Elena gives Clay a sponge bath and corrects him when he says that he failed her in not protecting Philip. She tells him that he’s the only reason Philip is alive in the first place, that it was her fault he was in danger in the first place, and that she knows everything about what happened when she was bitten. Elena then takes off the necklace she got from Philip and places Clay’s ring back on his finger. Elsewhere in the house, Nick and Jeremy are stocking the basement with fire wood in preparation for the Mutts; if things go sour and it looks like Stonehaven has fallen into their possession, Jeremy advises him to toss a flame down the chute and burn the place to the ground. As much as he wants to keep Stonehaven standing, Jeremy knows that there are certain Alpha secrets that need to stay buried by any means necessary.
While Santos meets with Williams, who tells him that they have the advantage and that the plan they’ve been building towards starts right now, Logan and Rachel arrive at a hotel and check in under pseudonyms to maintain their anonymity. She’s still unsure about having to run and he assures her that they’ll be able to start fresh the following day before volunteering to get pizza. Even though Rachel wants to come with him, Logan makes her stay and get some rest. Back at Stonehaven, Elena informs Nick that her phone is in Santos’ car, meaning that they’ll know when he makes a move thanks to her GPS app, and that the Mutts did a number on Clay. She observes that Nick is angry about the Mutts killing Antonio and pledges to make them pay for hurting so many people she loves, all the while Jeremy listens from the other room.
Outside of town, Marsten tells LeBlanc about what life was like when he was first made, as he had to sleep in fields and learn hobo code before building himself up to where he is, just as Nick gets in touch with Jorge and learns that Philip is on a flight to France and the man who ran James Williams’ website is missing. Jorge offers to take Elena in, but Jeremy tells him that things tend to go south when she’s separated from the pack, so for now, she’s staying put. After tending to Clay’s wounds, Elena notices that Santos has finally started to move, with his vehicle about 30 minutes outside of Bear Valley. While it’s a chance that she’s taking, trusting that they’re all taking one vehicle and that the vehicle they’re taking is the one her phone is in, it’s one that Jeremy deems worth taking, especially since it gives them the chance to batten down the hatches at Stonehaven and prepare for the upcoming onslaught. Meanwhile, Rachel texts Logan wondering where he is and learns that he’s having car trouble that’s delaying his return from the pizza place. She gets hungry enough, though, that she leaves a note for him and heads down to the vending machine for snacks.
The Pack proceeds gathering weapons, setting traps for the Mutts, and barricading their windows in preparation for the attack. Jeremy shows Nick a secret passageway in the basement that leads to the greenhouse and shares with him memories of his mother, a tall blonde woman with a nice laugh who had Antonio spellbound from day one. He also confesses that he knows where she’s at. While Elena tries to get Clay, who can barely stand, down the stairs, Logan forces his way into Stonehaven and informs Jeremy that while he’s not going to adhere to the Pack rules concerning sons, he came back because the Pack is his family and because he doesn’t want to suffer anymore loss than what he already has. The GPS pings that Santos is right outside and when the Pack goes to greet them, they see a bound Rachel running at them with Elena’s cell phone taped to her face. Logan goes after her, only for a Mutt to begin chase; Jeremy saves him when he hurls an ax into the Mutt’s head, then pointing him and Rachel upstairs.
Logan hears of Rachel being blindfolded and put into the trunk of a car before forcing her into a crawlspace, telling her that he just couldn’t leave yet. Meanwhile, Jeremy orders the Pack to fight in pairs and always within one another’s sight line, just as Santos, LeBlanc, and Marsten wait outside the Stonehaven property line. Marsten chides Santos for not coming in with the first wave of the attack, but Santos stands his ground and simply commands LeBlac to keep his hands off of Elena. The first wave attacks, led by a smoke bomb that gets tossed through one of the windows and precedes both another smoke bomb and several Mutts bursting in through the previously barricaded windows. Jeremy ends up in a bathtub brawl, while Clay kills a Mutt that gets caught on a trap and Elena has it out with a Mutt that grabbed a pipe for a weapon. As Clay finds himself getting walloped by Samuel Boggs in the living room, a Mutt nearly finds Rachel before Nick comes in and snaps his neck following an altercation. He opens the door to where she’s at and assures her to stay there and be quiet until this whole mess is over.
LeBlanc and Marsten enter the home, with Marsten reiterating Santos’ order to stay away from Elena, while Elena finds herself losing ground in her fight against the Mutt. The two end up in the hallway and he nearly changes in front of her; outside, Williams comes down on Santos for not going inside for the battle and tells him that he needs to show Elena who the true Alpha is. The Mutt Elena was fighting gets attacked by Logan in wolf form and when she tries to suffocate it, LeBlanc grabs her; he then goes to stab Marsten after hearing how he’s not to touch Elena and Marsten throws him through a nearby window, giving Elena the opportunity to guillotine him. After LeBlanc is dead, Marsten mentions to Elena that he wants to mutiny, just as Clay fights Boggs in the kitchen, boils his arm in a pot of water, and knocks his new teeth out. Clay then comes after Marsten and Elena stops him, telling him that she wants to let Jeremy decide what to do with Marsten.
