TV Reviewer Katie Young drools over the season four Teen Wolf finale ‘Smoke and Mirrors’…
Here we are at the end of another season, and what a finale! It made me wish we could have spent more time dealing with this mythology and these storylines over the past twelve episodes and less on the bizarre Benefactor non-plot. It had everything: heart, suspense, comedy (both intentional and unintentional) and some proper tooth and claw action. I’ll admit, I am still confused as to why there are Berserkers in Mexico, why they adopted Kate and how she de-aged Derek, but questioning the logic of Jeff Davis at this stage is much like a blunt pencil. Pointless.
We open with Kira finding the door of her cell in the abandoned church open. She creeps out only to be confronted by Scott who is now a Berserker. The fact that Kira only realises who it is beating the living daylights out of her when she catches a glimpse of his tattoo is both chilling and heart-breaking. Kate turns up to explain at length – in villainous tradition – how she discovered the Berserkers after escaping from the Calaveras, and not only did they let her live, but she found she could control them. They call her La Lobos or The Bone Woman. In one of the most shocking moments in this episode, Kate makes Scott stab poor Kira. It’s going to take more than a date in Derek’s loft to fix this faux-pas.
Meanwhile back in Beacon Hills, Stiles wants to go to Mexico to find his friends but Sheriff Stilinski is not down with this plan. He wants Stiles to go through ‘the proper channels’ which, considering the shape of the local police force, is pretty laughable. Stiles ignores his father’s suggestion and sets about assembling his posse. Good boy.
Derek tells Braeden he doesn’t plan on coming back from Mexico alive but doesn’t mind if he gets to save Scott and Kira. I love that Derek has genuine feelings for these kids now, although his romance with Braeden is less convincing and feels a tad rushed. Peter says he’s going with them too and we know nothing good can come of that.
Stiles and Derek cuff a transforming Liam in the back of the meat wagon, and I realise just how much I’ve missed the snarky Stiles and Derek interactions of earlier seasons. Derek gives Liam the Triskelion, but it seems the ‘Alpha Beta Omega’ mantra does nothing for the pup, so Stiles calms him down with a bit of Buddhism.Baby Liam has discovered his cojones and wants to go and help rescue his Alpha, but it’s a full moon so Braeden procures an armoured van, which apparently you can do when you’re a US Marshall. It also transpires that she’s been obsessively stalking a mark known only as The Desert Wolf. Uh-oh. That’s not going to go down well with Malia. Speaking of Malia, the coyote has an awkward journey ahead as she is stuck riding shotgun with dad of the year, Peter Hale.
Over at the school, Lydia and Mason are taken by a Berserker who keeps them locked up but doesn’t seem to want to kill them. Lydia, being the super-smart cookie that she is, realises that she is being kept away so that she cannot foretell who will die.
All Hell breaks loose when Stiles and his gang turn up at La Iglesia. Derek gets stabbed by a Berserker on arrival and insists everyone go on without him. Stiles turns around to look at him meaningfully before going inside the church, and at this point I am simultaneously on the brink of puking rainbows and hurling my laptop across the room because you can’t goddamn die on us, Derek Hale! Also I observe that he looks really, really hot with blood on his lips as he gasps his last.Kira is bleeding out and has a vision of her mother telling her to trigger her kitsune healing powers with pain, which Kira duly does by gripping a sharp shard of obsidian and shredding her hand.
Stiles finds Kira. She tells him about Scott, and Stiles realises that’s why Lydia has gone missing. He calls his dad who arrives at the school armed with a grenade. Seriously, everyone is super badass in this episode. Kira manages to stop Malia from killing Berserker Scott in the nick of time. Stiles tries to get through to his friend, and gets a smack-down for his trouble. But little Liam manages to talk him out of his bone-armour, assuring him he’s not a monster. Just a werewolf. Eh?If all that excitement wasn’t enough, Chris Argent and Parrish turn up with the Calaveras in tow and save Braeden from being eviscerated by Kate and a Berserker. Papa Argent has automatic weapons and Parrish is dressed in leather and everything about them is glorious. Chris has a special bullet packed with his secret stash of rare yellow wolfsbane, and he uses it to fend off his wayward sister.
But there’s no time for confusion, because Peter’s rather elaborate plan to get Scott killed has failed and he is pissed off. The two Alphas get into it with Peter screaming things like “You were MY beta first!” and I have to admit possessive, angry Peter is my favourite. There are so many good things about this battle. Peter’s smug face. Liam having a pew thrown at him. Slamming each other up against walls. They really went all out and the result is marvellously entertaining, and of course Scott wins ultimately.
A blood-curdling howl pierces the air and a wolf with blue eyes bounds out of nowhere to maul Kate. Could it be The Desert Wolf? Nope – it’s a newly evolved Derek! He wasn’t dead, just resting his lovely green eyes, and now he’s super powerful and naked. Hurrah!Meanwhile the ladies outside are not to be outdone with Kate and Mama Calaveras having themselves a bitch-fight of epic proportions. At this point I notice that Kate is basically Courtney Love when she wolfs out, and that pleases me.
Can we just take a second to talk about how gorgeous the morning scene outside the church is? It’s all golden light and pounding rock music and it looks like a scene out of From Dusk Till Dawn or something.Chris lets the injured Kate go – she’s still his sister after all – but then makes a deal with the Calaveras that they will leave the Beacon Hills pack alone if he helps them find Kate. Chris also gives the kids enough yellow wolfsbane to keep Peter knocked out until they get home.
Back in Beacon Hills, life returns to some semblance of normality. Well, normal for Beacon Hills. Sheriff Stilinski cuffs Stiles to a desk and takes Malia out for dinner. Seems a little unfair. Coach Finstock resumes his inappropriate banter with his lacrosse players. “I’ve had experiences south of the border that would knock the genitals off you boys”. Wow. Um. Okay. That’s pretty direct, Bobby. For some reason the phrase ‘donkey show’ starts ricocheting around my head. Anyway, Liam, Stiles and Scott decide they have to stick together. Kira’s mother gives Kira her first tail, made from the obsidian from La Iglesia. And Lydia wants to help Parrish unleash his inner beast. Bad girl.
Over at Eichen House, Peter ends up in a cell with Valack, and looking into his third eye makes Peter scream and climb the walls. Valack seems pretty pleased that he’s got a bunk buddy though. Maybe he’s planning to make Peter read him that entire stack of romance novels…
And there we have it. A rollicking finish to a middling season, and one which makes me quietly optimistic for next year. There were some notable absences. Bit strange that Deaton and Mama McCall were both absent while Scott’s life was in the balance, Agent McCall never did return from that business trip, and still no mention of Danny or Isaac. A whole season, you guys! But overall, the finale had the ‘we’re in this together’ feel and fun factor of some of the show’s all-time strongest episodes, and made me glad I’d stuck with this pack.