Teen Wolf "Fireflies" Review: The Virgin Homicides (PHOTO RECAP)

By Price Peterson

Jun 18, 2013

Teen Wolf S03E03: "Fireflies"

Attention small-town detectives: Maybe consider turning in your badges and letting teens handle all the mysteries from now on? Same goes to you, small-town police officers, paramedics, coroners, emergency room doctors, and elected officials. Step aside and let teens get to work! Teens are terrific at all of these things, and let's face it, you are bad at these things. While all you detectives were out eating donuts or being responsible parents or something dumb like that, teens were solving all the mysteries using only Google/QuikLookuP and their unlimited texting plans. Teens were also staying up all night tracking down dangerous killers and preventing murder sprees and occasionally averting Armageddon. And what were YOU doing? Sudoku. Also, you know, while we're on the subject, maybe you could do some sit-ups every once in a while? Teens do so many sit-ups, all of the sit-ups basically. That is what helps them solve tons of mysteries. Get it together, small-town city workers!!

Sorry I got so carried away shaming small-town grown-ups just now. Anyway, the reason is that this week's episode of Teen Wolf, "Fireflies," finally unveiled the season's central mystery and of course Stiles and Lydia were a regular Mulder and Scully, just immediately deducing connections and drawing conclusions between all manner of mysterious activity. But as you might expect from an episode so early in the season, "Fireflies" wasn't, like, crazy-eventful, more just a slow build-up of reveals and surprising character moments. Fair enough, Teen Wolf! I know how you can be and I like it and I respect it. Now let's gab!

We began with a seemingly surrealist scene in which two children attempted to catch fireflies (lightning bugs if we're being real) despite the fact that they don't really exist in California. Also the music was like something out of E.T. or maybe a fabric softener commercial. It was pretty charming to be honest, but I was like, Wait what show is this again?

Oh but then the kids' unsupervised adventure quickly took a turn for the nightmarish:

It was Boyd! He'd apparently run out of the abandoned bank and into the woods and now he wanted to eat children! Typical Boyd.

The kids ran and took cover in the world's most rickety and randomly-placed tool shed in werewolf attack history.

Honestly, I GOL'd (which is like LOL but with giggling) when Boyd straight picked up the shed and threw it SO FAR and it exploded. But then just when Boyd was about to eat these tiny fools, a jar of fireflies landed at his feet!

And wouldn't you know it, werewolves HATE fireflies! So much so that if you throw a bunch of fireflies at a werewolf he or she won't see you run up and snatch your future victims and spirit them to safety! That's what happened here, basically.

Good thinking, Scott!

Meanwhile Lydia had finished screaming herself awake and decided to go to the drugstore so that she could eat some medicine, but then instead she accidentally drove to the high school swimming pool. There, she found this:

It was a funny fake-out because it seemed like she was about to discover a corpse floating in the pool. But it was just an extremely disturbing-looking CPR dummy or something. Phew! But it turned out she was just looking in the wrong direction.

Whoops, throw another dollar in the Dead Lifeguard jar, everybody! This lifeguard was dead.

So yeah, it looked like Lydia's still-mostly-unexplained supernatural abilities were BACK.

Meanwhile, Allison was sitting her car having a flashback to a conversation she'd had about ten minutes earlier. In it, Scott had finally admitted to her that Mrs. Argent tried to murder him during a rave. Allison believed it right away and seemed very bummed that Scott hadn't told her earlier, but he explained that he just didn't want Allison's final memory of her mother to be murder-related even though the mother was a born-murderer and basically murdered herself to death. Overall it was a nice moment, made almost completely hilarious by Scott's blood goatee.

But then this happened and I got SO SAD:

AW BB :(

I loved when Allison snapped out of her flashback and then she held up an arrowhead like sh*t was about to get REAL. She was basically in her own show this week and it was a show I would LOVE to watch.

