“I Want You To Be Honest With Me. Absolutely and Completely Honest. Have You Been Time Traveling?”

Tell me the truth: have you been missing my Teen Wolf season recaps? Hush, of course you have. Well, lucky for you, I have another one right here ready to read.

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Season 4 is the first season I’ve been able to watch while it’s actually airing (instead of obsessively marathoning it on Amazon). It’s also, unfortunately, probably the weakest season since the first one. But hey, Teen Wolf is my jam. (Sure, shows can be jams.) I will always love it. Even when it occasionally makes no sense of any kind.

DISCLAIMER:

As with all of my TW recaps post Season One, this will have a truckload of SPOILERS.

SUMMARY:

Scott McCall’s Loosely Formed Pack of Lost Toys try to move on after Allison’s death. Not that they have much time for grief, what with Derek being abducted, the return of Kate Argent, and a bunch of assassins gunning for every supernatural creature in Beacon Hills.

NOTES:

1. Despite this being a very uneven season of Teen Wolf, there’s still a good deal to enjoy in S.4. Let’s begin with the Serious Crack.

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Oh. My. God. They magically de-aged Derek. They straight up turned Grown Up, Broody Derek into Angry, Lost, Baby Derek. This. I can’t . . . I’ve got nothing. I can’t believe they actually did this. Sure, you see this trope all the time in fanfiction — I mean, seriously, ALL THE TIME — but on a live-action television series? Holy God, no. I laughed my ASS off.

Admittedly, the actual “plot” reason this happened was pretty ludicrous. And the de-aging only lasts an episode and doesn’t really go anywhere, which is kind of disappointing. That being said, I can’t regret them doing it. I just can’t. It kept me giggling for hours after watching the episode. I kept snickering to myself throughout the night at work, which probably didn’t look too creepy, except for that time I was taking a dead body to the morgue. (I kid. I very rarely do that.)

Thank you, Teen Wolf, for continuing to create some of the very best what-the-fuckery that money can buy. Thank you so much.

2. I was also really into the mystery this season. Like I said earlier, this is the first time I’ve been able to watch Teen Wolf while it was on air and, as such, it’s the first season where I didn’t manage to spoil myself for pretty much every major plot development. I still enjoyed the hell out of the past few seasons, obviously, and there were things that clearly took me by surprise. But I knew who really bit Scott in Season One. I knew the identity of the kanima in Season Two. I knew who was sacrificing people in Season Three, and I definitely knew who the Nogitsune was possessing in Season Four.

But here I didn’t know who the Benefactor was. I didn’t know if there would be any big surprises on the deadpool, and I sure didn’t know what names were being used for the cypher keys. But man, did I have fun trying to puzzle it out.

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Yup. That’s me at my most analytical and ridiculous. As you can see, I actually even started a color-coding system before I abandoned it. (I was annoyed it didn’t seem precise enough.) Anything that manages to activate my Super Analyzation Powers will get some serious love from me. I think it’s why I like mysteries so much. They engage me. I just want to theorize and speculate and possibly make color-coded Charts of Death. I like to think this makes me a more lovable person and is definitely something I should bring up more on blind dates.

3. Unfortunately, it can’t all be magical de-aging and Charts of Death.

See, because of the unusual scheduling of Season 3A and 3B, Season 4 was kind of rushed into production and, sadly, you can tell. There are a lot of good moments and ideas in this season, but most of them don’t really come together the way you want them to, not to mention there are a lot of giant plot holes and inconsistencies throughout. And I say that having watched all three seasons prior to this show. Some things just don’t make sense. Others are just incredibly lazy writing.

For instance:

3A. Oh my god, the magic tea.

Thank God I'm here. You'd never know about the magic tea without me.

Man, I have to explain the magic tea? Can’t I go back to paralyzing yakuza again?

I actually really enjoyed the majority of “Weaponized” — mysterious illness, quarantine, Stiles in danger! — but the magic tea antidote was such bullshit. Like, I can get around that it just happens to be in the vault. (Oh, the secret hidden vault at the school. I love it. So many giggles.) That’s ridiculously convenient, of course but I can deal with it. What I can’t get around is how Deaton realizes that the tea is the magic antidote.

To demonstrate just how bad this is, I’m going to give you the straight up dialogue.

Satomi: “It infected my whole pack.”
Deaton: “Everyone except for you. That’s the real question: did you not get infected, or are you immune?”

We briefly cut away to another scene at the school before going back to the morgue. The adults talk for a few minutes about other unrelated things. And then . . .

Satomi (to Derek, after he notices her looking at him): “Sorry. I just noticed how much you remind me of Talia. I used to visit her a lot, you know. Do you remember me?”
Derek: “I remember the tea. You always brought that tea that smelled terrible.”
Satomi: “I brought that tea as a gift. Your mother loved it.”
Deaton: “What kind of tea?”
Satomi: “What?”
Deaton: “The tea, with the smell. What kind was it?”
Satomi: “Reishi. Wild purple reishi. It’s very rare.”
Deaton: “It’s also a very powerful remedy for sickness. Satomi, you didn’t get infected because you’ve been inoculated.”

Yeah. This is not okay. Satomi used to visit Talia Hale all the time, even though no one’s ever mentioned her before? That’s fine. Derek just happens to remembers the magic tea? I’m actually okay with that too. But Deaton manages to connect ‘unknown smelly tea that this one werewolf used to drink a lot’ to ‘this must be the only reason Satomi never got sick and is obviously our only hope to save Scott and his friends’? Bull. Shit. I mean, this is Heart Knowledge on a whole other level, and it’s maddening. I forgive a lot with this show because I genuinely think Teen Wolf has a lot going for it and I really just enjoy it so much, but man. There is just no excuse for this kind of lazy ass writing.

