Bitten showrunner Daegan Fryklind previews tough choices ahead

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Bell Media

After spending 30 years in a blood feud, Sasha (John Ralston) and Roman (Daniel Kash) finally confronted each other last week on Bitten. The truth about Elena’s (Laura Vandervoort) mother and past came out, with her now left to deal with the fallout. Jeremy (Greg Bryk) is also in a tough spot after (no longer) Sheriff Karen (Fiona Highet) witnessed the fight, as well as Alexei’s (Alex Ozerov) first time undergoing the Change. Will he allow her to live now that she knows their secret? Oh and speaking of Alexei, Clay (Greyston Holt) will need to help him with the questions surrounding who he killed during his first change.

In order to get the answers to all these questions, as well as look ahead at what’s to come during the rest of the season, The TV Junkies turned to this episode’s writer Daegan Fryklind. The Bitten showrunner filled us in on everything related to “Of Sonders Weight,” which will see Elena drawing parallels from Sasha’s story to her own, why Karen was brought back into the fold, and Clay’s arc trying to protect Alexei during his change.

The TV Junkies: After last week’s action packed episode we see things slow down a bit here. Why did you want to change up the pace?

Daegan Fryklind: On a story level, we’ve covered so much ground in the first 4 episodes, that it felt like the right place to focus on character and emotion, and juxtapose these three twosomes as they dig deeper into the problems each are facing: with Elena and Sasha sorting out the past; Clay and Alexei searching for the person he attacked; and Jeremy getting to the bottom of exactly what Karen saw.

On a production level, I tend to do more intimate Episode 5s each season so we can save bigger stunts & VFX for other episodes, and this was directed by EP J.B. Sugar, which we shot in 5 days, so it was an intimate family affair for crew as well. But each season, Episode 5 is also a pivot point that shifts us from one part of the season to another.

TTVJ: Elena spends time tending to Sasha’s wounds this week. Can we assume that this allows for some good father/daughter bonding moments?

DF: “Good” in the sense that she’s able to confront him, but it’s always a question of “careful what you wish for” on this show. Sometimes the truth isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to hear.

TTVJ: How important is it to Elena’s journey that she discovers the truth about her family history?

DF: I think that’s a universal human trait. If any one of us was presented with a different history, or uncovered a past other than what we’ve come to know, we’d be torn between pursuing that truth or letting sleeping dogs lie. Elena is a character who has always longed for a family, that’s part of the books and we’ve made it part of the series, so introducing this new family felt like the natural expansion of the series, and a way to bring her character back to the center of the show.

TTVJ: We now know that Sasha was torn between love and his Alpha, Roman. Will Elena be able to draw similarities from her father’s story and her current situation?

DF: We draw that comparison, for sure. She understands having the kind of love that would make you risk all else.

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Bell Media

TTVJ: Jeremy and Elena have had some disagreements this season, but it seems like their relationship may be about to take a turn. Can you preview what’s ahead for their relationship moving forward?

DF: The end of this episode really solidifies where these two stand with each other moving forward. You’ll have to watch the episode to see if that is a good or bad thing! I will say though that Laura and Greg had the crew in tears.

TTVJ: Why did you decide to bring back Karen and how will Jeremy deal with her given what he said last week about having to kill any human that discovers their secret?

DF: From early on we were hoping to bring Karen back as someone who might be an example of a different path for Jeremy, as someone who has stepped away from a position of leadership for a quieter life, and Jeremy has gone from this quiet painter to a forceful leader over the course of 3 seasons, and there’s a reflective sense within him – he’s aware of the choices that have lead him to this place. And he says he believes in the rule of secrecy, but he’s also kept Rachel alive.

We were very fortunate to be able to get Fiona Highet back for this season–she’s a writer on Saving Hope, which is also an eOne show, so our executives were able to broker her return, which was fantastic as Karen is one of the few characters who has challenged Jeremy in the past — he respects her, so their dynamic was a great resuming point for this season.

TTVJ: Alexei made his first change and in the process killed a human. How is he going to deal with that and will we find out who he killed?

DF: Alexei has a lot to learn, and under normal circumstances, Sasha would have been there to guide him through his first Change and ensure his safety (and the safety of those around him). But Sasha also went wild on his first Change–he slaughtered a barn full of horses. Alexei learns a hard lesson in this episode, but thankfully his heart is in the right place, so this is a lesson that will stick, and Alex Ozerov brings such a soulful nature to Alexei, that you can’t help but feel for the kid.

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Bell Media

TTVJ: Clay is the one helping Alexei and trying to teach him about the change and Pack policies. Why was it important that he be the one helping him through this ordeal?

DF: Clay, of all the characters, understands how difficult the first Change can be if you’re alone, and how important it is to have guidance, even if he’s a little brusk with Alexei. Clay didn’t have any of that–he was a feral kid. And Alexei is Elena’s brother, and so Clay is going to do what it takes to get him through this. We don’t often see Clay as the mentor, and we really wanted to crack him open in this way this season, and allow Greyston to continue to develop the human side of Clay, which he does beautifully.

TTVJ: You guys have a fun guest star in this week’s episode. How did the opportunity to have George Stroumboulopoulos in the episode come about?

DF: J.B. and George are pals, and Laura knows him as well from being a guest on his show, and George had expressed an interest in guest starring, so it was a natural fit for us when we got to the point of breaking the season and realizing Alexei was going to attack a human during his first change.

TTVJ: Anything else you’d like to add about this week’s episode or what lies ahead this season?

DF: As I say, this episode pivots us towards the remainder of the season, and the seeds that are planted here become the garden path that will lead us to the end.

What do you think of the recent revelations on Bitten? What do you want to see happen? Sound off in the comments below!

Bitten airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space Channel and on Mondays at 11 p.m. ET on SyFy.