Teen Wolf Chat: How Are Kira and Malia Settling In?

Teen Wolf Season 4 Cast Shot Photo Credit Jaimie Trueblood and MTV

Teen Wolf has always been a show that’s had to cope with departing cast members – the shock and panic of fans to Colton Haynes’ departure at the end of season two now feels a little quaint after we’ve had to deal with so many similar situations since – but nothing could have prepared us for the emotional wrench that came at the end of the show’s third season.

Alison is gone, and Isaac, Ethan and Aidan along with her. It’s a wonder that each season premiere doesn’t just stink of writers cleaning up the pieces of the mass exodus that’s happened over the break, but thankfully preparations have usually been made. As far a new female characters go, we already had Kira and Malia waiting in the wings, and we’ve had that all-too-brief hiatus to mourn the loss.

Alison’s death has left a huge hole in the show, leaving Lydia floating without a core relationship to grab hold of, and Scott’s ‘pack’ pretty much consists of him and Derek right now. More importantly, one of the core characters from season one has gone permanently and, Teen Wolf being the show that it is, I can’t imagine there’ll be much time to look back and reflect on what’s been lost.

But now that we’ve seen the first two hours of the new Teen Wolf, how is it fairing? In terms of plot and what’s going on with our old, cemented favourites, it may be too early to tell, but the new characters have been preened and polished for our consideration, and predictably disparate opinions have been formed.

Starting with Kira, though it’s not a popular opinion, I have to confess that I didn’t really warm to her last season. Not knowing what would unfold in those last few episodes, the prospect of having her as the female lead, resident love interest for Scott and inheritor of the ‘kick-ass female’ of the group was a difficult pill to swallow. Successful strong characters aren’t usually forced upon us as ‘strong characters’, they’re made over the course of the show, and that’s not a luxury Kira was afforded.

Her status as Scott’s girlfriend also feels odd in that, despite the best intentions of the show’s writers to create a narrative in which one’s first love isn’t their only love, Alison’s death and final confession completely derails that sentiment. In many ways, Scott’s true love will now always be Alison, because the choice to be apart was taken away from them, and Kira’s place in that particular romantic entanglement feels more precarious that was probably ever intended.

This leaves her without much of a purpose, also stripped of her importance after last season’s big bad was defeated. In the first two episodes, we’ve seen her pine over Scott and be good with a samurai sword, but there’s no history or substance for the audience to attach to. It’s arguable that even Alison didn’t quite work until she became involved with her hunter family and found out Scott’s secret, but the key was that we saw her grow first-hand. She transcended her status as ‘just’ the love interest to the show’s main character.

Which is presumably what we can look forward to with Malia, who is a different beast (no pun intended) altogether. Introduced as the were-coyote in a few episodes yet barely glimpsed until ‘Echo House’, Malia was the only thing calming me down ahead of season four. Here was a character who had been stripped of her family and her humanity for most of her life, yet one who has already formed a strong connection with Stiles – everyone’s favourite – and with that comes a lot of potential for development across multiple seasons.

The clincher is that she’s been introduced as something more than her potential for romantic connections – she is a Hale for one, but she’s also been more involved with Scott than anyone since the season kicked off. Jeff Daniels has always stated his aversion to love triangles and, as big as my concerns for Lydia’s place on the show are, using her to kick up conflict for the Stiles/Lydia relationship just wouldn’t feel right. There is a lot to look forward to with her, and that’s exactly what you want with a new character.

And where everything is working really nicely is with the dynamic between the girls themselves – a new ‘power trio’. Unlike a lot of the more soapy-teen dramas, Teen Wolf has always been fantastic at crafting close, believable friendships and placing them above everything and, with three female leads now front and centre, there’s the enticing prospect of that happening again.

Alison’s death has certainly changed the show, but whether that’s for better or worse remains to be seen. Integrating two new-ish players into a group as established as this was always going to be tough, but we have the rest of season four to see how it works out.

What do you think of Kira and Malia so far? Have you been enjoying season four despite the lack of Alison? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.