Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: Being Human (USA) "The End of the World as We Knew It"

Non Spoiler Review:
The End of the World as We Knew It is an appropriate title, given all three characters receive some life-changing news. Picking up the following day, Aidan must deal with a vampire priest working out of the hospital. Josh is facing his next change with clingy Ray, and Sally has an epiphany thanks to the plumbing.

Being Human really hit it's stride with this episode. Josh and Sally's arcs got some nice resolution while Aidan, though not front and center like past weeks, had his own interesting subplot, but one that pushes along Bishop's storyline, which could be the big arc this season. The various plots wove well together, with humour and exchanges that really fit the moment this time. Best of all, no whiny Josh or Sally. Definitely one to watch and a game changer for the series.

Spoilers Now!
Sally narrates the opening, commenting on the various rituals surrounding death. Aidan spends time with patients as they die at the hospital, watching them experience their last moments, which he can't do himself. When this particular patient is placed in the morgue, he abruptly awakens. He's been made a vampire, and his maker instructs him on how to feed on his first victim.

Josh is busy scrubbing out blood from his clothes from his night of vampire bashing while the plumbing in the house is acting up yet again. Aidan is complaining about the commotion to Sally, but she protests her ghostly powers are not responsible. She's not upset about Danny anymore.

Ray confesses he flooded the toilet, so Aidan takes the opportunity to remind him to maybe leave after the night's full moon. Josh comes downstairs more skittish than usual, and Aidan notices his bloody knuckles. Josh explains he and Ray ran into some drunks who were spoiling for a fight, and Ray makes a big deal about the bloated degenerates who picked the wrong night to run into them. Aidan offers Josh a ride for when he transforms later on, but Ray says they're turning together. Josh isn't so enthused.

At work, Aidan treats a new patient who's been bitten by the recently resurrected vampire he watched die the previous day. That vampire has been brought in, too, mistaken for a drug addict. Aidan talks to the crazed man, asking who turned him. He recognizes Aidan as one of them, but leaps up and runs out at super speed before anyone can pursue.

Danny comes over to see to the problems at the house, but the plumber is having difficulty with the old pipes. Bridget is with him, and she goes over to the spot where Sally died. They're getting all smoochy despite hanging out by the stairs where Sally is watching. Bridget tries to get all psychic and commune with Sally, convinced she spoke to her, but Danny is tired of her constantly bringing her up.

The plumber snaked all the drains and only found a hair clog in the shower, which doesn't explain the whole system backup. But he did find something else in the drain—Sally's engagement ring. Both Danny—and Sally—are a bit shocked to see it, but it's Sally who has a flashback...

Back when she wasn't dead and engaged, she dropped her ring down the sink, getting Danny very upset—who in these flashbacks is extremely quick to anger. Because she took the ring off he accuses her of cheating on him. He won't let it drop and pushes her against the wall. She bounces off the wall and falls down the stairs (!). Danny looks down at her in shock, but just sits at the top of the stairs.

When Sally comes back to the present, the drain abruptly clears out. She believes the house was trying to tell her how she died (and it's not even the the mid-point of the episode yet!).

At the hospital, a priest, who is obviously a vampire, squeezes into an elevator full people. He's having a lot of difficulty restraining himself from all the warm-blooded bodies, but manages as the doors open and everyone disembarks—except Aidan standing in the back. They go to the chapel to talk.

Aidan is surprised that Father Gates is a real priest. Six years before, he was dying of cancer and concluded there was no afterlife. A doctor, who happened to be a vampire, offered him another option to dying, but he believes it's God who saved him. Aidan doesn't care what he believes, but forbids him to turn anyone in the hospital. Gates informs him that Bishop is the one who brought him there, and Aidan doesn't get to make that call. So there.

Fuming, Aidan goes to see Bishop. Apparently Bishop turned Saren, the man in the opening, because his family had a lot of money. He's a pragmatist—being a vampire they need wealth and resources to handle things, keep stuff secret, pay people off, etc. Bishop is only turning the willing, useful and influential these days. Having a priest is also handy to use religion to control people. When they have the numbers and the power, they will no longer have to hide. It's evolution.

Aidan is outraged that Bishop is moving in on his space and they come to fisticuffs. Aidan gets the worst of it, and Bishop advises him that his time of playing human is over, and by the way, his pet wolf Josh has a taste for vampires, and he better muzzle him or they will.

Bitchy nurse from last week sees Josh comforting a patient and bitches him out for bothering them when he should be working. But Josh was just providing some comfort to the old woman by discussing her absent son and scores some minor points with the nurse given he came in on his day off (re: future love interest).

