Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Being Human (USA) "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"

Non Spoiler Review:
Aidan has his hands full dealing with new vampiress Suren and bringing her up to speed on the Boston situation. Coming off her traumatic nightmare, Sally joins Steve and some new friends on an excursion to blow off some steam. And Nora and Josh are forced to confront their relationship problems.

This week was a good one, with compelling plots all around—Aidan, Josh AND Sally, which is a nice change from last season where they all seemed to play second fiddle to vampire politics. As far Sally goes, she did slip back into her annoying mode AGAIN. But it wasn't enough to ruin the episode. 

The Suren plot has taken the American version away from the British storylines for now, so I'm happy that their paths are now completely different. She looks like she'll be an interesting addition to the cast. The season is showing a lot of promise. If it staves off the grating tendencies of Sally, and some of the forced humor, it looks like we're in for a good run.

Spoilers Now!
Aidan escorts a withered and cloaked Suren to her new home where she feeds on many human volunteers to rejuvenate herself. Elsewhere, Josh wakes up in the woods with a shoulder wound and Haggeman's rifle next to him. He gets back to the car but finds it empty and all covered in wolf scratches. Even further elsewhere, Nora wakes up in a yard under some leaves and lots of blood on her face. She makes it back to Josh's house as he gets home, and the first thing he seems to notice is the gigantic scratch on her arm she's had for a month (only now, awesome boyfriend that you are). 

Self-centred Sally immediately interrupts to tell him about her night, and that's when Nora realizes she can now see the ghost. She confesses she's a werewolf. But Sally's also invited some friends over, including Steve and two others, Dillon and Phil, who are two dead frat boys making a ruckus in the kitchen. While Nora cleans up, Josh confronts Sally about her ghost friends, so she explains about her traumatic nightmare, how she went to talk to Steve about it and he was there with friends, so she brought them all over to chill.

Aidan then returns, wondering what the hell is going on. Josh finally gets a moment to decompress about turning Nora, and casually adds the Dutch vampire tried to kill him, but Nora's wolf chewed him up (!?). Aidan is obviously alarmed at that.

He returns to business to bring Suren up to speed now that she's back to her old self. The first thing is to find someone in the police department they can rely on with Bishop gone. She points out to him she's not the gullible fool she used to be, so he needn't worry. In a flashback 80 years before, she apparently massacred a lot of people and had to be taken away, but that's really the only hint we get about what's transpired (aside from Aidan sporting a moustache, which is what likely drove her mad).

At work, Josh and Nora finally discuss their situation. Of course he's all "You should have told me!" She counters that he didn't ever want to talk about the werewolf stuff, which is why she didn't tell him in the first place. Even worse, she's afraid she can't eat chocolate anymore because of her canine tendencies. He decides the best course of action for them is to go to a first year mixer together (?).

At the hospital, Aidan runs into new character Julia, interviewing for her residency. Suren abruptly summons him and introduces him to sultry Cecilia, a cop who wants to be their security, and wants to be turned. Aidan balks, given he already has cops lined up who aren't vampires. So he says she'll have to turn Cecilia herself given he's off the blood. Suren suggests that he doesn't want them looking into Haggeman's sudden disappearance, does he?

So Aidan attempts to turn Cecilia but opts to kick her out instead. It's been too long since he fed, so he lacks the kind of control necessary to turn her without killing her. Suren realizes Aidan's of no use to her so sends him away. 

The boys take Sally on a rage, which entails going to a frat party where they can take over the bodies of people and have fun. Drunk and high people are easier to get into, though some are impossible to take over, Steve explains. He doesn't do it anymore given it put him on a dark path and he warns her about how addictive it is (yes, it's exactly like crack cocaine, as we are reminded numerous times). Sally wants to try out this awesome new super-power, but finds it's not that easy to take over someone, unless you're the drunkest girl. She manages to get into her, ends up gorging herself on food and beer and becomes that girl at the party.

Sally's pretty excited until Dillon (in another body) suggests they put the bodies through a work out and hook up. He obviously died before the no means no campaign, so, Steve saves her by yanking Sally out of her host. Dillon is furious and Steve tells him he needs to stop taking over people. They get into a big fight and Steve utterly vaporizes Dillon's soul (yes, this is what he does).

At the mixer, Nora gets drunk and says lots of awkward and confusing things about eating squirrels and miscarriages, and makes a scene. Josh realizes he shouldn't have dragged her there (well, yeah). Afterwards they have their cathartic talk and conclude they're together because they love one another, and not because they've been forced into it by circumstances. They seem to decide to take it one day at a time.

Aidan returns to Suren to find she's turned Cecilia. He admits he's never turned anyone since he last saw her because of what he did to her. She wants to know why he took the job, so he explains he promised her mother he'd make her a success so she'd set him free to live how he wanted.

Nora and Sally talk about their respective dramas. Sally looks like she's coming down from her drug experience. She also thinks that Dillon is gone gone. His energy is no longer there. She never knew they could do that to each other (us either). Nora has a flashback to killing Haggeman. She does remember. And it's good to know what they're capable of, she muses

Aidan's hanging at a pub when Julia walks in. She didn't get the job, but they hit it off and leave to have sex. But wait. He's just dreaming. So sad.

The Verdict:
A strong follow up to last week, with more promising flashbacks of bad stuff. Why is Boston apparently so important in the grand scheme of things to warrant the vampire queen and her daughter personally taking it over?

What's Julia's role in all this? She's obviously been parachuted in as some kind of love interest, but Aidan looks to have fallen for her pretty quick. I didn't really care for the fake out at the end, though. Nora's revelation was strong enough to have led us out without Aidan's daydream. Speaking of which, I was initially going to say how annoyed I was that Haggeman's death happened off screen and vaguely referenced, but they redeemed themselves by showing Nora remembered it all. The whole shooting was brushed off pretty quickly, as well. One would think a vampire as old as Haggeman would be a decent shot.

Nora and Josh have reached an epiphany at last, and can hopefully move forward. His questionable decision to cart them off to a party the day after she turned into a werewolf was a bit much even for him.

Poor Sally. Just when I was starting to tolerate your personality, off you go again being that self-centred girl. Yes you were on the ethereal version of crack cocaine, but still, you need to tone it down. I'm hoping Stevie will be a calming force on you, despite the fact that he's somehow able to destroy ghosts with apparent ease. Yes, we get that possessing people is a slippery slope to addiction, given it was hammered into our heads all episode.

The notion that one ghost can end another is problematic for me. I could accept those nefarious dark shadows from the other side as maybe capable of doing that, but just run-of-the-mill ghosts destroying each other, especially one as wimpy (and relatively recently deceased) as Steve? I hope they put some thought into this new super-power because it could quickly become another easy plot device to use in a pinch.

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