense of humor, poor conversationalist,” Stiles tells Araya, but she doesn’t budge — they break out the wolfsbane smoke downstairs, and Scott and Malia drop. “All we want is Derek,” Scott tells Araya, and oh my gosh, Scott and Derek are such brothers. Crying about it. Araya taunts him for being such a green Alpha, but then Scott realizes that she doesn’t know where Derek is either.
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: Malia Is Not Super Interested In Being A Team Player, And Araya Wants To Test Out Lydia’s Powers
In a flashback, we see Lydia trying to use her banshee powers in an attempt to find Derek using the bullets that she dropped into the shot glass. She can hear Derek’s screams. We know it’s Derek’s scream, because if there’s anything we’re accustomed to at this point, it’s Derek Hale’s scream. Lydia’s not sure whether he’s dead or alive, but that something surely isn’t right.
Scott comes to in a dank washroom where our heroes are being kept — sans Lydia, who is having tea time in the sunshine with Araya. She wants to test Lydia’s powers, and demands that she figure out which of her men are about to die.
Our True Alpha tries to find a way out of their prison, but no luck. Malia suggests that once the door opens, they take out whomever is there, and run for it. “But what about Lydia?” Kira asks. “What about her?” “We’re not leaving without her.” “Is that what you would do as a coyote? Leave her for dead?” “If she was weak and injured, yeah. If hunting was bad that season, I would eat her. Then I’d leave.” “Believe it or not, that’s progress,” Stiles tells them. Y’all, I’m sorry, but I love Malia. Love her.
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: Araya Kills Someone Because Why Not, Scott Gets Chained Up And Electrified Because Obviously, And Malia Kisses Stiles
Back to Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Araya wants to see Lydia’s powers in action. “Just how close to death do they have to be?” She taps her knife, and Lydia figures it out before it’s too late — Araya throws a knife into the neck of one of her henchman. “He stole from me!” Araya says, casually, revealing that her shady — and unclear, and nonsensical — motive: she wants to know “what kind of Alpha Scott McCall really is.”
Scott gets chained up, and Kira, “the fox,” with her immunity to electricity, is being forced to turn the dial on the electricity that Scott is hooked up to. Scott needs to answer Araya’s questions, or he’ll get zapped by his GF. Rude.
Only Stiles and Malia are left in their dank prison, and Malia can’t concentrate enough to localize her hearing on what’s happening to Scott. Stiles tells her to focus on the sound of his voice, to concentrate, and she figures out the best way to do that is to kiss him. That wouldn’t get me to settle down, quite honestly, but it works for her!
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: Why Is Araya Asking Questions She Already Knows The Answers To? And, Just Generally Speaking, Araya’s Motives Confuse Me
Araya is still trying to squeeze answers out of Scott that he can’t give her, but that she already appears to know, anyway. It all seems fairly pointless. After enough electricity, Scott figures out — shouting in pain all the while — that Kate is the one they’re looking for. Honestly, I don’t know why electricity is always the answer with hunters.
We flash to Kate in some cave or whatever, standing in front of some stone door, in which Derek is resting, arms crossed over his chest, as if in a sarcophagus. Well, at least it’s not torture?
Outside, oh my god, Scott has been released and he’s like, hi, you could have just told me that Kate is alive. “You wouldn’t have believed me,” Araya tells him. I mean… this whole plotline made zero sense. Are we going to meet these Mexican hunters again? Why are they a thing? Why did they need to torture Scott into finding the answer for himself? If they’re hunters, why are they helping a team of supernaturals? What’s happening? She tells him that if he makes a wolf of his own, she’ll come for him. Which means that he obviously will.
Araya then decides to be the most helpful hunter ever, giving Scott and the rest a guide to La Iglesia — the church. Their guide? Braeden (Meagan Tandy), the mercenary we first met rescuing Isaac’s curly blond butt in Season 3A from the Twinsformers.
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: Exposition Time! Remember Kate Argent? Sure You Do
It’s exposition time in the car, when Malia and Kira ask who the hell Kate Argent is. Hunter, lunatic, seduced Derek, killed Derek’s family by fire, is now a werejaguar. The end.
Apparently, Kate wasn’t in the casket that Scott and Stiles saw buried, and Araya and her merry band wanted to make sure that Kate was actually dead, because she had only been scratched. She wasn’t dead, so they took her, and gave Kate a knife so that she could do the honorable, hunter thing and kill herself for having changed. Being Kate, she tricked them, killed six people, and took off.
“Sometimes the shape you take reflects the kind of person you are,” Scott says. “What kind of shape is sociopathic bitch?” Lydia asks. Werejaguar, apparently! It’s too bad that Jill Wagner spilled this whole werejaguar thing like immediately after the 3B finale aired, but anyway.
