Tuesday, June 24, 2014

'Teen Wolf' Recap | "The Dark Moon" Has Risen

"Just give us Derek.  You don't want him anyway.  Haven't you noticed what a downer he is?  No sense of humor, poor conversationalist."

Welcome, welcome! The time has come...

We have officially begun Season 4 of Teen Wolf.  The wait was long, but believe me when I say that it was worth it.  Viewers were gifted an interesting and well-paced introductory episode that ended with one Hale of a surprise!  (Do you know how long I've been waiting to use that pun?  Too long.)

I am more than excited to break this episode down, so let's get to work.

Previously on Teen Wolf

A "Divine Move" was made.  The evil nogitsune that was possessing Stiles in Season 3B was defeated.  Also, we left behind four beloved characters:  Allison and Aiden (both deceased), as well as Ethan and Isaac (both have left town indefinitely).  In their stead, we got two new regulars--Kira Yukimura and Malia Tate--as well as a plethora of supporting newbies.  

And then, when we thought the roller coaster ride was over and that everything had calmed down, Jeff Davis said "No, no, no, put your seat belts back on, because I'm bringing back Kate Argent, Allison's crazy aunt from Season 1 who you guys thought was dead".  So, we got back on the ride, and we waited months for it to start up.  Last night we finally got rolling, and let me tell you: we were moving fast...

The Dark Moon

We're Here For The Party

"The Dark Moon" takes place approximately two months after the end of Season 3B and in unfamiliar territory.  The desert environment and the Spanish-speaking civilians that surround Lydia and Stiles help viewers infer that our characters are a long way from home--Mexico to be exact!

Stiles and Lydia are on-screen arguing about their "plan".  Lydia says that their plan sucks and that they are going to die.  We'll have to wait a while to figure out what that plan is.

Day turns to night, Stiles and Lydia have been walking for a while.  They arrive at a building that is guarded by two men.  "Estamos aquĆ­ para la fiesta," Lydia tells them.  But, they aren't allowed inside until Stiles reveals a card to a camera that watches them, and the door buzzes open.  

Stiles and Lydia walk down a hallway and enter a dance club full of gyrating, sweaty men and women and a certain Mexican hunter named Severo who spots them upon their entry.  Stiles and Lydia make their way over to the bar where two shots of alcohol are set before them.  Severo appears behind them and tells them that the drinks are on the house.  People typically don't accept things, especially drinks that could be laced with poison, from their enemies, so Stiles and Lydia do not partake of the beverages.  Lydia drops a shell casing into her shot glass and Severo knows that she means business.

We cut to a meeting room of the club, where Stiles and Lydia now sit with Araya, the Matriarch of the Calaveras family of hunters.  You may remember her from episodes of Season 3B like "More Bad Than Good" and "Echo House".  This meeting with Araya is reminiscent of The Godfather, or in this case, The Godmother.

Stiles and Lydia's plan starts to unravel when Lydia admits to Araya that they are there for Derek Hale.  They set money on the table in exchange for Derek--$50,000.  Where on earth did they get this money?  I believe this is where that question that we've seen all over the promos comes in:  Who is the Benefactor?

Unfortunately, Araya is not the kind of woman who is going to be easily bought.  She tells Stiles and Lydia that it was not smart that they came alone.  "What makes you think that we came alone?" Stiles asks.  Of course he and Lydia are smarter than that--I mean, they're freaking brilliant.

Cut to a beautiful introduction of three of our favorite supernatural characters:  Malia, Kira, and Scott.

Araya is not pleased that a wolf has been brought into her home.  But, Scott isn't just any old wolf; he's an alpha.  So, that should be okay, right?  Not.

"Dance With Me Dumbass"

The Calaveras send word to their guards that there are supernatural creatures in their midst.  Malia and Kira start to get curious gazes (likely because they're American), so they try to blend in on the dance floor.  However, Kira's dance moves are terrible and she probably would have been better off trying to blend in standing in line for the ladies room or something.

Malia pulls Kira close to help her out.  I must admit that there is something very sexy about these two dancing together.  And, oh, what was that sound?  The sound of another ship setting sail.  What will Kira and Malia's ship name be?  Kalia?  Mira?  Malira?  Who knows...

