EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks again to Dana from @BeingFans for another great review, keeping us up to date on Syfy’s Being Human season 2!
What Did You Learn About Yourself?
With five episodes left, the Being Human crew is working overtime to keep its audience guessing at every choice Aidan, Sally, and Josh make. Monday’s episode raised suspicions about every plot point, and every choice that was made. While the last episode shocked us with fast-paced action and suspense, this week’s definitely zoned in on the emotions of our characters.
The set up for everything in season two now seems as though its beginning to come together to either force an impasse, drive a character choice, or set up a future downfall. This week I noticed how impressed I was this year at Being Human‘s ability to make great use of side characters. In season one, the side stories had mini-runs. Ray had two episodes, Bernie and his mom had two episodes, Nick and Emily had a story arc. This year, they’re introducing people into the world and saving them for later, as well as bringing characters back to make their world that much more rich. Nick and Emily both make re-appearances. We meet Julia and Stevie, know of their importance, but don’t see them week to week. It looks like next week we’ll even see the “not-so-possession free” Walter and Zoe make their way back into the story. It’s always better from an emotional standpoint for show to use what they’ve already created rather than introduce new characters, and on a show with a modest budget, they really know how to make their world seem large.
“I’ve Got You Under Your Skin” really drove home at the introspective, emotional side this week. At the very end of the episode, Aidan approaches Sally asking about her fight with the Reaper went. While the actual delivery seemed a bit odd and not quite organic, the question caused me to wonder about the answer for all three of our monsters. “What have you learned about yourself? While Sally and Aidan’s answered, “I’m still learning,” that did not stop me from pondering what I think each character had learned about themselves at this point in their journey. As far as similarities go for each monster, I think they were all surprised at what they were willing to do, and for whom they were willing to do things for, which left the roommates and the viewer, unsure as to what to expect for the future.
Sally’s entire season culminates to one moment of realization this week. The Reaper points out that if Sally took up reaping, she’d not only have purpose, but cosmically would be contributing in a way far beyond anything she could ever do alive or dead: creating a needed balance. He goes so far as to tell her death made it her destiny. Sally has worked at finding purpose for her existence all season long: reincarnated babies, possessions, boyfriends. Everything she could think of to find a reason to continue, left her feeling even moore dead emotionally than she was physically. She realizes that her actions haven’t helped her situation, and decides reaping may just be the best option, maybe in death she has found her destiny. That is until the wise-beyond-his-years Stevie shows up as her first target. What did Sally learn about herself? She learned she will stand by and let Steve get shredded (love ghost terminology) by the reaper because she thinks he’s unstable, despite the fact that he’s protesting that he’s not done any shredding since Dylan (when he was protecting Sally). Is having meaning in her own death worth destroying another soul?
The really cool part about Sally’s story lies in the mystery of the Reaper. He sells his job as the one thing that keeps the order and balance in the world, something that keeps things sane and possible in the after life. He says it feels powerful and puts you in control…and yet he’ll give it all away to Sally? Does shredding of a beings soul actually weigh more heavily than he wants to admit? Does even this seemingly stone cold being feel the sting of guilt and remorse from permanently snuffing out a “life”? Sally watched her friend get reaped, but she didn’t feel good about it. She has yet to reap herself, which is the key point. That choice, that line represents the biggest impact on Sally’s future. I still think it’d be really amazing if Sally becomes a new type of Reaper. All of the things the Reaper said to her as reason why she was perfect for the job were also reasons why she could take on helping guide spirits in the afterlife as opposed to shredding them leading to a happier more peaceful yet still balanced afterlife. Everybody wins.
Aidan found a line and crossed it when he had to face Henry. We know that Aidan is a father. We see the grief of it when he thinks about his lost son. We saw the joy he experienced as a Dad when he played Go Fish with Bernie, and we saw the weight of it when he could not bring himself to kill Henry. This week, all father-son metaphors disappeared. Aidan considers Henry his blood, his actual son, and someone he wants to exist in his life. He feels so much love toward Henry that he sacrificed the lives of Bishop’s Orphans, the very ones he kept secret and sought mercy for from Mother, in order to ensure Henry’s safety. Aidan feels the burden of this betrayal. The screams of the vampires he tricked into dying, haunt him, but if he had to do it over, he would listen to them all scream again to save his son. (on a side note, Aidan and Suren’s plan to “uninvite” the illegitemates and destroy them all in one swoop made for some amazing TV!) In the beginning of the season, we wondered if Aidan would have a hand in orphan culling to help get his freedom back, but his actions this week had almost nothing to do with Mothers decrees or winning his freedom or pleasing Suren. It was about protecting Henry. He had discovered about what Henry meant to him, but now Aidan is dealing with what that addition means for his life. How it will affect all the others and reorder his priorities. Is this discovery good or bad for his life?
