For its final season, MTV goes big with “Teen Wolf,” introducing a whole new set of bad guys that play on the nostalgia for the long time fans saying goodbye. It serves up the usual drama and action, but does it in a new way.

The Ghost Riders

Our first hint at the new villains sees a kid whose parents are taken from their car while driving. Men on horseback with a magic gun that no one seems to remember, the bad guys come back for the kid later, and even later, for Stiles.

Not to be confused with Ghost Rider over on “Agents of SHIELD,” these guys engage in a wild hunt on horseback to erase people from existence.

For a show that’s placed its own twist on mythology to introduce rival werewolves, were-coyotes, kanimas, hell hounds, and more, the Ghost Riders are nothing like what’s come before them, and a nice way to make the final season of the show feel fresh for long time audience members.

Violence on supernatural themed shows are relatively commonplace. Having a villain that wants the hero dead is a dime a dozen, but a villain who simply erases someone? That’s, possibly, even more frightening. After all, despite heartache and loss, the villain can always be beaten down in the eleventh hour.

But if the villain makes you not even realize that your life has changed forever? At least if someone dies taking on a villain in a fight, they’re remembered. This way, no one even knows they were there.

Beacon Hills has embraced the weird

Would you have thought back in season one that Sheriff Stilinski would allow a werewolf to put his claws into a kid’s neck to get a witness statement? It’s a sign of the changing times in Beacon Hills that more and more people are aware of the supernatural elements of the town, and even using them.

Stiles is leaning into the supernatural, but not senior year

Unlike the rest of his friends, Stiles isn’t ready for high school to be over, and he definitely isn’t ready for Beacon Hills to no longer need Scott and company to save it. We find out he’s been trolling the police station for cases, getting Scott to help out on routine crime solving, and used Lydia as a “supernatural metal detector.” Stiles cannot let go of the life he knows.

It’s doubly sad then that Stiles is the one who sees the Ghost Riders and is targeted by them then. His friends might notice that he’s afraid of moving on after graduating (which is a complete about-face from last year’s season finale, where he decided he wasn’t worried), but once he’s gone, they won’t even remember that one of their number was afraid. How much of a gut punch was it to have his dad ask for his name?

Lydia is the last one to remember

In a sequence that is sure to hit you right in the feels, Lydia is the last of the main characters to remember Stiles as the Ghost Riders begin to erase him from existence.

Stiles realizes he’s being erased just as she realizes he’s in danger, and it leads to a heart-pounding race to escape the Ghost Riders that we all know is futile.

Stiles doesn’t just suddenly get swept away though. He and Lydia do get something of a tearful goodbye as she promises not to forget him. We know that she can’t help but forget, but the scene they share promises that she might just find a way to recall later. It does make you wonder why Lydia is the only one who remembers, though. Banshee abilities? Or a result of their long-standing connection?

What about all those this season left behind

Set a few months after the events of last season, “Memory Lost” doesn’t make mention of Argent, Braedyn, or the former Nazi and werewolf that the doctors had last season. Hopefully we’ll get explanations for all those absences in the future.

The verdict

I wasn’t crazy about last season, but season six started off strong with so many emotional punches in the midst of the action.

3 out of 5 stars

What’s next

The group will have to deal with the “memory lost” from this week, but how will they know something’s missing if they can’t remember it?

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