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

That whole electric chair thing was apparently some sort of character test, and Scott passed, because Mama Calaveras says now she knows what kind of alpha he is, but quickly follows up with, "but the second you bite some kid in the woods, I’mma be on ya ass, buddy." For now though, besties. She even hires them a guide to go find Kate and Derek: It’s kick-ass mercenary, Braeden (Meagan Tandy), who probably deserves a whole spin-off show. A supernatural lady mercenary in leather pants who is constantly tired of all these teenagers' bullshit? Where is The CW on this?

In an excellent deployment of this cast’s most reliable member, everybody piles in Stiles’ blue Jeep to follow Braeden to the place where Kate has been spotted: La Iglesia, a village leveled by an earthquake, except for the church, which still stands because it was built over an Aztec temple of the Nagual people… better known as were-jaguars.

For those of you keeping score at home: That’s werewolves, were-coyotes, were-jaguars, kitsunes, (no more) nogitsunes, and banshees… the gang’s all here!

And the gang’s all hanging out with the jeep after it breaks down, while Scott continues on with Braeden to find Derek, who’s shown in a flashback of sorts sleeping like Dracula with his arms crossed under a bunch of cobwebs (still looks good). Scott and Braeden make their way down to the crypts of the church while exchanging pleasantries about how easy it would be for them to kill each other, but there’s no time for that, because there are, like, six different other things down there trying to kill them. One of those things flashes us a glimpse of his creepy, bony hand before the teen wolf, himself, lets out his fiercest Alpha Katy Perry roar, and scares everything that isn’t Derek off.

The Jeep crew are dealing with their own Big Bads, who also remain off-camera, making them even more foreboding as something that will likely come back to haunt us, especially since one of those somethings gave Malia a gnarly scratch and smelled, "like rotting… like death." No time to linger on smells though, because the Jeep is working now, and when they pull up to the church, they find Braeden and Scott carrying out Derek… wait for it... 15-year-old Derek (Ian Nelson).

Maybe I should have seen that reveal coming because there were so many excellent filter-heavy scenes in this episode, but I… Did… NOT. Until that moment of reveal, this premiere felt like an odd little film—just a new setting to showcase these kids' ever-noble quest for vengeance, even when they're woefully unprepared. But the Baby Derek callback to 3A’s flashback episode, and even further back to the still lingering questions of what went down with Kate and young Derek in a time before we even knew them is an excellent reminder that this world is so much bigger than one story. But the tightness of this episode forecasts a cautiously hopeful outlook for Season 4 being able to take the huge world this little show has somehow managed to create, and focus on its parts—even when those parts are in Mexico sometimes.

So… what are your thoughts on Baby Derek? Why would Kate just let Scott walk right out of there with him? Are you accepting Kira and Malia into your pack hearts? Let's not talk about how much we missed Allison… still can’t talk about it. And what did you like better? Lydia talking about Kate: "What kind of shape is sociopathic bitch?"; or Stiles talking about Derek: "You don’t want him anyway. Haven’t you noticed what a downer he is? Poor conversationalist, no sense of humor…"?

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