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'Teen Wolf' Recap: The Dark Moon

By Rosie Hertzman,

Previously on Teen Wolf: we all had our hearts ripped out of our chests when the beloved Allison Argent was killed, Malia, the girl turned wolf turned girl again had her wicked way with Stiles, and Derek, well we find out what happened to Derek at the end of this episode.

Even though the last half of season 3 lacked very much Derek Hale, he is the driving factor behind the premiere. We were expecting grief or maybe the source of this seasons’ tagline—the Benefactor—to be the theme of this episode. But it’s probably too early in the season for the latter, and the former would require Teen Wolf to have continuity when it comes to its countless plotlines.

The episode opens with Stiles and Lydia looking like they’ve just stepped into a bad western film. We expect any minute now some gun-toting cowboy is going to exit a saloon and challenge them to a showdown. Instead, Lydia points out that the plan they have is one of their worst, which is saying something considering their plans largely consist of just winging it and hoping for the best.

When Stiles asks if her if the bad feeling is a warning from her Banshee side, she responds with “I’m saying this as someone who doesn’t want to die.” It’s a harsh reminder that they’re really still just kids, but they’re kids who have suffered so much and seen too much death. To them, Death not an abstract concept, it’s very real and it happens too often to those they love.

Lydia and Stiles enter what appears to be a super secret dance club but is in fact just a front. Inside they find the Mrs. Calaveras, the head of that werewolf hunting family that likes to show up and make trouble sometimes. Mostly for Derek. And that’s exactly who the pack has come to retrieve. At least someone remembered that he does, in fact, exist. Considering his appearances in 3B were very slim, we were almost sure Derek Hale had been forgotten so this is a nice surprise.

They’ve heard Derek can be bought and they’ve brought enough cash to pay for like, one year’s tuition at a private university. Are these kids ever going to college? What grade are they even in? It’s possible school sort of falls by the wayside when you’re battling supernatural entities on a daily basis.

Mrs. Calaveras is none too enthused that they brought a wolf into her place of residence and she makes it clear that she’s not into bargaining. We learn she doesn’t even have Derek anyway; someone else took him, which puts the pack right back to square one.

When dancing and pretending to be normal teenagers to blend in doesn’t work, Scott, Malia and Kira have no trouble knocking out the Mama’s security. Unfortunately, they’re no match for wolfsbane and end up locked in a room while Mrs. Calaveras talks to Lydia over tea and asks her what Scott is like as an alpha.

What’s Scott like as an alpha? Scott is a true alpha, which means when Mrs. Calaveras chains him and Lydia and makes Kira choose which one to electrocute, he of course tells her to choose him. Because that’s Scott—selfless to a fault, willing to do anything to protect his pack. He wasn’t born with power, didn’t ask for it, but he knows that what’s important is how you choose to use it. So he bears the shocks when he doesn’t answer Mrs. Calaveras’ questions about Derek as she pleases. It’s only when she’s had enough and she turns the dial all the way up that he’s able to tap into his memories and realizes who must have taken Derek. The person who made an epic comeback in last season’s finale and the one person, beside maybe Peter Hale, that really should have stayed dead: Kate Argent. Allison’s aunt, who tortured Derek and killed pretty much his entire family.

On a slightly lighter note: Braeden is back! This time she has been hired as a tour guide, tasked with taking them all to La Iglesia. She may be morally ambiguous but there is no question that she looks like a total badass on her motorbike. It seems as soon as Mrs. Calaveras had her answer, she was more than okay with letting them go. Although she’s sending them straight into the hands of a serial murderer, so it’s not exactly a wonderful tradeoff.

The rest of the episode plays out like you’d expect: their plan goes wrong—this time the jeep breaks down—and Alpha Scott must continue on without the help of his friends. Meanwhile, Stiles tries to fix things while being pretty ineffectual but characteristically sarcastic. The only fairly exiting part is the twist at the very end, when Braeden and Scott pull a de-aged, teenage Derek out of depths of La Iglesia.

While it was nice to have more of a focus on the pack this episode, there was one glaring blind spot: Allison. It’s fine to move on; no one expected this episode to be a full hour of the pack in mourning. Yet even though we never get a clear-cut answer on when this episode takes place in relation to the season 3 finale—it could’ve been months for all we know—it still seemed very out of place in light of prior events. ‘The Dark Moon‘ felt more like a mid-season filler episode than a season premiere. Especially coming back from a finale where a main character died.

This episode gave no sense of closure either to its characters or its audience. Maybe it’s asking too much to get some insight into what these characters are feeling or thinking about Allison’s’ death but to ignore it completely in the premiere felt like a huge misstep.

Better luck next week, Teen Wolf. We’re rooting for both you and the pack.

image courtesy of Famous/ACE/INFphoto.com

 

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