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TV Review: Teen Wolf – Season 4

At first, I wasn’t really sure what to feel or how I wanted to write this, so I let the finale–and the entire season for that matter–marinate for a bit (hence why it is up more than a week later). Well, there’s that and the fact that I had other stuff to do. I also decided that instead of it taking the shape of  a traditionally-rated review, it would instead serve as a discussion of sorts.

After the “I actually forgot Teen Wolf was a product of MTV” season 3 finale in which Dylan O’Brien delivered the best performance to ever hit the channel as a villain and main female character–and badass–Alison Argent died, I felt I had to tune in. Whether it was to show my dedication to the show or to see where they would go from there, I don’t even know. Even if it meant that my Film 334 homework fell by the wayside, I was beyond ready for whatever Scott & Co. were going to throw at me.

And I must say, I was…rather disappointed.

Before I get angry emails or comments, that was just my opinion.

Not that the finale or the entire season for that matter was bad. It was just no Season 3, which went way darker and gave us the ‘Alpha Pack’ and the Darach as well as the brief journey into Japanese myth. I understand the cast and the creator wanted to lighten the mood again after the previous go around decimated my poor brain (I hope this happened to others and I’m not just a weenie). And as a result, they went back to more the humorous, not-everybody-dies Teen Wolf roots of sorts.

Sorry to say, MTV, but that’s not enough for me anymore.

Not that the entire thing was bad as a whole. It is obvious that they are trying to work with what they are given, with Alison’s death and Chris Argent’s (JR Bourne)–a character I really liked–subsequently smaller role as such, but it can’t be completely over-looked. The last season raised the bar so much, this season and its finale struggled to meet it. In my Wolf Watch opinion, last night’s episode came nowhere near it.

Before we go into the things I felt could have been handled a bit better, let’s have the good points.

We certainly get more ‘girl power’ on the show.

This comes in the form of the additions from the last season Kira, Malia and ex- U.S. Marshall turned mercenary Braeden and even the reappearance of Kate Argent.

I love the fact that Braeden and Derek have formed a romantic relationship, as I totally ship them (she taught him how to shoot a gun!). It seemed simple until we saw Derek’s attempt at it. I just wish they got some of what Allison and Scott got (i.e. hella long build up/drama).

But these skills though…

Malia’s life seems like it is on near constant twenty. She has to deal with the fact that being a “normal” human teen after being a coyote for years is hard work and math is even harder. The father she left behind when she shifted into coyote form wasn’t even her dad and her real father is actually Peter. But on the flip side, she is in a hilarious relationship with Stiles.

 I would trade lives with her so fast…*le sigh*

Kira and Scott finally ‘defined the relationship’ and she gained her first tail.

…And Lydia is being Lydia.

Her life, I guess, is always going to be a series of struggles where her supernatural Banshee powers are concerned.  I mean, just how do you get whispering voices connected to a network of other Banshees and be privy to upcoming deaths under control and still manage to be sane?

Derek didn’t die!

Did he just…die? No, he just turned into a full blown wolf.

TW collage

So, we were all faked out.

I thought it was real when Lydia used his name as the third lock code. Whenever Lydia comes up with a name, it’s pretty much Teen Wolf law that you are next, you know, like Final Destination.

Derek actually became that character I accidentally grew to care about. His past is all types of troubled. I feel like MTV sits around at the beginning of production every season and brainstorm ways they could possibly make his life worse, crappier or even more tragic. I am actually surprised Derek didn’t turn into Bruce Wayne or Wolverine so far. And since I am a classic villain/bad-boy sympathizer (example:  I feel Harry Osborne was completely justified and did no real wrong in The Amazing Spider-Man 2), he was justified in being a butt whenever he had butt moments.

I also get the sinking feeling that Braeden is possibly next on the kill list, just because.

Oh yeah, Derek is like the Peter Parker of this universe.

 

 

“Hey, I’m Derek Hale and my life sucks!”

