Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Review: Being Human (USA) "I Loathe You (For Sentimental Reasons)

Non Spoiler Review:
Picking up on previous threads, Sally and Zoe get to know one another, but she makes some interesting discoveries about her new friend. Josh runs into a pair of werewolves that offer an interesting proposition. Aidan and Suren are approached by a potential new resource who wants to be made a vampire, while Aidan struggles with his ongoing blood lust.

I Loathe You was a refreshing change from last week. Everything seemed to flow easily this time around—Josh's storyline was strong, Sally and Zoe were actually not unpleasant to watch, and we got some Aidan flashbacks. It was pretty much all character stuff, but it kept me interested.

I'm excited about the two new characters introduced and hope they're around for awhile. Nothing felt forced. No storyline seemed to get short shrift. It all felt good.

Spoilers Now!
Aidan's prostitute has to turn him down because she's all tuckered out, but she promises to find him someone else. Sally hasn't seen her dark shadow for a couple of weeks, and thinks Zoe should reconsider her reincarnation. Zoe mentions she runs a support group for ghosts (girl needs a life!) that meet once a week and recommends she attend. Sally soon realizes that Zoe can't handle herself around living people in general given she's totally at a loss to respond to a doctor's attempts to flirt.

At the hospital,  a young woman, Brynn, confronts Josh needing his help to get her brother, Conner, out of the psych ward. She knows he's a wolf because they are too. The hospital can legally hold him for a week, which puts them into a full moon, so Josh is convinced to help. He helps gets Conner out and later confides what happened to Sally and Aidan and hopes people can't tell that he's wolfing out.

Aidan goes in for a meeting with Suren who introduces him to a human who wants to become a vampire. He can get them access to politicians, judges, whatever they like—he runs a strip club with mob ties. In addition, the vampires Aidan cut loose are still out there and getting desperate. He can bring them in for them. He shows them one he's captured in his trunk, which they kill. Suren wants to use him, but Aidan doesn't want to open up that can of worms by turning a mobster.

Flashback to 1930, Aidan is cleaning up a bloody Suren. He has little patience babysitting her for her mother. His friend and protege Henry isn't fond of looking after Suren, either, and he appears to be much more ambitious and impatient than Aidan in rising through the ranks. Aidan isn't keen on overstepping themselves, and advises him never to forget it was him who gave him all his opportunity. Little princess Suren is carrying a torch for Aidan and realizes she won't be out from under her mother's shadow unless she leaves and thinks the two of them should run away together. He rebuffs her, which pisses off Henry, who thinks they would have it made. So Henry ends up sleeping with Suren instead and Aidan finds them together. He prepares to kill him, but she steps in to save Henry and tells Aidan he made his choice.

Conner and his sister track down Josh and invite him out for a proper thank you. They reveal they weren't turned, they're pure breds. They all go for a drink, and Josh sees Conner do what he thinks is coke, only it's wolfbane which acts like werewolf Xanax to calm them down and be normal given they're feeling wolfy all the time. Their family goes back generations to Scotland and they seem quite privileged and spoiled. Conner's been trying to find a cure to their condition, too, and is interested in Josh's own research. However, nervous Josh finds Conner too unstable to hang out with. 

At Zoe's group, Sally runs into Nick from last season. She's the reason he started coming to the group. Sally's happy to see him again, but finds out Zoe is sort of seeing him. Just seeing him, apparently, as she says Sally pushing her on the doctor gave her the confidence to approach Nick. Sally later confronts him about it and suggests he's messed up and Zoe deserves better. But he's stopped doing his whole reliving his death thing. She's disappointed that it was so easy for him and he doesn't appear to need her anymore. A depressed Sally later finds a loving couple making out and she opts to take over the woman to enjoy the intimacy for herself.

Aidan shows up back at the prostitute, desperate for blood, but only finds the woman's little girl there. She's been given a knife because he might need something. Horrified, Aidan runs out. In the morning Josh confides in him about his werewolf meeting. Aidan suggests he pursue it, given there might be a chance he gets his life back.

Josh opts to talk to the siblings again and shows them his own research, which is based on searching for a mutation that causes the change. Conner asks if he had more money, what would he do? Josh would do MRIs leading up to the full moon, blood work, etc. And if he succeeded the goal would be to turn it off at will. Or on—Josh clicks that they want to be wolves all the time and he wants no part of it. Brynn later explains that because they're purebred, the wolfy feelings he experiences approaching the full moon are what they feel all the time. He considers this, and later tells Nina he wants her input on the twins. They're weird, he admits, but there's another side to them. How true, given they're running through the woods taking down a deer and eating it (in human form).

Aidan calls Suren and agrees to turn the mobster. Under her watch Aidan drinks from him, but it's evident she has no intention of turning him, and as Aidan gets out of control she joins him in draining the mobster. "Mother is going to be pissed," Suren says as she and Aidan lay together.

The Verdict:
I've read some complaints that this one was boring, but it's funny that it worked for me. Part of Being Human's appeal was its character interactions, so there was more of that this time in lieu of all out werewolf/vampire action. 

Sally was most improved—her scenes were actually as interesting as everyone else's. There were so many opportunities for her to be rude and bitter to Zoe, Nick, Josh and Aidan, but she didn't take the bait. And the final bit of her succumbing to the dreaded possession shows some vulnerability and humanity.

New characters Conner and Brynn are great, and I hope they stick around awhile. Whether Josh has the background to actually deconstruct the werewolf mutation himself is a bit of a stretch given from what we've seen of him so far, but if the kids are ready to throw money at it, maybe he can come up with something. One would think greater minds than he have already attempted as much.

Despite all the good this week, it's notable that the show continues to move in a direction of separate storylines. Right now we have a werewolf story, a vampire story, and a ghost story. Everyone is doing their own thing, and the only chance they get to chat at all is at the hospital. There are no scenes of them just hanging out, the three of them, with no other distractions and nowhere they have to run off to. I'm not sure if the show has just drifted or if it's been intentional, but the fun of the original UK version is the camaraderie and the intertwining stories and relationships. 

There's really nothing holding them in that house anymore. Even Aidan's advice to Josh this week was all about him and Nina having their own life together. It wouldn't come as a big surprise if Aidan suddenly announced he was moving in with Suren, Josh and Nina shacked up, and Sally found her door.

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