Hello my fellow Supernatural Junkies. Tonight’s episode of Supernatural was unconventional (even for this show), and I didn’t really care for it. Thus, I don’t have a whole lot to say about it. Bitten certainly won’t top my list of favorite SPN episodes, but it wasn’t the worst either (Bugs still holds that distinction). There was no development on the season long mytharc or on the Boys’ relationship, but I’m ok with that for now. If we were 12 or 13 episodes into the season and did an episode like this, I would be pretty pissed. But this episode came early enough that it’s alright that it didn’t deal with major story arcs and didn’t feature a whole lot of the Winchesters. There are, however, a few things I want to point out.
This is not the first time that Supernatural has played with the form of the show. One thing I’ve always appreciated about Supernatural is their willingness to experiment with storytelling. It keeps things interesting and it allows for some artistic freedom. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I have never liked films shot on handheld cams or that “found footage” crap. I hated The Blair Witch Project and I actively avoided Chronicle and all of those Paranormal Activity movies. I am just not a fan of that style of film making. That being said, “Ghostfacers” from season 3 was shot almost exactly like this episode, but I actually enjoyed “Ghostfacers.” After thinking about it for a little bit, I’ve concluded that I liked “Ghostfacers” better because I enjoyed those characters much more. They were interesting and at times downright funny. I was much more engaged in that story and more invested in those character outcomes. I cannot say the same for “Bitten.” It wasn’t the acting. The actors did just fine. It was how shallow, boring, and generic the characters were. I didn’t care about Michael and Kate’s lovefest. I didn’t care that Brian was jealous. I just didn’t care about them at all. And if I’m going to watch an episode in which the Winchesters are almost totally absent, I want the characters to be much more interesting than these kids were.
When speaking about superheroes and supervillains, my father always says that heroes were heroes long before they became super and likewise villains were always villains. Receiving the power simply revealed what they were already. That’s something this episode touched on. Brian wanted to be bitten because he wanted to feel power. He wanted to get the girl. He wanted to be the big man. He wanted to step out of his friend’s shadow. He was jealous, insecure and angry before he got bitten. The bite didn’t change that. It simply amplified those feelings which resulted in him killing the only real friend he had. Supernatural has kind of dealt with this concept before, but it was in such a controversial episode (yes, I’m looking at you Amy in “The Girl Next Door”) that I think people lost the message. A clearer illustration of this point is Gordon Walker from “Fresh Blood” back in season 3. When Dean tried to reason with Gordon after he got turned into a vampire, Gordon responded, “No. I’m a monster.” I don’t think even he knew just how true those words were. The truth is, Gordon was a monster long before he got turned into a vampire. He killed because he liked it. If he saved a few people in the process, that was fine. But he was really in it for the thrill of the kill. Getting turned into a vampire simply gave him an excuse to do what came naturally to him. People are what they are. And the power doesn’t change that.
Supernatural has never been a show to shy away from the grey areas, and there was a pretty big one here. On the one hand, Kate is a monster. She’s a werewolf. And if history has taught us anything on Supernatural, she’s going to kill someone. Or maybe even a bunch of someones before a hunter stops her. On the other hand, one of the lessons from “Bloodlust” in S2 was that just because something isn’t human doesn’t necessarily mean that its evil i.e. Lenore. At the end of that episode, Dean began to question whether he’d been killing things that didn’t deserve killing simply because they weren’t human. He ponders that here too. Dean is a guy that, historically, doesn’t deal in shades of grey and he also adheres to a very strict code. Dean’s code says that as long as you aren’t killing humans, you’re not evil and he’s gonna let you be. That’s the conclusion he reached here. Technically, Kate is a monster and somewhere down the road, she may kill someone. But right here, right now she hadn’t killed anyone. So they let her go. I think there are valid arguments both for going after her to kill her now and for letting her go and try to survive on animals. But in this instance, I think the Boys made the right call.
Well, that’s pretty much it folks. Like I said before, this episode won’t top my list of must-rewatch. But I appreciate Supernatural’s willingness to experiment with form and push the envelope. I’m REALLY looking forward to getting back into some Purgatory stuff next week. And I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen when Sam meets Benny. So until next time Junkies, peace, love, and joy to all.