Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Being Human (US) Season 3, Episode 12: Always the Bridesmaid and Never Alive

Sally has a nightmare of being naked on a slab, her body marked out for carving and Donna sharpening a big knife and stabbing her

Well, her subconscious doesn’t do subtle, does it?

She wakes up looking a little rotty around the edges and practices reading some Latin – assumably some help Ilana prepared for her.

Aidan is still angsting about Kenny and chaining him up. And Josh is worried about their wedding going ahead with a complete lack of fanfare and how, with Emily gone, he has no ties with his old life. Nora continues to be shockingly awesome and has some wise words to make everything sound better.

When Nora and Josh come downstairs there’s a beautiful wedding arch in the living room. And Aidan is in the kitchen, cooking breakfast (Josh doesn’t know what he’s more surprised by: Aidan’s mastery of Jewish wedding tradition or him actually cooking) – and Aidan is both caterer and officient (apparently ordained via internet) though I love how Josh can’t leave the food alone and has to take over the cooking.

Kat arrives with a bottle and she tells Nora about having sex with Aidan for the first time and him running out on her. Nora leaves Aidan and Kat together and they make it up and play nice and are all lovey dovey. Nora goes up to check on Sally – who looks awful, extremely rotting, no longer with an urge to eat people and falling apart from the inside out. Sally is worried about ruining Nora’s wedding day but Nora tells her the whole reason they wanted to get married so soon is so Sally could be a part of it.

Council in the kitchen while everyone worries about Sally – and the problem of having a rotting corpse at the wedding in front of Kat, to say nothing of the vampire in the basement – and some extra banter between the parties as well.

Josh and Aidan go to see Sally and she’s despairing over losing her soul (she has given up on her body) and has adopted a pretty defeatist attitude – especially since she doesn’t understand the incantation she has from Ilana. Aidan tells her she can’t trick her way out of it – and when the door arrives, he’s going through it with her. It’s not a move-on door, it’s a witch portal, he thinks he can follow. She tries to oppose it but Aidan insists.

Josh goes downstairs to worry about this with Nora, especially since Aidan has no idea what he’s facing. He worries that they made the wrong decision bringing Sally back from the dead. Nora asks if he needs to go as well (Ok, dingding full redemption for Nora! All is forgiven, rarely has a character done such a complete turnaround!) but he says it’s their wedding day and he told her she’d always come first and he meant it. And she says the fact that he cares so much about his friends is why she chose him – and why she’ll marry him when he comes home.

Aidan and Josh gather around Sally’s bedside while she coughs horribly. Josh asks if it’s time – she says it’s not a World War 2 romance and she doesn’t have consumption – if they ask her that again she’s going to flash some tattered zombie flesh at them – she does so and they both recoil. Nora arrives to shoo them both out because when she realised Sally was likely to be returned to ghosthood, she went shopping. Lots of shopping, so Sally can die in an outfit of her choosing (the clothes she then has to wear every day). They joyously try on clothes until Sally becomes too shaky to stand – she sits down and says that it’s time.

They gather again around Sally and Sally gives Nora her grandmother’s Thaali necklace, worn by Indian women to symbolise the bond of marriage- it’s Nora’s something borrowed. She then snarks their deathbed vigil skills. There’s a lot of extremely touching speeches her, beautiful acting and a real beautiful display of how powerful their relationship is and what they mean to each other. It’s one of the best scenes Being Human has ever had. Sally dies.

And comes back as a ghost! Josh can’t see her because he hasn’t had his first full moon yet (and is pretty choked up about it). Aidan says they need to arm themselves while waiting for Donna’s door; but Sally points out she has no grip now. But Aidan has an idea for non-traditional weapons- which involves, as Sally puts it “gouging a hole in my corpse!” I love how they’ve mastered the recoiling from the icky. They need a more mystical weapon -  Sally’s heart, the heart of the bewitched, is their weapon, certainly trumps blood, hair and fingernails normally used in witchcraft. They do the standard flailing bickering thing when the door arrives.

