Saturday, June 15, 2024

Teen Wolf Revels In Torture Porn

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Teen Wolf’s fifteenth episode of the last half-season, “Pressure Test”, was…eventful. Let’s unpack it.


We open with four minutes straight of torture. No, really. I don‘t know why anyone thought it was necessary, but it was what we were given. With a cold open, no less. Just torture out of the blue. Oops, sorry if you were triggered.

Anyway, those being tortured are Theo and two other members of Satomi’s old pack. Apparently just because the guy who caught them, old employee of Eichen, is a sadist. Theo taunts him into overdoing it so that the iron they‘re chained to snaps with the heat and he escapes. He then ties the employee to the same iron railing and leaves the electric torture permanently on as he departs. Before he does that, he tells the other two to go see Scott McCall.

After the credits, we see that the group in fact ends up arrested in Beacon Hills, for murder. Apparently the two Satomi‘s killed some hunters. I knew Derek got to the police radar with some hunter business!

Meanwhile, Alan Deaton appears again after quite some time. But something apparently happened to him in the years we haven’t seen him, because is trademark stoicism is gone, and he’s clearly nervous. And that’s even before he enters the empty cell he’s headed to, which obviously messes with his head. He struggles, but gets out with something he found there. It‘s some sort of fragment of a picture. He doesn’t know what it is either.

Sheriff Stilinski locks the werewolves up and Theo tricks a confession to killing in self-defense out of the others, and is released. Scott insists they should release the others too, because there is a hunter among the deputies. He shot at one were girl. Stilinski insists it’s going to be fine.

Just in that moment, the station finds itself surrounded with hunters, the weird schedule lady in charge. Stilinski steps out, unarmed.

In the meantime, Malia is clearly getting nervous and beside herself as the pack argues about what to do. They decide to get the two werewolves out and try to escape.

Stilinski is negotiating and the lady shows herself as even crazier than before. She talks a lot about how they just need to release the pressure. Stilinski just stares at her and says “and by that, you mean murder two children”. In the end, she gives him until midnight to give them over, alive or dead.

The station is preparing defense. The Sheriff refuses to call in reinforcements, pointing out it would only expose the supernaturals. Lydia and the new were girl, Quinn, are trying to figure out who is the hunter deputy. Mason and Corey talk about how there is a war coming and how Corey wants to do something useful.

Nolas is present at the station somehow and makes his allegiance clear to get himself locked up. It turns out he known the two weres. He tries to kill them with wolfsbane, but Liam catches him. While doing so, he sees the shifted eyes of the two and finds out they are blue. Scott asks them what they did. It turns out they were effectively indiscriminately killing hunters. Scott doesn’t know what to do with them, and the Sheriff tells him it doesn’t change anything, because when you fight a war, you kill people.

Corey and Mason go to Deaton’s clinic to try and find out more about the wolves who started all this with killing each other. Deaton catches them at it and shows them what he found at Eichen.

Nolan is locked up in a room with a deputy watching him. The deputy starts seeing a monster in his place and the next thing we know, another deputy finds him hanged. The one who founds him then just kills herself because she is afraid as Stilinski watches and never does anything to stop her but shout, because why would he? She was just putting a gun to her head, why would he bother?

We find out why no one stopped her soon enough, of course. Plot requirements. With two dead bodies, Scott can now enact his plan of substitution, where they give the hunters outside two corpses and pretend it’s the werewolves they asked for, since Tamora never actually saw them.

Corey’s special ability of shifting into the Fade an alternate dimension allows him to pain the second half of the picture Deaton found. Deaton then recognizes it: it’s an ancient shapeshifter and a creature of discord. It’s called Anuk-ite and it’s probably two creatures that must not come together, because that would make it unstoppable. One of those faces is also supposed to be beautiful, so I wonder if it will turn out to be someone very innocuous and unexpected.

