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). Catch up with recaps for episodes 1x01 and 1x02.
Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 3, “Trespass.” Enjoy!
As we pan in from the tree tops, the wolf pack is standing around, still looking at the body of the boy they found on their property. Elena says “This kill is the same as the mutt from the flophouse.” Clay approaches to move the body; Elena wants to know why he’s doing this. She knows it isn’t the right thing to do but Clay says this has put a target on them.
They can hear hunters in the distance, getting closer. Jeremy says “There’s hundreds on our property” but only three show up, one with a tracking dog. Clay tries again to move the body, knowing it will bring attention to the group. Jeremy disagrees, saying it would look much worse if they tried to cover it up. And it would!
Braxton, Hunter #1, approaches basically accusing the Danvers clan of the killing, saying “What the hell did you people do?” Jeremy tells them no, that he was just about to call the police. The hunters are still suspicious, saying they’re going to stick around to make sure no one messes with the evidence. Tempers heat further as Braxton asks what the boy was even doing on the property, and then more accusations are tossed around. While this is happening, the hunter's dog starts to bark loudly and becomes almost uncontrollable to his master. We hear a high pitched noise and by the look on Elena’s face, she’s up to something. The look is one of determination, the effect is the incessant barking.
Braxton, concerned by the sudden outburst, clicks the safety of his gun off, spurring Clay into action. He quickly grabs the rifle, turning it around and hitting Braxton with the butt. He tells the hunter that “the next time (he) pops the safety off his gun, (Clay will) give him a reason to use it.”
Jeremy brings the focus back to (where it should be about) doing right by the boy. He asks Nick and Antonio to escort the hunters off their property. Braxton calls out for the dog that ran off in the scuffle. His buddy says that the dog will find his own way home. The hunters leave, still grumbling about what the Sheriff will think of it all. Elena asks “Who would do this to a child?”
Jeremy says “that’s what we have to find out” and calls the Sheriff to tell her about the boy, nipping the hunters’ last threat in the bud.
At the manor house, Jeremy is congratulating Elena on her quick thinking in goading the dog for distraction. Clay thinks it was careless, that she could’ve been bitten. She says “You act like I’ve never been bitten before, how ironic.” The tone and to whom the words are directed seem to indicate it was Clay who’d bitten her in the past. Certainly a reason for her hostility, but I’m keeping an open mind 'til more of the story comes out. Clay tells her to come straight at him if she’s mad at him, but this verbal sparring session is cut short as the others return.
The pack recaps the kills, noting that whoever is responsible appears to be drawing attention to the pack. Logan talks about the psychology of the newly bitten being unpredictable (he would know, right?). The mutt seems to be turning up the heat by placing the boy’s body on the property, targeting them specifically, though who it is, they aren’t any closer to finding out.
Antonio walks in, saying that the Sheriff has arrived and is heading to look at the body. Elena speaks quietly with Jeremy and offers to stay now (like we knew she would). Jeremy once again divides the group to accomplish several tasks to further their own investigation, telling Elena to go with Clay into town to track the scent. He tells them to start with the bars, which despite our own knowledge of the mutt hanging out in them, seems random coming from Jeremy. It must be all in the name of time conservation, I suppose.
Jeremy warns Clay (again!) that they need the mutt alive to find out who bit him. The discussion turns to someone by the name of Karl Marsten, who has in-depth knowledge where mutts are concerned. The task is put to Nick and Logan to reach out and see if Marsten knows anything that might help. Pete makes a dig about staying back and maybe doing a little tidying since he wasn’t named for an assignment, but Jeremy tells him to go with Nick and Logan instead, “A little show of force” on their part. Nick grabs Logan by the neck, happy that he’s “not the youngest.” Does that mean Pete is? Or maybe he means Logan?
The others leave the house but Jeremy asks Elena to talk with him outside. A passing look from Clay has Jeremy ordering him to “Stay!” It seems flowers arrived for Elena, her favorites, of course. Jeremy tries to plump up Elena’s trust in him, implying it’s a two way street and he trusts her. He mentions Philip’s name, which takes Elena aback for a moment until he says that it was on the card with the flowers. Why don’t I believe him here? It might have something to do with the number of times he smiles in this scene compared to all of the others he’s been in.