Okay, so there are also FEMALE homosexuals in Beacon Hills, good to know. Anyway, so then two very cute ladies were on a romantic camping date but then one of them started hallucinating that she was being attacked by bugs.

And then, in what was probably the most egregious example of supernatural cockblocking in history, the bugs carried her away! Then to add insult to injury, Derek's sister showed up to growl at the girlfriend.

Poor girl, that was not fair to her. Anyway, luckily a trio of hunks showed up to shout at the lady werewolf and chase her away. I loved that Isaac was in the mix, just helping his bros and not getting super tortured. What a nice change! Also I loved his reaction when Scott went on to suggest they find someone even better than Isaac to help them capture the rogue werewolves.

Also I liked that Isaac was wearing a peacoat and scarf, he looked so British. Quick question should Daniel Sharman be the next Doctor Who? Just kidding, he should stay on Teen Wolf forever.

Then Mr. Argent dropped his eggs in the grocery store parking lot and then immediately busted out a gun on Scott who'd been creepin' up behind him.

This was actually a very nice moment, particularly if you missed those scenes between Scott and Mr. Argent from earlier in the show's run. Their relationship on the show has always been one of the most loaded, from Mr. Argent's initial disapproval of Scott dating his daughter, to his mega disapproval once he found out Scott was a werewolf, to his begrudging respect when he found out Scott was a decent werewolf, to their mutual affection for one another due to Scott not having a father nor Mr. Argent a son. Look, what I'm saying is, I love it when these guys hang out, and in this scene Scott successfully manipulated Mr. Argent into helping them prevent murders by capturing (and not killing) Boyd and Cora.

And then the best part of the episode happened. You know I love me an unorthodox team-up, but not as much as I love it when characters stand in tableau.

Seriously, this sequence where Mr. Argent explained the ways of the werewolf hunter to a trio of werewolves was really well-written and beautifully edited. I was SO into it! Especially because it was intercut with Allison prowling by her lonesome being all quietly badass.

Between this and last week's solo sleuthing, Allison has quietly become one of the best characters on the show. I don't mean this as an insult, but I think she's way more compelling when she doesn't have as many scenes. You know? Like, not pouting about heartache or whatever, just doing her own thing without having to check in with anybody. She seems almost cool now, like a baby Michonne or something. I don't know.

So the fellas decided to try and drive the rogue werewolves out of the woods and into the high school boiler room where they could be locked up until the sun rises. Isaac really wanted to murder both of them but Derek was uncomfortable with murdering his own sister and also his progeny so this plan would have to suffice. Plus, it involved ultra high frequency glowsticks that made werewolves' heads hurt (though I guess the main three guys got over it quickly). Commence glowstick-planting montage!

This montage was great, obviously. It seemed so '80s for some reason and I mean that as a compliment.

Meanwhile Stiles had come to the aid of Lydia over at the swimming pool and they were both now knee-deep in a mysterious murder scenario. They also had this nice moment where he took her home and he awkwardly fumbled with his words but she cut through the awkwardness when it seemed like she was sincerely scared.

If you'd theorized that Lydia's mysterious fugue was somehow related to her Season 2 servitude to a werewolf ghost, both she and Stiles assumed the very same thing. Whatever was going on, it was probably Peter Hale related right? The smash-cut to Peter Hale certainly suggested as much:

Peter sort of wandered out of the woods to tell Derek something about how this whole thing with Boyd and Cora was just the blind Alpha werewolf's scheme to get Derek to murder them both, so he should probably just let them run around town murdering people and not get suckered into it. Something like that, who knows. Who knows what's going on with Peter. Does he have a job yet?

Meanwhile Scott's mom needed to discuss a murder case with somebody so she phoned the smartest teen she knew. This guy Lydia had discovered at the pool? He hadn't been tore up by a werewolf, he'd been murdered by a serial killer! Because, oh yeah, there was another victim:

It was the horny birthday girl from last week! What a terrible birthday present, in my opinion. Anyway, Stiles' reaction was pretty devastating:

This was good acting though, I was so bummed for him.