Back in the meeting room, Araya tells Stiles and Lydia that they have poor timing and asks them if they know what the dark moon is.  According to Lydia it is the "part of a lunar phase when the moon is least visible in the sky".  But, it is also a time of reflection on grief and loss.  Our characters have been through a lot in the past season, having lost many people they love.  So, Araya is curious as to why they would set themselves up for more loss, especially to save someone like Derek Hale.  

Let the fandom tell YOU something Araya:  Derek Hale is absolutely worth saving!  He is a big, lovable, adorably grumpy hero.  

A voice comes in over Severo's walky, confirmation that there are no problems in the south region of the club.  But what about the north region?  We see Scott pick up the walky of a man who is laying on the ground.  "Stiles," he says, "take ten off the table".  Stiles removes $10,000 from the the $50,000 before him.  The offer for Derek has just dropped to $40,000.  

If I were Araya, I would take the money and go on a shopping spree or 2 or 10... I have a problem.   However, Araya is not willing to take the deal.  Stiles drops one of my favorite lines of  the episode, which is featured at the beginning of this recap:  

GIFs via Qhuinn

 Well, Araya doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humor either.  She tells Severo to show these American kids how the Calaveras negotiate.

Meanwhile, back on the dancefloor, Kira and Malia have been made and are approached by two guards.  Both guards are easily taken down.  Kira does some fancy and impressive work with a pair of glowing nunchuks.  Scott takes down a guard as well.  These guys are kicking butt and taking names--must have been practicing these past two months.

Scott, Kira and Malia are walking down a hallway toward the meeting room when a gas that is now being sprayed throughout the club starts to fill the air, creeping towards them all.  Scott allows himself a few wiffs of the gas before he regrets it, realizing that this is Wolfsbane.   He urges Kira to get away, although I'm not sure why?  This gas seems to have no affect on her.  

A guard sneaks up on Kira, coming out of  the fog undetected, and takes her down.  Araya arrives in the hallway.  She tells Scott that he should be more careful when he is dealing with a hunter of 40 years.  Scott tells Araya that they just want Derek.  At this point, viewers may realize that Araya has never confirmed that she has Derek.  She's just been giving Scott and the Pack a hard time.  Scott has a revelation--the Calaveras don't have Derek and they don't know where he is.  Araya tases Scott before he has the chance to ask anymore questions.

"Rules of the Wild Kingdom Don't Apply to Friends"

When we arrive from commercial break, we see a flashback of the moment Scott, Stiles and Lydia realized that Derek is actually missing.  Scott hasn't heard from him in weeks, he isn't returning his texts.  Everything at the loft looked undisturbed besides the bullet casings Scott found all over the floor.  Each casing has the Calaveras' family mark on it.  

So, the question remains: is Derek dead?

They utilize Lydia's banshee powers to find the answer to this question.  She picks up the casings and drops them on the table.  As they fall, she hears gunshots, the shots that were fired during the break-in at Derek's loft at the end of Season 3B.  Lydia tells them that Derek isn't dead, but she's not sure that he's alive either.  Something's not right.

Back in Mexico, Scott wakes up inside of an enclosed room.  Malia, Stiles, and Kira are there, too.  It has been confirmed that the Calaveras don't have Derek.  But now they have Lydia. Scott tries to open the door to the room but doesn't have any luck. Malia suggests that when the doors to the room open again, they take down whoever is standing there and run.   She doesn't care whether they've retrieved Lydia or not.  

I absolutely LOVED this moment where Stiles is kind of scolding Malia.  It's so cute.  It's like she's a Kindergartner, learning the fundamentals--Sharing is Caring--and Stiles is the teacher.   

The door to the room opens and Severo comes in with a taser and two other guards.

Lydia sits outside (the sun is out, so we can assume that the commercial break took us into the next day) with Araya, having tea.  Araya is curious about Lydia's banshee powers and thinks Lydia underestimates them.  Lydia tells the lady that she would probably have more luck getting information from tarot cards than from her.  Araya decides to put Lydia to the test.  "Tell me," she points to two of her guards standing before them, "which of these men is about to die?"

