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Bitten – 1.13 – Ready – Review: Have fun storming the castle!

‘Have fun storming the castle!’

The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.
- George S. Patton

The Numbers Game aka The Ratings

I liked Bitten. I even went as far as to purchase the books and put them on my express reading list for this summer. I thought Kelley Armstrong had a pretty solid fan base that would help this show be a ratings juggernaut. I thought wrong. While I don’t know the numbers for its airings over on Space, I do know the numbers for Syfy. And the story is not pretty, AT ALL (if we were talking regular broadcast number).

The average demo number over 12 episodes has been about a .31 (we’re talking Beauty and the Beast numbers, people). The average number of viewers has been hovering around about 850,000 viewers. To put those numbers in perspective for the Syfy network, Heaven got renewed for a 5th season (and double the episodes, no less) with a .42 in the demo and averaged about 1.42 million viewers (and it was considered it’s MOST successful season).

My suggestion is to just keep your fingers crossed and start tweeting about the show as well as visiting the show’s Facebook page and leaving positive comments.

If you haven't already watched this episode, STOP!

Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead.

If Bitten doesn't get a season 2, I'm going to riot in the streets because that ending is not an ending AT ALL. Those cliffhangers just might be the death of me. I wish all of the episodes this season could have been this fast paced and loaded with twists, turns and shocking reveals. Not to mention action and character growth. This is the best episode of the season hands down. I was thoroughly engrossed in every moment and truly was worried about every single character. The episode was very gripping and tense as well as gritty and well executed.

I have to say that there was a lot more that I loved than stuff I didn't like and that is always a winning formula for a glowing review. Lots to get to so let's get started...

The Recap & Review

Title: Ready | Writer: Daegan Fryklind | Director: T.J. Scott

Episode Summary: James Williams directs Santos to recruit more mutts to attack StoneHaven. Logan takes Rachel to a motel and leaves her there in hopes of keeping her away from the coming battle but tired of waiting, Rachel leaves the motel and is captured by the Mutts, who use her as a decoy to start the battle to take StoneHaven. Just before the battle, Jeremy tells Nick that he knows where Nick's mother is located. Logan arrives back at StoneHaven to help Jeremy and the rest of the Pack fight the mutts. Elena is captured by LeBlanc, but is saved by Marsten, who has a change of heart. Believing that the mutts have the upper hand in the battle, Williams and Santos enter StoneHaven, but Williams disappears, and Santos winds up being cornered by the Pack. Elena kills Santos. The pack defeats the mutts, but instead of admitting defeat, James Williams confronts Jeremy and reveals his intention to take Elena. In the chaos of the battle, Rachel is kidnapped by James Williams.

My thoughts on the writer…
Daegan Fryklind is the executive producer and showrunner as well as a writer. I liked what he presented in the pilot but I LOVE what he has done with the finale. He also wrote the second episode of the season 'Prodigal' which is another solid outing. If Bitten does get a second season, I really hope Daegan is ready, willing and able to take a Jeff Davis from Teen Wolf approach to the show, where he writes a lot more of the episodes and becomes really hands on in the writers room (if he isn't already). I loved the pacing, the action and the character growth he packed into this 43 minute and 52 second episode. I didn't think we were really going to get anywhere but boy did we ever. Kudos sir!

My thoughts on the director…
This was TJ Scott's first time directing an episode of Bitten. That has got to be a daunting task when you are working with a group of people for the first time and it's during a high charged and emotional time not only for the characters of the series but the actors as well. I thought that Mr. Scott did a phenomenal job with every kind of scene. Whether it was the big sweeping action shots or the small and quiet tender characters moments they were all great. He really pulled a lot out of the actors as well. He also played with the lighting using shadow and natural light quite effectively to set the tone as well as foreshadowing quite effectively.

My thoughts on the villain…
James William aka Malcolm Danvers... well, I have to say, I didn't see that one coming. I like when a show is able to shock and surprise me. I love a man with a plan as well as a man who sometimes just wants to watch the world burn. I've never been the one to enjoy a character that is crazy for crazy's sake. Slightly unhinged with a motive for wanting hurt the protagonist(s) is usually what makes a for an interesting bad guy and well Mr. Danvers certainly appears to have to be the right kind of villain for our story.

My thoughts on the theme… While the title makes it's obviously clear what the theme of episode is 'being ready/getting ready' for war. I found the subtles theme of true leadership, sacrifice and the meaning of family thrown in as well for good measure. All which are themes that have been brought up over the course of the season as well as the course of the episode.
Important Incidents

• Elena reconciles with Clay
• Elena confronts Jeremy
• Elena assures Nick that The Pack will have their vengeance.
• Elena kills Santos with her bare hands in a very poignant and poetic manner
• Elena is back on board with the most essential Pack rules.
• The James William is Jeremy's father reveal. It is also revealed that Jeremy's father wanted to kill him since the day he was born.
• Elena is shown as having failed at protecting someone she loves.
• Malcolm still has Rachel as well as a few loyal followers.

Character Contemplations

Clay – Not so shockingly, Clay didn't have a huge part in the episode physically but he did have a huge impact on Elena emotionally. I feel like something in Clay is broken right now. Even now that he has Elena by his side something is slightly off.