While Logan discovers Rachel’s gone and Nick comes with home to look for her, Williams leads Santos through the secret passageway at Stonehaven and the two survey the carnage the Mutts have suffered. Santos then finds Marsten and when he goes into the room to get an update as to what happened in the battle, the Pack closes in around him. Jeremy decides that Marsten is worth more to the Pack alive than he is dead, so he’s allowed to live, but Santos isn’t so lucky; Clay takes him by the arms and it’s decided that Elena will deliver the finishing blow. As much as Santos wanted her to be the most important wolf the world has ever known, the children being the very definition of perfect, Elena tells him that he doesn’t get to decide her future and sticks her hand in his chest, literally crushing his heart. Logan and Nick stop after a while of running for Rachel, since they’re not smelling anything. The two say their goodbyes, with Nick returning to Stonehaven to help with the Mutts and Logan running on to find the mother of his unborn child.
Back at Stonehaven, Jeremy carries Santos’ body out toward the front of the house and runs into James Williams – who, in actuality, is his father Malcolm. Malcolm tells Jeremy that he would have killed him had it not been for his grandfather and clues his son in on his ultimate goal – getting Elena and using her to spawn new wolves. He believes the Pack hasn’t used her to the best of her potential, yet later, Nate Parker brings Rachel to him, possibly as a next best alternative for wolf spawning. Elena pledges to resume tracking with Clay and when she returns to her room, she puts her ring from Clay on her finger and turns to see Philip’s severed head on her bed.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-Philip’s head in the bed at the end of the episode was an incredibly frustrating move that encapsulated why I was so unenthusiastic about this show before this week. It was a hell of a surprise twist, a bold decision that would have a tremendous impact on the show (and Elena) next season; more importantly, it cut what could have been a series-long love triangle short, which is a plus in my book because the romantic angst on this show was probably its weakest element and genre series rely too much on romantic entanglements as is. However, since the show is perhaps the biggest Clay/Elena shipper of them all, it was hard to feel like she lost anything of value. I liked Philip quite a bit and think he seemed like a good man, but he lacked a strong, distinct characterization for much of the season and the show didn’t seem interested in giving a full picture of what his life/love with Elena was like. While I get that at least part of her grief comes from the chances of her having a normal life dying along with Philip, there could have been much more emotional impact if they had invested more in Philip from the beginning of the season.
-Going off that, I think to fully enjoy Bitten you have to buy into Clay and Elena’s story. I don’t think you can’t find value in the show if you’re not into them; it’s just much harder to grasp when their feelings for one another are such a big part of the fabric of the show. Even though I didn’t care for the Clay hero worship and am still weirded out by the message of “I violated you for your own good, so it’s all okay,” as well as the way the show handled the outside world in general, I didn’t mind Clay and Elena. I thought the show was too invested in them at the expense of the supporting cast and anything resembling plot momentum, but overall, they were fine.
-Crackpot theory: Although the move to have Williams be the one to nab Rachel was interesting, I was expecting Nick to be behind it all as a way of keeping Logan tied to the Pack. He reiterated Logan’s plans to go off-grind when this was all over and we know how he’s the most dedicated Pack member in terms of preserving their ranks and the traditions that come along with life in the Pack; plus, he was the one who saved Rachel from the Mutt and we never saw him downstairs fighting, so he could have taken her and had enough time to get back to the rest of the Pack.
-I will say, though, that moves like Logan going back to Stonehaven and leaving Rachel hanging are the type of plot-over-character moments that I don’t like in shows like this. I don’t know that I buy that cautious Logan would leave Rachel unprotected to go back to Stonehaven; I know how much the concept of family has been on his mind with the baby coming and how he had last minute anxiety about leaving the Pack in lurch, but the show needed Rachel to be in that limo with Malcolm and did what it had to do to make it happen.
-One of the problems I had with this season is that it seemed to have no direction – neither the real villain nor the framework the season was operating under were clear, while nothing of circumstance seemed to happen. Incremental stuff did build up, but after 12 episodes, it felt like we had been treading water for much of the time; the finale, though, made all the sludgy, circular plotting worth it. Santos was a fairly compelling “villain,” despite the flimsy jealousy excuse to motivate his actions, and I like the idea of Marsten in the Pack, since numbers were comically dropping throughout the season to the point where you wondered whether Clay and Elena would be the extent of the pack by the end of the finale.
-I really liked how the episode was shot. Minus the gratuitous slo-mo, which accentuated the goofiness of the show due to how unnatural it felt, the lighting in boarded up Stonehaven was beautiful and added to the fight scenes, while the camera work was mostly strong and felt fresh without being over-the-top.
-Thank you guys for following my coverage of Bitten this season. Hopefully the show can snag a second season renewal and we can reconvene to discuss werewolf sexual politics, just how hot Nick actually is, and the Twilight of it all.