Over the past few years, I’ve been amazed at the fact that Syfy’s Being Human, a genre show that follows the lives of three (and eventually four) supernatural roommates, has been getting renewed. The show is good and if you learn anything watching TV, it’s that good television shows never last. In its four years on TV, Being Human has managed to distinguish itself from its British counterpart in addition to creating engaging storylines for its characters. Despite a not-as-great final season (for me anyway), it’s one of the few shows I know that has been able to get better with age. And even though it’s not the most popular or well-known show on TV right now, why is it getting cancelled now?
The cast and crew waited until halfway through this season to announce that this would be its final. Everyone was quick to say that it was a creative decision to end the show, but Sam Witwer, who plays vampire Aidan, eventually said that the show’s budget was significantly reduced during this last season. They believed that the quality of the show wouldn’t be up to par if they continued with the show. So they went to Syfy to ask them if they could end it. Syfy’s been getting quite a bit of hate from fans over the last month regarding the show’s cancellation, but as Witwer tells it, they would have been fine with a fifth season. It was Being Human creator Anna Fricke, in addition to the four core cast members Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington, and Kristen Hager and the rest of the crew that decided to end the show. This was all mentioned in an extensive interview that Witwer did with BuzzFeed.
With the show ending, there has to be some sense of relief though. In the article mentioned above, Witwer said that everyone involved in the show had to put in extra effort recently to make sure the quality was still there. Fans of the show aren’t exactly used to top-notch special effects or anything, but there’s always been at least some standard of quality. Despite some not-so-great werewolf CGI here and there, I’ve never felt like I was watching a cheaply done horror movie. However, Witwer said that the budget cuts were so extensive that he and his cast members were essentially putting their own money into the show because they loved making it so much.
I never wanted to get my hopes up about Being Human, as I figured a lesser-known show on Syfy could be cancelled any minute. But for a show so loved by fans and being the best program Syfy had to offer for a period of time, it’s going to be dearly missed.
My initial concern upon hearing its cancellation was how they were going to wrap up the show. Halfway through the season, it didn’t seem like anything special to me – just a typical season of Being Human. This season has had its ups and downs of course. Although I haven’t watched the older episodes since they originally aired, I would probably argued that season three went above and beyond in terms of character growth and plotlines. Seeing Sally, played by Meaghan Rath, raised from the dead after being a ghost for two seasons has definitely been the biggest surprise for me. Season four never really had a clear direction for me.
The plot involving Ramona, the demonic spirit living inside the roommates’ home, was brought up at the beginning of the season, but then was pushed back to nearly the very end. Aidan’s relationship with his vampire son Kenny hasn’t had quite enough interesting plot points. Werewolf couple Josh and Nora, played by Sam Huntington and Kristen Hager, fell into the pitfall of fighting soon after getting married. Their involvement with a werwolf pack could have been interesting, but it didn’t get too far off the ground. And those two interesting mid-season episodes that placed Sally in an alternate timeline where she prevented her murder and moved in with Josh and Aidan before setting off a catastrophic chain of events (or as Being Human fans would call it, “Sallying things up”)? They were interesting to see, but never really got us anywhere. Was there a point to them at all? Things were restored to normal. “What if” episodes are interesting, but for a show that’s ending soon and especially for a show that only has 13 episodes each season, they weren’t exactly necessary.
Despite all this, season four of Being Human was still good television. Last week’s episode, “Ramona the Pest,” pitted the four roommates against some of their deepest fears over the years. Characters that are long gone came back for some special appearances, making it feel a little more like the series was coming to a close. Both Josh and Nora had to face the fear that he would hurt people, as he’s been having severe problems controlling his werewolf this season. Sally, who has recently attempted to start a romantic relationship with Aidan, had to face the fear that she was unwanted. And Aidan, the 200-year-old vampire, had to face his fear of death.
