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'Teen Wolf' season 4 premiere recap: What happened to Derek?

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The Monday, June 23 season 4 premiere of "Teen Wolf," "The Dark Moon," sees Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Kira and Malia head to Mexico to find Derek. However, it's not until they're there that they're set on the right path, one that leads to quite the surprise. (And no, it's not Kate.)

The entire "Teen Wolf" season 4 premiere is about finding Derek, with exploration of Lydia's banshee powers and Malia's adjustment to life away from the animal kingdom with respect to the pack's search. It's definitely a new season and there is a new feel to it, with only one scene, a flashback to Scott, Stiles and Lydia figuring out Derek's missing and they need to go to Mexico, taking place in Beacon Hills.

That said, the past is not forgotten. They haven't forgotten about Allison, and with Kate back and Kira and Malia needing to know about her, they can't. However, other than a few silent moments in the jeep, it seems like enough time has passed that no one is outwardly grieving. Also, if you forgot all the Kate stuff, don't worry, that's where the handy flashbacks as the others tell the new members of the pack all about her come in. Are the flashbacks necessary? Not really.

The nature of the premiere does raise a couple of questions about these characters, like the fact that they go off to Mexico by themselves to find Derek and their parents are perfectly okay with that. Then there's the fact that Kira is the one who's awkward on the dance floor and Malia, who has spent years in coyote form, looks to be at home there, but she'd leave everyone (but Stiles) behind in a second because that's what she's used to in the animal kingdom. Maybe Stiles needs to better define "progress."

Ready to get into what happened in "The Dark Moon"? Keep reading for the recap.

They have an Alpha "This could be the stupidest plan we've ever come up with," Lydia tells Stiles before they head into a club that's exclusive enough they need a card to get in, and because this is "Teen Wolf," the guys are shirtless. Stiles and Lydia aren't at the bar for long before they're brought back to Araya, but she doesn't care how much money they offer for Derek. "Not smart to come alone," she tells them, but they didn't. "You brought a wolf into my home?" Oh, they did so much more than that. "We brought an Alpha," Stiles tells her.

While Scott, Malia and Kira take out the men Araya sends their way, Stiles continues to try to negotiate with her. "Just give us Derek," he tells her. "You don't want him anyway. Haven't you noticed what a downer he is? No sense of humor, poor conversationalist." However, these hunters negotiate differently (with wolfsbane gas), but Scott realizes Araya doesn't know where Derek is either.

What kind of Alpha is Scott? Araya sits Lydia down to get a feel for the banshee. "You'd have better luck with tarot cards," Lydia tells her, but Araya still wants her to tell her which man is about to die – before she kills one herself for stealing from her. Then she tells Lydia she wants to know what kind of Alpha Scott McCall really is.

Meanwhile, in a grungy bathroom that probably never had better days, Malia's ready to run as soon as the door opens, never mind about Lydia, even as Stiles reminds that that they don't leave people behind. Malia needs to stop thinking like a coyote. "If hunting had been bad that season, I would eat her, then I'd leave," she tells the others, and Stiles insists "that's progress." How that's exactly progress, we're not too sure. Then Araya's men come and take Scott and Kira away, leaving Stiles to play were-coyote guru to help Malia hear what's going on. So what gets her to focus? Kissing Stiles.

What she does hear isn't good. Araya forces Kira to electrocute Scott if he doesn't answer questions to her liking – and if she doesn't, Lydia's the one who will be hurt. During this "test," Araya basically spells it all out for Scott that Kate's the one that took Derek – someone has a vendetta against the Hales and could have turned but not by a bite – while electrocuting him, until finally Scott remembers the Argents' conversation about turning by a scratch. Before she lets Scott and his pack leave to look for Derek where Kate was last rumored to be (because when four men don't come back, sending teenagers is the next logical step), Araya warns him that she'll come knocking if he makes a wolf of his own.

What happened to Kate? Enter Braeden as their guide to lead them to a church. "It's not a place you find God," she warns them. During the drive, Kira and Malia get a history lesson in Kate and Peter and his bad hair, and Scott explains how Kate survived. She was never in the casket. Araya and her hunters came to investigate when they heard she was killed by an Alpha's claws, and when they saw she was healing, they brought her to the bathroom of hell and left her there with a silver blade to carry out the code. Instead, Kate killed her way out of there. But what is Kate? "Sometimes the shape you take reflects the person you are," Scott says, and Lydia wonders, "What kind of shape is sociopathic bitch?"

In the darkness When the Jeep is hit by something and stalled on the road, Braeden takes Scott on her motorcycle the rest of the way, leaving the others to try to fix the car because as Stiles puts it, "I will never abandon this Jeep. Ever." The only problem is they're not alone out there in the dark, and when Malia takes off to chase after whatever's watching them, Kira follows, katana in hand. She doesn't find whatever it is, but she does find Malia, who's injured.

Once the Jeep is running again and they're on their way, Stiles admits he thought Malia had been running away, but she assures him she wasn't – and won't be, at least from him. "I wouldn't leave without you. I would never leave without you. Them, I would leave." Again, progress. So what was that thing out there? Malia says it's big, fast and had a strong scent, like death.

Where is Derek? Upon reaching their destination, Braeden explains that locals think the church is still standing despite an earthquake leveling the town because it was built over the ruins of an Aztec temple belonging to were-jaguars. When Scott asks what she's going to do with Kate once they find her, she tells him she's taking her back to Araya. It's what she's paid for, and a "girl's gotta eat." And hey, "if the money was good, I'd kill you," she says honestly. She even gets on his case about his and Kira's goodbye, making Scott stumble over trying to define their relationship, as they make their way into the tunnels below the church.

However, then things get serious. There's something down there with them, but fortunately Scott roaring sends it packing. "I think I scared it," he says, but she corrects him with, "I think you scared everything." That's when they come across a were-jaguar god on the wall, and behind that wall, a hand reaches for them. When the others meet them outside, they're not alone. "Is that Derek?" Malia asks. "Sort of," Stiles replies. Derek's a teenager!

"Teen Wolf" season 4 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on MTV. What did you think of the premiere "The Dark Moon"?

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