Monday, March 2, 2015

Bitten: Season 2, Episode 4: Dead Meat

Elena is strapped to a gurney with random people silently taking samples from her (90% of the POC on this show are sinister agents of Alistair’s, I’d like to point out) while a woman assures the drugged Elena that everything will be fine, they’re just examining her. Oh well that’s perfectly acceptable! They also strip her down to her bra for Reasons.

There’s lots of sinister sample jars all around her. Alistair arrives to declare her blood is the answer to allow them to achieve the “undoing”

I’m going to take a wild guess and assume we don’t want him to achieve the undoing. The undoing sounds like a bad thing.

He touches her and burns his symbol into her neck with the palm of his hand.

Next time she wakes up, she’s in a cell. After looking all around for a route of escape she manages to tear a small hole in the wall, but it’s braced with metal and there’s no way she could fit through it. But it does allow her to speak to Savannah in the next cell. Before they can have a conversation, guards with tasers and a catch pole come to collect her.

Back at Stonehaven, Jeremy, Clay, Ruth and Paige are all looking for Elena and Savannah (and, hope, reflecting on their terrible performance last episode). They manage to get in touch with Savannah through Paige and trying to convince Savannah that Alistair is a bad guy. Despite the kidnapping and being put in a cell, Savannah is having trouble remembering this. They also learn that Elena is there

Back to Elena and the female doctor trying to be all friendly and enthusiastic about her experiments. Elena tries to reason with her but she’s all gung ho for the undoing as well

Savannah has another chit chat with Alistair in which he uses his “I am the lock,” “I am the key” mantra to bring her back into acquiescence when she refuses to go along with the idea that the witches just want to control her and how being locked up is a totally good thing. He’s also using his faked hypnotically induced rage to try and focus Savannah’s growing magic

Alistair considers this good news and tells the sinister doctor lady who doesn’t understand why he doesn’t just brand her and bring her to the “inside mind” whatever that means. Woo-woo means this is a bad idea, apparently. Also the blood tests the doctor’s doing haven’t don’t what they want them to. They haven’t used Elena’s blood because she hasn’t turned yet – all the ways they used to turn the other wolves  haven’t worked on Elena –which the doctor takes to mean Elena is super special. The doctor, Sonja, gets super duper excited by all the potential of experimentation but Alistair gets all sinister – they need Elena’s wolf blood, science isn’t his goal. Sonja professes her devotion.

Perhaps inadvisably, Sonja tries asking Elena for a vial of blood when she’s in wolf form. Elena is not inclined to co-operate. Sonja keeps up her true believer shtick. Elena is still not impressed and is taken back to her cell

There she talks to Savannah – but she’s far more interested in her new powers and under Alistair’s influence. Savannah calls the guard and says the werewolf is bugging her and is then shocked when she hears the guard attack and tase Elena (how Elena can’t bring down one guard I don’t know).

Elena is taken to a new cell – one made of glass. She’s being put into a death match with Richard, a non-pack werewolf they’ve captured. She tries to reason witch Richard, but he refuses to listen; he changes. Elena refuses to, much to Sonja’s worry since she assumes the other wolf will kill her.

The cages open – and rather than fight she submits and Sonja and Alistair send in guards in a panic –one of which Richard eats while Elena takes down the one who tased her earlier.

Back at Stonehaven, Nick makes nice with Paige which is kind of like making nice with a porcupine but he gets through and reassures her feelings of powerlessness. More productively, Ruth wants to use woo-woo on the dead cultist from last week to find out where Alistair is.

Paige doesn’t agree with this at all because contacting the dead is dangerous and black magic. Ruth considers it necessary because of how close Savannah is to coming into her powers; they also drop some more exposition saying they know Alistair is a witch (previously they had said all witches were female) which means someone has broken a commandment.

Jeremy questions Ruth while helping her set up the spell, learning that Ruth’s coven is now just Ruth, Savannah and Paige and that there are several small covens across North America, though the others are not involved in the hunt for Savannah. He also guesses Alistair is a witch though Ruth dodges the question on how a male witch can exist. Naturally, Jeremy can tell she’s hiding something

Logan’s also lurking around the compound and sees Rachel being approached by sinister nurses with needles. He takes out a guard and gets Rachel out, though he can’t wait as he planned. Jailbreak! Their jailbreak happens at the same time as Elena’s so lots of panic and alarms

Elena is shot with a drugged dart but at least she gets the guy who shot it in the eye. As they approach the end of the property, the brands on their necks flare painfully; there are wards on the trees all around. All three are recaptured – the wolf explodes. Yes, explodes, this ward is serious about security.

Back to Stonehaven and with the name of the dead woman, Melanie Lau, it’s dark magic time! Which gives crypticness about moonblood, keeys, locks and undoing. Paige tries to stop it as it all gets a bit much for Ruth, but Jeremy holds her back and keeps asking questions and gets one concrete piece of information: Dr. Bauer.

When Ruth returns to herself it’s clear she and Paige still aren’t fans of the werewolves. Equally Jeremy shares important info about the witches with Nick and Clay and that the alpha council will turn on them if they find out the witches know about them. Nick’s the one exception willing to trust.

Back to Alistair and we learn Sonja is Dr. Bauer. Alistair ups the ante: Elea shifts or he kills Rachel. Elena gives in while Sonja has an ethical crisis in the corner. Elena strips and Alistair is creepily sexual about it. She shifts – and it’s the first time Rachel has seen a werewolf turn

Sonja performs her tests on Elena’s wolf blood – and it doesn’t seem to go to plan. Elena is returned to her cell and Savannah tearfully apologises for calling the guard. Elena talks Savannah through her conflicted trust issues and they identify over both being orphans.

Now for something completely different; Alistair having sex with a woman surrounded by robed cultists and she stabs herself in the leg. It’s a woo-woo thing. Or a kink thing. Or possibly both.

I keep making comparisons with the books, which I suppose is inevitable, but it does mean I keep having odd character complaints. Like Sonja a passionate and immoral female scientist isn’t a bad character – but her seeming devotion to Alistair doesn’t work nearly so well for me. Why couldn’t her passion for science and the chance this gave her, even if deeply evil, be her motivation – why through in this devotion as well? She had agency –agency to be evil, why add in this extra control? In the book Sonja is also a deeply flawed character, a spoiled rich woman looking for excitement and her own control – she was entirely defined by her quest for agency.

I think I’m also going to be very irritated if the wolves never slap the witches back at some point. Obvious at this stage, infighting would be a bad idea, but the wolves have utterly failed to establish themselves as a power and have taken a lot of crap from the witches I would hope they’d find intolerable. At some point that needs to be answered, to remind us that the pack is a power if nothing else. Not just Nick’s sexy charm.

Another change is the nature of witches – I’m curious where this is going with a male witch.

I think Bitten is actually doing well hitting a balance between being close to the source books, but changing enough that it’s still intriguing and different