When we last left the Stonehaven pack on Bitten, Elena (Laura Vandervoort) was dealt a blow when Philip (Paul Greene) was murdered, leaving the road for revenge wide open in Season 2.
“Bad Blood” picks up a mere three days from the events in the Season 1 finale, with the pack seeking out Malcolm (James McGowan) to not only get revenge, but to save Rachel (Genelle Williams) and her unborn baby. As if that weren’t enough to deal with, this season also features the addition of witches and the Council of International Alphas, two new forces for the pack to contend with.
To wrap our heads around it all, we caught up with showrunner and executive producer Daegan Fryklind to find out what’s in store for our furry friends, whether Elena and Clay (Greyston Holt) can finally be happy, and what the heck is the deal with those witches.
The TV Junkies: How would you describe Elena’s mindset in Season 2?
Daegan Fryklind: She is out for blood in the beginning of Season 2 and very sort of razor focused on finding Malcolm and exacting revenge for Philip’s death, sort of pushing everything else aside. So she’s in this … for lack of a better term, fight or f–k mentality, where it’s just like she is in pure animal mode. By the end of Season 1 she’s accepted the wolf in her and at the top of Season 2 she is operating at that level.
TTVJ: Most writers go with the love triangles, but you guys killed yours off! Was Philip always destined to die at the end of Season 1?
DF: I knew from early on, like in the development phase that that’s where I wanted to go towards the end of Season 1, to really give Elena momentum into Season 2 and also because I really believe that Elena and Clay are soul mates. In Season 2 we wanted to throw some obstacles at them, but we really wanted those two to come together as this … strong, solid, soulmate couple by the end of Season 1 and then start this Season 2 with them on pretty solid footing in terms of their relationship.
TTVJ: What kinds of challenges are in store for them?
DF: We have some big external challenges, some crazy stuff that’s coming at the pack in Season 2. We have the introduction of witches and a problem that they’re bringing along with them that is going to have a big impact on the pack.
TTVJ: We’ve seen so many types of witches over the years in pop culture, what are the witches in the Bitten world like?
DF: That was part of the discussion when the writers came together for Season 2–and we have some new writers as well–it’s part of our challenge, which we accepted with great vigour: how do we make these witches different than witches that are out there in the television landscape? First of all we wanted to make sure our witches were within the tone of the universe that we had set up with Bitten in Season 1. We wanted to keep them quite low-fi in terms of the powers they have because we also wanted to make sure that within introducing witches to our universe that we were still keeping the werewolves cool, strong, vital members of storytelling as well. So we’re playing with witches who have capabilities but they’re not throwing fireballs. They’re they feel realistic within our world.
TTVJ: We see an interesting talisman in the first episode back, what can you tell us about it?
DF: That’s the symbol that’s on our undoing website and it’s particular to one of the characters in Season 2. It’s a very dark symbol and it’s a sort of a re-creation of a symbol within Wiccan mythology that is of a very dark nature. Our witches have talismans and they’re able to focus their powers through them. So as they are initiated and become full witch, they get their talismans. When we meet our first two witches at the top of the season you’ll see the talismans that they have. That symbol that we’re using as part of the undoing will … actually I can’t say that because it’s a spoiler! I was going to say what it’s use is, but that’s a bit of a spoiler.
TTVJ: Because Bitten is based on the books, some of the mythology was already there. How do you keep it all straight? Are you expanding it in Season 2?
DF: Yeah, we’ve blown out the mythology in a slightly different way for these 10 episodes, that’s one of the challenges in adaptation: you have a vast array of characters that you’re servicing and so we’re blowing out the storylines, not only for Elena, but for Clay and Jeremy (Greg Bryk) and Nick (Steve Lund) and for all of our pack members. And now in Season 2 with the witches as well, we’re just making sure all of those characters are fully represented and have their own character arcs throughout the season and fascinating stories that we can follow through with them.
TTVJ: Will we be going back into the past and looking at Elena’s former life in Toronto?
DF: Our first few episodes are honouring the storylines we set up through Season 1, so we’re looking to answer some questions there. Our momentum is moving forward into Season 2 at the same time, so to sort of overlap as we’re wrapping up some areas of Season 1 we’re also kicking full boar into Season 2.
TTVJ: Does that mean we could see Natalie Brown back as Diane?
