However, I figured, (also as usual), that I'd blather on about the season in general a little here... since LJ is better for discussion, and some people aren't on tumblr.
In comparision to 3b, this season was MUCH slower paced, or at least it felt that way. I'd also argue that the plot wasn't as strong or as satisfying. A lot of that might have been due to the fact that they wanted to introduce the new character of Liam - who is Scott version 2.0 (this time with a better alpha - Scott).
So, I guess we'll try to talk about events in order. The beginning is all about rescuing Derek, who has been kidnapped down to Mexico by Kate, who apparently didn't die and instead became a were!jaguar from Peter's claws. Of course, this is where you have to remind people that in the Teen Wolf fandom, people don't necessarily turn into werewolves when they turn into a supernatural creature, because it all depends on their psychological issues or bloodline. Lydia became a banshee, because she was decended from a banshee, and Jackson became a lizard because he had issues with his parents. So, Kate becomes a Jaguar... I guess, because she's a psychotic murderer/rapist? I'm not sure what Teen Wolf is trying to say about cats, but I don't like it! :P
Speaking of Kate being a rapist, this is the part of the season I had a lot of trouble with - because of the whole deaging Derek down to be 15/16 again, so that she can be all statuatory rapey with him AGAIN. Ugh. This all to get a talisman to help her control her shifting...
Of course, meanwhile, there's a heist of the Hale vault and Peter's money is stolen... and then people start showing up to kill all the supernatural creatures in Beacon Hills, because the money is financing a deadpole.
THIS becomes out main plot of the season - who is the benefactor?
The answer being that it's actually Meredith acting on Peter's behalf, because of stuff he ranted at her while he was in a coma for 6 years was kind of... a let down really. Meredith had always been a source of help in the past - albeit a mentally scarred, emotionally fragile one. With something like the deadpool - it would have made more sense to actually have a legitament evil behind it, or at the very least it would have been more satisfying. But then, the last thing that Teen Wolf needs is to introduce yet another villain that they refuse to kill.
But before I talk about that, I'll talk about how Lydia's grandmother fits into all this. Because apparently she was a banshee too and predicted the deadpool, and, somehow, the money? And somehow this was all recorded and kept on 1970/80s style computers sealed into the wall of the lakehouse... which, what?
Anyway, for a season that was advertised as focusing on Lydia talking with other banshees and learning about banshees - that was another disappointment. That's more to do with the PR team and Jeff Davis' utter lack of ability not to completely lie when being interviewed.. but yeah, Lydia spent most of the season, it seemed, dealing with all these issues alone and rarely finding any answers. Her grandmother was a banshee, but that's all Lydia learns about banshees. She learned more last season when she discovered that banshees can speak telepathically with each other - hence the hearing-voices thing.
So, let's get back to the not killing villains thing...
It really kind of bugs me. I know that Scott's supposed to be this True Alpha thing, that can solve all his problems through justice and the law and not resort to killing his foes - but I really want him to kill his foes! Especially Kate!
The thing is, Scott's really only gotten to where he is because either OTHER people have killed his enemies, or his enemies have been immortal anyway... in S1, Scott didn't have to worry about Kate because Peter killed her. He didn't have to worry about Peter, because Derek killed him. In S2, they managed to save Jackson, but the only reason that worked out was because Gerard killed Matt, and Scott MADE Derek "kill" Gerard. (And I know Gerard didn't die - but Scott pumped him full of mounain ash and then had an alpha bite him - what did he think was going to happen there? He couldn't possibly have predicted that Gerard would survive, he seemed just as surprised as anyone when Gerard seemed to have. To me, that was completely pre-meditated murder - which is FINE, Gerard was a horrible murderer and in my supernatural/fantasy universes, I'm a supporter of the death penalty.) In S3a, Scott let everyone go, and it was Peter that killed the Darach for no reason... and in 3b, you couldn't kill the nogitsune anyway, you could just trap him. But guys, in S4, both Peter and Kate REALLY DESERVED TO DIE.
Ugh... anyway, that's just my opinion. I'm sure there are fans out there that love the fact that Scott doesn't kill anyone and that Teen Wolf is against the death penalty and whatnot.
