Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Being Human (USA) "Turn This Mother Out"

Non Spoiler Review:
Being Human's American version returns for its second season, catching us up one month after Bishop's death (that makes it conveniently the next full moon). Aidan is dealing with all the fallout from his mentor's murder, having to handle a bunch of tweaked out vampires in need of a leader. But it doesn't take too long before vampire politics asserts itself.

Meanwhile, Nora still has that nasty scratch that's making her very paranoid about the coming full moon, which means she's annoying Josh with constant talk about what his transformation is like. Finally, Sally's high school reunion brings her back to her alma mater to see what everyone thinks of her now that she's dead.

All in all a fair return for the series. Josh and Sally continue to play second string to Aidan, and their domestic situation remains unclear, but the final minutes really ramped up the game for next week, setting what looks to be an even darker tone for the season.

Spoilers Now!
A month after Bishop's death, Aidan stops a street vampire from feeding on the locals, and brings him back to chow down on bagged blood. He's trying to help everyone now that Bishop is gone and the family is wandering around aimlessly looking for direction. There are rumours that she's coming. That would be Mother, queen of the vampires, whom Aidan is hoping will straighten everything out.

Nora is crashing with Josh and things seem to be going well, though she's constantly asking him about werewolf details to the point that he feels she can't get passed it (though it's really because she has that scratch on her arm and the full moon is imminent). 

At work, Josh finds a vampire chowing down on one of the patients. Aidan is furious, but Bishop's progeny are fearing Mother is coming to cull their numbers. Aidan goes to see the council, which includes Haggeman, who has apparently developed a fondness for him. He encourages Aidan to accept his responsibilities and not ask a lot of questions when she arrives. 

When Mother makes her appearance, Haggeman announces the council is fully behind Aidan taking over Boston with her blessing. As far as Bishop's orphans, Aidan says many are confused and scared, so he recommends mercy. She refuses and orders them culled. And the best person to lead Boston is her daughter, with Aidan as her second. In return she will overlook his heresy and would possibly grant him freedom if all goes well. There's some shock at the table at this announcement, as it seems her daughter has some history (she's cuh-razy!) that no one wants to speak aloud. Mother later tells Haggeman that Aidan can't fail, and he can't have any distractions in his life, either. Which means no wolf.

Meanwhile, Nora's beginning to experience cravings for raw meat as the full moon approaches. She quizzes Josh on the change, but he's had enough of it. He begins to question if the whole werewolf thing is too much for her to handle.

Sally has a high school reunion coming up and Nora thinks she should go to find out what people are saying about her. At school, Sally runs into a young, former classmate, Steve, who had committed suicide. He suggests she try sleeping to help pass the time of eternal wandering. And he can't move on either, as apparently suicides don't get a door.

Sally has a go at another late classmate, a real bitch who is just as full of herself in death as she was in life. But her dressing down allows the girl to have an epiphany and she gets her door. Sally is even less impressed.

Powerless to help the wayward vampires, Aidan urges Bishop's progeny to leave. Then he confronts Josh about being too hard on him regarding all that's happened in the last few months. In order to be truly free he'll have to help run Boston, and may become something he won't recognize. If that should happen he needs Josh to remind him of what they started here.

Bishop's children show up to talk to Mother, but that quickly turns into a desperate attack, and Aidan is forced into defending her. She really doesn't need defending, though, as she quickly dispatches the remaining vampires. Having shown his loyalty, Aidan takes Mother into the woods where he digs up a coffin that houses her daughter.

Sally returns home and tries sleeping. She dreams she gets her door, but it's not so pleasant as the bright white tunnel turns dark and a shadowy form rushes towards her.

Nora drives Josh into the woods for his change and they reiterate their commitment to one another. She watches him go and nervously looks at the rising moon. She hears Josh's yells of transformation in the distance, but she hasn't changed. She's relieved. But only for a few seconds, given she suddenly begins to transform and runs off into the woods herself. Semi-wolf Josh can hear her calling for him, so he comes running. And then he's shot by Haggeman.

The Verdict:
There were some rough entries last season, but this week kicks things off to a promising start. While Sally and Josh's storylines didn't make for the most compelling viewing (sound familiar?), everything did resolve nicely into a tense final five minutes. Nora seems to be taking the whole infection thing a lot better than I would, but there's always next week to deal with the fallout.

There's a lot of ominous stuff implied with Sally's doorless situation, and I imagine the powers that be will be exerting themselves in the living world to show their displeasure that she's still hanging around. The scene of the shadow rushing towards her in the tunnel was nicely effective. I also hope Steve isn't just a one-off and comes back to provide some companionship for her (given Aidan and Josh seem to be busy with their own lives).

There still appears to be a lot of tension between Aidan and Josh that didn't get much screen time at all this week. Given it's the season premiere, it's a bit tough to recall everything that transpired between them last year, so it could have been given more play, what with all sorts of hungry vampires showing up at the house looking for Aidan (and Nora sleeping over).

The introduction of Mother (and now what seems to be a crazy daughter) will take the series in a different direction than its British cousin, which is a good thing. I was impressed with the vampire queen, so I'm curious as to what her daughter's story is. Haggeman also seems to be a lot chattier than he was last season. I'm guessing he's going to come to a bad end given his assault on those close to Aidan. Or will he remain to replace Bishop as the mentor figure in his life?

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