3B. Considerably less frustrating (but still kind of hilariously bad): Scott’s dad shoots the assassin who’s about to kill Stiles. Now, this is good because one, we really don’t want Stiles dead, and two, the blood spatter (as well as Stiles’s reaction to it) is kind of awesome.

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The problem here is, well, physics. Rafe McCall is standing directly behind the assassin when he shoots him in the head. Stiles, meanwhile, is standing directly in front of the assassin. Both Stiles and the assassin appear to be of equal heights, and the bullet clearly exits out of the assassin’s forehead. Like, that’s not up for debate. There is a giant hole in the center of this guy’s head. So . . . how did Stiles not also get shot in the head?

The only answer I can come up with is magic bullets. People. You never want the answer to be magic bullets. Ever. Just look at X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

3C. There’s also the mechanics of the deadpool list.

I loved the idea of the assassins. Really, I did — a mysterious Benefactor hiring a whole bunch of independent assassins to kill nearly all of your heroes is a great setup for a season. And the assassins themselves are pretty enjoyable, too: the Mute, the Orphans, the PSAT teacher. (Okay, that wasn’t his codename, but obviously, it should have been.) Most of them didn’t last long, but that didn’t really bother me because you always knew there was another bad guy out there, waiting to try his hand at killing everyone. (Although I could’ve been okay seeing more of the Mute because that guy was pretty creepy looking.)

And I was more or less okay with Meredith being the Benefactor, albeit with Peter’s Crazy Ass Coma Revenge Plan guiding all her actions. I desperately didn’t want Peter to be the Benefactor himself — that was about the most boring twist I could’ve possibly imagined — but they managed to make it work in a way that I at least found interesting. I didn’t see Meredith coming at all, and — while pretty weird — I could more or less buy that Meredith heard all of Peter’s Coma Thoughts, since a) it’s been pre-established that he was at least somewhat conscious during this state, b) he was pretty close to death, and c) banshee powers have always been kind of murky, and this didn’t seem totally out of the realm of possibility of something Meredith could do.

But I’m still struggling with Lydia’s grandmother’s giant 70’s computers. Like, what? That’s how the deadpool lists are getting out to people? I don’t even . . . how? WHY? This was so poorly explained and illogical. I’m all about Lydia’s grandmother being a banshee and having a creepy soundproof room, but I just couldn’t buy into the idea that the massive hidden computers were generating these lists. I mean, maybe if Dr. Arnim Zola were involved, but otherwise? Nope. Also, how exactly did the lists start printing out from every printer in Beacon Hills? This whole thing just doesn’t work for me.

3D. I know I just said that I was okay with murky banshee powers, and I mostly meant that, but if they’re going to scream catatonic veterinarians awake, you know, I think that would be a scene worth seeing. (I will table my discussion of the secret Arkham Asylum wing of Eichen House for now, but rest assured: I will be discussing it at some length later in this review. Prepare yourselves accordingly.)

4. Okay, this is just too amazing. I actually have to put my review on hold for this one thing: while trying to discern how to correctly spell Reishi tea (and boy, was I doing a bad job), I tried Googling ‘What kind of tea is in Teen Wolf?’ I then found myself at a website for Adagio Teas, who, in addition to all the normal teas they make, have apparently made a handful of tea blends entirely inspired by Teen Wolf. There is even a Sour Wolf Tea. (They also have teas for Sherlock, Doctor WhoFirefly, and Welcome to Night Vale. Although I had to click on that last one because they referred to as The Town, as I was like, Wait. You have tea for that Ben Affleck/Jeremy Renner movie?)

I am so disappointed that I don’t like tea. Honestly, I feel a little crushed right now.

5. Okay, back to the actual review. Lets spend some one-on-one time with each of the main characters, shall we?

Scott McCall

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Scott is never going to be my favorite character in the show, but that actually says more about how much I like the other characters than it does about any dislike for him. I’ve actually grown to like Scott quite a bit since first season — he’s kind of adorably endearing, which is not a character trait you often find in lead male protagonists of any age — and I think Tyler Posey has grown considerably as an actor. When Posey tried to act all dangerous and wolfy in first season, I never bought it. Ever. But he had multiple moments this season where I was like, Hey, that was kind of badass. The scene that springs to mind most readily is when he totally owns Violet in a fight. I was like, Hell yeah, Scott McCall! Cause I don’t want to see Scott lose his puppyish qualities, but at the same time, if he’s going to be an Alpha (a TRUE ALPHA even) of a werewolf pack, it’d be nice if I bought that he could kick someone’s ass or occasionally lose control of his werewolf rage. And I did.

His whole ‘Am I Going to be a Killer’ Arc did not turn out the way I wanted it to, but that’s a longer discussion that I’ll get into a bit later. For now, I’ll just add that I kind of liked seeing him as a Werewolf Daddy to Liam, even if Liam himself pretty much bores the crap out of me (see also: Liam).

