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Teen Wolf Review: A Mexican Vacation

by at .  Updated at . Comments

Well. That was...odd.

Teen Wolf has been odd for a while now, and Teen Wolf Season 4 Episode 1 was no different. It's trying far too hard to be edgy when the success of the show rides on the characters and their witty dialog.

Thankfully, the premiere remained solid because of the new dynamic that was created by the loss of Allison. In her place stand both Kira and Malia and their inclusion works.

Interestingly, this would be a fine place for new viewers to tune in. If you're a newbie, raise your hand. With new main characters and the backgrounds of the Argent and Hale families explained in some detail, following along from that aspect wouldn't be that difficult.

Araya being a hunter who is willing to allow a True Alpha and his pack live is a unique choice. Should Scott take an innocent life, she'll be on his ass. But, for now, she just hopes they lead her to Kate.

Nothing that we learned about how Kate was changed was all that interesting, to be honest. She was never a beloved character so what she does from here forward will be what lasts.

Scott is a caring Alpha who puts his pack first. They didn't find Kate, but they found her captive, Derek. He just looks a bit... different. It was difficult to tell because the actor would have had to age since he last filmed, but it appears Ian Nelson is reprising his role as young Derek. He's a darn good match for Tyler Hoechlin. 

The life of the hour came from sharing with viewers how the gang will interact from here on out. I was surprised to find out that Scott didn't consider Kira his girlfriend (out loud, anyway). That seemed fairly clear before Allison died. Perhaps he withdrew a bit after her death. Given her last words, it would be difficult to fully embrace a new relationship so quickly.

Stiles has been trying to rip the wild out of Malia, but I'm glad he hasn't been completely successful. Her forthright behavior and admission she would leave Lydia behind (or eat her if hunting season was bad), as well as Kira if necessary, but never Stiles was cute. 

It turns out that Kira and Malia make a pretty good team. Will they be the new girl BFFs to follow on the show in place of Lydia and Allison? Their dance scene was at first awkward, then funny and finally sexy. Everyone enjoys two girls dancing sensually in front of a crowd, right? They also fought really well together and partnering in the desert proved they think in the same way. 

Now everyone is all up to date on what's happening with the exception of the secret Lydia has -- that Malia is Peter's daughter. When that comes out and how it will affect people should be interesting. 

It seems fairly obvious that Scott is ready to see past Allison and accept Kira as his girlfriend. Maybe they next time he heads into danger, she can send him off with a kiss instead of a quick hug and "be careful." 

Overall it was a great starting off point for Teen Wolf Season 4. Not the best and not the worst of episodes, but sitting well on the strength of the characters and their repartee. 

Were you surprised to see Derek's condition?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (38 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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I thought this was a solid opener for Teen Wolf! We all knew things would have to change after the trauma of last season, and starting off somewhere new as probably just the way to do that. Personally, I LOVE Malia! I thinks he brings something fresh that the show has never had, and her role in this episode only proved that more! I'm so excited to see the dynamic between her and Stiles play out and is it just me or did Shelley Hennig seriously NAIL Malia's cluelessness about being human in her line delivery? She was awesome! I'm really excited for this season, and honestly, a lot of that is because of her.

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Hanko9

Taking a break from Teen Wolf this summer. Will binge-watch Season4 at some point once it's over. Storytelling too random to keep track of week to week. Watching episodes back to back should work better for me. Stiles is still my favorite! As always love your reviews Carissa, maybe I'll catch up in time for the season finale.

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I actually like Malia. I am surprised a lit of people hate her actually. Stiles deserves someone better than Lydia, who has never given him the time of day. And I agree with what is said before: where was all the hate when Lydia kept hooking up with that alfa dude? Now that guy I disliked. I would still like to see Lydia and Stiles someday, but both have a lot of growing up to do before their romance would seem realisitic. On a sidenote, I am not happy about young Derek! I liked an older werewolf (not Peter) and oh how I am going to miss Tyler! Well, we'll see what babyface Derek will bring us. But they better bring Tyler back fast!

