There’s a moment in last night’s Bitten where you really hope everything is going to be okay even though you know with absolute certainty that it isn’t, and then when the moment comes, your heart breaks not only for the victimÂ but alsoÂ the aggressor because you know he genuinely saw no other way out.
I’m of course referring to the scene with Jeremy and Karen where, in the closing moments of a series of conversations between them,Â during whichÂ she has made the case for being allowed to live (although she’s not wholly clear that is what she’s doing), she’s literally almost to the door when she realizes the nightmare she witnessed was real, and she says so aloud. And Jeremy is devastated. He takes her into an embrace, offers her comfort, and thenÂ stabs her in the back and holds her while she dies.
I don’tÂ think her death was wholly necessary,Â because it’s followed pretty quickly by a scene whereÂ Jeremy essentially hands off the Pack reins to Elena, but maybe the one had to beget the other. They talk on the phone, and he tells her he’s going after Roman and she cannot follow. He thanks her for giving him something to fight for. Then she forgives him for nearly doing to her what just he did do to Karen, instead of telling him that she loves him, which is intrinsically understood, even if unsaid. They’re both tearful as they goodbye (and I hope that’s not their last conversation ever).
Her conversation with her father, which parallels her brother’s with her love, is about where the code falls in respecting the secrecy of their kind alongside valuing human life, until one thing crosses paths with the other and humans become subordinate. Sasha’s words are the catalyst for Elena to finally release Jeremy from his own guilt about nearly killing her on the day that they met, when she tells Sasha she was just a girl in love, and he didn’t even know her.
It’s really a lot to fathom, especially for Alexei, who’s struggling with the newness of his change and the thrill of his first kill, which comes crashing down when Clay makes it very, very real, thatÂ he ended a man who had a life, a full life, and who was in the woods out of love for someone in his own family he himself had lost, and now he had plunged that same family into loss again. There’s a passing commentÂ between them that they both lost their mothers to wolves (as did Elena) but nobody has an answer.
Sasha’s conversation with Elena is particularly heartfelt because this really is a man who disappeared himself when her mother died and he surrendered Elena at the hospital, although we do have to round back at some point to how he still fell in love again and had two more children, seemingly unable to wholly process the lesson learned from condemning a human woman to die the first time out. That doesn’t diminish his anguish, but it does make you question his thought processes.
As for Jeremy, if he’s running off to suicide by Roman, and has already bequeathed his kingdom, in a way, then why did Karen have to die at all? I think maybe until he heard her out, and heard her story of her own mistakes and regrets, and then took all of that away from her, he didn’t know what his next move was, but now he does. I think she’ll be the last human he kills (and I write that with the hope that it’s because he chooses not to kill humans anymore, not that he’s not long for the Bitten universe).
Such good work all the way around. I appreciated immensely slowing things down and letting these characters talk to each other. I wish John Ralston had been here all along. I’m glad Fiona Highet got to close the door on Karen, albeit sadly. And I understand now why Greg Bryk said inÂ last month’sÂ press call that this season nearly broke him.
Only five episodes left. Hang on, y’all.
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