Stiles Stilinski

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3B was obviously Stiles’s season, so I wasn’t surprised to see they pulled back from him a bit in S4 to focus more on their actual lead character. Disappointed, obviously, because Stiles is my favorite, but I totally get balancing out screen-time. My problem is this: I know Teen Wolf wanted a lighter season after 3B, Season of Death. I get it, and honestly, I wasn’t looking for all despair, all the time, either. Like, I didn’t want TW’s Season 4 to be like Buffy’s Season 6. But when you have Dark Shit happen in your show, (or book or movie), people will generally expect there to be actual ramifications, emotional or otherwise, in the next installment. And while I feel like the show did an okay job dealing with Allison’s death, I was less impressed with the total lack of post-Nogitsune angst. Cause, you know, a main character got possessed by an evil trickster spirit who fucked with his entire sense of reality and, also,  killed a whole bunch of people. I don’t feel like I was expecting too much to hope they’d bring it up more than once.

All that being said, Stiles still gets a lot of the best dialogue, and he did have a few scenes I really enjoyed. A good majority of them are with Malia (see also: Malia), but my favorite Stiles moment was probably this one with the Sheriff:

I will always be a sucker for any scene that has both Dylan O’Brien and Linden Ashby in it. Always. They are the best.

Kira Yukimura

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Like Stiles, Kira doesn’t have quite as much to do this season. (Although I did kind of love the scene where she tried to do that stupid sexy walk down the staircase, fell, and was just immediately like, “Hey, I’m awesome. Wanna go to a party?” Also, I loved that she joined the lacrosse team, and it wasn’t even like, “Oh my God, a girl’s on the lacrosse team.” Like, there was zero sexist bullshit about it, which was totally awesome and very Teen Wolf.) I didn’t mind too much, that she had less to do, although I wish Kira would use her electricity powers a little more in fights. Not that the swordplay isn’t cool too, but it kind of drives me crazy that she has this incredible power at her fingertips and never seems to use it. Like, I don’t think she even tries frying the Berserkers. What’s with that?

(Actually, I know what’s with that. I read this interview with Jeff Davis where he talks about how he didn’t want her to turn into Electro, and I get that, but I’m also like, Wait, the only way we’ll get to see Kira learn how to use her awesome electric powers that you’ve ALREADY INTRODUCED is if she has her own spinoff series? That’s such bullshit! The entire interview is both interesting and INCREDIBLY frustrating, and I will be discussing it in greater detail a little later in this review.)

I also hope that next season we see more of Kira as a trickster. Personally, I like her whole adorkability vibe and I want to keep that going, but I also want to see it balanced with developing Kira as this kind of amoral being who loves tricks and mischief. I was excited that she got her first tail at the end of the season, and I’m hopeful this means we’ll get more of her kitsune stuff in Season Five.

Derek Hale

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Derek’s big thing this season — other than temporarily transforming into his teenage self — is that he’s losing all his werewolf powers. Also, Lydia has predicted his death. It turns out, however, that he’s not actually dying — he’s just evolving into a better (though still beta) werewolf that can shapeshift into an actual wolf like his mother did. Which is kind of cool, although I feel like the werewolf evolution thing sort of came out of nowhere. Like, I know different wolves can do different things, but I sort of thought that was all budget related Alpha stuff. I don’t think there’s ever been any evidence to suggest that beta* wolves have super special powers, much less that they gain those powers by losing all their other wolf-like abilities (and then ‘dying’ at the hands of a Berserker). Admittedly, I’m not exactly sure how you’d foreshadowed any of that without making it completely obvious what was happening, but still. It’s a minor-to-moderate quibble.

Derek’s other thing is that he gets a girlfriend who A) isn’t evil and B) doesn’t die.

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This is cool because Derek’s love life is stupidly tragic, and also because I like Braeden, and I’m all about her having more screen time. It’s also kind of hysterical because these two are so abruptly pushed together as a couple, like, I think they have one tiny scene where there’s maybe, maybe, a smidgeon of sexual tension before she’s seriously injured a few episodes later, and he swoops into the hospital with her in his arms, all, “Help! My lady love is dying!” And maybe an episode after that she’s giving him Sexy Gun Lessons, and then they’re falling into bed together. As you do. The actors have completely decent chemistry with one another, and I’m totally okay with them hooking up, but the speed at which these two become a couple is nothing short of hilarious.

*If you’re wondering why I’m capitalizing Alpha but not beta — and let’s be honest, you’re probably not — well, the truth is, I don’t have a good answer for you. My grammar is apparently without any form of logic. But Alpha just FEELS like it should be capitalized, right? Especially if it’s True Alpha, I mean, I think that’s a given. But I don’t know, Beta Wolf just looks silly to me. Perhaps this is Heart Grammar? It’s like Heart Knowledge, but nerdier. Also, my newest imaginary band name.

Malia Hale

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(I debated on Male Hale vs Male Tate, but ultimately decided to go with her birth name, less because it was her birth name and more because it’s the one written on the deadpool. When it doubt, go with the name given to professional assassins.)

I was so-so on Malia last season, but this season she became one of my favorite characters. Having spent the greater majority of her life as a coyote, Malia is the ultimate pragmatist, which makes her both funny and relatable. Especially when it comes to her confusion about math. I definitely relate to the confusion about math. But I like that certain concepts are totally foreign to her and she has to learn how to be a human in a way that the others don’t.

I also think her practicality makes her a pretty good match for Stiles. I wasn’t initially jazzed about the two of them dating, mostly because I was hoping they’d spend more time developing the possibility of Stiles being bisexual (which, sadly, they don’t), but the show pretty quickly won me over. I like the scene where he realizes that she’s using his color-coding detective method for studying. I thought it was cute. And I downright adored the Little Spoon/Big Spoon flashback/dream scene.

