We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). If you missed the series premiere last week, catch up here.
Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 2, “Prodigal.” Enjoy!
The scene this week starts back at the Stonehaven gates, where Elena hesitates before proceeding through. She’s also just sniffed out Clay skulking behind the brick entryway and asks, “Are you the welcoming committee or did Jeremy finally chain you up to the front gate where you belong?” We knew there was concern on both characters’ parts about this meeting but Elena takes the lead with her insult. Will Clay bite back?
The answer is given in his actions. Clay is trying hard to be a gentleman here, despite whatever has happened between them, wanting to help Elena with her bags. He even says as much, but she wants no part of his help.
As Elena moves further along the driveway, the scene shifts to a sunnier day four years earlier, when Elena was nervous about meeting Clay’s family for the first time. The new love is pouring from the two, a marked change from the present times, as Elena describes the pressure of not being liked by Jeremy when she plans on spending the rest of her life with Clay. Now the juicy details begin!
Clay helpfully (in the flashback) tells her “Darlin’, I got you,“ aurally introducing us to Clay’s signature tag line. I believe him, even if Elena was unsure.
Back to present day, the two make it to the main door, with Clay winning the fight to open it for Elena. The boy is determined if nothing else, and appears to be full of good breeding. Clay points out changes in Elena since she’s been gone, including her outfit. It seems Nick used to be her personal dresser before she left.
Clay tells her she looks good, then says she should probably eat, but all she’s concerned with is finding Jeremy. She can sense he’s out running and expresses her impatience to get things over with, and that the only reason she's back now is the pressure from everyone. Clay responds by repeating the word “everyone” pointedly, because he wasn’t one of them.
Elena ends the back and forth, saying “I’m not here for us” and she’s out the back door as Clay quietly says “Clearly.” Moving across the massive back lawn, Elena hears pops in the distance: gunshots. She yells out for Jeremy. More pops sound.
Clay catches up with Elena, telling her she has no idea what’s going on. He explains that there’s (now) a bounty out for the wolf, allowing the locals to try to kill it. Clay emphasizes that it isn’t safe and here he must be referring to having two wolves running around in daylight. Jeremy returns in wolf form, his fur all fuzzy and shades of black and tan. Clay tells Elena he’s only trying to protect her and she heads (storms?) back into the house.
In the mansion, Elena walks into a room with peaks on the ceiling and lovely light streaming in from the windows. It’s set up like an art studio, which makes me think the room has some meaning for her, though her purported art gallery showing was going to be about photographed images. Jeremy walks in buttoning his shirt and gets scolded by Elena because of the gun shots.
There appear to be no hard feelings between the two as they hug hello. Jeremy assures Elena he’d smelled the hunters and stayed clear. She’s wondering if the locals had seen the mutt and that’s who they were shooting at, but Jeremy thinks it has more to do with paranoia and happy trigger fingers (never a good combo, as the Sheriff intimated in the last episode.) Jeremy says things have been quiet until this recent activity. The alpha tells Elena that with her back, they’ll be able to get to the bottom of things faster. I’m wondering if this is just him blowing hot air up her snout here?
Elena wants to head out right away to get it over with but Jeremy is insistent on waiting for Logan’s arrival. He tells Elena that if she goes out alone to hunt the mutt, either it will kill her, or she’ll have to kill it. He questions if that’s what she’s prepared to do. With a hard admission of “no,” he follows up by telling her she’ll go out with Clay, who conveniently enters the room now. She says she’d “rather go out with the local psychopath.” Clay replies “You forget, darlin’. I am the local psychopath.” (that’s two, I’m counting!)
Elena leaves to unpack, with Jeremy saying that everything is where she left it. He sounds like a parent still mourning their child’s move to a college dorm. Jeremy and Clay share a meaningful look, Jeremy offering “She came back. It’s a start.”
