Dude, it's Beacon Hills.
No, we haven't stopped thinking about Teen Wolf's mindblowing season three finale, arguably the MTV hit's best episode yet, since Monday night. Come on, not only did another fan favorite die (Sniff!), but we got answers, a lot of them! The Nogitsune was defeated, ending this season's Kitsune mythology, a villain was resurrected (Hi, Aunt Kate!) and, perhaps the most awesome reveal of all, Danny (Keahu Kahuanui) was in the know about the town's supernatural happenings this whole time!
But where do we go from here? We chatted with executive producer Jeff Davis about season four's upcoming mini-time jump, which will give characters time to mourn, but not forget, Allison's (Crystal Reed) heartbreaking death in the penultimate episode, and how the show plans to top Stiles (Dylan O'Brien) in the villain department. Plus, he revealed who's missing in the beginning of the season...
We think a character fans know and love, like Stiles, always make for the best villains. Are you at all nervous about trying to top that in season four? Do you feel pressure because Void Stiles worked so well?
Absolutely we feel pressure. I guess we're not so concerned about topping ourselves as doing something different. That's the best thing we can do, is to just tell an entertaining story again. We have a new central mystery this season and this season we're doing something different in we're not introducing a whole new mythology. We're basing this mystery in something very personal actually, something that hits at the heart of all our main characters, Scott, Stiles and Lydia, and Derek, especially. This is going to be a big season for Derek. I think people are going to be surprised.
And season four is starting off international, with the gang in Mexico. Sadly, we assume it's not for Spring Break.
I will tell you who they're in search of though. It's a mission to find and save Derek.
We knew the Carvers were leaving the show as their HBO pilot, The Leftovers, was picked up to series. But can you talk about the decision to kill Aiden, and not kill Ethan, but have him leave at the end of the finale?
Well, it was a creative decision, really, in the writers' room. We felt like it shook things up for the show. We played with the redemption arc of the twins and for me, the twins have always been on the borderline of can they be redeemed or are theses bad guys? And to do one noble act as your dying gesture, to fight for what's right, it felt like a good end for his character. And we had to keep Ethan around for the scene with Danny, of course. [Laughs.]
We need to talk about that scene, which was amazing. We don't think we've ever seen that on a teen supernatural show, where a peripheral character has secretly been in the know the entire time. "Dude, It's Beacon Hills" may be our new favorite line.
We had debated it a long time in the writers' room and everyone knows I'm a huge fan of The Lost Boys and it is a nod to the grandfather at the end saying, "The thing I always hated about Santa Clara, all the damn vampires." And I just think it makes him smart, I think it's a cool thing to realize he was always in the know and it was just something he never got involved with. This kid was just trying to live his life and not get hacked into pieces like everyone else. [Laughs.]
Obviously, the finale jumped right into the action following Allison's death. What impact will her death have in the beginning of season four? Will there be a time jump to give the characters some time to mourn?
There's a two-month time jump and you definitely see the repercussion it has on all the characters. The big issue we talk about in the writers' room is how much we can really see of that. You write a TV show and you want it to be entertaining, but if you show too much of them mourning a death, the show gets less entertaining. You have to stick with the genre conventions and we set out to do a fun, horror show.
I don't know if an audience wants to see the characters moping around for six episodes, you know? It gets a little tough. You want to mourn a character, but on TV, there's only so much time you're allowed to do that before an audience gets impatient. There are always going to be the people who say, ‘You didn't give the character their due,' and there are going to be other ones who say, ‘Can we get over this now and get back to the fun Teen Wolf?'
One of the things we're trying to do is inject quite a bit of humor into the first few episodes, but the first episode does deal specifically with grief and with moving on. And it's titled "The Dark Moon," which in the lunar cycle is often considered the time period where people deal with grief and introspection.
Scott has experience a lot of loss this season, not just Allison, but also two members of his pack. And now Isaac has left the pack, too. Will we see him struggle a bit?
It's definitely tough for him at the beginning of the season, but we're going to see him solidifying a new kind of pack. New issues, and a new problem arise that start to take their attention immediately.
By making Stiles a villain, a lot of the focus was paid to the sidekick character and it takes the sidekick and makes him vivid and real. It gave Dylan O'Brien a chance to shine. Tyler Posey was such an absolute star about it. When the star of a show allows the other actors to take a spotlight, that's a really giving thing. It can leave a lot of stars very nervous about their role, but I think Posey did it brilliantly. We brought him back to the forefront in the last episode, so we're going to be concentrating again on Scott and his role as an Alpha and his desire to form and maintain this unusual pack. I can tease that his pack will start to grow.
Finally, while season three was expanded to 24 episodes, season four was picked up for 12 episodes. Did you go to MTV and ask to bring the order back down to 12, like it was for seasons 1 and 2?
I said we have to go back down to 12. There are two reasons: One is I need a break, for my own sanity, and another is I believe actors shou;d have a chance to go explore other creative opportunities. To have 12 episodes is why creators and actors go to cable, because it allows you to go off and do movies. Did you see the trailer for The Maze Runner?! It looks awesome. I would love for the actors to go off and be able to do other creative things and then they come back to Teen Wolf and they're renewed and they can't wait to jump back in again.
Teen Wolf's fourth season premieres June 23 on MTV.
Check back with us later in the week for more scoop from Davis, including what's ahead for the show's romances and the new power trio that will emerge in season four!