There’s a lot of hate in the fandom for Malia, primarily from Lydia/Stiles shippers, but I find her totally endearing, and I look forward to meeting Mommy Desert Wolf next season.

Lydia Martin

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Lydia continues to be enjoyable. I adore her banshee magic and will always be happy to see her finding dead bodies or hearing weird voices in strange places. I feel like her story with her grandmother was a little muddled, although I did like parts of it, and I did love the soundproof room (sans computers). Funny thing about that room: there was an amazing technical glitch that some viewers, myself included, got to see: just as we figure out that the room is, indeed, soundproof, the actual sound on the show cut out, so the parts that you were supposed to hear — like Lydia and Mason talking about something that’s clearly very distressing to Lydia — were completely silent. I was like, Wait. Uh, is this supposed to be happening?

Lots of people are shipping Lydia and Deputy Parrish, but I’ve got to say, I don’t quite see it yet. Maybe I’ll warm up to them like I warmed up to Stiles and Malia — I mean, I don’t dislike their scenes — but even without taking the age thing into consideration, I just don’t really see them as a couple. Although I do like Parrish. He’s funny, and I’m excited to see what he ends up being. (Phoenix? Salamander? Ooh, if he does end up dating Lydia, I kind of want him to be a salamander, considering that Jackson was a kanima. I want Lydia to have a lizard type.) I just feel like Parrish is a little bit apple pie or something for Lydia.

Liam Dunbar

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Liam is the new kid on the block and is easily my least favorite character in Teen Wolf. He’s not completely terrible. I mean, I actually really like his whole Berserker-PTSD shit because I feel like his fear, while not particularly helpful, is totally appropriate. I like that he doesn’t immediately want to jump in and fight bad guys. That makes total sense to me. And I do find his relationship with Scott interesting, but mostly in how it affects Scott. Liam, himself, does very little for me. I’m not feeling his anger management problems — like, AT ALL — and personality-wise, I’m just kind of bored by him. Time spent on Liam is mostly time not spent on all the characters I’d rather be watching.

Mason

(As far as I know, Mason doesn’t have a last name yet. It’s hiding out with the Sheriff’s and Stiles’s first names, apparently.)

I do like Liam’s BFF, Mason, though. Mason doesn’t have a lot to do this season, other than be the supportive best friend guy who keeps helping out with all the crazy, even though he has absolutely no idea what’s going on. He’s pretty amusing, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him play a bigger role in things next season, since I think the cat’s out of the bag on the supernatural now that he’s seen the Sheriff blow up a Berserker. (Man. Why didn’t any of our teenage heroes just think to start carrying grenades around? That would have made things a lot easier for them this season. Course, apparently Derek can just magic squeeze them to death now, like, oh okay.)

The only problematic thing about Mason . . . and to be fair, it has nothing to do with the actor . . . is that he kind of feels like an uncomfortable Filling the Quota character now that Danny has inexplicably vanished. Seriously, this is weird. If the actor just wanted to go do other things, I’d totally get it, but not only did Keahu Kahuanui not appear in Season Four, they never mentioned him, not once, not ever. There was even an easy scene where Coach could’ve mentioned that Danny’s gone missing or been transferred to another school or something, and they never do. His absence is so strange that I really expected there to be some kind of tease in the season finale, like, oh no, some evil warlock coming in Season Five has erased Danny from everyone’s memory for Nefarious Reasons Unknown . . . but there was nothing. It’s really strange. And the funny thing is, I think I might even like Mason slightly more than I like Danny, but I don’t want him to just be the One Gay Character. That bugs me. I want both these guys.

6. Okay, so this is kind of a tangent, but who am I kidding? My whole review system is based on numbering various tangents, so. There’s this idea that you always have to have at least one human in your group of supernatural kids, that this one de-powered kid somehow grounds the series, and I’m here to tell you that I think this idea is crap.

If only I had magic, I could do something about this.

If only I had magic, I could do something about this.

Sure, it’s totally okay if you just want one of your main characters to be human, but the justification that it somehow makes your show any more realistic or relatable . . . look, there is obviously no making a show about teenage werewolves with glowstick eyes realistic, okay? And I get the idea — it’s too crazy that they’d ALL become supernatural creatures, right? — but I don’t actually think that it is. There are some pretty solid themes in that idea, considering the perils of getting involved in the supernatural world, that you go too far and that you can’t go back and that sometimes you have to become a monster to fight monsters. In fact, I’m pretty sure Nietzsche said something like that: He who fights teen wolves should see to it that he does not become himself a teen wolf.

And as far as relatable goes, I just don’t buy into the idea that the strictly human characters in these kinds of shows are any more relatable simply because they don’t have magical abilities. After all, all the supernatural kids have some kind of vulnerability — Lydia, especially, doesn’t have much going for her in offensive OR defensive powers — so it’s not like we’re being inundated with a castful of Sylars and Peter Petretellis. (Er, for those of you who didn’t watch Heroes — and good for you, bright little things that you are — that means ‘characters who are invincible because they have too many godamned powers’.) I think Stiles — who is clearly Teen Wolf’s Xander — is relatable because he’s hilarious and pop culture savvy and slightly more amoral than his heroic True Alpha BFF, not because he doesn’t grow fur and howl at the moon.

