“Teen Wolf,” you have officially blown my mind with “Illuminated.” In what may have been the greatest single episode of this excellent show, we got supernatural selfies, a black-light party, near-infinite amounts of shirtlessness, evil Smoke Ninjas … and Stiles.
Has Stiles turned evil? Why do the smoke ninjas leave the number 5 on their victims? Who has killed/nearly-killed Papa Argent?
<insert scream of frustration and anticipation here>
“Teen Wolf” takes on the selfie
Since it’s kind of hard to cover up the fact that a serial killer nearly murdered a girl and then blew out all of Beacon Hills’ electricity, Agent McCall and Sheriff Stilinski have a few questions for our favorite supernaturally inclined teens. Unfortunately for them, Stiles is around to kill all questions dead. No one learns anything.
The only real downside here is that McCall insists on keeping Kira’s phone as evidence (because Barrow took pictures of her and all). That would be a mere inconvenience except for one thing: Kira takes a weird selfie.
You see, whatever electrical oddness allows Kira to absorb 1.21 gigawatts of power (thanks for that, Stiles) also creates an effect cooler than Instagram every time someone takes a flash photo of Kira. She doesn’t know why, but the girl really doesn’t want people finding out.
This is why it’s good to be friends with Scott and Stiles. Need to break into a police station? No problem! These boys do that on a semi-monthly basis! Stiles has even gone so far as to clone his dad’s keycards at this point. Which is very efficient of the boy, when you think about it.
Sure, Scott and Kira almost get caught while charging and erasing the cell phone. But the thrill of the break-in makes Kira super happy and allows Stiles the chance to confront Scott’s dad. He is even kind of intimidating while doing so, which will become more important later.
Ain’t no party like an unauthorized black-light party in Derek’s loft party!
Because the Werewolf Twins want to a) win back their respective honeys, Lydia and Danny, and b) get into Scott’s good graces, the boys facilitate a Halloween black-light party at Derek’s loft. They don’t check with Derek or anything, but the rest of it is all pretty much positive. It even seems to be working out pretty well for Ethan and Danny — there’s serious shirtless smiling between the two anyway.
Still, we’re talking about a party in Beacon Hills, where such shindigs never ever end well. This time, it all goes bad when some seriously nasty party crashers — the ethereal beings that I’m calling the Smoke Ninjas — show up.
The Smoke Ninjas float through the darkness, picking off main characters one-by-one. Isaac and Derek faced the Ninjas before the party even began, and then Ethan is the first partygoer to confront Their Smokiness. Lydia, who has been hearing funky noises, gets hit out on the balcony after that.
After a Ninja attack, there seem to be three major side effects: disorientation, hypothermia and the number 5 behind one’s ear. None of these things are explained.
Also, none of the Ninjas are defeated by the werewolves. Being made of smoke and having the ability to pull swords out of the stomach help with that. Only the sudden arrival of daylight causes the Smokies to disintegrate and disappear.
Oh, and Kira totally knows that Scott is weird now too. Glowing eyes and fangs are dead giveaways.
A couple of frightening, bad endings
For all the weirdness and Smoke Ninja attacks throughout “Illuminated,” only two characters end the episode in very, very bad places.
Papa Argent is in mega-trouble, for example. I’m talking about the kind of trouble in which there is blood, falling to the floor and an inability to answer the phone. Argent could even be dead. He probably isn’t, but it’s not looking good for the only remaining adult werewolf hunter.
This probably has something to do with the fact that Chris Argent has a broken demon mask in his apartment. That can’t be a good thing.
But there’s someone else who might be even worse off than Argent, and that is Stiles. Yes, our dear Stiles may not be totally over his sleep demons. That’s the best explanation, anyway, for the end-of-episode revelation that Stiles has a phosphorescent key to the chemistry lab — the chemistry lab in which Barrow hid and received the message to kill Kira.
Even the chemical-formula clue is in Stiles’ handwriting. It looks like Stiles somehow and for some reason unleashed a serial killer on the new girl in town.
Far more cleverness than I can write