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, 1x02, and 1x03.
Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 4, “Grief.” Enjoy!
The scene begins with an outside view of Stonehaven. Jeremy’s voice is heard talking about the tradition of the pack and how they’re all together to “bid farewell to one of [their] own.” He says they “were blessed to be [Pete’s] family.” Cut to a shot of a mangy looking wolf roaming past the ‘private property’ sign that is surely on the Danvers land.
Then it’s back to Elena now offering her thoughts, that “this life hasn’t always been easy for [her] but somehow Pete always knew the right thing to say to get [her] through.” Clay speaks about how Pete made everyone around him happier and adds that his “death won’t be in vain.” Again, it cuts over to the other wolf and we see the woods from its perspective. Elena says “all Pete ever wanted was to spread his love” and was killed by someone who hates the pack and what they stand for. They hear the roaming wolf howl and know that it’s taunting them now.
As Jeremy takes off his jacket, possibly teasing that they’re all about to strip down and change (sadly, it doesn’t happen), they decide to split up to come at the mutt from different sides of the property, all members running through the trees in human form. Elena stops, with Jeremy and Clay not far behind her. She sniffs the air and can tell the mutt had just been there. They find Pete’s jacket hanging on a nearby tree. Antonio and Nick come in from the other direction, saying they’d also lost the scent. Elena wants to keep going but Antonio convinces her that “by the time [they] change, he’ll be long gone.” Jeremy makes the executive decision to hold off, telling them “tonight we mourn for Pete. Tomorrow we hunt.”
Elena walks into Stonehaven and finds Logan in the kitchen. She admits to him that she hasn’t slept and he puts on his psychologist hat (“Do you want to talk about it?”) to try to help her process. Elena is angry that the mutt killed Pete (understandably.) Elena says she knows the wolf “world plays by a different set of rules” but wants to know “Why Pete?” Logan says it was “wrong place wrong time” or possibly a direct target but either way was sending a message. Elena wonders if it’s meant to show the pack’s vulnerability. Logan says it is “the packs rule…being challenged.”
Elena brings the discussion to her possible inability to go home until all is resolved. She again shows her frustration at not being able to share this part of her life with Philip. “What do I say to him? My pack brother was killed by a mutt?” Logan advises her to “get it out of [her] system before [she] goes home.” Logan tells her he’s there for her. She thanks him and heads off to look for Jeremy.
Jeremy is standing out in the woods, holding the urn with Pete’s ashes in it. He tells Elena that “Pete always loved it” there, though if he mean that exact spot, it looks like almost any other we’ve seen in the woods. Jeremy hands the urn to Elena and she looks at it sadly saying how “he was such a force of life” but is now “reduced to just a handful of ashes.” She talks about not experiencing death beyond that of her parents. Jeremy adds in the information that she was only five at the time. She relays the story from the point of view at that age and the hope that she would wake up one day and find her parents were still alive. In having to deal now with Pete’s death, she displays a bit of the emotional immaturity that has been visible to the viewers from day one. Now we can begin to see why.
With Elena’s birth family gone, she equates this with the inability to understand family in general. Jeremy kisses her gently on the forehead and says he knows it isn’t the same thing but the pack is there for her and they love her. She still insists she doesn’t belong with them. Jeremy again tries to tell her how important she is to what they have. Her interpretation of “what [they] have…is violence and death.” Jeremy corrects her, saying they also have “love and family. And life is finding that balance.” He makes a good point though it’s countered by Elena, saying she doesn’t want to be part of a life lived in extremes.
Elena asks how he can be “so complacent” regarding Pete’s death. Jeremy understands her anger and grief but his soothing words don’t help to extinguish it. Distressed, she asks him what his reaction would be if she was that one that had been killed. Jeremy says he would mourn her like she was his own child. Elena tells him he should be out there avenging Pete’s death now. Jeremy points out that “being consumed with bloodlust is not in [her] nature.” Elena hates it all, “everything that has happened since [he] asked her to come…back.” She walks away with Jeremy looking on, worried.
We switch to a new location with a stucco wall, piles of empty cardboard boxes and freight skids. The sound of a change in progress is evident. A man with buzzed hair pops out from behind the boxes and begins to dress himself. Curiously, he has a Velcro watch as well as Velcro shoes, otherwise looking like a typical blue collar worker. He completes the look with eye glasses and walks out to the nearby sidewalk, looking back as a woman with long brown hair passes by.