If they don’t want Stiles to be supernatural, then fine. I mean, I’m HUGELY disappointed by this because I personally don’t want Stiles to be Xander. I want him to be Willow, godammit. But I don’t get everything I want, and (I guess) I have to learn how to accept this. But one, please don’t argue that Stiles’s humanity somehow makes the show more grounded because it doesn’t, and two, I think I’d find it helpful if he (and for that matter, Lydia and Mason) got some training with weapons so that they aren’t always immediately helpless whenever a bad guy comes around. I’m not saying they need to be superheroes or anything, but I feel like if I was crossing paths with werewolves and nogitsunes and darachs on a daily basis, I would want some kind of defensive countermeasure that wasn’t a baseball bat. (I was really hoping Lydia telling Stiles that he needed a better weapon meant he would get a better weapon, although the foreshadow for Lydia herself {ineffectually} using the bat in the season finale was fairly clever too.) I mean, Derek was human for about two whole seconds before Braeden’s like, “Dude, you need to learn how to use a gun.” Admittedly, that immediately led to Sexy Times and also hilariously took place when Scott really could have used his help, but I feel the point remains valid: let’s learn some supernatural self-defense, shall we? Or for Christ’s sake, at least upgrade to a taser.

Alternatively, we could just let Mason be our token human and finally let Stiles practice some godamned magic. Come on, Teen Wolf. I’ve been wishing for this since Season Two.

7. One of my biggest problems with this season is how it resolved. Specifically, how it resolved without Scott (or anybody) killing Peter.

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Really? We’re letting this guy live? Okay, I’m sure that’s not a terrible mistake.

One of this season’s major arcs was about the possible necessity of Scott killing someone versus his fear of becoming a ruthless killer. I liked this arc, and there are a number of ways I think it could have ended that would have been better than, “I don’t have to kill you, Peter. I’ll just toss you into our top-secret Arkham Asylum Wing of Eichen House that we’ve never bothered to mention before because it was obviously a last minute idea on the writers’ part on how to avoid this being like Deucalion all over again.” (On the positive side, at least I’m not the only one calling it Arkham. The writers, apparently, also refer to it as such.)

Ideally, I think Peter needed to die. And I’d have been sad about that because I, too, like Ian Bohen a great deal and I’d have missed him on the show, but his story basically feels complete, you know? We already have a good number of villains who are improbably still alive, just waiting on the periphery to come back and cause trouble again. I don’t feel like Peter Hale should still be one of them.

And while Scott didn’t necessarily need to be the one to kill Peter, I feel like one of the good guys should have. In that interview I mentioned before, the deeply frustrating one, Jeff Davis likens Scott to Spiderman, basically saying that you don’t want your superheroes to actually kill your bad guys. Which, frankly, I think is debatable, but hey, I’m bloodthirsty, whatever. But my pop culture counter would be, hey, maybe Scott isn’t like Spiderman. Maybe he’s like Buffy, in which case, Buffy kill bad guys all the time. Sure, not so much with the straight up humans. But the vampires, definitely, and I’m not sure that killing an evil werewolf who clearly keeps doing evil shit is really any less moral than killing a vampire doing the exact same kind of thing. The whole idea that Real Heroes Never Kill no matter what circumstance actually doesn’t do much for me, and never has.

But I could still actually be okay with the idea that Scott — as the True Alpha whose powers emerged because of his moral integrity, or some shit — refuses to kill. That seems fair to me. And we at least have our (hastily thrown in) Arkham Asylum now, so this isn’t quite as bad as Season Three. Still, I don’t feel like everyone else in the group would feel the same way, and I would have been happy with basically anyone else killing him. Story-wise, Derek would have worked for me. Stiles would have worked for me. The Sheriff, Lydia, and Malia all could have worked for me. This is even the rare instance where I would have taken the villain cop-out because Kate killing Peter is a perfectly fair turnaround, story-wise. But at the very, very least, if we were going to go with Scott’s play, I really would’ve liked to have seen at least some argument about it. Because killing Peter is the smart thing to do here and, honestly, I’m not convinced it’s the wrong one, either.

This is where that whole “Can’t Go Back” tagline comes in again. I really enjoy that the seasons have their own taglines, like 3A is “This Might Hurt” and 3B is “Lose Your Mind.” (I’m not sure if 1 or 2 have their own nifty three-word phrase.) “Can’t Go Back” is a great tagline for everything that comes after the Season of Death, but I think it would have been a lot more appropriate if S4 had actually been about the consequences of 3B. And I think that’s where a lot of S4 failed for me — because it felt like the writers did want to go back to the funnier stuff, the lighter stuff, the too-easy good-and-evil stuff. And I just don’t feel like that’s a natural progression of the story. It felt like a cheat, and I was disappointed by it.

8. Finally, some more random notes:

8A: The episode where Scott and Stiles try to explain to Liam that he’s becoming a werewolf . . . well. Parts of it are funny, but mostly it’s so unnecessarily painful. Liam should be the easiest person in the world to convince about werewolves, considering that a wendigo just tried to eat his ass and a werewolf bit his arm to save his life. Mind you, both wendigo and werewolf have their game faces on at the time. No one’s hiding anything. Certainly not the wendigo. Look at them teeth:

wendigo

Yeah. I think Liam might clue into the notion that humans generally don’t have teeth like that.

And even if Liam is the least observant person alive (or really, really good at living in denial), Scott and Stiles are both idiots about how they approach Liam. Like I said, it’s supposed to be funny, but their idiocy is so ridiculous that it’s kind of hard to appreciate the humor.

