As a Supernatural fan, the past two seasons haven’t been very kind.  Speaking only for myself, my patience has been through a grueling test.  Come the end of the seventh season, it had just about run out.  I know that long running shows evolve, they aren’t going to be the same, but for some reason I haven’t been as entertained.  Season six was a giant reboot.  It seems like season eight is going through its own reboot.  At some point, a fan just has to look at an episode and see if there’s any entertainment value left.   In season seven, there was very little entertainment value.  It was mostly just pain, seeing characters I’ve grown and loved all this time just become caricatures of themselves.  Season eight so far has given us very little to ease that frustration, even if the tone of the episodes have been better. 

However, when sitting down for “Bitten” last night, I knew watching it would require a HUGE perspective adjustment.  I didn’t go into this thinking I was a Supernatural episode.  I was thinking “Ghostfacers.”  We were seeing the other side.  I loved "Ghostfacers" but I still went into this one with extremely low expectations.  When I let that perception take over and judged the episode solely on its merits, what resulted was something quite extraordinary.  It was a great hour of television.

The story is really heartbreaking, and probably all too common in these monster stories that we never get to see.  These are young kids with dreams, just getting started with their lives.  I was able to easily sympathize and relate.  It’s amazing how one variable, someone in a gang of friends turns into a monster, can unravel a circle so quickly.  The one weak link, Brian’s infatuation with his best friend’s girl, his failure to understand their love and his own identity, led to a very tragic string of events.  Plus it happened so quickly.  Isn’t it amazing how fast life events can turn?  It’s a very common theme in movies and TV, but put it into this realm, it really plays out differently, doesn’t it? 

Just like with “Girl With The Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo,” Thompson was given the latitude to build other characters and work them into the fold of this “Supernatural” universe.  They fit, and the execution couldn’t have been handled better.  Show the victim’s POV, starting off with their normal lives and build slowly to the grizzly results.  It’s the other side of the Sam and Dean story, and seeing Sam and Dean do the FBI thing from an outsider’s eyes was fascinating.  It’s a wonder this hasn’t happened yet in eight seasons.  Michael, Brian, and Kate figured out pretty quickly that these weren’t Feds.  Dean does say “awesome” a lot, doesn’t he?  The office romance line too cracked me up.  These kids got it and they are only watching these guys for the first time. 

“Bitten” was not only a storytelling masterpiece, but a technical one as well.  Directing anything with handheld cameras for a network television show is not as easy as it looks.  There’s a scripted story there that has to look random.  Thomas J. Wright captured so much heart, drama, and action yet made it look like it was done by two kids with cameras. 

The ending scene though killed me.   Sam and Dean deciding to let Kate go, showing her walking away to start her new life, all to the very haunting song of “What’s the Matter?” by Milo Greene (@akeim gets huge credit for letting me know the song title), it all capped off this sad tale perfectly.  She has another chance, despite everything.  She won’t be hunted for who she is.  At least not now. 

I could go into a lot of details, but let’s put it this way, I was engrossed.  The story captivated me up to the very end.  I’m not one to do comparisons to films like The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, or Paranormal Activity, because I haven’t seen any of those films.  I’m left to judge the episode at face value.  At the end, I was as touched by what happened, just like Sam and Dean.  Kate did deserve a chance.  She hadn’t killed yet.  She had a plan.  I think this blends in perfectly into Benny’s story next week.   

But What About…

I’ve read the complaints about the episode.  It’s okay, I know these episodes aren’t for everyone.  I remember how “Ghostfacers” was polarizing.  One phrase I constantly read a lot every week now is, “I’ve lost faith in the writers.”  For me, most of these writers never had my faith, and have failed miserably to earn my graces so far.  While early last year I was giving benefit of the doubt, by now I see a particular writer’s name and silently go “Oh man, this is going to suck.”  I won’t name names, but take Ben Edlund and Jeremy Carver off the list you’re left with everyone else.

One writer did stand out among the bunch last year, and now Robbie Thompson has been elevated up to the Ben Edlund rung for me.  Amazingly, he really hasn’t had a strong character development test.  All of his episodes have been more action oriented, telling different kinds of stories.  Still, if he’s proven one thing, he’s the best when it comes to episode pacing.  I have never been bored by one of his hours.  He knows his storytelling and how to unfold something amazing.  “Bitten” was no exception. 

