Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Being Human (US), Season 4, Episode 4: The Panic Womb

Time for their wonderful, normal lives – including Josh exercising all the time and trying to keep a track of wolf triggers and Nora holding things together and making allowances. Those allowances also extend to Josh having, as Sally puts it, the attention span of a dog in a field full of squirrels. This also makes him unsuitable to help Sally find out about the little girl who died she keeps seeing in magic visions. Sally has dubbed the child Lil’ Smokie so I’ll run with that.

Aidan is having a wonderful dream about Kat – including turning her into a vampire to prove his eternal commitment to her – and a whole lot of sex which is interrupted most abruptly by Kenny. Aidan is not amused (kids always interrupt at the worst time). His ex-wife Suzanna, not-that-he’s-telling-anyone-that has just killed 10 more vampires – and since his men have seen Suzanna watching Aidan Kenny, naturally, assumes she’s after him. Aidan continues to deny all knowledge

Awww he’s just worried about Aidan – which causes all kinds of guilt so Aidan lets him leave by the front door and not sneak out the window. Which means Josh and Nora learn that Kenny’s still alive and not dead after nearly killing Nora as Aidan had promised them. They’re not thrilled but Aidan responds with sense, apology AND firmness; they’ve all made mistakes and needed second chances, he has to be responsible for the creature he created and, yes he lied but they wanted him to murder his son so not entirely unexpected. Josh is outraged and angry – but Nora (the new awesome Nora) is well aware of what she and Josh, as werewolves, have nearly done when out of control. Josh listens but he leaves – having to run and not deal with it.

Sally is pursuing her investigation by bothering Zoe. Zoe is hardly thrilled given the number of times Sally has been involved in terrible things happening to her. Sally babbles at Zoe until she gives in –it’s a surprisingly effective tactic.

That doesn’t mean Zoe can’t be passive aggressive and snarly. But then, even when she didn’t have good reason to be pissed at Sally she was already pretty passive aggressive and snarly. She does find out that Lil’ Smokey’s real name is Beatrice and that her parents moved to Brooklyn.

Road trip to Brooklyn! They find the Bensons – only to find Mr. and Mrs. Benson are apparently dead. But Beatrice – Lil’ Smokey – is surprisingly alive, along with her daughter. Zoe makes up an excellent cover story to ask all about Beatrice, the neighbourhood, her past – and everything seems stunningly normal. They get nothing, much to Sally’s frustration; Zoe considers the case closed, no way is Sally going to drop it

On Josh’s run his wolf senses kick in and he runs up to Caroline, rather startling her. She’s heavily pregnant – and a werewolf. She welcomes the chance to unload to someone who understands and tells him all about her – she and her husband Andrew were attacked by a werewolf 3 months ago; they’re both werewolves and aren’t thrilled by it. But, on the plus side, becoming a werewolf made them able to conceive after a long time trying and failing. On the more questionable side, she’s 3 months pregnant and she looks full term. Obviously, she hasn’t seen a doctor and Josh offers Nora’s help since Nora and Josh are nurses.

Nora has some misgivings, especially given how they’ve not had a great time with, well, any of the other werewolves they’ve been with before. But they also remember her pregnancy and how, tragic as the miscarriage was, it still felt like dodging the bullet since the baby will be born a werewolf – the bullet that has hit Caroline and Andrew.

Andrew is rather classically tense and nervous, especially since neither Nora nor Josh are exactly experts on pre-natal stuff. The ultrasound, at a pitch painfully audible to Josh, is also audible to the baby who becomes agitated. Caroline begs Nora to continue, while Andrew gets even angrier and moves to grab Nora – and Josh grabs him, his eyes changing colour while the ultrasound shows the baby has claws. This spooks Andrew and he leaves taking Caroline with him and telling them to stay away.

Aidan drops in on Suzanna for brunch and explanations about her going all Buffy on Kenny’s blood dens. Shocking absolutely no-one, it seems Suzanna does this all the time – her whole reason for being is to kill vampires before they kill people (it’s like an ultra-musty-vampire, only with less whining). She calls vampires in blood dens “junkies” who kill people when they slip – Aidan fights back that that is why they help them and provide things like blood dens to stop them slipping; but Suzanna only sees them as murderers waiting to happen – and quickly makes it personal, about their own turning. He points out Suzanna must be drinking blood to fight as she did – she is, a carefully measured 70ml a day and of course she never slips. Aidan isn’t so pure, he openly admits to slipping and that he will again; but she has decided to make a special exception for him because she’s seen his humanity – and the way he lives proves he values the humanity he lost.

But she’s not willing to give the vampires of Boston the same chance to prove themselves to her. And she expects Aidan to join her.

Back at the house Aidan is finally pinned down by Kat to plan a holiday he’s apparently been putting off; but he’s noticeably distracted. He’s also having to play “dodge the personal questions” game because Kat asks about holidays he’s been on when he was young… Especially since he has all this excellent information about 200 years ago… but can never seem to talk about last year, or 10 years ago.

