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Supernatural Round Table: "Bitten"

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Supernatural went all Blair Witch Project on viewers with "Bitten," as the unusual episode focused on found footage and placed Dean and Sam in the background for a change.

What did our Round Table crew of Sean McKenna, Carissa Pavlica, Carla Day and Alice Jester (of The Winchester Family Business) think of the change? Find out below and them jump in with your take on these pressing questions and concerns...

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Found Footage Fail or Awesome Episode?
Carissa: Tragically boring. I didn't care about the kids. They were arrogant and stupid. They even used the "I didn't ask for this" plea when each of them were begging to be next.

Carla: About half way through the episode, I didn't care for it much. But, by the end, I really liked it. It was a tragic story. I missed seeing the guys in the episode and when they were seen it was awkward. But, overall, I'd say it was neither a fail or awesome. It was pretty good and a nice change of pace.

Alice: I’m strangely in the minority that thought it was a completely awesome episode. I loved it.

Sean: I liked that they tried the concept out, but really missed the focus on Sam and Dean. Maybe it would have been more entertaining for me if Dean had gotten a camera and wanted to mess around with it or something.

Supernatural Round Table Logo

Did you find the human to monster tragedy interesting or boring?
Carissa: Tragically boring. I didn't care about the kids. They were arrogant and stupid. They even used the "I didn't ask for this" plea when each of them were begging to be next.

Carla: It was a well-written story and definitely a tragedy. As I mentioned above, it didn't grab me right away, but by the end I was sucked into the story and characters.

Alice: Very interesting. These kids were in college, contemplating their futures, and everything unraveled so fast. It’s tragic, and you have to wonder how many monsters Sam and Dean hunt have a similar story. They didn’t ask for this.

Sean: I totally understood what the story was going for, but at times it felt forced. Certainly the outcome was tragic, but there were moments where it really lagged and I had to remind myself that I was watching Supernatural.

Was episode four the right spot for this type of episode?
Carissa: I don't think any time was the right time for this episode. The type of episode wasn't the point, it was the poor execution. The best thing about it was the ending credits. 

Carla: It was a good lead up to Halloween episode. These standalone stories pretty much can go anywhere in the schedule since they don't add to the overall arc or character development.

Alice: No. Considering episodes 1-3 have provided few answers as to what happened during the year Sam and Dean were separated, this episode would have been much better as a midseason break from the norm.

Sean: I really think we needed more episodes involving the core story and watching Sam and Dean continue to grow before doing something essentially experimental was shown to us. It felt too soon, but I'm not sure if my overall thoughts would have changed had the episode been aired later.

Were you surprised that Dean was okay in letting Kate go?
Carissa: No. He was probably just as bored as we were and ready to get the hell out of dodge to find a case that was more exciting to pursue.

Carla: After watching that video, it would have been heartless for him to go after her. She had a good soul as a human and there's no reason to think she'd go down a bad path now. She's seen the cost. There are greater foes for Dean and Sam to track down.

Alice: No. He does, after all, have a new perspective about monsters, being among some of the worst during his time in Purgatory. I think he let her go though because of Benny. She deserves the same chance Benny is getting.

Sean: It's really his new perspective and I was prepared for him to say so, especially with his "friendship" with Benny.

Will we and/or should we see Kate in a future episode?
Carissa: Please, I beg of all the demons, NO!

Carla: I hope not, because if we do then she has failed at keeping what little of her humanity she has left.

Alice: No, no, a thousand times no. It’s not that I didn’t like her, I did, but given the unhappiness of many fans over this episode TPTB would be crazy to go there again. But, hey, they brought Becky back, didn’t they?  You never know what they’re thinking.

Sean: We're pretty much in agreement that she shouldn't be back. Let her be one and done, much like this episode.

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Late to the party, but this episode wasn't that bad. Not the best, but it was interesting and maybe there will actually be a point to it later. The thing I've noticed about SPN is that they tend to put things connected to the season's mythology in seemingly small episodes. Maybe this one was just an example of the boys' changing perspectives.

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I'm somewhere between Carissa and Sean. I see how it was very cleverly shot with all the cameras and perspectives and all that, but I was not at all engaged with the story. I think 'Heart' in S2 and Metamorphasis in S4 and the Girl Next Door in S6 explored the theme in a much more interesting (and Winchester-centric) way. At the end, I wasn't actively hoping for What's-her-name to be killed off, so I didn't hate it - I didn't care enough to hate it -- but I'm with the panel in hoping we never see her again.

