A firm date is now in sight for the end of Teen Wolf. The series will come to a close on September 24 with a super-sized episode. With a big of chunk of the final 10 episodes still to go, though, things are about to get much crazier.
MTV will be bunching up episodes, making two-parters out of episodes that were not necessarily meant to be two-parters. The first pair of episodes getting this treatment is “Face-to-Faceless” and “Pressure Test.” Why the network didn’t do this with the first few episodes, which were all build-up, is anyone’s guess, but at least “Face-to-Faceless” and “Pressure Test” are one of the better episodes of the season thus far.
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Why We Fight
The noose (both metaphorical and literal) is starting to tighten around the pack. At school, Liam is now a social pariah after shifting into a werewolf on that crowded intersection (although Liam’s awful haircut should’ve made him unpopular way before the werewolf thing.) Gerard has no designs on having peace talks with werewolves either. There is no hope for peace. There is one silver lining to it all — Liam finally discovers that guidance counselor Monroe is 10 different kinds of crazy.
While this season’s other secondary antagonist, Nolan, is about as threatening as a gentle breeze (a gentle breeze who can’t act), Monroe really emerges as a real threat of the season in this episode. She is still as over-the-top as ever. Monroe’s primary acting method seems to be to show her teeth as much as possible, but we finally get some background on her character that fleshes her out in the right way.
When Liam informs Scott that there is something up with Monroe, Scott decides to meet with her. Monroe tells Scott that she didn’t just happen into this life. She was an innocent bystander when the pack was fighting The Beast of Gevaudan, and she nearly died. Monroe knows firsthand the danger of the supernatural for the innocent civilian, and it’s why they all must be eradicated. She’s still a child murderer, but she’s a child murderer with an empathic backstory who’s actually terrifying.
Teen Wolf does try to ruin any depth with Monroe almost immediately. Monroe quickly turns her casual peace meeting with Scott into an attempted execution of the alpha. It’s true that Monroe and her goons are egged on by the fleshy corpse thing that has been amping up fear in everyone. So they might not be completely in control, but they’re still awful, awful people. Thankfully, Malia and Lydia show up to save Scott from his own stupid nobility.
Monroe and her hunters might be cartoonishly evil, but they’re still several sights better than what Liam is dealing with at school. Nolan and his new crony, Gabe, come up with a horrific plan. They decide to beat up Liam so much that it will force him to turn. It’s an awful plan, on many levels, but Teen Wolf absolutely nails the terror of it. Nolan is a horrifically lame villain, but the image of him beating up on a defenseless Liam, who refuses to fight back, is some nightmare level stuff because it feels so depressingly real. Stripped away from all the supernatural stuff — because that’s what Liam is trying to do — it’s just a group of teenagers beating up on another one. It’s disturbing, and not in a creepy supernatural monster way.
This season has made the audience try to care about Liam’s emotional turmoil quite a bit, with very little success. All that pays off in this scene as Liam is brutalized but still remains in control of his emotions. Nolan’s a little turd, but Liam has finally proved worthy of all the screen time Teen Wolf has given him as of late. He’s a hero.
As always on this show, the victories that come are tinged with defeat. Liam doesn’t turn, but he’s still beaten to a pulp. Scott, meanwhile, escapes Monroe, but he comes back home to discover a beaten werewolf in his house — a werewolf who tells him that she just nearly escaped a murder attempt by a Beacon Hills Deputy. The fear is beginning to infect even the “good people” now. This leads nicely into the next episode, which takes place almost entirely at the Sheriff’s Office.
It turns out that Theo didn’t die from the sudden shooting attack. Instead, Theo has been tied up with two other members of Satomi’s pack by some hunters. Theo manages to lead an escape with his hairy compatriots, but this lands them right into Sheriff Stilinski’s hands. This is because the two werewolves are wanted for questioning about the murders of some hunters.
When Scott and the gang hear about this, they rush to the station, determined to help the werewolves. Monroe’s hunters have another idea, though, and set up a siege around the station. They want the two werewolves, dead or alive, and they won’t stop until they have them.
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It’s a typical stand-off episode, with almost all the characters being entrenched in one central location, but it works extraordinarily well. The paranoia and fear of the season crescendos into a fever pitch, with everyone cramped in one space. There is nowhere to run, and that sense permeates the episode. Even if the people being protected here — the two werewolves — have almost no discernible or endearing qualities, it’s still tense. It’s even revealed that the werewolves killed innocent hunters, not those who were actively trying to kill them, but it doesn’t impact the emotional investment at all because of the way the show builds the fear inside (and outside) the station.
The tension is ramped up even more because the flesh monster is lurking in the shadows. Thanks to Deaton, though, who randomly pops up in the way only he can, we learn the name of the flesh monster. It’s evidently an Anuk-ite, a figure from Native American folklore. The Anuk-ite has two faces, one hideous and the other beautiful, though Deaton explains that the two faces could mean two people. (Theories for the identity of the other “beautiful” face should start now.) This dichotomy in appearance represents the Anuk-ite’s power to spread disharmony and discord in its victims. If the two sides come together, they will be unstoppable.
The War Begins
This information is only relevant if Scott gets the chance to act upon it, but it doesn’t look like that will happen with Monroe. Scott is eventually forced into a crazy plan. He tries to fake-surrender with the captive werewolves, but Monroe is no idiot. She knows Scott is bluffing and is about to open fire when Deus Ex Daddy emerges. Agent McCall is here and he’s ready to broker peace between Scott and the hunters.
A deal is struck. Scott and his pack will leave Beacon Hills if the hunters promise to not go after them. While Teen Wolf tries to make it seem like this deal is working and Scott is abandoning his home, it’s another fake-out. Scott and everyone else are staying in Beacon Hills, and they’re going to fight. It’s the expected outcome, but it would have been cool if Teen Wolf tried to go with a story of Scott outside the town for more than five minutes.
What did you think of the double dose of Teen Wolf? Do you wish Scott had actually left, even if it was for a little bit? Are you ready for the war to finally begin? Do you think we’ve already met the second face of Anuk-ite? Was it that lacrosse player who was killed by the spiders? Who is a better villain: Monroe or Nolan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Teen Wolf season 6B airs Sundays at 8/7c on MTV. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of MTV)