Moving on, Aidan talks to Nora about his worries over the holiday – finding and hiding blood feeding from Kat is going to be hard, pretending to be human for an extended period of time harder, and there’s places he can’t go due to apparent past murders that are still remembered. No, what he needs from Nora is to memorise his fake identity – apparently vampires make one every 30 years ago, fake family trees, fake personal history, the whole shebang. This is all part of his master plan because he loves Kat so much – on that score, and so long as he keeps Kat safe, Nora agrees. She also creates a new highschool nickname for him which is a total bonus.

Sally vents everything to the perpetually exercising Josh who listens, considers and points out the minor problem; obviously he doesn’t think she’s crazy given the world they live in and their experiences, but Beatrice – Lil’ Smokey – did turn up alive. But sally also thinks Zoe is acting weird and hiding something – which is odd, I didn’t see it. She seemed quite reasonable and snarky

Which is when the doorbell rings – Andrew and Caroline despite Andrew’s insistence they stay away because Caroline’s water just broke. Nora and Josh get Caroline to a bed, Andrew panicking away about worst case scenarios

Aidan, meanwhile, is trying to play both sides. He tells Kenny where Suzanna is – and then tries to warn Suzanna to get out of town. Suzanna is bitter and decides to verbally lash out about Kat – you can’t pretend to be human, it will end badly and he should break up with Kat for her own good. At least Suzanna seems to be leaving.

Sally goes to check on Zoe to see why she was being cagey – and finds Lori, Zoe’s girlfriend. Sally is shocked (and offended) that Zoe decided to keep this from her because Sally destroys everything. Time and again, Sally obsesses over things and ends up causing damage and she only helped with Beatrice to help protect Beatrice’s family from Sally. Harsh… but not untrue

Aidan and Sally return home to the sound of giving birth (Aidan wants to help, Sally points out a vampire isn’t exactly going to help things). Aidan does have a good speech to reassure Sally though – have things gone wrong? Sure, but they’re all doing the best they can with the limited information they have; and all they can do is try to do better next time.

Andrew confesses all his worries to Josh, including how other people who were attacked had babies and it all went horribly wrong. Josh has some reassurance though – with both Andrew and Caroline being wolves their baby has a better chance – hence the purebreds they’ve already met who were fine (arseholes, but fine).

Dramatic birth moment – and the baby is born. A little girl. With a little muzzle… and fur. Despite this, Andrew declares her perfect and as the baby breast feeds, she shifts to become fully human.

Drama over, Josh and Nora laugh about not having to worry about a baby who shapeshifts, making lots of jokes that doesn’t cover the underlying WAAAAAAAAAAAANT from both of them

Flip to Beatrice going through her album of her as a child – and seeing in the windows of the house (Sally, Aidan and Josh’s house) a girl watching them – Lil’ Smokey. Beatrice isn’t Lil’ Smokey – though Beatrice’s daughter looks just like her.

And Aidan goes to see Kat to tell her everything. No, really. He babbles and babbles but… yeah it’s not very convincing to have someone tell you they’re from the 1760s – and that he’s a vampire. Kat laughs, unsurprisingly

The group’s separating again. Being Human is always at its best when the 4 main characters are actually involved in each other’s lives, interacting a lot and generally being awesome together. But Aidan is with Kenny and doing his secret thing. Josh has his werewolf issue which makes him just unable to do anything except work through his issues with Nora. Sally would like to work with the others – and they can help her which is a change, but they’re snowed with their issues making her turn to outside help (and, to be fair, this differs from previous “Sally is being neglected” problems because everyone is doing their own thing and, as far as issues go, Sally’s is probably the least urgent. Someone dead since the 70s is probably still going to be dead tomorrow).

I am encouraged that they do reconnect from time to time which helps re-establish themselves and keeps them grouped, especially since they don’t just make small talk, they do talk about their issues (except Aidan the eternally secretive).

Is that it for Suzanna? Because for such a pivotal character she seemed… resolved awfully quickly. Was she just there to give Aidan closure? Some kind of permission to be with Kat?

And Zoe is a lesbian or bisexual! Excellent and past time – I’m not going to celebrate entirely since I was kind of gleeful about Josh’s lesbian sister as well but then she was firmly relegated to the plot box forever more. Given the givens, there’s no real reason for Zoe to keep hanging around (quite the opposite in fact) so I worry she may be a character they decided to make GBLT for the express purpose of putting her in the plot box as well….

…but I can hope, right? And after 4 seasons of only Josh’s very rarely appearing sister, it’s something.

I think I’d be happier with the whole “I don’t know what I am” line if there were hope of a resolve to this – the problem is with so many of the GBLT characters we’ve seen depicted on the shows we follow will adamantly refuse to use any identifiers that make up those letters. It’s like same-sex attraction can, JUST, occasionally be shown, but actual GBLT identity needs to be desperately avoided.

Season 4 is now on to its 4th episode – and I remain curious. But I also think they’ve covered a LOT in a very short time – I keep being shocked that the season is only 4 episodes old.