Hello and welcome to EW recaps of Teen Wolf! Because when the wolves are teens, the were-jaguars are formerly dead sociopathic aunts, and there’s hardly an unnaturally beautiful 17-year-old without a jewel tone set of eyes within a 20-mile radius, it seems only fair that we break down exactly who is turning into what from week to week.
The premise of Teen Wolf's television reincarnation has always seemed pretty simple: heart o’ gold kid gets turned into a werewolf, tries to avoid killing anyone with the help of his precocious sidekick pal, and attempts to not die at the hands of his lady love’s hunter family. But over the course of three extended seasons, things have taken on a more… complicated narrative. Most notably, that teenage werewolf recently became the most powerful Alpha in over a century due to the aforementioned heart of gold; that funny sidekick was possessed by an evil Japanese trickster spirit, basically split in two, and nearly died due to sleep deprivation and the overwhelming guilt of trying to kill his friends and most of the Beacon Hills public; and that beautiful, wonderful hunter? She died. Let's not talk about it.
Teen Wolf has taken a hit or two, some unavoidable, such as cast changes—we miss you and your man scarves, Isaac—and many due to a tendency to bite off a little more than the show can chew. But this sleepy hit is also one of the few that constantly leaves the audience with its mouths hanging open in a combination of shock and, generally, a lot of confusion, and tonight was no different. In order to stay one of the campiest, most fun shows on television, the show must unravel some of that confusion throughout the fourth season. And only one episode in: This season needs to break it down like Stiles coming out of that nasty Nogitsune gauze, because there are already a lot of questions.
Last season, while bold and, at times, spectacular, also put everyone on a one-way mental torture train for 13 episodes. It was a platform for outstanding performances—who couldn't stare at a gif of Dylan O’Brian’s face transforming in that MRI machine for days—but also took place in some murky narrative waters.
For example, here are some curiosities going into the premiere: Where has Kate been hiding? Can no one stay dead on this show? Exactly how many people are still alive in Beacon Hills? Did all those flies get killed for real, for real? Something’s up with Deputy Parrish, right? Is Lydia about to find a bunch of other Banshees and things are going to get real The Craft, real fast? Where is Derek? Why is he dreaming about Stiles? Is that finger-count trick real (because they’re really depending a lot of their sanity on it)? Also, did Malia and Stiles really do what it kind of seemed like they did in the basement of Eichen House on that old couch while he was possessed and she had only recently become a human?
NEXT: A little less talk, and a lot more Mexico...