8B. In theory, I really like the idea of the money problems — it’s nice to see the kids being affected by something so real world — but they kind of come from out of nowhere. Stiles, at least, has some plausible medical expenses from last season, but though Melissa is a single parent, her debt seem very abruptly thrown in for clearly Thematic Reasons. And that goes double for Lydia’s supposed financial problems, which I don’t think even merit more than one (hilariously silenced) line.

I’ll admit, too, that I was kind of hoping Stiles would steal the money for his dad’s surgery. I actually really like the scene where Scott returns the cash to Derek (as well as the scene where Scott talks to Melissa about the money), but I thought Stiles stealing from his best friend would have raised an interesting conflict between the two of them. But hey, that’s what fanfiction’s for.

8C. Turning Scott into a Berserker was kind of cool and I certainly didn’t see it coming, although it didn’t really go anywhere (like, I feel Kate and Peter’s plans were ultimately pretty flawed), and it seemed absurdly easy to break Scott out of his Evil Berserker Trance. Well, it was for Liam, anyway. All he had to do was say something like, “Hey, it’s me, your adopted werewolf son,” and Scott was like, “Oh, wait, I don’t wanna kill you because I don’t like killing people.”

I guess the sire bond is stronger than romantic love in Teen Wolf, though, since Kira’s pleas didn’t stop Scott from stabbing the shit out of her. Poor Kira.

8D. When Meredith (supposedly) hung herself, I immediately assumed that Brunski killed her and was really surprised that nobody else online seemed to think so. Everyone seemed to take the suicide at face value. Admittedly, Brunski didn’t murder Meredith, but I was still really happy that there was more going on there than what initially met the eye. So I give myself kudos. Okay, like, 25% kudos. Like 1/2 of one yummy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup kudos.

8E. While I’m annoyed that Peter is still among the living, I’m actually happy that Kate survived.

kate

There’s more to tell with her story, and JR Bourne and Jill Wagner are great together. Plus, Kate is awesome. I could totally be down for more of her strolling through a street that’s littered with the dead and dying.

I think the show could only be improved by more of that.

QUOTES:

Stiles: “We’d have to freeze you in carbonite to get you down there.”
Liam: “Okay, where do we get carbonite?”
Stiles: “Seriously? You haven’t seen it, either?”

Sheriff: “Malia, what’s your favorite food?”
Malia: “Deer.”

Peter: “She was listening to the ranting and raving of a lunatic. A former lunatic. I’m much healthier now.”

Kira: “Does this many cards mean you have good credit or bad?”

Coach: “Now what I don’t understand is why anyone would want to get massively falling down drunk in front of an open fire.”

Stiles: “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.”

Kira: “Is that what you’d do as a coyote, leave her for dead?”
Malia: “If she was weak and injured, yeah. If hunting had been bad that season, I would eat her. Then I’d leave.”

Lydia: “You’re aware that this is the stupidest plan we’ve ever come up with.”
Stiles: “I’m aware it’s not our best.”
Lydia: “We are going to die.”
Stiles: “Are you saying that as a banshee, or are you just being pessimistic?”
Lydia: “I’m saying it as a person who doesn’t want to die.”
Stiles: “Okay, then, would you mind restricting any talk of death to actual banshee predictions?”
Lydia: “This plan is stupid and we’re going to die.”

Scott: “He hasn’t gotten back to any of my texts.”
Stiles: “Has Derek ever returned your texts?”
Scott: “Once. Definitely once.”

Scott: “I texted him, but he didn’t get back to me.”
Stiles: “You told him his sister came back from the dead by text?”
Scott: “. . . I didn’t have the money to call France.”

Stiles: “So you bit him.”
Scott: “Yeah.”
Stiles: “And you kidnapped him.”
Scott: “Yeah.”
Stiles: “And brought him here.”
Scott: “I panicked.”
Stiles: “Yup. This isn’t going to end with us burying the pieces of his body in the desert, is it? As a reminder, this is why I always come up with the plan. Your plans suck.”

Liam: “What are you?”
Stiles: “Uh, for a little while, I was possessed by an evil spirit. It was very evil.”
Liam: “What are you now?”
Stiles: “. . . better.”

Scott: “We’re brothers now.”
Liam: “What?”
Stiles: “Oh my God, that’s –”
Liam: “What are you talking about? We just met and you bit me.”
Scott: “The bite is a gift.”
Stiles: “Scott, stop. Please stop.”

Malia: “I heard you were coming to talk to Peter. And since Lydia tells me that he’s basically Satan in a V-neck, I figured you probably shouldn’t be alone.”

Stiles: “Perfect. Let’s go.”
Scott: “Whoa, whoa. We’ve got Econ in five minutes.”
Stiles: “All right. Did you forget the part about the family murdering axe murderer?”
Scott: “Did you forget your dad’s the sheriff? They want us to stay out of it.”
Stiles: “Are you guys kidding me? There’s a family murdering axe murderer, and we’re not going to do anything about it?”
Kira: “Maybe we should just let the adults handle it.”
Stiles: “So the two of you, you just want to stay here in school, go to class? Never heard anything so irresponsible in my life.”

Malia: “How much am I worth?”
Scott: “Four million.”
Stiles: “Are you okay?”
Malia: “Yeah. Scott’s worth twenty-five, Kira’s worth six. They’ll take you guys out way before me.”

Sheriff: “The population of Beacon County is just under 30,000.”
Stiles: “And dropping.”

Melissa: “Scott, you can save people’s lives, but you can’t save people from life.”

Scott: “Don’t you want to know why I took so long to return it?”
Derek: “How much do you make at the animal clinic?”
Scott: “Minimum wage.”
Derek: “That’s why.”

