Week two of the second season of Canadian werewolf drama reunites the cynic and the super fan for another He Said/She Said review.
Let’s bitch it out…
Last week’s premiere went fairly smoothly, so how do cinephilactic (C) and Stonehaven Groupie (SG) like ‘Scare Tactics’?
C: Alright, Bitten episode two! What did you think?
SG: I liked it! Good lead-up and intro of the witches and just enough of a tease about being hunted. I’m not really sure why we had a Clay (Greyston Holt) backstory, but hey more Clay is all good.
C: Thematically it did seem like the writers were trying to play on Clay’s daddy issues. Unfortunately that didn’t really work because the confrontation with Malcolm (James McGowan) was all about Elena (Laura Vandervoort)
SG: And because it was a completely different back story than the book (that was annoying – get it right or don’t mention it!)
C: Do you think the writers are trying to drum up more reasons to keep Malcolm a central player?
SG: He plays an interesting role. I’m kinda looking forward to what they’ll do with his character. The Malcolm / Elena fight really kinda echos what is going on now in the books
C: Let’s address that. As someone who is still…shall we say “warming up” to Vandervoort’s performance, what did you make of her attempted attack? I found it fairly dramatically inert
SG: It’s not really typical of her character, so I’m on the fence. Elena doesn’t really do outbursts. But it kinda went with the stress and guilt she was feeling after Diane’s (Natalie Brown) pointless visit (back to Toronto with you, secondary character!). Plus there’s the fact that Elena didn’t love Phillip as much as she loves Clay. So yes, her attempt to kill Malcolm was a bit over dramatic (what was she going to do: bite through the bars?!?) but ultimately I found it more amusing than annoying.
C: I guess that I appreciate the attempt to offer closure on Toronto and Elena’s brief dalliance with “normal”, but both her meeting with Diane, random confession about failing Philip and then the attack on Malcolm really dragged down the second half of the episode for me.
C: Luckily there was the awesome witch attack earlier. The mist, the sound design of the creepy whispering and the sudden attack on Nick (Steve Lund). That for me was the highlight of the episode.
SG: That was fun. And Jeremy vs the witches went very similar to their first meeting in the books. Now I’m excited to see what other characters we’ll see from Stolen (book 2)
C: I liked that we received clarification of their purpose so early in the season – that felt like something that could have dragged on unnecessarily. Plus there was a certain amount of outright refusal to depict the witches like they normally are on supernatural shows that was refreshing.
SG: And Paige (Tommie-Amber Pirie) and Ruth’s (Tammy Isbell) banter was right on
C: Are you warming up to the actors?
SG: Well I’m admittedly not a Paige fan, but I find the roles well chosen. Even if Paige is completely wrong
C: Wrong how?
SG: She’s described more as a short, curvy, long haired Victoria- loving, dress wearing girl. Pirie has the attitude and speech right but I feel looks completely wrong.
C: I wonder if that decision was deliberate since it wouldn’t exactly “fit” in this more realistic version of the world (the style of dress alone is very modern). That’s interesting. What did you make of the ending? Should we assume that the witches have taken Malcolm based on Ruth’s comment that they left the door open earlier?
SG: I think so. And I found that comment amusing: why would they lock it (5 werewolves live in the house) and also because it is a huge, heavy door. That thing probably locks automatically!
C: Ha ha. I’ll admit that I didn’t really take away much more than that. Overall this episode felt a little underwhelming – not enough happened to fill out the full hour
SG: The backstory of Clay (however yummy he is) and crap with Diane (yawn) took up too much time. I’m looking forward to seeing more from the captured characters. And wonder about the part of Savannah (the kidnapped witch that Ruth talks about)
C: Agreed. Second episodes are tough because they often have to pick up slack from the premiere and continue laying the foundation for the rest of the arc. Hopefully things’ll get more interesting with the kidnapped folks next week.
C: Alright, let’s close on a few stray observations. Do we care at all about Rodrigo (Salvatore Antonio) getting killed?
SG: Nope. Aside from it being a nice strength move by Jeremy (Greg Byrk). Usually he’d have Clay do that.
C: That kind of speaks to what you said last week about strengthening the character up
SG: I find them trying to define several characters…though not so much with Logan (Michael Logan), which makes me wonder, is this a hint of things to come? Or is it because in the books Logan is dead and the writers don’t know where to go with his character?
C: We talked about him being hinged to Rachel (a mercifully unseen Rachel Sutton) last week and that does appear to be limiting his role. Though we could say the same for Nick: what is his purpose exactly?
SG: Being hot? I think we’ll see more from Nick shortly. In the books, his father Antonio didn’t die and that played a part in Nick being a bit drawn in or sheltered.
C: Yeah the detours from the book are definitely starting to affect some of the characters in significant ways.
SG: Very true. It still looks like it’s gearing up for a fun season 🙂
C: We’ll see!
Your turn: did you enjoy Elena’s emotional reaction / attack on Malcolm? Was the visit from Diane a waste of screen time? Are you intrigued by Ruth and Paige? Was the misty attack the best part of the episode? And what comes next? Sound off below.
Bitten airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on SPACE in Canada