Also, kinda naked (of course cut off by the screen), Derek was season finale bonus points.

The police in Beacon Hills prove to have at least entry-level competency.

Sheriff Stillinski gets claps for not being the stereotypical incompetent town sheriff who sends the entire force into one place at one given time. “Hey guys, how about we all patrol the storm drains?” He also killed a Berserker without having any supernatural powers at all and he continues to take this crap in stride.

You have earned my utmost respect Sheriff.

Peter ended up getting what he deserved.

Peter ended up having to share a cell located underneath the beyond creepy Eichen House with the three-eyed Hannibal Lector type roommate, Dr. Valeck. Not to mention that the cell is reinforced by Mountain Ash and he gets frequently drugged with Yellow Wolfsbane.

…this guy…

I only wonder how that works out now that everyone knows Malia is his daughter.

Now, here is some of the bad:

The show almost became a Powerpuff Girl-esque villain of the week type of show.

Every episode, we had a different assassin trying to kill our favorite wolf pack (Is it considered a wolf pack if the majority of people aren’t even werewolves?) in various ways, through a virus, with no mouth and a tomahawk, and even a necklace and a lacrosse wolfs bane shank. Some of these had the potential to be really great characters but it was so rushed in a “okay, you pretty much have an episode to do something” type of way. Not the best set up if you are trying to keep viewers who are used to the deeper plots, storytelling, and characters of the previous season.

When the idea of a ‘Benefactor’ was introduced, I expected that to be a finale reveal and hypothesized that Peter (Ian Bohen and his V-necks) would once again be revealed as the root of all Beacon Hills evil. Instead, we got the reveal way too early, with the ‘Benefactor’ being fellow Banshee Meredith carrying out Peter’s twisted ass goals. I felt an almost “what now” kind of feeling because I forgot about Kate’s entire resurrection/revenge sub-plot.

TW2 collage

It was just a lot of sh*t going on.

Not enough Stiles

It’s no secret that I am mildly obsessed with Stiles Stilinski and that if given the chance to meet five significant people, Dylan O’Brien would be one of them. So needless to say, Stiles is the reason I tune in every week.

After giving me so much Stiles how could you take it away, MTV?

…And I can’t stand winking…

Last season flipped the script when they instead took comedic relief/normal best friend Stiles and made him into an actual threat. I knew all of the sh*t had hit the fan when Japanese Oni and Kitsune mythology was introduced to Beacon Hills and Stiles, who was pretty much the Mystery Inc. solving brains of the group became possessed by an evil trickster spirit. It was certain that people were going to die and nothing was going to be the same.

The fan-girl in me is only satiated by the fact that Stiles finally got some love this season with Malia Tate…Hale? I don’t even know anymore (Shelley Hennig). The pairing has made me love her even more because a lot of the time she says what I think, which is pretty much saying the bluntest things possible. And the fact that Malia wears the pants adds to comedic factor the two have.

And last but not least…

What the f*ck is Deputy Parrish?

This is so up for discussion on so many sites and so many ideas are being thrown around. In fact, I actually remember a couple from a Salamander, a Phoenix, a fire kitsune and many others that have actually escaped my memory. The question is, is the creator Jeff Davis going with a set mythology like he has done so far or is he just throwing something different and entirely new at us? The most plausible speculation to me is that Parrish just might be a Phoenix. I mean, he didn’t die when he was set on fire and he doesn’t know what he is. This makes sense in that a phoenix (phoenixes…Is that the plural of that word?) are known for being animals that regenerate or rather go through a rebirth. What if Deputy Parish is a phoenix that pressed reset but it also restarted his memories as well? Something to think about.

What would you rate the finale and the season? What would like to see next on ‘Teen Wolf’? And what kind of supernatural do you think Deputy Parrish is?

 

Image(s): teenwolf.wikia.com, dylannews.tumblr.com, rebloggy.com, comicsalliance.com, emilywatchestoomuchtelevision.blogspot.com, www.mtv.com, www.zap2it.com
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