They head for the door – it’s blocking the entrance of the room. Josh kisses Nora goodbye. The three of them go through the door.

Josh ends up in the woods with his wolf. Which attacks him

Aidan in a field with ye olde clothing and his son calling for him, who then grows fangs and attacks him.

They both wake up in a dank room at the feet of Sally – they’re in the soup kitchen, the one that disappeared. And in the room is Ray, the werewolf who made Josh and then Josh killed to be dewerewolfed. He’s also the man who killed Ilana. Happy reunion time! Except the happy part. Josh demands that Aidan and Sally go find Donna while he handles Ray, his karma, his duty

Or, y’know, you could have the super-strong vampire rip off his arms and all go off together. I’m just saying.

Aidan and Sally run into Donna who isn’t a big fan of Sally and her demands, and reaches for the sharp thing. She’s also not impressed by Sally’s recited Latin.

Josh has a wonderful, kind, guilty speech about how awful he feels about killing Ray. It’s kind of nice so long as you force your head around the fact he’s trying to justify his murdering someone to the actual murdered person and really it doesn’t matter how eloquent you are, there aren’t enough excuses in the world. Also, should have kept the vampire – crack-snap, broken neck, bye bye wolfy. Battle ensues!

Sally repeats the chant and, thankfully, Donna has adopted the slow menacing stalk form of bad guy advance so she gets it off several times before Donna gets in reach. Donna becomes woozy and falls to her knees. Aidan quickly grabs her knife (crack-snap Aidan? C’mon her neck is RIGHT THERE! SNAPPY SNAPPY already!)

Outside Josh is doing well, not only getting the upper hand but promptly beating Ray in the head with a heavy object – which is just how he killed Ray the last time! See, once you’ve done something it gets so much easier the second time

In the kitchen, Sally continues to assault Donna with poetry while Aidan stands there looking vaguely horrified (I know, battle by poetry slam? It’s like a new hipster form of duelling) and still not doing anything in any of the battles despite being the one with super speed, super strength, fangs and near immunity to every form of damage. Do something Aidan! Throw something! Swear at her! Throw a Charmed-style rhyming couplet!

Donna, amazingly, isn’t defeated by the poetry, and raises her head, looking wizened and nasty. She isn’t impressed by Sally’s limited repertoire (or the world’s most timid vampire).

Outside, Ray shifts into a werewolf. Oh dear… got any silver clubby things Josh?

And Aidan and Sally stand there doing nothing while Donna slowly and painfully pulls herself to her feet.  They discuss Latin translation, it seems the spell  Ilana gave them is a true-face spell (c’mon, surely the very first thing you did was babelfish that thing?!) and Donna is old, even older than Aidan (who is stood there and, rather than crack-snapping necks, is expositioning about Donna eating souls to maintain her youth – c’mon anyone watching knows this and Sally doesn’t need to). Aidan keeps flicking the lighter, presumably to set Sally’s heart on fire (y’know, hearts aren’t that flammable) but, of course, it won’t spark. He continues to snap no necks at all.

Frustrated by the lighter, he finally makes a dash at Donna – a slow slow dash – and she deflects him with a wave of her hand. This is why he should have acted when she was curled on the floor in the foetal position.

While Sally and Aidan are failing dismally – Josh does some awesome beheading. On blow, across the neck, one headless werewolf – nice. Aidan, take notes please.

Instead Sally complains about Donna enforcing the binding contract she agreed too (which does sound kinda whiny when you put it that way) and complaining about the catch when engaging in Dark Magic. Donna lights a nice bonfire to keep warm; Aidan sees this and begins crawling towards it so he can toast the heart. Should be a big dramatic moment – especially as the flames crawl all over Donna. But Donna pulls those flames into her hands – and throws them at Sally. Actually kind of glad this didn’t work since Donna randomly lighting a fire to help Aidan would have been to ridiculous

Sally, wreathed in flames whispers that she loves them – and Donna swings a blade through her, shattering her into dust and ash. Aidan and Josh scream. Donna opens her mouth and breathes in the ash as Aidan and Josh look on in horror (as opposed to snapping necks! Crack-snap damn it!)

