Column: Gods and Monsters: Recap and Review: Being Human (Syfy) 3.11: If I Only Had Raw Brain

[spoilers ahoy]

Recap: Shaken by what happened last week with Stevie and Nick, Sally begs her housemates to lock her in her room. Josh and Nora take her to Donna’s soup kitchen to demand answers, but the entire building has disappeared, leaving an empty parking lot.

While Nora tells Josh they should move up the date of their wedding to include Sally before she hulks out, Sally escapes the house and goes to visit Max. She has the idea of eating a corpse at the funeral home to stave off her hunger, but Max refuses. Even so, they do admit that they love each other. While the housemates try to figure out what to do about finding Donna, and Sally dreams about chowing down on cadavers, Sally asks Aidan to kill her once she loses it. Instead, Aidan encourages Sally to take the edge off her hunger by biting chunks from his sides. He says he can always heal by drinking bagged blood. Sally reluctantly agrees.

Temporarily fortified, Sally visits the psychic, Ilana, who nearly exorcized her in season one, and sent Josh and Nora to Donna. Ilana warns her that Donna is powerful and dangerous, but also reminds Sally that she herself has far more power at her own disposal, having been a ghost and successfully resisted an exorcism. She only has to learn how to tap into it to defeat Donna. To aid in this, Ilana gives Sally a Latin incantation, but that’s all the help she’ll be giving. At the end of the episode, Donna sends a reanimated Ray after the psychic. Ilana tries to defend herself with a spell, but he snaps her neck in mid-word.

Meanwhile, we find out that Pete was indeed killed at the end of last week and Josh is pretty mad at Aidan, both about getting Pete killed by giving out the secret cure to other vampires and bringing an about-to-be-vamped Kenny home. Aidan protests (reasonably) that the secret would have got out eventually. This way, he could exercize some control over the situation and give Josh and Nora some protection. He does blame himself, however, for forgetting about Pete. This was not intentional. And he puts his foot down about Kenny, saying the kid was going to leave his bubble, regardless. This way, if Aidan takes him in and turns him, he might still have a life.

To Josh’s surprise, Nora comes to Aidan’s defense. She has realized that just because things have gone wrong with others they’ve taken in, like Erin, doesn’t mean they should stop trying to do so. These dilemmas come to a head when Josh’s sister Emily (who is lesbian, in case we forgot) shows up and drags him off to a strip club for a bachelor party. There, one of the strippers tries to give an embarrassed Josh a private lapdance. As he protests he’s getting married the next day, she shows vamp fangs and attacks him, community hands-off warnings notwithstanding. Aidan stakes her, saving Josh, but a horrified Emily witnesses it.

Josh is forced to come out of the closet about being a werewolf and Aidan being a vampire. Emily responds by stomping off into the night in high dudgeon over Josh and Aidan having “murdered” the stripper. Afterward, Nora and Josh ruefully conclude that their wedding guest list is dwindling.

Near the end of the episode, Aidan is attacked by Kat’s ex, who has revived into a messed-up, superstrong combination of vampire and wolf. It seems that those vampires cured of the virus by werewolf blood can no longer turn humans into normal vampires but only into deformed hybrids. After staking the ex, Aidan returns home to contemplate Kenny sleeping (or dead?) on the bed, with fang marks on his throat, and how this affects his decision to turn him.


Review: This episode didn’t move things along as much as I had hoped, but about as much as I expected, what with there still being two episodes left. I wasn’t thrilled with Emily showing up again. She always struck me as an unpleasant mix of clueless and PC intolerant in her previous outings on the show, and she hasn’t changed a bit. I suppose one couldn’t expect much from a character who had read her brother’s journal, seen him writhing on the ground in mid-change, and even heard his confession, and still didn’t believe, but it was annoying to see her be so judgemental.

This show seems to have a problem with bitchy women. If it’s not Nora, it’s Emily or Rebecca or Blake or Julia or some other recurring guest character. Some woman always has to be bitchy in the episode. Yuck. Enough, already.

The big problem with Emily’s bitchiness this week was that she saw the stripper attack her brother right before Aidan turned her to dust. One would think a loving sister would be concerned about her brother’s welfare first and what happened to his attacker second. It’s not as though the stripper was just standing there and got whacked for no reason. She was trying to murder Josh – right in front of Emily. And even then, Emily found a way to blame to blame Josh. She truly is her uptight, psychotically-in-denial parents’ daughter.

Sally’s storyline is coming along, but I wish it would come along faster, especially since Liam and his wolf posse seem to have evaporated ever since news of the cure forcibly redressed the balance between vampire bunnies and werewolves (but I bet they’ll show up again before season’s end). I’m still not feelin’ Donna, who lacks the nuances (or at least the onscreen presence) necessary for a true Big Bad like Bishop in season one, but this week did confirm something I noticed before. It appears that the show is doing a riff on the Russian superwitch Baba Yaga, who lives in a house that moves about on chicken feet and is very difficult to find. Lost Girl did a memorable turn of the same figure in Kenzicentric season two episode “Mirror, Mirror.” I just wish we knew more about the motivations and background of this version because she’s proving rather less memorable so far.

As I noted last week, there seems to be some bleed-over between the mythology for this show and that for Supernatural, courtesy of former showrunner Jeremy Carver’s move there. And it’s not all one-way. Aidan’s healing abilities, for example, are very similar to those of Supernatural‘s Benny, who also swigs bagged blood for healing and sustenance. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but it does make keeping track of the mythology a bit confusing. I feel as though this season is starting to get into a bit of a rut for the show and that we’re seeing general patterns the show will continue to follow if it gets picked up for a fourth season and beyond. That could be either good or bad (with some parts being slower than others), but I’m hoping they will leave the less-successful aspects, like the “Designated Bitch of the Week for dramatic purposes” trope, behind next season if they do get one. So far, the show hasn’t been renewed and the ratings are a bit on the bubble.

Next Week: Always a Bridesmaid, Never Alive: Sally must die in order to face off against Donna and save her own soul.

You can watch Being Human on Syfy, either Monday nights at 9pm or on the official site.

About Paula R. Stiles

Paula is not at all paranoid about government conspiracies after six years in EMS, two years in Africa for the Peace Corps, a few summers with the Park Service, and ten years studying the Knights Templar. She's seen governments in action. They couldn't cover up a toy picnic table, let alone evidence of alien visitation. Writes about science for fun, history for money, and zombies for the company. You can read her sober-as-a-judge book about Templars in medieval Spain, Templar Convivencia, on Amazon. You can find her homepage at:

Paula R. StilesColumn: Gods and Monsters: Recap and Review: Being Human (Syfy) 3.11: If I Only Had Raw Brain