How do Lydia's powers work?  How close to death does someone have to be before Lydia can predict it?  Araya picks up a knife and throws it at one of her guards.  It plunges directly into his heart.  Lydia doesn't scream until after the fact.  What does this woman want from her?  She wants to know about Scott, about what kind of Alpha he really is.

Turn the Dial on the Alpha

Lydia, Scott and Kira have been taken into a separate room from Stiles and Malia.  Scott is chained to a chair, and Lydia is seated beside him.  Severo has his grip on Kira's arm.  Severo explains the situation.

Scott is going to answer some questions.  Since Kira is immune to electricity, she cannot be subject to the torture the Calaveras have in store.  So, Kira is going to turn the dial on Scott if he doesn't answer their questions correctly.  And, by "turning the dial" we mean "to electrocute".   If Kira doesn't turn the dial on Scott, Severo will turn the dial on Lydia.  And, we know that unlike Scott, Lydia does not have the ability to heal.  Scott does not want Lydia to get hurt, so he encourages Kira to turn the dial; he can take it.  

Araya asks Scott where Derek is.  Well, obviously he doesn't know the answer to that question or he wouldn't have come to her and be STRAPPED TO AN ELECTRIC CHAIR RIGHT NOW!  But, Araya is not pleased with that answer.  She tells Kira to turn the dial to 1.  Volts of electricity are sent through Scott's body.

Meanwhile, Stiles and Malia are still in the other room.  Stiles is trying to get Malia to concentrate so that she can hear what is happening to Scott next door.  She leans forward and kisses him, and this helps her hone her senses.  This scene is very reminiscent of the Stydia kiss in Episode 11 of Season 3, "Alpha Pact".  If you recall, Stiles was having a panic attack and trying to get in control of himself, and Lydia kissed him.  And now, he's the one helping Malia control herself.  

This is romantic character development, people!  Stiles used to be absolutely enamored by Lydia, and he thought he needed her.  But now, he has matured and moved on from that young-obsessive-love phase, and he is the one who is needed on a deeper, more emotional level.  Love it!  Just love it!

Now Malia can hear what is going on in the next room, what the Calaveras are doing to Scott.  "They're killing him".

Araya is still asking questions of Scott that he doesn't have the answers to.  She thinks Scott doesn't know who has Derek because he hasn't figured it out yet.   Call me crazy, but although this lady has Scott chained to a chair and is shocking the hell out of him, it seems that maybe, possibly she...believes in him

"Who had a vendetta particular to the Hales?  Who could have taken him?  Who had the power of a shapeshifter? Someone who could have turned without [Scott] knowing?  Turned, but not by a bite?"

Scott tells Araya once again that he doesn't know.  She tells Kira to turn the dial to 10.  Scott screams, and his eyes flash red.  And, suddenly he remembers overhearing a conversation between Chris and Kate Argent at a lacrosse game.  "Can you get turned by a scratch?" Kate had asked.  "If the claws go deep enough."

Scott has his answer.  Kate Argent has Derek.

We cut to Kate, standing in an underground room.  Behind her, there is a carving on a wall.  And, on the other side of that wall?

La Iglesia: Not a Place You'll Find God

Araya lets Scott and his Pack go.  Apparently, she sent four men out to a location where Kate was seen and they didn't return.  Now she's sending Scott and his friends.  Maybe they'll have better luck.  She tells him that she knows what kind of Alpha he is now, and where his next step lies.  "When you take the bite of an innocent, when you make a wolf of your own, when you do that then I will cross your border and come knocking at your door".  That sounds like a threat to me.

But, Araya is even kind enough to give Scott a guide to Derek's location:  Braeden.  Remember her?  She saved Isaac back in "Tattoo".  And, she saved Peter and Derek back in "More Bad Than Good".  Now the mercenary is back and she's guiding Scott and the Pack to La Iglesia, which translates to "The Church".  But, she informs them that this is not a place where they'll find God.

On the way to La Iglesia, Scott, Lydia and Stiles give Kira and Malia the 411 on Kate Argent.  Let's rehash this for old time's sake:

Of course, Kate Argent is Allison's aunt.  She is the hunter who was responsible for setting Derek's family on fire.  Cora survived the fire, and so did "a very angry Peter" who bit & turned Scott, attacked Lydia and awakened her Banshee powers, and eventually found Kate and "killed" her...or so we thought.

