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Teen Wolf S03E16: "Illuminated"


Teen Wolf gets A LOT right when it comes to teenage life—fears, adolescent frustrations, sexual confusion—but it is especially attuned to teenage life when it comes to the subject of black light rave parties. When I look back upon my teenage years, I remember almost nothing else besides black light rave parties. You know, dancing to major label DJs in downtown lofts with a few dozen glowing, body-painted besties while being stalked by shadowy gas monsters. That's one reason why I love Teen Wolf: It truly takes me back. I simply RELATE. Haha okay, get real, other things happened in "Illuminated" besides a black light rave party, but don't worry about that. Just don't worry. It was the black light rave party that you will file away into your mental time capsule and it's what you'll describe to your grandchildren someday. "And then the one ripped homosexual tore the clothes off another ripped homosexual while a poor-man's Miley Cyrus started painting neon green onto his clavicles. The DJ looked like Venom and there was a girl who was secretly on fire. Also one, perhaps two bisexuals were making out on the stairs."

I truly don't know how I can spell this out for you more clearly: "Illuminated" was SO GOOD. Let's just talk about it already!

Quick request: DO NOT ask me what day this is supposed be taking place on. Was this Halloween night? Because last week's episode began on "prank night" or whatever and then it was the next day which would have been Halloween proper? And then the day after this scene there were legit trick or treaters? Maybe someone needs to make me a flowchart because there might be some next-level calendar fudging going on. Anyway, all that is beside the point because the true twist of this episode was that it took place in the '90s! 

I couldn't decide if these new villains reminded me more of the fighters from Mortal Kombat (NOT Johnny Cage, absolutely nobody on this show reminds me of him) or The Shredder's Foot Clan from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Anyway it doesn't matter, these guys were just walking the sidewalks of Beacon Hills like one of the background gangs from The Warriors. I am VERY into them. Also there is no polite way of saying this but I think they are made of firefly toots?

BUT THEN OH NO!!

Isaac was still trapped in some kind of fear coma after the masked dudes jumped him and Mr. Argent decided the only thing to do was punch Isaac in the face over and over until he turned into a werewolf and snapped out of it. It was VERY upsetting. Why is Isaac's perfect face getting punched in every episode now? Is it like in Fight Club where Ed Norton just wanted to destroy something beautiful? Or is it like in The Fountainhead where the main lady throws a priceless marble statue down an elevator shaft so that nobody else may enjoy it? What if I just made constant references to The Fountainhead from now on, would that be cool? So cool. Anyway, Isaac ended up being fine because he's a werewolf but I was very shaken about it.

Um. Also Isaac was crying. This episode was already putting me in a very rough spot emotionally and we were only 90 seconds in. So yeah he described his attackers: Five dudes in masks who jumped out of the shadows and smelled A LOT like firefly toots. That's when Mr. Argent was struck by a realization and then ran into his office and opened a huge, conspicuously placed wooden crate containing this stuff:

Uh-oh. What is Mr. Argent doing with all this broken but highly relevant junk?! What ELSE is he keeping in conspicuously placed wooden crates? Mr. Argent got some 'splaining to do. 

Speaking of 'splaining! The teens just could not articulate what they'd been doing in the power plant where Doug Jones had been shocked 2 death. And this was VERY frustrating to Scott's jerk-dad.

I liked when Sheriff Stilinski just kicked back snickering at everything. He was like, "Welcome to my world for the past 2.5 seasons." I'm paraphrasing because he did not say that with words, only his face and body language. Anyway, point is, obstruction of justice has never been so charming!

The next day at school, which either was or was not Halloween proper, Stiles found a mysterious key on his key ring. It seemed everybody in town was suddenly coming down with a bad case of mystery-itis and the infection was only spreading!