When telling such a tragic story, wouldn’t it be better to see it from another set of people?  Last year, Supernatural’s answer to great television was killing off Bobby Singer, a character whose death makes me extremely bitter to this day.  He was killed off just so they could do a great episode.  That ended up playing very badly when they chose to bring him back later as a ghost, just extending our pain.  I can’t think of a character I miss more this season.  I think “Bitten” is really great television too, and I’m not walking away from it with massive scars.  I’m just thoroughly entertained.  I’m proud that the show yet again went for something different and pulled it off perfectly. 

As a fan, I want to enjoy my show again.  I need weeks like this to let go of all the baggage from this show and take something for what it is.  It’s refreshing.  It’s fun.  It’s something I don’t want every week.   The fact remains though, one reason Supernatural has survived this long is because it’s never been afraid to take risks.  They’re not going to stop now because fans want to spend hours speculating why Sam is being written this way or why Dean is being written this way and why can’t this happen or why can’t that happen.  I’m just as guilty as anyone for raising questions about the show, and sometimes digging into those kind of details hurts perspective.  It prevents one from enjoying rare gems like this.  I’m glad I decided to enjoy this episode instead of pouring through it for continuity and character development issues.  Either you liked it or you didn’t.  I don’t have to get deep on this one.
 
Sure, I question why they did this in episode four, when we’re dying for more answers about Sam, Dean, and even Castiel, but again that’s a perspective shift.  Leaving all those questions behind and judging this as a pure standalone makes it work.  “Bitten” may have been better received by fans if they had chosen to do it later in the season, but that goes back to judging what we’re given.  As long as I don’t try and tie this episode into any type of continuity or mytharc, it’s a great one. 

My overall Grade for “Bitten” is an A, the first one of the season for me.  Thank you Mr. Thompson.  Now it’s Ben Edlund’s turn.  Come next week, we can all go back to status quo, and hopefully come out of it satisfied.  At least seeing the name “Edlund” tells me it’s not going to suck. 
 
 
  

Comments  

winmomwannabe
# winmomwannabe 2012-10-25 13:26
Great review Alice. As I said on another post, I went into it with a different perspective and prepared myself for a 'different' kind of episode. Since I'm a fan of less than a year and watched so many seasons quickly I definitely had to alter my perspective. I will be patient.

Admittedly it took me awhile to be totally taken in by the episode and although I understand why they did the background on the 'normal' college kids it did seem to go on a bit too long. But if you stayed til the end it was understandable. We had to see how normal lives can change with one choice or one action. As a mother of 3 20 somethings I can totally see these kids being normal. And actually carrying around cameras everywhere. I mean all you have to do is look at FB or YouTube and you see they record everything!

The end blew me away and was a perfect set up for next week. Although I have reservations about it being so early in the season I get it. Dean looked soooo confused and conflicted. We'll see how that translates to Benny and what Sam thinks of that whole thing.

As I said in the other post I think it raises the age old question of choices we all make. Choices Sam and Dean have made. Do we have choices or do we accept 'destiny'. Can we make our own way and reject evil, or succumb to inner demons. Are we born that way or can we make choices. It's some of the moral questions I love about this show and what drew me to it, besides the boys' relationship obviously.

I'm sure it is not an episode for everyone and right away when it was over I thought it was going to stir up some controversy. Which it has. But this show does some exceptional things and although I wouldn't want to see this kind of episode a lot I accept that it was done. The POV was unusual but probably necessary for what is to come this season. Just makes me all the more excited to see what is to come.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-10-25 13:27
MUST SAY I LUV & RESPECT 'YOU PEOPLE' ....ANN ROMNEY. PREZ CANDIDATES WIFE IN USA.

I WILL READ SOME REPLYS BUT FOR NOW......THEE WORST EPISODE OF SPN EVER, EVER, EV-VAHHHH.

MISS NOLA HAS SPOKEN. BBL
TheMorrigu
# TheMorrigu 2012-10-25 22:35
Quote:
MUST SAY I LUV & RESPECT 'YOU PEOPLE' ....ANN ROMNEY. PREZ CANDIDATES WIFE IN USA.

I WILL READ SOME REPLYS BUT FOR NOW......THEE WORST EPISODE OF SPN EVER, EVER, EV-VAHHHH.

