Being Human, “There Goes The Neighborhood” Part 2

In my review of the first half of this two-part episode, I was generally charmed by Being Human. I haven’t seen the UK version this series is apparently so closely based on here in the early episodes, but the actors and the premise seemed good enough to keep the series steady enough in its own right.

However, this second half seemed more strained. I don’t know if that comes with the adaptation process or something else, but this episode went in some weird directions and some particularly pointless directions. I’m still fully invested in this series now that the end of this episode sort of resets the equilibrium that didn’t really need to be screwed up in the first place, but it felt as if the writers of this episode weren’t satisfied with resolving the cliffhangers from the first hour and so they had to jam-pack as much stuff into it as well.

In general, I’m not really sure I bought into the conflict between Aidan and Josh here. I understand that Aidan clearly has a fairly dark side that resulted in him killing the missing girl from the hospital who turned out not to be dead or missing but instead a recently-turned vampire, but the relationship established between them in the first hour suggested that Josh knew and understood all of those things. The first hour painted these really compelling picture of two guys who really don’t have anyone else left in this world to turn to and their bond is so strong that they more or less rely on the other to survive. And yet here, it seems like Josh is completely unaware of the dangers that come along with being a vampire, even when Aidan knows he did the wrong thing and is trying to avoid any other dust-ups.

Of course, by the time the episode ends, Josh realizes all the things he should already know and the series can move forward from there, but blowing up these two guys’ relationship in the second hour of a two-hour pilot after the first hour establishes that they’re a great match friendship-wise is just sort of stupid. Heck, I would have been much more willing to buy into the fissure in their relationship had Aidan not been there to help Josh’s sister right before the transformation at the beginning of this episode, but nope, he saved the day. I’m not suggesting there shouldn’t be any conflict between these two dudes because obvious there is going to be some. It just feels forced to drop into that sort of storytelling here when the first hour runs opposed to that.

Additionally, thus far, the series doesn’t seem to know what to do with Meagan Rath’s Sally. Being confined to one location while the other two lead characters are out and about is definitely a limitation, but her plot seems to be moving at a much slower and unfortunately, more boring, pace than what’s happening with Josh and Aidan. I’ve heard from a few sources that the original version of the program had some troubles defining the ghost’s character and her relationship to the other two leads, so I’m really hoping that something interesting happens with her soon. It’s nice that we found out how she died already as to not keep that up as some sort of ongoing mystery that no one really cares about, but moping around the house and standing near the generally uncharismatic boyfriend character doesn’t really work. I don’t want to knock Rath too hard because she hasn’t been given a whole lot to do, but she certainly doesn’t have the same sort of energy that the other two actors do.

Last week, I noted that I liked the series wasn’t too interested in diving head first into the mythological backgrounds, but here that seems a bit different. I love Mark Pellegrino, but I think the series would benefit from having his Bishop disappear for a few episodes so it and Aidan can get out from under the ominous possibilities of this vampire boss and just let he, Josh and Sally try to figure out this new living arrangement. I know the series is eventually going to look at the origins of all three of these people, but it doesn’t need to be right now.

I certainly didn’t hate this hour and I am certainly still ready for the next one, but after a really well-done first hour that defined relationships well, set up the world and created some nice bits of tension, part two of “There Goes the Neighborhood” scattered all that away so it could create some false drama that wasn’t particularly necessary. The series most surely wants to be what it presented itself as in the first our of this two-parter, so I’m not really sure why it was crucial to take the steps we saw here, especially if they’re just going to be washed away in the end anyway.

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