Elena mentions Jeremy’s lack of belief in long term relationships with humans but that Philip is “one of the good ones.” Jeremy confirms part of this in the context that the lies they tell are important to hide the truth about their existence. Beneath his words, he’s also getting at Elena lying to Clay about Philip, then he acts as an enabler, at least for the moment, when he takes the flowers to dispose of them.
Elena calls Philip to thank him for the flowers. It’s important to note that when the pack was meeting just a few minutes before, she’d told Clay she’d be ready in five minutes. Philip’s at home, sitting with his shirt open. It turns out, he’s also pantless. He jokes about this and how he’s going to give the neighbours a show any minute. While they’re busy flirting on the phone, Clay waits impatiently by the truck. He tunes in with the wolf hearing and catches Elena laughing. To drown out the sound, he turns on the truck engine and cranks the radio.
It has the desired effect though. Elena comes out the door just a few seconds later. She jumps in the truck, looking Clay directly in the eye and smiling happily (which is somewhat unusual for her). The sad part, for Clay, is that the smile is not really meant for him.
The Sheriff’s crew is putting caution tape around where the boy’s body was found. She mentions to Jeremy that word is spreading around town about the wolf bounty. Jeremy questions her about the legality of this. She tells him that the people’s fear, with the added factor of a wolf being seen in town (that would be Elena from last week), has her caring less about Wildlife Control issues and more about her town feeling safe again. She adds “people want justice” and thinks that the death of the wolf will offer the much needed closure.
Antonio arrives at the crime scene just in time for the Sheriff to question how they all found the body together. You have to admit that does come off as a bit weird. Antonio says they were all out for a walk. He adds a little extra distress in his tone, looking away from the body somewhat dramatically. This is a nice touch, since the pack do appear less uncomfortable around the dead bodies that have popped up than the average human would be.
The Sheriff asks about any trespassers on the property. Antonio says that the odd group of teenagers would have parties out there but nothing too out of hand. The Sheriff reminisces about being one of them at one time, establishing herself as a long time town resident, and more meaningfully, privy to local gossip, I think. She wants to know if they have any idea why the boy would even be there and they say no. After the Sheriff moves on, Jeremy impresses upon Antonio that they need to find the mutt before she does.
In Toronto, Philip is meeting with a Mr. James Williams. Philip’s a bit surprised by the meeting location, somewhere just outside the downtown core, close to the waters of Lake Ontario. Williams says that there’s some internal strife in his company; he’s looking to expand where the other board members are not. He’s found the next best thing in vodka, a well kept Estonian secret apparently, and he thinks Philip is just the man to launch the new product to infinity and beyond in North America. My spidey senses tingle at Mr. Williams; something feels off about him…
Elena and Clay are hitting all the bars in Bear Valley, which seems to be keeping them quite busy since there are a lot. Elena remarks on this, mentioning that the mutt has been in them all. She says that the scent is days old now and the most she can smell around town are fun things like milk going bad, rotten tomatoes, sweat, and so on. Clay takes this opportunity to mention the scent of lilacs too, meant to illustrate that he already knows about the flowers despite Elena’s and, to some degree, Jeremy’s attempt to hide them.
Elena fesses up about making excuses to leave Toronto, but she doesn’t elucidate about who she was making them to. Clay says it must be difficult coming up with excuses all the time and that she shouldn’t have to make them to him.
Before the conversation can proceed, one of the hunters from earlier calls out to them, warning them not to fill up with gas at a certain station because it’s owned by the dead boy’s grandfather. This would seem ridiculous if the setting was outside of the small town environment, but nonetheless the threat is made. Elena repeats that it wasn’t their fault but hunter #2 is convinced they’re covering something up; the tracks on the property indicate a wolf roaming with the Danvers doing nothing about it. He says that Braxton’s dog is still missing and that if the wolf gets it, the “blame’s going directly on” the Danvers. It’s a bunch of irrational ideas and threats mashed together, since there’s nothing to go on yet, but again, it’s a great example of (stereotypical) small town living for you.
Elena assures hunter #2 that they will look out for the dog. He reminds her that they should be looking out for the wolf too. Clay says everyone is. He might’ve added a ‘duh’ in there if he was a fourteen year old girl for all its obviousness. Elena leans in, making the hunter go a little shifty-eyed as she tells him with feeling that she knows the boy deserves justice.