But, Scott and Stiles saw Kate buried.  (Remember that episode, where they were hiding in the graveyard, watching from afar, only to get caught by Papa Stilinski?)  Scott clarifies that they saw the casket.  They didn't see her in it.  And, that 's because she wasn't in it.

Apparently, the Calaveras took a visit to the morgue after hearing about the manner of Kate's death.  They wanted to make sure that she wasn't turning.  But, she was.  So, they switched out the bodies, taking Kate with them.

When a hunter is bitten, they must kill themselves before they Change, as Allison's mother did in Season 2.  That's what the Calaveras were forcing Kate to do.  They treat the code as law and consider it their job to enforce it.  They held Kate in the same room we saw Scott and the Pack held in earlier in the episode.  Severo gave her a knife and left her to her last moments.  Later, guards came back to check on her, and she was face-down on the ground, a pool of blood formed around her.  Assuming she was dead, two guards entered, prepared to do away with the body.  But, Kate was not dead.  She leapt to her feet, took both men down, and presumably many others as she escaped.

So, is Kate a werewolf?  Scott's not sure, because there is a saying that sometimes "the shape you take reflects the person you are".

"What kind of shape is a sociopathic bitch?" Lydia asks.  Hah!

At this moment, the Jeep jerks wildly and Stiles pulls over.  Stiles isn't sure what's wrong with the truck, but it felt like they hit something.

Braeden tells Scott that they have to get to La Iglesia by night because it will be too dangerous otherwise.  So, Scott decides to leave his friends behind--they'll catch up later.

Kira tells Scott to be careful and hugs him.  He takes off on the back of Braeden's motorcycle.  Stiles is investigating his truck with the hood up.  Malia stoops down and reaches behind the wheel.  She pulls out what looks like a dagger made of bone.  The truck didn't hit something, something hit the truck.

"You Should Have Kissed Your Girlfriend"

Braeden and Scott arrive at an abandoned, earthquake-leveled town where only a church still stands.  Braeden tells him that it is believed that the church still stands because it was built atop an Aztec temple, sacred ground.  The temple belonged to the Nahual who were shapeshifters, were-jaguars.  Scott and Braeden make their way to La Iglesia.

Meanwhile, Stiles, Lydia, Malia and Kira are still stranded.  Lydia and Stiles are arguing like a married couple which is really cute. "Maybe we should just walk," Lydia suggests.  "Hey!  I will never abandon this Jeep.  Do you understand me?  Ever," Stiles says. 

While Stiles and Lydia are arguing, Malia's spidey-senses are tingling.  She tells Stiles to work faster because there is definitely something out there with them.

Night has fallen by the time Scott and Braeden reach the doors of the church.  Scott, eyeing Braeden's gun, asks what she's going to do if she finds Kate inside.  Braeden says that she would take Kate back to the Calaveras as they paid her to do, and she is not concerned with what they do with Kate.  "If you were paid enough, would you kill her?"  Scott asks.

"If the money was good, I'd kill you."  Braeden is so badass.  LOVE her.

They head inside of the ruined church.  Scott tells Braeden that he senses something in there.  Something not human.  

In the middle of nowhere, Stiles and Lydia are still arguing adorably because Stiles thinks that Lydia isn't holding the flashlight straight enough, and she's upset that they're stuck because his raggedy Jeep broke down and she's scared.  GIVE ME MORE STYDIA ARGUMENTS!  Stiles rips a piece out of his truck and hands it to Lydia.  "What's this?" she asks.  "I don't know, I'm hoping it's not important," he says.  I didn't realize how much I'd missed the humorous, sarcastic Stiles until I saw this episode.  So happy that he's back to his old self.

Malia and Kira are looking out at their surroundings, trying to see if there is anything out there, but it's too dark.  Kira uses her sword to reflect the light of the flashlight further out.  Malia catches a glimpse of something moving, and she goes after it.

Stiles wants to go after Malia, but Lydia makes him stay where he is so that he can keep working on the Jeep.  Kira takes off after Malia instead. 

