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25 October 2012 @ 08:35 am
This meta wasn't always a monster.  

I am the first one to say that I can live without monster-of-the-week episodes. Even in Season 2 I wasn't fond of it. The larger arc, the characters we know, those are the things that draw me into Supernatural. The exceptions for me are the monster-of-the-week episodes in which the show does something different - pushes the envelope, as it were; gives us a perspective we haven't seen; and does something subtly with the larger story. "Bitten" did that for me, and I found it to be incredibly entertaining and unexpectedly powerful. I was utterly drawn in by it, and it's an episode I feel like I wouldn't mind watching again. That's something I can't say for many of the episodes in the past few seasons.

Maybe if you've watched more found-footage/paranormal activity/blair witch style stuff, this would seem less original to you. And it didn't hurt that I found the actress who played Kate to be utterly adorable and completely impossible to take my eyes off. But I absolutely loved watching it. Yeah, there were bits where I was thinking "like hell the camera would catch that" and plot holes here and there, but nothing worse than the usual. Didn't hurt, also, that I felt like this episode was telling a larger story than the story of these three kids. Perhaps too obviously. Perhaps not obviously enough. IDK.

So blame Teen Wolf, because I've been jonesing for another werewolf episode. It's been a while since we've seen 'em. I was happy to get s'more of that. What's also funny, too, is that I think this episode was VERY AWARE of Teen Wolf and was basically giving us a Stiles POV :3 I bet you anything this came up in the writers' room. Undecided whether it was a total ripoff or a knowing homage, and don't really care, so long as it was interesting.

What really struck me about this ep, tho, was Kate's comments at the end: "We weren't always monsters." Granted, that's pretty sledgehammery, but I think that it was almost a slam at the backlash that the guys have said they were expecting to get from the fans at Dean's and Sam's decisions this year. There are corners of the fandom that are mad at Dean for trusting Benny; there are corners that are mad at Sam for not looking for Dean; there's lots of speculation and anger about "how could the characters I've known for so long make these decisions?"

That's the point. Experience, exposure to the darker elements, can drive people to do things they didn't know they were capable of. Being out in the world changes you. Sam and Dean used to be who they used to be, and life has changed them. Maybe for the worse, maybe for the better, who knows. But the fact that they have changed is undeniable, and the question is, are we going to give them a chance? To see who they are now, and to see if they will vindicate themselves and prove that they can still be the people we loved despite the things they've done? I see it as a challenge to the audience. Trust us. Give us a chance.

Challenge accepted. :)

rog457 on October 25th, 2012 12:56 pm (UTC)
On reflection I decided I didn't hate the episode as much as I did as I was watching it, but mainly because of the ending. Yes Supernatural tends to give us their message with a sledgehammer, but I did like how Dean is coming to accept that not all "monsters" must be killed. If there is one thing that really hasn't changed about Dean is that he is not a hypocrite. How can he go after Kate when he knows that Benny is running around topside because of him.

Loved how Sammy jumped right on that moment of hesitation and ran with it.

As to the found-footage style, I really dislike all of those types of tv/movie things so I found it annoying and distracting and incredibly unbelievable.
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on October 25th, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
I think the found-footage thing is probably a personal-taste issue. Personally I find it really engaging. I don't get motion sick from it like other people do :D

It's interesting that you point out how Sam jumped on it. One wonders if he's still thinking of Amy. Wonder what he thinks about the change in his brother. One thing's clear - they still know each other well enough to jump on it when they notice something inconsistent, and that speaks to their bond still being strong. Which makes me happy :)
seraph_lostseraph_lost on October 25th, 2012 01:12 pm (UTC)
I'm actually really looking forward to re-watching this episode and picking it apart. I agree with you, I think there is a LOT more going on in this ep than meets the eye. And while it was a MoTW episode, I think it's going to feed into the much larger season-long story. I do believe this was intended as a bookend episode to last year's The Girl Next Door.

I have a feeling, I am hopeful anyways, that a theme for this year is going to have a something to do with monster backstories, and finding the humanity in the monsters they are hunting, whether they do have to kill them or not. It's certainly something I would love to see the show explore more deeply and I think it will be an important factor in the character development with Dean, and his involvement with Benny, as well as starting to better understand the choices Sam made over the last year.

Totally looking forward to this!
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on October 25th, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
I would love to see this story played out, but I don't think it will be. SPN has never gone there, not really... We have that with the Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf and every other "the monsters are one of us" things. One of the things I think SPN does is try to keep itself more or less pure on that concept. I think that's one of the reason we cling to Cas so much. He exemplifies that POV for us, and it feels like seeing the other side of the coin - the show is about two humans faced with the supernatural, and Cas is a supernatural being faced with humanity.

(This is some more meta that I should write up sometime.)

It will be interesting to see how it all reflects on the boys, however it turns out!
phaelsafephaelsafe on October 25th, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
I thought the found footage part would take up only a few minutes and then it would go into a more typical episode. I'm glad it didn't, but it was a bit distracting. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it does require another viewing to take it all in. It also made these characters feel more like real people as opposed to being just story elements, which is the point, I guess.

I'm rather neutral on MotW episodes. I grew up watching '80s US cartoons, then '90s anime (Sailor Moon!) so I'm used to them. Most of the time they are simply filler for the show creators, an easy way out. It's a terrible way to move about these created universes, glossing over instead of exploring them. Bitten wasn't like that, though the explanation of the wolves not attached to the lunar cycle was a bit rushed.

I don't know. I really need to watch it again and re-process everything. Thanks for posting this! <3
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on October 25th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
I think MotW episodes can go either way. Some can be real windows into the larger myth arc and the story of the universe our heroes inhabit. One of the things I did in my DCBB (shameless self plug) was have a character confront one of the boys and say, "After you guys have left us behind, our lives go on. We still have to keep living, forever changed by the weirdness and the supernatural elements that you brought to light for us. And you just roll away in that Impala and never think about us again, but we spend the rest of our lives thinking about you." To me, it's really cool when we get a hint of where things will go after the boys leave town. It shows their impact on the world, and reminds us why they're not just a couple of brothers, but actual legit heroes.

DR Lisa!!dazedrose on October 25th, 2012 11:29 pm (UTC)
I had trouble with watching this ep, only because the jumpiness of the filming gave me vertigo/dizziness. I'm not one for found footage movies so this one didn't appeal to me on that level. The story however was fun to watch when i looked past the filming. It was an interesting look and i do agree it reflected Teen Wolf style (i nearly wrote Stiles then).

The ending was very interesting. Experiences this past year has affected Dean much more profoundly then in the past. That or it's just tipped the balance when added to the rest. But i may just be talking shit... this cold is mesing with my head