Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bitten, Season One, Episode One: Summons

This episode begins with Elena having sex  with Philip. She stops suddenly saying that she has to go.  Elena begs off claiming work but in the background her heart is beating rapidly.  Elena rushes out the door and her vision is starting to go wonky.  In the elevator her hands begin to turn into claws.  Elena makes it to an abandoned alley bending over in pain and quickly strips off her clothing. The change comes along rapidly and Elena is now a wolf.

A man is sitting in a bar and when he is approached by a woman, he asks about the Danvers family.  He announces that he is there to break the rules and calls the woman who approached him a slut. 

Elena in wolf form makes her way through the city to a wooded area.  The girl from the bar is walking another  wooded area.  The woman is walking rapidly unaware that she being followed.  She is killed by a wolf, as another wolf (I'm assuming that this one is Elena) kills a rabbit.

The next day, Elena is back in the alley and she dresses and quickly leaves.  Elena returns home to find her lover Philip in the shower. Elena tries to initiate sex again and they talk about her work as a photographer. 

Clay is teaching a class in psychology at the University of Upstate New York. His entire class seems to be filled largely with young women.  He asserts that all humans are animals and the lecture is intense.

Elena is sitting down with Logan talking about the fact that she had to lie to get away from Philip last night because she felt the change coming on. Elena talks about having to change in an alley and admits that before this, it was 37 days since she last changed.  Logan asks Elena to run with him because he misses running in a pack.  Elena declines and so Logan encourages her to start changing regularly.  Elena grabs two massive sandwiches and readies herself to leave. Logan tells Elena that no one is going to judge her if she cannot make it out here and reminds Elena that she can always go home but Elena declares that she is home.

A hunter is following his dog through the woods and they discover the dead woman from last night.  She has clearly been mauled.

Elena is sitting with Philip's younger sister and they are looking at photos for the gallery. Elena rejects the offer to go the gallery showing and says that she is going to spend time with Philip instead.  They move on to discuss a gathering of Philip's family that night.

The cops are now looking over the murder scenes. Jeremy pulls over and asks the cops if there is anything he can help with.  They are polite but clearly not fans of Jeremy's.  Jeremy questions what happened and the cops declare that it was an animal attack. The sheriff informs him that if the death is declares a wolf kill that she wants to search Jeremy's property.  Jeremy heads back to his truck and calls Clay to inform him that there is a mutt killing in their territory.  Clay says that he is coming home to handle it but Jeremy informs Clay that he is calling everyone to come back. Clay grudgingly accepts Jeremy's proposal about getting everyone involved.

Logan is talking with his girlfriend Rachel about her culinary career, when they are interrupted by a call from Jeremy demanding he return home.   We shift to a threesome, where the phone goes off demanding a return to Jeremy's property.  Elena then gets the text to come home.

The cops have closed down the scene and bagged the body.  In the background we see the man from the bar.

Elena is at a fancy shindig eating yet again, when Philip approaches with drinks.  Philip's family arrive and clearly there is tension between Elena and Philip's mother.  Elena listens in as Philip's mother complains about her at the bar.

At the big house, the werewolves are making their way in.  O'Neil, Nick and Clay are the first to return.  The group heads downstairs to find Jeremy, who tells them about the wolf kill he discovered. It seems that this is the first time they have had a problem with mutts in years. Jeremy says that the mutt has to pay for killing a human for sport and they are going to deal with this as a pack. They talk about whether or not Elena will come home because she has not been there for years but Jeremy is adamant that Elena will come. Apparently, Elena's presence is necessary because of her great sense of smell.

At the shindig, Philip wins an award and takes to the stage for his acceptance speech. In the middle of the speech, Elena is forced to excuse herself when her phone goes off again. It's Logan who wants to know why Elena has not called Jeremy back yet.  Elena claims that she was busy. Logan informs her about the mutt issue they have on their hands.  Logan reminds Elena that she has a family obligation but Elena declare that this is not her family anymore and therefore not her obligation. Elena does however agree to meet with Logan and learn what he knows.

The next morning, Elena heads to see Logan and finds Peter with him.  Elena makes it clear that she has her own life and that it is ridiculous that they expected to be return.  Logan points out that if the mutt shines a light on their existence that they won't have an existence.  Elena asks about the mutt and snarks that it is probably someone who is pissed off at Clay. Elena declares that Clay is a good reason not to return but Logan and Peter argue that the packs needs her.  Elena says that she just wants to be normal and that her life is here now but Peter declares that life ended seven years ago.

