Apr 26 2015

Bitten – “Hell’s Teeth” Retrospective. Bite Back.

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Season 2, Episode 3

Airdate: Friday, April 24, 2015, 9/8c on Syfy

Rating:

“Hell’s Teeth” couldn’t be a more appropriate title for the latest episode of Bitten where surprising alliances develop and lives are lost in gruesome ways. Following up on the events from the two-part season premiere “Bad Blood” and “Scare Tactics,” the search for Malcolm (James McGowan) reaches a critical point impacting all the main characters. Meanwhile, the world of witches and magic expands further as we discover more about the kidnapped girl, Savannah (Kiara Glasco), and her adoptive sister, Paige Winterbourne (Tommie Amber Pirie). I enjoyed seeing how very distinctive the values and personalities vary with the werewolves and witches in the show; the wolves are more impulsive and aggressive whereas the witches come across as more methodical and altruistic in their approach to the world. Well, until they’re pushed too far.

Enemy of My Enemy

It's showtime! Aleister makes his move.

It’s showtime! Aleister makes his move.

There are several major story lines at work throughout “Hell’s Teeth;” however, it is Malcolm’s story that unifies them all. The witches need to trade him for Savannah while the werewolves need Malcolm to pay for his crimes. Then, there’s Aleister (Sean Rogerson), a “demon” and the latest nefarious character who needs him for a ritual that sounds apocalyptic in scale.

Speaking of Aleister, his introduction early in the season, and the impact his actions have on everyone who crosses his path, give me the impression he’s going to be around for more than a few episodes. Case in point, with Aleister’s first appearance at the beginning of “Hell’s Teeth,” he provides a demonstration of his power by kidnapping Savannah right in front of Paige. Instead of violence and brute force, Aleister utilizes his devilish charm to lure Savannah into a false sense of security before taking her away. I don’t know how I feel about Aleister, but I do know Rogerson does a wonderful job of balancing both the creepy and charismatic aspects of his character. There’s a significant, albeit tiny moment where he mysteriously explains to head witch, Ruth Winterbourne (Tammy Isbell), that she’s somehow involved with whatever he has planned—whether she likes it or not. Aleister’s statement is not only cryptic but something I find unsettling, not to mention he has a sinister little smirk that makes my skin crawl. What exactly is his connection to the witches? I hope we find out sooner rather than later because I’m growing attached to the Winterbournes’ presence.

The Gang’s All Here

The Danvers reunite with the Winterbournes under less than pleasant circumstances.

The Danvers reunite with the Winterbournes under less than pleasant circumstances.

At the end of “Scare Tactics,” all the doors at Stonehaven, the Danvers’ home, are open. Jeremy (Greg Bryk), Elena (Laura Vandervoort), and Clay (Greyston Hold) quickly learn the witches are involved with releasing Malcolm from his cell in the basement. Initially, I thought Aleister was behind Malcolm’s escape, but discovering in “Hells Teeth” it is Ruth who has the audacity to derail Jeremy’s plans is a pleasant surprise. I love strong female characters and the witches in Bitten immediately demonstrate just how powerful they can be when crossed—Jeremy needs to keep that in mind.

There are several moments in “Hells Teeth” that will catch your attention; I find the decision for Jeremy and Ruth to join forces together against Aleister a significant turning point for Bitten. Since the first season, there has been this sense that werewolves are the only deadly threat to humans; now, with the inclusion of witches as potential allies, this creates a bigger supernatural world with more possibilities this season. By adding a variety of dangerous forces into the series, it allows the core characters to grow through their struggles and conflicts.

When Ruth leads the members of her coven, Paige and Bridget (Angela Besharah), she uses Malcolm to bait Aleister in a scene that makes me nervous for everyone. So far, we only see a peek of Aleister’s powers, but it’s not until he goes against Jeremy and Ruth do we see the full extent. Aside from the fantasy element of Bitten, I enjoy the horror aspects that are full of gore and fight scenes. The confrontation against Aleister and the arrival of his minions create one of my favorite moments in “Hell’s Teeth” because we witness how strong the Danvers’ pack really is in battle. Watching Clay lift someone above his head and then throw him down like a ragdoll isn’t something I’m going to forget anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Malcolm isn’t doing too well, and complicated doesn’t even begin to truly describe him in this episode. McGowan is memorable in transforming himself into Malcolm, a character easy to hate yet still compelling to watch. Despite Malcolm’s atrocious crimes of killing anyone who crosses him, he manages to find a shred of decency before his bitter end. As much as Malcolm bothers me, I admit I did feel a teensy bit sorry for him as he has nothing to show for his life.

Season of the Witch

Not even magic can help Paige now.

Not even magic can help Paige now.

I absolutely love the way the witches’ and Winterbournes’ story lines complement the current problem at hand with Jeremy and the pack. Aside from the threat with Aleister, we find out a lot about the powers the witches have in comparison to Aleister and the werewolves. Paige’s ability to channel Savannah looks eerie but is fascinating to watch unfold. I wonder whether the strength of Paige’s abilities is common among witches or whether it’s because she’s a Winterbourne.

We also learn more about what happened to Logan’s (Michael Xavier) girlfriend, Rachel (Genelle Williams), whose fate appears uncertain at this point. While contacting Savannah, Paige reveals the presence of a woman fitting Rachel’s description. Although I find this to be a great dramatic scene, I have to wonder how many times the Danvers men will have to shake someone out of a trance before realizing it’s a bad idea. Maybe it’s a werewolf thing, but it’s a little too grab happy for my liking. That said, I do appreciate how episode writer Michael MacLennan maintains the continuity of the current story lines without compromising the pacing or tone by reminding viewers what everyone has at stake.

Aside from the drama in “Hells Teeth,” there are fine little moments that took me by surprise. From the start of the series, Nick (Steve Lund) is the playboy among the Danvers’ pack. Seeing Nick’s rapport and interaction with Paige, the chemistry is undeniable; it is enough to make you take pause. With Paige’s uncensored opinions and fiery temperament, I can only imagine she’ll be quite the handful if Nick spends more time with her.

Final Thoughts

A lot of the major plot points in “Hell’s Teeth” fuse together the loose ends from season one while paving the way for what appears to be complex growth in Bitten’s supernatural mythology. The action and dynamic of the story lines have a steady pace without a single dull moment. The buildup and sequence of events from Malcolm’s capture to his final confrontation with Elena will have you on the edge of your seat. MacLennan’s writing and James Dunnison’s direction manage to bring “Hell’s Teeth” to life in a way that’s riveting from start to finish. The end of the episode is a bloody mess with casualties left and right. Yet, it is Elena’s fate that leaves you in shock and total frustration.

What did you think of “Hell’s Teeth?” 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.
h&m online

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