With Clay and Elena left alone again, Elena reiterates her questions of why the wolf is there when it could be hunting/killing anywhere in the country and why it left three bodies then vanished. She believes that the mutt is trying to send some kind of message. Clay speculates about potential madness of the mutt or that maybe he’s left town, having now experienced a change of heart. Elena sees a flyer stuck on a newspaper box and rips it off. Looks like there’s a underground party tonight and guess who’ll be going?
In a quick change to nighttime, the mutt, in human form, looks predatorily at the site of the party.
The Bear Valley CSI-equivalent is still working where the body was left, despite nightfall. One officer is brushing off a paw-print cast. With Jeremy still looking on, he mentions the increase in police presence, which has resulted from the Sheriff calling in help from other places. She tells him two of the workers are wildlife experts and explains her own doubts about the kills being wolf-related because of the length of the stride (from the tracks it left behind) and the size of the paw prints. She add she doesn’t want to guess because it will just “add fuel to the rumors” then vows there will be no rest till answers are found.
At the condo, Philip’s mom stops by with some leftovers from the bridal shower. He shares the news with his mother about the lucrative new client he’s snagged. He’s as giddy as a school boy until his mom asks if he and Elena will be heading out to celebrate and he tells her Elena is away with family. The mom asks about the sudden appearance of family when she thought Elena had none. She’s able to spin this into a warning to Philip that she knows he’s all in with the relationship but can tell Elena is not. She pointedly asks him “What is so complicated about being honest?” If she only knew!
Nick, Pete and Logan walk in to what Nick is describing as his new club. It crosses my mind that somehow the party the mutt is at might be some underground thing Nick’s place has cooked up, but it’s too quiet here. Pete describes the décor as “hot mess time machine.” Nick introduces the gang to Amanda, the designer for the new place and Pete perks up, thinking he’s got a chance with her. She does smile encouragingly, so who knows? Marsten arrives and Logan wants to know how he got there so fast.
Clay and Elena arrive at the evening’s venue. Elena primps a little, touches up the lip gloss, unhooks a few buttons on her top, and removes her jacket, telling Clay she’s going in alone. She adds that Clay is “so uptight they’ll think (he’s) a narc.” Clay thinks it’s unfair that she thinks he can’t control himself, that things are better when they have each other’s backs. Clay knows the two of them together will spook the mutt and suggests she maneuver the mutt towards the door where Clay can pick him up. Sounds like a neat and tidy plan and Elena concedes that it might work, but you and I know that something is bound to screw up here.
Before exiting the truck, she asks Clay how she looks. He eyes down to her cleavage and back up, swipes his thumb gently under her bottom lip, and says smokily “Now you’re perfect.” Dang.
Marsten is puffing on n expensive cigar, obviously out of touch with the many smoking bans in the world today. Amanda asks him to douse it because she has an allergy. He tries for some backwards flirting by referring to Nick as “white trash.“ Amanda pays no heed to him and again asks him to put out the cigar. Marsten meets with the boys, telling Nick a blow torch would help his latest investment. Marsten expresses his suspicion of Nick’s motives but Nick seems confused because there’s apparently “no bad blood between” them.
At the makeshift nightclub, sometimes known as “Bear Valley Cartage,” Elena walks through the crowd watching the young people bounce. She finds the mutt leaning against a wall of shipping skids and asks him “Do you know who I am?” He says not who but he does know what, that they have something special in common. Elena says they’re very different, with him having “killed three innocent people.” He shows no remorse and tells her that he won’t let their “rules get in the way of his fun.” Elena says “wrong answer.”
She starts to walk away but he grabs her and pushes her up against the wall. She reverses the move, her hand now claw-like and beginning to dig into his chest. He starts to panic, his heartbeat loud enough that even we can hear. The ‘change’ appears imminent. Elena tells him to calm down, but he admits he doesn’t know how. For a brief moment, it feels like Elena will be able to help him, that maybe this newbie wolf just needs a bit of guidance. Elena flings him into a nearby office to hide him from public view.
Clay is standing outside, looking fairly impatient. Whatever Elena is doing is taking too long for his liking. Inside, the music is pounding while Elena holds onto the door with all of her strength, the growls from the office barely covered by the other noises in the club.
