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Tonight’s episode of Being Human made me think of one of my other favorite TV series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. One of the things I love about the Starz series is that the line between the good guys and the bad guys isn’t drawn straight across the board. There’s a pecking order and everyone has someone to answer to. The enslaved gladiators submit to their masters and the masters answer to people ranked higher than they are.
I won't dig too deeply into my thoughts on Spartcus' villains Batiatus and Lucretia here. The point I'm trying to make is, it's easy to support the underdog but it can be just as fun to support the villain when it turns out they have their own, higher ranked dog to submit to. Sometimes the bad guys have their own bad guys. This appears to be the case among the vampires in Being Human, and I love that because it gives us a way to take Bishop’s side, if only for a little while.
“That’s the thing about forever; the choices you make, the people you lose, your mistakes are indelible, with no sweet death to erase your own memory.”
Bishop may be the top dog in Boston but he’s not without his own people to answer to. The Dutch have awoken. Lead by Haggeman, The Dutch are a group of elderly vampires that hibernate on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania and wake up every half a century. We were introduced to them through flashbacks as well as the present day and it’s evident that they live a very puritan Vampire lifestyle. They’re unevolved and resistant to change.
The flashbacks took us back to 1955, where Aidan was apparently a greaser-type, complete with a pompadour and a ridiculously tight (but not unpleasant to look at) white t-shirt. Bishop was more the older square-ish type. Interestingly enough, his and Aidan’s roles were somewhat reversed at that time. While Bishop was courting a human (this show apparently has a thing for good-looking blonde nurses), Aidan scoffed at his maker’s choice in alternate lifestyles.
Things didn’t work out for Bishop and Jane-the-nurse, despite how in love they seemed to be. The Dutch found out about it, killed Bishop’s maker as a punishment and offered Bishop the run of Boston in exchange for walking away from the nurse. Bishop inevitably took the deal and killed Jane for good measure.
Back in the present, Aidan was put in a tricky situation. The Dutch have awoken again and while Aidan tries to make Rebecca understand why he had to put down her “son,” he also has to deal with the fact that Bishop has kidnapped Josh and is planning to force him to fight with an older werewolf. This kind of “Dog-fighting” is apparently part of vampire culture. The dog fight is Bishop’s attempt to impress/pacify the Dutch.
While Josh befriends the older werewolf-man known as The Professor, who’s been stuck down in a dirty old basement for fifteen years doing research on the other werewolves he’s been forced to kill, Aidan tries to get his friend out. In the end, he strikes a deal with Bishop. He’ll return to the fold in exchange for Josh being freed. Bishop takes the deal, sort of. Josh ended up fighting (and killing) the old werewolf but after he won, he was freed rather than being held captive to replace the man.
That covers the meat of the story. Now for some really interesting tidbits…
Bishop’s maker was killed by The Dutch as a punishment for Bishop deviating from the traditional vampire lifestyle. At the end of tonight’s episode, Bishop welcomed Aidan back and then announced to him that in all likelihood, the Dutch were planning to kill him tomorrow (presumably as a punishment for Aidan's bad behavior, similarly to how Bishop's maker was killed). He did say things get back to The Dutch easily. Can we assume Marcus filled them in on what Aidan’s been up to? It probably doesn’t matter how they know. What does matter is how Bishop and Aidan are going to deal with this. As bad as it is to think of Aidan forced to be Bishop’s right-hand man again, we saw a different side of Bishop tonight. I can't imagine he'd really be killed off (this early on). I certainly hope that's not the case, but we'll have to see how they manage to work this out.
What I found most interesting about the Bishop/Jane story was his decision to kill her. Was that part of the unspecified arrangement made with Haggeman or did he do that because he couldn’t bring himself to leave her and he didn’t want to disregard her wishes and turn her? He said he respected her humanity. Maybe in some weird, twisted (and yeah, evil) way, killing her as opposed to turning her was his way of honoring her wishes. Or maybe he just wanted to make a clean job of the break-up.
If tonight’s episode was a test of each cast member’s ability to carry a dramatic scene, everyone passed with flying colors. From Sally pleading to Aidan to help Josh, to Rebecca dealing with her grief over Bernie’s death, and her brief confrontation with Sally (interesting to see their paths cross), to Josh connecting with The Professor and all of the back-story with Aidan and Bishop, there were plenty of heavy moments and none of the cast faltered in the slightest. The special effects people also deserve major credit for their “performance” in delivering the brief but excellent werewolf scene.
I'm excited to see how Bishop and Aidan deal with The Dutch and eager for more opportunity to support Bishop. Tonight's bit of back-story on him was intriguing to say the least. While he may still pose a threat to Aidan's attempt to live a clean life, I love that he's not just another one-dimentional villain and I can't wait to learn more about him.