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Bitten - Settling - Review - "You Always Hurt the One You Love"

            Bitten, “Settling,” was written by Wil Zmak and directed by James Dunnison. Dunnison directed last week as well, and this is Zmak’s second episode, having last written “Prisoner.” There are only two more episodes left in the season and things really heated up in this episode! 

            The title is an interesting one and could be interpreted in several ways. It can mean to establish a permanent basis or establish one’s home. This is what the mutts are essentially trying to do – at least Santos (Michael Luckett) and Marsten (Pascal Langdale) want a home with no wandering. Settling can also refer to putting into order or coming to a decision. Both Logan (Michael Xavier) and Elena (Laura Vandervoort) try to come to some clarity in their relationships. Settling can also mean to move downward, to sink or descend – and the mutts are definitely the bottom of the barrel! Finally settling can also refer to paying a debt. You can also settle for something that is not what you really want. Is Elena going to give up her dream life with Philip (Paul Greene) and settle for life with the pack?

            The episode picks up essentially where the last one ended. Elena is curled on her bed, crying and worried about Philip. Once again a quick shout out to a nice subtle canine-behavior – dogs curl up on their master’s bed, waiting for them to come home. This scene is bookended by the closing scene with them in the bedroom as Elena defends Philip in her wolf form. It’s been discussed on the site before that in the books Philip denies having seen Elena change, and I really like how this was shot. We know what’s going on, but Philip really doesn’t – he can surmise what’s going on, but if you don’t even know werewolves really exist, would you honestly go there? Of course, the wolf has disappeared when Elena reappears – and how did it get up in the building anyway?

            I can understand why Philip would be upset about Elena not telling him about her relationship with Clay (Greyston Holt), but she’s only kept her family history back to protect him. This was the first episode in which I felt no sympathy for Philip at all, until he proposed and when he sees Elena before/after the change. I really disliked him when he told Elena he needed to think and then told her “alone.” He tells her that he only knows the little things about her, not the big things, but he also fundamentally doesn’t trust her because he’s jealous of Clay. He can’t think much of her if he even has to ask if she was still seeing Clay when they started going out. 

            Greene is terrific in the scene in which Olsen (Patrick Garrow) traps him in the bedroom and Elena’s wolf saves him. He looks terrified and appalled but on some level you also see some recognition on his part even though he’s also clearly confused by what he’s “seeing” in the bathroom when she changes back. 

            I was also not happy with Elena coming out of the bedroom and petulantly saying to Clay that he’d gotten what he wanted. He tells her again that he never wanted her to be hurt. Clay has warned Elena all along that Santos is trying to isolate her from the pack. Santos wants her to distrust the pack enough to turn to him, and they clearly arrive at the apartment to reveal themselves and Elena to Philip thus signing his death warrant. The fight in the apartment is terrific. As I’m sure everyone knows by now, I hate when directors speed up the action in a fight scene – but I loved the use of the slow motion in these shots. The fight was well choreographed and executed. Philip, of course, was basically useless, but I loved the look on his face as he watched them toss each other around. I also loved that Clay not only physically protected Philip but also protected him from learning the truth. 

            It was a nice reminder when Santos arrived that in discussing keeping up appearances, he taunts Clay with “Professor.” Clay is a professor and as such is very intelligent – something it’s easy to forget because he’s the enforcer for the pack. It’s Clay after all who brings Williams (James McGowan) into the equation and who surmises that the mutts’ plan has been in the works for at least a year. Of course, we also learn that Santos is answering to Williams. Williams’ end goal is the destruction of the pack – Santos just wants Elena. 

            By the end of the episode, Elena tells Philip that she would have married him in a better world. She tells him she loves him and that that will never change, but it seems pretty clear that she’s also saying good bye to him. She is committed to helping her pack and getting Clay back, but primarily, I think she’s finally realized that there is no way for her to keep her other life away from Philip and to keep him safe, she has to leave. And also – Clay! OMG! I can only imagine what Santos will do to him when he has him at his mercy. I loved Clay choking Olsen and Santos even as whatever they gave him put him under – Luckett’s face was priceless! Of course, at this point, I want to see them both die for real.

            The mutts do a really good job of separating the pack. Jeremy (Greg Bryk) and Nick (Steve Lund) are prevented from leaving Stonehaven to come to help Elena, Clay and Logan because of the mess left by Braxton’s death. I had to wonder if they left the search after getting a hit on Leblanc’s (Curtis Caravaggio) fingerprints at the border, why he’d been allowed to cross the border at all – generally felons can’t. Plot hole? 

            I had to wonder how seriously either the Sheriff (Fiona Highet) or Jeremy were flirting with each other – are they both just trying to distract the other or is there an actual attraction there? Given that we know how cautious Jeremy is and that the Sheriff is suspicious, I’m thinking they are both trying to get the other to let their guard down.

            The scene between Nick and Jeremy at Stonehaven was some of the best work we’ve seen from Lund so far in the series. He criticizes Jeremy for having relaxed the rules too much. He blames Jeremy for allowing Logan and Elena to become attached to humans – something we know Nick doesn’t do. Jeremy immediately asks if Nick is challenging him and Nick denies it. Jeremy reveals that he’d relaxed the rules because Antonio had asked him to. He then asks what Antonio whispered to Nick just before he died – clearly, Jeremy knew the answer was going to be the name of Nick’s mother. Which will no doubt lead to Nick becoming attached to a human, assuming he seeks her out. 

            It was interesting to see Nick do what felt like a complete turn around from what he said to Logan last week, encouraging him to go to Jeremy. Nick is clearly going to support taking the baby from Rachel (Genelle Williams). Logan tells Elena that he’s planning to run from the pack because he loves Rachel and she and the baby are now his family. Logan tells Elena that Jeremy changed when she came along and that she’s important to him. Elena replies that it’s time to change and to evolve, to move away from the old rules or they’re going to die off. It remains to be seen if they can convince Jeremy.

            LeBlanc and Marsten go after Logan and Rachel. Given how freaked out Rachel has been about everything, I can’t see her ever coping with knowing the truth. Philip might come to understand and accept, but I don’t see that ever happening with Rachel. We have another great fight scene, though it would have been nice if Logan could have finished off at least one of them instead of all of them getting away! After he’s stabbed, Logan insists she take him to Stonehaven – there’s another fun border crossing! I suspect that taking her there will eventually sign her death warrant, but at the present, her pregnancy will probably protect her. 

            I was sorry to see that they had shipped Joey (Elias Toufexis) off to Vancouver as I was hoping to see more of him – maybe next year or by the finale? For those of you only watching on SyFy, you may have missed a cameo those of us watching on Space very much appreciated. When Elena arrives back at the building, the concierge she speaks to is played by AJ Fry – one of the hosts of the entertainment show on Space, Inner Space. Who knew he could really act! It was a fun cameo. One criticism I would have to have of this episode is the quality of the CGI wolf. It’s good enough to convey emotion as it looks at Philip, but it makes me glad that we don’t see the wolves all that often. I wonder if using trained wolves wouldn’t be better.

            What did you think of the episode? Are you as afraid for Clay as I am? Were you sad to see what may be the end of Philip? What do you think Jeremy will do when Rachel arrives at Stonehaven? Is Williams actually Malcolm? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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