Monday, February 23, 2015

Bitten, Season 2, Episode 3: Hell's Teeth

Time for a flashback! 1 week ago in Massachusetts

We have Paige looking after Savannah who is a young teenager with a truly wonderful attitude (suddenly kidnapping her and putting her in a cage doesn’t seem that unreasonable) when magic stuff happens – it’s not Savannah. The ceiling cracks, the eerie whispering begins and a man appears (hey, they’ve got a cute guy summoning spell. Where do I get one of those?) freezing Paige in the process. The guy introduces himself as Aleister – which briefly causes Paige to escape and more shaky house quaking before the freezing comes back.

He tells her how mean the coven his and how she’s super awesome (c’mon even the most narcissistic teenager won’t fall for this) and then gives her a sweet which she eats (candy from strangers? Savannah, really! Who accepts food from the sinister guy who teleports to your kitchen table?). He then says “I am the lock” and she replies, by rote “I am the key” which causes another mini-unfreeze for Paige.

The freeze ends and Paige is alone, Savannah and Aleister are gone.

To the present and the pack realising they’ve lost Malcolm and his trail and that witches are behind it. This is a problem since the Alpha council will be coming back and demanding Malcolm’s head and, without the explanation of treachery, they also have a dead Alpha on the floor after Jeremy killed Roderigo. They have a body to hide

The ring Ruth hid in Jeremy’s nuts (not an innuendo) decides to slide around the place, attracting attention. Jeremy follows it and its pull to the front door where Ruth and Paige are waiting. He refuses to hand it over without them giving back Malcolm. Paige magically forces him to release the ring.

Ruth tries to apologise before she marvels over Elena (and Paige insults her, of course). The whole pack gathers and they don’t decide to kill one witch and torture the other (would be my plan) but talk (how tiresomely civilised). Ruth finally decides to tell them about Aleister kidnapping Savannah and how dangerous it is for her. Jeremy agrees to work with them. Ruth’s plan is to use Malcolm as a lure and afterwards Malcolm can return with the pack.

More drama – members of the Spanish pack show up looking for their alpha (there’s two of them – kill them both and put them in the body pit. Job done). Jeremy talks to them with lots of posturing while Elena and Clay get on that whole body hiding thing. By the time they give the wolves a tour, the evidence is sufficiently covered (especially since the recent Mutt attack left blood and gore and then cleaning products everywhere, covering the smell).

Elena and Clay are nastily thorough about body disposal (snipping off fingertips) and Clay has a bad moment imagining his mother’s death. He tells Elena about what Malcolm did and now he and Elena are both on the horribly murder Malcolm train.

Malcolm has been picked up by a hitchhiking witch who can easily hold him prisoner in a car. She throws in some sexually-handsy molestation.

Over to Savannah in a room with a woman chanting and Aleister trying to be all friendly, offering to teach her magic and pretending she’s not in prison. She tells him her dream about Malcolm the werewolf and how powerful it is (she may also have jumped up and down and yelled “walk into my trap!” Subtlety isn’t her strong point) but when he uses his lock chant she warns him that the wolf won’t be alone.

Nick and Logan went with Paige and Ruth and Nick isn’t exactly thrilled with the alliance. Paige herself is rather terrified of Aleister while still feeling responsible for losing Savannah. They use magic to communicate with Savannah – and hear that Aleister has a pregnant woman from Rochester as well: Rachel.

Logan jumps on Paige for answers which is super bad for her while using magical skype, but she’s turns out ok and everyone now knows about Rachel also being held.

Ruth, Paige, Logan, Nick and Jeremy all gather and prepare as the last witch brings Malcolm. Michael continues to beg for them to work together and Elena and Clay join them. They all wait.

Aleister arrives and they surround him (all in human form?) though Elena and Clay are more concerned with killing Malcolm than finding Aleister’s compound. The witches shout at him and yell threats while Aleister pretty much ignores them to taunt the terrified Malcolm. He throws a shard of sharp metal at the witch holding Malcolm, cutting across her ribs, she falls and Paige runs to her.

I’m not impressed by this ambush.

Malcolm is free and runs – Logan and Elena attack and are thrown aside by a mini earthquake Aleister conjures – the sound of which is loud enough to stun the werewolves. As they recover two vans appear full of Aleister’s pain-immune followers. Most of the pack easily tears into them while Elena chases Malcolm (alone? Is she a match for Malcolm? Wouldn’t Clay be the better choice? Jeremy I am disappointed) while Nick carries the injured Bridget inside for Paige who, after 3 episodes of nifty, werewolf beating powers, are being astonishingly ineffective.

They’re attacked by one of Aleister’s followers who Nick has surprising trouble with – is she a werewolf? Being immune to pain wouldn’t cover her being this touch. Bridget dies.

Ruth decides to confront Aleister. Well, she stands in a magic circle while he taunts her. 2/10 for effort Ruth, that was a really mean look you gave him. He talks ominously about something the witches did to him in the past before going after Malcolm

Elena catches Malcolm and is promptly smacked around all over the place because Malcolm seems to be the only werewolf who has remembered his super-strength. Thankfully, he decides to slowly strangle Elena without restraining her arms rather than beat her to death or break her neck or stab her or do anything that would kill her quickly, giving her the chance to stab him in the neck with her claws. Elena watches him bleed to death

And Aleister shows up and decides Elena is the strongest werewolf (what, based on Malcolm being damn foolish during a fight?) Elena decides to attack him. There’s no way that ended well. Jeremy and Clay find Malcolm’s body – and no sign of Elena.

After all this action, Logan finally regains consciousness. He notices Aleister’s followers loading up the dead/unconscious bodies of their fellows and jumps in the van, hiding among them.

In the aftermath Nick tries to offer comfort to Paige who continues to snarl at werewolves. Paige tearfully talks about what the dead witch, Bridget meant to her with lots of added guilt. Why is it no-one in TV land can processes grief without feeling like it’s all their fault? It is actually possible to feel sad without blaming yourself.

The wolves took the follower who attacked Nick captive and they try to question her, but she’s confused and babbly about gates, keys, the great undoing and light and the numbers 4 and 6 which is all wonderfully ominous. Before she stabs herself.

Clay makes it clear to Ruth that if they don’t find Elena, he’s going to hold the witches responsible.

Elena is strapped to a table in Aleister’s bunker.

I think I preferred the book version where the werewolves showed some strength to the witches rather than being overwhelmed time and again. The show misses the chance to show how the werewolves’ strength and speed as an equal threat to the witches. I see this as being a major problem for later – if this follows a similar path of the books, we’re going to have the wolves among an array of supernaturals but the wolves respected as equals and/or a major power in the supernatural world. We’re going to need to see some power from them.

I’m not impressed by the ambush – none of the wolves were in wolf form, only two attacked apparently sprinting from the next county and the witches didn’t even try to do any magic. Ruth hid in a circle, Paige screamed. That wasn’t an ambush, that was offering themselves for target practice. Even the fight scenes lacked much evidence of werewolf strength – except Malcolm vs Elena

There was a lot of missed opportunity to show what the werewolves could do – and some frankly bizarre decisions. It wasn’t a bad episode by any stretch, but it was mildly frustrating.