Logan and Rachel run into Philip in the T-dot. Philip expresses his sympathy about Logan and Elena’s shared cousin, who has been seriously injured in an accident…so the lie goes anyway. When Philip mentions the (fictitious) kids, Logan is quick to pick on it, telling Rachel he “didn’t want to worry [her]”. Rachel looks a bit doubtful, though Logan’s delivery was seamless.
Back at the mansion, Elena wanders around her old bedroom. A box sits on the ledge beside another peaked window. Elena taps it meaningfully before opening it, displaying a round band (platinum perhaps?), looking very much like a wedding ring. The box is closed quickly and shoved in a drawer, the action loaded with meaning.
The stranger from episode one, a dark-haired, clean cut young man, is back in the bar, eyeing another girl. Downing a shot, he makes a move to speak to her. She asks if he’s a hunter, in town to collect the bounty. He says he is a hunter, but he’s “not interested in the money, just the kill,” adding belatedly that it’s to avenge the dead girl, Christy. This new girl tells him Christy went to the same high school and it’s revealed that, despite being in the bar, this new girl is still just a junior. There’s a curfew and, as it turns out, the bartender is her brother, who she must be waiting for to walk her home. Her big round eyes seem to invite the stranger to consider the task but the brother quickly puts an end to the smarmy stranger’s plan, which is probably presumed to be limited to jail bait trolling.
Over in a different restaurant/bar, Antonio and Nick are waiting for Pete, who is late to arrive. Antonio listens to the local gossip with his wolf hearing as a table in the distance talks about Christy’s impending closed casket funeral. The man at the table says that Braxton, possibly one of the hunters, “might’ve seen something” out by Stonehaven, which would most likely have been Jeremy out for his run earlier.
Antonio tells Nick they should go wait outside but the Sheriff walks in before they’ve made it out the door. She looks for introductions, having seen Antonio around town before. He introduces himself, then Nick as his son (natural son or bitten son remains to be seen, with their very different statures), both of them old friends of the Danvers. The deputy confirms what Antonio had overheard about the wolf sighting, the Sheriff backing him up by saying they’ll have to come up and investigate. Nick tries to play off the whole thing by saying they’ve seen wolves before but they typically just pass through. The Sheriff spills the beans about another girl missing, which would be the one from the end of last week’s episode. The Sheriff demonstrates her no nonsense attitude to bringing swift justice. Before the conversation can continue, Pete arrives all smiles and oblivious, lightening the mood. On the way out, Antonio promises the Sheriff that they are “eager to help.”
Elena, still in the bedroom at the mansion, inspects the bruise on her shoulder from the run in with the coyote. Meaningful music plays as she walks to the window, placing her hand on the wall. As the scene pans over, we see a left hand with a wedding ring. It’s Clay’s hand and he’s perched on the roof, outside the room, maybe having similar nostalgic or conflicted thoughts, like Elena surely was experiencing.
It’s morning and the sun is brightly filtering into Elena’s bedroom. A voice calls out her name. Clay sits on the window seat, shirt hanging opened. Elena tells him he shouldn’t be there and he challenges “Tell me to leave.” She doesn’t. He pulls the quilt off, running his hand up her leg. The camera once again focuses on that ring. We get it, already.
Kissing and panting ensue. He holds her hands over her head and challenges again “All you have to do is tell me no.” She doesn’t. As his hand slips into her pajama bottoms….she wakes up.
But wait! A voice calls her name. She rolls over to find Nick shirtless…naked?...in bed beside her, there to ”wake her up.“ Uh-huh. He compliments her on how good she looks, which she claims is the same over the last five years, all of this an offshoot of their wolfiness. Nick seems to say everything with a double entendre and here he mentions blowing off some steam, though mostly in the context of going for a run, still we know what he’s really thinking.
The breakfast bell rings, apparently calling them to the table. Nick suggests they get moving before Pete eats all the bacon, then slyly offers to stay in bed with Elena all day. She teasingly calls him a pup and as he searches for a response, comes back with my favourite line of the episode, “You’ve seen the bone I can bury.” Hee!
