Monday, March 9, 2015

Bitten, Season 2, Episode 5: Rabbit Hole

Just in case we weren’t already convinced that Dr. Bauer is a little creepy we open in her lab playing classical music and surrounded by mutated creations and experiments. I think this is a flashback because we see her boss (who isn’t Alistair, but her boss Randall) shutting down her experiments and killing her terrifying mutant monstrosities for being creepy even for a sinister lab. She’s so upset but the death of her minions that she attempts suicide – only to be stopped by Alistair who magically blocks her pain and promises her many more abominations in the future. She seems passionate about joining him – and having her pain back

Well, one short scene and Sondra has established her creepy credentials.

Which is used as a background explanation for the current events – not only have all the experiments on witch and wolf blood not quite worked, but Sondra has injected herself with Elena’s werewolf blood and is now going through the change. Alistair is rather vexed by this and wants Elena to fix this – he needs his evil scientist. Elena, of course, can’t do anything to help and expected Sondra to die (most people don’t survive the transition from human to werewolf). Alistair demands Elena save Sondra or die. Because ultimatums make everything work.

After last week, Savannah is considerably less happy and trusting of Alistair and is now all friendly with Elena. Alistair disapproves because of the whole werewolf thing. Moral outrage is put on hold for a magic lesson and ominous music.

Over to Stonehaven and Clay is trying to track down Sondra so checks in with ex-boss Randall who is very circumspect about firing Sondra – recognising that the personal relationship they had makes any kind of criticism he levels seem suspect and is initially reluctant before telling Clay what she was up to

Nick and Paige continue snarking back and forth with Nick trying to be nice and Paige snarling back repeatedly. They do find Bauer’s last boyfriend to go looking for her. Thy head off after checking on Jeremy and Ruth – Jeremy is continuing to try and get Ruth to reveal what’s going on, Ruth continues to play ignorant. But she has a side plot for them

Back to the compound and Elena talks Sondra through how generally horrible becoming a werewolf is though her message is somewhat lost because, even while screaming, Sondra declares that the pain is “beautiful”. She refuses any pain relief, saying it’s hers and for Alistair. Elena tries to ask Sondra questions and gets lots of crypticness in response. Alistair still questions her about it, mainly so we can see him use his magic to make Elena helpless and so he can rant out his past – being cast out by the witches and raised by hyper religious people. Hyper religious people who weren’t super understanding about him magically killing a cat and resorted to abuse to try and change him. He shows off his scars

Nick and Paige go to see this Timothy’s mother (Timothy will apparently lead them to Sondra). She suffers from dementia and denies having anything to do with Timothy; and it’s clear this Timothy is Alistair as she rambles about the devil possessed boy who managed to magically kill her husband. She doesn’t give any more information because she panics when she realises Paige is a witch (apparently something she can tell from looking in Paige’s eyes).

Getting back to some exposition, Alistair talks about destroying all the witches (I think) by injecting Savannah with werewolf blood and “introducing a predator”. Everyone on this show has a master’s degree in cryptic.

Cryptic interrupted by Sondra escaping and leaving bodies in her wake and Elena convinces Alistair to let her go find Sondra an stop her eating Savannah – but he sends a minion after Elena to kill her if she tries to kill Sondra.

Which is fine, Elena needed a human body to throw to Sondra while Savannah escaped. Eventually Sondra turns back and Elena leads Savannah away, still clinging to Elena and not Alistair’s biggest fan. It also looks like Sondra hasn’t come through her experience entirely rationally. Seeing that, Alistair kisses her and then uses his bleeding-to-death spell. Really Alistair? Don’t your cleaners have enough to deal with? While Savannah is now loyal to Elena, Alistair continues to use his “I am the lock” chant to compel her and get a blood sample – watched by Elena.

Meanwhile Rachel is getting the full Clockwork Orange treatment, being forced to watch a film and injecting her with Savannah’s blood – soon she is chanting about the one true path. Though that’s just because she’s a good actor and once the cult thinks she’s one of them she starts looking for ways to escape again.