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No mention of Braeden? I'm disappointed. I thought this was a mostly uneventful premiere. It's clearly just setting things up for the future, which is fine but kind of dry. Nevertheless I'm excited that the show has returned.Scott and Kira are in an awkward indefinable place and that makes sense. There are feelings there but it's post Allison's death so I understand both of them not moving forward in their relationship just yet, but I'm confident they will eventually. I loved Stiles and Lydia in the beginning. They had this maturity and confidence with what they were doing and it only comes from them seeing so much and experiencing so much. They felt like veterans at supernatural shenanigans and I always enjoy their partnership as the brains of their crew. I also loved the intro of their crew with the glowing eyes bit. Badass. Why was Shelley ahead of Arden in the credits. I like Shelley H. And I adored her on TSC.. I'm still conflicted about Malia. 3 purposes she serves, Stiles love interest, fun with her adapting to being human, and being Peters daughter. Fair enough. But her being feral and adapting is theonly unique quality about her,otherwise she's a combo of Erica, Cora,, and the Hale boys as someone else pointed out. But we've skipped ahead two months which means her biggest issues with adapting have been glossed over and we only get cheeky throwawaylines from Stiles on the matter. That doesn't work for me, especially since they have to really sell her ridiculously written background that could be more interesting if they didn't overdo it so much that some of us have to try really hard to accept her implausible transition from a mentally eight year old coyote to a relatively socially normal 16 year old with sexual chemistry with stiles. I feel if they wanted to make her character so important they could have focused more on her and that journey than trying to make her stiles devoted gf because their previous attempts failed. My reluctance with her character was a fear that her development wouldn't be organic. The premiere showed me that it isn't. It's frustrating given the issues this show has always had with writing female characters outside of Allison and Lydia. I guess I did enjoy her friendship of sorts with Kira. But as a lone coyote who doesn't play well with others,is impulsive,whose self preservation outweighs loyalty or teammwork, and who wavers back and forth between being socially inept and carrying herself with the social intellect of a Queen bee. She feels contradictory. They wrote themselves into a corner with her. It's hard to pull her off. I don't know. At best I'm indifferent to her, and the hype around her isn't convincing. Her backstory affects how I see her. Braeden on the other hand. I found herfascinating since the first time they showed her. She's equal parts mysterious and badass, especially considering she's a human. That's a character I'd love to see explored more. Her elusive past, knowledge, and unknown backstory has loads of potential. I actually find her more interesting than Malia to be perfectly honest. I liked how easily she went from indifferent mercenary to curious and concerned high school girl when talking to Scott. She swoops in at the right time, knows so much more than the others,and is just an all around interesting character who is connected to them somehow and for some reason. I'm not that thrilled about Kate because I never cared for her. The Derek thing at the end was interesting. I almost wish the premiere was 2 hours long because it didn't really pick up or go anywhere until the end. Most of it was fluff, laying down foundation, and recap.

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@ mysti

LOL -- you're hardly indifferent to Malia. Sorry if I'm the first to point that out. That's alright. You don't have to like her. She's not going anywhere. Braeden did nothing but cycle in, escort the jeep and tell Scott to kiss Kira. She's hardly given me anything to work with at this point. Word is she'll be featured more. If she does rise above a motorcycle chick who shows up incrementally, perhaps there will be something to talk about.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

I'm sorry did my initial comment come across rude? I only ask because your response did a tad. I'm not offended just confused. I said at BEST I'm indifferent to her. At best I'm indifferent, at worst I'm annoyed. When she was first introduced I was indifferent. She didn't sway me either way but I recognized the potential in her character. I didn't understand the very strong opinions of her either way. We didn't know about her to be so passionately for or against her. I never once said I disliked her . Nor did I say that I wanted her to go anywhere. You're a reviewer and I say this without condescension, so surely you know better than most that just because critique something doesn't mean you hate it. I feel like you read my comment and assumed I was of the three fourths of the fandom that seemingly"hate" her that you mentioned below. I'm not. My frustration with her character has nothing to do with stydia or sterek shipping. As I said my frustration is in how they presented her. In the premiere. I don't dislike the idea of Malia. I don't care if she's with Stiles or not. I do feel that they gave her an interesting but complicated background and given the show' s history they aren't going to have enough time to explore it properly (much like they did with Cora, Erica, and Boyd for example). With her past she'd require more fleshing out and they won't have the time to adequately give it to her. Her coyote to teen girl transition is hard enough to swallow but that should be the most explored aspect of her, followed by her relation to Peter and then Stiles. The time jump though necessary perhaps in some regards appeared to me as if they are glossing over more detailed exploration of her transition in favor of the occasional reference or joke. And Jeff Davis has never hidden the fact that he's determined to have a nice stiles romance,and he tried it with both Erica and Cora but Malia's development as a character shouldn't revolve around Stiles and shouldn't take precedence over the other aspects of her as a character. I don't want another repeat of the previous stuff, and her coming across as bits and pieces of previous characters frustrated me,especially because they've gone out of their way to build her up (which I understand to some degree because she's coming in after Allison). I don't hate Malia, not everyone who doesn't sing her praises or instantly fell in love with her hates her. I'm just as analytical and critical of the characters I like. Except maybe Stiles. Just as verbose when it comes to them too.:) When I was watching Malia in this episode I kept thinking of how annoyed I get about Bonnie Bennett on TVD. Potential of being a well developed character but somehow ends up being a walking and talking plot device. That's beside the point though. I studied psychology, last season I loved how so much was going on but the psyche of all the characters and the effects of the colossal amount of stress they were under still was worked in there. I thought they would have a similar approach with Malia and I didn't sense that much. Given her background...God that's a tough backstory to give a person when there will never be enough time to explore it. If she remained a recurring character it would have been excusable. As a series regular it won't be. Hence my saying they wrote themselves in a corner with that. Okay. Fair enough. I've seen you work on less. Lol. All jokes aside, I enjoyed the symmetry with her appearance in the fourth season premiere with that of the third season premiere. And the second time around with a Derek rescue. I just thought it was worth a mention even though I wasn't terribly surprised that you didn't mention her. Disappointed but not surprised. My apologies for the long- winded spiel. I'm accustomed to lengthy discussions and fangirling but I hadn't the time to do it before so now I'm clearly having trouble condensing. And apparently clarifying.

