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Change or Die – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s Season 4 Premiere “The Dark Moon”

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Hey there, Werebangers! It’s summer time. It’s hot. School is out. We are just a few days shy of America’s Independence Day! What better time to check back in with our favorite assorted supernatural thingys and “boy normals” of Beacon Hills?

dancing stiles moon

There comes a time in every successful television series’ life, when it becomes faced with the inevitable question: Change . . .

always been the alpha

im the alpha

alpha now

. . . or Die?

 

cant kill me big

omg dead

Now, if it were up to the producers of these series, this point would never come. Good shows would stay forever the same. And why not? The Same is what made their series a hit in the first place. The Same is what got them this far . . . past the thousands of series like them that never made it past their first season . . . past the Curse of the Sophomore Slump. The Same is Good. Isn’t it?

nodding oh yeah

But then, usually around the series’ first or second season, THINGS start to happen . . . THINGS that kick The Same in the ass, and watch it to see how it responds. Cast members age . . . they leave the series . . showrunners abandon ship . .. . characters break the rules that made their season 1 selves who they are, and, eventually THEY GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL.

ep 12 pop cult noooooooo scott

For Teen Wolf, the show that, in and of itself, can be described as one Big Ole Metaphor for Puberty, The Revolt against Same came a bit early. Scott and Stiles weren’t set to graduate for at least another year. And a good writer could make that year last about three seasons . . . or until one of their “high school” characters starts to look like Andrea Zuckerman from Beverly Hills 90210 . . .

undressed with mind

But then came the Mass Exodus. Jackson, Erica, Cora, The Twins, Isaac, Allison. They all jumped ship within a relative short amount of time. Scott suddenly found himself without a love interest, a frenemy, and a surrogate brother. And Stiles, well, it seemed like every woman his lips touched was destined to disappear . . .

batman catwoman

kissed stiles

make out stora

mackin

And so Jeff Davis found himself faced with the question every showrunner dreads: Change or Die?

gives me joy

So, he decided to Change . . .Here’s how he did it . . .

enjoy the show

[As always, special thanks to my main man Andre, who screencaps like a maverick, and comments like a Pulitzer Prize winner in the making.  Welcome back, my friend.]

Como se dice “screwed” en espanol?

I don’t know about you guys, but when I think of ideal teen destination vacations in Mexico, I generally think of places like Cancun, Tijuana, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, Playa del Carmen . . . sunny beachy party spots, accentuated with a continuous soundtrack of techno music with a loud thumping base, and all the watered down booze you can drink . . . where everyone around you is ridiculously thin, young and tan, and no one is sober.

I don’t picture a weirdly orange-tinted town that looks like the set design for the opening market scene in a high school production of Disney’s Aladdin. And yet, that’s precisely where we find our favorite not-so-much couple (damn you, Interloper Malia)Stiles and Lydia in the first few moments of Teen Wolf’s Season 4 premiere.

town of mexico

stydia in town

“I see Old, Pale and Fat People . . . Stiles, I don’t think we’re in Beacon Hills, anymore.”

Then again, the Teen Wolf gang aren’t exactly your average teenagers. They are werewolves . . . kitsune . . . banshee . . . survivors of Nogitsune possession . . .

bad stiles more

. . . girls who spent all of puberty licking themselves clean in a cave, relieving themselves in bushes, snacking on the legs of dead rabbits, and avoiding traps set for them by their homicidal father . . . who, despite all this, seem remarkably well-adjusted and verbal, apart from the occasional desire to cannibalize her friends . . .

yumm

hungry

And they aren’t here for fun and games. They are here to rescue one of their own . . . their erstwhile leader . . . a mid twenty something guy , who would prefer nothing more than to party with 17-year olds, despite the fact that he’s legitimately old enough to get into actual bars and buy himself beer without a fake ID, view porn on the internet, by punching in his real birthdate, and even rent a car.

internet derek 2

sexy derek face

In short, he’s Matthew McConaughey’s character in Dazed and Confused.

. . . but much broodier, and slightly less high.

crazy derek

Every self-respecting Scooby Crew has one. And Scott and co. want theirs back, safe and sound . . . in his creepy unfurnished apartment, where half the main cast has died . . .

boyd wolf

Sorry Boyd.

So, like the true BAMF that he is, Stiles strolls up to the doorway of a secret, midday, siesta/ fiesta, flashes a tarot card to the surveillance camera .  . .

check out my card

“Whose up for a game of Dungeons and Dragons?”