In the T.O. condo, Elena calls Philip to check in. She says things are “touch and go” for the ailing cousin. Philip tells her about meeting up with Logan and Rachel, saying ‘I hope I didn’t put him in the dog house.” Even Philip is inadvertently in on the puns now. Elena seems to be missing Philip, or at least sleeping beside him. He urges her to just focus on what she’s doing so she can get back to him quickly.
Clay’s outside the bedroom door but claims he hadn’t heard any of the call. He accuses Elena of trying to leave again. Naturally, he poses questions to try to find out who she was talking too. Elena tells him to quit it, saying “It’s not as if you care.” But she’s very wrong about this. Clay says he’s wanted to come find her everyday but has been under orders from Jeremy not to. Instead of allowing this to affect her emotionally, Elena uses it to make a dig about Clay’s nature and how he wouldn’t disobey. She walks away, but not before looking back. Maybe there’s still hope for her yet.
Down in the kitchen, all the pack members sit around the table. Antonio offers some advice in Italian about eating and moving, which opens up a discussion about cover stories with regards to their appetites; Pete claims issues with his pituitary gland. Antonio sits down last and they all look at Jeremy expectantly. He takes a bite of sausage which is followed by a pregnant pause. No one else eats until he nods his head in approval. Jeremy must take his role as alpha way too seriously if he needs to assert such control, even when it comes to just breakfast.
They discuss Logan’s imminent arrival while Elena once again tries to get the ball rolling on the search. Jeremy thinks her time would be better served going over mutt knowledge, instructing them all to take the time to eat and rest. As Jeremy leaves, Nick asks Elena if she needs to rest. There is a challenge in his words, gloves are tossed, and they plan a meet in the back in five minutes. That hardly seems enough time to digest their meal but the wolf metabolism must make up for things that would require ordinary humans to follow up with the Pepto.
Elena walks out to the patio cautiously. Nick jumps down from above and the fighting begins. It’s too close to call, but looks good in Elena’s favour as she bounces Nick off the back wall of the house. He bounces back and more hits are delivered on both ends. Elena makes a mistake and gets bounced off the same wall as Nick just a few moments before, but doesn’t make the rebound. In a lower area of the porch, a fair distance of concrete above Elena’s head, Nick looks down on her and accuses her of getting soft. She says no way and makes a running jump to clear the distance up. A couple of highflying moves are attempted (though the view is from a distance) and there seems to be a draw, until Elena flips Nick over to say uncle.
Clay walks out, rocking his Henley shirt by the way, and claims he’s assessing the fighting. Pete says it’s hard to practice this stuff anywhere else. Nick tells Clay he’d kick his ass but Clay holds back until Elena chimes in, wanting to see the Clay beat down. Clay pulls off the Henley and goes in for the kill, er, win. Clay has a much more savage style of fighting, somewhat less choreographed than the others (though we know it’s ALL choreographed), and wins. Nick comments that he’d like to win just once against Clay. Clay replies “It’s not in my nature,” a phrase used many times and in many different contexts where he’s concerned.
Jeremy looks on from a window upstairs as Antonio comes in to say that they could, in fact, “be out…tracking the mutt as humans,” that Elena’s right. Jeremy remains firm, knowing that the mutt is hunting at night therefore making it the better time to catch him. Antonio reminds him that once that happens, Elena will be gone again. Jeremy thinks she just needs time to remember. Antonio, the voice of reason and conscience, hopes that the good will outweigh the bad in this case, indicating he also understands that Jeremy is playing a game, but a very dangerous one where non-wolves are concerned.
In the basement, Elena is roaming around and passes an ominous looking cage. She’s reading a plaque, which is helpfully voice-over’ed by a proper male voice. He tells us a bit of the history of the wolves: two factions, “the noble pack, who set and maintain rules” and “the mutts, lone wolves who are to be policed and punished.” Over to a scroll and with a different voice, we learn that they’re not allowed to change in front of a human or to kill them, but killing humans is okay if the change happens in front of them. And from an old looking text, a southern voice tells us the only way a woman can be a wolf is to be bitten, but they are usually “not sufficiently strong enough to survive the process.” Elena does not offer a neener, neener to that part of the lore.
