Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Being Human (USA) "Dog Eat Dog"

Non Spoiler Review:
Being Human continues to improve, this week delivering on the mysterious Dutch—the Pennsylvania vampires we last saw hanging in the barn. They're a hoot, and promise a lot of trouble for Bishop and Aidan. But their high maintenance demands lead to a really bad situation for Josh, allowing Aidan's actions to finally catch up with him.

This week also brought an interesting flashback to the 50s, with a new perspective on the Bishop/Aidan dynamic. The writers don't let anything fall by the wayside, dealing with the fallout from Bernie's death, and Josh's involvement with the vampires, among others. It carried a lot of weight that will have lasting effects on the Aidan/Josh/Sally friendship.

Unfortunately the final package was insufficient to bring it to its conclusion. I was left disappointed when the climax abruptly resolved itself after the commercial break offscreen. And though we're left with some ominous threads yet to come, it was a big cheat for this episode, at least.

Spoilers Now!
Rebecca doesn't take the Bernie news well at all. She even invokes Aidan's human son, which touches a nerve. Bishop shushes them both, as apparently The Dutch are here—ultra-orthodox vampires from the old country who seem to maintain control over the various families. Aidan doesn't want to stick around for that.

Sally is lamenting she doesn't get to do things like Josh and Aidan and doesn't seem to impact their lives as they go off and have experiences she can't (well...ya). But when Josh goes to take the garbage out around the alley Sally hears a commotion and finds him gone.

Flashback—1950s and Bishop's girlfriend is a human and it's her birthday and she's sad about getting old. But she doesn't want to be turned, as that's unnatural. So Bishop is sad as she walks off to work, and James Dean Aidan appears, urging him to drop her and move on. He's there to bring him to the family, who needs him now. Just turn her, he suggests. She'll thank him.

Back in the present, Bishop and Marcus are standing watch over the four coffins as they open. The leader Haggeman rises, wanting blood. He's been asleep for fifty years. 

Josh awakens in a cage. His captor is an old man named Douglas who knows he's a werewolf. He's called The Professor and works for the vampires. It's gonna be a gladiator-style dogfight, with the vampires watching for sport. And by the way, Douglas is the other dog. He's been there for years and years, and doesn't try to escape because he's afraid he would hurt someone. Imprisoned beneath the funeral home, he's contained.

The Dutch are pretty hard to please and don't agree with all this new-fangled modernity. Aidan does show up at the funeral home to greet them, but when they're led down to the basement, there's Josh and Douglas, and Aidan says nothing. The two are ordered to strip while the creepy vampires examine them. Bishop whispers to Aidan this was all very spur of the moment.

Flashback—Bishop meets with The Dutch who seem to favor Aidan over him. They abruptly kill the previous owner of the funeral home, Carlos, who was Bishop's maker. Bishop does not rise up to defend him, even after he allowed him to carry out his heresy under his roof, Haggeman notes. But they'll help him back on his feet by giving him Boston—if he drops the girl.

Aidan runs home to a frantic Sally, but he already knows about Josh. He tries to find his keys to the funeral home, but Sally decides to act on her own and appears to Josh and Douglas. Josh is in no mood to hear about Aidan.

Aidan then goes to Rebecca to help him and sway Marcus to get his keys. Sally appears, recognizing her from the video. Rebecca refuses to help and leaves Sally to rake Aidan over the coals for not taking a stand and giving up the life he's built.

Flashback—Aidan thinks Bishop is being a hypocrite for not giving up his girl when he forced him to give up his family back in the day. Bishop can't lose her. Well, then Aidan says he can't support or trust Bishop anymore. So there. Break up. He'll renounce him as his maker.

In the present, Aidan goes to Bishop and says he'll come back to him if Josh is freed, but he's already being led into the ring and chained up. Bishop goes to The Dutch and tells them the older wolf is sick and they should cancel, as it would be unfair. He suggests they just watch Josh transform and leave it until next time.

Haggeman suggests he have one of his men fight him, as he has soooo many vampires to spare. Marcus comes up to say there was a problem, and then the doors open and wolfy Douglas enters. Both werewolves circle one another.

The next scene is Josh in his room and Aidan is sitting with him. He killed Douglas, apparently (!?). Aidan admits they didn't lock Josh back up because he agreed to go back to them, at least for a little while. He has to repay Bishop's favor. 

Aidan admits to being scared and selfish and it was really Sally who saved him. After what he saw in there, Josh doesn't see how Aidan can go back to it, especially since their house was all his idea in the first place.

Flashback—Bishop sees his nurse girlfriend at work, kisses her, and says they won't have to talk about vampires anymore. If she remains, he's reminded of his weakness and he has to be strong like he used to be. So he strangles her. 

Aidan arrives with Bishop to entertain The Dutch with a night on the town. Aidan wants to know what they're doing there, and Bishop admits they both know tomorrow they're going to kill Bishop. And they walk off with them.

The Verdict:
The Dutch were suitably creepy, and the insight into the gangland style organization of the vampire world was a good addition to the show's mythology. Bishop seems to be taking his imminent death pretty well, so he undoubtedly has something planned. Especially welcome was Sally (finally) participating in the goings on with Aidan and Josh, and taking an active role in trying to help matters.

All that neat stuff was completely overshadowed by an ill-conceived ending, and a big slap on the wrist for the complete mess of the werewolf fight. For a title of Dog Eat Dog, to show the wolves circling one another, cut to a commercial, and come back to a little chitchat between Aidan and Josh is completely unacceptable (I realize the CGI would be expensive, but come on). Telling us that Josh is upset for committing murder really lacks any impact when we don't have a sense of what happened at all. Boo.

The show desperately needs an Aidan/Josh flashback to put their friendship into some kind of perspective, because right now Josh is letting Aidan off the hook on a lot of stuff—murder, vampire snuff films, creating vampire children, killing vampire children, getting kidnapped, and now he's forced to kill someone! That's a ridiculous amount of baggage to have between friends, yet Josh just keeps forgiving everything. Implausible.

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