Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Leigh Parker, Brit Sheridan, Brandon W. Jones, David Lewis
Writer: Robbie Thompson, series created by Eric Kripke
Director: Thomas J. Wright
Network: The CW, Wednesdays @ 9 PM
Original Airdate: October 24, 2012
As someone pointed out, video isn’t “footage,” which refers to actual film. With “Bitten,” SUPERNATURAL takes a bite out of the found-video genre, which is so-so. On the one hand, episode writer Robbie Thompson and director Thomas J. Wright seem to want to make a little horror movie of their own, going so far as to hold all credits (even those for series regulars and production staff) until the last five minutes.
The results are mixed. One the one hand, the guest actors are good and it’s mildly emotionally effective. It’s also moderately amusing to see several outsiders who have no clue as to what’s going on provide their takes on Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles). On the other hand, the werewolf mythology in “Bitten” is rushed and the werewolf transformation is even more hurried (the infection-to-transformation speed is almost up there with 28 DAYS LATER). Furthermore, since Dean and Sam are the ones who find the video, they aren’t in the episode much, and one, the other or both are the reason most viewers watch.
In a house with two dead bodies on the floor and blood-spattered walls, the Winchester brothers see a computer adorned with a Post-It note proclaiming that none of this should have happened. The computer contains what started out as an audio/video project by college student Michael (Brandon W. Jones). When Michael’s best friend and roommate Brian (Leigh Parker) hooks up with fellow video enthusiast Kate (Brit Sheridan), Michael starts videotaping both of them. When a gruesome murder occurs, Michael is curious. Two “FBI agents” (actually, Sam and Dean) are in town investigating, and Michael surreptitiously videotapes them as well. Then Brian is attacked by a mysterious beast, but his wounds heal almost immediately. Brian is amazed to find he now has super-strength. Michael, tired of being a wuss, wants Brian to share his new powers with him, but Brian is reluctant.
Then Brian shows up covered in blood, aware that he lost control and killed a fellow student (a jerk, but eating the guy’s heart was probably a little harsh). Thanks to eavesdropping, Michael, Brian and Kate hear Dean and Sam going over their research – it seems that original werewolves and the next three generations they make aren’t bound by the moon and can control themselves if they choose to do so. Michael goes in search of the werewolf who bit Brian. Michael finds out it was a college professor (David Lewis) who wanted to frame somebody for a murder the professor committed during a loss of control. Michael gets the professor to confess and bite him. Michael then kills the professor.
When Brian and Kate aren’t thrilled with Michael framing the professor for the killing that Brian did, Michael kills Brian. Michael then tells Kate that he loves her and she’ll see things the way he does once he bites her – which he does. Kate hides in the bathroom for maybe two minutes, then comes out and kills Michael. Then she leaves the video on her computer, ending with the observation that she hasn’t killed any humans and doesn’t intend to do so. Sam and Dean both decide to give her the benefit of the doubt.
It’s nice to see Dean mellow out for once, though this isn’t like him. Presumably we’ll find out what led to this philosophical change when we see more of his Purgatory adventures. Sam has been all over the map on this issue, but since he’s currently almost in Season 1 mode, it makes sense that he’s all for letting Kate go.
It doesn’t make sense that Michael reverts to stupid horror movie psycho logic – “I’ll just kill her boyfriend in front of her and then she’ll love me” – when he’s shown no signs of being a complete idiot earlier and when being a werewolf didn’t make either Brian or the professor lose all perspective. The insta-werewolf thing is different, but nobody tries to make this change in the mythology cool, so that it just seems haphazard.
“Bitten” is watchable, but it’s unlikely to land on anybody’s Top 100 SUPERNATURAL Episodes list.
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