Elena starts updating her knowledge on the mutts. Pete walks down to tell her he’s been trying to figure out her filing system, but hasn’t been able to. Elena must have been in charge of mutt monitoring back in the good ole days. She says that there are “a lot of memories of being on the road with Clay.” Pete closes the door to the cage at Elena’s admission that she hated the room, all except for Pete’s history lessons. Pete informs us that Elena is the only woman to survive being bitten.
Pete explains to Elena why he’s always stuck around with Clay. He tells the story of being on the Warped Tour and trying to hook up with a groupie. The change started to happen and he killed the woman. He contacted Jeremy to intervene with the then pack leader, Dominic Sorrentino, so his life could be saved. Jeremy helped to turn everything around for him and gave him the space to figure things out. He equates his experience to what Jeremy is doing now for Elena; that whatever the alpha does it’s all about “the long game.”
Elena alludes to something she did, saying she doesn’t want what the pack is offering. She doesn’t keep us hanging for long as she admits to killing someone names Jose Carter. They debate the idea of being failures without the pack or killers with them. Pete says she’s going too far in “trying to push the wolf down.” He’s very right and she knows it but doesn’t want to feel that urge to kill again, even if it’s out of duty.
A young boy leaves a house somewhere (once again) in a more rundown part of town. He’s looking in an alley for Josie, his cat. He hears something and warns “Caitlyn” that he’s “not falling for it,” whatever 'it' may be. We see his back upright, then his arm as he hits the ground, being dragged away.
Back at Stonehaven, Elena is updating Jeremy on her mutt reconnaissance. She mentions Zachary Cane, a name Pete had given her an update on earlier, saying Clay had taken care of him. She says she has nothing on Malcolm Danvers, who is Jeremy’s dad, and presumably Clay’s also, by extension. Jeremy informs Elena that he died eight months prior. We learn, additionally, that Jeremy’s father hated him and that there was a battle for the alpha which cemented the inability to reconcile. One more name is added to the list of “usual suspects,” Daniel Santos, who was excommunicated from the pack and whose brother was killed by Clay. Slowly, we’re seeing more of Clay’s reputation solidifying.
Logan (finally!) arrives and Jeremy recaps the case yet again: dead girl, unknown mutt scent, body dump on the outskirts of town, hunters nearby, bounty. Assignments are handed out and the pack is divvied up to cover the different areas of town. Jeremy says they “can change if [they] have to but discretion is the key.” Well, duh. Otherwise, they’d all be walking around town stark naked if they kept changing back and forth.
Clay, Nick, and Elena are in town. They’re working out how to best handle things and the boys begin to take off their shirts. Elena is surprised by the near unanimous decision to change, her vote being the one hold out. The guys figure more ground can be covered and they agree that if they find the mutt, it will be easier to deal with (read: kill) him. Elena is adamant that no killing will happen “while [she’s] around.” The boys start stripping while Elena heads to find some cover for her own change.
Once transformed, Elena traverses the back streets, sniffing all the way along. A scent leads her to a rundown building, barely imaginable as a place to live. Wolf-Elena eyes a door, as a naked human Clay walks up beside her…and pets her. She growls. Clay heads inside the building, telling her he’ll meet her inside.
Elena spots a clothesline and finds something to cover up with, tossing clothes at Clay too while giving him hell, again, for petting her. Elena says the “place smells like death.” She asks how Clay found the place before she did to which he admits he followed her. She gives him hell again (poor guy) for trying to act as her bodyguard, but he claims it was for his own protection, with her better sense of smell and all.
Nick arrives, clad in something he likens to East Village couture, Y-front undies and a crop t-shirt. None of them can place the scent, but Elena says it seems like “newly turned.” Further investigation leads Elena to discover a chunk of scalp with long brown hair still attached to it. Elena’s kicking herself for not being out the night before to prevent another killing.
