Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Being Human (USA) "Children Shouldn't Play With Undead Things"

Non Spoiler Review:
This week brought a more sexually charged character piece that shows the series has evolved enough that it doesn't require a vampire crisis of the week. It seemed to promise a little more of a Sally focus, but didn't exactly deliver in the way I expected. Josh and Nora's relationship gets some attention and apparently it's that time of the month (already). Aidan turns big brother to a neighbourhood kid, but (no surprise) some really bad decisions come back to haunt him.

The writers still need to temper Sally's demeanor. She started out so likable again, and then her annoying factor got ramped right out of the park. There's redemption at the end, but she's still the least developed, while Nora, in contrast, is so much fun to watch she's passed Sally by, which is likely not what the writers are intending.

It was a welcome breather from the greater vampire drama (aside from a brief appearance by Rebecca) and especially no Danny and Bridget! That, in itself, scored major points. Though a few things were predictable, it still made for a great story. Aidan's bad decisions are piling up. It could be he's going to go off the deep end, because the guy never seems to catch a break. We get some more brief glimpses into his past, just enough to expect there's another bombshell waiting there.

And maybe...something tells me a bad thing happened as a result of this week's passion that may be revealed a month from now.

Spoilers Now!
Bad boy Aidan has his Rebecca porn DVD hidden in a book. But Josh interrupts to let him know Sally is wanting to be taken to the bar, so she accompanies them to a pub to play pool (Josh and Aidan, that is). Oh, and there's Nora chatting up a doctor. Sally eavesdrops, and Mr. Doctor is hitting on her, so she breaks a bottle and gets Josh to move in quick. But Josh just avoids it all and walks out.

Sally shows up to see the boys at work the next day. Josh is pining over Nora, who seems to be pining over the doctor. But Aidan has something to show Sally—the old wing of the hospital, which some claim is haunted, and which it is. She might find some answers there, he suggests. He can't really go in there himself, considering he put a lot of the people in there to start with.

The walls of the corridor are covered in green writing, and she's surrounded by a lot of aimless ghosts looking for contact with the outside. A spirit named Barbara says many come to find people here, writing questions or messages on the walls to see if anyone ever answers. It's a lot to absorb, especially that some of the ghosts are decades old, so she runs out.

Nora tracks down Josh, asking how things went with his sister. He says he saw her at the pub the other night, and asks if it was a date they were on, but it was just an after work drink. He suggests they have a second date, and she invites him over for dinner. Unfortunately, Sally interrupts with a rant about all the ghosts in the hospital (and at this point all the good Sally moments are completely overshadowed by her being a bitch for the rest of the episode). She knocks over a trolley and freaks Nora out a bit.

On a walk home, Aidan runs into a neighbourhood kid being bullied. He sends them on their way, but Bernie's mother isn't home yet so he asks to wait at Aidan's house (um...). Aidan takes him home and plays cards with him. Josh wanders in, and Aidan introduces their guest (at this point I was expecting the kid to be a zombie or demon or something...but he's just an ordinary neglected child). Sally's too busy ranting to Aidan about introducing her to all those ghosts to care about Bernie.

Bernie's mom Cindy shows up. She's not too impressed he went home with a stranger but finds Aidan likable enough. Josh is nervous about the date (because he's turning the next day—maybe he could have postponed their date by a day or two? Might have been prudent). Sally advises he should be the wolf (kind of like what Ray was suggesting). That house is just full of bad advice.

The second date goes well, and Nora cuts right to the chase and gets down to business. Josh chickens out as they get hot and heavy (feeling he's losing control with the wolf) and leaves. Sally asks him what's wrong, and he's decided he can't inflict his life on Nora and just wants to be miserable again. So Sally pulls out the well, at least you're alive card, and says she'd kill to have his life.

