Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: Being Human (USA) "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Me Killing You"

Non Spoiler Review:
The freshman season of Being Human wraps up oodles of stuff for the Aidan/Bishop, Josh/Nora, and Sally/door storylines in a pretty satisfying way. The inevitable battle between Aidan and Bishop takes a surprising conclusion, as does Nora's pregnancy. In contrast, the arrival and departure of Celine plays out as little more than a necessary plot device.

I'm hoping this US version begins to chart its own course as we enter season two. Being Human works much better when it's taking some chances and providing some unexpected twists for fans of both series, rather than spinning the British storylines. Overall, it was an enjoyable conclusion to the season, opening up lots of potential to explore next year.

Spoilers Now!
Josh is narrating this episode, and it appears he's talking to Nora as we see Aidan brought to Josh's chamber under the hospital, where they try to convince Nora to get him a transfusion. This prompts a Josh-related flashback to two years prior when he was working in a restaurant and stalked by vampires (including Marcus). They know he's a werewolf, of course, and proceed to beat him up when he takes out the garbage until Aidan appears and tells Marcus and the gang to beat it.

Back in the present, Aidan weakly tells Sally to go to her door before she misses it, and he's ready to die now himself. But when she returns home the door is gone.

Josh sits with Aidan as he gets a transfusion. Celine pays a visit. She convinces him to go home while she watches out for him, so he goes to clean up and Nora asks him what's going on. Given she's put her job (and life?) on the line for them, she needs to know if it's all worth it. She tells him she's keeping the baby (puppy).

A cop finds Bishop asleep in his squad car, wondering why he's been away a couple of days. Bishop's face is still all burned up, so he attacks the cop to feed off him.

Josh comes home to the burnt house and Sally's moping given her door is gone and now she has something new to bitch about. However, she can touch things, as she demonstrates by turning pages in the newspaper.

Celine takes Aidan out in a wheelchair, but they see Bishop by the elevator, and Celine pulls out her stake to warn him off. There's a crowd of people around, so they head off into the elevator and Bishop says hi to her. Next he goes to Josh and tells him to deliver a message. He and Aidan will end their war like the old days and have a big fight to the death.

Now that Aidan's home, he offers an opinion on Sally's new condition (because Aidan is the Encyclopedia Supernaturalia)—that she's more tethered to the earth. Josh gives him the message. Sally suggests Josh can werewolf fight Bishop, but Aidan won't hear of it, and will face off with him alone. Later, Sally tells Josh they have to do something (meaning Josh), so he suggests they lure Bishop into his room beneath the hospital and Sally can lock them both inside. Josh delivers the instructions to Bishop.

Celine confesses to Aidan what happened years before with their foiled meet up—how Bishop kidnapped her. She's ready to die now, but she can't until she knows he's ready to live again, and so wants him to feed from her.

At the house, the three have a final dinner together, and then Aidan is off to battle, and Josh to change. Josh has left a note for Nora (what he's been narrating throughout the episode), and heads down into the room beneath the hospital. Sally's waiting for him, while Aidan has gone off to the roof—the wrong location—to wait. Except she locks him in.

So then Sally goes to Aidan, saying Josh will never forgive her, and she'll never forgive Aidan...they put one over on Josh, and the fight is actually on the roof. Bishop shows up and they begin the battle. Aidan gets brought down, but Sally manages to distract Bishop by holding up a stake, and Aidan rips his head off with a garrote. Bishop dissolves into dust.

But...Nora shows up in the basement and opens the door as Josh begins to change. She tries to reach out to him but he grabs her and pushes her out, shutting the door. From the window she watches him turn. And then she starts bleeding and having baby pains and collapses on the floor. Under the door she sees the wolf face looking at her.

The next morning Josh and Nora are at her house having a chat. Apparently she's lost the baby. She's a bit in shock but is handling it rather well all things considered. She asks how it all happened, and he explains how he got scratched by the werewolf when he was in the mountains. She says she felt like she was finally seeing him and now that she knows everything maybe it'll be okay (Wow. She's a keeper). He goes back to the house to check on things, leaving Nora to ponder the scratch she has on her arm.

The three sit at home musing on renovations to the house. Josh thanks them for what they did and hopefully now they can enjoy a more peaceful life together. The doorbell rings and it's Haggemen. Aidan goes outside to talk, but this time the Dutchman came back to thank him and tells him he's honorable. It's time. Aidan is the leader now. And she wants to meet him.

One year prior, Aidan and Josh debate getting an apartment, walking by their future home as the dead body gets taken away. On the steps stands frightened ghost Sally. Fade out.

The Verdict:
Kudos to the US version diverting from the original storyline a bit and taking Josh out of the equation as Bishop's killer. Given he's already killed someone we didn't have to add more angst to him already While it would have been kind of cool to see Sally be the one to stake Bishop, she did provide enough distraction to give Aidan the advantage. Especially cool was Haggemen's appearance promising introduction of more vampire familia (a queen, perhaps) and control of Boston in Aidan's hands, which is something to anticipate.

The inevitable Nora scratch came with the added bonus of the miscarriage, which in hindsight, I guess was the fetus changing into a werewolf and aborting? They didn't really given that much play, given all that Nora was having to process. Not sure how I feel about the ease with which she's accepted a miscarriage and the supernatural world into her life (but definitely more to come on that in...oh...30 days).

Finally, Sally missing her door produced a lot of annoying self-pity, but she slowly came out of that by episode's end. I wasn't exactly comfortable how she was pressuring Josh to be the one to kill Bishop either. Hopefully next season brings a softer side to her, as I really want to like this character.

I'm happy the writers avoided the British plot (so far) of introducing the new villain at the end and bringing Danny back. We've had too much Danny, so avoiding that plot entirely or pushing it off into next season is fine by me.

Those Josh/Aidan flashbacks didn't work very well, given they were simple plot points rather than any insight into what drew them to one another. The last scene was really unnecessary as it did nothing to shine anything new on things. All we got was "Ooh...Josh and Aidan walked by the house when Sally died." Nothing really mattered there. Nor did Celine's role really carry much weight or sacrifice given how quickly she was thrown into the mix. 

But a satisfying end. While I'm more than happy to see the storylines branch out more, I do think Being Human would benefit from a much shorter season just to allow for tighter, more creative writing for the series.

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