Bitten Episode Review 1×08 – “Prisoner”

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Sex, Lies and Videotape: Dark Secrets are Revealed and Close Bonds Are Tested on Newest Episode of Syfy’s “Bitten”

After the traumatic events of “Stalked” – namely the horrific loss of Antonio and near fatal attempt on Jeremy’s life – in “Prisoner” we find ourselves hot on Elena and Clay’s heels as they seek to discover what’s poisoning their pack leader: Clay by trying to torture the information out of captured mutt leader Cain, and Elena by hunting down Cain’s girlfriend. Elsewhere, Nick has assumed his late father’s role of Pack Fixer, and now finds himself cruelly tasked with having to erase Antonio’s life and (as yet still secret) death from public memory to prevent panic amongst their allies. Philip on the other hand is about to discover that Elena’s cover stories are for from what they seem, after Sylvie uncovers some clearer frames in the wolf footage weird IT dude conveniently provided them with. Stakes, emotions and the prices to be paid have never been higher, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at this epic new episode had to offer us, shall we? Because my goodness there is much to discuss. bitten-episode-1x08-elena

No More Mr Nice (And Conveniently Oblivious) Guy

While Philip’s always been very likable character, to me he’s always felt ultimately like a means to an end: a hard lesson for Elena to one day learn about how she will never be able to escape who she truly is. On the other hand, he’s also the embodiment of the humanity and future Clay took away from Elena when he bit her, so it stands to reason that she would do everything she could to protect him from her true nature; the most obvious way she could do that of course is to lie and keep him blind to the existence of werewolves and their wars. It was a very awkward moment then when – courtesy of a much higher res version of the wolf video supplied by Sylvie – he then identifies the shed clothes in the forest in the video as those belonging to Elena and Logan. Now, even if he has no real idea about the real truth (and good grief, what a revelation that’s going to be for him at some point) Philip’s understandably snarky attitude towards Elena when he subsequently calls to check up on her whereabouts, would suggest that – nice a bloke as he is – he really doesn’t seem the type to take being treated like sloppy seconds, well. Which leads us to ask: will he confront Elena? Will he try to catch he in the act? Are we about to see a darker side of Philip? In any case, given that the Mutts would appear to also be in the process of directly manipulating him in order to get to Elena, you’d have to think that Philip still has a huge part to play in all this, the likes of which he especially could never possibly fathom at this point. But whether he will live through it? That, I think, is another thing all together.

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Men of The Hour

Nick for me had already stood out from the beginning as having more plot potential than he or even us as the audience, I think, knew what to do with, so it was great to see him finally make the move this week out of Cover Girl mode (i.e. easy, breezy and beautiful) and into “Contender” mode (I’m really hoping you read that in the Rocky voice, too). A new level of grit and darkness has emerged in Nick since the death of his father, and one can only think that it will do wonders for him in the context of this plot. For example that moment where he told his cousin “No more Nicky” was more than just a request: it was a statement from someone who wants the world to know that the boy is gone, and the man has arrived. And that love scene. Like HOT. DAMN. In other news, Steve Lund, next time you plan on steaming up my screen like that, for Pete’s sake WARN a girl. Plasmas aren’t cheap, son.

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But the character development I was by far and away most excited and thankful to see this week came in the form of Clay. Week to week there’s literally not a single second that Clayton Danvers is on my screen where I find myself wanting to look away, but over the last few episodes his contribution to the overall plot has been a bit too predictable. This week though we were given a much more nuanced glimpse into Clay’s life and character, and it was fantastic to see. Heaps of this growth of course has to be attributed to how well Noah Danby (who played the captured Cain) and Greyston Holt played off each other in their scenes; their exchanges had both depth and soul, and the good tempo of the script made for some really gritty, succinct television. The biggest thing for me though this week was how every one of Clay’s scenes in “Prisoner” quietly kept reminding me about that last word of advice Tonio had given Clay before dying, about finding it within himself to forgive. The more you think about it, the more it would seem like he was telling Clay that he needed to forgive himself, and I think this week seemed to mark the beginning of that journey towards letting go. In any case, that whole story arc was all just so beautifully done from both an acting and written standpoint, and I loved it, even though it hurt at times to watch. Indeed, this was one of the best weeks to date for the character growth of most of the male cast of this show. Save of course for Logan who was conspicuously absent from this episode, presumably because he’s trying to keep his lady happy now that she has a puppy in the kennel.

