It's date night on Being Human, and as is so often the case, date night is not quite as much fun as you might have hoped. Josh finally works up the nerve to ask Nurse Nora (formerly known here as Dr. Blondie, before you kind commenters set me straight) over for dinner, and it turns out she can’t resist his stammering charm, even though it takes him a while to realize this. Aidan gets a late Valentine from Rebecca, but it’s not the mix CD it at first appears to be; instead, it’s a vampire porn/snuff movie (which would probably sell quite well in our Twilight age, come to think of it). And Sally is sneaking out to see her ex-fiancé Danny, although romance is the furthest thing from her mind.
There’s also been a breakup, as Josh’s sister Emily is back on the scene, having been dumped by her girlfriend and looking for a place to crash for a couple of days. That’s the set-up for some more of the wan brand of domestic comedy this show has been trafficking in all too often. Werewolves, vampires and ghosts—you can’t live with ‘em, you can’t kill ‘em! Well, not easily, anyway.
It turns out that Bishop and his right-hand man Marcus are behind Rebecca’s home movies. It’s another attempt at luring Aidan back into the fold, and while it does nothing to make him more sympathetic to the cause, it does draw him closer to Rebecca, especially after an unexpected nightclub rendezvous. Sally, on the other hand, is still not feeling the love for the man who turned her into a ghost. While she dreams of violent revenge against Danny, she can’t seem to recruit Aidan to the cause, so she settles for spooking him by returning the ring he can’t seem to get rid of.
Sally appears ready to put her vengeful impulses to bed after meeting the ghost of a club girl who has been tormenting her still-living ex-boyfriend for 20 years. This is a possible future without much appeal, but when Sally sees indications that Danny remains a threat to her former best friend Bridget, it’s clear that she’s not ready to forgive and forget just yet. Of our supernatural trio, only Josh manages to actually have a good time, and he seems to be getting somewhere with Nurse Nora—at least until Emily returns from a night out wounded and covered in blood, presumably having been attacked by Marcus.
So here we are, nearly halfway through the season, and I’m still not sure quite what to make of this show. This episode was fairly typical, in that it offered a handful of appealing character interactions, some mildly amusing comedic moments, and a few hints of darker developments to come. But too much of “It Takes Two” just felt slack and weightless, and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of momentum gathering behind the various plot strands. The big vampire war, or whatever Bishop is up to, is just too vague and sporadically developed to feel as consequential as it should. Despite her violent revenge fantasies, Sally comes across more like a girl who got ditched by her prom date than a woman who was killed by her fiancé. And I’m just not that invested in Josh’s love life, at least not at this point.
Maybe Being Human simply needs to ditch any attempt at crafting a larger mythology and settle into being a domestic comedy-drama about three weird roommates. Or maybe it’s been quietly planting landmines that are set to go off in a big way in the season’s second half. I’m tending to doubt that right now, but if it happens, I’ll be the first to admit it.
- One thing I can live without: each week’s opening voice-over by one of the housemates, complete with dorm room philosophizing about the man within the monster and the monster within the man. I dunno, it just reminds me of Doogie Howser’s deep thought for the week or something.
- Hey, look—a shot of downtown Boston! And Sally’s new ghost friend says her death by aneurysm in 1991 was “wicked tragic.” Someone finally remembered where this show is set.
- I wish I could say we were done with these awful episode titles and their lame twists on old pop songs, but next week brings “I See Your True Colors, And That’s Why I Hate You.” Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.