What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico.
What They Say:
Smoke and Mirrors – In order to save the pack from Kate, Scott and Stiles return to La Iglesia.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Teen Wolf has certainly had an interesting season with what it did by cutting down a lot of the cast and focusing on a smaller number of characters. The series opened up the world a bit more from the get go with the La Iglesia aspect, other packs out there again, were-jaguars and more. I did like that it started focusing more on Scott and Kira at times and doing some great stuff with Stiles and Malia that has made me a fan. Granted, I wanted to see more of both of that, but we got the dead pool playing throughout the season and that introduced a lot of potential changes. The only area that it left me really unhappy with was seeing Lydia again weirdly utilized without letting her finally starting to get a handle on things and really understand what she is. She’s getting closer, but there’s still this whole disconnect for her to deal with.
Things didn’t go so well for Scott in the previous episode as Kate got her fangs into him and has turned him into a Berserker, one that has done some nice damage on Kira as she tries to find him and figure out what’s going on. Naturally, Scott in this form goes only so far and that lets Kate wander in to gloat and reveal a few things about her past that fleshes out how she survived and ended up with the Berserkers. Her alliance with Peter was certainly a surprising revelation previously, even to her, but she’s really taken to her role as La Loba, aka The Bone Woman. She’s also having a heck of a lot of fun toying with Scott and having him under her control as she uses him to mess with Kira in some very cruel and painful ways, physically and emotionally.
With all that bad stuff going down, that has a few other things aligning to get him some help. Stiles is trying to convince his dad to let him go to Mexico to find him, even asking for a gun and Malia is trying to help out as she can. Derek and Braeden are also gearing up for things as well as Derek really wants to help but is struggling with his inability to really be a key player at a critical time. It’s not so much about the loss of his powers but rather the loss of his ability to help in a big way. Derek has beefed up what he can do with a gun, but he also has a feeling that things won’t go well for him with this. But he owes Scott to do all that he can. Add in both Peter and Liam to the mix and it’s certainly an unusual group overall. What’s missing? Lydia, of course. That takes a little longer to get pulled together, but bringing her into the mix isn’t a surprise either, albeit as a supporting role dealing with a Berserker back at the school in Beacon Hills.
There’s a decent bit of road trip material to it as we get Derek being all teacher-like as he helps Liam to deal with the full moon and there’s also some fun with Peter and Malia together. The dynamics between certain characters is what really makes the show fun to watch. Seeing this pair interact is really neat, but I also really enjoy the way Derek is trying to take on a minor mentoring role, largely to try and use a placebo effect on Liam, and to get Stiles to go along with it. Derek and Stiles have long had an unusual relationship but it’s continually been fun to watch. We also get some time with a seriously injured Kira during this as she has visions of her mother talking to her about how she can try to heal herself, which provides some potentially interesting changes for her as she adapts some of the werewolf ways to do just that.
While things are largely taken care of over the course of the ride, events go pretty bad once they do get to La Iglesia with the Berserkers there. Peter’s made it clear they need to be as animalistic as the Berserkers are, but Derek’s taken down hard and fast right from the get go which adds a complicated emotional element, especially for both Stiles and Peter for different reasons. The action side of the series has always been a little off in some ways, but it moves and works to its own internal logic with some good consistency. So we get some decent back and forth chase scenes and fighting going on that lets different strengths show through. But we also get to see some little side bits that works well, especially for Braeden as she does what she can to protected Derek when he’s at his weakest and potentially dying. It’s also fun to see that a few favors get called in and we get a good rallying of supporting characters coming in to help out when the chips are down. It may be a predictable cavalry arriving kind of moment, but it shows the various interests that can be drawn in to push back in some decent ways. It also adds a more “general” kind of series of action sequences in contrast to the more personal ones going on as the group inside La Iglesia fight against Scott in Berserker mode without realizing that it’s him.
When they do realize it’s him, it naturally puts them all in a weaker position to fight him since their friendship and humanity has them pulling back in the face of hurting someone they care about. Trying to reach the Scott inside the Berserker isn’t easy of course with what’s at stake, but it does provide for more progress quicker than you might think it would, which isn’t a bad thing since it gives us a chance for Scott to strip away that side of him. A moment that really does seem to surprise Peter in a big way. This is the key moment that has been built towards for awhile since Peter was intent on gaining a whole lot of power once he put Scott in his place, but the two men have had such a relationship for so long that it all comes down to them going against each other. Peter definitely takes on a really intriguing role here as he cuts loose with his werewolf side so that everything can go to how he believes it should have been all along with him the proper inheritor of the power that he craves.
For a finale, it has a lot of ground to cover and some good twists. Derek, who seemingly died earlier, has now evolved into his next phase which is definitely powerful as he can take on a werewolf mode again. It also lets him be shirtless, something no season can have enough. It lets him go up against Kate well, but also lets her brother make it as personal as he can in trying to stop her. Family dynamics are at the heart of the series, all stripes of families, so seeing it make a good appearance here just cements it all the more. This also plays well as we see the fight between Scott and Peter step up. While Peter has a whole lot of experience and uses it well to take down Scott, Scott is evolving himself and really becoming who it is that he can be. It’s like he’s moving at a different pace than Peter and that gives him a great advantage. It’s a pretty satisfying fight overall, though you want just a bit more of it. You don’t even mind that the rest of the main cast largely watched all of this from the sidelines since the focus is where it’s supposed to be.
In a way, and not surprising at all, things do get wrapped up pretty nicely here with a number of threads dealt with and most of the core cast back where they should be or moving off on to their next phase. Kate’s story is probably the most frustrating for me in how it played out in the end, but I like what Chris Argent is up to and where it could lead to. Derek also really takes a big leap here that could open up a lot more possibilities for him. The weakest part of the show is once again LYdia and that really frustrates me, though they again tease a lot more interesting material for her in the future, but that’s par for the course for her at this point. All in all, this season worked well for me in its weekly form but you can also see how well it worked as a whole in letting Peter’s plans being put into effect and getting only so far. The expansion of the world in full here is what really worked for me as there’s a lot to like with what we learn here, but it’s also the fun of the relationships that we get throughout, especially for both Scott and Stiles with the women in their lives. The show may not have gone as far or as cohesive as I would have liked at times, but it’s a solid twelve episode run.