Sheriff is presenting the two bodies, but Tamora asks to see their pack tattoo symbols. Just when it looks like a fight, Scott’s dad shows up, because this is the last season and we’re seeing everyone. Nevertheless, I’m very grateful this show remembered world outside Beacon Hills exists. And hey, he’s FBI – he could bring Stiles back into it again!

The resolution he offers is “FBI takes the criminals and all supernaturals leave Beacon Hills.” Scott agrees. We get a romantic scene of Scott and Malia leaving together and another one of Corey and Mason saying goodbye.

It turns out the FBI driver was working with the hunters and shoots both werewolves with him. Tamora manipulates Nolan into proving his loyalty to the genocide program.

Maosn gets a message on the blackboard during math class to go to the animal clinic – because it couldn’t waited until after school – and finds that the supernaturals have not actually left, they were just hiding and pretending to have left. In reality, they were staying to fight.


First: why the torture porn? Seriously, why? There was no reason for that scene to last as long as it did. We understood it was a Bad Guy after the first bout of torture. This was just gratuitous.

Second: this is what Theo’s famous redemption arc lead to? Seriously? After his random and heroic sacrifice last half-seaosn, which didn’t even end up being a sacrifice at all, he’s…back to being a self-serving asshole. Kind of. No one knows. He seems ready to give other captured people up to a torture-happy madman. But then he goes back to Beacon Hills for reasons. I’m frankly lost. I have no idea where they are going with him, and given that they only have five episodes left to get there, I don’t think it’s anywhere meaningful. Not that I care about Theo’s arc much, but if we have to suffer through it, it’d be nice if it at least had a point.

Other people acting rather randomly this episode: Sheriff Stilinski. Why is he suddenly talking to Scott about leading a war? He should be worried about due process. At least once, he should say something along the lines of “it doesn’t matter if the new werewolves killed people or not, they deserve a trial, and not to be shot in the street.” Instead, he claims it doesn’t matter because Scott is leading a war. I just…what even?

And Tamora. Why was she suspicious when the two bodies were brought out? Did she suspect the Sheriff killed two other random humans and gave them to her? Unless he knew the fear demon was inside, this makes no sense. Wait, is she one half of the fear demon?

Is Scott’s dad being a jerk again? Because otherwise I jut don’t see what the situation is. If government doesn’t know about the supernaturals, then there was a group of terrorists who laid siege to a police station and asked for ten upstanding young (generally white, too, which sadly would be relevant) people to leave a city, and FBI said “yeah okay that sounds fair”. I mean I know security situation is really bad in some parts of the US, but is it seriously this bad?

And if the government knows about the supernaturals…then I expect it has some ways to deal with stuff like that. Agent McCall seemed to be playing it pretty much by the ear, though. Of course, he could be working with the hunters. Then Stiles could have a whole plot of uncovering that…yes, I really want to see him again.

That should be me done with the many questions. Despite what the above might indicate, it was not a terrible episode. Stuff actually happened, stuff I felt emotions about (contrary to last week). The tension worked. It’s just a pity the character moments so frequently failed.

I have a deeper concern, too. The siege of the police station is clearly paralleling current real life events. As such…was it really wise to put a black woman at the head of the genocide-happy psychos? In universe it makes as much sense as any other race, of course, but one has to look at real world implications. The thugs who stood in front of the police station were reminiscent of certain real world groups, and I’m not talking about BLM. Making a black woman their leader is just all kinds of wrong.

Thee is also the usual problem with fantastic racism, namely that there are, in fact, issues with the current situation of the supernaturals. Heir secrecy leads to way too much leeway in both what they do and what the hunters do. That makes certain parallels problematic.

I would love it if the show decided to end the last season with solving this problem by supernaturals coming out in the open. But, well. Five episodes are not quite enough to establish that properly either, I’m afraid. At any rate I expect some change of situation in Beacon Hills at least.

Whether it will be believable at all is another question.

All images courtesy of MTV

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