Remembering Teen Wolf’s Intensely Political Final Season

Written by on January 31, 2023

The Anuk-Ite inspires Tamora Monroe (Sibongile Mlambo), the guidance counselor of Beacon Hills High School, to use her fear of the supernatural to become a werewolf hunter. She learns her skills from the ruthless Gerard Argent (Michael Hogan) who wants to rid Beacon Hills of all supernatural creatures before moving onto the rest of the world. As the power of the Anuk-Ite grows, more and more regular people from Beacon Hills join Monroe and Gerard’s crusade. They turn on their neighbors, using increasingly violent and extreme tactics to expose the supernatural beings hiding among them.

Monroe and Gerard arm the townspeople with automatic weapons, encourage the youth to do “werewolf tests” on their classmates at school, and forcibly take over the Sheriff’s office. Even though Scott and his pack (most of whom are still just teenagers) have done nothing but try to protect the people of Beacon Hills from supernatural threats throughout the entire course of Teen Wolf’s run, they find themselves hunted by the very people they’ve been risking their lives to protect.

Just as Monroe and Gerard weaponized the powers of the Anuk-Ite against the supernatural creatures of Beacon, the campaign trail showed that Trump wasn’t afraid to weaponize the Islamophobia and xenophobia that was prevalent during the post-9/11 era to get people on his side. The loud and violent intolerance promoted by Trump’s campaign was likely on the writers’ minds when crafting this season, whether consciously or not, considering how often it seemed like Trump was promoting hatred and fear of others before and after his election. Trump not only promised to institute a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” during a 2015 rally in South Carolina, but he also implied during a separate 2015 rally that Mexican immigrants are criminals, murderers, and rapists. But his speeches full of fear-mongering and intolerance weren’t jump empty words on the campaign trail. During his first month in office, Trump enacted a “Muslim Ban” via executive order that barred U.S. entry to immigrants and refugees from seven different Muslim-majority countries and throughout his presidency insisted on using congressional funds to build a large wall along the U.S. Mexico border.

Yes, it’s normal for there to be some fear amongst the people of Beacon Hills as they discover that supernatural creatures are real, but things go from zero to 100 really freaking fast. Thanks to the Anuk-Ite amplifying their fear, Monroe and Gerard are able to easily convince them that their neighbors, classmates, and co-workers are the real threat to Beacon Hills, not the increase in violent activity caused by the hunters’ vendetta. 

When Scott’s mom is shot in their home, they act like it’s Scott’s fault for trying to exist as a werewolf, not the fault of the hunter who fired an automatic weapon into a house of unarmed people. When Liam (Dylan Sprayberry) discovers that his friends have been run over in the street, it’s his brief moment of werewolf rage that makes his classmates fearful, not the grown adults that ran over and murdered a couple of teenagers like it was nothing. While it may have been a gross misstep to make one of the lead hunters and voices of hatred in this storyline a Black woman, overall this season does a great job at showing how fast violence escalates when fear turns into hate. 

Just as Teen Wolf’s final season started airing, fiction quickly began to resemble reality. The day after the 2016 election, I remember hearing stories of other women being harassed on my college campus by Trump-supporting men gloating about their victory. In the months that followed, there was a significant uptick in white-supremacist propaganda posted around campus as well as an increase in groups using campus common areas to scream their hateful rhetoric at students walking by. Campus no longer felt safe for many people, but it also seemed like things were just as bad, if not worse, throughout the rest of the country. According to CNN, the Southern Poverty Law Center recorded a whopping 867 cases of “hateful harassment or intimidation” throughout the U.S. in the 10 days after the election alone. 

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watch avatar the way of water full movie
watch avatar the way of water full movie

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