Being Human (USA) season 4 episode 8 review: Rewind, Rewind…
Being Human (USA) is approaching its endgame. Here's Kaci's review of Rewind, Rewind...
This review contains spoilers.
4.8 Rewind, Rewind
In this week’s episode of Being Human… every ending has a beginning.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the fact that it’s been revealed that these are the final six episodes of Being Human. I hope I’ll be writing some sort of end-of-series retrospective after it’s all said and done, but for now, the show is doing a pretty good job of that itself. As we come to the end of the series, we face one of the biggest questions of all: on a show about the supernatural, does fate exist? Are some things meant to be? How much of what we know is immutable and how much was just random happenstance? Are the characters we know and love who they are because that’s simply who they are, or have they made each other into the people we know?
We open on the night of Sally’s murder. Her past self drops her ring down the sink and Danny arrives to escalate a mundane situation into terror. Only this time, Sally — our Sally — knows what is about to happen to her. And our Sally has had it up to here with people thinking they can treat other people like prey. She jumps into her own body and kicks Danny’s ass before storming out in a blaze of glory. It should be a happy occasion, but given all we know about Sally’s meddling, one can’t help but feel like things are somehow about to get worse than what we know.
Sally’s friend Bridget takes her to the hospital to have her wrist looked at and at first, Sally tries to avoid everyone she knows: she barely looks at Nora and keeps trying to leave the emergency room. It’s kind of stunning to see Sally show restraint, given all we know about her personality, but it’s short lived. Aidan comes to tend to her wrist and looks at her with those big, gorgeous eyes he has… and this time, she’s alive. She’s human. She’s free of her abusive relationship. She’s a living, breathing woman who knows all that Aidan is and all that he can be, and she knows for a fact he wants to “get with her.” And as much as it sometimes annoys me that Sally never learns her lesson about meddling… well, I can’t exactly blame her for throwing caution to the wind and hatching a plan.
Six months later, Sally bought Danny out of his half of the house and is hatching a plan to get Josh and Aidan to move in with her. Bridget keeps telling her she needs to stop clinging to the house and “move on,” and those words are so, so appropriate: Sally is a ghost who missed her door. She couldn’t move on at first because of the circumstances of her death, and then once she could, she chose not to. Her whole character is about one thing: letting things go, moving on, not engaging. She’s never been able to do it, so it’s fitting that even now in her second chance of life, Bridget keeps echoing those words right back at her: move on, Sally. Move on. Sally could so easily move out of the house, could turn her back on the supernatural shenanigans and live a normal human life. She chooses not to, instead clinging to the past while trying to make it “better.” Because that’s who Sally Malik is: the girl who can’t move on.
Bridget also announces that she’s dating Danny now and Sally begs her not to, but this is the first sign that things are not going to be okay in Sally’s shiny new world: Bridget refuses to believe her that Danny is abusive and decides to date him anyway.
At the hospital, Sally watches Josh and Aidan talk about moving in together before Rebecca sidles up and Sally suddenly remembers what else happened at this time three seasons ago. Her heart speaks before her head processes and soon she’s interrupting Aidan’s date with Rebecca to scare her away. It saves her life, but Sally should know by now about balance and the universe and cause and effect. She doesn’t care, though, because this is Aidan and she is human and she refuses to let him walk down that path.
Which got me thinking about the original Being Human. Those of you who’ve been following my reviews since they began back in season two will know that I have not seen the original show because I didn’t want these reviews to become comparisons to the original. I wanted to review it as it stood on its own rather than in light of its predecessor. However, I do know a few things about the original, owing to having friends who were fans of it. One thing I do recall is that in the original, Aidan’s equivalent eventually asks Josh’s equivalent to stake him, owing to the fact that he can not escape his past and the effect his presence has on those he cares for. I thought of that as I watched Sally in this episode, and I wonder if that aspect hasn’t been passed on to her. What if we’re heading towards Sally sacrificing herself for her friends, possibly by moving on to the afterlife or somehow destroying her soul, when she finally recognizes just how destructive her meddling is and always has been? With only five episodes left, it feels possible, and while I would of course be heartbroken if it happened, it would be a fitting closure for her character arc.