Aidan’s vampire son Kenny stopped by near the end of the episode in an attempt to kill Josh for accidentally murdering Kenny’s werewolf girlfriend. Aidan’s able to stop him, but kills him in the process. Now let me tell you something: Aidan’s got major family issues. Way back when, he abandoned his wife, Suzanna, and his son, Isaac, when he was turned into a vampire. He later found out that Suzanna was turned into a vampire too and ended up killing Isaac. Aidan became a father figure to a neighbor in season one, resulting in his death. In season two, we saw Aidan’s vampire son, Henry, who was killed off by a virus in season three. And over the course of the last two seasons, we’ve gotten to see Aidan turn and develop a father-son relationship withKenny, a terminally ill boy he met at the hospital. It would be nice if, for once, things could work out, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Kenny was killed. Still…
But before dying, Kenny is able to put Aidan some sort of vampire trance, instructing him to kill Josh. In the series finale, “There Goes the Neighborhood Part III,” Sally, panicked and armed with magical powers, decided to sacrifice herself to turn Aidan mortal, something that will break the trance and save them all. This happens within the first few minutes of the show. As she faded away, I kept thinking to myself, “No. She can’t be gone. She’ll pop up again later on in the episode.”
Well, yes, and no. After Sally sacrifices herself, Nora, Josh, and Aidan retreat from the house. They don’t even really have much of an emotional reaction to Sally leaving them. Granted, she’s left them several times before, but Aidan states that he knows she’s gone for good this time. No tears or crying. Just some disdain. Aidan, now mortal, enjoys old luxuries like food before heading to the hospital and learning that he has a week to live. We see him in a moment of weakness as he desperately attempts to go back to being a vampire before Josh finds him and convinces him that things will be okay.
Josh learns that Nora’s pregnant and becomes enthused about it. Ramona, meanwhile, continues her killing spree at the house to get their attention. Aidan, knowing that death is coming soon, decides to get rid of her once and for all. After facing down Ramona, who sneers at him and tells him that there’s no afterlife for him, he’s poetically pushed down the stairs (as Sally was by her fiancé in season one). He then begins to set the house on fire, getting rid of Ramona along with it.
Josh and Nora are seen driving up to the house later. A body bag is taken out of the home and they come to realize that it’s Aidan. Upon entering, they find Aidan’s ghost inside. He does have an afterlife. Of course, his door appears soon after. They say goodbye to each other before Aidan steps through to find Sally waiting for him.
The final scene portrays Josh and Nora waking up from dreams about Aidan and Sally only to reveal that they now have two children named after their old roommates and friends.
So I’m going to start off with what I think went wrong. I’ve seen nothing but positive feedback about this episode and I’m going to tell you right here that I might be the only person who was a little disappointed with it.
For one thing, I was expecting some more Sally. I thought she would at least get to say goodbye to Josh and Nora at the end of the episode. Or that we’d at least get the satisfaction of seeing her walk through her door, something she missed out on after deciding to help save Aidan at the end of season one. I can understand Sally having to sacrifice herself at the beginning of the finale to turn Aidan mortal, but the revelation that she somehow made it to the afterlife is a little too much for me. If she was given her door as the result of something she did in the finale, that would work for me. I just feel like for a show so focused on these four roommates, they didn’t get to spend an awful lot of time together in the final episode.
I also feel that everyone’s reactions to Sally’s sacrifice were a little lackluster, as the reaction to Aidan’s death. I guess I was just expecting more. I’m fine with Aidan dying and Sally ending up in the afterlife finally, but it’s how they got there that bothers me.
Regarding Josh and Nora, I would have loved to see Josh return to med school. It’s something I’ve always wanted to see since getting to know him in season one. I’m still a tad upset that we didn’t get to dive a little deeper into his past, but I always wanted him to pick up the pieces of his broken life and get back on track. Here, he talks about working at a restaurant because he loves cooking, but in earlier seasons, he talked about wanting to become a doctor.
Now, regarding what Being Human does right here, let’s first talk about the music. It’s pretty spot on. It’s always been spot on and this is no exception. Two tracks that stick out to me in particular, the song played during Aidan’s death and the song played during the final scene, were pretty spectacular.
The monologues done by each character are a nice touch too. I always loved the opening monologues done for each episode in the first two seasons, but I can understand why they decided to get rid of them. Each one has a meaning and a purpose, but these are phenomenal. Nora is given her first and last monologue in this episode. I would have to say each one of them deals with each character’s struggles on an individual basis in addition to how they’ve grown as a result of the group.
And finally, it feels like closure. It might not have been exactly how I wanted things to play out, but there’s no cliffhangers here. And it feels like for once in four years, things are looking up for these characters. The finale was rushed and it could have been better. I was pretty disappointed in it after watching last night, but after mulling it over some more, it’s really not so bad. And if anything, Being Human has proved over and over again that it’s worthy of praise.