Stars: Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Kristen Hagen, Terry Kinney, Deena Aziz, Robert Naylor
Writers: Jeremy Carver & Anna Fricke, adapted for U.S. television by Jeremy Carver & Anna Fricke, created for U.K. television by Toby Whithouse
Director: Adam Kane
Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 9 PM
Airdate: January 16, 2012
The U.S. version of BEING HUMAN returns for its second season with all of its characters true to form, which is to say that vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer) is still worried about undead politics, ghost Sally (Meaghan Rath) is still unhappy about being deceased but trying to make a go of it, and werewolf Josh (Sam Huntington) and his girlfriend Nora (Kristen Hagen) are still unwisely keeping secrets from one another.
In the story, it’s been one month since we last saw the three Boston-based housemates. Aidan wound up having to kill his maker, erstwhile Boston vampire leader Bishop (Mark Pellegrino). However, he did so protecting vampire elder Hegeman (Terry Kinney), Aidan is going to be rewarded with control over Boston– well, that’s what Hegeman thinks.
A vampire so powerful that others refer to her simply as “Mother” (Deena Aziz) arrives in town and says that her daughter will run Boston, with Aidan as the daughter’s second. None of the other vampires seem very happy about this – it seems that daughter is unstable. Mother tells Aidan that if he complies, he will be allowed to leave the vampire community. Mother also wants to kill all of the vampires who were turned by Bishop without authorization. Aidan is against this, but when some of the vampire “orphans” try to attack Mother, he jumps in and kills the would-be assassins. Coming home, Aidan fears that trying to handle his end of the bargain with Mother may alter him – and he asks friend Josh to remind him of who he is should the alteration occur.
Although Nora can’t see Sally, she knows about her, and urges Sally to attend her high school reunion. After all, as Sally is a tragic figure to her peers, being a murder victim, she will be lionized at the event. Sally goes to the popular event, where she encounters the ghost of classmate Stevie (Robert Naylor) who killed himself while they were still teenagers, and the ghost of the most popular girl there, who recently died of malaria. Sally learns from the boy that ghosts can sleep, and the popular girl gets enough insight from Sally to see her own door to the other side. Back at home, Sally sees her own door, which at first seems glorious, but then becomes menacing, sending a monster after her – and then Sally wakes up, realizing she’s had her first sleep and dream as a ghost.
Josh is uncomfortable discussing his werewolf condition with Nora. He still doesn’t know that he scratched Nora the last time he changed, and Nora still hasn’t mentioned the scratch to Josh. The upshot is that Nora drops Josh off in the woods, thinks she’s all right when she hears Josh start to change – and then, to her horror, begins her own transformation while still behind the wheel.
Josh hears Nora screaming with the pain of becoming a wolf. He’s transforming but tries to run to her – and is then shot by Hegeman, who has been ordered by Mother to get of anything that may distract Aidan, including the wolves.
As cliffhangers go, having one of the leads shot in the back (twice!) by a mortal enemy is right up there. We can guess at ways out of this for poor Josh, but the jeopardy is certainly concern-worthy. The relationship between Josh and Nora has the potential to be touching, but Nora’s decision not to tell Josh she’s rightly worried that she may now be a werewolf is so exasperatingly dumb that a lot of our sympathy evaporates. Josh’s insistence on not discussing his state with Nora once she already knows about it is similarly annoying, although he gets over it somewhat. These sorts of story hurdles don’t add anything, because we know not only that they will be resolved, but we know how they will be resolved. Furthermore, the scenes getting there aren’t any fun. Unless there’s a colossal surprise lurking in here somewhere, the show would be better off having both characters be candid, get on with it and use the saved time for something else. It’s hardly like BEING HUMAN is in danger of running out of story with everything going on here.
Sally’s adventures at the high school reunion are fairly entertaining, largely courtesy of guest star Naylor, who hits just the right notes of whimsy and wistfulness as the forever-young ghost.
As for the vampire politics, this isn’t TRUE BLOOD, much less BOARDWALK EMPIRE, but Kinney and Aziz keep the camp factor down, both of them exuding slow, thoughtful power. Witwer does a good job of allowing Aidan to be outwardly prudent with inward passions.
Overall, “Turn This Mother Out” gets the second season of BEING HUMAN off to a good start, with a nice balance of humor, darkness and how-do-they-get-out-of-this suspense.
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Article: TV Review – BEING HUMAN – Season 2 premiere – “Turn This Mother Out”