At any rate, Josh and Aidan finally come to check out the house and Sally reveals just how much she knows about the two of them and their lives. Aidan calls her their guardian angel and Josh says, “Don’t you start with the crown molding! You know it’s my weakness!” and it’s so early season one cute that I could die. But nothing is allowed to be cute anymore, and so shortly after the boys move in, Sally gets word that Danny has killed Bridget, just like she knew he would. Sally’s actions have consequences — something she’s never quite been able to grasp — and without her there to warn Bridget about Danny’s true nature, Bridget became his first victim.
But Aidan refuses to let her blame herself, rightly reminding her that this is no one’s fault but Danny’s. Bless him for it, by the way, and bless the camera work in this episode that’s constantly focusing on Aidan and Sally’s hands. It constantly reinforces the fact that Sally is human and can touch her friends in this version of events, in contrast to the original universe where she can’t. It reminds us that in a universe where she was untouchable, Aidan always had to put his attraction to her aside. Now, however, there are no boundaries between them and they come together in a way that feels inevitable.
Except it’s not inevitable, and we know that. We know that no matter how much he might always want to “get with her,” in a different universe they will always hold themselves apart. Fate — if it ever existed on this show — can not withstand the uncertainty principle, wherein Sally’s precise knowledge of one set of circumstances has forced her to lose understanding of other possibilities.
Sally sets about righting the various “wrongs” in this universe by setting Josh up with Nora, scaring Marcus away from Aidan, and preventing Josh from turning Nora into a werewolf. Second verse, same as the first: unintended consequences, etc etc. Sally does indeed save Nora, but at the price of becoming a werewolf herself. Without Nora’s becoming a wolf and being pregnant with Josh’s wolf baby, she and Josh break up and Nora begins dating someone new. And without Nora, Josh takes a good look at his life and sees that Sally’s interference has worked out great for Aidan (who is happier and more human than he’s ever felt in his entire life) but pretty bad for himself. So this time when Ray comes knocking, Josh is far more malleable to his whole shtick, and so decides to move out.
And in case we needed proof that Sally’s meddling has gone “wrong” in this new universe, they sit on the steps talking about what to do about Josh’s decision and Aidan says they should let him go. Sally breaks down in tears and says, “The Aidan that I love — that I’ve always loved — would never give up on Josh.” She realizes that dating him must’ve changed who he was (but fails to realize that it’s more than just that one thing, it’s all the changes she’s made in both of their lives to force their friendship on each other rather than letting it form organically the way it did in the original universe) and so she breaks up with him.
We all know what happens when Aidan gets dumped, and with no Kenny around to make sure Aidan’s only getting drunk on bagged blood, Aidan ends up buying a round of the live stuff for himself and Marcus at one of Bishop’s blood dens. As luck would have it, this is the night of the full moon, and Ray’s feeling up to using its power to kill some “leeches.”
Sally (who’s there to make sure Aidan is okay when he leaves the blood den), Josh, and Aidan collide as Ray and Marcus square off. Fists go flying and someone introduces a pipe to the mix. And maybe fate does exist in this show, because Sally takes a blow to the back of the head. Everyone except Aidan takes off running and as he holds her there in the street, she tells him she loves him and forgives him and dies in his arms.
And so we’re back where we started, with Sally dead, Aidan embroiled in Bishop’s vampire politics, and Josh all tangled up with Ray, except this time it’s all so much worse because they don’t have each other to lean on. The journey might’ve been different, but the end point is still the same: only now, everyone is alone and no one is even trying to have a normal life.
I talk a lot about how much this show causes emotional devastation, so leave it to the writers to use one of their six remaining episodes to remind us that it all could’ve been so much worse.
Five more episodes to go and I have no idea how they’re going to get out of this mess. I just want everyone to be happy before it ends.
Read Kaci’s review of the previous episode, Gallows Humor, here.
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