Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Being Human (US), Season 3, Episode 1: It's a Shame About Ray


The gang is all together cooking dinner – which only Josh eats of course. Yet that doesn’t stop Sally and Aidan doubting the Jewish werewolf with inept knife skills ability to prepare it appropriately. They also have a fun snarky conversation about terrible ways to die, Aidan and Josh listing something that happened to them that was the other’s fault and poking fun at Sally’s balance of the universe killing people thing. And Aidan gets more and more serious insists that they don’t have to die and they’re not going to die.

And Aidan wakes up from his little odd hallucination underground where Mother buried him. He isn’t looking good and has clearly been buried for some time, going by the raging facial hair.

He is dug up (while he babbles apologies to Mother) by someone who claims to be a friend (and carries a stake, so not that friendly. Or maybe just sensibly cautious). His name is Micky and he puts some kind of metal contraption over Aidan’s head.

When he wakes, it seems the contraption is some kind of prop from Saw or Silence of the Lambs that covers his jaw and stops him nibbling on people. He’s in a nasty dank basement with blood bags and blood stained rags and other unpleasant things you really don’t want to wake up to. The man tells Aidan that he’s one of the few left that “they’re all dead” (I assume the other vampires) and those left want his blood because he’s “pure” and they believe it will cure them. And Micky is going to sell that blood.

Of course, dealing with vampires isn’t the most sensible option and when his customer arrives – Atlee (one of the Amish vampires who are part of the Dutch we have seen before) and stakes him with his own stake, unable to pay Micky’s prices. He rescues Aidan, empties the fridge of blood and helps Aidan leaves – but Atlee stops him feeding on Micky, telling him the blood can kill him.

They drive off and Atlee explains the situation. Mother’s dead, they’re all dead or disappeared searching for untainted blood. Apparently the latest flu epidemic left human blood tainted and any vampire who feeds on it gets sick – including Atlee who already has lesions around his face.  Atlee thinks Aidan may be the answer. Which is when Aidan’s hallucinations kick in again, with Hallucination!Sally pointing out he’s about to be eaten by a pack of rabid, virus stricken, Amish vampires (which sounds ridiculous no matter how you phrase it). In fact can we keep them around? Hallucination!Sally and Hallucination!Josh are waaay more fun than their reality counterparts. They’re joined by Hallucination!Bishop and after some hilarious banter (I love these, we gotta keep them) they encourages Aidan to fight – he attacks Atlee but in his weakened state the other vampire wins and bites him, hoping Aidan’s blood will save him (Hallucination!Bishop apologises).

Having drunk from Aidan, Atlee is shocked to realise that his blood isn’t the cure – and crumbles to death in the driver’s seat, causing the van to crash.

Aidan lies by the side of the road, not looking well, while Hallucination!Josh and Hallucination!Sally watch him and get angry over him dying. Aidan insists he’s not going to die, gasping and fighting and willing to live.


Sally is in limbo, which has a nifty fuzzy black and white ghosty effect, running with 2 companions, Nick and Stevie (old shredded ghosts – actually ghosts Sally shredded, he who constantly drowned in the Dr. Who scarf and the kid she went to school with). They’re trying to get back to the living world and it isn’t going well. After her failed attempt to get through the door of the house, Stevie and Nick disappear.

She goes and finds them – Nick in a lake, drowning again, and Stevie (who committed suicide, albeit with pills) hanging from a tree, watching his family go on without him; their personal limbos. They return to the house, the door doesn’t open, again, and her companions disappear, again. Looks like this is Sally’s personal limbo. Nick and Stevie try to talk her out of continually trying again and again.

Josh and Nora

Nora is seeing a psychic and telling her that she has been to see many before – it’s been a year and she’s trying to contact her departed friend. She reaches out her hands and class for Josh… and he walks up behind them and joins them to talk to the dead (oh that was mean! Yes yes it was, for a second I actually thought Josh was dead). The psychic sees a fight in the woods and we flashback to when Nora was holding a gun on Ray. She shoots Ray and yells at Josh to take the gun and finish him off so they can both be cured of their werewolfyness. Ray grabs Nora and slams her repeatedly against a tree, he grabs the gun – and Josh smacks him over the head with a rock. Repeatedly. Back to the present who looks a little taken aback and tells them she sees tears and laughter and laughter always saves them with a happy little smile.

They leave the psychics and Josh is frustrated, how do people like them (full humans? It’s implied) contact vampires and ghosts?