Scott: “The game’s the best way to catch him red-handed.”
Stiles: “But what if he’s red-handed cause his hands are covered in the blood of the person he just stabbed to death?”

Stiles: “That’s your assassin speak?”
Chris Argent: “I said he’s dead. What more do you want?”
Stiles: “It was a little dry. You could’ve said something like ‘Target has been neutralized. The crow flies at midnight.’ That’s always cool.”

Peter: “Can’t someone in this town stay dead?”
Malia: “I think they were hoping you would.”

Stiles: “Brunski punched me in the face. Turns out he was a serial killer.”
Malia: “Makes sense.”

Scott: “What are you doing here?”
Malia: “Getting drunk. What are you doing?”
Scott: “Trying to make sure no one gets hurt.”
Malia: “That sounds fun too.”

Peter: “The table’s Italian.”
Braeden: “So are these boots.”

Scott: “If you were paid enough, would you kill her?”
Braeden: “If the money was good, I’d kill you.”

Sheriff: “I want you to be honest with me. Absolutely and completely honest. Have you been time traveling?”
Stiles: “Hang on, what?”
Sheriff: “Because if time traveling is real, I’m done. I’m out. You’re going to be driving me to Eichen House.”
Scott: “We found him like that.”
Sheriff: “Where? Swimming in the Fountain of Youth?”
Stiles: “No. We found him buried in a tomb of wolfsbane in an Aztec temple in Mexico underneath a church in the middle of a town that was destroyed by an earthquake.”

Mama Calaveras: “In Mexico, we just call this a standoff.”

Liam: “I mean, how are you all still alive?”
Scott: “Not all of us are.”

Derek: “I don’t like guns.”
Braeden: “That’s because you’ve never learned to use one.”
Derek: “Or because I’ve been shot. Repeatedly.”

Braeden: “Running out of bullets can get you killed. It also makes you look stupid.”

Derek: “And who is he? Who are you?”
Stiles: “Oh, we’re the guys keeping you out of jail.”

Fahey: “I swear to God, I’ve never seen him, never spoken to him –”
Kate: “I know. See, everybody says the same thing. They don’t know who he is. Where he is. ‘It’s all done electronically.’ ‘I can’t help you.’ ‘Please, I’m bleeding to death.’ ‘Please, stop, it hurts’.”

Malia: “Your notes are great when they’re not written in code.”

Liam: “I don’t care if he’s a foot taller than me. I think I can take him.”
Mason: “Yeah . . .”
Liam: “What do you think you’re doing?”
Mason: “What? Me? I’m agreeing with you. I’m being agreeable.”
Liam: “You think he’s hot, don’t you?”
Mason: “No! No. Not at all. No way. Maybe. Yeah, maybe a little.”
Liam: “He wants to destroy me.”
Mason: “I think you could definitely take him. And then give him to me.”

Mason: “You’re coming. And we’re going to find you a nice girl that you can embarrass yourself in front of and find me a nice lacrosse player. Because statistically speaking, someone on your team has gotta be on my team.”

Liam: “So, you’ve done this before?”
Noshiko: “I’ve seen it done.”
Liam: “Is that just as good?”
Noshiko: “No.”
Kira: “Mom, you’re not inspiring confidence.”
Noshiko: “Good. This is a terrible idea.”

Noshiko: “We told you this was temporary.”
Kira: “That was after you told me I was a kitsune and was going to have to destroy a dark spirit by stabbing and killing one of the few friends I’d made in this town.”
Noshiko: “And you didn’t have to. I call that a win.”

Stiles: “I thought you were leaving.”
Malia: “I wouldn’t leave without you.”
Stiles: “Really?”
Malia: “No, I would never leave without you.” (looks back at Kira and Lydia) “Them, I would leave.”

Parrish: “What’s a kanima?”
Scott: “We’ll get back to that.”

Kira: “We’re not going back to New York.”
Noshiko: “And why would we stay?”
Kira: “Uh. Well, Dad’s a very important teacher at the high school.”
Mr. Yukimura: “In New York, I was a professor at Columbia.”

Stiles: “What’s with all the highlighters, anyway?”
Malia: “Green is for the things I understand. Yellow is for ‘I’m working on it’. And red means I have no clue. I’m mostly using red.”

Malia: “Is this what drunk feels like? It doesn’t feel as good as I hoped.”

(Stiles is trying to fix his Jeep.)
Stiles: “Lydia, could you please hold the flashlight still for a second? It’s really hard to see anything when you keep shaking it like that.”
Lydia: “I’m shaking it like this because we’re in the middle of nowhere with your broken down jeep and we’re being attacked by yet another razor clawed monster. And I’m terrified.”
Stiles: “Well, just be slightly less terrified!”
(Stiles hands her a metal car part.)
Stiles: “And hold this.”
Lydia: “What’s this?”
Stiles: “I don’t know. I’m hoping it’s not important.”

Lydia: “Not all monsters do monstrous things.”

Lydia: “You seriously need to find something better than a baseball bat.”

Parrish: “I’m worth five dollars?”
Stiles: “Five million.”
Parrish: “But I make 40,000 a year.”

Parrish: “You have an expert on teenage cannibals?”

CONCLUSIONS:

Yeah, this wasn’t one of Teen Wolf’s better seasons. It just didn’t quite come together the way I hoped it would. But I still really had fun watching it, and I’m still looking forward to next season. Hopefully, it will be a little tighter and better balanced, considering the writers will have more time to plan it out.

