Teen Wolf delivered the sixths episode of its last half-season, “Triggers”. In theory, it was very dramatic. In practice, it lacked a certain something.
We open with students walking around school with gauze on their hand because Aaron and some others have been stabbing them to find out if they are supernatural. One coyote gets caught this way, and Aaron infects him with spiders.
Nolan is interrogated by Agent McCall, but Tamora is there, so before he can betray anything she excuses him. It also turns out the FBI doesn‘t know about the supernaturals, so that‘s one question answered, I guess. Tamora orders Nolan’s buddy to kill the spidered coyote while Nolan pretends – not very successfully to my mind, but it seems to fool Tamora – that he’s put off by it. Nolan then sees Mason pass his classroom with a bunch of stuff he takes to the supernaturals hiding in the animal clinic, oblivious as anything. Nolan follows him and lets Tamora know where they are. Gerard is subjected to FBI interrogation next, but he has smart answers for everything Agent McCall asks.
It turns out Mason passing by Nolan was a trap, and they’re trying to lead Nolan somewhere while Scott, Lydia, Malia and Chris try to rob Gerard’s armory. However, the armory is not empty of people as it should have been.
Meanwhile, two hunters follow Nolan to the zoo, but they don’t believe it’s the actual hiding place of the pack. Liam and Theo watch them from above, and when the hunters realize they’re there, Theo begins shouting and punching Liam as he addresses the absent Scott and Malia. It’s the most unbelieveable performance ever, not least because Liam, even after he figures out the plan, never even bothers to respond out loud. His silence means there’s never more than one voice in this charade. All the same, the hunters seem to fall for it.
Meanwhile by the armory, Chris wants to drive away. Lydia has a hint of a premonition she tells no one about, and the team argues until the hunters actually start leaving the armory and head for the zoo. Sure enough, at the zoo, we see the complete crew arriving, with Gerard and Tamora. Apparently, they go all out.
Chris and the supernaturals (wouldn’t that be an awesome 70s band?) infiltrate the armory. Malia and Scott eliminate the guards while Chris and Lydia stay in the security room, monitoring from afar. Lydia has a vision of a gunshot, and only now does she tell Chris about her vision in the car as well. She claims he was right and they should have called it off. Well done, Lydia, timing is clearly your strength.
Gerard effectively sends Nolan to die, letting him go inside the zoo alone, to Tamora’s surprise. But then—a twist!—Gerard actually knew this was a trap all along, and he had emptied the armory before Scott came in. So he probably knew there wasn’t that much risk to Nolan after all.
Elsewhere, Agent McCall tries to convince Melissa to tell him where Scott is, unsuccessfully.
At the zoo, Liam wants to let Nolan see him for some reason, and Theo has understandable issues with that, given that they are together. They argue loudly—obviously the thing to do when hunters are after you—and then Liam jumps Nolan.
Chris tells Scott to get out of there, but in spite of this being a completely obvious trap, when Scott catches the scent of the two werewolves killed at the end of last episode, he of course goes to the rescue. This triggers a security system that seals him and Malia inside the armory. Gerard has a villain monologue about how he will destroy Scott by killing his beta. Scott ogles Gerard’s creepy trophies, realizing they are trophies of the two murdered werewolves. I guess the scent wasn’t achieved by clothes.
It seems the Fear demon can trigger actual nightmares in people, so Liam is incapacitated for a time. For some reason Liam is released before Nolan actually shoots him. He then goes into a rage and punches a wall a few times. Just as it looks like he will tear Nolan’s throat out, Theo hits him over the head and tells Nolan to run.
Malia and Scott hide in the trophy room from Gerard’s creepy laser sensors. Then they jump over them to rest atop a high shelf, clearly only so that it can create a plot device for Malia to lie atop Scott. Fanfiction authors everywhere are very proud. Malia then tries to break a lock on a trapdoor in the ceiling. She manages to do so, but the lock falls to the ground and triggers the sensors. The result is sucking the oxygen from the room.
Chris throws a smoke grenade at the hunters and then somehow knocks them all unconscious because apparently he is immune to smoke. Lydia then uses her banshee powers to break into the room Scott and Malia are in.