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I'm surprised every time I read that Dean letting Kate go is a new perspective for him. To me, his decision is the same decision he made in The Girl Next Door. He killed Amy because she was in the middle of a killing spree--the reason for it did not excuse her in his eyes. He did not kill her son because he had not yet killed. Dean's had this same philosophy since season two with Lenore. There was nothing new about Dean's position in Bitten. Count me in as really disliking the episode.

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I am a true die hard Supernatural fan... And I have watched every episode at least 4-5 times (with the exception of season 7).... This episode was the worst ever. The only thing I liked about it was the end.... I too forgot I was watching my boys and my favorite show. Please do not bring this story line back ..... File it away with those god awful leviathan!

Vampiregirl2148

Such negativity. Is it that hard to keep an open mind nowadays? I honestly didn't think this was a bad episode. I mean, I did think they should've aired this episode during a different point in the season. But seriously, it wasn't that bad.

Ilkvomit

Sarah...you,your co-worker,your hopper and DISH can suck it.

Ilkvomit

This episode just plain out sucked to the 5th power,I agree...The end credits made this episode epic !!

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The timing wasn't just bad in terms of storytelling, it was also bad in terms of showrunning. It was only our third ep of being with Arrow, and ratings were up to 1.0 from 0.8, suggesting some Arrow viewers were checking it out. But once Bitten, twice shy. They might not be back. I don’t know what possessed Carver to pile such an unpopular camera style on top of an episode with so little Sam and Dean. (Whatever it was, someone please do an exorcism, quick.) Bitten's ratings fell to 0.7 (partly due to baseball.) The half hour ratings fell from 2.06 to 1.74, so almost 1 out of 6 viewers stopped watching mid-episode. I was already doubting Carver's showrunning abilities because of his awful seasonal arc for Sam (now it looks like there will be no good reason why he completely deserted Dean, Cas and Kevin.) Hopefully the ratings drop will make Carver realize he can't do whatever he wants regardless of what the audience wants.

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This line made me laugh out loud: "No. He was probably just as bored as we were and ready to get the hell out of dodge to find a case that was more exciting to pursue." XD Before Bitten, I had never met a Supernatural episode I didn't like. Most of them, I love. But with this one, I was bored, annoyed and/or queasy until the end credits. And I can't even say, well at least they were trying something new. They had already done found footage and outsider POV in Ghostfacers, 5 years ago before everyone was doing found footage. And humans becoming non-human, and whether or not that automatically makes them something that should be hunted, is a theme that runs throughout the series and is a well covered subject. We've even seen it several times through the POV of the person transforming with Dean (vampire), Bobby (ghost), Cas (god) and Sam (lots of things.) What bothers me the most is the reaction to the episode was completely predictable. It is well known that found footage is polarizing: a lot of people (including me) find it irritating, distracting, nauseating and an insurmountable hurdle to enjoying the story. And an episode about three random strangers, with next to no Sam and Dean, and no other known characters, was also going to be a tough sell. So what in the world possessed Carver to pile all these negatives into one episode? (And whatever it is that possessed him, someone please do an exorcism, quick.) As to the question about the timing, it was really really bad, and not just from a storytelling point of view. It was only our third episode being paired with Arrow. Our ratings went up to 1.0 from 0.8 with Arrow as our lead-in, which suggests some Arrow viewers were checking out Supernatural. But only three eps in, they wouldn't yet be loyal fans, and Bitten may have turned some of them off to the point they stop watching. Bitten fell to 7.0 from 1.0, and although part of that is most probably the World Series (Arrow also fell against the same baseball game, but not by as much), part of that is probably also because the previews did not look appealing to some people so they skipped it. Certainly the half hour ratings are very telling: they fell from 2.06 to 1.74, which means 15.5% of the audience, almost 1 out of 6 viewers, stopped watching mid-episode. This bad decision makes me doubt Carver's abilities as a showrunner, coming as it does on the heels of Sam's awful seasonal arc that many fans cannot accept (seeing as it looks like there won't even be a good reason for why he completely deserted Dean, Cas and Kevin.) But hopefully the ratings drop will be a wake-up call, and he'll realize he can't do whatever the hell he wants regardless of what the audience wants.

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"The best thing about it was the ending credits." I wholeheartedly AGREE.

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