I liked this moment wherein Mr. Argent pointed out that California don't got no fireflies. Because duh! But also it suggested that there's some kind of supernatural phenomenon going on that we haven't learned about yet. I'm so glad, I was worried there wouldn't be any new weird elements this season, only werewolf stuff. Now I'm excited!

Anyway, finally the plan came together and the wild werewolves showed up at the high school.

Unfortunately it was surprisingly hard to corral them into the basement! Like, for instance they wouldn't run in the front door and instead tried to jump OVER the school! Fortunately Allison showed up to GET RESULTS.

She shot tons of flashbomb arrow tips at them and scared them right inside! Isaac saw her and a million tiny hearts flew up around his head.

And a new ship is born!

Haha Allison looked so weirded out by this. Oh, get real, Allison. Like this isn't the best day of your life.

This was a really amazing visual pun: In the darkened boiler room the rogue werewolves' eyes looked like fireflies! It also reminded me of one of my favorite parts of Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

So yeah, anyway, Scott and Derek trapped Boyd and Cora in the world's weirdest high school basement/boiler room/supply closet. Unfortunately they didn't realize there was somebody already down there!

It was the teacher lady! Who apparently still worked there even though her classroom was destroyed by birds. But yeah, Scott could hear her heartbeat, so Derek volunteered to go in there and save her.

For a minute Derek kind of had things under control, but then the tables turned!

Boyd and Cora scratched Derek SO MUCH. He was basically getting scratched TO DEATH. But then...

Then the sun came up and I guess the wild wolves turned back into teens and Derek was fine.

Speaking of fine, the lady teacher seemed pretty stoked to be alive and also to be looking at Derek up close.

And another ship is born. (Haha R.I.P. This Ship)

Oh, and then Stiles' dad discovered the body of the girl who'd been carried away by bugs. That made three people ritualistically murdered, and Stiles pretty quickly deduced that all three had been virgins when they were killed. Which meant only one thing: Somebody's making human sacrifices!

So dang. We now have an official murder mystery on our hands. Each season has had one, so it's not a shock, but still. Who's killing teens? My immediate instinct is that Peter Hale is probably doing it since his very existence is owed to magical forces and he's probably trying to find a shortcut to becoming an Alpha again or something. But personally I hope it's a new kind of threat derived from some other non-werewolf-related phenomena. This show has dabbled in magic before (and if we're being real, A LOT of the werewolf stuff is straight-up magical), so I would love it if the true Big Bad of the season were an evil warlock or something. I still have a feeling that the major threat that the veterinarian and the guidance counselor alluded to at the end of S2 was not actually the Alpha pack's arrival, it was something worse, and maybe the Alpha pack arrived to help fight it. I mean sure the Alpha pack are a bunch of jerks, but so far their motives are so cryptic as to make me think there's some misdirection going on. I don't know! I don't ever know! But for now I appreciate the mystery even when conclusions seem pretty far away at the moment. This was still a fun episode of television in my opinion.


... What is your current theory about the murders?

... Were you livid that there were no towel scenes or ice bath scenes this week?

... Do you like Allison more or less when she's hanging out in the shadows?

... Does Scott hanging out with Mr. Argent give you tons of feels be honest.

  • Comments (370)
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  • alcalde Aug 24, 2013

    I'm still in shock from the discovery that there are no glowing lightning bugs in California! Just say the word, Price, and I'll send you some.

  • JorgeBonillaL Jul 10, 2013

    The teacher literally stayed at the school until 5am. wtf.

  • AdderallAddict Jul 12, 2013

    It's the low budget plot contortion way to start a romance....

