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Pen15: “Luminaria” Review

Image Source: Indiewire

Synopsis:

Anna and Maya attend the local “Walk For Cancer;” opportunities for socializing evolve into inklings of mortality.


It ceases to amaze me how in this season, all the episodes are so subtle, yet convey so much. This one in particular did just that. Maya and Anna learn that cancer isn’t something to laugh about and that the honeymoon period with a new flame doesn’t last forever.

The episode centers around Maya and Anna selling luminaries to collect money for the “Walk For Cancer” at their church. Anna has become obsessed with being around Steve and poor Maya is dealing with being a third-wheel because Derrick isn’t that reliable. I can feel Maya’s pain because, throughout my teenage years, I was usually the third-wheel in most of my friend’s relationships. It’s never fun. Also, old tech alert. Steve mentions that he has a beeper. They talk to the guys later about coming to the walk, and the boys aren’t too keen about attending. That’s when Anna goes into a spiral. She almost turns desperate.

At the event, Anna is acting like a typical teenager whose in a relationship. Just moping around and not caring that her best friend is by her side. I was glad that Maya got her out of her funk, but then we were introduced to some other boys who wanted to flirt with the girls. Actually, they usually want to flirt with Anna, which makes me feel terrible for Maya again. I’m still waiting for Sam to re-enter the picture and confess his love for Maya. She needs a win in the love department. They find out that one of the boys has cancer, and at first, they thought he was joking. That starts a whole other dilemma. Word gets out and the boys sister blows up in Maya and Anna’s faces because she thought they weren’t taking cancer seriously (which they weren’t), and that puts things into perspective.

The boys finally arrive later in the day and they discussed me. Mostly Derrick because he was acting really immaturely. Steve was still being caring with Anna and he knew something was wrong, but we never got to see them talk about the issue. The boys left during the night, but what we did get, was Maya and Anna’s friendship return back to normal. They learned two life lessons. Don’t make fun of people who are going through a hard time, like dealing with cancer, and sidenote, they need to buy some “fries before guys” merch because life doesn’t always go our way. People aren’t always reliable and relationships can be tricky. But at the end of the day, you can count on your friends to be by your side.

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