As she searches she finds Alistair’s spell that empowers the neck brands and keeps everyone trapped in the area and manages to disrupt it (Alistair realises something has happened by his own minions). She runs for the outside, but pauses and head back into the compound to look for Logan. Which means she gets caught again – and Alistair easily resets the wards

Moving on – to Ruth and Jeremy’s side-quest; going to see a witch called Clara Sullivan, a witch who went dark and who Ruth and her coven shunned after destroying her magic. Given the given’s Clara’s oddly co-operative, albeit in a taunting way, and let’s Ruth scan her memories all about a baby being given up. By their talk afterwards we can gather she is Alistair’s mother and now some prophecy means he’s going to kill all witches – Clara’s kind of ok with that. Ruth unnecessarily spells her unconscious before she and Jeremy leave quickly.

Paige finally fills in Nick and Clay about the whole “no boys” thing. There’s nothing biological stopping witches having male children, they’re just not allowed to do so; they never let a male witch be born because one is prophesised to bring about their “downfall.”

The revelation makes Paige cry and Nick comfort her and the inevitable happens and they kiss and have sex.

Back to the compound and Alistair finally gets his blood potion working and Elena and Savannah have a prison cell sleepover. Elena tells Savannah Alistair’s master murder plan and asks Savannah to do the witchy communication thing.

Just as, back at Stonehaven, Ruth confirms Alistair’s master plan (honestly, can we stop having people repeat Alistair’s master plan – let’s just assume everyone knows now). This comes with the tidbit that werewolves were created by a witch curse way back in the day which in turn, because of woo-woo, created the prophecy of doom. Damn I’d be afraid to do any magic at all with rules that random!

Time for witchy phone call! Only this time Elena does the talking and gives some actual useful clues to finding them. Following her clues they find two possible locations far apart – so have to split up.

Elena promises to protect Savannah – and a few minutes later two guards manage to drag Savannah from the room. Oh Elena. Savannah is dragged before Alistair who uses his lock mantra to control her into killing one of the guards

And twist Alistair is actually Ruth’s son, not Clara’s. Because we need mooooar drama!

Is there a reason why Alistair has decided to rant out his tragic past to Elena? Because this is some severely convenient exposition right there. And not only was it kind of convoluted of him to suddenly share his story but I’m also not sure it adds a lot – did we need a sad past to give Alistair motivation?  I also kind of want to know why the werewolves don’t respond to “he wants to kill all the witches” with “and this is our problem?”

But, hey revelation at last! And I will say they got the timing right. Episode 5 was juuuuuuust on the edge of the “I better get some answers or I’m going to stop caring” deadline. It was the perfect time to stop prolonging the mystery

While we’re in the dubious behaviour category, can we also address Rachel having a time out during her escape plan to examine a whirling top? I mean, I love that Rachel isn’t waiting around for anyone to rescue her and is making her own way out and I love that she is the one who brought down the magical ward – but there’s still no reason why she’d poke that rather than head for a door. I also really don’t love how pointless the whole escape attempt ended up. And that Logan has, again, fallen into the plot hole

Especially since I have a weird sense of a lot happening this episode but a lot of it not especially going anywhere. I think the main actual event is the death of Sondra – and I’m really bemused by this character. She seemed to have a rather extreme shift from last episode, her personality and rationality changing rather dramatically and while we spend a lot of time on Alistair’s painful past, there was no real explanation of Sondra’s “beautiful pain” or why becoming a werewolf destroyed her mind or any real insight into why she was having happy fun times creating abominations. I’m left with no real sense of her as a character

I know that the whole image of a rampaging werewolf is high in her culture – but Elena going on and on about Sondra being hungry and seeing only prey doesn’t make a lot of sense. Angry? Yes. Scared? Yes. Hungry? No. A hungry wolf would still be there chewing on the first guard, not leaving him pretty much intact to go kill more things.

I think I need to point out, in this world, what an utterly bad idea a werewolf and a witch being together is – with the witches not letting sons be born and the werewolves valuing sons as the only way to pass on their wolfy bloodline shot of biting a woman (which kills most of them).