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Bitten - Vengeance - Review - "Protecting Family"


    Bitten episode “Vengeance” was written by Will Pascoe and directed by John Fawcett. Pascoe has also written for Orphan Black, The Finder, and Combat Hospital. Fawcett has also directed Orphan Black (and directed the episode written by Pascoe), Lost Girl, Rookie Blue, and The Secret Circle. This episode made use of Fawcett’s experience with special effects as well as fight scenes. The core of this episode revolves around family.

    As the episode opens, everyone is preparing for the showdown with Jimmy Koenig (Mackenzie Gray). You might remember Gray as Jax-Ur in Man of Steel. He does a great job of playing super-creepy enforcer Jimmy. We see in a flashback how ruthless he is as he takes advantage of a vulnerable, young Antonio, forcing him to kill for the first time. Antonio has just taken his son from his mother and is returning to his pack family.

    Nick (Steve Lund) is sparing with Jeremy (Greg Bryk), testing him to make sure that he is fit enough after being poisoned to defeat Koenig. As Jeremy spars, he also briefs Nick on Koenig, telling him the story of Antonio’s encounter. He also tells Nick that Koenig really enjoys killing and the he blocks everything out to savor the moment as he takes a victim’s life. That moment leaves Koenig vulnerable. During the amazing fight sequence between Koenig and Jeremy, this information proves to be vital in allowing Nick to kill Koenig as he is savoring killing Jeremy. I was left wondering whether Jeremy, who seemed to be holding his own against Koenig, set this up on purpose. Was he teaching Nick to kill? Was he giving Nick the chance for revenge? Or is he preparing Nick to take over as pack leader some day? If the latter is the case, I don’t see Nick as being the best candidate for pack leader.

    At the end of the episode, Jeremy joins Nick in the war room where Nick is going through the Sorrentino family history. A wolf’s history in the conventional world has to be erased upon his death, but the pack remembers it. Nick is finally embracing his heritage. Jeremy tells Nick that his father would have been proud of him. They both go to spread Antonio’s ashes together.

    Elena (Laura Vandervoort) and Clay (Greyston Holt) also spar to prepare. Jeremy tells them that they are still one, even though the pack has lost members, and that they are family. He also tells them that he draws his strength from them. While he allows them to come as back up, they aren’t supposed to intervene.

    It turns out that Santos (Michael Luckett), who is supposed to be in charge, didn’t even know that Koenig had set up the fight with Jeremy, and he’s angry with him. LeBlanc (Curtis Caravaggio) wants to take care of Koenig, but Santos warns him off. Caravaggio is doing a terrific job making LeBlanc as creepy as possible. Santos also tells LeBlanc that Clayton is famous for skinning a mutt alive. Unlike Koenig who loves killing for its own sake, Santos tells LeBlanc that Clayton does it out of obligation to the pack.

    The fight turns into an ambush and LeBlanc manages to shoot Elena. I have to say that I thought it was ridiculous that there was a homeless person dressed exactly like Elena – down to blond hair in a ponytail – hiding in exactly that spot. However, it does lead to Clay essentially losing his mind when he thinks she’s been shot. We also see Elena trapped under a car and her body start to go into the change. She is able to stop it and will it back under control by focusing. By the end of the episode, we find out that this is unheard of – that no one can stop the change once it starts. Perhaps this is simply one more way she is different than the male pack members.

    Elena is clearly terrified by LeBlanc. Jeremy apologizes and feels responsible. Clay goes to her and tells her that she’s safe with him and that she doesn’t have to pretend with him. She takes comfort in his arms and they make love in front of the fire. The next morning, however, she is preparing to leave to return to Toronto without, seemingly, even saying good bye to Clay. However, Jeremy tells her that while he understands that she’s worked hard for this photography exhibit, it’s too dangerous for her to be separated from the pack. He asks her to check in on Logan (Michael Xavier), but he also gives her a choice: Take Clay with her or stay at Stonehaven.

    Logan and Rachel (Genelle Williams) have discovered that the baby is a boy. Xavier does a great job showing his distress over the sex of the baby while still keeping it from Rachel. Of course, this means – I assume – that the baby will also be a wolf. Logan now really has to make a decision. This, of course, parallels the choice faced by Antonio in the flashback. Will Jeremy have to hunt down Logan and the baby? What happens to Rachel in all this? Is the baby inevitably born a wolf?

    Thinking that Logan is missing his own family, Rachel presents him with a picture of his family. Seeing Pete and Antonio trigger feelings of guilt about not responding to Jeremy’s call, so Logan decides that he will head to Stonehaven. However, before he can, he’s waylaid by Philip (Paul Greene) showing up at his house. Philip has been continuing to obsess about the video. Even Diane (Natalie Brown) tells him he’s being ridiculous, and this time she actually defends Elena, telling Philip that she’s had a hard life and that her family is important to her. She tells him to ask Logan if he doesn’t feel he can take it to Elena.

    Philip confronts Logan about the clothes in the video. Logan tells him, very smoothly, that they had met to talk because she was upset about the family. Logan stresses that everyone has a different coping mechanism, and that after they talked they went for a swim. He assures Philip that Elena is anxious to get back to him. Just before he leaves, Philip sees the picture of the family. He asks who Jeremy is in the picture, but he also notices how closely Elena and Clay are sitting on the couch and that Elena has her hand on Clay’s knee. Logan aborts his plan to go to Stonehaven when a parcel arrives containing a silver rattle and a note saying “It’s a boy!” It’s clearly a threat, but Logan has no idea who could have known. He covers by telling Rachel that he let it slip to Elena.

    Amber (Eve Harlow) is still being protected by Santos – or held prisoner. She is devastated by Cain’s death and vows revenge. She baits LeBlanc. After Santos locks LeBlanc up for hurting Elena, Amber promises to release him if he’ll bite her. Clearly not really concerned about getting out or not and wanting to hurt her, LeBlanc does bite her. By the end of the episode, we see her extremely misshapen body. Despite her assertions to the contrary, she was not strong enough to withstand the change. While she’s still alive at the end of the episode, I would assume that she is stuck half way through the change and dying. She is not likely to survive the change to join this new family.Daegan Fryklind confirmed in an interview that Amber did not survive the change. It underscores how special Elena is that even though she wasn't motivated to survive the change the way Amber was, Elena is still the only woman to ever survive it.

    This was another strong episode with the theme of family woven throughout it. The fight sequences were quite spectacular. What did you think of the episode? Were you happy to see Elena and Clay together? Do you think there’s any way that Amber was able to successfully complete the change? Who do you think sent the rattle to Logan and Rachel? Do you think Jeremy orchestrated having Nick come to his rescue? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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