Meanwhile things were still awkward now that Kira knew that Scott knew she was some kind of mutant freak monster who sucked energy out of the whole town. And that awkwardness was compounded by the fact that the power was out PERMANENTLY maybe? All the lights were off at the school and the mentally ill coach took a break from shouting at his shoes to shout at the kids that they still had to go to class even with the lights out. In all realness, I loved loved loved the idea that the town no longer had power. For one thing that probably saves money on the production's power bills, but also it ratifies into law the underlit vibe that shows like this usually try to pass off as reality. Now it's both moody AND realistic! Perfect.

Anyway, Scott obviously wanted to talk to Kira more about her "powers" (which is a pun on electricity, did you like it?) but Stiles wouldn't let him. 

Probably best to avoid that repulsive monster freak, right? Ugh, monsters gotta be there for each other in my opinion.

UM HOLY MOLY A LOCKER ROOM SCENE. And boy what a locker room scene! First we found out that Danny's party wasn't happening, then we saw the twins shirtlessly talking about how to become popular again. Teen stuff!

Sorry to sound so easy to please but I am loving this thread of the formerly murderous Alphas just hanging around trying to become likable. It's such a good journey for them to be on. They seem very chill and socially aware now and sorry but blue eyes look better on them. Most Improved 2K14: The Twunks.

OMG YES. I mean of course I already knew that Lydia's mom was also Tyler's mom from TVD (and fun fact Jackson's dad was Tyler's DAD from TVD) but sometimes you have to lay eyes on Susan Walters to truly appreciate what she adds to a monster soap. I didn't realize how much I'd missed Mayor Lockwood ever since Klaus wished her Merry February-Christmas by drowning her in the town fountain. And now Mrs. Martin is back on Teen Wolf! And she's a substitute teacher! That's a straight-up Mrs. Argent move! But to be honest substitute teaching is not the safest profession in Beacon Hills. VERY worried about Lydia's mom, you guys. Unless she has a secret agenda or whatever. Maybe? I just hope she get cool stuff to do! Maybe she can become a medium and chill with the ghost of Mrs. Argent all the time? Just a suggestion.

For his part Aiden was trying to get back with Lydia, but she informed him to his face that she had decided she could no longer look past his role in Boyd's murder (and probably also the murders of countless others, let's be real). I truly don't mean to throw TVD under the bus because that show is genius in its own ways, but the thing I constantly complain about with that show is how everybody, including the most likable and sympathetic heroes, has a mass murder or two on their hands. Not only are those characters absolutely remorseless about it, the show's writers and fans seem to be angry or irritated when these facts are pointed out. (Remember when Caroline casually murdered 13 witches and it was never mentioned again?) So this moment where Lydia remains firm about anti-murder made me want to pump my fist YES! Murder still means something to these kids and that makes them one thousand percent more sympathetic, not to mention it makes death still seem real and full of consequence. Imagine that!

Anyway, Aiden took the note and, instead of getting uppity and downing a bottle of bourbon and murdering more people to blow off steam, he decided he'd try to redeem himself by helping Danny find a new venue for his party! It's like I said: I love when people try to redeem themselves and that's why I'm so into the twins now. And by the way, Aiden is also a great brain-stormer when it comes to last-minute black light rave party venues!

Perfecttttt.

Anyway, so then Scott took it upon himself to confront Kira about her freakiness. But much like Queen Latifah presiding over a gay marriage, he was going to do it WITHOUT explaining his personal connection to the situation. Fortunately Kira was brave enough to come clean anyway:

Whoops! Flash photos revealed that Kira is secretly on fire. 

Meanwhile some street urchins ran up to Derek in a parking lot for some good, old-fashioned day-after-Halloween (?) parking lot trick or treating.

Luckily Derek just happened to have a half-eaten bag of candy in the front seat of his Rav4 (?) and gave some to the kids. His hungry eyes told me that he wanted to eat all of the candy himself, but he still shared because Derek is a good guy deep down and he's always willing to sacrifice his favorite things. Much like the parents of three small children allowed to wander around unattended during a townwide blackout. They were willing to sacrifice as well.