MISS NOLA HAS SPOKEN. BBL
WORST EPISODE EVER - Agree. Worst writing. Worst acting. Worst camera work. Worst everything.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-10-26 12:41
THANK U TheMORRIGU, I THOUGHT I WOULD BE CURSED OUT. I OWN ALL THE SEASONS OF SPN & USUALLY BY THE TIME I COMMENT HAVE SEEN THE EPISODE 3 TIMES. I CANT EVEN WATCH A SECOND TIME AND IT'S FRIDAY.

I CANT BELIEVE ROBBIE THOMPSON WROTE THIS. I WORSHIP HIM. I FEEL LIKE SOMEONE HAS PLAYED A HORRIBLE JOKE ON ME

I KNOW ITS THE CAMERA WORK. I KNOW THIS, BUT I CANT GET INTO THE STORY BECAUSE OF IT. THERE WAS AN X FILE EPISODE LIKE THIS AND I COULD NOT WATCH IT EITHER.

I HAVE TALKED WAY TO LONG. I JUST WANTED TO SAY THANKS FOR HAVING MY BACK. :))
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-10-25 13:59
You know, it is very sad for me to see someone , such as yourself, who is a long time Supernatural fan (and someone who has a strong voice about the show,due to articles such as this) be SO negative about the show.
Even when I don't agree with their choices, I can see what they are trying to do with an episode (s6 & s7). I am always entertained. Jared and Jensen take care of that with their performances.
This was another in a line of great unique episodes they have done over the years. Another 1st. I loved it, even though some don't. I personally am loving this season more and more. Sam and Dean's actions are very REAL. I like that (Dean, back from war; Sam,alone,close to 30).
People re-evalute things at those moments in their lives.
I am enjoing the ride
TheMorrigu
# TheMorrigu 2012-10-25 22:39
*ADMIN EDIT*

TheMorrigu, your entire comment has been edited. You are NOT allowed to attack our writers or other viewers, and you are NOT allowed to call them names.

Further incidents will result in a ban from our site.

~Ardeospina
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-10-25 14:13
Alice, I too went into this with the mindset that this was not Supernatural per se and I tried to view it as if it was an episode of another show. I did my detailed analysis on the other thread and I'm not going to repeat myself, because that's boring.

I pretty much expected this to be a love it or hate it episode. I loved certain parts of it and thought others were weak.

This episode left me less thrilled with Robbie Thompson, not because of the episode itself, but because of a thread I see running in his four episodes. My issue is that RT hasn't written an episode that really has Sam and Dean together very much and he has written at least three episodes now where Sam and Dean are arguably the least prominent characters. Slash Fiction actually showed us more of Leviathan Sam and Dean than real Sam and Dean. This is a close call, but I still felt the the emphasis was on the fakes. The Girl With the Dungeon and Dragon Tattoo was a wonderful episode, but Charlie was the main focus here. She was the one the plot revolved around. Bitten was obviously one of the most Sam and Dean light episodes ever. Even Time After Time had Sam and Dean separated for most of the episode with Dean back in the 1940's and Elliot Ness taking a large role in the episode and Sam being stuck in the present working with Jodie, who I honestly adore. So although I have enjoyed all of RT's episodes, I'm can't say he is a great writer for Supernatural until he handles an episode with Sam and Dean, being the real Sam and Dean, and actually interacting. I like a lot of what RT has done and I think he is a good writer. I'm just now sure how he will handle the two main characters without the distractions of strong one off characters.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-10-25 16:05
I totally agree with your analysis of Robbie Thompson and actually noticed last season that his emphasis is on other characters. That point really hit home for me in Time After Time, and I liked that episode.

No, Robbie is not edging his way up to Ben Edlund level in my book, but even Ben seems to prefer other characters over Sam and Dean these days. I do think he is a very talented writer, though. I'll decide about him if he ever writes a Winchester story.
TheMorrigu
# TheMorrigu 2012-10-25 22:43
Quote:

