Another one bites the dust. Arden Cho, who played Kira Yukimura on MTV’s supernatural teen drama Teen Wolf, announced via YouTube on Monday that she won’t be returning for the show’s upcoming sixth season.
“I just want to say I love Kira Yukimura so much,” Cho said in the video, which you can watch above. “I love the Yukimura family. I loved my experience on Teen Wolf. I love the cast and crew, it’s been an amazing three-and-a-half years. It’s gone by so fast, but unfortunately, it looks like we are wrapped up with Kira’s storyline and she won’t be coming back for Season 6.”
“Sometimes I think in a show where there’s so many characters, there isn’t always room for everyone and everyone’s storylines, so I guess that was it,” she continued. “I do wish we would have developed a little bit more of her powers and [the] skinwalkers and just [that] there would have been more of an epic ending, but you never know with Teen Wolf. I mean, people might come back. It is what it is.”
Teen Wolf is no stranger to losing cast members, but this is the first time it sounds like it may have been a creative decision and not the actor’s choice to leave. It’s a bummer to have to say goodbye to Cho, even though it’s true that her character was often relegated to the sidelines in Season 5 or disappeared altogether as the show attempted to tell a very ambitious but messy storyline that basically worked out in the season finale because the show said it worked. And to that point, the veteran series has struggled in recent seasons to give its female characters well-developed storylines that encourage character growth. But writing them out of the story in between seasons without giving them a proper ending—because Kira’s story was not “wrapped up” at all, she just went to the desert to work on harnessing her powers and was always expected to return—is not really what we had in mind when we listed our 5 Ways to Fix Teen Wolf and said the show needed to “figure out the women of Beacon Hills.”
While a smaller cast and a more streamlined version of the series is desirable, dropping Kira from the story may prove to be just another mistake in another long line of mistakes for the series. And although her character thankfully isn’t dead—well, let’s just assume she didn’t die out in the desert, anyway—the character being written out in this way doesn’t exactly look good given the way female characters have been treated lately on television. Last week, no less than six shows killed off major or recurring female characters, and that was after the outrage following a fan-favorite female character’s death on The 100. It also calls into question what creator Jeff Davis said following the Season 5 finale, which was that the writers were planning on returning to WWII and Cho’s turn as a Kitsune trapped in a Japanese interment camp. Storylines can always change, of course, so we can’t really fault him for that, but the news of Cho’s departure doesn’t really alleviate any of our concerns about where Teen Wolf is headed in Season 6.
Her departure also just reminds worried fans of how the revolving door at the MTV series has hurt it overall. Because Teen Wolf is no stranger to saying goodbye to cast members: Colton Haynes left the series after the show’s second season, leading lady Crystal Reed departed at the end of Season 3 (but later returned as a guest star to play the ancestor of her character Allison Argent in Season 5) as did Daniel Sharman, and Tyler Hoechlin left for greener pastures after Season 4. Along the way, the series also said goodbye to characters played by Gage Golightly and Adelaide Kane after the actresses were cast in pilots, and Max and Charlie Carver, who played twins Aiden and Ethan, were written out after Season 4. Meanwhile, fans are still wondering WTF happened to Keahu Kahuanui’s Danny. Storylines have been dropped time and again on Teen Wolf but this may be the most obvious and potentially the most confusing version of this we’ve seen yet.
What do you think of Cho’s departure? Will it help or hurt the show?