Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review of Being Human U.S. Season Two, Episode Two: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me

When we last left the roommates,  Hegemon had shot Josh, just as Nora had begun her first shift.  Sally was terrified after having a nightmare in which a creature came through a door and enveloped her, and Aidan was digging mother's daughter Serene out of her grave.

Nora saved Josh from Hegemon by killing him, as Josh was not far enough through his change to defend himself.  When she awakens the next day, naked in a pile of leaves, she is clearly confused and right out of it as to be expected.  Nora spends much of this time in a daze, at one point even asking Josh if she can have a mocha, because chocolate is harmful to dogs.  Josh attempts to assure her that she is still human.  The guilt of turning Nora is clearly plaguing Josh, and so he tells her that he is going to medical school to find a cure for her.  She does not believe that this is possible, but is comforted when she learns that Josh wants to be with her not because they are both monsters now, but because he is really and truly happy with her. 

Josh vacillates from wanting to shelter Nora from the realities of life and an urge to protect and save her.  This of course seems sweet. Josh makes a point of asking whether or not she remembers what happened during her change, not ascertain if she has an unresolved issues, but to find out whether or not Nora remembers killing Hegemon. In the end Josh decides that Nora is better off not knowing.  Thankfully, Nora experiences flash backs of what happened and she tells Nora that she wants to know what she is capable of.  Josh could have asked her without revealing her role in the death of Hegemon how much she wanted to know about her actions and capabilities but instead he attempted to take the decision from her, and that is not how one acts with an equal.

Sally meets up with Stevie and his friends Dylan and Boner. Being teenage boys she quickly discovers that she does not have much in common with them.  Finally Dylan and Boner suggest that they go raging though, Stevie makes it clear that he is against this several times.  At a party, Sally learns that raging is a ghost taking over someone's body and she quickly jumps at the chance after a few false starts.  For the fist time since dying, Sally experiences what it is to feel again and eat again.  

As things escalate, Stevie again tries to warn that this is not a good idea but Sally is too overcome to heed his warnings.  Interestingly enough, when Dylan starts to force himself on Sally, it is only then that it occurs to her that this is not her body.  The idea that consent should only become an issue when force is applied is problematic as hell.  Consent should have been in her mind from the moment it was suggested that they take over bodies for their own pleasure.  It is left to Stevie to come in and save Sally, and the process he destroys Dylan's ghost. The next day Sally is pale and feeling like she has the flu and all she can think about is the disappearance of Dylan and not the fact that she committed a huge wrong against someone by taking her body, for her pleasure in the first place.  I don't like the fact that the writers refused to discuss Sally's complicity in this at all.

I was pleasantly surprised with the addition of another person of colour on the show with the revival of Serene after consuming the blood of several human volunteers.  It seems that Aidan and Serene have a long history together and she assumes that Aidan is still the vampire that she remembered.  With derision Serene now refers to his choice of dietary food as vegetarian.  We get flashes of Serene killing many people and covered in blood, in the hotel during what looks to be the twenties.

Aidan is quick to point out that they have to put a system in place to cover for the murders committed by vampires.  The first step in that plan is to find a police detective.  Serene decides to get proactive and pulls a Black woman off of the street.  This entire scene pissed me off.  Why exactly did this Black woman want to sleep with Aidan again after seeing him for two seconds? Oh yeah, he is just that hot.  Then of course you have the fact that both the Black officer, and Serene are pushing Aidan albeit for different purposes, but plays as women of colour as temptress and that line of thought has been used to often to denigrate us.  It plays upon a historical myth that we are naturally scheming and licentious.  I am further troubled that we watch as Aidan struggles and then finally resists the temptation.  This is ironic because no one had to hold a White man's hand and lead him down to the slave cabins to commit rape. 

Aidan tells Serene that he does not have the control to act without killing.  He promises her that he will do everything he can be a good second, but he will not lose his hard fought for lifestyle.  When she asks why he is so determined to do this, he says that he just wants to put vampire culture behind him and live his life.  Does any of that sound familiar?  It should.  It's the same old moldy, I hate myself claptrap that has common place for vampires to spout recently.  I suppose we can all thank Louis de pointe du lac for this. 

This really wasn't a bad episode and really set the stage for the darkness we have all been told is coming.  The problem with Do you really want to hurt me, is that once again it hints and skirts around issues instead of directly confronting them.  I was really hoping that when they took the easy way out with Nora's miscarriage last episode that they would progress beyond this, but apparently that is not going to be the case.