This episode left me less thrilled with Robbie Thompson, not because of the episode itself, but because of a thread I see running in his four episodes. My issue is that RT hasn't written an episode that really has Sam and Dean together very much and he has written at least three episodes now where Sam and Dean are arguably the least prominent characters. Slash Fiction actually showed us more of Leviathan Sam and Dean than real Sam and Dean. This is a close call, but I still felt the the emphasis was on the fakes. The Girl With the Dungeon and Dragon Tattoo was a wonderful episode, but Charlie was the main focus here. She was the one the plot revolved around. Bitten was obviously one of the most Sam and Dean light episodes ever. Even Time After Time had Sam and Dean separated for most of the episode with Dean back in the 1940's and Elliot Ness taking a large role in the episode and Sam being stuck in the present working with Jodie, who I honestly adore. So although I have enjoyed all of RT's episodes, I'm can't say he is a great writer for Supernatural until he handles an episode with Sam and Dean, being the real Sam and Dean, and actually interacting. I like a lot of what RT has done and I think he is a good writer. I'm just now sure how he will handle the two main characters without the distractions of strong one off characters.
*ADMIN EDIT* So far he's ripped off Pulp Fiction/Face/Of f for Slash Fiction; Untouchables/Ti me Traveller's Wife for Time After Time; Sneakers/Jumpin ' Jack Flash for D&D Tattoo and now Teen Wolf/Blair Witch Project/Reality Bites for the latest atrocity. He doesn't write Dean and Sam because he doesn't know Dean and Sam - at all. Perhaps he hasn't watched the rest of the series, or even a few episodes but he's managed to get it consistently wrong in every thing he's done so far.

Between Thompson and Glass, the seasons have begun to stink like a four-week floater.

TheMorrigu, we do NOT accept name-calling on our site. This pertains to fellow commenters, viewers, site authors, show writers, show actors, etc. NO name-calling. If you continue to break our commenting rules, your posts will be unpublished in the future. ~Ardeospina
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-10-25 14:56
Personally this episode left me unentertained and cold. This was the first episode in nearly 8 years that I will never re-watch! I could have been watching some other horror show on some other channel. If it had been that, I might have enjoyed it, but not for "Supernatural".

I loved "The Ghostfacers". This one, with unknown characters, annoying teens and no brothers to speak of was the absolute top of my least enjoyable episodes.

I won't elaborate, but just say how much I've enjoyed the episodes this year so far and am looking forwards to next week's. The disappointment of this one won't spoil the season for me at all.

This is the first negative post I've ever done for this, my favourite show.

The only thing I agree with is the travesty they made by killing off Bobby Singer. Great drama? Pooh!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-10-25 15:08
I've had the opportunity today to read many, many reviews (yes I'm bored at work!) :D about last nights show. It was pretty much half and half, love-hate. There doesn't seem to be an in-between for this one. I'm on the side of the loved it, but I agree with most posters that maybe it would have been better later on in the season.

I loved the perspective of the regular person becoming a monster whether they wanted to or not, very much like Madison in "Heart". Sam & Dean tried to help her, but I think the fact that she had already tasted human hearts (yuck :-x ) made it that she was too far gone. The professor even says to Brian that he ate animal hearts for a really long time but then was tempted by the smell of the human blood.

I thought it showed tremendous growth on Dean's part that he agreed to let Kate go because she promised them that she wouldn't hunt humans. Yes, he killed Amy last season, but she had killed three people, and I do think she would have killed again, and Kate might start killing too, but then the brothers are agreed on hunting her if she does.

Sorry I went a little long there, but I get what this episode was trying to convey. And I'll agree with you Alice, Robbie Thompson has made it to my pantheon of SPN writers.
Valgal
# Valgal 2012-10-25 15:16
I, too, Alice, loved this episode. I love the direction that Carver is taking this season. I love that he continues to push the creative envelope and enjoy going on that ride.

At first, I had my trepidations. We had been assured it wasn't going to be another "Ghostfacers," but I was skeptical.
While I have never seen Cloverfield or other movies from which this episode may be modeled, I enjoyed the technical aspects obtained from the use of mini cams to show the college students' POV.

The final scene when Kate walks into the sunrise blew me away. The use of light as a metaphor for hope. Perhaps Kate can maintain her humanity. Perhaps she can resist the monster within, a theme repeatedly mirrored in the series. Perhaps she can find a way to attend law school, and like the boys, make a purposeful dent in the evil she now knows exists.

Dean too ponders choices. Some are spoken, others not. When he queries Sam about whether he uses the word "awesome" too much, I think we see again that Dean is still pondering about his choices, big and small, since he has returned from Purgatory. He looks reflective and we can imagine what is going through his mind? Is it Amy's death, Benny, Purgatory, Sam's concerns? Is he thinking about Kate, who like so many other people he and Sam have met, was pulled into a life she never imagined and doesn't want.

