Teen Wolf season premiere recap: Viva La Pack

After a few months of grieving and pack-building, the supernatural teenagers of Beacon Hills head to Mexico to recover one of their own, dance a little, and deploy one of the best shockers of the series
Ep. 01 | Aired Jun 23, 2014

Perhaps Season 4 will continue to trample upon our tender human hearts, or maybe, as the creators and cast have promised, it might take a beat from Seasons 1 and 2, and let the kids have a little fun again. The premiere takes a page more from The OC handbook and ships everyone straight to Mexico, but instead of having Kira pull a Marissa Cooper (like she’d ever), the writers go full Raiders of the Lost Ark, on a search through ancient ruins to find Derek, whom the entire plot is centered around, but we don’t even see until the very last 15 seconds of the episode… and even then it’s only halfsies—hey, Baby Derek, we're getting to you.

But first…the premiere. Season 4's first episode opens up with strumming guitars and Team Brain (formerly Team Human) fretting that they’re about to dive into their stupidest plan ever. Truly terrifying, all plans considered, and that’s before even noting that they’re wandering around Mexico; Lydia’s Spanish has seen better days, though her Heidi braids are as fresh as ever. Luckily the doormen they’re trying to get past respond better to Stiles flashing a skeleton card up toward a surveillance camera. What appears to be just your average shady building, soon becomes a sexy, shady rave, as it so often does when the Beacon Hills gang finds themselves in a wide-open space. Lydia symbol drops another skull, this time etched into a bullet, and some shady men take them back to… ah, yes Mama Huntress, how I’ve wondered what you’ve been getting up to.

Lydia and Stiles are looking for Derek, and they’ve come to the people who abducted him last (damn, poor Derek), the Calaveras family of hunters, a.k.a. the Argents of Mexico. And even though I’m impressed with the $50k they've brought along, Mama Calaveras is not, mocking them for coming there alone. And then, for just a moment, we’re reminded that Stiles was once consumed by an evil spirit, and is no longer the kid he once was: "What makes you think we came alone?"

When did all of these kids become stone-cold badasses? I guess that’s what happens when you’ve stared death in the face a couple dozen times—fear loses its power. "The Dark Moon" never quite becomes the revisit to Teen Wolf past that we’ve been promised, but the following scene is a reminder of just how silly this show is still willing to get: The camera zooms back through the crowd in the party that Stiles and Lydia walked through, revealing first, a blue-eyed, snarling Malia Tate; then a sneaky, golden-eyed Kira; and over "We brought an alpha," a truly fluorescent-red eyed Scotty-Scott McCall.

The following montage of Kira and Malia lady-dancing is probably longer than it needs to be, especially considering Malia's grinding skills should by all means be a little rusty, but I’m glad those two endearing outcasts are getting along… oh, and they're in The Pack! This season, more than ever before, especially considering last season's losses, there needs to be an emphasis on pack. And as if on cue, Mama Calaveras asks why, after all of the grief they’ve suffered, they’d risk it all again on Derek Hale. Stiles says it’s because they don’t like to lose, but we all know it’s because they looooove him.

The Calaveras boys start closing in on Malia, Kira, and Scott, and while they put up a valiant nunchaku effort, there’s only so much you can do in the face of a hunter’s "light saber" to the gut. They take Scott, Lydia, and Kira to a dungeon of torture for—you guessed it—some good old-fashioned electric shock. Because the Calaveras don’t know where Derek is either, and Mama has a suspicion that if she makes sweet Kira turn the electricity dial up to Back to the Future levels, Scott will somehow remember.

She is exactly right because she and her orthopedic shoes are terrifying; while he’s getting fried to an alpha crisp, Scott flashes back to Chris Argent telling Kate that if it goes deep enough, a werewolf scratch can turn someone. Which tells Scott what we already know: Kate is back, she’s looking hella blue, and she’s got Derek… again.

Meanwhile, in romance news, in an attempt to harness her coyote powers to hear what’s happening from their locker room confines, Malia kisses Stiles, because of course. Malia was thrust upon us pretty suddenly, and she’s looking maybe a little too good for having just recently been a coyote, but her inability to understand human emotions gives her character some great moments this episode. She’s constantly wanting to leave everyone but Stiles behind, which is super not-pack, but can't even fathom leaving Stiles, which is sweet, especially for this pairing.

NEXT: Excuse me, might you have directions to the nearest were-jaguar ruins?

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