For reasons that are not immediately clear, Season 4 of “Teen Wolf” begins in a dusty Mexican town with Stiles and Lydia debating the merits (or lack thereof) of some plan. That plan immediately begins to take shape when the pair wanders into a hidden disco (because this is “Teen Wolf”) that is also the secret base of the Calaveras family of hunters.
You remember the Calaveras family — they’re the ones who randomly tortured the Hales last season. Now, they finally have a purpose.
Stiles and Lydia are just the front line of a full-on pack assault. Scott, Kira and Malia are all out dancing in the club (with varying degrees of awkwardness), just waiting for their chance. So while Stiles and Lydia are trying to bribe Mama Calaveras with Japanese gangster money and while Malia and Kira are getting their groove on, Scott is taking out guards.
Too bad the kids forgot that hunters have tricks of their own. In this case, those tricks start with wolfsbane-laced mist and end with rather extensive torture.
But the torture has a purpose — they induce a realization in Scott that Derek is not being held captive by the Calaveras family (this time) but is rather in the
claws hands of Kate Argent. Who is totally not dead.
How does that work exactly? Remember way back in Season 1 when the Argents had a casual conversation about how an Alpha can turn a person either with a bite or a really deep scratch? It seems that Peter Hale, when he slit Kate’s throat, did just that to the crazy lady.
And now she’s a jaguar. That part may have to remain mysterious for awhile longer.
Having gotten the torture out of their systems, the Calaveras’ matriarch sends Scott and his pack off to a ruined town in the desert where they think Derek is being held. The not-nice lady even provides a guide — Braeden, the teenage mercenary who popped up occasionally in Season 3.
The group makes good time on the trip until Stiles’ car breaks down, forcing Scott and Braeden to carry on via motorcycle.
But all is not what it seems. The Jeep doesn’t have any internal difficulties and only stopped because it picked up a giant talon on the road. Right around the time this is discovered, Malia hears noises out in the brush and takes off in pursuit.
She finds nothing and comes back with only a slashed abdomen and a complaint about stuff that smells dead.
It should probably be noted at this point that there are all sorts of new dynamics happening between the kids in Season 4. Scott and Kira, for example, are still being cute and awkward at every moment they’re not kicking butt and swinging day-glo nunchucks. Their relationship is still about longing looks and hugs, not passionate kisses.
Things are different for Stiles and Malia. Those two are all about the kisses and the expressions of undying loyalty. Stiles is even willing to defend Malia’s near-constant inability to speak like a normal person.
Lydia is stuck on her own for the moment. But don’t worry — that never lasts long.
Nothing at all creepy about an abandoned town
The dead things are probably around where Scott and Braeden are too. Scott, however, has an impressive roar these days, loud enough to scare even dead-smelling, car-breaking monsters. He and Braeden therefore have little trouble investigating the basement of a ruined church.
Derek is there. So are the dead-ish things. Kate doesn’t seem to be anywhere around. Thus, all that’s left is to find Derek and to wonder at jaguar-related sculpture in the Mesoamerican style.
After three seasons of supernatural craziness, you would think that “Teen Wolf” would have trouble coming up with new problems for its heroes. You would be wrong — that becomes clear when Scott and Braeden find Derek.
He’s fine, by the way. Derek just isn’t quite himself these days. Somehow or other, Kate and her funky jaguar symbols have managed to regress Derek back to his teenage, cello girl-loving days. How? Why?
It’s certain to be complicated.
“Teen Wolf” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.