There is little doubt that Teen Wolf has overstayed its welcome. Once a charming, cheesy series focused on the teen angst that comes along with being a teenage werewolf tasked with protecting his town, it has over the course of its sex seasons divulged itself into more somber, self-serious territory. Unexpectedly however (or maybe completely expected) the most serious the series painted itself the more ludicrous it became with a focus on slow motion action sequences (now slow motion is used for any kind of scene the show deems worthy), scene chewing villains whose master plans became increasingly convoluted and a further departure from the charm that made Teen Wolf so instantly beloved. Teen Wolf was never going to be remembered as being a great show, but it touched on the possibility in the second seasons and was genuinely entertaining for the majority of the first three. It was a solid series tailor made for those looking for unadulterated escapism until the series employed its most damning action and asked its audience to think.
I disappeared largely from recapping the show last season because it had become too focused on plot threads that meant little to a fan who had been following since day one. Luckily, the season six premier (for the finale season of the series) starts out seemingly on the right foot but there’s a thread of doubt about what is to come in the following episodes.
The gang is finally on the cusp of graduating from High School and it comes along at a time where things are relatively quiet in Beacon Hills. What used to go bump in the night has settled down, allowing Scott and co., to finally remember to be teenagers. Stiles however, as per usual, has grown restless in the absence of constant danger and is trying to rally his friends into seeking out the worriesome that is currently nonexistent. Of course, looking for trouble leads Stiles right to it and he finds himself the soon to be victim of the Riders who don’t just kidnap people, but erase their existence. The story is a nifty idea for our resident human even if it was obviously constructed as a means to delicately balance Dylan O’Brien’s other commitments. However, with his accident on the set of The Death Cure in March delaying his shooting schedule, it’s fair to wonder what his role will be for the remainder of the series.
Scott fares better in this episode than he has in the last two as they give him some, if not all, of his innate goofiness back that made him such an affable and charming leading character. It’s understandable that he should be seen as the mature, almost Derek like guardians over the likes of Liam, Hayden and Mason, but Tyler Posey excels at the awkward humor they so rarely write for him anymore. Meanwhile, the next-gen Teen Wolves are less irritating but as is the case with any show that reboots its leads (coughGleecough) it’s always difficult to forge an attachment to characters who have been more than less forced on the audience unlike with the originals where we grew fond of them over time. Malia is the one newbie who remains enjoyable onscreen, especially now when they’re back to writing her plot as directly being woven into how her living as a coyote for so many years has made her transitioning into a human life so difficult, and easy to mine humor out of. Another development is that she and Stiles are completely and totally done, leaving the will they, won’t they romance of he and Lydia open to develop.
Opinions may vary but I have always been of the hope that they would be the “endgame” couple, purely based on the fact that O’Brien and Holland Roden share a sweet, lived in chemistry. Throughout the episode they’re involved in plenty of moments that remind the audience of that connection, right before Stiles is literally stolen out from beneath Lydia’s fingertips, just after he’s told her to remember him, to remember that he loves her.
The entire sequence of Stiles realizing everyone he cares about is forgetting him is the most effective the series has been in ages and it’s all due to how greatly we care about this character and his relationship with the others. While I do support the concept in terms of how it will effect Scott and the pack and the mystery for them it will inspire, I have to wonder what Teen Wolf looks like without the trademark humor and heart that Stiles and O’Brien bring.
A promising enough start to the the last season of the series, it hasn’t done anything yet to help us forgive it’s missteps, but it’s a foot in the right direction.
What did everyone think?