Bitten Episode Review 1×05 – “Bitten”
Really strong performances this week that gave a lot more depth and context to a heap of the characters. Was also really good to learn more about the back stories of some of the shows primary character relationships
When are we going to find out more about Nick? He’s such an interesting character with so much charisma and yet it seems like we’re finding out more about everyone else except him
A New Power Is On The Rise & Old Wounds are Revisited in Latest Episode of New Syfy Series ‘Bitten’
So this week’s episode of Bitten (entitled ‘Bitten’, funnily enough) saw us again dive headlong into both the past and the present of the Danvers clan as a whole, and into the seething black depths of the newly formed Mutt Army’s intentions in the war they are now determined to rage against Elena and Co. An equal balance this week of flashbacks and present day realities, we learned heaps more particularly about how many of the characters came to be…well, for want of a better term, the way they are and how they feel about everything going on around them.
Instead of just relying on the sheer animal magnetism (sorry sorry – I will only make that pun a few hundred times over the rest of the season) between the characters to keep our eyes glued to the screen, this was an episode that delved a lot deeper into the core relationships of this show, and not just between Clay and Elena (although they were a huge part of it and I for one will never look at a professor or his couch the same way ever again.) Indeed we were left with much to think about after this episode of Bitten, so let’s dive in and take a deeper look shall we?
Her Father’s Daughter
The gritty, warm interaction between Jeremy and Elena really stood out for me as a strength of this episode, in that it gave us so much context as to why she treats him not just with respect for his authority as her former pack leader, but also with much love and human-hearted loyalty. I was kind of aching for her to engage differently with a male character on this show, in a way that was absent of those romantic feelings, and her engaging with Jeremy the way she did really hit the spot.
Elena: “You’re the closest thing I’ve ever had to a father. I can’t say no when you call. So I’m asking you not to.”
It breaks your heart to see just how much Elena needs to leave their house and her pack/family, but feels so torn about leaving Jeremy behind, especially after having watched the flashback of him talking her through her first turn, and so much of what you’re made to feel there has to do with Bryk’s performance this week. Aside from his contribution, too, it was a really lovely piece of script writing that complimented the rest of the story line in a very effective way.
Diving Deeper into the Danvers Clan
This week also provided a huge insight into individual characters, particularly Clay and Elena as separate entities. Episodes One to Four spent a lot of time focusing on the angst that surrounds them as star-crossed but estranged lovers, but it really felt like this week we were given what we as an audience needed: a lot better chance to get to know them on their own, in a way that made their attraction to each other a lot more understandable. I mean two hot people hooking up on TV is the oldest trick in the book to get viewers – that part is naturally and totally understandable – but it really felt this week like we had to get to know their natures independent of each other, to understand why their relationship is so evenly fraught with such madness, pain, passion and great love. And we got that. This, then, was so significant: not just in order for make their love scene to actually mean something greater, but more importantly for the revelation of how Elena was turned. It fully seemed to me that Jeremy was going to kill her in that flashback scene. As he passed her that tea in the living room of that beautiful, great house all I could think was ‘poison, maybe? It has to be.’ But I felt sure she had to die there. I mean he totally has that ‘sorry love, but wrong place, wrong time’ look about him from the moment they meet, right up until the moment Clay takes matters into his own hands and bites Elena to trigger the were-change. If what it seemed about Jeremy’s intentions were, true then Clay biting her makes sense – he wanted her to live – but at the same time, it felt really selfish on his part, knowing the pain that she’d go through and that he’d be putting her through it just so he could keep her for himself.
Clay: “I’ve never felt this way before. I thought it would go away…this feeling. But…I’m sort of drowning.”
It’s such a grueling plot web to be stuck in – for example that scene where Elena turned for the first time? Wow. That was probably one of the more moving renditions of that change I’ve seen on screen in a long while – but at the same time, it’s impossible to even want to get out, even though it’s uncomfortable at times. It was here – smack bang in the middle of those uncomfortable moments – that we learned SO much of Elena’s formidable strength, and heaps about Clay’s weaknesses: predominantly his temper, his vulnerability, and to a big degree, his feelings for Elena.
A New Power is Rising, And it Packs Some Serious Mongrel
All of this of course leads us to the broader revelations surrounding the big band of Big Bads: the mutt army that is amassing numbers in its ranks and a serious body count to boot. We’ve been teased really well and often over the previous four episodes as to what the actual villain/villains might actually look like as a whole, but episode five is the one where they really amped that whole angle of the story line up. Adding a character as chilling as Victor Olsen – the child predator who somehow has managed to convince a parole board that he should be freed, declaring that his preying days are now behind him – was a ripping turn in and of itself, and a really smart move on behalf of show creator and writer of this episode, Daegan Frykland, in the sense that it really felt like it gave this growing evil the ultimate poster boy. Softly spoken, pale, and full of that suburban sinisterness that just makes your skin crawl: Victor is the kind of character that our fan blood will run cold over, especially when you see him sitting there on his first free day, on a bench opposite a packed children’s playground. But it was a killer stroke to make him not just a predator, but someone who had specifically preyed on Elena when she was young, with it being revealed that her testimony is part of what had him locked up. This adds a WHOLE new element to Elena’s back story, and made for a sudden reminder of just how much we as the audience don’t know about what’s going on outside of what we see. They also reintroduced the slimy Daniel Santos to the mix, as the sniveling, vindictive and loyal-to-none-but-himself, former pack member looking for reinstatement. It figures: there’s always one guy in these stories looking to sell what’s left of his soul to the highest bidder, so long as his interests get served. He’s also got some ugly history and bad blood with Clay, so it will be interesting to see if that actually comes into play here too. Also, Mr Santos? Yeah Chuck Bass called and he wants his hair back.
In short, this was another very juicy installment of this show, but juicy in a way other than that which relied on pure sexiness to get it over the line (even though there were a couple of Greyston Holt stare specials in this that could have melted a polar ice cap into a warm bath within about two minutes if aimed directly. Legit. That guy has a black belt in smouldering.) There was heaps of character development and lots of really important plot crumbs dropped for us to follow, and this is great in the sense that there really are so many places this show can go from here. Indeed I have no idea really how all this will play out, but what I do know is that fans will have a really hard time switching off after this one. I cannot wait for episode six. So hold on to your hats, people because it feels like there are much bigger things still in store. General Questions and Thoughts…
- What’s the deal with Alphas being born werewolves and mutts needing to be bitten to become werewolves?
- How awesome was Elena asking smart-arsed Clay if his favourite buzz word started with F U? LOVE HER.
- Jeremy is an experienced, logical and seemingly battle-tested strategist, so it’s easy to see what makes him such a great pack leader. But will his penchant for playing it safer than everyone else – particularly in the case of Elena – come back to bite him?
- Line of the Night: “Am I sitting on a metaphorical tree stump right now?” Seriously: if I had a dime for every time someone had asked me that question…nope I would still have absolutely no dimes.
- Am I right in thinking that was a wolf pelt lining the Danvers’ couch?!
- Has the angry dude comparing Jeremy’s property to Skyfall ever actually seen Skyfall? He doesn’t seem the type. I mean not unless they mentioned it on Duck Dynasty. Then maybe.
- What actually happened when Daniel Santos’s older brother challenged Jeremy for the pack leadership and lost? It seems like that could be a huge part of Jeremy’s story that’s not being told.
Bitten airs Saturdays on the Space Channel at 9|8c Mondays on SyFy at 8/7c