Brace yourselves. It’s time for the extended final episode of Teen Wolf S4, which means…extra padding. Le sigh.
Let’s bitch it out…
Season four has not been Teen Wolf‘s best season. Despite a reduction in episodes from the tax-break highs of S3, this season has still suffered. The twelve episodes have felt strangely bloated, suffered significant pacing issues (admittedly this is often an issue with the show), but more importantly there’s been a complete lack of narrative cohesion over the 12 episodes. Take a moment to consider the entire Benefactor storyline…did any of it really matter? A: No. That’s not good plotting.
I had some hopes that an extended finale would help to smoothe out the kinks and return the show to a place where it could recover heading into S5. Alas, it proved to be more of the same tedious plotting, ridiculous action instead of character development and a surprising amount of sidelined characters in favour of some generic Berserker BS. ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ indeed; this isn’t the Teen Wolf I signed up for.
As predicted this finale is centered around the battle for Scott’s (Tyler Posey) soul as he must break free of Kate Argent’s (Jill Wagner) hold. Naturally it comes down to a supposedly dramatic confrontation with Liam (Dylan Sprayberry), who only has to tell him that he’s not a monster for Scott to embrace his good guy and remove the Berserker mask. It’s clearly intended as a hugely dramatic moment, but between the special effects and Sprayberry’s typically awful line delivery, what should have been the emotional core of the episode comes off as cheesy and laughable.
Ditto Derek’s (Tyler Hoechlin) unsurprisingly “evolution” from fatally injured human to re-energized Beta. The moment might have felt more significant had Derek been injured in a significant fashion and not simply mauled by the first random Berserker on the scene. Honestly, that attack feels like something that should have happened to a junior member of the squad, not a seasoned veteran (werewolf or no. Hell, Mason fared better!). By the time Derek returns – at the pivotal moment when the battle needs to shift, in a dramatic low-angle cliched hero shot with the music soaring, it’s more chuckle/groan-worthy than applause-worthy. It’s aggravating.
That’s actually how I’ve felt about the majority of this season. I’m unsure if I’ve outgrown what the show is selling, or if the meandering FX-and-slow-motion-fight-sequences have finally destroyed my desire for well choreographed fight scenes (how long until Arrow S3?). Honestly, I’m just not sure what the show stands for anymore. Instead of trying to explore the impact of powers on these teens when they’re at a vulnerable age, or explore the socioeconomic impact of recurring supernatural attacks on the town, creator Jeff Davis and company are mostly interested in producing visually interesting villains who will look cool when they jump through the air. Teen Wolf seems to have lost its sense of direction and purpose. After watching the show through significantly more downs than ups over the last few years, I’ve had my fill. Judging from the readership of these posts, it seems like I’m not alone, either.
- Poor Ian Bohen – his sole werewolf transformation this season is hampered by a combination of truly awful prosthetics and “meh” special effects. At least he gets to exit with his dignity intact *sacrasm*. No, I’m kidding. He totally ends up on the supernatural floor of the asylum in a cell with dumb ol’third eye and an atrocious “noooooo!” scream (always atrocious) to end his run.
- Also: so basically nothing came out of Malia’s (Shelley Hennig) and Peter’s relationship except a quip about dealing with her later? Or are we meant to feel all rainbow-y because Sheriff Stilinski (Linden Ashby) and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) take her in like a member of the family? ‘Cause that kinda happened waaay earlier this season.
- Poor Jill Wagner – her few lines about Alison (mention Alison once: check!) suggests that she could have imbued Kate with a lot more depth and personality had she been given the chance. Instead she just got to play Kate like a snarly, blue-faced beyotch – a role that could have been portrayed by any remotely attractive actress.
- It’s unclear why Argent (JR Bourne) couldn’t capture Kate (yes, yes, rebar injury, etc) but it appears that JR Bourne won’t be back for the next season. Apparently he’s this season’s cast casualty (not Hoechlin as we speculated). Considering Bourne has a bit of a career outside of Teen Wolf, this is a good move for him. Get out while you can!
- There’s a lot of back to school style messaging in the finale: Liam must learn to control his shifting during the full moon and Kira (Arden Cho) must learn to activate her healing powers. It’s almost like creator Jeff Davis timed the episode to air around the same time as the show’s audience returns to class. Teen Wolf: good for helping you learn stuff.
- Kira earns her first tail as a result of her efforts (playing victim?). Snark aside, this kind of ends up being a sweet mother/daughter moment. Which is nice because Kira basically did jack-all the rest of the finale.
- Mason (Khylin Rhambo) and Lydia (Holland Roden) get stuck in the lame-duck B-plot story as a Berserker keeps them trapped in the school and away from the action. The fact that Lydia even acknowledges that she’s just a distraction confirms that that this storyline is basically just a waste of time. In fact, her most tantalizing moment is questioning exactly what Parrish (Ryan Kelley) is…something we’ve been waiting to learn all season and will apparently have to keep waiting for. Tease!
- Finally, if you want more insight (and ideas of where the show is going), check out the finale Q&A with Jeff Davis over at EW.com
- Stiles (when Liam doesn’t get the Star Wars reference): “Seriously? You haven’t seen it either?”
- Liam (to Scott): “You’re not a monster. You’re a werewolf.” Gag
- Scott (to Peter): “You were never an Alpha, Peter, but you were always a monster.”
Your turn: was the season a bust to you or did you enjoy a) the Mexico bits or b) the Benefactor bits? (Let’s be honest, they really were two different seasons crammed together) Was Kate underutilized? Will Argent be back? Were you surprised that Derek survived? Did you laugh at Scott’s dramatic return to hero status? And what would you like to see occur in S5? Sound off below.
Teen Wolf has finished airing its fourth season. It will return next summer on MTV, but our coverage here on bitchstolemyremote has come to a close. Thanks for reading these last few years.