 .. .  and cruises into   . . . a Girls Gone Wild video?

this is more like it

girls and boys gone wild

grindage

What show am I watching again?

Things begin to become a bit more clear, when Lydia drops a golden bullet into a freely proffered tequila-filled shot glass. Now, that’s just unsanitary . . . who knows in whom that bullet has been?

can i get you drunk

dirty drink

“Actually, we have a pretty good idea who got penetrated by this particular bullet.”

derek body

Kind of jealous of the bullet right now . . . not going to lie.

The proverbial gauntlet has been thrown, and Stiles and Lydia are immediately taken to a back room to negotiate with . . . that middle-aged Mexican lady who randomly appeared in a few episodes last season.

pain is fun

“Because the disappearance of Gerard left an opening for a Token Geriatric.”

negotiations

But Stiles and Lydia have not arrived at this party empty-handed. They’ve come with cash . . . lots and lots of cash, $50,000 to be exact. (That’s a lot of dough! I wonder how many ancient, highly impractical weapons Papa Argent had to pawn to come up with that kind of cash.)

argent door

“Now my swords are all I have left . . .”

“Give us Derek Hale, and you’ll have enough cash to buy your creepy, poorly located night club a snazzy disco ball to hang from the ceiling,” Lydia challenges . . . more or less.

will kill a banshee

That’s when the guns come out.

lyd screams

Ruh roh!

Time to call in the reinforcements!

Unfortunately, James Franco’s character from Spring Breakers wasn’t available. So, they had to settle for these guys . . .

ola

“Hola!”

aqui esta

“Estoy aqui!”

donde esta el bano

“Uhh . . . donde esta el bano?”

Cue the opening credits . . .

You Got Tazed!

In our obligatory homoerotic portion of the episode, Malia and Kira attempt to “blend into the crowd,” by casually dry humping one another on the dance floor.

humping coyotes

more humping coyotes

(Because everyone knows coyotes and foxes are absolute experts when it comes to homoerotic dry humping.)

Unfortunately, this interlude of hot animal loving is interrupted by the people with guns trying to beat down the Scooby Gang for crashing their party and offering to pay them $50,000 just for the opportunity to attend. The nerve!

stiles alphabet 1 allisonargents

stiles alphabet2 allisonargents

Have no fear, Wolfbangers! Kira is prepared for a fight. She has . . . nunchuck glowsticks?

more chuck

glow stick two

It looks like someone’s been spending too much time with the Ninja Turtles .   . .

Malia’s fighting tactics are a bit more . . . direct.

toss

Then, of course, everybody has to go and get themselves gassed, which ruins everything. Let that be a lesson to you kiddies, raves are naughty.

gas

Smells a little like farts in here . . .”

And since white gas doesn’t seem to be enough to bring down our Alpha, Mr. Scott . . . meet Mr. Tazer!

tazed

electrifying

It’s Potty Time!

Scott and co, regain consciousness in a seriously gross bathroom . . . the kind of bathroom you only use, if you ever find yourself on a deserted highway, about fifty miles from the next rest stop, and having just drank an entire 2-liter bottle of Coke Zero. Even then, upon getting the looks of this place, you may ultimately opt for a quick squat in the bushes instead.

gross bathroom

“If I were you, I wouldn’t be laying down.”

But wait. Someone’s missing! Where’s the banshee?

lyd back

“Lydia’s gone? Is she hurt, wounded, suffering from a really bad hair day? Let’s gnaw off her leg with our teeth, like it’s a drumstick,” posits everyone’s favorite wilderness girl.

lets leave that bitch

Oh Malia! Your rapidly changing coyote ways are adorable! Remember that time when you accidentally murdered your baby sister, and then proceeded to visit the scene of the crime every night for eight years, carrying the doll she loved most, while she was living, to pay your canine respects?

why am i naked

No? That’s OK! Because cannibalism is a much more endearing character trait.

eat her

Plus, Its Lydia. And let’s face it. As far as superhero powers go, hers so far, is pretty much lamest ever.

floating feather

(Make that the second lamest . . .)

Take for example her flashback attempt to find Derek by touching the bullets that may have penetrated his man parts. “He’s not dead . . . but he’s not alive,” Lydia offers helpfully.

feel like bullet

“Feels like bullets.”