Elena – Elena came out Queen of the Heap in this episode. I saw everything that I could ever want a female werewolf. She was smart, she was strong, she was commanding. She was cruel and she was compassionate. She showed mercy to Martsen and cruelty to Santos. She stood up for herself and Clay and their love. She was assuring and she was tender. In essence, Elena was practically dang near perfect. I'm really glad that the truth didn't make her weak. I like this self-assured Elena and I hope that Phillip's death only re-enforces her steadfast determination as oppose to weakeniig her resolve of fully embracing her lycanthropy. If seems as though they are fast tracking Elena on way to becoming an alpha. I sure hope so but at the same time, I don't want them to rush it.

Jeremy – Jeremy got a blast from his past as well as was rebuffed by Elena. It's obvious that he loves his immediate pack members. But the way he goes about showing his love is a little sketchy. It's very hard to believe that he won alpha over Malcolm now that I've seen them shoulder to shoulder. There is probably a whole lot more to that story and I hope were're able to get in season 2.

Logan – 10 points to Logan for coming back and standing with his pack family. But I must admit I would have him rather took Rachel on the run and have her and the baby be safe. We also finally got to see Logan in all his posterior glory. Bonus points for the shot showing him bloody and slightly feral as well. Logan is the character that we know least about but yet seems to have the most interesting back story as he was raised by humans for most his early life. Here's to Logan returning to The Pack (with Rachel in tow) and getting more fleshed out.

Nick – Nick also wasn't heavily featured in this episode. But we did learn that he is looking for his mother. And now he has Jeremy's blessing to boot. Nick now has his father's role in The Pack as the cleaner and so far he has done a good job. He will make a powerful consiglieri to Jeremy.
The Highlights

Memorable Moments
1. All of Elena's fight scenes
2. The montage of the aftermath of the 'Battle at StoneHaven'
3. Jeremy's fight in the bathtub
4. Elena literally breaks Santos's heart.
5. Logan and Nick say their goodbyes.
6. Logan shows up in full on wolf form in a service shaft and mauls a guy.

Laudable Lines
1. Martsen: Better to face the music, even if it is a swan song.
2. Logan: I didn’t come back because you are my pack alpha. I came back because you guys are my family.
3. Jeremy: We will win here. Or we will die here. But we are strongest when we are here. .. together.
4. Elena (to Jeremy): I will stand in the way of everything that comes at him, even you.
5. James William: Do you have any idea what gravel does to Italian leather? (Looks down at Santos’s raggedy shoes) I guess you don’t.
6. Santos: I’ve been thinking.
James William: That hasn’t proven to be such a good idea. I mean, look at where you are. How did you get here? With your brand of thinking.

Scenes I’m Smitten With
1. Elena reassures Nick that everyone who has The Pack pain will pay for it and dearly.
2. Elena tells Jeremy exactly what's on her mind.
3. Jeremy rallies the troops with a rousing speech.
4. Elena tells Clay that they will go back to tracking, TOGETHER and vows that something like this will never happen again.
5. Logan and Rachel check into the motel and Logan tries to be the dang baby daddy in light of the circumstances.

The Lowlights

• Rachel was a complete doo-doo bird this episode.
• Logan is the wind and Rachel is captured (I just want those two to be happy damn it!)
• The final scene while shocking is actually pretty anticlimactic and just a vestige of Elena's poor attempt of trying to cling to her humanity.
• The blood was very obviously not real. - I was actually feeling a little second hand embarassment at the amatuer effort on that front.


Character of the Night
• Elena

Best Character Interactions
• Elena & Clay
• Elena & Nick
• Elena & Jeremy

Most Memorable Moment
• Elena puts Clay's engagement ring back on his finger & Elena goes to put her engagement ring back on her finger

Line of the Night
• Martsen: A true king leads the first wave. - I think he meant QUEEN but yes, I agree.

Scene of the Night
• Jeremy confronts James Williams who is really Malcolm Danvers.

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when Bitten tried to be like Teen Wolf by having a guy running on all fours in human form.

The ‘I Was Right from the Start Award’
• I liked Clay from the moment I laid eyes on him, I knew he couldn’t be a complete jackhole. I also didn’t like Jeremy very much. My instincts very rarely lead me astray.


Style Spotlight: I just love a man who shows up to a Battle Royale in a suit. Don't you? I sure hope Martsen never loses any of his sass.

1. Elena finds Phillip's head in her bed. What is this 'The Godfather'?
2. James Williams is actually Malcolm Danvers.
3. Jeremy doesn't kill Martsen.
4. James Williams shows up to the battle in a limo.

Burning Questions
1. Why is Elena the only female to ever survive a werewolf bite?
2. Will Logan be able to find Rachel? If so will he be forced to switch sides to save Rachel?
3. Is all of this leading to Elena challenging Jeremy to be alpha of The Pack?
4. What would the difference of a werewolf mother and father make to the genetics of next generation of werewolves?

Fun Fact: There is actually a secret Hobo language.

History Lesson: The word hobo is used interchangeably with 'bum' or 'drifter'. But hobos were a very specific type of homeless traveler. Hobos traveled around for the sole purpose of finding work.Bums avoided work in favor of drinking heavily. 'Tramps' worked only when it was absolutely necessary.

Because of their willingness to take the jobs that no one else wanted – and the fact that they followed a strict moral code – hobos were tolerated by some.

To help each other out, these vagabonds developed their own secret language to direct other hobos to food, water, or work – or away from dangerous situations.

Side Note: Yes, the title of my review is a reference from 'The Princess Bride'. I'm a geek with a weakness for cheesy 80's movies, so sue me.

Grade: A
Be on the lookout next week for my full season 1 review of Bitten. I will also be going back and reviewing the other 12 episodes in this season sometime soon. So if you like Bitten and you like my reviews, bookmark my blog and check back here often.

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