Being Human (USA) season 4 episode 5 review: Pack It Up, Pack It In
Being Human (USA) goes back to the roaring twenties in this week's instalment. Here's Kaci's review...
This review contains spoilers.
4.5 Pack It Up, Pack It In
In this week’s episode of Being Human, my favorite minor character is back, Kat’s less than thrilled with Aidan’s revelation, and Nora and Josh host a werewolf baby shower.
We open where we left off, in one of the most brutal things this show has ever shown us. I know some of you may be rolling your eyes at that, considering all the gore and angst this show has thrown at its characters, but that’s precisely why these scenes with Kat and Aidan hit where it hurts: as much as they’re infused with the usual supernatural weirdness that permeates this show, at heart, they’re something undeniably human. What do we do when the person we love tells us they’re not who we think they are? That the person we’ve fallen in love with isn’t real, is just a projection of who they want us to see? I think everyone’s had a relationship like this at some point in their lives, or knew someone who did, and that’s why watching Kat and Aidan in those quick snippets of conversation on the couch hurt so much. Aidan chose humanity, chose to be happy, and it backfired right in his face. Humanity is far more complicated than just one choice.
Meanwhile, Josh and Nora are visiting their new werewolf friends Andrew and Caroline from last week, and it’s nice to know that the show intended to go somewhere with what really felt like a random plot last week. What’s not particularly nice to know is that among Andrew and Caroline’s many other werewolf friends is Mark, who fancies himself something of an alpha wolf and seems determined to get Josh and Nora into his pack. (Literally, Josh later angrily tells Nora that Mark was trying to “dominate [him] with a hug.” Only on Being Human, folks.) Only one good thing really comes out of this mess, and that’s Nora deciding to throw a werewolf baby shower for Caroline and Andrew.
Back at the house, Aidan is brooding in his bedroom over Kat breaking up with him, which naturally causes the ladies Henry murdered back when he was regrowing his skin appear to taunt him about what a horrible person he is. Sally shows up and banishes them, telling Aidan that he doesn’t deserve to suffer like this — which he seems to adamantly disagree with. Maybe Sally’s not familiar with the brooding male vampire trope. Someone should get her the Angel box set.
And then something awesome happens: Emily shows up on Josh’s doorstep, fresh out of rehab, and asks if she can crash at the werewolf pad for a few days until her apartment is ready. I may or may not have taken the next commercial break to sing “Reunited” by Peaches and Herb” at my TV screen, paused on Emily’s face. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the producers of Being Human that I am totally pro-Emily moving into the house full time and declaring the basement a supernatural shenanigans free-zone. Or, I was until this episode, but we’ll get to that later. All in good time.
As Aidan stalks through the night to brood away from the party, Kenny harshes his lack of buzz by bounding up like a puppy to beg Aidan for a pat on the head. Aidan tries to send him away, but Kenny tempts him with a refrigerator full of bagged blood, so off they go to have some father-son bonding time.
At the werewolf baby shower, Emily spends most of it hyperventilating from being around so much alcohol. The question quickly becomes why it would be unreasonable for her to kick back upstairs away from the madness with Josh’s Netflix queue, but instead of that far more logical option, she hangs out at the party and tries not to drink.
That endeavour grows increasingly difficult when Mark shows up with at least half the werewolf population of Boston, growling about how all vampires are evil… only to be interrupted by Aidan and Kenny stumbling in drunk out of their minds (okay, that’s mostly Aidan, to be fair) and screaming that it’s time for a “werewolf dance partay.” That’s not a typo, that’s actually the way he pronounces it. Fair warning, readers: if anyone ever describes something as a “partay,” I can almost promise you that you will be better off not attending. Case in point: Aidan Waite, doing the “curtains” dance with Sally.
Eventually, though, Sally bores of the curtains and finds Emily upstairs, muttering about how she should call her sponsor, but how can she explain that she’s at a party full of werewolves? Sally does that Sally thing where her heart is so full of love and positivity that she doesn’t stop and let her brain get a say-so before she acts. She tries to cast a spell to enable Emily to see and hear her so that Sally can support her through what is clearly a time of need, but it doesn’t seem to work… at least, until she gets thrown back to the roaring twenties where Aidan and Henry are laughing it up while slaughtering three people — one of whom Sally was possessing at the time in a last-ditch effort to stop Aidan’s murder spree. It’s interesting to note where she’s been travelling: first to the ritual murder of Lil Smokie, to the house just as Aidan and Josh moved in, then to Lil Smokie in the seventies at the house, and in this episode to Josh at sixteen and Aidan in the twenties. Both of the ones in this episode involve occupants of the house, but decidedly far away from it. Is the connection only that she goes to people who’ve lived in the house?