DF: We were able to get her back, I don’t know if that’s a spoiler, but we do have a little bit of Diane in Season 2.
TTVJ: Tell us how Clay will react to this new, vengeful Elena?
DF: It’s an interesting new dynamic for Clay because at the start of the season he’s almost the voice of reason. He goes from being the person most likely to be seeking revenge and flying off the handle to the person who is trying to council Elena through this. He’s been down this road before, he has some ghosts in his past that still exist in his closet, so he’s trying to council her through her revenge as best he knows how.
TTVJ: There is a super hot sex scene between the two of them in the first episode back was that to help show off Laura’s buff new bod?
DF: Originally we wrote that she was using the bar in a closet. Then when we went location scouting we couldn’t find a closet that looked how we were picturing it. When we walked into this hotel room with director Grant Harvey, we saw the door frame separating two rooms and that quickly became the revised version of that. Laura worked out like crazy between Season 1 and Season 2. Like, her arms are amazing so that was really like, we wanted to showcase the strength of these characters and also just sort of like, primal animal passion. It became a good showcase for Clay and Elena and it’s juxtaposed with another intimate scene in that episode which is quite different. So we’re sort of playing the two sides of these characters.
TTVJ: How do you balance just plain old hot sex scenes with using them to help move the story?
DF: It’s a fine balance. We like them to be evidence of the mindset of the character at the time, so for instance in the one you mentioned, you can see that Elena is blowing off some steam. We’re playing with a few of the characters over the course of the season, showing them sort of cracking open emotionally through their intimate scenes. It’s a nice way for us to explore that side of the character.
TTVJ: Logan (Michael Xavier) isn’t in a very good place when we return, what can you tease about his arc?
DF: He is dead set on finding Rachel and he’s going to do whatever he can to find her, he’ll stop at nothing. Whether that means defying Jeremy, that doesn’t matter to him, she is his sole pursuit.
TTVJ: Does that hypothetically include agreeing to give up his little wolf baby to Jeremy, or will he literally say and do anything at this point to get them back?
DF: I think he’s just doing whatever he can to get Rachel, and then he’ll deal with the next problems after he gets them back.
TTVJ: What about Nick’s journey?
DF: Nick has stepped into sort of an advisor role after the death of his father in Season 1. He’s a different kind of advisor because he grew up with Clay and is very close to Elena, so there are some old school rules to the pack that will be challenged this season. Nick is kind of in a grey area between enforcing the old school rules of the pack and seeing that if they want to survive, they might need to change.
TTVJ: With this new Council of International Alphas, is it safe to say Jeremy’s leadership will be called into question too?
DF: Yeah, and through this council, we wanted to open up our world to a global level and say, if there is this mutt uprising in North America what sort of impact does that have on the other packs around the world? And it’s just a nice way for us to blow that open and show that North America is not the only place. And moving towards other seasons that there are other places and other packs and other areas that we can explore.
TTVJ: What can you leave us with in terms of Season 2’s overarching theme?
DF: Season 1 we were dealing with dads–bad dad–a lot. In Season 2 we’re dealing more with mothers and so we have Elena exploring a ton of maternal instincts within her, and also in that we’ve brought more female characters into the world. So we’re seeing this sort of female dynamic and how that is influencing the pack.
This season we also wanted to add a more horror vibe to the show. It keeps with the thriller tone because there is a mystery at play, but we’re exploring more horror tropes. We kind of went through our rolodex of everybody’s fave horror movies that we all watched growing up and so pay homage to that throughout the course of the season.
TTVJ: What was your favourite that you incorporated?
DF: The Changeling. There’s a soundscape thing that we play with later in the season that is also shout out to Canada because it was shot in Canada, but yeah, we just … everybody in the writing room loved The Changeling growing up. And it holds up, it’s still such a great horror movie.
Bitten Season 2 premieres Sunday, Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on Space.
Amber Dowling is a bonafide TV Junkie, critic and freelance writer who watches countless shows and lives for dramatic (fictional!) twists. She currently serves as the vice-president of the Television Critics Association and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows across North America. An advocate for Canadian Television and a lover of the medium in general, Amber founded TheTVJunkies.com as a spot for fellow enthusiasts to connect and collaborate. She previously spent almost eight years as the EIC for TV Guide Canada.