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August 28, 2015

'Being Human' Season 1, Episode 2 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 25th 2011 11:20AM
being human syfy['Being Human': 'There Goes the Neighborhood, Part 2']

And here we go again with the gloomy.

Before picking up where last week's 'Being Human' cliffhanger left off, we got an interesting cold open that offered a look at our heroes' origins. (Hmmm, I guess we probably shouldn't call them heroes, should we? Antiheroes? No, that seems like a bit of a stretch. How about tortured souls? That sounds good -- oh wait! Do vampires have souls? ... I'll have to think about that one.) The quick flashback scenes were sad, intriguing, somewhat intense and visually interesting. I suppose that description could also sum up the show so far.

Syfy's take on 'Being Human' isn't great TV (yet), but it's not terrible, as some fans of the original U.K. series were predicting. I still wish the show was a little more fun and engaging, but it's a million times better than 'The Cape,' the other genre show that airs at 9PM ET on Monday nights. I know that may not sound like high praise (because 'The Cape' is truly god-awful), but I really do like this show. I still find Josh (Sam Huntington) a little whiney and annoying, and I'm not exactly thrilled about the prospect of watching poor dead Sally (Meaghan Rath) pine over her husband all season, but I'm still hooked on 'Being Human.'

I'm most interested and invested in Sam Witwer's vampire character, Aidan, and his involvement with the vampire underworld. (Yes, I was a fan of 'Angel' and 'Moonlight.' And no, I don't mind sitting through yet another vampire redemption tale.) I like Witwer in the role, and his scenes with Mark Pellegrino's Bishop are the most intriguing moments the show has to offer. I'm not sure if this will always be the case (I only watched the pilot episode of the BBC series), but for now, Aidan and Bishop are the most compelling characters on the show.

This week we learned that Bishop turned Aidan into a vampire during the American Revolution. That means, like most TV vamps seeking redemption, Aidan is pretty old. More than 200 years old. This also means Aidan has been working for/living with Bishop for a crazy-long time. This reveal gave Aidan's attempt to separate himself from Bishop more weight. It must be tough for Aidan to leave his old life behind -- a life he's been living for two centuries -- especially when Bishop keeps showing up and waving fresh, lady-shaped meat in his face.

Sally's opening narration reminded us about the major theme of the show: "Some monsters choose to accept what they become. Some don't ... Do you accept what you are or do you refuse? And which is the true curse?" We saw this idea play out with the juxtaposition of Aidan, who is struggling not to murder every attractive woman who comes on to him, and Rebecca (Sarah Allen), who delights in being a murderous monster.

I suppose Bishop's plan with Rebecca was to have her screw up Aidan's friendship with Josh. Not a bad plan, but by episode's end, Josh had a greater appreciation and understanding for Aidan's "condition." Sadly, the whole Rebecca development ended with Elfish Pixie Girl getting her throat ripped out.

Some of the scenes between Aidan and Rebecca were tense and fun to watch, but this story culminated in another eerie and well-acted face-to-face between Aidan and Bishop. "What's it gonna be? Us or them," Bishop asked. Aidan's definitive response: "Maybe I am sentenced to a life in hell with you, but here and now, I choose them."

Josh didn't end up killing his sister, of course. I guess she couldn't figure out that he was a werewolf despite all of his moaning and growling. (So does she think he's just crazy person or a tortured drug addict or something?) Josh's heart-to-heart with lil' sis was a little stilted and awkward, but that was probably by design. We learned a lot about Josh here: he was attacked by another werewolf in the woods, he chose to leave his family behind for good after wolfing out, and he was once engaged to be married. It's likely that the visit from lil' sis was setting up a visit from his fiancé that we'll see play out later this season.

Sally's husband Danny (Gianpaolo Venuta) explained how she died. He said she fell down the stairs in the middle of the night. She couldn't see thanks to the apartment's screwy lighting/electrical situation. Hmmm ... I think there's probably more to it than that. There's a reason why Sally hasn't stepped into the light or whatever, and there's a reason why she doesn't really remember dying.

So is there a chance that Danny could actually "see" Sally? He did kinda sorta seem to feel her presence in the apartment. And he does keep coming around to fix stuff instead of hiring a plumber. Aidan said that the living can sometimes see the dead, but they have to be "open mentally" for that to happen. "Danny's pretty open. He voted for Hilary," Sally said. I don't think that's what Aidan was talking about.

Sally's story -- how she really died, how her "relationship" with Danny will end, how she'll master her ghost-ness -- is still a big mystery. It's not as intriguing as Aidan dealing with Bishop's ever-growing army of vampires, but I'm looking forward to the payoff. Hopefully we'll learn more about Sally and her condition next week when she meets another ghost.

So whaddaya think, folks? Are you sticking around for episode three?

Quotes / Other Thoughts:

• "I believe Dean Cain called it 'kismet.'"

• "Not sure I want to take advice from the man who fell off the wagon and INTO MY NECK!"

• "I'll crap rainbows, I swear to God!"

• So vampires on 'Being Human' don't usually feed on or play nice with werewolves. Big surprise.

• Lil' sis said that Josh's mom might have had a history of mental illness. Was she a wolf too?

• Great music in this episode. I'm still waiting for Syfy to post the playlist.

'Being Human' airs Mondays at 9PM ET on Syfy.

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The idea that Josh's mom was a wolf is pretty good. I think Josh finally understands just how hard it is for Aidan. Josh only has a problem once a month. For Aidan it is a second by second struggle.

January 25 2011 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Definitely intrigued, but, for me, even fictional characters need some realism to their motivations. In last week's episode I thought it a little preposterous why the Aidan character's take on how sharing quarters would be all that mutually beneficial - like, passing for being human requires that sort of facade of normalcy? I know, I know, suspend belief at least long enough for the series to get off the ground, but, this week I started to see some loony logic; e.g. draining and disposing of human remains via a funeral home makes sense, and, after a couple hundred years, could assimilating be his version of taking a walk on the wild side? This week, this Aidan character's determination illustrates, as cold and matter-of-fact as he may appear around the roomies' kitchen table, playing house may help center him so that he can build on his ability to resist temptation. Also, I think the Josh character's observation of how tough it must be for Aidan to resist, coupled with his decision to tell his sister to stay out of his life, helps satisfy the mystery for me why, in last week's episode, Aidan seemed so convinced their being housemates was the way to go.. Now, if only the Bishop character can avoid turning into a, "Drat, foiled again" Snidely Whiplash cliché, and the Sally character gets a chance to learn how to embrace her ghostliness and actually scare a pizza delivery guy or someone…

January 25 2011 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie Bitz

I am actually enjoying this series. If you watch the UK version, you will see that Josh is really like that, a whiny guy, at first. If they are sticking to the UK version for now, the story of Sally and Danny will end quickly and in a shocking manner. I agree however that they use Sam H (he is actually the reason I was looking forward to the show). incorrectly. He is a funny guy and he could bring some comedy to the character. I will for sure stay around for episode 3.

January 25 2011 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Debbie Bitz's comment

I have a feeling (and I have not seen the UK version) that Danny killed Sally.

January 25 2011 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Gina's comment

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