Elena, still in the woods, is crying. She sees a tree that looks particularly offensive and punches it. Hard. Clay witnesses this, saying “that won’t bring him back.” He’s “never seen [her] like this before," but Elena says that would be because she’s never had someone that she loved brutally murdered before. Clay walks toward her and Elena backs up, on the defensive. Clay calls for peace and hugs her, saying it hadn’t been that long since they were able to talk things like this through. Elena corrects him with “we’ve never been good at talking,” which Clay clarifies by indicating they used to stay in bed all weekend to work out their problems. Though Elena tells him “everything’s different now,” Clay thinks “it doesn’t have to be.” Elena can’t imagine worse timing for the whole relationship chat. Clay starts stripping, saying he “didn’t come out…to talk” and suggests a run. Elena is resistant at first but is convinced by their mutual need to work out the stress (no, not that way!) Interestingly though, Elena starts to strip in front of Clay rather than looking for a tree to hide behind this time.
The wolves start the run, Clay-wolf catching up to Elena and jumping on her like he’s about to mount her. Elena yelps at him that whatever message he was trying to convey, randy-ness or otherwise, it just isn’t going to happen and they run on.
Jeremy finds the Sheriff by the caution tape taking notes. He asks if she’s finishing up now that the wolf is dead. She confirms she’s almost done but says there are “a couple unanswered questions.” First, they know they boy wasn’t killed where he was found so they can’t figure out why he was dumped there and don’t think a wolf would do that kind of thing. Second, if Jeremy has anyone holding a grudge against him because if the wolf killed the boy, it looks like someone else dumped the body there and likely because they were trying to send a message. Jeremy pulls the ‘I’m an innocent painter’ card; that “the most ruthless people [he] deals with are art dealers.” The Sheriff assures him she’s “not making accusations…[instead] just trying to make sense of things.” The Sheriff watches Jeremy walk away, suspicion in her gaze.
The camera pans over the woods and we see Elena spooning with Clay, butt naked and in human form. They look like they’re sleeping until Elena’s hand begins to wander. Their breathing picks up as her hand moves lower on Clay’s abdomen. Clay rolls over and Elena’s arm tightens around his shoulder. He moves in for a kiss and it’s reciprocated by Elena until she opens her eyes and realizes what she’s done. She jumps up to leave quickly, Clay calling “Elena” as she does.
In a modified version of the walk of shame, Elena enters Stonehaven wearing jeans only, her top being merely held up to cover her chest. Logan and Nick catch her in the act and let her know that Jeremy has called for everyone. Elena says she’s going to change first but Nick thinks she shouldn’t bother. She ignores him. Clay walks in seconds later but hasn’t bothered to put any clothes back on and we get the second in-frame shot of his backside in less than five minutes. Nick teases him about frolicking and nuzzling with Elena then asks him to not walk around naked. He says Clay will make Logan uneasy but Logan says Nick is displacing his own insecurities. Logan never really shuts off his profession, does he? Nick looks down at himself, possibly wondering what he has to feel insecure about.
In Elena’s room, she’s dressed in new clothes now and hears her phone ring. It’s Philip, of course. They exchange ‘I miss yous’ and Elena tells him how things are sad where she is, that they’re prepping for the funeral now. Philip offers to come but Elena talks him out of it with a lame excuse. He brings up the story of a wolf killing people at a night club where she is. Elena says that “the press [blew] it out of proportion.” Philip expresses concern about Elena not being able to make it to Becky’s wedding but she assures him she’ll be there; she just needs him to hold her. The sweetness is almost too much.
Jeremy is looking at a map. Antonio enters, saying “planting a body on our property, killing Pete, and not one new mutt but two. Why? And why now?” Jeremy asks if he remembers the last time they had similar troubles. Antonio’s father was Alpha then and they participated in something they refer to as “The Mutt Hunts.” They started from the bottom and worked up, making them all “capitulate” in the end. Antonio asks if that’s the plan again. Instead of answering directly, Jeremy expresses the desire “to slaughter every last one,” though he says that only a part of him feels this way. He tries to take the blame for everything, now calling himself “complacent.” Antonio tries to make him see reason, telling him that, as a pack, they “underestimated the threat out there.” Now they know something big is going on, they have to deal with it without their grief and need for revenge getting in the way. He tells Jeremy that though he is the leader, they’re all “in this together.” I wait for Zac Efron to come into the room singing and dancing, but it doesn’t happen.
