Stars: Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, Kyle Schmid, Natalie Brown, Robert Naylor, Susanna Fournier, Jay Baruchel, Dusan Dukic, Gianpaolo Venuta
Writer: Mike Ostrowski, adapted for U.S. television by Jeremy Carver & Anna Fricke, created for U.K. television by Toby Whithouse
Director: Stefan Schwartz
Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 9 PM
Airdate: March 12, 2012
BEING HUMAN takes on the trappings of ‘80s horror with some of the developments in “When I Think About You, I Shred Myself.” While we may have suspected that all is not as it seems with Sally’s (Meaghan Rath) Reaper would-be mentor (Dusan Dukic), the revelation of what exactly is happening works in a good creepy manner. At the same time, the fallout of the punishment of Aidan’s (Sam Witwer) vampire progeny Henry (Kyle Schmid) is reminiscent of HELLRAISER. Even guilt-ridden werewolf Josh (Sam Huntington) gets a bit of AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON help, plus a twist of his own, when the ghost of his old friend Stu (Jay Baruchel) comes calling.
When Josh was attacked by a werewolf and infected/cursed, his friend Stu was killed in the assault. Stu as a ghost drops by the hospital. Josh is sort of glad to see Stu. Stu hangs around while Josh and ex-fiancée Julia (Natalie Brown) mend fences and go to a bar together. When Josh and Julia say goodnight, Josh seems to think better of it and he and Julia wind up in bed together – except Josh is temporarily possessed by Stu. When Stu gets out of Josh’s body, Josh is furious. Stu says he has always been in love with Julia, even back when he was alive – he just wanted to have Julia look at him once the way she looks at Josh. Julia is so willing to accept Josh back into her life that Josh winds up not pushing her away. (To which we say, about time, Josh.)
In the last episode, Henry accepted being skinned alive by Suren (Dichen Lachman) as the price of staying in Boston. Aidan brings the skinless, miserable Henry home, has the apprehensive Josh invite him in and then installs him in the bedroom. Aidan flashes back to how he met Henry, who was at the time a kindly medic attached to the U.S. Army during WWI. Aidan wound up turning Henry to save him after Henry took a stake intended for the vampire.
Now Aidan knows that Henry needs to feed in order to heal. Aidan hypnotizes two pretty young women into thinking Henry is the most handsome man they’ve ever seen, but the hypnosis wears off while they’re in the room with the bloodied figure. The young women become hysterical and Aidan snaps their necks to prevent them from fleeing. Henry feeds on their new corpses. When Josh sees a completely-healed Henry the next morning and a refrigerator crate being hauled away with blood leaking out of it, the werewolf realizes what’s happened. However, he and Aidan are about to have a shared bigger problem, which is …
Sally pulls an old man’s possessive ghost out of a child, but still can’t bring herself to “shred” him, so the Reaper does it. Sally still has her doubts about being a Reaper. She goes for help to her human friend Zoe (Susanna Fournier), a nurse at the hospital. Zoe, who has a sixth sense that allows her to see departed spirits, runs a self-help group for ghosts. When Sally returns, Zoe orders her out – the Reaper is delighted with himself for killing all the ghosts. Sally goes home and tries to surround herself with ghost-repelling salt, but it’s hard, as the salt box is corporeal and Sally is not. Zoe’s ghostly boyfriend Nick shows up to help Sally, but there is no Reaper – it’s Sally doing everything herself. Sally, either possessed or insane, shreds Nick. When Aidan and Josh enter, she tells them that Sally isn’t here anymore and starts telekinetically hurling furniture around. The vampire and the werewolf are able to surround her with salt, but clearly something is very wrong with the resident ghost.
However, something is very right with BEING HUMAN. The addition of new ghostly lore is intriguing. Giving Sally something to grapple with that’s on the same scale as what Aidan and Josh have been facing in their separate ways will no doubt make her character much more freaked out, but it also gives her a gravity to make her much more deeper and nuanced – to say nothing of more dangerous.
BEING HUMAN has always tipped its hat to AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON when it comes to Josh – and werewolf George on the British original edition – so the introduction of Stu is a logical development. It seems like perhaps something more could have happened with a ghost possessing a werewolf, but at least the rationale for the event resonates and Josh does step up to do the sane, non-self-pitying thing at the end.
The Aidan/Henry story in this episode borrows a good bit from Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER in visual terms (or at least as much as can be afforded on the show’s budget and depicted within the boundaries of basic cable broadcast standards). Henry, skinned and bleeding, is a pretty startling sight and having him partying with the two young women who are entranced into seeing him as whole, creates imagery worthy of a Fangoria cover. Aidan’s failed efforts to keep everything non-lethal and his layers of guilt (about Henry, about saving Henry, about his victims, about Henry’s victims) all cascade without making Aidan intolerably morose. It’s a fine line, but Witwer and the show are handling it well.
Altogether, “When I Think About You, I Shred Myself” is BEING HUMAN (un)living up to its potential – there’s some real fear and menace here, and the characters are coming together in ways that unnerve each other and themselves while still retaining their essential humanity in the face of it all.
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Related Link: TV Review – BEING HUMAN – Season 2 – “Addicted to Love”
Related Link: TV Review – BEING HUMAN – Season 2 – “All Out of Blood”
Related Link: Complete BEING HUMAN – Season 1 reviews
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Article: TV Review – BEING HUMAN – Season 2 – “When I Think About You, I Shred Myself”