This review contains spoilers.
2.12 Partial Eclipse of the Heart
Before this season began, various promotional materials touted it as being all about temptation. Certainly, there’s been plenty of that, and I mean no offence to those behind the scenes at the show, but they’re wrong. This season has been about identity. Whether it’s blatantly obvious like Sally’s struggle with her split personality, or Josh’s perpetual struggle between man and wolf, or even Nora’s struggle to find who she is in a supernatural world, this season has been all about who we see ourselves as versus who we actually are, and this episode of Being Human hammered that point home hard.
We begin by learning that Henry hasn’t actually betrayed Aidan and it’s all part of a plan they’ve made together but I stand by what I said last week: I’d care more if Henry felt like a real character. Between that and an increasingly ill-looking Suren whining in the hotel room about being hungry, things didn’t really get interesting in vampireland until Aidan took a trip out to Amish country to see the Dutch. No matter how many times I see it, the sight of their cocoons hanging upside down like giant bats still makes me laugh.
Aidan seeks Atlee’s help, reminding him of how Aidan has stood by him, but it all turns out to be for naught: when he returns to the hotel room, Suren is gone. She returns to Mother, saying that she’s been right all along, and Aidan is left alone. I’m sure everyone reading this is shocked.
To be honest, it mostly feels like filler for the real storylines of the episode, which centre around an eclipse. Zoe, who is so distraught over what Sally did to Nick that she’s stopped protecting the babies in the hospital from would-be reincarnators, refuses to speak to Sally. But as the moon crosses in front of the sun and sends the world into darkness, Sally finds that the ghosts she previously shredded are turning up in the place that she did the deed. The two of them rush to the house and Sally finds not only Nick, but Danny lying on the floor, shivering. Nick reveals to Sally that they’re in a place filled with pain and never-ending nothingness that they call limbo and that it’s torture to be there. But when Zoe arrives, he lies and tells her that he’s at peace so that she can be happy and move on with her life. It’s a little trite, but poor Zoe has been through so much by this point that just hearing her say that she’ll be okay is enough for me.
Sally, on the other hand, is talking to Danny, who for the first time seems truly repentant for what he did. He tells her that it’s horrible but that it’s nothing he doesn’t deserve. There’s no touching forgiveness, thankfully, just a statement of fact, and Sally watches him go with no regret.
For Sally, all season long she’s been struggling with who she is: is she a good person? Or is she the Reaper, shredding fellow ghosts at will? She began atoning for it in the previous episode when she and Nora helped her past victim, but here is where Sally gets absolution: Zoe, arguably the living person she has hurt the most, says, “Thank you.” You can see by the smile on Sally’s face that this confirms who she is in her mind: she’s not the evil Reaper. Zoe wouldn’t say, “Thank you,” if she was.
But the main focus of the episode is Josh, as it rightfully should be. He is the character most torn between who he really is and who he wants to be. His story has been about identity from day one: is he a man with a curse, or is he a wolf? His relationship with Nora pulled him more and more towards the wolf side, and perhaps that’s why he’s been so quick to move forward with Julia. She represents the human be was before he was changed, and by clinging to her, he clings to his humanity. That’s how it was supposed to go, anyway.
Things kick off when he stalks Ray like a creep and discovers that Ray has told his family the truth and they’ve welcomed him back with open arms. It’s the first time Ray’s ever been on screen that I haven’t felt the need to take a scalding shower afterwards, but I couldn’t help but think about Josh’s friend Stu and the fact that Ray murdered him. Turns out I wasn’t completely wrong, thematically, as Josh finally decides to tell Julia the truth about why he left her and who he is and suddenly finds himself not so different from Ray at all.
After meeting her friend for drinks, he prepares to let it all out only to be interrupted by the eclipse. Unable to hide the change from Julia, she finally sees him for what he really is.
What happens next completely pulls the rug out from under Josh’s feet.
Everyone’s got an image of themselves in their head, but that image isn’t who we really are. It’s embellished for our self-esteem’s sake. In our heads, we’re smarter, kinder, more the person we aspire to be rather than who we are. Josh is no different. And realizing that he killed not only Julia’s best friend, but Julia herself shatters that image to pieces.
He’s not a man with a curse. He’s a wolf, and wolves are destructive to anything and everything that gets close.
After finally being honest with Julia’s ghost, he shows her to her door and she tells him that she always loved him, he just couldn’t see it. Because that’s another thing about our heads: no matter how wonderful we picture ourselves to be, so many of us believe that we don’t deserve love.
I was largely uninterested in this episode until the eclipse started happening and the plot finally showed up, but there’s no denying that it packed a heck of a wallop after that. Between Sally and Danny’s mutual understanding and Josh’s soul-crushing heartbreak (played to perfection by Sam Huntington), this episode delivered on the campy drama I know and love.
Next week is the season finale when Josh will presumably make a decision on what to do about Ray, we may finally get a break from vampire politics once Aidan deals with the fallout of Suren’s return to Mother, and hopefully we’ll finally get a resolution on Aidan’s identity, too: is he a peaceful vampire, co-existing with humans? Or is he a ruthless leader, prepared to take Boston by the reins? The storyline may have been presented as being about the temptation of power and past loves, but just like his roommates, Aidan has been battling his identity all season. Hopefully next week, he’ll finally work it out.
Read our review of last week’s episode, here.