At the hospital a man is brought in and Josh recognises him as a vampire by his all-black eyes. He takes him aside and asks about Aidan but he knows nothing. He also has some kind of icky blood sickness that causes lesions. Nora joins Josh and the vampire panics, recognising her as a werewolf. Time for a flashback to 15 months ago, just after they killed Ray and their first full moon, with Nora worrying that it didn’t work and coming to terms with the fact she told Josh to kill Ray. They lock themselves in for the night, preparing to change and Josh celebrates – he doesn’t change. He goes to let Nora out – but the roaring from within shows that Nora isn’t cured.

At home they prepare to greet another psychic (they’re getting rather blasé about it) and the psychic reaches the front door step and turns and walks away, Nora sees her and gives chase – she won’t come in, she’s been there before when she tried to exorcise Sally at Danny’s insistence back in season 1. She says the house has got worse and doesn’t want to go in but Nora clings to the fact the psychic has contacted Sally before. The psychic is surprised Sally isn’t there; they say they haven’t heard from her in months not even on the radio. Nora begs her for help and the psychic gives them the name and contact details of Ms. Gilchrist who may be able to help them.

They find Ms. Gilchrist – Donna – at a community kitchen. They talk to her about Sally in limbo who tries to scare them off warning them it takes a lot. She charges $2,000. They agree. She demands a human heart, since they work in a hospital they, reluctantly, agree. She then asks for a heart of someone they killed. At this point Josh’s temper frays and he starts ranting at Donna for trying to fool them and drive them off. She turns the soup she’s cooking into maggots to convince him of her power in a no nonsense manner. I like her already.

Next stop, Nora and Josh go to the woods where they buried Ray. After all, they already killed the man, waste-not, want-not right? And Josh looks on the bright side – at least this way something good came out of murdering Ray; Nora protests, Josh’s humanity is worth it, even if it didn’t cure her. They dig him up with all due sense of horror and revulsion and Nora wants to talk about killing him. Josh remains silent but with a whole lot of emotion as Nora describes how it affected them and how they’d been managing to get over it. Talking it through, Josh finally breaks and says “I can’t do this.” Nora holds him and he says “I’ll never cut through the breastbone with this” and changes his knife for a bigger one.

Ok, I have to give them all kudos for that one. 10 points at least. The emotional scene and the knife, I applaud.

Back to the kitchen to see Donna whose gloriously blasé about everything and Josh is on edge, touchy and a bit of a wreck. Time for Donna to drop the next bombshell – they need Sally’s body because they’re bringing her back – not as a ghost, but bringing her back from the dead entirely

Time to go dig up another grave, Sally’s (and I love Nora’s little aside about the caretaker of the graveyard being oddly calm about being bribed to let them dig up bodies – is it habitual?). they unearth Sally’s body in another highly emotional scene.

Donna begins the process and brings out the next set of warnings – Sally won’t be human (though it’s not explained exactly what she will be – but she won’t be a zombie, she will be aware) and she can’t have any reunions, any contact with anyone from her past. The spell is ready, Josh begins his nervous babble thing until Donna tells him to shut up and starts chanting in Latin

In limbo world, the door of the house begins to open. Back in the real world, Josh begins a complete break down (a well acted one at that) over everything that is falling apart. Sally argues with Stevie and Nick about going through the door. She pokes them until they both go through before her then she follows them through

And in the real world, the body starts breathing. They take her home and unwrap her revealing Sally, in the flesh. She struggles to breath and talk, asking after Stevie and Nick. Nora has a horrible thought – if they used the same door, did they just wake up inside their coffins?

Donna, meanwhile, walks through the woods, uses blood magic to find and uncover Ray’s corpse. “Now what aere we going to do with you?” I don’t know Donna, but I’m intrigued.

Ok… wow. I’m impressed. That was a damn fine episode. It was a damn fine acted episode as well with some incredibly powerfully acted scenes. I think the prize for this episode has to go to Josh and Nora for some incredibly emotional scenes and clearly carrying the burden of what they’ve endured and done. But, really I think they all had some incredible moments.

This episode also surprised me multiple times – a vampire virus, vampires decimated, Sally back from the dead entirely? I didn’t see any of this coming and I’m well and truly hooked and dragged back in (even if I’m not entirely joyous about Surena and Mother dying off camera). This is looking pretty immense. Please keep this up.