So, Peter is locked away in Eichen house now - which actually has a secret wing dedicated to the supernatural, which explains why Morell was a counsellor there... and Kate is on the run, now that Chris has decided that he's done trying to save her and he's teamed up with the Mexican hunting family to take her down.
This is been pretty complaining so far, so let's go into what I liked about the season...
WHAT I LIKED:
1) I liked Braeden and Derek. I'm really happy that Derek has finally found someone who has a similar sense of humour, and, most importantly, someone who loves him and is honest to the core. She might be a supernatural mercenary, but she's honest about her motivations and intent. And by the end of the season, you know that she cares very deeply for Derek - which man, it's about time someone did!
2) I really liked Derek's arc this season. It'd have been cool to see more of it, but it's Teen Wolf, so I'll take what I can get, because they always have a ton of characters to juggle. As much as I hated it, the bit at the beginning of the season where Derek gets creeped on AGAIN by his rapist, reminds the audience what Derek's backstory is - how that's exactly what happened 7-8 years ago... and then what Derek gets is actually a revenge-arc. While it IS a trope, it's usually a female-story trope, so it was cool to see it with a male character. Anyway, as much as Derek slowly dying was worrying, I loved the way the character was written and acted - I liked that Derek just made piece with it, that he decided to help Scott and fight for as long as he could, but he was OKAY with dying for his friends... and I think that's ultimately the mindset that let him life.
3) I love the fact that Derek can now shift to full wolf. I like this mythology of evolving. As I pointed out on tumblr, this is actually the second time in the series that we've seen someone die in order to "evolve" into another form. The first was Jackson. If this is always the case, then that would mean that both Talia, Laura, and Malia "died" at some point in order to achieve their fully shifted form.
4) I like Stiles and Malia's relationship. I know there is a LOT of hate out there for both Stiles/Maila AND Derek/Braeden, but I love both ships. I like the fact that morally-bankrupt Stiles is the one teaching Malia how to have human morals... but then, I say morally-bankrupt, but that's harsh. Stiles has loyalty-morality. He's essentially chaotic good. He would do anything to help his friends... and I mean ANYTHING. So, in that case, he IS actually good, because Malia lacks is socialization of belonging to a pack. She's been on her own for 8 years and for that reason is very much about looking after only herself and perhaps a romantic interest, but not a platonic interest. And it's cool to see the growth of her character over the season, where she comes to care for everyone. I also like the Stiles/Malia relationship because it's a gender-flip on Beauty and the Beast. Yes, neither one of them is a "beast" - but Malia has the same poor social graces as the "beast" and Stiles is the partner that likes her anyway, despite her beast-like qualities.
5) Parrish! I REALLY want to know what he is. I'm hoping for Phoenix.
6) Liam and Mason, to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about these two. It drove me nuts that Liam wouldn't tell Mason anything. But, I do like the fact that both characters bring diversity to the cast - Liam, because he is from a mixed race family, and Mason because he is a queer POC. Mind you, Teen Wolf already HAD a queer POC, that they seem to have written out of the show....(where's Danny?)
1) It did annoy me that there was NO explanation as to where Isaac and Danny were. I was expecting at least ONE line from Chris explaining that he had left Isaac in France where he was safe. But there was no mention of it. And also no mention of Danny, even though a)he had a great endscene in 3b where we discover he KNOWS, b)we had a deadpool/plot that was all based around technology, but for some mysterious reason the resident hacker wasn't mentioned ONCE?!
Back to likes:
7) As much as I'm annoyed that they won't kill their villains, and I think the villains this season were weak overall. I DO like the fact that Peter tried to go after Scott again. It was driving me nuts that not only was everyone just letting Peter walk around free, but also that I didn't know what Peter was up to. He's not the type to come back to life and then just turn over a new leaf... I fully thought that it was Peter that was draining Derek and killing him slowly... but nope, Peter just wanted to kill Scott to get the alpha power. Which, while simple, is very true to character, so I ended up liking it.
8) I like the fact that Scott has a legit beta now. I kind of think it's hilarious that Scott had a total Molly Weasley moment during the final battle with Peter.
Anyway, I've probably blathered on enough. Sorry if this post is kind of all over the place.