MVP:

You know, Dylan O’Brien is always my favorite (like, seriously, always), but considering he has a little less to do this time around . . . I think I’m going to go with Shelley Hennig. Cause, yeah, Malia was pretty consistently great this season. Kudos to Tyler Posey, too.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B

MORAL:

True Heroes don’t kill people. Even when they totally, totally should.

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6 Responses to “I Want You To Be Honest With Me. Absolutely and Completely Honest. Have You Been Time Traveling?”

  1. Teacups says:

    I’m crazy about tea, but I don’t know that I can afford to be buying specialty blends that have to be shipped from Europe. Maybe I’ll try one or two as a treat sometime. (Although apparently they only have leaf tea. How annoying.)

    I do love that this website exists, though, and Derek and Stiles’ tea names (Sour Wolf and Snark Nerdy To Me) are pretty perfect for them.

    I like Kira joining the lacrosse team, but if it’s a mixed-gender team, there logically should’ve been other girls playing (or even expressing interest in playing) long before Kira. It’s sort of like Eichen’s special supernatural creatures wing – if they were going to do this, it needed to be seeded in earlier to make sense.

    I hope poor Mason has been brought into the know by next season. Otherwise, that would be possibly even more unfair than not telling Lydia what was going on until Season 3. Not only has he been pretty frequently caught up in the supernatural shenanigans, they’ve also relied on him to save their asses a couple of times. Even if he doesn’t join the Scooby Pack, he just would be safer knowing some of what’s going on.

    What confuses me about the computers – apart from them making every printer spit out the deadpool – is how the Benefactor was communicating with the assassins, given there was no monitor or keyboard. And I don’t really get what Lydia’s grandma had the whole setup for in the first place. I guess it was to help her predict banshee stuff somehow?

    • You know, I’m actually going to disagree with you about Kira. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that we haven’t seen girls try out or show interest in the lacrosse team before. Maybe it’s never been a mixed-gender team in the past; maybe it’s always been traditionally but not-strictly-required boy team, and it hasn’t occurred to the girls that they could try out. I could see it not even occurring to Coach, to extend an invitation to girls, until he actually sees with his own eyes how awesome Kira is. For that matter, I could also see it ABSOLUTELY being an all-boy team and Coach, who’s basically crazy anyway, breaking all the rules to get Kira on the team because winning is basically all that matters to this guy. My actual problem with the lacrosse this year was the scene when Coach pulled Kira out of the scrimmage for scoring without passing, or whatever bullshit they used to get her out of the way. In a normal scrimmage game with a normal lacrosse coach? Sure. But this coach? No. No way. Since when the hell does Coach care about teamwork over winning?

      Yeah, I think Mason needs to be brought into the fold. It’s time. And yeah, everything about the computers continues to baffle me.

      . . . is leaf tea different than, like, teabag tea? I apologize for my ignorance and feel that I should say that, in defense of America, this is actually more reflective of me as person than my country as a whole. I think I’m the only person I know who actively dislikes tea. (And yes, Sour Wolf and Snark Nerdy are the best names ever. I need to find the Teen Wolf Inspired Soda company. That should be a thing.)

      • Teacups says:

        I can see that happening with Coach, especially breaking the rules to get Kira on the team. I just wish they’d thrown in a line explaining it or something.

        I hadn’t thought about the teamwork scrimmage scene, but yeah, you’re right. Massively OOC.

        Leaf tea doesn’t taste different, or at least, I don’t find it does. But you have to brew it first, which I find kind of annoying because I’m lazy. And I can’t throw stones, because I hate the taste (and even smell) of coffee, and thus am almost entirely ignorant of all the different varieties and what they entail. I slightly feel like I’m missing out, as coffee is such a huge part of modern culture. I have the same issue with alcoholic beverages.

        • I also wish I liked coffee sometimes for pretty much the same reason. And because when I tell people that I don’t particularly like coffee, tea, beer, or wine, they look at me like I’m a crazy person. (Wine’s probably my favorite of the bunch, and even then, I mostly only like the super sweet dessert wines that Serious Wine people sneer at. Wine’s a serious business where I live. It’s basically a county of semi-functional alcoholics.)

          I do like some alcoholic beverages but, again, it’s just generally the sweet stuff. Margaritas, wine coolers, shots, and red bull & vodka. Basically, I drink like a college girl, but much, much, much less. (She says, as she drinks a Smirnoff Ice leftover from a football game.)

      • Teacups says:

        Do you live in Gulfhaven, Florida?

        When I do drink, I prefer sweet stuff too. There was one wine I once tried which was nice, in a sour kind of way, but I can’t remember the name. I’ll have to try dessert wines sometime, though.

        I was just thinking, since we found out in Season 4 that there are werepanthers, in addition to werecoyotes, what other were-animals are out there? Is it just large predators? Mammals? Or is it all creatures? Is there a were-mosquito out there with the power to annoy people and give them malaria? Someone needs to ask Jeff Davis this.

        • Heh, practically. I don’t know if anyone drinks wine out of flower vases or anything, but I do pretty much live next door to Napa County, where they make pretty much all of the wine. (Well. They make a fair bit in the county I actually live in, too. But Napa’s particularly famous for it. You can win vacations there on Wheel of Fortune and everything, which never failed to amuse me as a kid.)

          I would like to see the werebutterfly, the wereplatypus, the werebunny, and the werekoala bear. The werespider is definitely not allowed. A malaria-ridden weremosquito would be excellent, though. Ooh, and a weregiraffe.

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