Haha Derek, you rascal! He flashed his wolf 'tude at the kids. Happy Halloween! Enjoy your  lifetime of nightmares. Speaking of which:

Whoops! Derek got jumped by smoky firefly ghost ninjas! Not going to lie, I never expected that to happen in my wildest dreams. Not that specific combination of things at least.

Meanwhile Scott decided to help Kira get her phone back from the Sheriff's department so that they could delete the photos that Doug Jones had taken of her being secretly on fire. It was like Mission Impossible but with supernatural canines! And trust me Kira was VERY into it.

Oh man:

Um that stopped my heart it was so adorable. (That was an actual baby photo of Tyler Posey right?) Scott's dad had it as his laptop desktop! I can't. I really can't. Bye. I said I can't and I wasn't lying. I can't.

But of course this is a TV suspense caper so that meant Scott's dad showed up right when they were in his office trying desperately to recharge Kira's phone (I bet Nokia loved how prominently featured their impossible-to-charge phone was!) and Stiles had to scramble and distract him. Anyway, spoilers: They were successful. Secretly-on-fire selfies were deleted and the teens ran back outside victorious.


This was definitely the start of Kira's life of crime in my opinion. Keep an eye on her, she's going to be trouble.

OH THEN THE BLACK LIGHT PARTY STARTED. 

The DJ was this guy, a bloody beet root:

I think he is famous in real life? That's my impression. He remixed the theme song during the opening titles and he wears an LED Venom mask because all DJ's must have a cool, anonymous persona now. But the kids like what they like, who am I to complain? Anyway, it was not explained how Danny lined up this guy for his black light rave party, but maybe somebody told Bloody Beat Root that there would be semi-naked teens in body paint and he was like, "Aight."

No offense to whoever is styling Allison now but is she supposed to look like a disapproving, late-30s librarian? She looked immediately annoyed that this party was even happening! Isaac on the other hand looked-- You know what, nevermind. Just look at that above picture and YOU TELL ME HOW HE LOOKED.

Also just FYI a black light party is a good excuse for everybody to take their clothes off. TEENS.

Almost immediately the evil gassy demons showed up but if I were them I would've been very confused and distracted by this scene. Even a supernatural creature must have limits on what is or is not understandable.

Then Ethan went to get ice and got jumped!

This was a scary scene because the light bulb kept cutting out and every time Ethan fixed it these cloaked dudes were creepin' on him. So good.

Then Scott and Kira showed up but instead of stripping naked and painting each other they just held hands!

And almost immediately Allison's eyes locked onto them. BUSTED!

But then, this was wonderful: She basically gave him the OK! And I do think it was genuine. Yes she was rattled to see her Ex holding someone else's hand, there is no escaping the feelings that that would cause in somebody. But I think she realized that she was okay with it and she was happy for Scott. It was this split-second nonverbal moment that made me LOVE Allison so much more. Just a thoughtful and downright mature bit of writing also. I really and truly love how this show has handled its romances (and breakups). It's admirable, original, real, and endlessly compelling. Yeah. Well done.

HAHA I have my finger on the pulse of pop culture. Anyway, Scott was looking for Kira so he turned on his werewolf eyes and scanned the room. Guess who appeared to be secretly on fire?

And not only that but she had a muzzle and a fox body. Kira looked like Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog but sexy. 

So yeah, whatever Kira was (a kitsune?), she not only drank all the electricity and was secretly on fire, but she was also a fox. Pretty cool, right? Scott seemed pretty turned on at least. Speaking of which:

Things were really heating up between Allison and Isaac! Because of course. They aren't mental. Look at them! But this was a follow-up to Allison's realization that she could let Scott go; it was like she finally felt like she could let herself go also. Not let herself go like bodywise. Unless you mean getting wise about a body. Because-- Nevermind. Suddenly she was taking off her shirt and showing off her glow-bra and then close-dancing-but-not-yet-kissing on Isaac. I have to say I also really like how different THIS romance is from the Scott-Allison one. Allison's warier, Isaac's pushier, there's a lot of sexual stuff going on. Seems more grown up and risky and thrilling and sorry VERY LONELY. 

