Stars: Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Kristen Hagen, Natalie Brown, Robert Naylor, Dichen Lachman
Writer: Nancy Won, adapted for U.S. television by Jeremy Carver & Anna Fricke, created for U.K. television by Toby Whithouse
Director: Paolo Barzman
Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 9 PM
Airdate: January 23, 2012
In BEING HUMAN, the various factions – vampires, werewolves and ghosts – have to worry about infighting, other supernatural creatures and humans in the know. On this show, sometimes self-pity also joins the list, but the episode “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” blasts through that one by giving all of the leads immediate and compelling issues.
At the end of the season opener, werewolf Josh (Sam Huntington) was gunned down in mid-transformation by vampire elder Hegeman (Terry Kinney). “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” opens with Hegeman being prevented from delivering the coup de grace when he is taken out by Josh’s girlfriend Nora (Kristen Hagen) during her first wolf transformation. Since Nora didn’t tell Josh that he had scratched her during his last bout of lycanthropy, he wasn’t aware this would happen. When both are restored to human form in the morning, Josh realizes that Nora wolfed out and killed Hegeman. He has one big bout of guilt and misery and spends the rest of the episode trying to convince Nora that she’s mostly normal and that he loves her and is there for her. When Nora gets drunk at a party, she also blurts out that she miscarried Josh’s child, which Josh didn’t know about earlier. Josh takes some comfort in the fact that Nora doesn’t seem to remember anything that she did in wolf form.
Aidan (Sam Witwer) has agreed to be the right-hand man of vampire ruler Mother’s daughter Suren (Dichen Lachman), who has just been awakened after an enforced sleep that seems to have started in the 1930s. Suren used to worship Aidan. Even though he insists he’s very different now, Suren sees signs of his old self in there. Aidan says they need someone inside the police force who can do the clean-up duties (making sure humans don’t know about vampires) formerly handled by the late Bishop. However, Suren makes a selection of her own, bringing in a beautiful female cop who thinks she’s there for sex. When Aidan can’t/won’t turn her, Suren does. Aidan then goes out to a bar, where he encounters Julia (Natalie Brown), a doctor he met earlier in the day. Julia didn’t get the job she applied for at the hospital where Aidan, Josh and Nora work, but as the episode ends, she may well get Aidan, at least in the short term.
Sally (Meaghan Rath) has become friends with Stevie (Robert Naylor), the ghost of her suicidal high school classmate. Stevie in turn has introduced Sally to two other young ghosts, who want to show Sally how to “rage.” Although Stevie advises against it, Sally joins the other two in “raging,” i.e., possessing the body of a living human. Sally loves it, until Dylan, one of the other possessing ghosts, tries to rape her. Stevie yanks Dylan out of the living body, and when Dylan is still aggressive, Stevie literally obliterates him. Sally is shocked – she didn’t know ghosts could destroy one another.
Reeling, Sally goes home to commiserate with Nora, as Nora can now see her. We find out that Nora does remember killing Hegeman after all.
There are so many good things in this episode that it’s hard to know where to start. We can begin with guest actress Lachman, who is smart, insinuating and properly otherworldly without overdoing it in the slightest – Suren isn’t trying to be human and Lachman makes the most of her slyly dangerous, different aspects.
It’s also good to see Aidan strategizing and weighing his priorities, trying to do his job in the vampire world while protecting his place in the human one. He does very well in the flirting scenes with Brown as Julia, though we wonder if this storyline is heading where one that began in similar fashion on the U.K.edition wound up.
As for the ghostly possession/destruction business, it’s an eye-opening development with loads of potential. It’s fun to see Sally get giddy, and she and the gentle, humorous Naylor make a quite agreeable platonic pair.
Finally, when Josh gets over himself and tries to comfort Nora,Huntington invests the character with likably natural sweetness. Hagen runs through Nora’s stages of grief credibly, achieving an affecting sense of affinity with Huntington.
“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” has speed, romance, jokes, jeopardy and really makes us want to know what happens next on all fronts. It’s a fine episode.
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Article: TV Review – BEING HUMAN – Season 2 premiere – “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”