Being Human: “Going Dutch”

Dutch Treatment

“Going Dutch”

Being Human

Syfy, Monday, 10 PM E/P

Note: This review covers the American version of Being Human, considered by itself and without reference to the original British series on which it is based.

The dead don’t lie.” —Alanna

Apparently Alanna the Exorcist (Ellen David, 18 to Life) hasn’t met Aidan, who lies whenever it suits him. And technically, a vampire is dead, no? But then, I can’t expect much sense from a woman who first seals a house to prevent a ghost from leaving and then bids her depart. Make up your mind, lady. This episode of Being Human ripped right along, but for me the most compelling story was Sally’s. Danny, having finally figured out that Sally is haunting him, and fearing the exposure of his crime, hires an exorcist to get rid of her. Alanna breezes in with good-humor and a refreshing lack of pretension, only to find herself at the vortex of Danny and Sally’s unfinished “issues”. Sally learned a new skill, or perhaps it’s just an ability, when she possessed Alanna long enough to transfer her memories of her death to the living woman. Aghast, Alanna breaks off the exorcism, but not before she has turned Sally into something ugly and vengeful. I gotta hand it to Meaghan Rath for once again surprising me, by turning our bubbly, cheeky ghost-girl into something from a horror show. Oh, wait, this is a horror show.

Nora: I’m pregnant, Josh.

Josh: Is it… my baby?

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this is a horror show, what with the witty dialogue and the soap-opera plots and the round-eyed comic face of Sam Huntington. It’s especially hard to be scared when Aidan and Josh indulge in repartee that sounds like a sitcom:

Josh: You know that question, the worst thing you can ask a woman after she announces—

Aidan: Wait, you didn’t ask her, did you?

But then, comedy is about the only reaction a sane man could expect in Josh’s situation. His girlfriend of fleeting duration is expecting a child by him—or is it a puppy? Could she be expecting a litter? We get a hint of that possibility when Nora, who’s already experiencing every ambivalency a pregnant woman could undergo upon discovering herself unexpectedly pregnant, tells him her HCG levels are “off the charts”. This condition, she says, usually signals multiple pregnancies or birth defects. Josh is horrified, of course, and becomes even more socially inept than ever. Josh’s default reaction to just about anything from hangnails to murder is mild hysteria, so I fully expected him to go into girly-man mode, and he did. He insulted Nora, amused Aidan, and annoyed me, but in the end, he finally found the stones to man up and tell Nora he would “be there” for her. This is a long way from offering marriage, a long-term commitment, or at least child support, but a wolf has to start somewhere. (I wonder if it has occurred to Josh that wolves mate for life. He may be stuck with Nora, no matter what.) I am trying to find something other than humor in this story, but all I can find is pity for Nora. One way or the other, that poor woman is in for the shock of her life.

“Give up on us. There is too much blood under the bridge, and now it’s just too late.” —Rebecca

Family problems beset Aidan, as well, but in his case the “family” resembles the Sopranos or the Corleones. Having returned to Bishop’s family to help him face the Dutch elders (and really, the idea of vampires hiding out among the peaceful Amish is so simultaneously offensive and absurd I don’t know whether to laugh or cry). Bishop resents their hidebound rules and medieval attitudes, and plots a revolution. It does not take long for the Elders, whose cunning apparently has been eroded by their long sleep, to reveal that his plots are known and a traitor is in his bosom. Anyone with half a brain cell could figure out it was Marcus, but Bishop holds his scion in such contempt he literally turns his back on him even as he executes two of the elders after dosing them with juniper. (Since when is juniper a paralytic? Aidan had better stop drinking martinis, as gin is flavored with it.) When Aidan tries to stop Bishop, his sire flings him away; Aidan rescues Hegeman (Terry Kinney, The Mentalist), the Eldest Elder, but is waylaid by Marcus. Just when Marcus is about to take him out, though, Rebecca stakes him. Her reward, demanded of Aidan, is the final death. With tears in his eyes, Aidan stakes her. So now Rebecca (who always got the best lines), Marcus, and Bernie are gone. Bishop is now an avowed enemy, along with all his minions. Aidan’s family suffers from severe subtraction at the same time Josh’s is undergoing expansion. Don’t you just love symmetry?

“My family will be reduced, Boston will be yours, let’s celebrate.” —Bishop

I get the feeling someone is hitting the Reset switch. We’re building up, obviously, to a season finale, but we may also be building up to a game change. Is Nora going to move in with Josh? Better tell her about Aidan’s diet, and also that spectral other roommate. Is Aidan going to be fending off vampires right and left? He should quit his nursing job and take up carpentry, with a specialty in stakes. How far will Danny go to get rid of Sally? Maybe she should start possessing him. Actually, I like the idea of Sally becoming more pro-active around Danny. At any rate, this episode provided plenty of surprises, especially in the culling of the vampire population, and some tender moments when Josh finally found his manhood and accepted his responsibilities. If any of these developments gets those three out of the Addams Family mansion and into better quarters, I’ll be happy. If they really want to “become human”, these three need some paint.

“You deserve this place.” —Alanna

Being Human held steady this week at a 0.5 rating among adults aged 18-49. That’s about 1.3 million viewers, a very respectable number for a cable channel as small as Syfy. Syfy is bragging that this “freshman hit” delivers an audience that skews more heavily female than any other of its shows, with more than 53% of its audience being women. The fact that Aidan and Josh talk about relationships, cry a lot, and look like male models may have something to do with that statistic, but I would also like to think it’s because they’re written as interesting and, you should pardon the expression, human.