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As this is my first official recap for Being Human, I’m going to preface this by saying that I know this is a US/Canadian take on a popular British series. I’ve seen the first episode of the U.K. version. It’s excellent and I can’t wait to watch more of it. I’m thinking for spoiler purposes, I’ll hold off until after Syfy’s adaption finishes its first season run. So, let’s put comparisons aside and enjoy the U.S. version for what it is; a series about three young people coming to grips with who and what they are. There’s the addict (the vampire), the rage-aholic (the werewolf) and the shut-in (the ghost). None of them want to be what they are but those are the breaks, right? Welcome to life, Josh, Aidan and Sally.
Last week’s episode left off with a typical series premiere cliffhanger. Josh was locked in his creepy hospital basement room at the brink of transforming into his angrier half while his sister watched on, somewhat oblivious to the depth of the temper tantrum she was about to play audience to. Sally was helpless back at home, listening to Josh’s desperate answering machine message but unable to leave the house. And Aidan was sucking on the inner-elbow (elbow-pit?) of a sexy woman who doesn’t mind bleeding.
The stage was set for a monstrously exciting start to Episode 2 and what did we get? A calm step back and slight re-introduction before we were thrown back into the fire set during the series premiere. The episode begins with Sally revisiting her funeral (or the gathering at the house afterward, anyway) as she asks herself, "What am I now? Where do I go from here?” And so, the story re-begins somewhat as we get a closer look at our three lead characters and how they came to be where they are.
"We find ourselves in an eternal nowhere, between human and thing."
At the start of the episode, we were given a glimpse of Josh and Aidan’s supernatural beginnings. Aidan was at war (Revolutionary? Civil? I’m bad with weapons and uniforms) when he was nearly killed and then turned into a vampire. Josh was one of two people attacked by a werewolf. He survived. The other guy wasn’t so lucky. We saw his first transformation, which looked as though a monster was bursting through his skin. And then we’re brought back to the present to see Bishop greeting a newly turned Rebecca.
Aidan managed to get Josh’s desperate message and made it to the hospital just in time to whisk Emily out of the room and then witness his friend complete the transformation. Aidan then explained Josh’s outburst away by calling it a “condition,” which is apparently a vaguely described disorder that runs in the family, according to what Emily said about their mother having some dark days of her own.
Emily’s run-in with her brother gave us an opportunity to learn a few things about Josh, like how he ran away from home following what his family believed was a nervous breakdown. Josh not only ran out on his family, but he also ditched his fiancé Julia.
It seemed evident from Josh’s interactions with his sister that he misses her, he misses home and he wishes things could be different. In the end, things aren’t different and right now he seems to think it’s impossible to have any kind of relationship with his sister, his family or Julia. Josh was clearly sad when he pushed Emily away in the end but something tells me she'll be back.
“You’re a monster and he’s not.”
I’m going to disagree with Josh on the above referenced quote. While his conversation with Sally about the impossibility of her having any kind of future with Danny may be somewhat realistic, given that right now, the man can’t even see her, I think Josh was projecting a lot of his own issues onto the situation. Sally’s not a monster, she’s a ghost. Unlike Josh during his bad time of the month, Sally poses no physical threat (that we know of) to Danny or anyone else right now.
We learned that Sally died by falling down the stairs late at night, which may very well be the case. In fact, it seems set up that way for the time being and given how sad Danny seemed when he talked about her, I want to believe him. Then again, sometimes when a person falls down the stairs, it’s because someone pushed them. Could there be more to Sally’s death? Possibly but it’s too soon to do anything but speculate and wait to see if Sally remembers something.
“What’s the point of any of this? Of playing house? Of drinking beers? Of joining Costco… if you’re just going to kill all of our friends?”
After finding out that Aidan’s one-night-stand Rebecca turned up vampified, Josh got angry with him. It’s understandable, given what they’re all going through to “just be normal.” Josh gained a better understanding of Aidan’s constant struggle to resist his own nature when Rebecca attacked Kara and left her to die. Poor, timid Kara. I'm thinking quoting one of Dean Cain's cheesiest lines from his role as Rick (or "Reek" if you're fake-French Brenda) in 90210 isn't the best way to win over the dreamy, mysterious coworker. If she had lived, she probably would have been a better fit for Josh and his dorky “M’lady” curtsey. Of course, that consideration is moot as Kara is dead. After getting all dolled up and making another attempt to get Aidan’s attention, she was blocked by Rebecca, who rolled up in a skin-tight outfit, teased her and then later attacked her in an alley.
Aidan resisted the urge to drink from Kara and refused to turn her, despite Rebecca’s taunting. Josh later suggested that that was Aidan’s way of saving her (as opposed to turning her). I think Josh is right, and he also saved us from being to subjected to not one but two campy lady-vamps. Don’t get me wrong, I get the point of Rebecca. She’s on the verge of a rampage and Aidan’s going to end up feeling responsible for it (even though he didn’t turn her, if we’re getting technical). Still, the whole “I’m a hot vampire. I’m going to kill my family and bathe in their blood” is a bit “eh” for me. I actually think the bulk of my distaste for Rebecca’s cocky vamp act is more to do with the contrast of her to every other character in the show, including Bishop. All of them feel more real as people, whereas Rebecca’s a bit overdone and cartoony. I’m hoping that’ll settle soon enough, though. There's definitely potential with her story.
"Maybe I am sentenced to a life in hell with you, but here and now, I choose them."
Bishop drew a line at the end of the episode and Aidan made it clear on which side he stood. He’s living with a ghost and a werewolf. Those are his people now. I don’t think Bishop’s going anywhere anytime soon, plus his cop-status makes him pretty handy to have around, which is no accident as he’s already gotten Aidan out of a couple of pickles. I also don’t think Aidan’s desire to behave and be normal means he won’t be tempted to cross over whenever the sound of a beating heart fills his ears and turns his eyes all black. Still, by the end of tonight’s episode, it was evident that he wants to be with Josh and Sally.
If there’s one common denominator between these three characters, besides their outsider status, I’d say it’s pain. Aidan endures the pain of resisting human blood (aside from the bagged kind). Josh endures the pain of leaving his family and fiancé aside, not to mention the physical anguish of turning into a werewolf once a month. And Sally’s dealing with her own kind of grief as she’s cut off from her fiancé and the future she should have had with him.
The episode closed with a very simple but well illustrated picture of the trio’s dynamic. Sally stood in the doorway, unable to move out onto the porch to be with her new friends. Josh held his arms and Aidan clutched a mug. Each of them were subtly posed to reveal a glimpse of what they are. They all have their own challenges ahead but they have each other and that’s something, right?
Other Notable Quotes:
“Danny’s pretty open… He voted for Hillary!” – Sally
“You too, Amityville,” Aidan to Sally.
“Are you a werewolf? Gross! It’s in my hair!” – Rebecca
“Do You Recall” – Royal Wood
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