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Bitten - Descent - Review - "Trust is Key"

    Bitten, “Descent,” was written by Julia Cohen and directed by James Dunnison. Cohen has also written for Dallas, Bomb Girls and Being Erica. Dunnison has also directed Seed, Satisfaction, Less Than Kind, and Todd and the Book of Evil. This episode starts to escalate all the storylines as we are starting to get close to the end of the season. Issues of trust are a crucial theme. Fingers crossed we’ll hear about a renewal shortly.

    The episode opens with Elena (Laura Vandervoort) pulling back from Clay (Greyston Holt) after their night together at the end of the last episode. He tells her that he’s done hurting her and won’t do anything to jeopardize her life in Toronto. He even concedes to moving his ring to the opposite hand for her. Of course, all he has to do is be there as Philip (Paul Greene) already suspects. Both Greene and Holt do a great job as they circle each other trying to gain dominance and as they both try to protect Elena. Clay tells her she’s always safe with him. In one sense he’s right: he knows what she truly is and completely accepts her – to the point that he may be willing to let her go if it will make her happy.

    Clay and Philip’s different perspectives on Elena’s work is telling. Philip says “No one captures the purity of the human form quite like Elena.” This is interesting considering Elena’s own conflict over her non-pure form and may represent her yearning for the pure human form she’s lost. Clay, on the other hand, says her work is “more the conflicted nature of humanity. Mankind’s baser instincts fighting to get out even while we deny them.” Which is pretty much what I just said! Elena responds to them that art is subjective. She acknowledges that Clay and Philip bring their own perspectives to their interpretation of both her and her work.

    Greene and Vandervoort deliver solid performances as they retire to their own room after Philip insists Clay stay on the couch. Elena is suddenly distant from Philip, and he reacts by getting angry and doing a poor job of concealing it. Clearly, they both know what’s going on but aren’t quite ready to confront each other about Elena’s relationship with Clay. This scene was a nice contrast to all of the other times we’ve seen them having passionate sex in this room. Though they say they’re tired they both roll onto their backs away from each other with their eyes open and fixed on the ceiling.

    Clay, meanwhile, goes through Philip’s things, including his iPad, which I found pretty creepy, but understandable given his imperative from Jeremy (Greg Bryk) to watch out for Elena. It’s here of course that he comes across the name James Williams which allows him to later connect the dots between the gallery patron and the patron of Elena’s work, all of whom are Williams. It did seem pretty stupid to me – on Philip’s part – that Philip would not have recognized the name of the guy supporting his girlfriend’s work and his sister’s gallery.

     It was fun watching Clay take shots at Philip that only Elena would understand. He makes a huge breakfast - which is nicely paralleled by the one being made at Stonehaven. Philip doesn't think Elena is much of a breakfast eater, but we all know how ravenous being a werewolf makes her. 

    Santos (Michael Luckett) is clearly having a hard time keeping Victor (Patrick Garrow) under control. Garrow and Luckett are both great villains – in different ways. Victor is totally skin-crawlingly creepy while Santos is the kind of slimy, weasely villain. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Clay bounce his face off the steering wheel of his car when Clay sees Santos staking out the gallery. Santos is a moron if he thinks that Victor isn’t going to touch Elena. Victor clearly can’t be trusted.

     I also loved how much Santos was clearly afraid of Clay. It was fun to watch Philip repeatedly punch Victor too, I have to admit. Vandervoort is excellent in this scene as well as we see a completely different side to her again – this also is a nice connection to her somewhat unexpected behavior last week when she froze and was clearly terrified by being stalked by Leblanc (Curtis Caravaggio). I did have to wonder why Philip wasn’t more curious about why his punches didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Victor...

    Clay and Elena also go to visit Logan (Michael Xavier) as Jeremy asked. Logan immediately tells them the truth, but interestingly makes his appeal directly to Elena. No doubt he expects her to be more sympathetic because she is not pack bound like Clay, was bitten, and is a woman. He tells them he’s not avoiding the pack, but he is avoiding pack law which would force him to steal his newborn son from his mother. Both Clay and Logan – and I think those of us in the audience! – are surprised when Elena urges Logan to talk to Jeremy because Logan will need the support and protection of the pack. Logan also tells Elena about the video and his explanation to Philip. She tells Logan she’ll take care of it. Logan makes Clay promise to protect Rachel (Genelle Williams) while he goes to talk to Jeremy. He tries to get a read from Clay on whether Jeremy might be persuaded to give up the old ways. Clay tells Logan that if he has to make a choice, Logan should make the one he can live with.

    Logan and Nick (Steve Lund) embrace as soon as Logan gets back to Stonehaven. I really like how tactile their relationships are – another extension of their basic animal natures. As soon as Logan tells Nick about the baby, Nick is thrilled. However, I got the feeling that Nick will likely side with Jeremy if Jeremy refuses to turn his back on the traditional laws. When Logan does tell Jeremy, Jeremy is also clearly pleased and tells Logan to go to Rachel. It gives me hope that Jeremy will find a way to let Logan follow his heart. It was interesting to see how closely Nick and Jeremy are working together. Jeremy is clearly grooming Nick for a new role - is it just to take over from Antonio or is it more?

    We are introduced to Joey Stillwell (Elias Toufexis) in this episode. You may know Toufexis from Alphas, Smallville, or Eureka, or from his extensive video voice work. He gives a terrific inaugural performance here, and like Jeremy, I just wasn’t quite sure whether I should believe him or not. Nick is blinded by his
familiarity, but Jeremy is like a dog with a bone, as he explores every possibility with Joey. We get some interesting backstory on Jeremy as he tells Joey about how Malcolm would backhand Jeremy with his left hand when he was angry with him. Jeremy’s father used his left hand because he had a ring on it – the ring Jeremy later finds in Santos’ possessions at the warehouse. Joey confesses that his father left the pack because he was terrified of Malcolm. I’m leaning towards believing him – we did see him in the bag after all – but part of me is still suspicious.

    I was pretty shocked that Elena at least partially told the truth to Philip. She couldn’t break pack law and tell him about their true nature, but she does tell him that she has been lying. She does tell him the truth when she tells him that she’s been distancing herself from them and that she wants her life in Toronto with Philip. In the end, Philip decides he still can’t trust Elena. I suspect that he may have a change of heart. 

    I had to feel sorry for poor Diane (Natalie Brown). She so clearly smitten by Clay and doesn’t have even the vaguest of chances with him! What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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