Review: Teen Wolf “Illuminated”

Alysha Boynton ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

in the Teen Wolf episode "Illuminated." Photo Courtesy of MTV.
Max Carver and Holland Roden in the Teen Wolf episode “Illuminated.” Photo Courtesy of MTV.
It was Halloween in Beacon Hills (yep, in January) and Monday’s episode of Teen Wolf was appropriately jam-packed with spooky surprises and an overall feeling of impending doom. The episode, titled “Illuminated” because of the massive blacklight dance party that took place, also featured a remixed opening title song by the Bloody Beetroots, who appeared in the episode as well. After a slightly rocky start to the season, this episode, along with last week’s “Galvanize,” have proven that Teen Wolf is determined to step up its game as it continues into the second half of its third season. Similar to last week, this episode was a joy to watch, alternating between edge-of-your-set suspense, sidesplitting humor, and about 20 straight minutes of gratuitous hot people in body paint dancing to upbeat techno music.
As promised by the cast and creator in various interviews, this season really is slowing down and focusing more on character development. In this episode alone, we see Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) giving candy to little kids and actually smiling, Scott (Tyler Posey) and Allison (Crystal Reed) acknowledging that their relationship is over but that they could still be friends and approve of each other’s new love interests, and Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) more or less confirm his much buzzed about bisexuality (or at least bi-curiosity, the scene left a bit to be desired as far as conclusiveness). In addition to all of that, Lydia (Holland Roden) finally tells Aiden (Max Carver) that she has no interest in hooking up with someone who “wasn’t just a bad boy, but a bad guy,” and Danny (Keahu Kahuanui) also continues his shunning of Ethan (Charlie Carver).
in the Teen Wolf episode "Illuminated." Photo Courtesy of MTV.
Tyler Posey and Arden Cho in the Teen Wolf episode “Illuminated.” Photo Courtesy of MTV.
The plotlines in the episode balanced each other nicely, and even the less interesting scenes spent with Scott and Kira (Arden Cho) in the police station as they tried to recover her cellphone held some pretty emotional moments, like Scott seeing that his estranged FBI agent father still had a picture of Scott as a baby as his desktop background. While the rest of the episode centered around Danny throwing a gigantic black light party in Derek’s loft without his knowledge, the main takeaway of the episode was the appearance of the…firefly ninjas? We’ll call them the dark mysterious bad guys for now, but they seemed to be messing with just about every supernatural character on the show, leaving strange “5” marks behind the ears of those they attacked (Isaac, Derek, Ethan, Aiden, and Lydia). This plotline has a lot of potential, and with the additional mysteries of why they chose to mark who they did, why Chris Argent (JR Bourne) has one of their masks, and who’s controlling them, the masked men are shaping up to be a really interesting addition to the season (they also seem to be after Kira, who is a whole other mystery unto herself).
Despite still not having nearly enough screen time for Derek, this episode didn’t have a dull moment, and as long as they don’t try to add in any more storylines, this half of the season should be primed for the perfect amount of excitement and terror, and hopefully no loose ends or sloppily written conclusions.
Overall Episode Grade: A
Best Quote of the Episode: A tie, between Lydia’s snarky “If I wanted to go to a rave, I’d get in a time machine and go back to the ‘90s,” and Caitlin (Zelda Williams) and Stiles’ conversation after their kiss about the obvious simplicity of bisexuality; “I thought you liked girls?” “I do like girls, you?” “Absolutely. But you also like boys?” “Absolutely, do you?”

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