Bernie wants Aidan to be his new BFF, so they kick the ball around together. He scrapes his hand and draws blood and Aidan fights to keep control. But Rebecca pops up from behind a tree and needs to see him. She doesn't know about Marcus' attack on Emily and professes her innocence. But Aidan still misses her anyway, and suggests they can talk later (have sex). She muses that he must have been a father once, based on how he's interacting with Bernie. 

They watch movies at Aidan's later, but he sends Bernie up to his room to get a Three Stooges DVD (oh noes!). Cindy shows up to pick him up and is now at the point where she's flirting with him. Bernie heads home with her.

Nora corners Josh that night as he's leaving the hospital, trying to finish what they started. They don't have to rush, she assures him. But Josh decides to give in to the wolf right there (considering he's about to change) and they do it in the storage room in a surprisingly graphic sex scene (complete with growling and doggie style).

Nora's pretty satisfied, but Josh abruptly rushes out when he regains his senses, getting to the vault as his fallback plan, but there are two orderlies sitting down there having a smoke. So he rushes home as a last resort, telling them to get everything out of the room, turn up the stereo and save the TV. Aidan tells Sally to come with him, but she wants to see what happens. She hides behind a door and watches Josh transform while Aidan leaves. The kitchen is trashed and Sally is pretty much traumatized. On the front porch with Aidan she realizes Josh's life might not be that great.

The next morning it's clean up time and Sally apologizes for being so insensitive (okay, she's getting back to tolerable). She gets it now. And that's all the more reason he deserves happiness. But on the bright side Josh tells her Nora's coming over, and Sally has to leave because she always messes things up.

Only Nora doesn't show up first, but Cindy, who has a broken vampire sex DVD (busted!) and incensed that Aidan would give Bernie something like that, crazy pervert. Aidan is horrified, but he gets a slap across the face and is forbidden to talk to either of them. Bernie admits he took it from Aidan's shelf. Regardless, Cindy orders him to stay away from them, which means the next neighbourhood watch meeting is going to be awkward.

Back inside, Josh has recognized the vampire vid and asks why he kept it. Busted! If he's holding on to things like that, what's the point of their new life? He heads outside as Nora walks up and he apologizes for running out, but she's not mad at all. Well, a little. She admits it's not really her style and prefers more romance. number three?

Sally goes back to the haunted ward and isn't scared of everyone anymore, and as a smiling Barbara watches, she writes her own message on the wall—Can you help me move on?

The Verdict:
This was a much more character driven episode, with nary a vampire issue in sight aside from Rebecca's appearance. It looked like the ghosts in the ward would be the main focus, but they just served to bookend the story. 

At least Sally got a look at her possible fate decades down the road if she doesn't smarten up. I guess the writers were trying to make her as insensitive as possible so her epiphany would be all the more illuminating.

Aidan's porn DVD could be seen coming a mile away, and it was pretty heavy stuff given how much trouble Aidan could be in if Cindy wants to make his life miserable. And what's up with Aidan's freakishness around the least bit of blood? If he finds it hard to control himself around Bernie, how can he work in a hospital?

We got to see a few flashbacks to his family again, as well as his story that he was supposed to take over his father's printing press before he left to join the war. I'm guessing there's some nasty reveal about the fate of his wife and kid (as we all know Bishop was out and about then, as well). But now he has to rebuild his trust with Josh yet again. All these bad decisions are really adding up. Maybe the writers are going to go out on a limb and have him return to Bishop's fold after all? Especially if Marcus is now working against the both of them.

Nora is the pleasant surprise. She's really busted out of that initial wave of bitchiness. But I have a sneaking suspicion she could have been infected by Josh given he was about to change and he certainly didn't appear to slip on a condom. While the British version had her get scratched, it's entirely possible Josh can pass the werewolf disease through intercourse, which is a nice twist. Time will tell—but that revelation, coupled with Aidan's ongoing fall is definitely taking the series into dark territory. Being Human continues to grow and improve, and I'm looking forward to seeing what these sinister overtones develop into.

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