Heading into tonight’s Teen Wolf winter finale, there is one thing on everyone’s mind: Stiles’ return. At the end of last week’s episode, Lydia used her emotional connection with Stiles to create a supernatural rift. Translation: It was the love between Stiles and Lydia that ultimately saved him.
“This was the relationship that we’d been building to for a long time,” showrunner Jeff Davis tells EW. “Knowing that it was the final season we discussed: Where do we want to focus the drama, where do we want to focus the character revelations? If it had been another season, we might’ve gone down a different path. It might’ve been Scott and Stiles’ friendship that had broken through; it might’ve been Stilinski’s love for his son that had broken through, but this was the season we really wanted to get into Stiles and Lydia. This was the path we hadn’t yet explored. It also felt right. The relationship has always been so meaningful as well; they’ve grown together so much.”
From the start of the season, Davis and his team knew that they’d only have Dylan O’Brien for a few episodes considering his shooting schedule on Maze Runner: The Death Cure, so they took the opportunity to put his character front and center in the story, though not always physically. “We knew we didn’t want Stiles to just pop in and out of the season,” Davis says. “We wanted him to be a real focus of the season and this gave us an opportunity to show how much we treasure the character. It felt like a good way to honor his character.”
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As for what fans can expect from the season’s final hour, Davis isn’t straying much from the formula that has worked for the show in the past, which is to say: There will be big action, and in the end, perhaps a bit of hope. “We always like to tell a complete story as much as possible,” Davis says. “If we can do that and make the audience feel like they’ve experienced a full story that has a beginning, middle, and end, that I prefer. We’re not The Walking Dead. Our show’s a bit more comic book than that. Giving a little hope in a very dark world some days can be optimistic.”
Teen Wolf airs its winter finale Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.