This review contains spoilers.
2.2 Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
Everyone has a nightmare. Some are silly and superfluous, like being naked in school or showing up late to a test. Others are serious, involving family members and whole arrays of ways in which harm could come to them. Some are mixtures of both – I have a recurring nightmare in which I am a Muggleborn witch and Voldemort has risen to power and instituted concentration camps, which is admittedly silly, but watching Death Eaters murder my entire family for being Muggles really isn’t.
Being Human enjoys being over-dramatic, so it’s really no surprise that the latest episode begins with positing that for our characters, their nightmares are their reality. What is surprising is that this actually pans out into a pretty good episode.
Sally ended last week’s episode by having her first nightmare since she died, and her afterlife becomes more nightmarish itself as a result. Scared of what she saw, Sally seeks out her high school friend Stevie, the boy from last week who committed suicide their junior year.
He brings with him two fellow teen ghosts named Dylan and – I really wish I were making this up – Boner. The three boys, particularly Dylan and Boner, are the very epitome of “dude bros,” but Sally is desperate for ghost pals and so goes along with them to a party where she learns that they can ‘take’ the bodies of the living, much like she did with her exorcist.
Stevie cautions against this, as he says it lead him down a “dark path,” but Sally is desperate to experience humanity again and, after several failed attempts, jumps into the body of a young woman. After happily eating, drinking, and dancing, Sally and Dylan step outside to experience the night air, and Dylan tries to engage Sally sexually. She reminds him that this isn’t even her body and brings up the issue of consent, but Dylan says it doesn’t matter and tries to continue.
After Sally finally throws Dylan off, Stevie and Dylan get into a fight. Green light is thrown around, Dylan shoves his arm into Stevie’s chest, and then Stevie puts his hands on Dylan and destroys him. Dylan melts into greenish nothing and an upset Stevie leaves Sally alone, trying to figure out what just happened.
Aidan ended last season thinking that his nightmare was over, but as we learned in the season premiere, all of our characters are suffering the consequences of their supposed freedom.
In this episode, we begin to see what that consequence is for Aidan. We’re introduced to Suren, also known as the daughter who Mother assigned to rule Boston. The metaphor of Aidan’s vampirism being an addiction has never been particularly subtle, but it’s kicked into high gear in this episode where Aidan’s sole plot line surrounded whether or not he was going to drink from a cop Suren wants to recruit.
Aidan does eventually manage to send the cop away, but Suren simply turns the cop herself, and confronts Aidan about what use he can possibly be to her without being willing to feed on live blood. Aidan tells her that he will serve her in any way he can, but he will never be like her.
It’s the weakest plot line of the episode – a retread of everything we’ve heard from Aidan for the past season – and proves I was right to worry last week with how Aidan’s story will be executed this season.
The strongest storyline of the episode, however, is that of Nora and Josh. We quickly learned that the second gunshot went amiss when Nora’s wolf attacked and killed Hegeman just before Josh completely changed. After waking in a pile of leaves with a mouthful of squirrel, Nora heads to the apartment and finally tells Josh that he scratched her on the night she saw him transform. Wracked with guilt, Josh tries to make it up to her while hiding the fact that she killed Hegeman, but Nora wants nothing more than to be alone and try to be normal.
Normal, however, quickly proves impossible, when Nora finds even the most basic things incomprehensible after such a shocking night. Unable to decide if she can have a mocha – since chocolate is poisonous to dogs – or how to deal with the fact that she is a werewolf doing everyday things, Nora spirals at an event for Josh’s med school class, telling him that she can’t pretend to do normal things now that she is decidedly not normal.
The weight of what has happened crashes in on Josh and he tells her he’s going to back out of med school to focus on finding a cure. Nora tells him that she didn’t want this to happen – she wanted them to be together because they were happy, not because they were monsters. Josh says that he is happy, but Nora counters that she feels like they’re both “completely screwed,” which Josh says is a normal, human reaction.
But part of the reason Nora spirals so hard becomes apparent when she and Sally sit on the couch that night, finally having a real conversation face to face: Nora knows what she did, and she’s glad she does, because at least this way she knows what she’s up against.
It’s no secret that I really enjoy Nora and am excited for the possibilities with her character, and choosing to have her know what she did and not talk to Josh about it only intensifies both of their nightmares. Nora is having trouble dealing with being a werewolf, and we saw in this episode that it’s driving a wedge between her and Josh.
Being a werewolf, having a miscarriage, and drifting apart from Josh are all nightmarish for her, and suffering them alone makes them worse. For Josh, spreading his curse was always his biggest fear, and coupling that with taking away the one thing that truly tied him to humanity takes this into the realm of the truly hellish.
As Sally’s voiceover in the beginning pointed out to us, everyone has nightmares. But the difference between my Voldemort-ruled hellscape and Aidan being forced to live with those still practicing the lifestyle he’s trying to abstain from is that I get to wake up. My dreams are just that: fiction. His curse, the curse of all four of these characters, is that not only are they the stuff of human nightmares on their own, but they don’t have the luxury of waking up.
All in all, this was a good episode. Sally’s storyline was much stronger in this episode, although I could’ve gone without naming one of the characters ‘Boner’ and I wish the scene where Dylan tried to force himself on her had been a little shorter.
Aidan’s storyline was definitely the weakest, and felt like a rehash of things we covered last season with Rebecca. Josh and Nora continue to be the beating heart at the show’s core, and their storyline was easily the strongest. If this show could get me to emotionally invest in Sally and Aidan’s storylines even half as much as they have in Josh and Nora’s, this season would go from good to great.
Read our review of the last episode, here.