The options now are waiting for the mutt to return or heading back to report their findings. Clay thinks the mutt might smell them and avoid them, so the decision is made to head back. The point of contention now, for Elena, is changing again. She’s out of practice and the first one has taken its toll on her. Clay says, kindly, that they’ll head out to change and will wait for her there. Elena hesitates then tries to will the process to happen, which looks sickeningly painful for her.
Exiting the dingy apartment back into the alley, two young guys see her. The shorter one tells his buddy that they’ll kill her and get the bounty. She growls loudly, scaring them away. But now they’ve seen her. This will not go down well with the pack, to be sure.
At Stonehaven, Elena tells them all her suspicion that it’s a new mutt in town. Antonio says “mutts bite to kill” and that there are poor odds of a human surviving a bite, never mind the high suicide rate after they’ve changed for the first time. Nick offers a defense that a newbie wouldn’t know the rules and wouldn’t understand what was at stake. Jeremy works out the plan to catch him, telling Clay specifically that he wants the mutt alive to find out who bit him.
The rest break from the meeting, but Clay asks Elena to hold back. He questions what had taken her so long to change. She says she wouldn’t change at all if she could help it. He understands that the two changes were too much for her but she waves it off, instead going back to the issue of him petting her. Clay says she let him. He caresses her arm, saying he doesn’t want her going on the hunt without him being at her side. His attempts at chivalry are dashed away when she says she isn’t going and “that’s not why [she] came…” After Elena has gone, Clay whispers “We both know that’s not true.”
Jeremy calls Elena in to talk to him, tells her about the local kids saying they saw the wolf. She admits it was her and apologizes. She tells him that she’s done here, but Jeremy says he wanted her help in catching the mutt. Elena begs him not to involve her in the hunt, and again brings up the name Jose Carter.
In another flashback, we see just why. Carter has proof of werewolves, a frozen arm and hand in mid-transformation. Elena offers to buy the macabre item on the spot. Carter’s idea, instead, was to have the highest bidder go with him to Ecuador to catch the wolf and question it. Elena grabs the case to leave with it, saying she can’t let Carter do what he intends. He fights her and she rips out his heart with her bare hand, it beating one last time for extra effect.
Jeremy believes the kill was righteous because of Carter’s threats of exposure. Elena feels that the violent act made her lose her humanity, “I tore him apart like he was a present.” Elena says none of it (Clay, Jeremy, the ability to run) was worth having to change back into “that thing,” whether she means the wolf or the killer is unclear. She reiterates that she doesn’t want to be any part of the hunt/kill, she just wants to be normal in Toronto. Jeremy’s look is one of defeat.
Elena’s bags are packed (she doesn’t waste any time) and she’s heading out the front door. Clay comes after her, saying “we’re not done yet.” Elena says she is but Clay isn’t referring to whatever the bigger issue is between them (it could be so many things at this point). Nick comes running up, saying there’s something she has to see.
Through the woods, hunters and dogs are running and go straight past the Stonehaven ”Private Property” sign, saying the dogs have caught the scent. One of the hunters wants to call the Sheriff but the other wants to follow the trail and collect the bounty. The cooler head does not prevail this time.
In another part of the woods, Elena and the gang see what Nick was referring to. There, firmly on the Danvers property is the body of the boy who’d been chasing his cat. Elena bends down and says “He’s just a child” and you know it’s the one thing that will keep here at Stonehaven.
This episode seemed to fill us in on some much needed detail with respect to the wolf lore and part of Elena’s hesitation to return to Stonehaven. Did this episode seem more solid than the first? Was there enough of the current mystery to hold our interest with the world-building contained here also? Other thoughts?
Jackie Lester imagines a day when she can make a living as a writer. Until then, she reviews eclectic books at My Ever Expanding Library and lives in small-town Ontario with her daughter.