  • _Fire_Ice Jun 23, 2013

    What I've always loved about Price is that he notices and has the exact same reaction to things as me. I was sooooo excited for the team up tableau, they have teamed up before in the end of season 2 but it lacked tableau and it was really just Isaac and Derek together, Scott kinda by himself and than random Mr. Argent, this one was sooo much better. Totally agree that Allison is a 100x better on her own when she doesn't talk and she just runs around being a badass, I just wish it didn't take her little heart getting stomped on every season for her to do it. I don't want Derek with the teacher, she is an accident or a trick waiting to happen, he needs to be with someone way cooler. I am surprised Price didn't comment on Isaac asking Derek about Cora cause that killed me, I wouldn't mind that ship, since we all know the little Allison-Isaac thing isn't gonna happen, it's just there as a temporary trouble starter. I want MORE Peter. I don't know how I feel about everyones story being so separate from each other, I know they will all connect but I want all my awesome people to interact more.

  • anon_c04cfaa552ac64e26db2cfda545d2ad1 Jun 23, 2013

    Allison and Isaac seem so out of place. Cora and Isaac would have been better. I will go down with this ship.

  • anon_c04cfaa552ac64e26db2cfda545d2ad1 Jun 23, 2013

    Allison and Isaac seem so out of place. Cora and Isaac would have Belén better. I will go down with this ship.

  • TheNotSoSC Jun 22, 2013

    Funny review! "She's an angel" He had that astounded, impressed look on his face like he'd never seen Allison in bad ass mode before. Funny. And yes, I ship them temporarily because the previews for next week did show a small gist of them getting all up close and kissable.

    1. I don't really have a theory, I never have theories, I'm just a sad, theory-less person. But I hope Lydia's random supernatural outbursts are explained because how does one drive somewhere unknowingly without crashing the car?

    2. They definitely should've added some towel scenes because this episode was kind of slow and the pacing would've picked up quite a bit if we had some of those. My pacing, at least.

    3. Every time she goes into bad ass mode, I absolutely love her. She's so independent and instead of relying on drugs and alcohol and other influentially bad teenage escapades to escape the feelings of heartbreak and torture she just uses her bad assery as an outlet. She's like a superhero. The way she helped Isaac and Scott and the gang. She showed up and did work.

    4. Haha, not really, but it's nice to see how their relationship has evolved from S2 to now.

  • SweetMissJaye Jun 22, 2013

    I have a feeling that the teacher is going to end up being bad in some way. She seems way too innocent. No one is around just to look sweet, innocent and pretty. She's up to something.

  • anon_c04cfaa552ac64e26db2cfda545d2ad1 Jun 23, 2013

    Me too. Derek always have bad luck.

  • Troublemaker Jun 22, 2013

    1.Feral were-unicorn
    2. Derek's jeans are so tight I can almost forgive them for not having his shirt more thoroughly shredded.
    3. I like Allison any time when she's competent and not crazy. Or love-stupid.
    4. Scenes with Mr. Argent + anyone = yes, PLEASE.

  • AdderallAddict Jul 12, 2013

    Rec for jeans so tight....

  • lifeofpi Jun 22, 2013

    I read this in tumblr in a Q&A; and found this interesting:

    hi jeff, do u have any comments about the poltergeist hale family theory being the ones terrorizing beacon hills?
    poltergeists? the movie scared me as a kid but that’s all i can say for now.

  • GreyMinerva Jun 22, 2013

    Oh - and one pet peeve about the last, unfortunate murdervictim:
    Ok, so she was garotted - which means a noose around your neck, insert stick, twist until choking/broken neck/slit throat. The more elaborate versions (as seen on James Bond, among other places) were constructed with a noose (often metal) attached to a pole or board, often with a sharp point which was driven into the skull as the noose tightened; broken neck/pierced spine.
    If using a sharp wire, you might achieve the slit throat-look that TW went with. Otherwise, it's basically just a way to strangle someone slowly/hang them while sitting down.

    BUT: The posing of the last victim. Why wasn't the wire IN the wound?
    At first, I thought she'd merely been posed there, the wire used to tie her to the tree for more "impact". But a closer look reveals what looks like a metal "stick" (tent plug?) at the back of the noose, meaning that it looks like she was actually garotted against the tree. So how come the cut on her throat is several inches lower than the wire? Seems unlikely it would dig in that deep and then allow the body to slide down without causing more tearing.