Liam and Theo have a heart to heart about how the fear demon is actually making Liam angry. They realize that if it affects him, it probably affects other supernaturals too. Gerard walks through his empty armory, realizing Scott stole his map. Tamora berates him for not managing to eliminate Scott, and Gerard basically warns her that he doesn’t give a shit about her.
Scott and Malia have sex triggered by a near death experience. Afterwards, the team stares at Gerard’s map. Chris recognizes the places that were marked were the Nemetons, and they deduce that Gerard wants to kill every supernatural creature in the world (like that’s news) and use the Nemetons to do it.
Agent McCall arrives to tell them Gerard gave out his weapons to the citizens of Beacon Hills. Just then, a lot of automatic rifles start shooting through the window. Someone inside is shot, but we don’t se who as the episode ends.
It seems the teachers at Beacon Hills High have really given up if they allow something like mass student cutting to go on. At least in early seasons they bothered to establish Gerard as the headmaster to explain the kinds of things that happened there. At this point, we are just supposed to ignore it. Perhaps it makes sense; no one sane would be left working at that school after all. Or attending it. Come to think of it, looking at it this way explains so much.
Weird things are happening even outside of school stuff, though. How is Nolan being investigated about the possible kidnapping of two teenagers in the presence of the woman who wanted the two teenagers dead? Just…how? And come to think of it, everyone saw Tamora being part of the hold-up of the Sheriff station. How is she not in prison? How is Beacon Hills not chock-full of military-grade armed police by now? The one time it would actually come in useful, and they make no showing. Once again, I know the security situation in many US cities is not great, but it’s not this bad. My suspension of disbelief is broken to such small pieces by now I could be selling it as Sahara sand.
But even if we accept all of the above, there is still one undeniable fact. Mason, as an open ally, would be at least severely beaten up at this point. No one even cares what happens to good, respectable human kids in this town anymore. There is no way Mason, as a known ally of the supernaturals, would be able to just walk around without anyone bothering him. And that’s leaving the racism and homophobia that would come into play aside. I will happily pretend these things don’t exist in the Teen Wolf universe, but supernatural prejudice is raging right now. Of course he would not be left alone.
Gerard’s dynamics with Tamora continues to be mystifyingly irritating. When she is somewhere without him, she is firmly in command and you can believe that this whole thing is her show. When she is with Gerard, she is clearly subservient. Not even in a “second in command” way. A big portion of the time, she acts like a student does towards a teacher. And then there is Gerard’s warning to her, where they seem to be almost rivals. The different parts of her character just don’t go together.
If she is as assertive as she seems in some of those scenes, why is she so willingly subservient to Gerard in others? Is it only because of his resources? And if so, why don’t we see a bit more of her irritation that she has to deal with this man? Especially as Gerard simply left the crucial clue to his genocide plan lying around a place he had expected Scott to break into. Nice going, old man.
To be a little more positive at least Sibongile Mlambo continues to be a fantastic actress. Every time I see Tamora, my stomach clenches. I am afraid of her. More than of Gerard, sometimes, though I still hate him more. After her last conversation with Gerard, I can even feel myself rooting for her a little. It would not be such a bad thing if it was her who ended up eliminating the asshole because he tried to get her killed.
Back to worldbuilding and logic, Melissa says McCall has known about the supernaturals “for five minutes”. That makes me wonder. The FBI clearly doesn’t know, so…how did he find out? Did someone tell him off screen? Did he know before he came to Beacon Hills or not? If not, he is surprisingly level-headed. If yes, who told him? Was it Stiles? Tell me it was Stiles! (And speaking of, was that one scene with Stiles in the first episode really just a cameo? That makes me sad.)
Finally, as a result of this episode, I fear I’m beginning to ship Theo and Liam, which is not something I ever wanted to happen. But the soft music during their conversation in the car and Theo’s smiles…it was all very suggestive. On the other had, Malia and Scott as a romantic relationship continue to do nothing for me. But then, the same can be said for most of this episode. I know I was supposed to be terrified for Scott and Malia, but I just…was not. We all knew Scott was not going to die. But even for Malia I could not muster any real worry. Let alone for Theo and Liam, whom Gerard was supposedly there to kill. They never even saw each other properly! If Gerard stops being menacing when he sets out to kill someone, you know you have a problem.