Tuesday, January 28, 2014

'Teen Wolf' Recap: 'Illuminated'

Courtesy MTV
BY MELISSA HARKNESS

A Tale of Smoke Ninjas and Mysterious Keys

When we left Beacon Hills last week, Isaac was at the Argent’s apartment being attacked by our new dark-clad ninja types. Allison and her dad finally manage to break down the door between them and Isaac. When they finally reach the young werewolf, he is trembling on the floor with a massive case of the chills. He describes his five attackers as wearing masks and black clothing and how they just came out of the shadows. A spark of recognition flashes across Chris Argent’s face. He asks the kids to keep it quiet for 24 hours while he works on something. He comments that he thinks the creatures were after him before going to his room. He immediately opens a trunk lying there which contains a mask very like the one’s our shadowy friends were wearing. Now why would Mr. Argent have a smoke ninja outfit?

Beacon Hills is a tough school district. Despite not having any electricity, they are still having classes. As Stiles opens his locker, he notices a strange key on his keychain. He’s never seen it before and has no idea how it came to be there. He's distracted from this problem by Scott’s arrival though. He has decided that Scott needs to stay away from Kira. He repeatedly warns Scott that they don’t know what kind of horrible monster she could be. The poor girl wanders forlornly away down the hall, while Scott stares after her with sad puppy eyes. Don’t worry, you know he won’t stay away for long.

On the werewolf front, the twins are still trying to get back in the pack. So far Ethan has not had a lot of luck getting back with Danny. He sees an opening when Danny’s plans for a Halloween Rave are ruined by the continuing city-wide power outage. He offers to help, but Aiden smacks him down, to which Ethan replies, “Want to be a wolf in his (Scott’s) pack? Try to be a human in high school.” This sums up pretty nicely Scott’s philosophy on his new Alpha status.

This philosophy has apparently been rubbing off on Lydia as well. She is showing some real growth on the humanity scale this week. It seems that helping to save Kira’s life has given her a new outlook on her own mishandled existence. She likes this new feeling of having done good in the world, and decides that Aiden is not only a “bad boy”, but also a bad person. Amazingly, she’s finally had the epiphany that he wasn't a very good guy for helping kill Boyd last season. This revelation is enough to change his mind about helping Danny find a new place for the party, because that’s what nice guys do, right?

Derek is still in town, and seems to be staying in his loft. Peter is nowhere to be seen though. That’s possibly worrying. Anyway, it’s Halloween and Derek has a built in costume. He looks to be returning from the grocery store when he is accosted by some trick-or-treaters outside his place. Expressionless, he reaches into a bag and pulls out some candy, which he slowly drops into each child’s bag. As a final bonus, he flashes his wolf’s blue eyes and snarls with his big teeth. The children run away screaming as he chuckles and turns back to his truck. When he turns back around, he is surrounded by our five smoke ninjas.

Scott doesn't waste much time in tracking Kira down after Stiles leaves. Alone at last, she shows him her big secret. When a picture is taken of her with the flash on, she is surrounded by a glowing fog. So what’s the big problem you ask? You see, Barrow took pictures of her at the power station and Agent McCall kept her phone as evidence. She is terrified someone will find those pictures and find out that she’s a demon! She doesn't know what she is by the way, she just thinks the orange glow she sees in the pictures looks demon-like. In his eternal quest to save the girl, Scott sets out to help her fetch her phone from the police station. You know the station where Stiles has access to all of the keys? In the midst of this latest caper, Scott discovers that his dad actually has a picture of him as a baby on his laptop which he conveniently left unsecured at the station. Aww, I still don't like him. They find the phone and are deleting the pictures when Agent McCall returns. This jars Stiles out of his contemplation of the mysterious key and he rushes to do some classic Stiles brand stalling. Stiles gets a little cranky when the man makes another slur against his father. Stiles lets him know that he knows why Agent McCall really hates his father. The Agent looks uncomfortable, and tells Stiles to go home. His work done, he catches up to Scott and Kira back at the jeep. Kira is thrilled by the success of their mission and as a reward, Scott suggests they all go to Danny’s party.

