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Teen Wolf Return Preview: Jeff Davis Teases "Psychological War" to Come

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From ice baths to nightmares. 

That’s basically where we’ll find Scott, Allison and Stiles at the start of Teen Wolf Season 3 Episode 13 (aka Season 3B) that roars to life tonight on MTV.

In season 3A, the threesome tempted death by voluntarily stepping into ice-filled water - but what you’ll see from the first moments of the new episodes is that that experience is still very much with our threesome. It is going to be very tough to shake.

Who better than series creator Jeff Davis to fill us in on the nightmares and the various romances on the show, as well as where Derek is since we saw him depart Beacon Hills at the end of 3A? Scroll down for an exclusive Q&A...

Teen Wolf Season 3B cast

TVFanatic: I don’t know that Teen Wolf's actually ever truly scared me, but the 3B opening really freaked me out.

Jeff Davis: That's great. I actually thought of that opening a long time ago. I've actually had sleep paralysis myself and it's a terrifying, terrifying thing. You have this feeling like you can't wake up and it's almost like your body is struggling to leap out of bed. So maybe some of my own experience got in there, which is a good thing for a writer. If you can translate your own terror, you can scare the audience that much more.

TVF: What does the first episode back set up for this whole half of the season?

JD: We consider 3-13 and 3-14 to be a two-parter. What it does is is it sets in motion the psychological thriller aspect of this season and that we're going to get into the heads of these characters. There's going to be a bit of a psychological war happening. It's very much the theme of this season, which is sort of about the dark half of our three leads, Scott, Allison and Stiles. Scott dealing with the encroaching Alpha aspect to his character, which is the fear that he'll become a monster like Peter. Allison's fear that she'll become a hunter like Kate [Argent]. And Stiles' fear that there's something dark inside him as well.

TVF: Do you feel like you got different things out of your actors in this half of the season? I feel like even with Dylan in that opening it was different than what I'd seen him do before.

JD: Absolutely. We were actually determined to push all of our main characters in interesting directions this season. We're not only seeing these kids grow physically, we're seeing them grow as actors as well. So one thing you want to do with young actors, I believe this truly, is to really push their talents. I think a lot of shows with young actors don't do that actually…I think they're satisfied to stick with their strengths, where we want to find new strengths.

I think Dylan is a very funny actor. I think he's also a phenomenal dramatic actor. So we're intent on giving him some really good drama this season. I wanted to give Crystal some funny stuff to do this season and push her comedic talents. So you get a little bit of romantic comedy with her actually but you're also going to see some heavy drama too.

With Tyler Posey, we really wanted to push him as well in almost all areas. He's growing up as an adult, so I wanted to see him take on the adult responsibilities in his character, to see him trying to be a leader, to see him figuring out he's got this new status, how does he manage that status while also being a teenager.

TVF: When we, the viewers, are inside these dreams, are there clues we should be looking for? Things in there that we can expect to be significant later?

JD: There are always clues. There are significant things. We like to lay a lot of clues in the first half of the season for the later half. We do like our audience to pay attention.

TVF: Going back to Stiles, is his dad going to figure in a lot more this season?

JD: Yeah. He really does. Linden does some phenomenal stuff this season. He gets into a lot of action too. I love Linden Ashby and I knew we were going to do this kind of stuff. But he really shines this season. I'm really excited for the audience to see him.

TVF: Talk to me about Lydia a little bit because she's a little outside of what Scott, Allison and Stiles are going through so I'm curious what her role is in this season.

JD: She's got a very big role this season. This is a season of Lydia discovering how to master her talent. Last season it was realizing that she has a supernatural capacity. This season is her attempt and her determination to be able to control it and use it. She learns a lot about it actually.

One of the things I really like about this show is that another theme about it is friendships and that Scott's pack doesn't consist necessarily of werewolves but of disparate parts of his world, a hunter, a banshee, a best friend who's kind of a detective. They're all part of his pack. So it's really about her becoming a member of his tribe really, and a useful one, a very useful one.

TVF: Is it safe to say the Scott, Isaac, Allison triangle is going to become a quadrangle...is that right, a quadrangle…with our new character [Kira, played by Arden Cho] that comes in?

JD: I don't know if you can call it a quadrangle or triangle because we approach it in a kind of different way. I was determined to not approach Scott having a new love interest and Allison having a new love interest as a love triangle. I feel like we see that all the time. It's always two girls to one guy. Well it's not always two girls to one guy, two guys and one girl, as you see on Vampire Diaries.

I wanted to actually approach the idea that in high school you do date lots of people. You could end up dating one of the best friends of a former boyfriend. How do you approach that as a growing adult? Is it with jealousy or is it with compassion actually and with respect? So you'll see them trying to navigate these complicated emotional waters, and do it differently. We really wanted to take a different approach to it because we know this stuff does happen in high school.

TVF: What does this whole Tate family…how does that play out? Is that kind of the big thrust of this season? I know it comes up in this first episode.

JD: It's an important…I can't say too much about it but the story sort of wraps up in the next episode. But she is a character who is going to be important later on.

TVF: Where is Derek in all this since he left at the end of last season?

JD: His journey is finding his place. He's a kind of failed leader. He's wondering what is he supposed to do now. I think we took him from a kind of bad guy in the first season to morally on the fence by the end of the first season, to bad guy again in the beginning of the second season, a rival pack to Scott to a hero in season 3A in the first half of our season three.

This is our chance to make him a real hero in 3B. I like the idea that characters change in the course of serialized TV. What the real challenge for the characters is can they live up to that change, can they keep it or do they fall back? We're going to see if Derek can maintain that change that he's made into a hero.

TVF: The twins – Ethan and Aiden – are not in the first episode, and Danny isn’t either so I'm curious, of course, about the relationship between Danny and Ethan.

JD: The twins return in 314 (airing January 13). They're also characters who are looking for their place as well. They have no pack anymore. They're the lone wolves, Omegas. After 3A they kind of disappeared for a few weeks, not knowing what to do with themselves, not knowing if they'd be accepted by Scott and his friends or outright rejected. We're going to see them struggle with that as well. They need a new pack. They need Scott but Scott doesn't necessarily trust them. It's the question of you can't suddenly declare yourselves one of the good guys after all that you've done. And they're going to wrestle with that.

TVF: Is there more to come with the romance with Danny?

JD: Ethan has disappeared and he has to kind of struggle to win Danny back. As does Aiden with Lydia.

Teen Wolf Season 3 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on MTV. 

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Teen Wolf Season 3 Episode 13 Quotes

Sweetheart, let me tell you something no teenager ever believes, but I guarantee you is the absolute truth. You fall in love more than once. It will happen again. It will be just as amazing and extraordinary as the first time and maybe just as painful. But it'll happen again. I promise. But until then, be your own anchor.

Melissa

Yeah, try not to forget we hit the reset button on a supernatural beacon for supernatural creatures. I think there's a pretty good chance that things are never going back to normal.

Stiles