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Bitten - Hell's Teeth - Review

Bitten, “Hell’s Teeth,” was written by Michael MacLennan and was directed by James Dunnison, who will be familiar to viewers from the first season. MacLennan’s credits include Bomb Girls, Flashpoint, and Queer as Folk, and he worked on Being Erica and jPod with Bitten showrunner Daegan Fryklind. This episode draws us – and the pack – further into the witches’ story. Laura Vandervoort (Elena) delivers a particularly good performance in the episode.

This episode lets us see a different side to the witches, especially Paige (Tommie-Amber Pirie). They aren’t that much different from our pack. They live in a family group apparently and care deeply about each other. We may not entirely like them, as they are still somewhat of a threat to our pack, but I definitely felt more sympathy for them.
Aleister (Seam Rogerson) is set up as a good villain in this episode. There are lots of good, scary elements to him. I loved the opening scene when he took Savannah (Kiara Glasco). Was he speeding up time for himself and Savannah? Was he slowing it down for Paige? The Khan-like worm in what looked like salt water taffey was definitely skin-crawlingly creepy! Older guys giving candy to young girls will never not be creepy. So, we know he has powers that include being able to create a concussive blast and mind control and teleportation – or is that just a time control thing too? We can be pretty sure he’s not a witch because we’ve been told they are always female. He’s later able to use the “I’m the lock/I’m the key” spell to get the truth about the dream from Savannah too.

The only time we see him wearing the symbol necklace is at the final confrontation and only just before his first concussive blast, so that doesn’t seem to be a talisman in the same way Bridget’s (Angela Besharah) is. Is he a demon? Or is he simply stealing powers from others? He seems to have taken the most powerful witch and wanted the most powerful werewolf, and we know he’s conducting experiments. We do get a bit of information at the end when Ruth places herself in a protection circle. She asks him who he is and says they’ve never done anything to him. Aleister, however, tells her they have done something to him – and they’ll never see Savannah again.

We join the pack as they scour the woods looking for the escaped Malcolm (James McGowan). I loved the way this was shot - it gave the illusion of frenetic speed and urgency without using sped up footage, which just always looks stupid to me. We get a lot of the pack in nature in this episode and this scene bookends nicely with them waiting for Aleister at the end of the episode when we get shots of them lying patiently in wait in the grass.
Interestingly, in the first scene, it’s Elena who wants to stop as Malcolm is long gone, but it’s also her who goes to Jeremy (Greg Bryk) at the end because she’s getting impatient. He tells her to be patient and it’s another of the beautiful moments in the show when the actors mimic canine behavior subtly as she looks up at him – almost in defiance – and then drops her eyes and virtually slinks off in obedience. There was also something canine-like in the way Bryk looks over his shoulder to watch her go.

I really enjoyed the scene in which Ruth (Tammy Isbell) and Paige turn up at Stonehaven. Paige is clearly the more powerful and much more impulsive one. I loved how angry Jeremy got at being manipulated. I also love how Bryk keeps that anger simmering, always showing Jeremy as exerting control, but he tells Paige, “If you ever do that again, I’ll rip your throat out.” Paige continues to antagonize, leading Elena to deliver one of the best lines in the entire episode: “Was that witch or bitch?” Loved it! Ruth, however, is conciliatory, revealing why she is a good leader. We also see her as slightly more vulnerable this episode. She does feel she has to rub it in, however, when she says she’s glad Jeremy decided to be on their side. His response is that there aren’t any sides – they will work together to get what they each want. It’s a matter of convenience.

Jeremy, of course, has more than just the Malcolm problem to deal with when Eduardo (Mishka Thebaud) shows up looking for his alpha. Jeremy stalls him while Clay (Greyston Holt) and Elena clean up the war room. Eduardo seems satisfied when he leaves, but I have my doubts that he is. While it makes for a good scene for Clay and Elena to take the body into the woods to dispose of it, I have to admit I also questioned not just dealing with it at Stonehaven and burning it there. Did they simply remove the fingers – EW! – and crush the teeth – also EW! – and then bury the parts in different – though proximate – locations? The only thing we see them burn is the passport. This doesn’t seem like very careful body disposal.