Genius! Good thing Scott was there with his heretofore nonexistent ability to determine that Derek is in Mexico, just because the bullets that hit him just so happened to have pictures of skulls on them! Now THAT’S impressive!

totally mexico

By the way,  doesn’t putting your Gang Calling Card on the BULLETS YOU USE TO KILL PEOPLE make you the dumbest crime family ever?

Next we see Lydia with Mexican Mommy in the town square. “Hey Lydia,” says Mommy. “Tell me which of my guards is about to die.”

read the tea

“Feeling kind of sick.  Montezumas Revenge?”

Lydia considers this for a moment. “Hmmm . . . I’m not sure. Perhaps, it’s the one into whose carotid artery you just tossed a knife.”

that one is going to die

“I got it!  It’s the guy falling down dead!  He’s the one that’s about to die!  Best Banshee Ever!”

Very good! Then again, I probably could have figured that out, and I’m not a banshee. I’m not even Irish . . .

Electro-Shock Therapy

So, basically, these Calavares Mexican Hunter folks have this rather rude habit of tying up members of the Teen Wolf cast, and shocking them with electricity, in hopes that it will force the werewolves to provide information they aren’t aware they have.

brain games

no me gusta fun

“No me gusta.”

To me, it seems like a kind of odd interrogation tactic. Since having volts of electricity frying your brain at regular intervals seems like it would make seemingly unimportant things that happened during Season 1 of Teen Wolf more difficult to remember, not less.

ephemeral

Nonetheless, Mexican Mommy forces Kira to repeatedly shock Scott, while she continuously screams at him to tell him where Derek is . . .

pain is fun

Derek, the same guy the Scooby Gang went to the Calavares’ trying to find.

yet another scott face

Color me confused. Hey Mexican Mommy! There are easier ways to do this. Perhaps, you can try letting Scott fondle your bullets. That’s how he figured out you were in Mexico. (Then again, maybe your accent gave it away.)

Meanwhile, still stuck in the grimy bathroom, Malia pretends not to be able to hear Scott screaming from electric shock in the room right next door, as an excuse to suck face with Stiles . . . not that I blame her . . . at least not entirely.   If it were me, I suspect I would have been a bit more blunt in my execution. “Hey Stiles, I think I may have left my werecoyote super hearing in the back of your throat.   Would you mind terribly if I extracted it with my tongue?”

nope cant hear anything

“Nope .  . . can’t hear anything.  Just the sound of flushing toilets.”

concentrate

“You can do this, Malia.  You can do anything.  Like the time you figured out how to have human sex, despite having spent the last eight years humping trees.”

malia kisses

so much better

Glowing blue eyes = were coyote lady boner

Hey, speaking of which, remember that time Lydia kissed Stiles to cure his panic attack?

Yeah, this was so much less epic than that . . .

Sorry . . . not sorry.

Back in Torture Town, Scott finally Alphas out and figures out what the rest of us learned back in the Season Finale, namely that Kate Argent, that evil wench whose been relegated to hosting that darn Wolf Watch after show all year, became a were – SOMETHING WITH BLUE FACE, back when Peter clawed her up back in Season 1, and, for reasons not yet apparent, kidnapped Derek and took him to good ole Mexico.

lightbulb-idea

trademark scott face

Hey, maybe shock therapy is an effective memory device after all!

La Loba Esta en La Iglesia

So, it turns out Mexican Mommy knew where Derek and Kate were all along! She was just torturing Scott and co. for sh*ts and giggles . . .oh, and possibly to see whether Scott’s True Alpha form was a cool scary gorilla thing like Peter’s . . .

ep 6 alpha

. . . or an angry kid, who forgot to activate the red eye reduction on his camera like Derek . . .

derek alpha

*shrugs*

Better luck next time, Scott! On the bright side, at least you don’t have to wear those ridiculous ears and sideburns anymore . . .

wolf facewolf face

Mexican Mommy offers Scott and Co. the help of a familiar face in tracking down Derek and Kate.

braeden entrance

Welcome back, Bad Ass Braedan!

braeden

On the way to the place where Kate was last seen, the Scooby crew pass the time, by helpfully summarizing the series’ first season for new fans . . . and Malia and Kira.

road trip a

“I love road trips!  Hey, mind if I stick my head out the window, while we drive?”

Remember when Kate set fire to the Hale house, killing the entire Hale family . . . except Derek . . . and Peter . . . and Cora . . . and Laura, who died at Peter’s hand later . . .?

recap

Correction: remember when Kate set fire to the Hale House and pretty much only killed Derek’s mother, and maybe an uncle or two who we never met?

