‘Being Human’: “Old Dog, New Tricks” Recap

Old Dogs

Watching last season’s premiere of Being Human had me excited pretty much from the get-go.  There was a lot going on in the season two finale that had me on the edge of my seat.  Being Human (the US version, for anyone who might be confused) usually runs on Syfy from January to April of every year.  From April to January, it was easy for me to forget all the stuff that happened in the previous season, but last year, I was pretty much hooked from start to finish.

I’ve been waiting on Being Human for a while now, following what I would call the best season of the show (season three).  The season four premiere finally aired last night and I got to watch it today, but it just felt a little… odd to me.  Like previous season premieres, we get to see a lot of things have changed.

When we last left them, the main characters, of course, all had their own problems to deal with.  Vampire Aidan (Sam Witwer) had attempted to turn terminally ill teenager Kenny upon his request, but things went wrong, as Aidan had been infected by werewolf blood, which cured him of a previous disease he attained by drinking from tainted blood.  Kenny is an odd sort of hybrid vampire and we last saw him running into the woods upon Aidan’s instruction, because the man couldn’t bring himself to kill the boy.

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Werwolf couple Josh (Sam Huntington) and Nora (Kristen Hager) had just been married, but things took a turn for the worst on their wedding night.  Josh had been bitten by a purebred werewolf.  After a visit from said purebred werewolf, Liam, Aidan saved the day by killing him.  However, things are still obviously bad, because after the full moon, Nora woke up to find out Josh hasn’t returned to human form.

And Sally (Meaghan Rath), the resident ghost, had just been returned to ghost form after being brought back to life as a sort of zombie.  Donna, the evil witch that brought her back to life, came back for Sally to drag her into another sort of other plane.

The season premiere takes place three months later.  We find out Sally and Donna are trapped in sort of a holding cell in the form of a spa that Sally has somehow created for them.  She explains that the two of them can’t leave because they would cause too much damage to the structure of the world.  Nora and Aidan are living together in a trailer in the woods.  It’s revealed that Josh is now a full time wolf with the exception of full moons.  The two spend their days taking care of them while trying to keep up with their jobs as hospital orderlies and occasionally check up on the house to see if Sally is there.

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Nora and Josh get to see each other for half an hour between him changing back to human form and her changing to wolf form for the night.  It’s revealed that Josh is depressed and wants to kill himself, but Aidan won’t let him, for the sake of keeping Nora happy.  Meanwhile, Aidan is continuing his relationship with Nora’s friend, Kat.  He tries to act normal around her, but keeps seeing recurring visions of his wife from back when he was human.

Sally eventually escapes her holding cell with Donna, landing in a local shopping center.  She seeks out Aidan and is reunited with Nora.  The three soon find out that Josh has escaped his pen.  Wolf Josh is about to attack them when Sally rescues them by creating a ring of fire around him.  Nora is able to tranquilize him.  When asking how Sally was able to do that, Sally disappears on them.  We see Kenny briefly and it’s revealed that he is now running the vampires of Boston, formerly ran by Bishop and Mother.  Nora, now armed with the knowledge that Josh is contemplating suicide, takes a moment to think about her life.  Sally is brought to a house where a bunch of women are doing some sort of sacrifice on a young girl.  Aidan returns to the house and answers the door to find his old wife greeting him.

I will say that it’s hard to live up to last season’s standards.  Compared to the excitement brought about over the idea of Sally coming back to life, this premiere seems a little lackluster.  I think my problem my stem from her whole storyline in general.  We saw her transform a lot last season, and now things are just confusing.  It’s obvious that some part of her took some part of Donna when the two fought last season, but things have been made a tad too complex for my liking here.

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I obviously don’t see Josh staying in his wolf form forever, but we get to see a glimpse of a changed man here.  Instead of being the self-loathing person we knew him as in the first two seasons, he finally started to sort of accept the wolf in season three, but things are taken to a whole new level with this problem.  Nora’s role so far has been of the loving wife, but I hope it’s expanded a bit more as the season goes on.  Since the first season aired, she’s always been one of my favorite characters, and I’m glad the writers have decided to feature her more prominently as time has went on.

As for Aidan, I feel like the show has purposefully tried to push him to the front, and that’s okay, seeing as the other characters’ stories have been just as strong as his.  We don’t see too much going on with him in this episode until the end.  Besides him tensing up after Kat says “I love you” for the first time and dreaming about his wife, we don’t really see much of his story until the end.  His wife is going to add something different to the mix, but I’m more concerned about Kenny.  Aidan has had this need to be a father figure, but all of his children have had horrible fates.  He lost his original son when he became a vampire.  In season one, he took his young neighbor under his wing for a short time, eventually taking care of him when he was turned into a vampire, but ultimately having to kill him because he posed too much of a threat.  His estranged vampire son, Henry, showed up in season two only to turn his back on him again and become a fatality to the vampire disease going around.  So here comes Kenny.  Let’s hope there’s a bit of a different ending this time.

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Being Human airs on Monday nights on Syfy.  The first three seasons are now available on Netflix.  I highly recommend watching it.

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