Did I mention this Halloween Party was in Derek’s loft? Yeah, Isaac and Allison are also there; they are understandably worried that he might find out. Derek’s apartment has been transformed by luminescent paint, techno music, and multitudes of intoxicated teenagers. As Danny is getting his glowing paint put on, Ethan goes searching for some more ice because he’s still trying to get on Danny’s good side. Unfortunately, he ends up all alone in a storeroom. When he looks up, he’s surrounded by the masked newcomers to town. Out in party central, Lydia rebuffs Aiden again, and for once is the only one of the group not partying. Instead, she stands on the outskirts of the crowd watching Isaac painting luminescent paint on Allison, Aiden rubbing up on two hotties, and Stiles flailing around on the dance floor with Caitlin. She then goes out on the balcony, where the smoke ninjas crawl out of the floor and attack her with their glowing firefly eyes.

Meanwhile, Scott has lost Kira in the crowd when he and Allison exchanged an awkward glance. As he looks around for her, he uses his wolf vision and easily spots her because she glows brighter than any of the ravers. Interestingly enough, her glowing aura appears to be rather fox shaped and surrounds her like armor. For once Stiles is getting his party on. Caitlin from last season plants a big kiss on him, and they take to the dance floor. It turns out she’s not just into girls, she’s into Stiles’ too. My hopes for Stiles finally getting some action are dashed when he pulls out his keys looking for a bottle opener. Caitlin notices that the mysterious key that appeared on his keychain has a phosphorescent fingerprint on it. His clever little mind starts turning and he abandons Caitlin to pursue whatever horrible thought he just had.

Out on the dance floor, Allison and Isaac are pressing up against each other, when she notices a mark behind his ear. They rush to a mirror to look at it more closely. It appears to be a number five imprinted in black directly behind his ear. They hear a moan, and find Ethan passed out on the floor with a similar mark. Aiden and Danny have meanwhile been searching for Ethan. Instead they find Lydia passed out on the balcony, also with a number. Down on the street, Derek suddenly, wakes up from his similar ordeal. He lets out a howl, and heads inside. It doesn't take much for him to scare everyone away. As the teenagers scatter, the ninja guys are left standing alone on the floor eyeing Aiden. The wolves try to defend him, but the black hooded guys seem to be impervious to damage. I mean they can pull swords out of their chests. How do you compete with that?

Soon, Scott is the only one left without his own nifty mark. As the dark figures turn towards him, he growls and starts to change despite Kira standing right behind him. He’s saved by sunrise though. Luckily Derek’s loft has that whole wall of windows where the sunlight shines through. As the light hits our new friends, they disintegrate into black smoke and presumably blow away until nightfall. As the friends glance around the room at each other, Isaac tells Allison that her dad’s time is up. She pulls out her phone and calls him, only he’s in no shape to answer. He has just managed to stagger into their apartment leaving a bloody handprint on the doorframe. He then collapses with his ringing phone in his hand. So, who do you think banged up Mr. Argent? The man is practically indestructible.

Are you wondering where Stiles ran off too? It must be pretty important for him to abandon a girl that was practically crawling all over him. Sadly, it does turn out to be important. Possibly, even tragically important. Stiles is at the high school standing in front of the closed door to the chemistry lab. He anxiously pulls out the mysterious key and it fits the lock perfectly. He then stumbles to the chalkboard where the chemical formula that spelled out Kira’s name still sits. He shakily picks up a piece of chalk and copies the formula onto the chalkboard beside the original. Guess what? The handwriting matches. So, Stiles is the one that told Barrow to kill Kira and he didn't even know. I guess this is more fallout from the nematon, as if the smoke ninjas aren't bad enough.

The next episode of "Teen Wolf," “Silverfinger” airs Monday, February 3 at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.

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