Teen Wolf season 6 started with several very loud bangs—from a memory-erasing gun!—but before we dive into all that, let’s set the stage by revisiting the end of season 5. Everything worked out great for everyone in Beacon Hills, with the notable exception of Kira, who went away and may never graduate high school because desert warriors need to train her, or something. (For the record, I strenuously object.) Parrish finally knows that he is a black dog of doom, I mean hellhound, and now probably has to reconsider his life choices. Lydia had a giant hole in her head but seemed to be recovering just fine. Scott and Stiles are best bros again (hopefully forever) and Theo is gone (also hopefully forever). And we got Mason back from the Smoke Monster, I mean Beast of Gevaudan, for which I personally am grateful because it will mean Liam and Hayden get less screen time and that can only be a good thing. (I’m still coming to terms with this new crop of supernatural babies, I confess; it’s hard to measure up to the OG pack.) Malia’s mom was not actually able to murder her, huzzah! The other notable exception is that an undead Nazi war criminal escaped from the Dread Doctors’ tank, but we don’t appear to care about that yet. And now, onto the spoilers!
In the season 6 premiere “Memory Lost,” it’s clear the gang has been bored since their last adventure. Liam and Hayden have apparently done nothing other than make out with each other, Scott and Stiles are over-helping the Sheriff’s Department, Lydia still maybe has a hole in her head (Is it still there? Inquiring minds want to know!), and almost everyone (whither Hayden?) is in the new opening sequence. Not to worry: supernatural hijinks are on their way! One boy’s missing parents turn into a full-on disappearing act involving lots of objects and, notably, four people: the boy, his folks…and Stiles.
I have to hand it to the writers; turning Dylan O’Brien’s overbooked schedule into the plot of a season is smart. Not only does it raise the stakes, as Stiles is the Teen Wolf fandom’s collective favorite, but it allows for a moment I am not sure we would have gotten otherwise. That’s right, I’m talking about The Moment. The one so many of you have been waiting for. The moment that Stydia shippers always knew was coming. The moment I actually didn’t want (what can I say, Malia has really grown on me). The moment in which Stiles tells Lydia, “I love you.”
Even as an unbeliever, I could appreciate it. Holland Roden and O’Brien have their characters down cold, and their chemistry is excellent, as always. Putting it hard on the heels of Stiles’s separation from his father, which was actually heartbreaking, is genius. What I object to (let the record show) is the abruptness with which Scott’s memory is erased. How exactly does this forgetfulness plague spread? Is there a proximity factor or something? Because the idea that Lydia, while fond of Stiles and possibly harboring heretofore unrealized romantical feelings, would remember him longer than his actual best friend of all time strains my suspension of disbelief, not to mention my feels. I will accept the theory that Lydia’s banshee nature partially protects her from the effects of other paranormal/magical phenomenon, but only grudgingly.
On the upside, I am delighted to see that the effects and writing teams have found their way back to genuine creepiness. The Rider and his horse are actually scary, unlike Stitch’s evil giant mutant brother of last season, and the abruptness with which they come and go is nerve-racking. I do have some burning questions about what source material they are using for the Wild Hunt. However, given how fast and loose they’ve played with previous mythological tropes, I know not to expect too much adherence to my own folkloric headcanons. And at least as of this first episode, I’m willing to go along for the ride. (As long as it doesn’t involve any more Doors covers, please and thank you.)
So we’ve got our set-up: There are supernatural horsemen in town disappearing people. Lydia was the last person to remember Stiles, and even she didn’t at the end of “Memory Lost.” There’s also an undead Nazi war criminal on the loose. This is a two-part season, so my guess is that the Wild Hunt is our 6A villain and UNWC (as he shall henceforth be known) is our 6B villain. A few other predictions:
- The supernatural babies (meaning Liam, Hayden, Mason, and Corey) are the plucky comedic relief. Truly, Liam would make a terrible alpha.
- Stiles can see the horsemen initially because of his past possession by the nogitsune. Clearly you can’t just be a run-of-the-mill meta-human, or Scott and Lydia would have been able to see them as well. (This might never be explained, but I like to have a theory.)
- Peter will, as usual, be a chaotic self-serving disaster of a werewolf. (He’s in the trailer, don’t forget.) You do you, Peter.
- It will be the power of friendship, rather than romantic love, that actually brings Stiles back. Actually this is not so much a prediction as a demand: the show has built so strongly on Scott and Stiles’ relationship, it would be an absolute waste and a shame not to trade on it here.
Also, I HAVE QUESTIONS.
- We have at least two chimera running around still, Hayden and Corey, whose veins are full of weird gunk. Will that affect their future battles with UNWC? Are they actually alive? Are Liam and Mason actually making out with people who are still mostly dead?
- No but really, does Lydia still have a hole in her skull?!
- And who actually looks under the bed? Has Stiles never seen a horror movie?
- Someone please reassure me that’s not Theo in the trailer. Please? I beg you.
Jenn Northington is still waiting for her magical powers to manifest, is the Director of Events and Programming for Riot New Media, and comes from a long line of nerds.