Elena catches Clay on the stairs. He says the run was great. Elena says it was, but everything else was a mistake and wants him to be clear on that point. He questions whether it really was a mistake, then adds “We’re clear, darlin’” before walking away. Elena is obviously still quite delusional about her feelings and the lack of dealing with them isn’t making anything easier for her.
In the war room basement, Antonio asks about the plan of attack, “do [they] start spilling mutt blood?” Jeremy says “there are still too many unknowns” and it would be killing more than might actually be involved. He wants Antonio to tie up things for Pete in the real world. They also need to reach out to “other pack families” to determine if the threat is widespread or centered on Stonehaven and “meant to unseat” Jeremy as Alpha.
The Sheriff is now down by the river and calls out a hello to someone named Emerson. An older man sits on a deck chair, fishing. He asks if she’s there to finally learn how to catch walleye (‘cause who doesn’t want that on their list of life skills?) She tells him not this time and gets down to business. Emerson was actually the former Sheriff in town and the new one (Karen) is there to pick his brain. She asks about the Danvers. He mentions the rumours about them (“mafia, devil worshippers, sex cult”). He says he was only ever out at the property once when a telephone repair man had been doing some work nearby and just vanished. His truck had been found at the bottom of a ravine but no body had ever been found. Speculation was “he might have seen something out at Stonehaven he wasn’t supposed to.” Emerson asks if Karen is having trouble with them. She tells him her theory about the body dump and the implications of it. She says “something about that family just doesn’t sit right with” her. Emerson says he’s felt the same and encourages her to take a deeper look into them. He warns her to be careful.
Back in the Great Room at Stonehaven, Jeremy is telling the pack he’s sent Antonio to deal with Pete’s disappearance and to get in touch with the other pack families. He says that their next task it in identifying the mutt that was killed and find out who made him. He tells Nick and Logan to go check out the flophouse to look for clues in this regard. Logan says he has a conference in Toronto that he’s speaking at later that night, so Nick is off to investigate on his own with the added warning to be careful. Clay and Elena are sent into town to “assess the mood of the locals,” but also to track the scent of the new mutt, if possible.
Clay and Elena stop the truck at the front gates where Elena can get a good whiff of the new mutt’s scent at the spot where Pete was found. She says it’s the same as the one they had chased the day before in the woods. The scene ends with her words: “Let’s go get this bastard.”
At the Bear Valley Diner, Clay and Elena are sitting at the counter, Elena digging into a huge sandwich. Two girls walk in and sit at a table with another, talking about the randomness of a wolf killing people at a rave. Clay tunes in for a better listen as one of the girls talks about getting out of town as soon as she can save up enough money. Another says “that guy at the counter is hot.” Her table mate says that he’s married to the blonde he’s with, his wedding ring a huge banner from across the diner apparently. The first girl talks about Elena’s lack of ring and their body language that argues against this.
Other than a slight twitch of her head, it almost seems like Elena hadn’t been paying attention and she asks Clay if they can go, that there isn’t anything happening. Clay calls her on her BS, knowing she heard that conversation too. Elena says “She’s just your type. Have fun,” Clay responding with “maybe some other time.” Clay is still facing the general direction of the table, the front door, and Elena notices one of the hunters enter the diner. He’s talking to his buddies, mentioning that Braxton hasn’t been home after going out to look for his dog the night before. Once again, he confronts Elena and Clay, accusing them of knowing what happened to his friend. Elena asks him what he thinks happened, knowing the man has been circling the idea that the Danvers had somehow caused Braxton foul play. Clay not mincing words tells him “we haven’t seen him” and heads for the door. The hunter says “We’re not done here,” grabbing Clay by the arm. Clay pushes his arm off and tells him they are indeed finished. The hunter raises his fist to punch Clay, quite possibly in the back of the head considering the fact that Clay is halfway out the door by now, but Elena stops the punch in mid-air. She tells him “we’re sorry your friend is missing but don’t make things worse.” The people in the diner look on in amazement.