Balls are broken across a pull table as Nick refers to Marsten as “an International Mutt of Mystery” and expresses his curiousity about why Marsten was in the area. Marsten says he’s got a Google alert set and knew something was happening in Bear Valley; he just couldn’t stay away from the action. Marsten says he doesn’t know much and gathers that the boys don’t either. Pete says they know the mutt is new, Logan adding that they want to know who bit him. The talk becomes a negotiation, with Marsten offering to help but only if they can convince Jeremy into keeping an open mind about his “desire for territory.” Looks like Marsten wants to settle down, after having lived with the pack’s rules for so long, staying “constantly on the move.”
At the nightclub, the change completes. Elena opens the office door to see where the wolf went but discovers a gaping whole in the ceiling. The wolf starts chasing a woman on a balcony above the dance floor. He jumps onto the conveniently placed stacks of skids and growls at the crowd. Chaos ensues: screams, people running. The wolf pins one guy down and starts munching on his stomach. Outside the club, Clay is trying to push his way in past the crowd but is having troubles. Inside, Elena tosses a bar stool. It doesn’t look like it actually hits the wolf but smashes nearby, scaring the animal off. She tells the bite victim “you’re going to be okay.” Clay finally manages to push past the people into the club.
The Sheriff, still on the Danvers’ property, gets the call about the party loving wolf and takes off. She’s even more confused now why the wolf would go near the loud music and crowds. Jeremy and Antonio hear the commotion and are clued in to the “mutt just (making) his next move.”
At the club, the wolf has found another victim to snack on, this time with much more macabre consequences as it goes in for the kill. Clay and Elena are on opposite ends of the body, trying to catch the mutt. It senses the threat and takes off, with Clay and Elena following close behind. The Sheriff arrives outside as people are still screaming and running both inside and out of the building.
Outside now, the mutt looks to be surrounded by cars and the police. Clay and Elena sneak behind another stack of skids, looking on. The wolf tries to climb over a car as the Sheriff shoots at it but somehow the car drives away, leaving the wolf back on the ground again. It sets its sights on the Sheriff now, growling and walking towards her. The Sheriff backs up against a wall, gun raised but fear evident in her posture. Things are not looking good when the animal pounces, until a yellow truck plows right into the mutt. The Sheriff and Deputy are stunned. Meanwhile, Clay and Elena sneak back into the club.
Scanning the carnage in front of the truck, the Sheriff shines her flashlight at a gooey pile of mutt remnants. Clay and Elena know they need to get out of there without the Sheriff knowing of their presence. First, they need to deal with the initial victim bitten by the mutt. He is still alive, therefore now infected and the change will happen if they don’t intercede. They find him in the office shaking and telling them he’s hot. Clay talks to the man, asking his name (Doug) and notices needle tracks on his arm. Elena says “Clay. No.” He asks if the man can walk but he says no. Elena wants to “take him back to Stonehaven. Put him in the cage.” Clay takes off his jacket and scrunches it up. He picks Doug up, cradling him in his arms like an oversized-child, while Elena is trying to stop him, get him to listen. Rather than sitting him up somewhere or carrying him to the car, Clay just continues to hold him, his own jacket at his shoulder pressing into the man’s face. Elena tries again, saying “Please,” but he just keeps holding the man until his arms go limp. Elena looks on with a pained expression. Clay tells Elena that because he was weak, had been a drug-user, it was sparing the man the agony of the days that would follow which he wouldn’t survive anyway. Clay leaves and Elena waits an extra moment, closes Doug’s eyes then runs out also.
Over at Nick’s place, they’re still discussing their mistrust of Marsten. Logan says Marsten knows more than he’s letting on, their suspicions multiplied with the deal he had all ready to offer. Jeremy calls Pete and tells them the mutt is dead, that he and Logan don’t have to return to Stonehaven. Pete says he’s off to “catch the rest of the tour” while Logan is anxious to get back to Rachel. This must be a relief for Logan, but didn’t he have a bag with him? Didn’t Pete? Surely, they’d need to pack? Pete hugs out the goodbyes wildly and tells Logan and Nick he loves them. He’s just a cuddly bear, that guy!
At Stonehaven, in an odd moment, Elena chases Clay down the hall, wanting to talk to him. Elena is taking the blame for “letting the situation get out of hand.” Clay says it isn’t her fault the mutt couldn’t control himself. She tells him that they are a “ticking time bomb” when they’re together, that they “don’t think clearly.” This is her trying to justify leaving again now that the mutt has been dealt with. Elena says the mutt didn’t kill the guy in the office but Clay sees it differently: the mutt bit Doug; Clay was just trying to show him some mercy. Clay calls her on all of the bull she seems to be spouting about having a good life in Toronto and the pack not needing her to find out who bit the mutt in the first place. She also seems to be hinting at Clay not needing her but he just repeats “Keep telling yourself that.”