Back in the present, Aidan wants to resume his and Sally’s dance party, but she’s really not interested in light of what she just saw. Aidan slurs that he doesn’t care about time travel or magic, “[he] just wants to get with [Sally].” It’s been pretty obvious for awhile now that Aidan and Sally have a will they/won’t they going on under the surface, but I think this might be the first overt mention that he’s attracted to her. Unfortunately — and I’m going to need the straight men and lesbian women to take note here — the vast majority of women will not be charmed by a drunken revelation of your attraction, no matter how true it might be and no matter how many times you’ve seen it in romcoms. For reference, please see Sally’s disgust.
Meanwhile, Emily finally emerges from upstairs and tries to start a conversation with Kenny, only to see his real face and panic. With the house full of vampire-hating werewolves, it was really only time until a fight broke out, and needless to say one gets started over what was genuinely a misunderstanding. I’ll admit that I’m distrustful of Kenny and his motives (surely he resents Aidan for leaving him?), but in this case, it really wasn’t his fault. By the time Aidan and Kenny leave, Mark is going full on smug bigot in Josh’s face. I vote Mark as this season’s Liam: it makes sense he’s around and all, but wow do I just find him supremely annoying and want him to go away already.
That night, Sally tries to explain to Josh that she was only trying to help Emily, and Josh does what all good friends have had to do for each other at some point in their lives. He looks her in the eye and sighs that the road to hell (or witch’s purgatory; whatever) is paved with good intentions, and Sally’s got the best intentions of all. It’s something people have told her over and over again since the show began, that sometimes good intentions aren’t enough when the consequences are dire, but it never seems to sink in. Here’s hoping that this time it actually sticks.
Back in their bedroom, Nora tells Josh that she understands the wanting a family thing, like the pack has, and he tries to joke that they have two vampires and a ghost, and even one plain old human, but that turns out to be premature since Emily leaves the next morning for the sake of her sobriety. As much as I would love to have her around all the time, she’s right that she can’t handle their weirdness right now. But if she’s ever ready, I will be happy to reinstate my plea for her to join the cast full time. At any rate, Nora’s not buying what Josh is selling and they end up going to turn with the pack on the next moon. That can’t go anywhere good.
The day after the party, Aidan finds Sally in the living room, where she reminds him of exactly what he said to her last night. After he apologizes, she tells him what she saw the night before and says that while she always knew he’d murdered people, it hadn’t dawned on her that he’d enjoyed it so much. She looks at him now and tells him that maybe he does in fact deserve to suffer for his past wrongs. Aidan shakes his head at her and asks her where she’s been since the pilot, since that’s kind of been his M.O. from day one.
Later, Kenny comes by with his new werewolf lady love (wearing a t-shirt that says “I suck” and I know I exaggerate sometimes in these reviews for the sake of comedy but I need you to know that his shirt literally says that because it’s so utterly groan-worthy and therefore completely Kenny that I had to pause until I stopped laughing) and Aidan reminds them that their whole Romeo and Juliet thing isn’t going to end well. To which Kenny says, “Aidan I am wearing a t-shirt right now that proclaims ‘I suck’ do you really think I have any damns to give about that?” It’s a fair point, so Aidan lets it drop.
Kenny asks if Aidan wants him to remove Kat from all his memories, in order to ease his pain, and Aidan says, “This is the most normal break-up I’ve ever had! No one died, no one turned to dust… it’s like Christmas, but every present is pain.” And that’s… a really healthy way to deal with this, actually, and I’m unbelievably proud of Aidan. As sad as I am that Kat (who I really grew to like this season!) seems to be gone, I can’t blame her and I’m really proud of Aidan for the character growth he’s been showing: he can’t just keep saying, “I want to be human, I want to be human,” and not do anything about it. He has to actually choose humanity, over and over again even when it hurts so much that he can barely stand it. Because unfortunately, that’s part of the reality of… well, being human. And considering how many bad choices Aidan has made in the past when it comes to choosing against humanity time and time again, it’s unbelievably refreshing to see him make this choice.
We all know I’m not really a fan of the “politics” parts of the show, be they vampire or werewolf, so I’m hoping this new pack situation works itself out with minimal fuss. But I greatly enjoyed this episode, in particular Sam Witwer who’s been on top of his game this season. See you next week.
Read Kaci’s review of the previous episode, Panic Womb, here.
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