Philip and Elena are at home and Philip leaves so that Elena can try on dresses with Diane.  Diane shows up with a bunch of garment bags as Philip leaves.  Elena tries on a dated pink dress and Diane declares that the dress works.  Elena and Diane are at a bar having drinks when the bartender brings over drinks from two men at the bar.  Elena heads over to reject the room key which arrived with the drinks but when she turns to walk away, one of the men grabs her.  This causes Elena to react defensively and put him into an arm lock.  Everyone in the place turns to stare at Elena and the two women leave quickly.  Diane asks about the incident and suggests that there is only one reason women know that kind of self defense. 

The sheriff reports to Jeremy that the coroner has confirmed that the death was a wolf kill.  The sheriff says that the wolf must be killed now that it has had a taste of blood. Jeremy says that his family would be more than happy to check out the property for the sheriff, as the werewolves look on. On the porch Clay says that they need Elena.

Elena is back in her apartment when Philip arrives.  Philip starts to talk about how his life has changed since Elena moved in.  Elena's phone goes off and Philip sees yet another text from Jeremy telling Elena to come home.  Elena explains that Jeremy is part of her extended family and not part of her experience as a foster child.  Elena says that Toronto is her home now but Philip suggests that Elena call Jeremy back.  Elena picks up the phone and calls and Clay picks up the phone.  Elena hangs up saying that she got disconnected and tells Philip that she will try again later.  Philip comforts Elena and the two kiss.

The wolves bicker because Clay answered the phone and suggest that hearing Clay's voice will only remind Elena of the reasons why she left.

That night, Elena is in bed but sits up when she hears a wolf howl.  She heads outside and is met by Logan.  Logan explains that he will be leaving for the meet tomorrow afternoon.  They head to a secluded area and Logan explains they should deal with the issue of the mutt then return to their lives in Toronto.  Elena watches as Logan begins to change before shifting herself. It's not long before the two are running in a wooded area by the beach.  What they don't know is that their time as wolves was recorded. The next day, Logan and Elena have changed into their clothing and Logan explains how he explained to Rachel that he has to leave for awhile. Elena says that she wishes she didn't have to lie to people at all.  Elena then talks about not wanting to tell Clay about her life with Philip and Logan jokes that this would put Philip's life at risk.  Logan again reminds Elena that the pack needs her.  Elena talks about getting out altogether but Logan makes it clear that there is no getting out because she is a werewolf.  Elena agrees to take the first train.

Elena is back home and she explains to Philip that Logan is not her therapist and is actually her cousin.  Philip questions why Elena didn't say that from the beginning and Elena replies that she doesn't like talking about her messed up family.  Elena lies and says that her cousin was in a car accident and Philip tells her to go and take care of her family.  Philip makes it clear that when Elena returns home, he wants to hear about the rest of her family.

Elena is now in Bear Valley and she takes a cab to Jeremy's place. As soon as the cab pulls away Clay makes his presence known.

The mutt rises out of bed and makes his way to the bathroom. The woman he was in bed with begins to stir when she hears him in the bathroom moaning.  When she opens the door, she finds a black wolf growling.  The wolf pounces quickly.

What a chaotic mess.  I don't think that if I had read the book I would have been able to follow this story at all.  The major problem is that there are far too many characters and they were all introduced at once.  It was hard to center on any of them as individuals and we didn't learn much about them beyond the fact that they are a werewolf pack.  The entire pacing of this first episode felt incredibly rushed.

I don't remember if Logan was Black in the book but I must admit I was surprised to see him.  I however didn't like that he immediately fell into the role of wise negro for the pained Elena.  Really?  This does not bode well for his character in the least.  I am sick to death of ridiculous tropes.

Laura Vandervoort plays the part of Elena and I absolutely hate this casting.  I cannot even put my finger on why at this point, I can only say that she is off putting.  Much of the time she seemed stiff and uncomfortable, though I suppose one could argue that this is because Elena isn't comfortable in her own skin.  I am going to reserve complete judgement for now, but I am not happy.

Beyond that, I don't have much to say about the first episode.  We will have to see how the season goes.