Monday, April 11, 2016

Bitten, Season 3, Episode 9: Shock the System

Remember the prophecy/vision thing that told Elena she was going to burn down everything while covered in blood

Listening to this Paige decides a reasonable interpretation is that Elena is going to cause a peaceful non violent cultural shift in werewolf society

Paige is, perhaps, not all that good at interpreting prophecy.

They do poke at the main thing Elena wants to change – the need to kill for secrecy as well as the brutal despotic rule of the Alphas. Paige puts this down to all werewolves being men except the super special shiny Elena who can now bring a feminine perspective that isn’t all about power and violence

It’s all very… gender essentialist. Because the werewolves need Elena’s every so delicate, soft and gentle female touch to bring peace and harmony? I mean, couldn’t you have made the same point by pointing out that Elena is actually the only current werewolf in the Pack who wasn’t born a werewolf (or wasn’t turned very young) therefore the only one outside their traditional violent patriarchal culture rather than deciding her gentle peaceful guidance will stem from her femininity? This is one of those tropes which sounds positive but still paints women into a narrow roled box even if that box is on tops of a supposedly positive pedestal

With her new insight, Elena goes to the remaining pack members – Clay, Nick, Karl and Extra #1 and Extra #2 and decides she wants not a pack but a family based on mutual respect and care. No orders, no demands from the Alpha no demands of loyalty – but an offer of loyalty from the Alpha instead

Oh why couldn’t we have this? Why couldn’t we have spent the last 6 episodes or so focusing on this? On societal change within the werewolves, setting up Elena as the new Alpha, a different kind of Alpha? Instead we’ve had episodes of ominous scary Russians (and this certainly isn’t in the books, Elena and her pack are on good terms with the Russian pack) and, especially, their super scary assassin. Episode after episode of fighting without actually progressing the plot any further – which is all the more annoying because there’s this potential that screams for development

That includes this episode because no sooner did we have this development than we’re back to The Assassin and his hidden brother being all evil and scary, kidnapping Elena and Sasha because the two not only decided to go into the woods alone, but then decided to split up

No, really. See, that’s another element to this show that is so broken – when the plot, such that it is, does advance it advanced via terrible character decision making. Like that entire episode where Clay and Jorge just stayed in a car and watched the Assassin (which was such gripping watching) before Clay decided to leave Jorge alone. So many times the “action” has moved forwards only by people catching the Idiot Ball.

So Elena and Sasha are captured so we can have more horrendous moments of Elena suffering and being tortured because Roman and the Assassin are just caricatures of evil awfulness at this point.

So let’s go to Jeremy and his master plan to kill Roman – this involves getting captured, being chained up and then hoping Konstantin will free him

No, really that’s his plan

Well “plan” is overselling it. But that’s what he’s doing

We get lots of speeches about how special Elena is and how much Jeremy cares for her as well as Roman’s ongoing angst over his dead daughter (who he strangled). By threatening to have Elena killed – he has a little torture camera – Roman manages to coerce Jeremy into confessing that he wanted to invade Russia in a kind of convoluted way to convince the Alpha Council that Roman invading the US and killing the American alpha was totally justified. He makes this confession to Nick… with a coded message

I seem to be saying this a lot but, really? The Alpha council is really going to buy this “confession” Jeremy makes while being imprisoned? Really really? And Jeremy trusts Roman to keep his word and spare Elena? And why would Roman want the confession to go to Nick? He really thinks Nick would pass it on to the Alpha council? Why not just record it and give it to the other Alphas? Absolutely none of this makes sense!

The coded message gets through so just when Elena managesto almost free herself from obscene, unnecessary torture, Clay arrives in wolf form

Yes, wolf form! This is a show about werewolves! I know, I think this is maybe the third shapeshift we’ve seen all season despite the many many many many many fight scenes! And in wolf form Clay kills the assassin in seconds – despite said assassin fending off him, Elena and Karl together in past episodes. So maybe one of these werewolves should have considered going wolfy a lot sooner than this?

The assassin is dead but his hidden brother isn’t so expect this plot line to continue for even longer

Back to Jeremy, Konstantin finally comes through with his side and releases Jeremy so he can leap on Roman and tear out his throat with his teeth. Plot line finished… except now Konstantin turns on Jeremy with a full on army of werewolves

I think there’s one episode left – so don’t expect anything to be resolved in a meaningful way