His trip in Purgatory gave him a clear sense of who he is, what he does well and what he will continue to do well. He and Sam didn't become hunters because they had been "bitten," but hunting runs so deep within them, it may as well be blood borne. And that, as Dean says, in the final scene, is "Awesome."
digyd
# digyd 2012-10-25 17:30
Well, strike me dumb yet again. I said it in Ardeospina's review and I'll say it here - I expected way more negativity on this one. It's funny how I must naturally go the opposite way of most fans. But weird too how much of a chance this was given, but not the first two eps. Not just by you specifically, Alice, but by fans in general.

I don't know. Although in this case, I am very much in the middle. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. Was certainly holding my breath for a long time waiting to love it, though. Waiting to defend it if I had to. It must be one of those slow boils. I will love it in time maybe simply because it is Supernatural. I love parts of it. I will rewatch because I want to give it as much of a chance as possible. I love the idea that Sam and Dean were talking about that past year, stuff we didn't get to hear. Means they aren't avoiding the issue. I love that the kids pick up on their affection for each other. Means they haven't lost that either. Loved seeing Dean towering over that animal control officer. (I love tall men. Can't get enough of the opportunities to not see him dwarfed by Jared.) I'll watch it again for sure to see what else I can dig up, but I'm excited for next week. I just wanna get back on the track I recognize.
dinkwerks
# dinkwerks 2012-10-25 17:40
Ok, I haven't read the comments....but my husband and I weren't too happy with this episode. DH said it was boring...I wasn't that critical of it, but to me it was sort of lacking...mostl y Dean and Sam.

Did anyone notice that Sam was kinda surprised @ Dean letting Kate get on with her life? At least he looked surpriesed to me.
st50
# st50 2012-10-25 19:11
Haven't changed my view of this episode since airing.
Dislike isn't a strong enough word. I hated it.
I seriously hope "Season Not-So-Gr8" improves with the next episode.
JoRuth
# JoRuth 2012-10-25 19:43
I loved the episode. From the look of it to the writing, to the story, to the view of Sam and Dean without an established POV. The episode was sad and beautiful and scary. And a sweet revealing ending of character development in Sam and Dean.

Thank you Alice for your review and your honesty and fairness as a fan and for sharing your love of the show.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-10-26 01:03
Quote:
I loved the episode. From the look of it to the writing, to the story, to the view of Sam and Dean without an established POV. The episode was sad and beautiful and scary. And a sweet revealing ending of character development in Sam and Dean.

Thank you Alice for your review and your honesty and fairness as a fan and for sharing your love of the show.

I totally agree. I loved this episode and your review, Alice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. :-)
Stephanie
# Stephanie 2012-10-25 20:19
I wanted to love this episode so much. I thought the story was good and the concept was interesting. Loved the outsider POV on the boys. BUT, I just couldn't care about the kids because I thought the actors weren't very good. Especially Kate. At one point when she was wailing over Michael's dead body, she reminded me of the bad horror movie acting in Hollywood Babylon.

Plus, I understand they were making a movie for a school project, but honestly... taking the camera everywhere? I mean, Kate was supposed to be flipping out after Michael's death and being bitten by Brian, but she stops to grab the camera before she locks herself in the bathroom? Really?

Honestly, I don't want to sound like I'm hating on the episode, because I'm really not. I just think that I would have been able to get more into it if those actors had made me care about those characters and they just didn't.

Looking forward to next week's ep!
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-10-25 21:55
Quote:

Plus, I understand they were making a movie for a school project, but honestly... taking the camera everywhere? I mean, Kate was supposed to be flipping out after Michael's death and being bitten by Brian, but she stops to grab the camera before she locks herself in the bathroom? Really?
This. Completely agreed. If you're going to make a "found footage" style, you better make sure it makes any sense that someone would be filming what we're seeing. The moment in the bathroom completely took me out of the episode, one I was barely invested in to begin with.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-10-26 01:06
Quote:
Quote:

