Bitten took a small step forward last week. Does it continue its “steadily improving” trend this week or is ‘Vengeance’ a dud?
Let’s bitch it out…I would argue that this episode is a mixed bag. A majority of ‘Vengeance’ is dedicated to an extended fight/chase/fight scene as former Pack enforcer Koenig (Mackenzie Gray) arrives in town to challenge Jeremy (Greg Bryd) on behalf of the mutts. There’s some good action and decent fight scenes incorporated into the mix, but at several points it feels like the writers wandered off and left their kids in charge of finishing the script.
I’m talking specifically about the decision to throw Thomas Leblanc (Curtis Caravaggio) into the mix. It makes sense to continue the feud that began earlier in the season and escalated last week in the diner – the show has a number of villains, but none are as memorable as Leblanc (his misogyny makes him particularly hateable). Unfortunately Leblanc’s attack on Elena (Laura Vandervoort) at the cement factory doesn’t work. Last week Elena had no problem handling him, but here she runs instead of fighting him after disarming him. This gives him an opportunity to pull his gun and shoot her, which instigates a series of questionable developments.
- It somehow makes Elena unable to fight him, which I can kind of accept (although we’ve seen Jeremy and Antonio fight on after receiving worse wounds).
- Elena’s flight across the wreckage outside of the factory introduces a homeless girl hiding nearby. Here’s the deal-breaker that proves monkeys wrote this episode: the homeless girl is dressed exactly the same as Elena. It’s laughably terrible and the terrible costuming decisions has obviously only been included to ensure that the two will be confused. As predicted, ‘Vengeance’ veers into over-the-top melodrama as Clay (Greyston Holt) sees the homeless girl shot in the back moments later.
- Hilariously, this development doesn’t even pay off since he and Elena are reunited moments later. The resolution to this scene makes no sense. Why does Leblanc suddenly leave? (At least show him running out of bullets, or realize he can’t take on both Clay and Elena). Why bother introducing this girl at all if Clay doesn’t believe Elena has died for longer than five seconds? This feels like little more than an excuse to get them riled up so that they can work out their emotional issues sexually later on. It’s basically just shit writing.
More successful, albeit more predictable, is the outcome of Jeremy’s fight with Koenig. Bitten has problems telegraphing every plot development with heavy-handed exposition earlier in the episode and ‘Vengeance’ adheres to this formula to a ‘t’. It’s clear during the training sequence early on that Nick (Steve Lund) will be the one who kills Koenig and that’s exactly what happens (kudos to the show for actually acknowledging it by having Nick explicitly question Jeremy’s intentions). The fact that so much is made of Koenig’s abilities early in the episode never really pays off, though. He seems fairly easy to kill, but the act does offer Nick closure on his father’s death and gives the character (who’s been a bit of a wuss up until now) the chance to kick some ass.
- Last episode I praised Elena’s ability to take care of herself, which is one of the reasons her fight with Leblanc bothers me. I appreciate that she’s shot in the shoulder, but when Leblanc’s standing directly in front of her, why can’t she slash his achilles with her claws? (I know, I know – because she’s changing and in lots of pain…but it would have only taken her a second to deal with him!)
- Side bar: why does everyone split up to find Koenig? That’s horror movie logic (it makes no sense) – if they stick together, it’s four against one.
- Also: why can’t Elena track Koenig? Isn’t that her entire purpose in the Pack?
- Elena’s ability to prevent changing after it has already begun is the latest cue about how exceptional she is.
- Just in case we need reminding that Elena is the only female werewolf, stupid Amber (Eve Harlow) provides a helpful reminder by dying before she can complete the change. This scene is grotty; hats off to the FX team for the grotesque mutant she becomes before expiring.
- Speculation time: who is in the sack that Santos (Michael Luckett) describes as bait?
- Finally, in stories we don’t care about: 1) Logan (Michael Xavier) finds out he’s having a son, which means it’s only a matter of time before he’ll have to leave his girlfriend and raise him with the Pack and 2) Philip (Paul Greene) accepts that Elena isn’t cheating on him with Logan, but does see a picture of her hand resting on Clay’s lap that looks less than cousin-ly. Fireworks ahead since Clay is accompanying Elena back to Toronto for the premiere of her art show!
Your turn: were you underwhelmed by Koenig’s appearance? Did you anticipate Nick would be the one to kill him? Were you expecting Elena to fight back against Leblanc? Happy that Amber died? And who is in the sack, darlin’? Speculate away below.
Bitten airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on SPACE in Canada and Mondays at 8pm EST on Syfy in the US