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May 03 2015

Bitten – “Dead Meat” Retrospective. Can’t Keep a Good Wolf Down

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Season 2, Episode 4

Airdate: Friday, May 1, 2015, 9/8c on Syfy

Rating:

Weird medical experiments, necromancy, and sexual magic are just some of the topics addressed in “Dead Meat.” And here I thought the human world would be the greatest obstacle for the characters in the second season of Bitten. It is, but in a completely different way. So, brace yourselves, folks, because you’re about to be served a whole slew of twists and surprising outcomes in ”Dead Meat!”

Who Can You Trust?

Jeremy  plays nice with Ruth, for now.

Jeremy plays nice with Ruth, for now.

Since Elena’s (Laura Vandervoort) surprising capture, and the failed attempt to rescue Savannah (Kiara Glasco) in “Hell’s Teeth,” there is little rest to be found for Jeremy Danvers’ (Greg Bryk) pack and Ruth Winterbourne’s (Tammy Isbell) coven, all of whom are desperate to find a way to defeat Aleister (Sean Rogerson). As in “Hell’s Teeth,” the Winterbourne clan does a good job of illustrating just how powerful they are, especially Ruth. When Paige’s (Tommie Amber Pirie) channeling session with Savannah fails to reveal Elena’s exact whereabouts, Ruth resorts to risky alternative means. It’s a memorable scene, and I am shocked by what Jeremy does when it looks like Ruth is in danger. Why Paige doesn’t use her powers is beyond me; I certainly would if my mother was in that situation.

That said, not only do I appreciate the dynamic Jeremy shares with Ruth for the majority of “Dead Meat,” I also enjoy seeing their story lines unfold. Here we have leaders of two powerful groups showing, in subtle ways, why they are at the top of their game. Although I am not surprised by Ruth’s cautious behavior around the Danvers, it is Jeremy who amazes and disappoints me at the same time. Maybe it’s because I want to see more character development with his role as alpha of the pack, but Jeremy’s distrust of the Winterbournes seems extreme given what they’re doing. I understand Ruth has her secrets to hide, but Jeremy assuming they relate to betrayal is off-putting. Until the Winterbournes’ arrival at Stonehaven, I thought their attitudes about werewolves were unfair. Now, I completely understand the witches’ sentiments.

Elena, Warrior Werewolf

Elena assumes her ultimate form!

Elena assumes her ultimate form!

Meanwhile, the hell in which Elena finds herself in Aleister’s compound is a harrowing series of events that at times made me cringe. “Dead Meat” is an Elena-centric episode that adds a lot of depth to her character. It’s great to see Elena outside the context of her romantic relationships, standing strong on her own. I love seeing women take charge in leading roles like Elena does in Bitten. Plus, in addition to seeing more of Savannah, we meet another strong female character—Dr. Sondra Bauer, played by the impressive Carly Street.

Street does a fantastic job of towing the line between mad scientist and vulnerable lackey to Aleister. Interestingly, Bauer is the one behind the medical experiments we saw Rachel (Genelle Williams) undergo in the season two premiere. I appreciate how well writer Jenn Engels creates enough depth and intricacy to Bauer’s character so she isn’t a classic villain. Through Bauer, we get a nice juxtaposition to Elena, who is as strong as Bauer is weak. I like Bauer and think she’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

All the Small Things

Continuity, it’s one of the things I appreciate most in my favorite shows. Bitten, thus far, is doing a great job with it. As the mythology in the world of the TV show expands, we learn little nuggets of information in between the action scenes, especially about what The Undoing may signify for both werewolves and witches. I’m also grateful Logan (Michael Xavier) isn’t forgotten; he’s one of my favorite characters whose loyalty to Rachel in season one was touching. The whole plot point for him to take Rachel back on his own is crazy but so true to his wolf qualities. A nice breath of fresh air is the continuing bond Nick (Steve Lund) and Paige share. We see this when he attempts to provide some comfort for Paige about Bridget (Angela Besharah). Nick certainly seems a lot more sensitive than I remember from season one. These two are sweet together, but with their leaders not on the best terms, it looks like their relationship may be star-crossed in the end.

So Far, So Good

It’s still early in Bitten’s second season and the momentum for the major dilemmas regarding Aleister and Malcolm is heavily felt—something I didn’t expect to see so soon in the season. The cliffhangers for each episode since “Bad Blood” are nail-biting, keeping the suspenseful tone constant without missing a beat, and “Dead Meat” is no exception.

Besides the suspenseful elements of “Dead Meat,” there are little pockets of humor I enjoyed, like Jeremy offering to help Ruth with the necromancy ritual. When she lists the items she requires, Jeremy’s reaction as well as the look on his face is priceless, making me laugh.

Overall

The key plot points in “Dead Meat” concentrate on Aleister’s methods for bringing The Undoing to fruition, while at Stonehaven, both Jeremy and Ruth take great risks to bring their people home. Watching how both the pack and the coven join forces on a common cause without losing the essence of who and what they are is very compelling. One of the most profound things about the way the witches are portrayed in Bitten is the connection they have with nature, which makes it seem more spiritual than magical. There are also hints that show connections between werewolves and witches that are easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. The moon, for example, is a sacred symbol for both parties. I wonder if that will factor in with The Undoing. The plot thickens, and minute details like this kept my attention throughout the episode.

Season two of Bitten is growing darker and more complex with each new episode, a side to the show that begins to mirror its source material in Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series. This isn’t to suggest Bitten is light fare in terms of the TV horror-fantasy genre, but when you consider Elena has been practically covered in blood at some point in every episode so far—unlike season one—it definitely makes an impression, one that keeps me hooked every week!

 

What did you think of “Dead Meat?” Post your comment below or on Twitter @conallen.

Follow the series on its official site on Syfy: http://www.syfy.com/bitten, where you can also watch videos and clips of the episodes.

Follow Bitten on its official Twitter @bittentv, as well as the cast: Laura Vandervoort (@Vandiekins22), Greyston Holt (@greystonh), Greg Bryk (@gregbryk), Paul Greene (@paulgreenemedia), Steve Lund (@leven_stund), Michael Xavier (@michael_profx), Tommie Amber Pirie (@TommieAmber), and Kiara Glasco (@kiaraglasco).

Like Bitten on Facebook.

Photos ©2015 Syfy, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

© 2015, Connie Allen. All rights reserved.

Connie Allen

I'm a writer, cinephile, avid reader, and pop culture enthusiast. I love historical dramas, and fantasy/sci-fi series. Currently living in SoCal.
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About the author

Connie Allen

I'm a writer, cinephile, avid reader, and pop culture enthusiast. I love historical dramas, and fantasy/sci-fi series. Currently living in SoCal.

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