BITTEN – Season 2 Episode 5 – SPOILERS
“Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow”
— T.S. Eliot – The Hollow Men
Near the end of the episode, the end of that poem is quoted by Dr. Bauer, but the above stanza is applicable to the story as well. Much of the doctor’s work takes place in “the Shadow”.
In a flashback, we see Dr. Sondra Bauer (Carly Street) get busted by her boss Dr. Randall Penner (Richard Clarkin) for creating horrifying rabbit mutations in the lab. (The episode is titled “Rabbit Hole”.) She is escorted off the premises by security. Distraught at her inability to continue her research, she decides to kill herself by jumping from a building. This plan is interrupted by a flock of blackbirds that fly straight at her as she stands on the ledge, knocking her back onto the roof.
Aleister appears and, in a scene reminiscent of an exchange between Kirk, Sybok, and Dr. McCoy in STAR TREK V, offers to take away all her pain. Kirk said: “I don’t want my pain taken away, I need my pain!” Dr. Bauer responds in a similar way. “Give me back my pain,” she says. “Let me feel everything.”
Aleister’s real name, it turns out, is Timothy Ashmont, and he is the son of the witch Ruth Winterbourne. Witches are not supposed to let boy babies be born. For some reason, Ruth did, and then took the baby to another witch (Clara Sullivan, played by Debra McCabe) to have it destroyed. (Sullivan was known to Ruth as a less than ethical witch.) Think about this for a moment. Ruth refuses to have an abortion, gives birth to the child, and then decides to have it killed? More likely she knew that Sullivan would not be able to do this, and that the child would somehow survive.
Ruth Winterbourne and Sondra Bauer may represent different aspects of the same thing. The witches of BITTEN have a (possibly self-fulfilling) prophecy that, should a male witch be allowed to live, he will destroy all witches, everywhere. Winterbourne’s child may have been an experiment designed to test or thwart the prophecy, and her abandonment of young Timothy, knowing he would be rejected and feared by all other witches, may have been an act of cruelty akin to what Dr. Bauer did by creating her mutated bunnies.
At the end of the previous episode, Sondra injected herself with Elena’s blood. As her eyesight begins to change (wolves can’t see most reds and greens) she asks Elena what else she can expect to happen. Elena tells her: “The change begins at the extremities (hands, feet) on a physical level, but it begins before that. You’ve noticed the hunger, the insatiable need to hunt.”
Presumably because she has some of Elena’s blood, Sondra becomes the second female to successfully change into a wolf and back again, but she is brain-damaged as a result. She speaks repetitively, with the same words T.S. Eliot used at the end of The Hollow Men:
“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends”
Aleister treats her a bit better than she treated her rabbits. He walks away and causes her to bleed out, telling her: “For you, my first, I will give you the most beautiful pain in the world.”
Debra McCabe (Clara Sullivan) will be Marta Claus in A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY, which stars LOST GIRL’s Rob Archer as Krampus and will probably be released sometime around Christmas. Among things that happen in the film, Santa’s elves turn into zombies, and Krampus turns up, complete with whips and chains to take Santa’s place. Three of the film’s writers (Doug Taylor, Sarah Larsen, and James Kee) also wrote for DARKNET.