After delivering the worst episode of its freshman season last week, does Bitten rebound or has the show gone off the rails?
Let’s bitch it out…
That’s better. My big complaint about ‘Stalking’ is that it was a repetitive bore – afraid to break new ground outside of the parameters of its source material. That’s not an issue for ‘Prisoner’ which dedicates nearly its entire run time to identifying the poison that is killing Jeremy (Greg Bryd). It separates Elena (Laura Vandervoort) and Clay (Greyston Holt), allowing them to act of their own volition as they each tackle separate information sources: Clay tortures Zachary Cain (Noah Danby) in the basement of Stonehaven while Elena pursues Cain’s human girlfriend, Amber (Eve Harlow).
This division works because it offers us insight into how Elena and Clay worked as a team to hunt mutts while still maintaining the tension that defines their current relationship. Elena maintains that she can operate on her own and disregards Clay’s request to keep him informed – a move that lands her in the hot seat when Amber leads her into a trap laid out by Leblanc (Curtis Caravaggio) and Marsten (Pascal Langdale). In some ways their public ambush reinforces Clay’s fears: without the safety of the Pack, Elena is a walking target (particularly since she’s such a valuable – ie: female – commodity). Elena doesn’t exactly accept this, though; she’s more than capable of taking care of herself, as she ably demonstrates by breaking Leblanc’s arm not once, but twice.
Clay’s storyline is similarly plotted. His interactions with Cain provide us with more evidence of the former university instructor. Clay proves that he can use science to transform an unwilling wolf back into human form, knows how to tie a man up to ensure he doesn’t change and can refrain from beating someone because violence doesn’t always yield the results required. Of course, this is still the Pack enforcer we’re talking about, so once the desired outcome has been achieved and Elena has cured Jeremy, Clay goes ahead and castrates Cain (or cut off his penis – it’s not entirely clear) in retribution for Pete’s murder back in 1×03, ‘Trespass’.
Everything comes to a head when the former lovers confront one another after their solo adventures. Elena has by this time blamed Clay once again for biting her, suggesting that his inability to confide in her is indicative of a weaker relationship than Cain and Amber’s love (P.S. Using the twisted logic of serial killers is not a sound argument, Elena). Just when it seems like we’re about to get the umpteenth rehash of their same old argument, Clay finally stands up to Elena, insisting that how they got there no longer matters, only whether they move forward. Its a simple argument that doesn’t respect how much Clay has messed with Elena’s life, but at this point I’m inclined to side with the wounded thug if it prompts Elena to shut up and live in the present rather than continuing to blame people for the past. Enough already – sheesh!
- As predicted, Nick (Steve Lund) steps up to fill his dead father’s shoes. This B-plot detracts from the main storyline, but I suppose it’s necessary to address why no one notices Antonio’s absence. With that said, the meaningless sex scene Nick engages in with the random club chick is…well…meaningless. Ohh looks, he’s eating his feelings, and by feelings I mean her butt. Gross, far too long and just generally unnecessary.
- In Peeping Tom vodka land, Philip (Paul Greene) begins to piece together Elena’s secret when his slutty “can’t take no” ex highlights a pile of clothes on the wolf video that includes Elena’s pendant. Naturally when he tries to track down more info, the guy who shot the video has disappeared. I understand that this is meant to be increasing the stakes because Elena’s secret is on the line (will Philip discover the truth and be killed according to werewolf doctrine?) but this storyline is just not working for me.
- Finally, Elena and Clay discover that the mutts have hired Koenig – an enforcer who we’ll just call “Old Clay” – to take them out. Expect trouble when this guy arrives next week.
- Elena (to Clay): “I have to find the mutts. And if you tell me I can’t go alone, I’ll break your arm.” This line might work if her delivery weren’t so flat. Unfortunately angry Elena sounds remarkably similar to regular Elena, as though someone left the Vandervoort-bot stuck on “monotone”.
- Philip (stupidly inquiring about the videographer to the landlord): “There was computers here…and stuff.” Oh Philip <shakes head>. Both computers and “stuff” are fairly transportable in this day and age.
Talk back: is this episode a rebound from last week’s dismal outing? Are you hoping Elena finally moves forward? Is Philip going to discover the truth (and die)? Did you laugh that Elena threatens to break an arm and then actually follows through? And did Cain lose his twig or his berries? Sound off below.
Bitten airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on SPACE in Canada and Mondays at 8pm EST on Syfy in the US.