These firefly demons were still all walking around like creeps. That's when Lydia finally noticed one.

Then she went outside and a demon crawled up out of a shadow on the ground and it was both disgusting and very scary! But weirdly this image of Lydia having her banshee scream stolen and then passing out was the most upsetting image:

Look at her! Chilling. This is very hard to look at. Good acting but so unsettling.

Meanwhile Stiles went off and made out with the ex-girlfriend of a lady who got murdered by the Darach a few weeks earlier. It was straight-up comical how blasé this girl was about her dead girlfriend. But she was wasted and kissing on Stiles, so it was hard to fault her emotional decisionmaking. It seemed strange why they'd bring this character back, but then it became clear: She's a proud bisexual! Which meant she immediately proceeded to ask Stiles if he was a bisexual also!

THIS SHOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. 

I cannot believe that happened. Stiles just stared into the middle distance EITHER shocked to have been asked that, or just carefully considering it. I can't even. (Does Tumblr still exist anymore or did it explode to death immediately after this?)

Then Scott took Kira to the roof and they flirted a little bit. They are cute together, but I was like, please cut back to Allison and Isaac and then the show DID. 

Isaac had been face-painted and it looked like they were going to kiss FINALLY but then Allison noticed something behind Isaac's ear.

Isaac had been TAGGED by those demon dudes. It looked like a backwards "5". Doesn't matter. Isaac had been marked and he wasn't the only one.

Ethan was lying behind a pile of ice looking pretty bad off. But then Isaac broke his arm and made him wolf out, so that worked.

Meanwhile Danny and Aiden found Lydia chillin' outside on the patio. By the way, that is pretty much my worst fear: Getting hurt very badly with people nearby and nobody knowing. Poor Lydia!

Then Derek woke up from HIS demon-attack and discovered that his loft had been overrun by ravers, so he ran in and knocked over the turn tables and yelled at everybody.

And they did! Derek gets results.

But the five gassy ninjas did NOT get the memo and they started stepping to everybody!

Some of the wolves tried to jump around and do spin kicks, but the gassy ninjas were too fast and impervious to having their necks broken. And that was BEFORE they got out the samurai swords.

They were apparently there for the monsters, so they continued branding anyone they could get their hands on:

But Scott drew the line at Kira. They would NOT be touching her.

That's when the sun started rising and the gassy guys just sort of dissolved into thin air. Yikes! The teens had won the battle but not the war.

Phew! Now they had to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning up body paint and taking down black lights and dealing with funovers. 

Meanwhile SOMEBODY had had a wild night!

Haha just kidding, Mr. Argent had not been drinking. But he stumbled into his home with a bloody hand and then passed out. Are we to believe that he had been one of those gassy druids? Or had he simply been mugged by a trio of trick or treating children all hopped up on Derek's candy? We don't know the answer to that yet.

But then we DID learn why Stiles had a secret key to a classroom back at school.

It was because HE had been the one to tip Doug Jones off about Kira! But how? And why? And who? And WHAT? What on earth? We knew Stiles had mental problems but this seemed very extreme. Is Stiles accidentally working to help the demon ninjas give tattoos to all of the monsters? It certainly appeared that way. Lots of questions, guys. Lots of 'em. 

Above all else, "Illuminated" definitely was an episode that had a black light rave party. Nobody can deny that. But in addition to this fact, it was another terrific episode of a season that I am really loving so afr. Frightening and romantic and sexy and riveting. I liked every dang second of it. But of course I did. There was a black light rave party. But also my brain is not well so don't trust me. Or maybe I'm VERY WELL and you should definitely trust me? That is another mystery for another time.

Let's do this again next week BYEEE


QUESTIONS

... What do the masked people want?

... What do the masked people smell like in your opinion?

... How have Isaac and Allison not kissed yet, isn't that insane?

... How often does Derek eat candy for dinner?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/30/2015

Season 5 : Episode 2

Next Episode

AIRS ON 7/6/2015

Season 5 : Episode 3

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