Column: Gods and Monsters: Recap and Review: Being Human (Syfy) 4.01 (Season Premiere): Old Dogs, New Tricks

[spoilers ahoy]

Recap: We begin with Aidan being chased through the New England woods in summer by a wolfed-out Josh, screaming to Nora. She comes running with a tranquilizer gun and they manage to pen Wolf!Josh up in that handy barn they have out in the woods (Didn’t they “inherit” that from the vamps from the Old Country?). They’re feeding him on a diet of live billy goat. Oh, and they’re also staying in the camper previously owned by the old werewolf Nora and Josh befriended last season. Lots of inheritance from dead characters they either killed themselves or got killed. That stuff piles up after a few seasons, I guess.

We find out in passing (more by inference than anything else) that Nora and Aidan have bonded over spending the summer babysitting Wolf!Josh. So, I guess all is forgiven on that front. We also find out, more explicitly, that Josh is the Wolf for all but one day of the month. The day of the full moon, in an ironic twist on the usual werewolf situation, he is human. He returns and, in passing, encounters Nora just before her change into her Wolf. They make love in a frenzy before she changes. Use protection, kids, ‘kay? You’ve already got a complicated love life. No need to add puppies to the mix.

Josh then gets to spend the rest of the night hanging out with Aidan. Aidan is worried about Josh, who seems to be losing more and more of his humanity, and is becoming quite suicidal. Unable to do the deed himself, Josh tries to force Aidan and Nora to do it.

The rest of Aidan’s life is actually going pretty well. He and Kat are getting along famously, work’s fine (at least, whenever he’s not chasing frenemy Blake off from stealing bodies to turn into vampires), and everything’s sunny in Boston. That is, until he begins to see his dead wife Susanna everywhere, including in the middle of a wet dream about Kat. To add to the weirdness, Kat meets a woman who looks just like Susanna, at a party where Aidan thought he glimpsed his wife. At the very end of the episode, that woman appears on Aidan’s doorstep and guess who she claims to be?

And that’s not even getting into the bombshell that (still unbeknownst to Aidan) Blake is working for Aidan’s vampire son Kenny, who looks just great, has taken over as the vampire kingpin of Boston, and has the snarky Blake in terror of him.

Sally starts off the episode in a spa with her archenemy Donna. As Donna helpfully infodumps, we find out they are both in Limbo and that Sally has created this paradise to hide the truth from herself. Donna claims that she and Sally are too powerful and dangerous to the universe to be free, so they must spend the rest of eternity in this comfortable prison together. It appears that Sally keeps coming to the realization of where she is, whereupon Donna manages to shortcircuit her, throwing Sally into another tailspin that induces yet another powerful fantasy.

This time, though, Sally fights back, tying Donna to a spa bed with vines. Since her own death spot has been destroyed, she seeks another in the spa’s pool. A noose appears that at first seems to be holding her back, but then she falls through into a Shopmart. Still in the noose, she wakes up in her clothes that she chose for her ghost form last season. She experiences two realities at once, bleeding into each other – the Shopmart and what was apparently Donna’s hanging as a witch back in the 17th century. Donna’s death spot is now in the Shopmart.

Freeing herself from the noose, Sally lands on her feet in the Shopmart and then accidentally teleports out into the parking lot. She realizes she has made it back to the real world and gloats. Then she realizes that she has no way how to get back home, but (again accidentally) manages it. In the midst of a happy reunion, she is able to stop Wolf!Josh’s attempted suicide-by-Aidan-and-Sally with a wall of flame. But she also inadvertently disappears and transports herself to a scene of some witches sacrificing a child, apparently sometime in the middle of the 20th century (very Rosemary’s Baby). Sally is in for a very confusing time. As Aidan notes, she is now either crazy or very powerful or both. Show history makes me lean toward “both.”

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Review: Even watching it twice, I found this one a bit tough to follow. It kept jumping around. What should have been fairly straightforward events were all jumbled up. Mostly, this was down to the juxtaposition of reality with unreality with hallucinations with dreams and even with events out of time. And this held for multiple characters, with no one truly being a reliable narrator. Even at the end, when Aidan encounters his wife again, you’re not sure if she really is his wife or how she came back.

That said, the shards being juggled are often quite intriguing. Donna died in the 17th century? So, what is she now? Or should we say, what was she last season before Sally vanquished her and turned her into a vengeful ghost? She seemed solid enough, but was she a hungry revenant like the others?

Also, what is the connection between Donna’s hanging and the witches killing the child? Who is Susanna and is she involved in some way (since she apparently drowned while being accused of witchcraft)? The way this show rolls, I don’t expect Donna to actually be wrong about Sally’s reality-shifting power being dangerous, but that doesn’t mean I think Sally should trust Donna in any way, shape or form, either. She can be speaking the truth and still harbor very evil intentions.

Interesting that Josh has been taken over by his Wolf. Considering Josh has been the one of the housemates the most obsessed with regaining his humanity, it’s a tragic irony that he is now the one most monstrous, at least for now. I also like that Nora and Aidan are friends again, as their rivalry last season injected a lot of melodrama that made Nora look dumb. And did I mention how curious I am about the Susanna situation? Yeah. But Kenny? He and the smarmy Blake can drop through a plothole never to be seen again. Meh on them.

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Next Week: That Time of the Month: Sally discovers a witch’s spell to cure Josh, while we find out the truth about Susanna.

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: http://thesnowleopard.net.

Paula R. StilesColumn: Gods and Monsters: Recap and Review: Being Human (Syfy) 4.01 (Season Premiere): Old Dogs, New Tricks