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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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The Malia Stiles thing just feels so forced. It feels odd that they established a relationship basically off-screen and we're just supposed to take it for granted that they care about each other because they had (probably unprotected) sex on a basement couch in a mental hospital while he was possessed and convinced he was dying and she had literally just been a coyote since she was eight. Yes, characters can develop relationships off-screen, but it's annoying when one of them is a main character who many people already ship with someone else (and Stiles is part of two of the most popular ships on the show: Stydia and Sterek).
If they really want Stalia to be legitimate competition for those ships, they needed to develop them more realistically, and give us a reason to be invested. It CAN be done (I'm looking at you, Scira), it just requires some effort. Stalia just feels lazy. They think if they do a bunch of pre-season interviews insisting that Malia and Stiles are really good for each other and are "mates" everyone will ship them. But every time they interacted tonight it left a sour taste in my mouth. If we'd been eased into it, I think it would have been far easier to accept.
I don't like it when creators tell me to ship something. Nine times out of ten, if they have to tell me to, it's something I wouldn't have ever shipped on my own.
So I don't expect this site to complain about Malia or the suddenness of the Stiles and Malia pairing, but at least acknowledge. Because at least three quarters of your readers are bothered by it.

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@ Concerned Fan

Them as a ship doesn't bother me in theory. Like I'm not upset because I want him with someone else., but I'd have rather we seen her develop. Hook Stiles up with whomever, I'm not as caught up with the shipping or romance. I'm more about the friendship,action, and folklore. I don't like hooking characters together just for the sake of pairing them off, especially if it isn't organic or doesn't flow. I don't knock the chemistry of Stalia. It's there. I love Dylan. I like Shelley. Their asylum hookup was hot,bizarre, and random but I didn't hate it. I just would have rather seen Malia's journey into transitioning to functional teenager. I can't for the life of me get past the fact that mentally (and socially) she should be 8. If it comes out that she did shift a few times in those 8 years then maybe I can accept that better. But while they're attempting to do the whole feral woman thing (which I can be down with, Shoutout to Helena on Orphan Black. Love her feral animalistic thing" they've chosen to ignore or really downplay just how underdeveloped she should and would be. I mean sensory processing,speech issues something... I was as happy as the next fan that Stiles finally got laid but it weirded me out on some level that it was malia because the last thing on the list of things she needs and that I'd like to see for her is romance. Pairing her with Stiles does feel a bit forced and makes it seem like that is her purpose for being part of their pack. I hate what that does to her as a woman because there should and can be more to her than that. And I hate that they didn't build on their friendship more before giving us them as a couple because she more than anyone needs the friends and family before she needs a romantic relationship. If she was just a random were-coyote that just moved into town I wouldn't care but the girl whose been stuck in coyote form for eight years. She's screwed up, understandably so...let her be screwed up for a bit first. A character like her doesn't benefit from development character and relationship wise being predominantly offscreen. At all. It's a cop out and poor writing. Her being involved with a main character in addition to the obvious reasons makes it all the worst. I keep thinking of what would have happen if Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow started dating two days after waking up from a 200 year slumber. Too much. Too fast. Let's enjoy the transition first. And if that happen mostly offscreen I'd be ready to tear my hair out because that makes even less sense. Stiles could be paired up with anyone. He doesn't have to be though. Like that's okay too. Just don't force it. I understand you there.

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Modwild
@ Concerned Fan

Something interesting happened when I picked stand out characters for the year. Malia haters came out of the woodwork. People who had never spoken up on the site while she was being introduced on Season 3. In fact, most were interested in her character. Additionally, I don't recall anyone taking on Aiden while Lydia had her way with him.Where were all the Stylidia shippers then? She was not where she belonged! Stiles likes the attention he gets from Malia, something he never got from Lydia. Malia likes Stiles because he was the first person who treated her as an equal instead of the lost coyote girl. She still carries with her the coyote upbringing and it's not at all surprising that Stiles would want to help with that. He likes to help everyone. They grew closer off screen, sure, but nothing about it feels false at all. They're all being very true to their nature as they have been written previously. I hope you can just let it ride and see where the waves take us. Lydia won't be alone for long, she never is.

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Cynthia atufu
@ Concerned Fan

I have always shipped Stiles and Lydia but for some reason, Lydia just isn't into Stiles or at least not yet in the way i'd like. She keeps going for hot guys when clearly she should be with Stiles. But then you should understand no one is going to be waiting forever for you to realise you should be with them. So I don't mind Malia and Stiles. I think they are very cute especially when Malia said she'd never leave Stiles behind.
As far as I know, the writers haven't asked you or anyone else to ship any of the characters. We just do. So calm down, it isn't the end yet. Stiles and Lydia may still find their way to each other but until they do, don't you think Stiles deserves some fun and happiness too.
For me, I strongly believe Malia is a great addiction. She's fun to watch and she's pretty hot, good for Stilinsky!!!!

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@ Concerned Fan

What three quarters of TV fanatic readers are you refering to exactly. I believe that the Stiles and Malia relationship was established because of what they shared in the Mental Hospital and when he was helping Scott teach her about herself, so that was not sudden exactly. Besides, dragging out the start of their relationship would be more annoying than exciting mainly because it would take from the stories they have to tell on the show other than their relationship. And it would make sense for Scott and Kira to put breaks on whatever relationship they were starting to have following Alison's death, like the Carissa wrote.

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Modwild
@ Slyflicks

I think the fans he's speaking of were people who got wind of me including Malia in a poll over Kira and stormed the page in anger. These same people never voiced such an opinion during the run of the show, so any malice toward Malia was news to me.

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Jtl
@ Carissa Pavlica

I love Malia. She fits right in with Scott's pack.

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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.