Review – Syfy’s Being Human Season 1 Finale “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Me Killing You”

Erin Willard reviews Being Human airing on SyFy. SyFy takes on the hit UK show about a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf living together as they attempt to keep hold of their humanity in this re-imagining.

 

 

Being Human airs Mondays at 9pm ET on SyFy.
Exclusive content and downloads at http://www.SyFy.com/BeingHuman

 

Good.  A good finish to a generally excellent rookie season for this reimagining of the UK original.  It lacked the excitement of the antepenultimate episode (that’s two episodes ago, kids), the gut-wrenching emotion of the episode prior to that, and the sheer joy of listening to great lines from the episode prior to that.  In other words, it got better and better, then less so, but then finally wrapped up nicely.

I’m not exactly sure why they brought Aidan to the hospital when all they needed was blood, especially since he would have been – ironically, given the attack – generally safer at home, it being unlikely that Bishop would want to undergo a second scorching.  The hospital setting, however, was clearly required, since it was the best way to bring in Celine and Nora and to allow Bishop to see that Aidan had survived.

I am pleased that they did indeed have a use for Celine in this episode.  If you read my review of last week’s episode you’ll recall I did say that I hoped her storyline was introduced for a reason at that point in the season, but that I was going to trust the writers.  I am SO pleased that the faith was well-placed.  Her offering of herself helped to strengthen Aidan physically, just as her telling the story of what Bishop had done to her helped to strengthen Aidan psychologically.  And it made a great deal of sense that she would offer herself, not only because she was terminal, but because Bishop had seen her in the hospital and would now likely punish her by attacking her family.

So Bishop’s punishment for entering Aidan’s home without invitation was being burned in much the same way that vamps burn in sunlight in other interpretations of vamp lore.  That was a nice touch.  Maybe I’m an idiot, but I only just realized that the reason Bishop attacked the police officer was because he needed live blood to heal, just as Aidan did.  Silly me, I thought Bishop was just being cranky.

It was great that Aidan and Bishop were allowed to actually fight it out, though I was distracted by the stop-action style of the scene; it felt cheesy to me.  Still, pretty cool ending.  I love that Sally was there and tried to help, and actually did help by distracting Bishop long enough for Aidan to get the jump on him.  And show of hands, how many thought Aidan was just choking Bishop?  My hand is raised; I was thinking – what the heck?  Choking won’t kill him!  Right up until his head came off…  Really well done.

How wonderful that the episode led up to a battle that they all at least intended to join.  Josh’s being locked out – or literally, locked in – was a huge kindness to him by Aidan.  Josh very likely would have won that battle, as the lore in this series is that vampires almost always beat werewolves in a fight UNLESS it’s the full moon, when werewolves would almost always win.  But that would add one more kill to Josh’s tally, and as Josh told Sally in the last episode, you don’t want death on your hands if you can avoid it, there’s no getting over it.  Besides, Aidan needed to finally and permanently break with Bishop and all that he stood for.  Aidan’s line to Josh and Sally beautifully summed up his regret that they were involved at all.  “This should have happened lifetimes ago, and I am truly sorry that it had to happen during yours.”

Looks like Josh’s lockout was a sort of good news/bad news thing for Nora.  The good news is that she now knows Josh’s secret, and she is in fact wonderful about it.  And come on, how adorable was Josh’s furry face under the door?  It was further good news that Josh was alive to learn that Nora had a miscarriage (presumably because of the full moon) and was able to be with her once he had recovered.  The bad news was, of course, that one, JOSH IS A WEREWOLF, two, she had a miscarriage because JOSH IS A WEREWOLF, and three, she may now have been infected by Josh because he scratched her when he was a werewolf because JOSH IS A WEREWOLF.  Seriously, I was kind of expecting a bigger response from her to the fact that her lover is a werewolf.  A WEREWOLF.  I know she’s a nurse and has seen a lot, but COME ON.  And it was lovely that she said it didn’t matter that he didn’t tell her, that she wouldn’t have believed him, but again, COME ON.  Does no one think there was a possibility that little baby Lupin or Lupine might have CLAWED ITS WAY OUT OF HER WOMB?  Just a thought.  I’m happy that she survived, and that they don’t have to deal with what might have happened, as they will likely to have plenty to deal with as a new couple anyway.  I like them together, and I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops next season.

