Teen Wolf: The Dark Moon

“I wonder why, when you and your friends have suffered so much loss, you would risk it again for someone like Derek Hale.”

I thought it was odd that this season premiere was so completely removed from Beacon Hills. We were thrust right into the unknown, with not a whole lot of time left for filling in the blanks.

Our first shot is of a dusty town in the middle of the desert, with Lydia and Stiles looking just as lost as everyone watching. Despite throwing us a curveball with such a strange setting for this opener, it really whet my appetite for what this season has in store for us; Mexican wolf hunters, creepy Jaguar gods and psycho dead aunt seem to be a little of what to expect. The new opening credits even fit into that theme quite nicely, visually at least.

Regardless of the jarring location of the premiere, it didn’t take long for the episode to get going. Taking the pack out of Beacon Hills for the first episode back makes a lot more sense when you see how well it introduced us to the new dynamic between the characters. Had we been back on familiar ground, Allison’s absence would have been even more obvious and it would have been harder to accept all these differences (differences which I actually kind of liked) like our new arrivals.

I really like Malia. She’s the Anya of the group, with very little experience of human interaction, and no filter. Stiles is even playing the Xander role to a T; “this is progress”. We already got to know Kira well enough last season so it’s not really a surprise that she fit right in as well, despite not having much to do other than running around looking like a confused puppy. Also, how cool is it that the females are starting to rule this show? Remember how male centric Teen Wolf was in the beginning? I think it’s pretty great.

Even Lydia feels like a much stronger character, which is pretty important now that the female lead is gone. It’s disappointing that it took her so long to come into her powers, but I feel like this premiere addressed that by giving her a chance to use them to the pack’s advantage. I just hope her episodic absences are less common, since it could be harder for the show to work without her now.

One person Teen Wolf could function without is Derek. I do like him, but watching ‘The Dark Moon’ only made his irrelevance more obvious. Scott is just as good a leader as Derek could ever have been, and with so many allies on his side I’m not sure where Derek could fit in. He doesn’t have much to teach Scott, surely, but the need for an exposition fairy can’t be overstated for a show like this. Then again, we do have Deaton.

I loved the action, I loved this season’s new mythology and I really loved all the girl power. I’m excited to see where this season takes us after this. Dealing with this much change could be a challenge, but I think this show can take that change and make it its bitch.

4 out of 5 dark moons


Shelley Hennig and Arden Cho have been added to the opening credits, Crystal Reed has been removed, and Tyler Posey and Dylan O’Brien have some new sequences added in.

Braeden’s cool. I want to see more of her.

What happened to Derek? And where was Kate when Scott and Braeden found him in that old church?

He Said, She Said

Araya: “I wonder why, when you and your friends have suffered so much loss, you would risk it again for someone like Derek Hale.”
Stiles: “Because we don’t like to lose.”

Scott: “If you were paid enough would you kill [Kate]?”
Braeden: “If the money was good, I’d kill you.”

Originally posted at PandaTV.


J.D. Balthazar said...

I totally agree that the setting felt a little off, but I'm more concerned about the Derek reveal. I like Derek, but perhaps you're right that his character isn't as important as it used to be.

I love Malia, she fills a hole that Lydia used to occupy but I think Malia works a lot better in that space. Plus her relationship with Stiles is a lot of fun.

I'm also happy with the focus on Lydia. She's such a good character and I'm so happy they are finally coming around to explaining her rather unexplained powers.

I'm also glad that Kira and Malia are now cast members, they fill the Allison void, but it's good that neither of them are just Allison clones.

Billie Doux said...

It was an enjoyable episode, but it seemed a bit pointless for the gang to walk up to the enemy hunters and let themselves get captured and tortured. And while I very much like the shift in focus to our three powerful girls (you're right, Panda, it was way too male-focused at the the beginning of the series) I really like Derek and don't want him to disappear from the cast. Maybe they can come up with something cool for him this season.

Patrick said...

On "Wolf Watch", the MTV after-show, series creator Jeff Davis hinted at some significant stuff for Derek as a result of what's happened to him(he wouldn't say what, though), so hopefully he'll be doing more this season than just brooding & arguing with Peter.

I'm not sold on Malia yet, the relationship with Stiles still feels manufactured. But if Stiles is going to be spending time with Malia, I hope the show takes the opportunity to explore the friendship between Scott & Lydia. Not as a couple, just as friends. Scott lost his first love, but Lydia lost her best friend. I would think there is room for them to bond. I'm also glad they aren't moving *too* fast with Scott & Kira, those two are awfully cute together. It'll be nice to watch their romance grow.

The whole opening with them infiltrating the club ended up being a little pointless, since that family wound up not having Derek after all. The moment when Scott got on the walkie and told Stiles to take one of the money stacks off the table would've been a lot cooler if it wasn't all going to be for naught. It's nice to see Scott acting a bit more like an Alpha, though. Both in that sequence and letting loose that roar later on.

Interesting threat from Mama Hunter, that if Scott ever turns someone, she & her family will cross the border and hunt him down. I can't see the writers putting that warning out there if they weren't going to pay it off someday. I don't see Scott turning people to build an army the way Derek did in Season 2, but I could easily see him doing it to try and save someone like they teased he might try with Stiles last season.

This wasn't my favorite of their season openers, I thought the episodes that started each half of Season 3 were much stronger. Some intriguing stuff, though.