Then Peter went on a murderous Alpha rampage, turning Scott into a werewolf, and murdering Kate . . . or so we thought?

cut me

What actually happened, was that the Calavares extracted Kate from her box in the morgue, and brought her all the way across the border to their magical mystical Mexico bathroom, so she could off herself, without suffering the ignominy of turning into the big bad in Season 4 of Teen Wolf.

not dead kate

“Looks pale, needs a manicure . . . lets take her south of the border!”

And that plan was a big fat failure . . .

wakey wakey

So, how does Scott know this? I guess we are supposed to assume that Mexican Mommy told him off screen. Either that, or electro shock therapy is so amazing, it helps you to remember even events for which you weren’t present.

We interrupt this trip down retconned memory lane to bring you a CLAW IN STILES’ JEEP.

love my jeep

this the problem

Since Braeden’s motorcycle is unfortunately only large enough to seat two asses, Stiles and Scott agree that the Alpha Wolf should be the one to enter the abandoned church.  Makes sense.   After all, Stiles’ days as a mass murdering Japanese fox spirit probably wouldn’t sit too well with the local bible thumpers . . .

watching death

death 2

death 1

Plus, Stiles loves his Jeep, just a teensy bit more than he loves Scott . . .

And so our stalwart Scooby Gang break Rule 1 of Every Horror Movie Ever by Splitting Up in the Abandoned Desert After the Car Mysteriously Breaks Down.

still rated pg

“It’s too bad our relationship is still PG, otherwise I would be dry humping you so hard right now.”

“CHUMPS!” Yells out the now-deceased casts of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of Wax, Reeker, Wrong Turn, Vacancy, etc.

time to die in wilderness

“This may be the worst idea we’ve ever had.  And we’ve had some really crappy ideas.”

Things go slightly better for Stiles And Friends, who have the benefit of being the main characters in a television series. Because, clearly if this was a two-hour movie on Lifetime, they’d all be goners . . .

going to die

. . . except Lydia.   Girlfriend, just has one of those “I survived a horror movie, despite being the one in my group with the least survival skills” faces.

lydia smirk

The worst thing that happens is Malia wolf’s coyotes out, and dashes off in search of a potential predator, causing Stiles to fear that she’ll suffer the same fate of every other non-red haired character who had the bad luck of almost hooking up with Stiles , only to never be seen again . . .

coyote

Either that or she’ll go back to coyote life, gnawing on rabbits legs, and imagining they are her weak and wounded friends, after a particularly poor hunting season . . .

Buuuuuuut, then Malia comes back . . . which is great . . . or lame, depending on where you fall on the Love Malia / Hate Malia spectrum. That’s one controversial coyote!

never leave

When Stiles calls Malia out on her “cut and run” attitude, the former cave girl promises the former Nogitsune host that she would never abandon him. As for Lydia and Kira, well, that’s another matter entirely.  So, in conclusion, if Stiles is injured or in danger, Malia will come to his rescue and stay by his side, for as long as it takes him to heal. If Lydia or Kira are injured or in danger, Malia will . . . possibly eat them.

jaws of death

Clearly, hos before bros is not a concept well known amongst the coyote community in Beacon Hills . . .

In which Tyler Hoechlin gets re-cast ?

You know those TV shows where they suddenly recast one of the main characters, and you, as the viewer, have to try really hard not to think about the fact that the person you’ve been watching on your screen for weeks, suddenly changed their face, and none of their friends or family seemed to notice?

That’s not what happened here . . .

Instead, after Braeden and Scott enter the Creepy Temple Covering an Aztec Burial Ground for Were Jaguars, and narrowly escape getting eaten alive by massive skeletony things, thanks to Scott’s roar . . .

iglesia

bear thng

roar

. . . they find Derek . . . from about ten years ago . . .

found him

“Peekaboo.  I see you!”

. . . the Derek from flashbacks . . . the one who is actually the same age as all his current friends.

derek sort of

A church that can turn back time . . . while you sleep!

sleeping der bear

Cool! I’ll have what he’s having!

And that was the Teen Wolf Season Premiere. And it was definitely different. Whether that change was for better or worse, remains to be seen. But I’m intrigued enough to go along for the ride. How about you?

stiles dancing at gay bar melchiors

Next week on Teen Wolf . . .corpses, lots and lots of corpses. I hope Malia is hungry!

Until next time, Werebangers!

more dancing stiles

[Hey!   I published a new book.  It’s called Me and You, Inc.   Curious?  Click here.]

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