The two most influential vampires in Aidan’s life were shown, I believe, in their true forms this week. Suren, the supposed leader with newfound fervor to rule, gets caught up in her own need to take revenge on Henry for his fraternizing in the 1930s. She doesn’t even attempt to hide her own pleasure as she describes how she’ll enjoy flaying off his skin. Even when Aidan tells her that this action will show mother that she’s strong, she completely ignores him and continues describing the sharpness of the blades she’ll use on him. Henry, on the other hand, seems like a completely different vampire than the one we met in Aidan’s flashbacks. He wants to be by Aidan’s side, and agrees to torture if it means he’s paid penance. While Suren says she’s matured and grown, she still acts as bratty, spoiled princess we met in the 30’s. Henry meanwhile has found the courage to come out of hiding, and chooses Aidan’s side. He has always wanted to climb the ladder, but we now see loyalty to his friend and maker, as opposed to simply wanting steak dinners and chorus girls.
For Aidan, this season has been putting into place the factors that will most likely be in the way of him obtaining his freedom, as well as those pulling him deeper into the vampire world. We’ve seen the long influence that the royals and Henry have had on him. They’re not all going to make it out alive. My favorite theory is Suren will kill Henry and then he will have to kill her, thus endangering his quest for freedom. At this point, it seems the love of his son outweighs his want of freedom. Will his friendship with Josh be strong enough to pull him back from that.
It’s possible Josh won’t pull Aidan out of the dark, simply because he has his own troubles. Josh’s storyline this week set up for things to come. He’s still dealing with his break up with Nora, and has the help of his sister Emily, who, one, got the most adorable hug from Josh EVAR, and two, continues her attempts at replacing her blood with alcohol. The bulk of Josh time involved him having personal time with ex-fiance Julia. Until Monday, I didn’t think that Sam Huntington could top his performance in season one when he found out Ray had been the one to turn him. Josh’s emotional A-bomb of a conversation with Julia, topped it. Every emotion that he’s ever felt and then bottled up inside himself exploded in that moment. Much of what he said to her described how he felt about why he left three years ago, but a lot of the conversation referenced Nora, the fears and pain he feels about their relationship.
Since we first met Josh, his number one priority, involved damage control with his wolf. He ruined a relationship with his fiancé by leaving to keep her safe. The wolf also ruined what Josh had with Nora. He’s finally started making amends with Julia, but will this end up making his life better? He cut her out for a reason. The monologue at the top of the show talked about how at times during a battle, reinforcements might show up, but is that in favor for you or the enemy. It was a confusing metaphor at first, but looking at Josh it did seem to make sense. Smoothing over hard feelings may sound healthy to us, but if Josh brings Julia back into his life while things aren’t great between he and the volatile Nora…things may not end so well. It’s been my belief ever since Nora stalked Julia home in episode three, there is going to be a Nora/Julia showdown, and Josh will be the one picking up the pieces.
Hopefully, what Josh learned about himself this week is that emotions aren’t meant to be bottled up, but more likely I feel like he may have discovered that he can confide in someone he thought he’d lost. And that might end up being one of the worst mistakes of his life.
While i love how each monsters storyline is progressing, I, along with many others, miss the scene with all three roommies interacting with each other, those are the scenes that make the show so special. Thankfully, there’s always SOME cross talk (Sally’s family dinner had me in stitches) though it’s dramatically less. A large reason why fans loved episode seven so much was because Aidan and Josh’s journeys crossed paths so often. This season the writers are trying to give each of them a journey of self discovery, and that can be lonely. Isolated from each other our monsters seem more lost and hopeless. It’s working, because the adjective “lost” is a great way to describe all three, and the result is heart breaking. Still, there’s a bit of the show that’s missing. When they “find” each other again, it will be a satisfying moment. It was a bold choice for the second season of the show, and it has ruined it, but I do look forward to happier days, at least between the roommates.