After a season where they were only incidentally students, the kids* are back in school. They meet incoming freshmen, discover a (gay) werewolf playing for the Lacrosse team’s ‘cross-town rival. They also have to figure out how to deal with a mysterious figure hiring assassins to knock off supernatural teenagers, cope with some kind of were-jaguar or something, and also, Berserkers.
The big news though is that Scott gets a beta, a major event that rejuvenates the established theme of masculinity by introducing questions about mentorship and about boys’ relationships to their fathers. The whole thing works because the young werewolf, Liam, is so convincingly frightened and so desperately needs an older brother/father-figure to help him cope. The moment near the end of the season when he saves everyone by trusting that Scott hasn’t become a monster is pretty great.
Teen Wolf isn’t Sophocles, but at this point, it has established its terrain and generates serious and genuine turmoil under the surface.
* The promo image shows what high school “kids” look like in Beacon Hill. Gotta wonder if a few of them weren’t held back a grade or five.