With her sword in hand, ready to fight, Kira heads after Malia.  We get a very suspenseful, horror movie-esque moment where we are just waiting for something to jump out a Kira.  Someone does come up behind her, but it's Malia, and she's been injured.  She tells Kira that whatever is out there, "it's big and fast and it cuts deep".  We hear Stiles' Jeep start up, and the girls take off running in that direction.

Scott and Braeden have made it underneath the church and it is very eerie down there.  There are cobwebs everywhere, skeletons, ya know, all the creepy gross things you wouldn't want to be near.

Braeden asks Scott why he didn't kiss Kira, his girlfriend.   He tells her that she isn't his girlfriend.  But, Braeden tells him that if he dies down there (and, if he does, it will be her fault because she's talking so damn loud), he's going to regret not having kissed her.  "You should have kissed your girlfriend."

We get yet another horror movie-esque scene as Scott and Braeden continue forward under the church.  There is that ominous music that swells, letting you know something bad is about to happen.  There are furtive glances over shoulders.  And, there is some weird creature moving in the shadows.  I can't even describe it, because I can't tell what it's even made of.  It doesn't have fur.  Rather it's made out of bones and metal maybe?  Is it a Transformer?  Haha.  Just kidding.

Suddenly, there are footsteps, the sound of something running.  And, we catch a glimpse of the creature hurtling towards Scott and Braeden.  "Get ready!" Braeden yells at Scott.  The fandom braces itself, and then, a commercial break.

Ughhh, why do they always do that???

One Hale of an Ending

In the Jeep, Stiles is scolding Malia once more, telling her never to run off again.  Do you not love this relationship?  I have a lot of feelings about this.  He admits that he thought she was leaving, that she wouldn't come back.

How cute is that?  I'm not a huge Stalia shipper, but I do like Malia, and I loved this moment.  I loved how surprised Stiles was that Malia said she wouldn't leave him.  He isn't used to requited love, and I'm glad that Malia is that for him.

Malia admits that she would leave Kira and Lydia, but not Stiles.  How sweet...in an odd, rude way.

And, Lydia's in the backseat like "dis bitch":

 I mean, is it just me, or do you get the sense that Lydia is a little jealous of Stiles and Malia's front-seat flirtations?

Malia tells the others that she didn't see the thing that attacked her, but she smelled it and it smelled like death.  Ew.

Braeden is shooting blindly at whatever creature lurks in the dark surrounding she and Scott.  Scott says that he doesn't see anything.  But, they can hear it coming nearer.  Braeden orders Scott to get behind her, but he doesn't.  Instead, he does this:

And then it's quiet.  He managed to scare whatever the hell that thing was away.  The force of Scott's roar causes rocks behind he and Braeden to tumble down and reveal the carving in the wall that we saw behind Kate Argent earlier in the episode.  They go over to it.

Apparently this carving is of Tezcatlipoca, the Nahual jaguar god.

They realize that Derek is in there, and Scott punches through the wall.

A hand reaches out to them in the darkness, but oddly, we aren't shown Derek's face.  This, along with Scott saying "Oh my God" should give viewers an immediate clue that something is up.

Stiles pulls his Jeep up to the front of the church just as Braeden and Scott are exiting, supporting someone in between them.  The figure looks like Derek, but the head is down, so we can't be entirely sure...

Everyone gets out of the Jeep.  Stiles has a stunned look on his face.  And, I can't put the rest of this into words.  I'll let the gifs speak for themselves.



I really liked this episode.  I think it was a great set-up for Season 4, and yet I feel like we haven't even skimmed the surface of the action and the problems we are going to see this season.

I was surprised by the ending.   Were you?  There were a ton of people on my Twitter saying that they had seen a spoiler and already knew that was going to happen.  I'm glad I wasn't spoiled, though.

Also, yay for the return of Baby Derek!  He's so cute:)


Let's Get Talking in the Comments

-Where did Stiles get all of that money?  Who is the Benefactor?
-How the hell did Derek become Baby Derek?
-Let's be honest: Do you think Braeden is going to survive the season?
-Are you liking Malia?

Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

See you again next Monday!

All of the photos and gif sets used in this recap belong to MTV unless otherwise stated.

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