Stiles’ Jeep suddenly runs over something, and they have to stop. It’s decided that Scott will go with Braeden on her bike, leaving the rest to fend for themselves. Kira and Scott have a moment that’s supposed to be cute, I suppose, but it’s kind of weird and overly twee. I want to like the both of them together, though, so I will let them have their awkward hug goodbye before Scott gets on Braeden’s bike.
Oh, and Stiles didn’t run over something — Malia finds a huge… claw? Tooth? Something? Jammed into the front of Stiles’ Jeep.
Scott and Braeden turn up at the city in which La Iglesia is located, which was leveled after an earthquake. The only structure left standing is the church, as it was built over an Aztec temple. It belonged to a… colony? Pack? Tribe? Of werejaguars. OK, sure.
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: Braeden, You Need To Sort Your Priorities
Right before entering La Iglesia, Braeden reveals that she’s been hired by Araya and her minions to find Kate and bring her back to them — not to kill her. But if the money was good enough, she’d kill Scott. I’m sorry, but I like Braeden. You’ve gotta love a girl who is straightforward about having her own best interests at heart.
As Stiles fixes his car with only Lydia’s flashlight to guide him, a roar in the not-so-distance sounds and Malia immediately takes off after it, Kira following after Malia. They don’t know what’s out there, but “it cuts deep” — it scratched the hell out of Malia.
In the church, Braeden gets herself involved in Scott’s love life in a super awkies way. “Why didn’t you kiss your girlfriend?” She asks. Scott kind of sputters a bit, but admits in a roundabout way that they like like each other, and Braeden is like, yeah, you should’ve locked that down before entering a werejaguar den, or whatever. In an awesome moment, something starts to chase after them and Braeden, a human, puts herself in front of Scott, the nearly-invincible werewolf. Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well.
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: Malia Would Definitely Leave Kira And Lydia Behind
The Jeep has been repaired, and in the car, Stiles freaks a little bit at Malia for taking off — he was afraid she had taken off for real. “I wouldn’t leave without you,” she tells him. “Really?” “No, I would never leave without you.” Stiles looks moved until Malia gestures to Kira and Lydia in the backseat, and says, “Them, I would leave.” Stiles assures the group at large that, indeed, that is progress for Malia. I’m sorry, I love Malia. I really do. That delivery was hilar.
Scott does his best Alpha roar in the Iglesia, and scares the crap out of whatever was chasing them. The door/sarcophagus/whatever, that Derek was behind catches their attention. The insignia on the front is of a werejaguar god, according to Braeden. OK, sure. They break in, and as Derek’s hand reaches out for them, their faces are of total shock.
‘Teen Wolf’ Season 4 Premiere: Derek Has Been De-Aged, And A Thousand High School AUs Were Born
The rest of the group make their way to the church, just as Scott and Braeden are leaving with Derek. Stiles gives him a once-over that will spawn a thousand slow-moving GIFs, and it’s young Derek! Played by Ian Nelson! What! What is this show?! Are we looking at a de-aged Derek, or, dare to dream, are there two Dereks? As much as I love Tyler Hoechlin‘s portrayal of Derek Hale, I also just straight up love Derek Hale in all forms. Furthermore — and this is important — remember the ear-nibbling thing from 3A?
Gurl, I know you do.
Anyway, that was a lot — and also very little — to digest. I’m not sure why Araya felt the need to make an Alpha out of Scott, like the Shang to his Mulan, or why she wanted to give him a riddle, or why she didn’t just take the $50 (or $40 grand) and say, hey, what you seek is in some church.
It’s almost a guarantee that she’ll reappear after Scott bites Chekhov’s beta, but do we really care? Is she really all that scary, considering that we’re about to deal with werejaguars, Benefactors, and that mouthless thing from the trailer that, if I’m quite honest, is fully going to give me nightmares?
As for Derek’s de-aging, while it clearly has something to do with the Dark Moon — the time for “grief and loss” — does Derek really need any more of either? Why is this being represented in him, like, losing years? I hope he gains more ear-nibbling.
What did you think of the start to Season 4, HollywoodLifers? Were you as perplexed by the prominence of Araya as I was? Are you bummed by the lack of Tyler Hoechlin, or are you just too interested to find out how in the holy hell Derek de-aged himself while in some werejaguar cubbyhole? Furthermore, what was with Kate’s smirk when we saw her walk away from older Derek inside said cubbyhole? Did she do this? Is she excited about the return of young Derek? Is this the age Derek was when Kate seduced him and do I need to cry forever??? Let me know!
— Amanda Michelle Steiner