i am 100% sure that the opening scene with Stiles and the guidance counselor was foreshadowing for something but what i’m not sure yet
but its just too coincidentally that she talks about holding on, struggling through pain long enough to safe yourself or be rescued and then at the end of the episode Stiles goes missing
Personally, I think this sequence was metaphorically about Jackson - about whether he could hold on through the pain and despair for just that little while longer. He’s the one who has been in hell throughout this entire season, and he’s the one who has to keep going - even to the death - to save everyone.
We don’t realize it until after the episode’s ended, of course, but I think it’s a masterful way of capturing the entire season, because almost everyone’s story can relate in some way. On the surface it looks mainly about Stiles, but when you think about it a bit longer it embodies Jackson’s journey as well.
I remember that the opening sequence had this overexposed quality to it, as if they were nearing the light at the end of tunnel, the light Matt spoke about seeing as he was drowning. Just before Jackson’s death**, the stadium lights flashed out and the field plunged into darkness, as if hell on earth.
When the light returned, we saw that he was dead. But his choice was heaven, not hell.
**I don’t believe Jackson is actually dead - I think Lydia’s immunity will save him. But here it was clear that he really did choose to die.