Imagine this, a ghost with a split personality traps her roommates–one is a vampire who hasn’t had blood in a very long time, and a werewolf on the full moon– in their house with no escape. Include in the mix a baby/ghost reincarnating, a clairvoyant friend (who’s specter boyfriend was murdered by the ghost with split personality ) who has to mind meld with the their captor to save all their lives. Utterly ridiculous and unwatchable, right? At least on paper it sounds that way, on the screen, it one of the most exciting, entertaining, hilarious, and tug on the old heart-strings episodes of TV ever.
Dream Reaper may just be the best episode of SYFY’s Being Human to date. The characters find themselves caught in a downright ridiculous situation (see above, I didn’t make it up), yet the shows nails the emotional moments, crescendos the tension, and demonstrates some of the funniest moments in the show so far. Yes, Being Human has set the bar pretty high when it comes to mixing moments of drama and humor, but this week, they managed to top themselves. Being Human went from flat out drama–yelling and screaming with grown vampires and werewolves sobbing, to unbelievable supernaturally based humor. Tears of woe to crying with laughter, not many actors could pull off such a stark change so quickly and have the bit work, but I was completely invested in every moment. Not that it was perfect. The scene where Sally/Reaper tries to rattle the team went on a little too long for my taste. While Sally looked and sounded creepy, and they did all the right things with her white eyes, voice augmentation, and position on the stairs (I have to find out how they had her set up that way), I wished she would just hit her evil little points so we could move on with things. The show went all out for Sally this episode, giving her a different outfit every scene, making up for a year and a half of the sameclothes, but I couldn’t help but laugh a little at her not shy at all “undies” scene. I suppose its only fair the fans boys get chance to drool. I also did care for the weird video warping effects to go into and come out of Sally’s World, they seemed a bit too “star wipe” for my taste, and I had some small editing issues, but hey, I’m an editor so that happens. Otherwise, this episode took the culminating factors of this season, all the issues and plot build up and made the characters face their problems in the most dire of circumstances to really tie things together.
The story for this week was like a sandwich. The bottom bread layeris Sally’s Dream Verse (complete w/ title card change!) The Reaper, an aspect of Sally, creates a perfect world for her where she doesn’t remember that she’s lonely, that she’s lost, and doesn’t remember she shredded other ghosts – or that SHE’S a ghost. The world uses the accent color of purple, which really pops when everything else is black and white. I wish I could take credit for this theory behind the purple, but a good friend on twitter (@iamyaniQ) gave me her theory, and I love it. “Purple represents wealth and sophistication which was an element of the “perfect” world the reaper created for Sally.” The show even had a scene with Sally, on the phone with her mother talking, giggling and happy. She could have been talking to anyone to show us her joy, but we know she wasn’t on good terms with mom, which made it the perfect choice.
Next on the Dream Reaper sandwich ( what’s a sandwich without cheese) is Zoe. She answers a distress call from Aidan and Josh to help wake a comatose, trapped in a salt-ring on the stairs Sally, blissfully unaware that Sally shredded her ghosty boyfriend in the previous episode. Zoe, previously an interesting, but not a favorite side character, elevated to“AMAZING” status this week. Not only did she know what was going on with Sally and had a possible solution, but in the moment she found out what Sally had done to Nick (what an awkward moment it was), she still came through to help guide Sally home. Sure, the danger factor roared its ugly head, but even when the Reaper manifested Nick in the dream world engagement party (I swear I’m not making this up), she held it together and got her job done.
Let’s add some meat to this sandwich. The Reaper, also called Scott by Sally in the Sally verse, knows the gang is trying to reach her. In a brilliant plot device, they set up the dream world as a horror flick, in which our ghost, Sally, is being “haunted” by her friends. Ah, sweet sweet irony. In order to thwart them, the Reaper locks the gang in their house.
The catch is, Mr-live-feeding-Aidan hasn’t had blood in far too long, and now finds himself trapped with a juicy little human. He’s now a danger in their already dangerous situation. This episode showed us the strongest example of the strength of his bloodlust. Aidan drinks from a helpless, mind-melded Zoe while she attempts to save Sally. His need for blood is so strong that he’d rather satiate his own hunger than see to it that Sally is brought back to them.
How about another catch? Of COURSE it’s a full moon that night, so suddenly the countdown clock that already ticks for Aidan, speeds up. Even while writing this, its seems too ridiculous to be taken seriously, but Being Human somehow made it work. The character relationships, the humor, and danger easily help suspend disbelief and insane plot devices and make the viewing experience incredible.
Just like the added effect of the “ghost story” in Sally’s Verse, the surreal danger our boys find themselves in serves as a catalyst for them to air out their “bromance” issues. No better time and place to start nitpicking who did or didn’t tell what to whom, and turn very serious events in their lives into petty ammunition against each other, right? Of course, the culmination of that is my new favorite scene in Being Human, when Josh lays into Aidan about how he’d violated their home, their sanctuary. He’d murdered and spilled blood that could never be erased. The acting in this scene was beyond phenomenal. Josh’s words hit Aidan like a ton a bricks, and he’s instantly brought crashing into reality. The way Aidan said “I murdered those girls” made it clear he hadn’t thought about what he’d actually done until this moment. The revelation kept me wide eyed the entire way through.
All of that made up the meat of our sandwich, not to top it off with a pest aioli (because I like a fancy sandwich). After Josh breaks Aidan down, the problem of him needing blood still remains, and so Josh offers his. In a hilarious scene, we get to see what happens to a vampire when it drinks werewolf blood. The reaction is like he drank a red bull, a red eye with a crystal meth chaser. Instant high and then your body rejects you and all your teeth fall out. I really have to wonder why they chose to give us this information at this time. With all the ongoing tension already in place, why introduce this technically unnecessary, albeit very interesting fact? Honestly, it did more to detract from the main danger by diverting worry onto another character, yet it was one of the most interesting parts of the episode.
I feel like we were given a wolf weapon. I’ve wondering if the show would ever delve more into the hatred between wolves and vamps. If there were ever to be a true war between the factions, the wolves need a more powerful weapon, and their blood seems pretty readily available to me! Being Human has proven to us that it can handle doing more myth-heavy story while keeping the beloved “human” aspect to it, so if the direction is a supernatural showdown, I’m game.
Finally we top off our sandwich with more Sally. Through the power of love and the bond of her friends she snaps out of her dream and we get our sweet Sally back. Considering how the Reaper came about in the first place, it was difficult to believe that we’d seen the ending to this storyline. And we haven’t. The Reaper still exists, it has to if Sally does. So to end this amazingly dense and amazing story we know that we’re not even close to being out of the woods. This was just a battle within the war.
So many words. The crazy thing is, I still didn’t cover everything that was worth talking about. This episode almost had the feel of a season ender, but we still have three episodes left. I cannot wait to see how this episode kick starts the end. Now I need to make a real sandwich. Hungry.