There’s a guy overseeing the loading of musical equipment onto a truck. Antonio approaches him, looking very dapper in a grey suit. He asks the man about Pete Myers’ whereabouts, identifying himself as an FBI agent. The man, Dave Winslow, is the tour manager and says Pete has taken some time off. Antonio, going by the pseudonym Rich DeMartini, tells him Pete’s name has come up in an investigation and they need him to come in. Antonio tosses around the idea of a joint investigation with the DEA, which is clearly meant to spook Dave. As soon as Antonio walks away, the man plays right into the plan by calling Pete’s cell to warn him to stay away for a while. Antonio crushes Pete’s cell phone and tosses it in the trash after listening to Dave’s voicemail, neatly deflecting any inquiries away from Stonehaven. I’m a bit distressed that this messes with Pete’s reputation but Antonio didn’t actually allude to wrongdoings on Pete’s part, so maybe we can let this slide?
In Toronto, Philip is hanging out with his sister, Diane. She’s brought him lunch but he asks why she isn’t eating too. It seems her Wednesday diet includes “hot water with lemon followed by a cup of shredded carrots and some ginger.” Yum! This appears to be necessary because she’s knee deep in the dating pool unlike her big brother, who is over-the-moon-happy. She asks where Elena is, needing her to get started on a presentation for an upcoming runway show. Philip tells her about the family crisis and Diane is taken aback with this news. Diane tells him it’s one thing to keep secrets but “hiding an entire family” seems a bit weird. Philip says that there’s a line he doesn’t want to cross with Elena. Diane compares it to her own past, where her boyfriend/husband was evasive, then just up and left. She knows Philip and Elena are crazy about each other but thinks that the lack of communication will just make things worse over time. Diane assures Philip that Elena isn’t fragile and that he should just sit her down for a good long talk. It feels like they’re one soon-to-be-married sibling away from an all out intervention for poor Philip.
Clay and Elena are walking around Bear Valley, discussing the angry townspeople and Braxton’s disappearance. Clay says they need to put this new mutt down ASAP, then thanks Elena for having his back in the diner. He equates this with her caring for him, but Elena says it has more to do with restraining him from getting “into a brawl with the locals.” She snarks at him a bit but halts when she comes across a faint scent lingering from mutt #2. They duck in through an entry way to follow the trail.
They look on to an old looking motel with two floors. Elena says if he was smart he’d take a room on the lower floor for easy access but she’s assuming he hadn’t thought that out. Despite his initial suggestion that they divvy up the floors, Clay knows they need to stick together and work “as a team.” Elena questions this, thinking Clay has no confidence in her abilities but he says it’s so she can back him up. They head up to the second floor and Elena sniffs out the mutt’s room; Clay breaks the door handle for access. They start their search with Clay eventually finding a body spray in the bathroom. He says it’s a new mutt mistake because it “kills the olfactory senses.” Elena, searching under the bed, finds a horrible scrapbook that has newspaper articles describing rapes and murders. With each article there is some form of macabre souvenir. Clay calls the mutt a “trophy hunter.” Elena voices the eerie words “someone’s turning psychotic murderers into werewolves.” Clay adds that they’re now being turned loose on the pack as well.
A skidding vehicle alerts them to something happening outside. They look out the window to see the new mutt meeting with Zachary Cane, one of the names from their list of enemies in episode 2. Clay thinks Cane is not smart enough to devise a plan like this. Elena confirms that the mutt is the one who killed Pete and Clay wants blood now. Elena reminds him that they need to bring him in alive but Clay thinks it will be harder with Cane’s presence. Clay’s pacing, but Elena is still looking out the window. She says “things just got more complicated,” prompting Clay to look out the window. We see Karl Marsten exiting the passenger side of the pickup truck Cane had arrived in.
The group of mutts start making their way the to the room. Clay and Elena know they have to get back to Jeremy and update him. Clay breaks another door handle leading to the room next door, the walls on either side covered ironically in a tree-lined mural.
The mutts smell Clay and Elena’s presence outside the room. Elena runs back in to douse the mutt’s room with the body spray. The mutts enter the room and Karl calls the new one out for his moronic possession of the spray though it doesn’t prevent Marsten from identifying Clay and Elena’s presence. The friendly wolves sneak out of the hotel, cleanly jumping over the second floor bannister and hiding under the overhang. Cane runs out to track the smell but says he can only smell the cover up.
Marsten gives the new mutt hell for taking a room at the motel but the mutt says he “needs [his] own space.” Cane picks him up single-handedly while Marsten tells the mutt, named Thomas LeBlanc, that they made him and as such, own him. He needs to do what they tell him. Clay and Elena leave the vicinity of the motel after hearing all of this.