Speaking of things I liked, I really liked Sally this episode.  She was very – sorry – real.  Her interactions with Josh and with Aidan were comfortable, sincere, honest, genuine, true to character, not whiny, and totally natural.  Like someone I’d love to meet at Starbucks so we could catch up.  When she made the suggestion to Josh that he take on Bishop, she wasn’t desperately freaking out like she was when she was trying to get Josh saved from the werewolf fight.  She was intense but fully invested in the plan.  And maybe that’s part of why it worked so well; she had a plan, she wasn’t flailing, and she believed in it.  Sally is always at her best when they allow her to be strong.  I did love it, though, when Josh warned her to not tip off Aidan with special “looks” – “you know, don’t Sally it up.”  And I was so pleased that when she locked Josh up, she was equally strong about that.  Sure she got stressed when the 500-year-old vampire lunged at her, that was totally supportable.

Just a quick note about the flashbacks.  The audience is really owed a bit of help, unless the when-are-we is part of the story, and it wasn’t in this case.  More than once, Josh’s bruises from being beat up by Marcus were the only visual clue we were given that we were back to the early days of Aidan and Josh.  We needed, or at least I needed, more than that.  I did enjoy getting the Aidan-and-Josh backstory, and it felt fitting to have it during the season finale.  Without the issue of flashback mechanics it would have been even stronger, but it was still well done, particularly at the end.

The three of them together in the apartment when it was all over felt like the perfect denouement for the season.  Sitting together, taking stock.  Fittingly, this is when we got my favorite lines of the episode:

“We should get cable.”  “Why?”

“I think I’ll learn crav maga.”

When Heggeman showed up at the door: “She wants to meet you.”  Oooo!

And during the final flashback, as Aidan and Josh are planning to get an apartment:

“You don’t even eat.”  “I like the ritual.”

Kudos to everyone involved in this series.  I can’t wait for the DVDs, and for season two.

And finally, now that the first season is complete, and the third season of the UK original is also complete, and both have been renewed for another season, this seems a good time to award kudos to the rookie adaptation, both for the benefit of long-time watchers of the original as well as for those who have not yet seen the highly-recommended UK series.  I love the way the US series kept some storylines completely intact, changed up others, and added in entirely new ones.  What a wonderful way to adapt a series for a different audience while – here’s the tricky part – recognizing that the new show’s audience will be comprised of both newbies and veterans.  The fact that some story lines were nearly identical paid homage to the excellent original and its fans.  That some story lines were changed or took a different turn – sometimes quite dramatically – meant that veterans could still be surprised.  What a gift to the veterans (yes, like me).  And wow, how bold of the US series to use aspects of all three seasons of its parent in its own first season.  Granted, the US first season had twice as many episodes as the UK first season, but still…  I’m sure it was no accident that some of the plot points in the US Monday broadcast actually used plot points from the preceding Saturday’s broadcast of the UK version on BBC America.  Excellent coordination, mates!

And here’s one of my favorite things of note: none of the changes made in the US version, at least none that I can think of, directly contradict something in the original.  The personalities of the leads and the ancillary characters differ from one version to the other, but that’s okay: all of their names are different.  I realize this is likely because the US showrunners wanted more “Americanized” names, but it also works to point out that they are not in fact the same characters.  Some of the supernatural aspects invoked differ between the series, but again, they do not contradict each other.  Thank you, US production, for distinguishing your show from its parent in such a deft manner, without making us choose sides.  I love the original, and I love this reimagining.  I can’t think of another instance in which an adaptation, whether it be a spinoff or a “remake,” has so successfully captured my loyalty.