I did love the scene with Elena and Clay over the body. Holt and Vandervoort are both terrific in this scene as Clay reveals what he learned in Baton Rouge. I did find it curious that he went from his bloodstained hands to a shot of his bloodstained hands. Of course, if his mother died the very night he was bitten, there’s no way he could have already changed, but I had a horrible moment of what if he’d gone home and actually killed his mother himself. Also, he says that Malcolm taught him to fight. Was Malcolm alpha when Jeremy brought him into the pack? Weren’t we told that Jeremy found Clay wondering feral and alone in the woods? And it appeared from the flashback that Malcolm was already a mutt. Regardless, I love the chemistry between Clay and Elena, and it’s nice to see them working together, with her settling him with a kiss – and a promise for vengeance.

The final confrontation and fight scene was excellent as it took place on multiple fronts. As always the choreographed fighting between Clay and Jeremey and the followers was great. I also liked the fight between Nick (Steve Lund) and Melanie (Tsu-Ching Yu) in the barn, especially the “sword” fighting. Nick, as always, gets the great line – “Oh, come on!”
The climactic scene between Malcolm and Elena was also terrific. Great dialogue for him to say he wouldn’t enjoy this and her to growl, “I will.” One of the things that I love about this show is that they don’t change the choreography for Elena because she’s a woman. It’s a brutal fight, and even though she gets a few good shots in, she’s clearly losing and getting beaten up pretty badly. I was actually ridiculously worried as Malcolm choked her, but loved when she pushed out her claws and nailed him in the jugular. I really like how she’s clearly embracing the wolf side of her nature this season and that’s coming out in her performance in subtle non-verbal ways.

I think that the shoot for this scene was blessed in some way because it’s perfect that sky has turned cloudy when Jeremy and Clay find Malcolm’s body. It’s the end of much for Jeremy – Malcolm was after all his father when all is said and done – his feelings have to be stormy. And of course, Clay is going to be going crazy over the loss of Elena. I love the way this show is shot with such attention to composition.
There has been some speculation on Ruth as a potential match for Jeremy, but I’m seeing no real chemistry there. There is potential between Nick and Paige, however. I liked in the first scene at Stonehaven when Nick and Logan (Michael Xavier) come in, and Nick smiles at Paige, but then quickly positions himself behind the others – he didn’t like her “blinding” him in the last episode! While Paige contacts Savannah, Nick also shows his discomfort with their powers and his dislike of the “allegiance” that Jeremy has struck. Again, great lines for Nick – which Lund delivers with relish: “It’s like a witchy Skype or witch facetime!” Logan is thrilled to find out Rachel (Genelle Williams) is still alive even if he does almost kill Paige by touching her in the middle of the spell. It also leads him to hide in the van with the followers at the end of the episode. Let’s hope he has his cell and is able to call for backup to bring both Rachel and Elena home.

It’s Nick that approaches Paige as she puts Bridget to rest. He tries to comfort her and tell her it’s not her fault but Aleister’s that her sisters have been hurt. Nick tries to tell her that she’ll have her revenge – his primary feeling after losing his own father. Paige points out the difference between then and says it’s not about revenge. She’s not a brute like them. She tells him that they use magic only for good or to defend themselves. Of course, we haven’t seen that just yet. When she points out that he doesn’t know her, he tells her, “you risked your life to save your friend. That tells me everything I need to know.” After all, there’s more to the werewolves than Paige realizes too. Great special effect as Paige turns Bridget to ashes. And I was really sorry not to have had Bridget for longer.

While it was satisfying to finally see the deaths avenged with Malcolm’s death, McGowan will be missed as a great villain. I did love the scenes between him and Bridget, especially when she was forcing his face against the window – hilarious! In fact, McGowan got to play a myriad of emotions in this episode. We see him actually frightened and pleading for his life as well as ruthless and funny.

The episode ends with Clay clearly about to go nuclear over losing Elena, Logan about to infiltrate the enemy alone, and Elena clearly going nuclear as she’s tied to an exam table! This season is definitely going ahead full steam! What did you think of the episode? Are you feeling more sympathetic to the witches? Were you sorry to see Malcolm finally dealt with? Are you hoping Jeremy will have to bring in some of the mutts to help – like MARSTEN (Pascal Langdale)?!?! Where is Marsten? Please bring Pascal back to the show! Do you think that Eduardo was really satisfied? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.


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