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One Life To Live

Elena’s existence living twin lives was always going to get messy, even if the lies she told to balance them out were told with the right intent. But really you’d have to say that to date, she’s managed pretty well to have her cake and eat it too in a lot of ways. Weddings and heartwarming little dramas with the potential McAdams in-laws one day, then – with a slick disappearing act and a quick drive to the country – lying naked on an earthy forest floor with your soul and pack mate after a ‘run’, the next. But after this week’s episode, there’s one area where I now really look forward to Clay challenging her in particular. When Elena discovered that Cain told human lover Amber his werewolf secret, but did not bite her because he trusted her enough with the information and loved her enough not to put her through the torment of the change, Elena fiercely rebuked Clay for his not treating her with the same level of respect and/or love. But is Elena being hypocrite here? How can she condemn Clay for lying to her about his supernatural nature, when she has been doing the exact same thing to Philip? Is she so much more deserving than he is of the implicit trust that comes with that secret? Who knows? But one thing’s for sure: that double standard is going to come back and bite somebody, and Elena might not be able to control who that somebody is, no matter how much she’ll want to. bitten-episode-1x08-amber

Final Verdict

All in all, this is probably one of the most satisfying episodes of Bitten this season, and for me it was one of my favorites to date. It added so much depth to some really important characters, and – whilst it still left us with a lot of questions – it also gave us heaps of reasons to be excited as to what might be in store for us as this season barrels headlong towards what looks to be shaping up as an explosive season finale. So much of this week’s success too I think can be laid at the feet of both Wil Zmak’s tight and beautifully nuanced script, and Grant Harvey’s smoothly executed direction. Unlike last week where those two elements didn’t necessarily play quite as nicely with each other as they should have, Zmak and Harvey have collaborated this week in a way that made for some very cohesive and architecturally beautiful storytelling. The framework they provided in those areas really seemed to enable the actors to blossom in their roles in this episode too, which was (well, is always really) great to see. With that in mind, til next week Wolfpack, and happy speculating as to what awesomeness these guys have in store for us next.

General Questions and Thoughts…

  • How will Amber react once she realises that Cain is dead? Will she matters into her own hands in order to get revenge?
  • What role is Karl Marsten going to end up playing in all of this?
  • What will Philip’s next step be now that he knows Elena hasn’t been fully truthful with him?
  • What the heck is the deal with the disappearing IT guy and his wolf videos? It has to be another mutt ploy…
  • Is it just me or does a confused Philip McAdams bear almost an exact resemblance to a befuddled Golden Retriever?
  • Making Clay’s pack justice predecessor the master weapon in their enemy’s arsenal? Nice move – I didn’t expect that.
  • Every week Clay and Elena feel like they move closer and closer to emotional boiling point. How long will it take?
  • Nick seems a lot more eager for battle – will he be able to keep his head in the game and his heart out, in order to win?
  • Uh, Sheriff? Yeah while you’re busy trying to pin that redneck murder on Clay Danvers, is anyone keeping check on the fact that most of America’s Most Wanted have now arrived in your town en masse and are frequenting your local hot spots? Seriously. CHECK THE NOTICEBOARD ONCE IN A WHILE, PEOPLE.
  • HELLO NICK SORRENTINO with the pick up line of the century.

 Bitten airs Saturdays on the Space Channel at 9|8c Mondays on SyFy at 8/7c