Plus, I understand they were making a movie for a school project, but honestly... taking the camera everywhere? I mean, Kate was supposed to be flipping out after Michael's death and being bitten by Brian, but she stops to grab the camera before she locks herself in the bathroom? Really?
This. Completely agreed. If you're going to make a "found footage" style, you better make sure it makes any sense that someone would be filming what we're seeing. The moment in the bathroom completely took me out of the episode, one I was barely invested in to begin with.
Not sure how old you are...but I have a young adult daughter who doesn't go anywhere (even the bathroom) without her phone, laptop or some other device with her. My youngest is getting to be the same way. So, I can totally see Kate bringing the camera with her.
Lindab30
# Lindab30 2012-10-25 20:43
I enjoyed this episode very much, seeing Sam and Dean from the outside was fun. I also enjoyed seeing how an innocent person just going along and living their life literally gets sucked into the world of monsters. We saw here how it changes them forever. I'm kinda hoping we see Kate again and that she has managed to stay away from human hearts.

I am enjoying season 8 so far, I am a big time Sam girl and I am dying to find out about his year off and what "really" happened. But, I am also being patient while the story unwinds. Perhaps we just need one story at a time and it makes more sense to tells Dean's first since he's still on his "Purgatory high".

Now I am feeling the need to make a remark that may get some upset with me. Many people did not like seasons 6 and 7 at all. I am not one of them, overall I loved those seasons although there are a few episodes I can do without. (Time for a Wedding being one of them). Maybe this is why I have a bad reaction to some reviews and comments when the writer is actually being very positive about the episode yet makes comparisons or comments back to those seasons and how awful they were. Perhaps it's me feeling defensive towards something I loved. I just don't understand the need to drag out the negative when giving a review on something that was liked. I literally have a physical reaction to it. Maybe I'm alone in my feelings about this but I am seeing it so much, I was hoping that by episode four it would wind down some and maybe it has and I am just honing in on it because I react so strongly to it. Anyway, just a thought I'm having, either way, I'll live. I'm not trying to criticize or suggest others don't write what they really want to convey, this is just what I'm feeling at the moment. Overall I enjoy the reviews and the comments, people bring out things I never would think of on my own which adds to my enjoyment of the show. So to everyone who contributes, Thank You!

I love this website and I know I have absolutely no clue how much time and energy it takes to keep it going. My thanks to everyone who brings this to me.
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-10-25 22:02
You aren't alone. I really loved season six and felt it totally came together on a marathon rewatch. I felt season 7 was weaker, but am planning on rewatching marathon style to see if it flows better all at once as well. So not everyone hates those two seasons.
st50
# st50 2012-10-25 23:46
Quote:
You aren't alone. I really loved season six and felt it totally came together on a marathon rewatch. I felt season 7 was weaker, but am planning on rewatching marathon style to see if it flows better all at once as well. So not everyone hates those two seasons.
I'm with you two. Both seasons 6 and 7 have 'improved with age'. They have their issues, and neither is quite on par with seasons 1 through 5, but I've enjoyed them both on rewatch. So no, you're not alone.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-10-26 09:28
Ditto here, I enjoyed both season 6 & 7, and they come together quite nicely as marathon viewing.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-10-27 15:54
S6 is one of my favorite seasons - ranks right up there with S1 and S2 for me. S7...not so much.
dinkwerks
# dinkwerks 2012-10-27 18:23
I loved seasons 1 through season 5....season 6 wasn't the greatest, but it was ok....Season 7 was where they killed Bobby off and I was not happy with that one.
etheldred
# etheldred 2012-10-26 00:12
I, too, liked s6 a great deal. I agree with others that it is a season much improved by marathon rewatch, rather than experienced week by week. My feelings about s7 aren't quite as positive, but it had some very, very strong episodes (Hello, Cruel World and Repo Man especially, for me). Most of my problems with the season have to do with how anticlimactic the last third was in terms of the emotional/chara cter arcs. I feel that part of that was due to a kind of interregnum effect: Gamble's vision wasn't going to be carrying on into the next season, and I think there was some tendency to not take major steps with Sam and Dean characterizatio n when they knew a new showrunner would be picking up. Overall, though, I think those two seasons went some very interesting places with characters and themes, and I only hope to see those threads picked up and woven into the current season.
Alice
# Alice 2012-10-26 00:50
I'm not upset at you! I know several people that loved those seasons.