Josh has bigger things on his mind as he heads off to the cabin in the woods and meets up with Ray. He just wants the night to be over with and can't get all psyched up about it like Ray does. But Ray's got big dreams. Like creating a pack of wolves—a gang safe from vampires. Josh doesn't want to ever get into a fight like that again. He's done with the scrapping and the inner wolf. Ray gets frantic and says they can take their bromance slower if he wants, but Josh admits he thinks it's time Ray was on his way.

Ray doesn't handle rejection well. Josh says he's grateful for everything, but can manage without him. The wolf isn't him. It's an infection. And changing together might not be a good idea. So he heads out. Ray pleads with him that it's not safe out there. Then he spills all the beans and admits he's been looking for him for two years, because...Ray is the werewolf who attacked Josh on his camping trip.

Ray had attacked two backpackers, killing Josh's friend, but was scared off before finishing off Josh. Ray's been tracking him ever since out of guilt. He had to see what his life was like. Josh really loses it—his family, fiancee and future are all gone. Ray should have killed him. But Ray protests the wolf is a gift. He thought if he helped Josh and needed him, he'd let him into his life, his job, his home—all the things Ray used to have. Josh isn't in the mood to hear it, and their little heart to heart is interrupted by their impending transformations.

Aidan comes home to weepy Sally, who explains the pipes were her fault. She was trying to tell herself the truth all along—Danny killed her. She remembers it all now, and explains Danny's hair-trigger temper. Aidan's furious given all the times Danny has been there, going on about Sally. He heads out to exact some revenge, but Sally pleads with him not to. She doesn't know what she'll do yet.

He goes to Father Gates instead, trying to convince him to abandon his ways before he becomes a monster. Aidan admits to killing so many people that their faces are a blur—too many to remember. Father Gates thinks that's liberating, not scary. When the church is empty, he says, he can feel God with him. Aidan tells him he's stopped feeding, and the hospital is a place he can use as a refuge from the vampire life, where he can help people move on to the death he can never have. But Gates has a bit of a god complex himself and suggests they could end it right now if he wanted, and pulls a piece of wood off the pew.

Sally is at Danny's apartment, and she's able to wreak a lot of havoc on the place with her poltergeist powers. Cut to the wolf boys, who are in the midst of transformation and have an all out knockdown fight. Aidan gets that Gates is completely crazy, tackles him at super speed, and goes to work on Gates' face.

Ray wakes up in the woods by the cabin in the morning. Josh tosses him some clothes. He doesn't blame him for the first time—he was out of control. But he should have stayed away the second time. Josh doesn't feel sorry for him, though. Ray tells him he knows what he is and accepts it. Josh doesn't. Just give it a few years. This is as good as it gets. Josh walks away to Ray's shouts that one day Josh will come looking for him.

Apparently Aidan's yanked out Gates' fangs and the priest goes crying to Bishop. Bishop consoles him, admitting Aidan can be an animal at times. Unfortunately, fangs don't grow back (that's the one flaw in their evolution). But not to worry, they'll take care of him, he says mysteriously, and Marcus leads him away.

Danny comes home to a big mess. The house is trashed and there's a spiral debris pattern on the floor, at the end of which is the ring. Both he and Bridget are freaked out.

Josh is back to work, feeling a little down again. But this time bitchy nurse actually gives him a smile.

Back home on the front steps Sally is sitting with Aidan as Josh calls them in for dinner. Considering neither Sally and Aidan eat, Josh just wants them to enjoy a delicious meal together. Aidan had filled Josh in about Danny already, and Sally tells them there's nothing more to say. Sally asks what happened with Ray. Ray's gone, Josh says, and adds to Aidan that the degenerates he rolled are gone too and that won't be happening again. Oh, and Ray is the one who infected Josh, he adds for a shocker. Who wouldn't want to meet their were-dad, he says. And they're a happy family for the moment.

The Verdict:
There were some thoughtful ideas presented this week—from Father Gates' defence of vampirism as part of God's plan, to Ray's semi-sympathetic situation and the ominous prediction that Josh would end up like him after some years of living as a werewolf.

The final scene returned the series to a good balance of humor arising out of their easy interaction around the table. A nice wrap up to an otherwise emotional hour.

My only real critique is the sudden day and night switch of Danny from boring guy to extreme sociopath in the flashbacks. It was a bit too much to accept that he could fly off the handle so easily and yet Sally would have remained with him up to that point. Plus there was no surprise if you're a fan of the British series, as Sally's murder was expected.

They will have to deal with Danny at some point, given he's their landlord, but Bishop's grand plan seems to be the major arc of the season that's slowly gathering steam. There's also a danger here in treading too closely on ground covered in True Blood, with vampires revealing their existence, and most recently in season three, with Russell's plot to take over the world. It remains to be seen how far-reaching Bishop's plan is, as well as who he might be answering to himself.

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