'Teen Wolf's Final Cypher Key Has Us Worried For the Life Of Derek Hale, Our Favorite Pouty Werewolf

The most recent of Teen Wolf dilemma's is an interesting one. In the most recent Teen Wolf episode, called "Orphaned," it's revealed that Derek Hale, Beacon Hills' resident beefcake brooder, is probably about to die. This raises a few contradictory points of interest — so contradictory, in fact, that it creates its own kind of suspense.

The first instinct that comes to mind in Teen Wolf whenever Derek Hale is in danger is, of course, "Oh, it must be a day that ends in 'Y.'" Derek isn't exactly a newbie when it comes to torture, kidnap, near-death experiences, really-really-near-death experiences, etc. The dude's been licked after electrocution and stripped shirtless for other people's sadism countless times — I'm frankly surprised he can still function considering the amount of times he's been in mortal peril. They should really let him train top CIA agents/the cast of Homeland/international war prisoners in how to withstand endless amounts of inhumane treatment. He's never exactly been "safe," so the idea of him being in danger of dying isn't exactly a new one.

On the other hand, Derek Hale's been on Teen Wolf since the pilot. He's at all the panels, like the one the cast just did at Comic-Con, where he did an impression of Grumpy Cat-as-Derek Hale. He and Stiles may not be getting it on on the show, but the show's cast and writers know (and milk) the fact that he's one half of the show's break-out ship. In other words: Derek Hale could easily be considered a major character. So would they kill him? Therein lies the suspense.

In short: Yes, they would. Allison Argent's death may have caused an outcry, but it proved this show will kill its main characters and move on with not so much as a funeral. I'm not convinced they'd fire Tyler Hoechlin and his Sterek-bait glowers of their own accord, but if he decided it was time to part ways with the show I have no doubt they'd kill Derek Hale in an instant. And he very well might: Like I said, Derek doesn't really have much to do on Teen Wolf most of the time, and it would be understandable if Hoechlin, at age 26, was chafing under the confines of being a supporting character on a teen show after that teen show's built up his fan base to some very respectable levels.

Teen Wolf seems to shed big parts of its cast between every season. Last year made a big splash with the surprise exit of Crystal Reed; werewolf pup Isaac Lahey (Daniel Sherman) has "moved to France" for the foreseeable future. Before that they killed Erica and Boyd (Gage Golightly and Sinqua Walls) when the actors booked other shows, and just kinda dropped Adelaide Kane (who played Cora Hale) when she booked Reign. Before that Colton Haynes left the show between seasons, resulting in fan fave Jackson "moving to London." So if Tyler Hoechlin feels like moving on from the show it seems like his options are either move abroad of get offed, and considering Derek Hale's track record — and presence in Lydia's brain as someone about to die — things aren't looking too bright on the survival front.

Of course, we haven't actually heard anything about Hoechlin leaving the show. Couple that with Scott McCall's insistence that he will save everyone on that hit list, and Derek might stand a fighting chance — after all, Scott just lost a big part of his life in Allison, and they spent an entire episode already in 3a focusing on Scott reacting (badly) to Derek's "death". The dude might not be able to handle another huge blow like that right now.

But that's the suspense, isn't it? Teen Wolf might forego consistent character writing (re: Scott's reactions to the death of his loved ones) if Hoechlin and the show are parting ways. They've done it before; how Scott and Lydia are functioning in this season continues to baffle me in the wake of Allison. This could also, of course, just be another near-death experience for Derek Hale. That's also not a first.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Images: MTV; Tumblr [2]