Actually, in retrospect, season six wasn't too bad at all. It's not a fav of mine, but I can name several episodes from that season I loved and would watch again. Season seven, ugh. I think "Hello Cruel World" and "Slash Fiction make my rewatch list, and that's it. It's my least favorite.

Those seasons were very inconsistently written. Ben Edlund the last two seasons has been on fire, and it seems like he's been carrying the whole writing staff. Dabb and Loflin had a good season six and an atrocious season seven. Adam Glass out of his six scripts has one good one, "Mommy Dearest" (on the rewatch list). Sera Gamble even fell flat toward the end of season seven, but I'm sure that's because she knew she was on the way out.

The point is, compared with the first five seasons, the writing on Supernatural has substantially weakened. That is clearly because the caliber of writers is weaker. Robbie Thompson is about the most promising writer to come along since Jeremy Carver first appeared in season three. He does need to pass a Sam and Dean characterizatio n test, but in the meantime, damn he can write an entertaining hour.

Thanks so much for the compliment on the site! I wonder how I have the energy to keep it going at times. A wing and a prayer I guess. :-)
lala2
# lala2 2012-10-27 17:43
I enjoyed S6 quite a lot. The first half was much stronger than the second half though.

S7 was plain awful in my eyes. I have no desire to own the DVDs or watch any S7 episode again - not even HCW which I loved.
KELLY
# KELLY 2012-10-25 21:05
Oh, IMO nowhere near Edlund, Carver or Kripke or Gamble for that matter. I loved all of his episode before this one, but he has yet to really move the show forward in any meaningful way. He has done FUN episodes but nothing that really effected the show.

Edlund was establishing mythology on his first episode as well as his second, Nightshifter which was just incredible. He has yet to have an outright bad episode and most of his are amazing.

Carver's second episode was one of the best of all time, showed meaningful background and moved their relationship forward. And Mystery Spot well I could spend days on it.

Even Dabb and Loflin, who have definitely had there misses (Hammer of the Gods) have had many absolutely terrific episodes. Their first Yellow Fever is definitely a favorite as is their best IMO Dark Side of the Moon. They are perhaps not as good or consistent as Edlund. But I think several of the 16 episodes they've written, several are equally as good as Thompson. And have done to move the show forward.
Alice
# Alice 2012-10-26 00:54
Perhaps I wasn't clear in the review, but I was referring to the writing from the last two seasons. Heavens no, when you compare to the first five seasons, Robbie Thompson cannot match that excellence, yet. No new writer can. But given the work from season six and seven from a lot of these writers, he's high on the great writing list, up there with Edlund. Greater than Edlund, not by a long shot.
MisterGlass
# MisterGlass 2012-10-25 21:44
Hello Alice, and thanks for your article. I too was braced for something that was not Supernatural. I was okay with the Ghostbusters episode, but in general I'm not a fan of the found footage horror genre. I was reasonably entertained by it, but I felt edgy to know what was going to happen next in the wider story, so perhaps you are right and this episode might have been placed later in the season to better effect.

Still, I did like the outsider perspective to Sam and Dean, and there was some surprising subtlety to the way the progression of the victims was handled.

And may I say the make-up impressed me. I've always been a fan of practical affects, and I think these played well.
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-10-25 21:49
I tried to like it. I had the lowest of expectations going in, and so I had to talk myself into giving it a fair chance. Well, 15 minutes later I was bored, uninterested in the three (IMO) annoying kids, and desperately wishing for some Winchester banter. Or some Winchester ANYTHING. I'm all for the show trying new things, but did Jared and Jensen have even 5 minutes of scenes here? Good Lord their absence was sorely noted by me.

I will not be watching this episode ever again, because even though it was an interesting concept I feel it failed miserably in execution. I watch this show for the journey of the brothers and really, I could care less about anyone else.

Nothing about this episode felt like I was watching SPN, and for that I will now pretend that it never happened.

I'm glad you were able to enjoy it, Alice. I just could not.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2012-10-25 23:44
Hi Alice,

Thanks for the thought-provoki ng review. I really liked Bitten. I like the creativity it shows, and for whatever reason I don’t need Sam & Dean every minute of every episode. (I see them in my dreams every night, so it’s all good!... Just joking!.. Sort of?)

What I really appreciate about them is the different perspective they offer us, the viewer (writing a little essay on that now!)