Nick is back from the flophouse and has brought shoes back with him. They are prison issue, from Hickson Correctional Facility in Tennessee. Jeremy calls the first mutt a collector also, saying the prison shoes were a mark of pride for his escape from the big house. As it turns out, three men had escaped together three months prior. The dead mutt is identified as Scott Brandon, a man serving a life sentence for a “brutal string of rapes and murders in 2009.” Nick mentions about Marsten and Cane purposely converting the convicts into werewolves but Elena isn’t convinced. She says Cane isn’t smart enough and Marsten is too much of a loner. Jeremy’s assessment of the mutts’ plan is: 1) conversion of new wolves, 2) drawing attention to Stonehaven to limit the pack’s ability to control or retaliate, and 3) kill Pete to attack the pack directly. Clay and Nick understand that the mutts making this type of move will lead to chaos; the pack won’t be able to hold them back, which will lead to exposure of all wolves to the humans. This will lead to “what man does best: war.” Jeremy emphasizes this by saying that it wouldn’t stop until “one side or the other was completely wiped out.” Clay says there’s only one way to deal with the mutts and asks Elena if she’s ready for it. She replies “if that’s what it takes.” Jeremy closes out the conversation but saying “it’s time to take the fight to them.’
Logan is at home and hears a knock on the door. He calls upstairs to say he’ll get it and goes to answer. He recognizes the man outside, though it’s hard for us to see through the glass and wrought iron window; he hesitates before opening. The man’s face has been shown before in pictures from episode 2. Now Daniel Santos has come to visit Logan, despite being the one formerly noted as hating the pack the most. He asks if Logan has a minute.
At the motel, the pack is outside being given assignments to catch the mutts. The assumption is that the mutts probably aren’t there; a contingency plan is necessary in case they are. Jeremy wants them taken alive but Clay isn’t making any promises.
The scene flips back to Logan where Daniel is being all creepy by sniffing the air and indicating he knows Logan’s girlfriend is taking a bath. He feigns being impressed by Logan’s conference speech later after Logan tells him he was on his way out. Daniel gets down to business, telling Logan he wants to talk about what’s happening at Stonehaven. Logan isn’t sure why Daniel has come to him but Daniel tells him it has to do with Logan’s ability to be rational and also because the Danvers hates Daniel vehemently.
Another scene shift to the pack approaching to the motel room door, then back to Logan’s. Daniel is saying that news of the wolf attacks has spread and he thinks the killers are working together. Logan can’t understand this when it’s against mutt nature to work with others. Daniel figures it was “bound to change,” his theory is that eventually the mutts would get tired of the pack’s rules, saying he shouldn’t have to explain this to Logan considering his profession.
There’s a quick shot of the pack getting closer to the motel door, then back to Logan. With the heightened music, the intercutting of scenes, and Daniel’s smarminess, I get a bad feeling here about Logan…
Logan tells Daniel he would understand the mutt mentality better than Logan himself would. Daniel says he was “pure pack” long before Logan was even a wolf. In fact, Daniel had a great-great-grandfather in the position of Alpha. Daniel tells Logan that he wants to go to Stonehaven to discuss “joining forces” and he wants the doctor to smooth the way with Jeremy.
A quick flash at the motel shows Nick breeching the door to the room next to the mutt’s. They enter.
Logan asks about Daniel’s “relationship with Clay” in light of the fact that Clay killed Daniel’s brother. Daniel give the whole ‘bygones be bygones’ line of bull and says the time is right for them to team up.
The music intensifies further as we’re back at the motel scene. Clay reaches his hand out to turn the handle on the mutt’s door. Elena looks up spotting a wire at the top of the door and yells “Clay!” She pulls him out of the way microseconds before a double barrel gun shoots a very large hole in the door. Nick and Jeremy run into the room. Jeremy says they need to leave, that the whole town would’ve heard the noise. Something catches Elena’s eye and she moves forward. Looking down she sees a finger sitting in a glass and says “it’s Pete’s.” Jeremy repeats “Pete,” evoking many emotions in that one word.
Elena looks over to the wall and sees the words “I’M COMING FOR MY SCRAPBOOK BITCH” etched into it. The camera pans across the faces of the men then to Elena. Her lip quivers in anger as she says “Let him try.”
I found it curious in this episode that Logan joked early on about Nick displacing his insecurities when the real displacement culprit appears to be Elena, putting her own control issues on Clay. I liked the background we got with respect to Elena and hope it will build to a much more rounded character worthy of our concern. LV portrays her very effectively as written, so it will be nice to see the growth as we progress further. What are your 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.