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I thought the highlight of my post Friday Night Lights TV viewership experience occurred when Leslie Knope rallied her PCP citizens’ action group with a hearty “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” on Parks and Recreation. Then Dean fired back with “Clear eyes, clogged arteries, can’t lose” in last night’s episode of Supernatural and now my inner Dillon Panther is purring contently.
This was our second non-mythology episode of the eighth season, after last week’s lousy effort about organ donation and Mayan gods. This week we had “Bitten” and our third found footage style episode after the two Ghostfacers episodes. We watched the episode play out as a video that was left behind on a laptop in a house full of two dead bodies. The Winchesters took a back seat in this one as we learned how friends Michael, Brian and Kate all became werewolves. Sam and Dean did show up in the video as “those FBI dudes” since they were investigating the case under the guise of federal agents, but “Bitten” was going to live or die on how much you cared about the story of three college students becoming heart-craving monsters.
Speaking of Friday Night Lights…
Was anyone else having vivid flashbacks to Chronicle as they watched Michael, Brian and Kate start filming every aspect of their lives? I sure did, especially when you look at the concept as a whole – three friends whose lives change after they develop new abilities, and the detrimental effect that has on their collective humanity. I can’t blame them for modeling this episode after the movie – which starred Michael B. Jordan of FNL fame – but “Bitten” really served as a reminder of how clunky the found footage genre can be. I just can’t see a benefit to shooting this episode using such a novelty. It didn’t lend a feeling of closeness to the trio, nor did it capture the thrill of voyeurism. The only thing it did was make me wonder how many cameras were in their house, how they kept the batteries charged, why they were always filming, etc.
That’s the problem with the found footage genre though: it’s too tempting to break away and use camera angles that you would see in a traditional movies and shows. As viewers, we’re used to a limited third person perspective when consuming our entertainment. The found footage genre is an attempt to give us a story from a character’s point of view through the use of a personal video camera. In this day and age, it’s not uncommon for people to film large chunk of their lives. But for Brian to keep the cameras rolling after his best friend returned home soaked in blood made Brian seem self-absorbed to the point of being unlikable. If there’s one opinion I have on this episode, it’s that I hope Supernatural stays away from found footage for the remainder of its run.
How could you be so heartless? (Kanye voice)
Despite the shortcomings of found footage, I thought the Michael, Brian and Kate’s story was effectively done. You could see the Brian’s jealousy develop early on, as it was clear he also loved Kate. However, I wrote in my notes that I thought Michael would lose control and murder his two friends after he became a werewolf. Having Brian as the one who instigated the two deaths worked much better since it lent an air of tragedy to the whole affair. Brian seemed like a nice guy but his jealousy toward Michael proved to be the undoing for the two friends. Kate skates away after completing the video and promising the brothers that she’ll survive by eating animal hearts and won’t harm another human being.
Sam and Dean’s decision to let Kate live foreshadows next week’s episode when Benny returns for the first time since the second episode. The choice to trust a monster will likely soften the blow when Sam finds out that Dean let Benny live, but I’d say we’re still in for a pretty nasty spat between the Winchester boys. We didn’t get much in the way of Sam yearning for his past life in “Bitten.” However, something tells me that when Dean goes to deal with Benny next week, Sam will return to Amelia and reignite that desire to step away from hunting entirely. Either way, expect an emotional next Wednesday.
Line of the week
Since we already mentioned Dean’s line, let’s go with:
“I’m pretty sure FBI agents don’t say ‘awesome’ that much.” – Kate
Next week on Supernatural
Benny drinks blood out of a Capri Sun pouch!