Here`s my one quibble. Brian`s attack on Kate, where he bit her and turned her into a werewolf against her will seemed like rape to me. It was definitely a violation and she was screaming No the entire time. I found it unsettling, but I`m sure I was supposed to. I`m not sure how else it could have been written, but I found it unnecessarily jarring. Maybe I found it disturbing because it plays out like so many real `date rapes` that happen on campuses everywhere. I usually find the show most difficult to watch, when it`s at it`s most realistic.

Thanks!

Pragmatic Dreamer
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-10-26 00:10
Quote:
Brian`s attack on Kate, where he bit her and turned her into a werewolf against her will seemed like rape to me
Oh Thank You! This is what I felt at the time and still do. I brought it up on another board and was told that I was completely utterly wrong. Admittedly I was also upset because the reviewer said that Brian was obviously representing Sam, so I did get ticked off, but still I was told that Brian's attack in no way was rape. I can't see it as anything else, so I'm glad someone else sees this too.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-10-26 09:34
Yes, I saw it as something like that too. He was obviously besotted with Kate and jealous that she and Michael were so in love with each other that they were willing to leave together and face the monster inside Michael on their own leaving him behind. He never struck me as being a stand-in for Sam at all. He became quite unsympathetic early on. And him choosing to become a monster and then turning Kate into one was such a selfish act, I was glad she killed him for it. She just did the Winchesters a huge favour.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-10-26 02:58
I loved this episode.I have watched found footage movies like Noroi and i had liked them not just because of the format but the story too,This one also i liked . I liked Brian the first half and i completely understood him till the end (almost till the end then he went crazy and killed Michael a strict No No).Michael i felt sorry too.Kate when she said you don't know what love is or some thing like that I was like how do you know that.Her story was also tragic and even though she is a werewolf i am glad that Sam and Dean gave her a chance.The next episode looks interesting and i hope Sam's flash back is not relegated to the last one minute
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-10-26 03:03
Oh and one quibble (which may be cleared within the season since someone here commented that Kate is recurring) I did not like the mythology change and that something so easily available Sam or Bobby did not know during Madison.Also we had a Vampire, werewolf was missing, now we have her.:D.
kaj
# kaj 2012-10-26 15:37
Hi, ALice!

I love the song.

Love the fact that I watched the episode feeling like I read a fanfiction. Could be the amateur camera shot. Perhaps the writer was a supernatural fanfiction writer before, I dunno. I just have that feel.

In the end, there was Sam. Right at the very end. When Dean asked him if he said awesome a lot. LOL trust Dean to worry about that while there are lots quips about office romance quips all over the video. Could be that he just didn't notice it. I think Sam noticed but he just didn't say it to Dean.

Yep. It was a fanfiction style episode.

That in the end is somewhat a satisfying Winchester banter. It's odd they get it right in an episode mostly about OC than in episodes that's supposed to be about Winchesters like last weeks.
Bamboo24
# Bamboo24 2012-10-27 16:02
Quote:
At the end, I was as touched by what happened, just like Sam and Dean. Kate did deserve a chance. She hadn’t killed yet. She had a plan. I think this blends in perfectly into Benny’s story next week.
For me, this purposeful, meaningful type of writing/direction, along with the serious lack of depressing nihilism, is what separates S8 from S7 in leaps and bounds.

Quote:
Last year, Supernatural’s answer to great television was killing off Bobby Singer, a character whose death makes me extremely bitter to this day. He was killed off just so they could do a great episode. That ended up playing very badly when they chose to bring him back later as a ghost, just extending our pain. I can’t think of a character I miss more this season. I think “Bitten” is really great television too, and I’m not walking away from it with massive scars. I’m just thoroughly entertained.
Yes, yes, yes. Couldn't agree more.
Jules
# Jules 2012-11-05 11:40
I agree with Alice and think you have to just take this episode for what it was. As far as Kate and Brian taking the camera everywhere they went- if that's the only thing about the episode that seemed unrealistic, then...?

Otherwise, I loved that seeing Sam and Dean from an outsider perspective. Loved seeing their expressions at the end, when they got to see/ understand the terrible pain and fear Kate was experiencing. Not all monsters are happy to monsters. It was a little revelation for them. This kind of episode (and this week's Edlund-goodness ) are what keep me coming back when I get so frustrated with this show. Thanks for another great review, Alice!