Jeremy insists that they all need her to stay but she’s leaving the next morning and won’t be coming back. Her parting words are for Jeremy to look after Clay.
It’s now daylight in Toronto. Elena is back and she seems happy about it. Philip is too, as clothing is quickly shed. He pushes a vase out of the way as they start to give the dining room table a bit of a shake.
They joke around in bed a little while later about all the noise they make. Then Elena is hungry (this might be her first meal of the episode. Weird. He tells her “I’m a slave to your appetites.” Elena says “See, this is what I needed. Some alone time with you” but it’s clear she’s totally delusional, trying really hard to convince herself of these things.
All cleaned up, a knock on the door announces the arrival of guests. Rachel and Logan have come for dinner, though Philip forgot to mention it before now. Logan and Elena quickly try to compare cover stories. This isn’t going to go well.
Jeremy and Antonio are lounging by the fire at Stonehaven, discussing a possible canvas of the mutts to try to figure out the originator of the one who’d been terrorizing the town. Also, they figure it might be a good time to remind the mutts about the rules. Jeremy says it can wait for tomorrow as they imbibe a little red wine. Clay walks by angrily, saying he’s going for a run and starts to rip off his shirt. Antonio asks Jeremy “He thought she was going to stay?” Jeremy replies, resigned, “So did I.”
Dinner is being served at the condo. Rachel starts asking questions about the “sick cousin,” who’s looking after the kids now, and so on. Each new answer the two wolves have to come up with digs them in even deeper. Philip joins in on the questioning, asking Logan how they found Elena when she’d been in the foster care system. Rachel says that “the family” didn’t know about Logan either, until he was sixteen years old. Philip thinks this means Logan went through the foster care system as well, but Logan corrects this. Elena says she’s still adjusting to the idea of finding the family, as if this will excuse all the weirdness and lame explanations.
Antonio is ready to head out. Nick says Clay is in “full brood in the nude.” He thinks maybe he should stick around to help but Antonio assures him that Jeremy will take care of him. The important task before them is looking into Marsten, trying to figure out what his plan really is. They’re going to follow “his financial tracks” to look for clues.
On the balcony of the condo, Elena asks Rachel about her relationship with Logan. Rachel admits that they have weird hours, but Logan gives her the space she needs and vice versa. Rachel asks again about the family. Elena says they’re not what she’d expect, that instead of feeling like family, she always felt like a visitor.
Inside, Philip is asking Logan if Elena is okay. Her tendency to secrecy makes it hard for him to get a read on her. Philip thinks “she’s holding in a lot of hurt.” Logan advises him to keep doing what he’s doing: making her happy. They joke about free advice from the psychologist, which Logan assures happens to all doctors. Philip adds that proctologists probably don’t get asked. Sexy, smart, funny, and they do dishes? Where can I get one?
Nick and Antonio are driving along the Stonehaven drive when something they see stops them.
Philip and Logan settle in for a night cap when Logan gets a call. He says it’s one of the cousins. This time, it’s Clay. Logan listens intently to what Clay’s saying, tapping on the balcony door to get Elena’s attention. He tells Elena “It’s not good,” they “have to go back right away.”
At Stonehaven’s gates, Antonio says, “He’s not wearing his jacket.” Nick replies “He always took it off before a fight.” The scene lowers to reveal Pete lying against the concrete post. Jeremy and Clay are standing with Antonio and Nick. Clay inspects Pete’s hand and says “he didn’t go down without hurting someone.” Clay pulls Pete close, like he’s hugging him, but can’t identify the scent of who killed their friend. In the heart-wrenching scene, with blood covering Pete’s face, Clay gently lays Pete’s head back against the post. He lifts up the other hand to show fingers missing, looking at his pack mates in shared loss and understanding. The focus returns to Pete’s face.
Personally, I liked Clay’s action in this one. It showed he was considerate, despite having to kill Doug, by asking his name, making it personal and not without meaning. The scene with Doug was almost a bookend to the final scene, knowing Pete also had a history of drug use, deepening the meaning of both deaths for Clay. What are your takes on Elena? Clay? Did anyone else think Philip’s new client’s vetting of Philip included a look into his girlfriend?
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.