Being Human (USA) season 4 episode 3 review: Lil' Smokie
This week's Being Human (USA) deals with female friendship and the legacy of abuse. Here's Kaci's review...
This review contains spoilers.
4.3 Lil' Smokie
In this week's episode of Being Human, Sally and Nora bond over a shared experience while Aidan spends some time with his progeny.
We open in the kitchen, where Sally is ghost-dreaming about the night Danny killed her. We've all seen it before, so we know exactly how it goes: he shoves her into the wall and then she spills down the stairs before cracking her head on the landing. Only this time, she doesn't fall. This time, she says no more and fights back, only to be aided by Donna to take him out for good. Pay attention to this scene because it tells you everything you need to know about the women in this episode.
After the usual freak outs where the gang says, "Sally, don't do the thing," and she says, "Oh, I am most definitely going to do the thing," Josh and Aidan head into work where we learn a few important things: the first is that Josh's sister Emily is in rehab and the second is that in case you were wondering, yes, everyone at the hospital does in fact notice the supes' terrible work attendance. Josh notes that combined, he, Nora, and Aidan have missed a total of 18 months in the last two years. Thank God there's a nursing crisis in the country to allow them to keep their jobs.
Meanwhile back at the house, Sally is perusing the spell book when she finds one designed to bring back a ghost's door and naturally feels she must try. Turns out it was a trick by Donna to bring her up out of the pit, but Sally sends her right back by setting them and the book on fire. Donna disappears and the words brand themselves onto Sally's skin, which she later reveals means she has memorized the entire book.
She heads upstairs to where Nora is re-wallpapering the bedroom she shares with Josh and immediately spills the beans about her encounter with Donna. The two ladies chat about why Sally is so determined to get her door back, given that she has friends she loves, and then the topic turns to a conversation I never thought I'd see on this show. I'd never quite made the connection before that both of the women on this show have been in abusive relationships, but as Nora's shirt rides up revealing the scar on her abdomen left by her ex, Sally looks at her with complete understanding. I won't pretend this conversation isn't personal for me, so maybe I enjoyed this more than most viewers would've, but seeing two women openly discuss their experiences with such tenderness and respect for each other isn't something you get to see every day. It was handled beautifully all around — the writing, the performances by both Kristen Hager and Meaghan Rath — everything about it was all I've ever wanted from a Nora and Sally friendship and some things I didn't even know I needed.
Over in vampire land, Aidan is "escorted" to see Kenny for the first time since he left him in the woods and Kenny is in overdrive trying to impress him. He's like a puppy bouncing around yipping, "Dad, look at my new blood den! Look at how everyone respects me! Let's run Boston together, Dad!" Aidan scoffs and informs Kenny that vampire politics storylines nearly killed the show back in season two, so he will most certainly not be joining back up to run Boston again. At least I hope so.
Back at the hospital, Josh's wolf senses keep going on overdrive, leading him to actually hunt a jogger while he's out for a run to clear his head. It gets even worse when Kenny sends some of his cronies to try to kill Josh (thinking that without Josh around, Aidan would spend more time with Kenny) and Josh responds by wolfing out. Sort of. His fangs and claws emerge, though he retains his human form, and it freaks him out so much that despite Nora's assurances that they can work through this together, Josh quits his job due to the fact that most of his coworkers are scared of him thanks to his wolfy outburts.
Back at the house, Nora and Sally talk about the psychological repercussions of scars. It's especially important to note here that Nora specifically states that Josh completely accepts her as she is, scars and all, but it's not really about looks or what other people think when they see them: this is about her, about the way it makes her feel to have a physical reminder of the abuse she endured. It's hard to leave things in the past when the evidence is very much in your present. And again, with so much friendship and tenderness that I think I turned into the physical embodiment of a rainbow somewhere along the way, Sally offers to use the magic to make them go away.
Look, you're all smart people, so I'm not going to spend paragraph after paragraph talking about the metaphorical implication of friendship, bonding, and opening up about shared experiences between two women healing the literal scars of abuse. You probably already got that. But I would be completely remiss if I didn't stop to praise this show for that powerful moment when Sally walks in to find Nora crying and the two of them share a moment of pure joy at the fact that her scars are gone. Although Nora knew that Will couldn't touch her anymore, she no longer has to bear the physical reminder of what he did. That is powerful. Unfortunately, this joy does not last long as Sally quickly discovers that the little girl she saw murdered apparently lived in their house in the seventies — and she's still there, asking for Sally's help.
Back in vampire land, Kenny reveals to Aidan that his face hasn't actually healed, he just has the ability to compel everyone — including vampires — to see his face as it was before he was turned. The two of them have a confrontation about how Kenny has got to stop trying to kill Aidan's friends in order to get his attention and then race back to Kenny's club to find that all the vampires there have been killed. Ever the sensible young man, Kenny checks his security cameras. The two of them watch as a hooded figure takes out every vamp in the bar before revealing herself to be Suzanna the Vampire Slayer. (Note to the showrunners: I would watch an entire series of that, please make it happen.) Kenny asks if Aidan knows who she is and Aidan makes the world's most transparent "haven't the foggiest" face as we fade to black on Suzanna.
Tune in next week when the world's two most awkward married couples will continue to work at cross purposes. Until then, who do you think the young girl is and what connection does she have to Sally? I'm all ears.
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