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@ mysti

No, I wasn't trying to be rude. I was trying to be funny. Whoops! One of the main reasons I'm not worried about her back story or development at this point is because I fully expect it to come at a time when it makes the most sense for the story. When Peter discovers who she is and vice versa. Remember, nobody knows who she is, except Lydia. She's just a coyote girl who is learning to adjust. We know that's hardly the case and I think when the timing of Peter and Malia being in the know comes about, there will be a lot more development of her as a character. We'll likely learn about her birth, adoption and disappearance. Until then, she's underdeveloped because as a person she really has no background. She was a werecoyote kid lost in the woods, who blamed the death of her family on herself and was later found. Nothing too terribly important. She was brought into the pack because Scott is a good guy. He cares about the downtrodden, as do his friends. Give the show time. We're making a lot of assumptions about her based on one episode. We don't even know how Stiles feels other than he had sex with her. We know how she feels because she had someone to connect with like she never had before. I'm not sure, in an hourly series, what else there is to do other than introduce people in bits and pieces. It wasn't until the 3rd season that we learned why Stiles mother died, and her death shaped he and his father immensely. It just seems, from my end, that there is something else going on with Malia and the intense anger toward her. I think a lot of people are upset Stiles isn't getting his chance with Lydia, but she didn't want him any of the times he put himself out there. I'm not saying this is your case, but I'm reading some people judging a character negatively based upon very little actual airtime. Give her a chance.

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The reason I don't like Malia is because she combines the worst of Hale traits. She has Peter's desire for self preservation and Derek's inclination to act without thinking. That's a dangerous combo when you have to be a team player. She should not be brought on dangerous missions until she understands this.
Also I was highly annoying that she kept pressing the Kate topic when it was clear everyone found the subject painful. I think Kira's personality gels better with the rest of the characters and I like her as an independent person. Malia's only use is to make Lydia jealous and Peter angry.

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Spindae 2o

The setup of the episode was so random! Just throw them into Mejico, and let things happen was quite off. Even though I liked the start and the end of the episode the in between was some kind underwhelming.
The whole club scene was really nice, intense, mystic, passionate just on point. It's a shame they went in a wrong direction afterwards.
As a Secret Circle fan I love Shelley and her portrayal of Malia, the moment when she said she would never ever leave Stiles was so honest and beautiful, really loved it.
I know the show can't keep up with season3 but it will be nice to see them try.

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boring episode. no peter no derek no allison just stiles ans lydia save the day it's cute but not enough. actually i like malia but not kira.

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Malias character is so annoying.

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@ pffffff

Why?

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Marissa

I loved the premier and am so glad the show is back. Kira and Malia's dancing was so awkward at first and it was funny then it got really hot. They do make a great team and I'm totally for them being the new Lydia and Allison. I'm kind of glad Kira and Scott didn't kiss but only hugged because they were never officially together and he just lost Allison so It just wouldn't feel right but the next time one of them goes off in a life and death situation I hope there's a kiss. Malia and Styles were great and I love their relationship and can't wait to see more of it. Malia is just so fun and forward about everything and I love it I'm glad she's a regular this season and I can't wait to see more of her. I was totally surprised to see young Derek and I would really like to know how that happened I can't wait till it's explained. So glad the shows back and can't wait for the next episode.

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@ marissa

One thing we probably can count on -- we won't see whatever is on the horizon coming! :-)

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I liked the premiere. However, the "dynamic" indeed seemed interesting. Styles = Xander
Malia = Anya
Kira = Willow
Lydia = Cordelia
Scott = Buffy Also, though Peter wasn't in this episode, pretty sure they're trying to go all "Spike" with him.

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@ PrettyGood

This cracked me up because literally me and my boyfriend were just discussing this the other day! The only only other thing I would add is Derek=Angel, he has the whole brooding bad boy thing.

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Teen Wolf Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

Just give us Derek. You don't want him anyway. Haven't you noticed what a downer he is? No sense of humor, poor conversationalist. Just come on, take the money.

Stiles

Araya: You brought a wolf into my home?
Stiles: We brought an alpha.