Donna is restored to youth and says she was impressed. Most souls have given up by the time they reach her – no-one’s strong enough to walk the Earth alone, so isolated. Josh says she was never alone . And Donna starts to glow – she lights up like she’s just swallowed the sun, her skin begins to crack and beams of light pour through – she screams – and explodes!

I swear, if she was just defeated by the power of love I’m going to shank a Care Bear.

Sally wakes up next to her rotting corpse, with Josh and Aidan also back in the real world. Aidan gasps that they won (and Josh can’t see Sally, so she’s a ghost. Aidan confirms that she’s there).

Everyone gathers on the front steps all lovey and happy, and Sally is counting the plus side that she’s now a well dressed ghost. Josh and Nora decide to wait a little longer for their wedding day – as a bonus if they wait until after the full moon, Josh will be able to see Sally again. And Emily walks up to add to the tweeness, she wants to give Josh a chance, to learn who he really is – and she likes all the monster friends way more than she likes the humans around her.

Josh tells her the wedding is delayed and Emily points out she spent 45 minutes getting there, she is wearing a dress, There Will Be A Wedding. She orders everyone inside. Nora smiles

Cut to everyone inside and dressed up and Aidan and Josh have a touching friend moment and reaffirming their commitment to their experiment – being human. And what could be more human than this?

Wedding time – dresses and flowers and everyone smiling ecstatically (and Sally snarking because that’s what she does.) Josh’s super awesome personalised vow and Nora’s forgetting to write them and everyone being natural, great acting and generally awesomeness. They drive off in their car with Just Married written on the back.

Emily leaves- but as she blows out the candles they flare back to life in massive flame – witnessed by Sally. And in the basement, Kenny is transformed, bald and lumpy like the other man who attacked Aidan.

In their romantic cabin, Nora goes to get firewood from outside – and there’s Liam, the Pedigree werewolf, missing an eye.

Ok let’s begin with a lot of the awesome positive – all 4 of the characters spent a lot of time together and they all bounced off each other excellently. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it was poignant, there was excellent chemistry, a lot of emotion, a lot of really great scenes that reminds me why I love this programme – I love their relationships, I love their closeness, I love that they’re such good friends. And I like the Nora is very much a part of it, even if she isn’t as close to the original 3, she is still there, she has her moments. They’re a family in the best way, I love how its done.

I spent so much of this season disliking Nora because of her really unfair treatment of Aidan and her hypocrisy. In the last 3 episodes I’ve rarely seen such a transformation of a character. Part of me sometimes wonders if it’s too much – is the turn around too unrealistic? But she works so well, her calmness is a perfect balance to Josh’s flailing panic and a nice centred “big picture” awareness that helps balance him getting caught up in details.

My worry is – and this is nitpicky – she may become TOO perfect. Too focused on everyone else, too kind, too understanding, too saintly – but we’ve had a lot of major life & death issues where any decent, kind, good person would take a step back and focus on others like Nora has done.

I’m concerned that all 3 characters now have hooks for next season (I assume) but they’re divergent again – Sally vs Donna (I say again – if that was power of love, I’m going to stab Tender Heart), Josh & Nora vs Liam, Aidan crying over damaged Kenny. I want them to stay focused on each other

Ok, the negative – and I have to go there despite loving the first 60% of this episode. I found the big show down anti-climactic and silly. I find keeping Aidan, the group’s heavy hitter, out of action for no apparent reason ridiculous. There was a lot of people standing and watching, a lot of dramatic pausing and a lot of not just killing her already.

And, in the end, the bad guy was defeated with no explanation – and I say again, I will stab a Care Bear if I’m supposed to buy into the “power of love” defeating her. Think of the Care Bears, syfy!