For the first time since the first season, first episode of Being Human, I didn’t like an episode (bear with me). Besides seething hatred, a slow, gut churning anger formed in the pit of my stomach as I watched. How DARE Being Human make its characters act so moronically? How dare they, in the name of drama, split up the Justice League over so petty a reason? After an all night bender and waking up in the middle of the 405 freeway wearing a Captain America mask (don’t ask), I started thinking through the events of the episode and realized that, in fact, making me so angry proved that the episode had a great deal of substance and depth that I overlooked. Upon close examination, the characters stayed true, the mysteries and events didn’t disappoint, and overall I’d just overreacted. Don’ get me wrong, I’m still mad, but it’s not because the show had missed its mark.
Josh and Aidan’s storyline had quite a few parallels: choosing between people who’ve influenced them, having a bomb dropped on them that changes the course of their lives, and both have elements that I’m not sure I completely trust. And let’s not forget, of course, both made me turn into Dana Hulk.
Nora’s back this week, claiming that she’s had time to think over what had happened, and realizes that she’d made mistakes and wants to atone. Of course, Josh and Julia decided to have another go at their relationship, so there’s a nice complication. I was actually impressed with both women this week (a first for me, as far as Julia goes) and how they went about dealing with the difficult situation. Both kept their calm, neither made demands, and both told Josh what they wanted. Mr. Josh Levison, however did NOT keep is cool, and my temper flared, resulting in some not so lady like words on my part. I understand that Josh feels very strongly about Nora’s choices, but she didn’t demand or violently take a stand with him, she acted like an adult. Later in the episode, they do have a chance to talk a little more calmly, so I forgave him, but it was rough for a while. Despite the adorable line from Nora that she just wanted to see Josh happy, above her own happiness, Josh looks currently Julia-smitten. Hey Josh? Remember why you left Julia in the first place? That hasn’t changed. I’m getting angry again. You wouldn’t like it when I’m angry. Although if there is a guy who can understand transformation, it’s Josh.
We also have this business about a cure. Nora learns from Brynn (apparently purebreds keep better records than Vampires. They know the cure to their curse and vampires don’t pass down the dangers of drinking wolf blood? Someone should be fired), that in order to break the wolf curse, one needs only to kill the one that made him. Of course, this is a slight problem for Josh. He can stay the monster, or kill Ray, become human, and keep his monster status anyway.
Aidan’s story matches Josh’s on quite a few plot points, but with his own vampire world spin. He’s dealing with a newly impatient and bratty Henry as well the impatient and bratty Suren. While Josh tries to figure out his relationship with Julia, Aidan is trying to figure out where Suren fits in his life.
Aidan and Suren’s relationship (I use the term lightly) is something that actually DID get me genuinely angry. From what I saw, both in the 1930s and in the present, they didn’t display attraction based on any true emotions, but rather lust and “I want what I can’t have” or “I need to use you” sort of situations. I never believed any real feelings between them, now or then. It’s been a few episodes since we’ve seen Aidan and Suren act like a couple, and before we only saw feeding and sex. The last big thing that happened with Suren involved her flaying the skin off of Henry. Exactly why does he suddenly want to fit her into his life? Suddenly, in episode 11 of a 13 episode series they’re giving us tender stories of Aidan tending to a single flower for her? Not buying it. In slight contrast, Aidan’s relationship with Henry might have proved a bit too much for a short season of TV, watching Henry become several different versions of his character, but it never felt unbelievable. These issues are why I was so angry at the end of the episode…but I’ll get to that in a minute.
This is the episode where all Aidan’s hard work, sweat, and tears earn him complete banishment from the Vampire world under penalty of death, or as Mother likes to call it, his Freedom. While Josh immediately assessed his situation, Aidan decides the BEST possible thing that he could do in reaction is run away with Suren, and that’s when my head exploded. Being Human gives us a very sentimental scene where the three amigos tearfully say goodbye to each other, probably for forever, and all I can think is “What an idiot.” Even when Sally said the golden line, “we’re strongest when we’re together,” as proven by last weeks events…doesn’t phase our vampire.
Upon my rewatch, I still think Aidan’s is acting—I’ll be kind and say rashly, but I see now that he’s whipped himself into full blown panic mode. He’s not thinking rationally. He’s worried about surviving, about what he would do if he slips up. For goodness sakes he says “I…think I can be happy with her.” Convincing. This little adventure is doomed before it starts.
I don’t know that I trust either storyline. Is Nora really back because she wants to make amends? Is she still acting with Brynn, who undoubtedly still wants to avenger her brother. At then very end, we see the vampires have already tracked down Aidan and Suren, and the vampire posse is lead by Henry. Are Suren and Henry working together? And why did mother choose banishment for Aidan over death? She’s no idiot; she knows Boston’s success in large part is due to Aidan. So many questions and only two episodes left.
I don’t want to leave out Sally, who not only DIDN’T make me angry, but also made me proud! Her story, while smaller this week, did show her making very important steps in controlling her Reaper side, Scott. She discovered, despite his negative insistings, that when she helped someone in trouble, it gave her the strength and courage to silence Scott and make him flicker. Will this last? Probably not, but it does give us a fun glimpse into what could be in store for her,, perhaps what she might decide to do with her time. The best part in Sally’s story was the “remote control” bookends. At the beginning of the episode, Sally watches TV with the volume up to grandma levels to drown Scott out. At the end, she turns the volume to normal and gives us a subtle but triumphant smile.
Another pleasure for this episode included seeing all our monsters under one roof dealing with normal “human” issues during the dinner scene. While I loved the jokes and the interactions and Sally lying across the table, I can’t decide if this scene felt brilliant or lost, structurally. On one hand, the first act and the second act seemed like completely different episodes. While it was nice to start out on an uncomfortable but hilarious note, it seemed to have little to do with the end. On the other hand, showing that their lives can be so normal and happy one moment, and everything can change drastically the next is a phenomenally brilliant way to tell a story for Being Human.
I’ll touch on the “goodbye” scene once more, because it was an important moment, despite the fact my ire made me miss the emotional aspects the first time around. It was brilliantly acted, there’s no denying that. The Bro Hug between Josh and Aidan along with the flashbacks of the three of them having fun and laughing (which I normally hate) actually brought a genuine smile to my face. And Aidan attempting to caress Sally’s face was epically poignant. It’s almost enough to make me forget that it’s a huge slap in the face to Josh and Sally that Aidan doesn’t trust them to help him through his crisis. Sorry the ire is back. Can’t be helped. Dana Smash!