    Or am I just being a crazy, nitpicky, morbid nerd now? ;)

  • Troublemaker Jun 22, 2013

    The victims all had three separate wounds--strangling, throat slit, and head wound. It looked like, on Heather, a cord was used for the strangling instead of a wire. Regardless, whatever ritual this is, it requires throat slitting as a separate step, not just a cutting in to the skin during the strangling.

  • GreyMinerva Jun 22, 2013

    Loved this recap - so many captions, so many lulz! :D
    But to answer your questions in order first:
    - I don't really have a good theory yet, but I couldn't help thinking "Stiles is a virgin, Stiles is a virgin" over and over while my mind instantly conjured up scenarios where Derek would help "save his life" by ridding him of this "burden"... ;)
    I suppose Isaac may be as well... :D

    - Nah, I'm good. There were more feels this time (Stiles, crying, OMG <3), which made up for a lot.

    - Allison is way less annoying like this, and I wouldn't mind more moments like the one where Isaac spots her being all Awesome, having the whole group realize just how useful and competent she is (when she isn't being a raging ball of teenage hormones).

    - Sott and Mr. Argent have ALWAYS given me tons of feels. I LOVE Mr. Argent, and want MORE Mr. Argent - with Scott, with Stiles, with Sheriff Stiles, with Derek - just MORE Mr. Argent! :)

    In addition, I don't think Boyd lost track of the kids because of fireflies - I think he lost track of the kids because of MAGIC fireflies. ;)

    I think Lydia has some sort of mystic "gift" which makes her more susceptible to either outside control or to "tuning in" on stuff happening, at least until she figures out how to control it.
    Also, there's been very little mention of the fact that Stiles a) has enough of a "spark" to magically close an ash circle, and b) has some sort of prior connection to Deaton (or at least his mother had) - I wouldn't mind more Magic!Stiles, although if they don't go that way it's ok:
    It's kind of cool to have at least ONE superawesome guy on this show be Just Human, for the rest of us to identify with.

    Peter's probably not directly involved in anything going on right now - I think he's insane, and a snarky bastard, but I actually believe him when he says he's regaining his powers and just staying alive right now. Despite the last two seasons, I don't believe he actually wants to see Derek dead anymore - it's the only family he has left, and I actually believe that counts for something. Even though he DID kill Laura.
    But I guess he was even MORE insane then. :p

    And finally: Sweet, sweet Stiles. Tell me you weren't MOOOOVED when he came face to face with Heather's body and he CRIED - OMG, the FEEELS! <3
    (And I really, really feel sorry for the poor girls in the woods, just trying for some romance - Teen Wolf apparently can't quite decide if teenage sex is a good thing or not; if you try to have it, you end up DEAD, but only because you're a VIRGIN - if you've already done the deed, you're apparently safe... :p)

  • lifeofpi Jun 21, 2013

    I watched the episode again with my sister and I think that this episode is much darker than the others of the rest of the previous seasons. And didn't have many funny scenes that relieve the darker tone. In other thinking, I think that Lydia is being manipulated by someone else like Peter did in Season 2. Agree with the people that think that maybe this time is not Peter and Peter have his own agenda. Lydia will have to become aware of her abilities and learned how to control it before someone use her abilities (whatever they are) without she know it.

    I read an interesting theory of Lydia in an article called The Otherworld: Lydia Throught The Looking-Glass (in the site offthepreserve). It's interesting for all of us that are guessing what is happening with Lydia. I think this season is keeping us very busy theorizing than the season 2.

  • lifeofpi Jun 21, 2013

    OMG. I really recommend this site http://offthepreserve.wordpress.com/. I read a couple of articles and is awesome. Is completed dedicate to TW have in the media, theories and show mithology, etc.

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