BEING HUMAN 1.9: I Want You Back (From the Dead)

“Kids. I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today.” At least, that was the problem in the song way back in the movie Bye Bye Birdie. But if you watched this week’s BEING HUMAN, you know the problem with one particular kid is vampirism. In other words, the kid ain’t alright.

Bernie (Jason Spevack) was a neighborhood urchin who attracted Aidan’s (Sam Witwer) attention (No, not like that, silly rabbit). When Bernie was pulverized in a traffic accident right outside Aidan’s home, the thought of the kid dying devastated the vampire. Rebecca (Sarah Allen), urged Aidan to turn Bernie as the child lingered at the hospital. When Aidan refused, she did the deed herself, apparently trying to create a cozy little vampire family for Aidan. However, instead of being greeted with thanks, Aidan was furious. He explained that it was verboten to turn children, because the tykes have little impulse-control on a good day, let alone when they are consumed with bloodlust and sporting amped-up vamp powers.

Meanwhile, Sally (Meaghan Rath) met another fellow ghost, and – surprise – this dude was messed-up too. (Not as bad as “Handsy the Ghost” Tony from episode three, but still…) Nicholas (Pat Kiely) was someone she was acquainted with from college back when she was alive and, as luck would have it, they each harbored unrequited crushes for each other. Well, now that they’re both dead, why don’t they… er, requite their passions? The big problem here was that Nick had an annoying habit of reliving his death by drowning. Every day. As in, every day. Weirdo. In a nice twist, Sally was unable to break him of this habit, and instead came to a troubling realization about herself. She’s a co-dependent enabler: She subsumes her personality to her partner and makes his problems hers.

Josh (Sam Huntington) struggled with intimacy issues with Nora (Kristen Hager). No, not that kind of intimacy… the real kind: letting people in and sharing private…stuff…about yourself. He couldn’t bring himself to share his lupine secret with her – even after she showed him the horrible physical scars she bears from an abusive ex. Apparently he was motivated by a dream of wolfing-out in front of her and horrifying her. But this isn’t a new issue with him. Josh realized that his inability to share had cost him his family, and admitted as much to Nora, but still could not tell her his secret. Top marks to Huntington, for his personable portrayal of the fumbling Josh. I love the way Huntington seamlessly meshes comedic and serious moments.

Witwer dominated this episode with a touching performance of personal torment. He excelled at barely containing Aidan’s mixture of anguish and anger and helplessness. Aidan really appeared to be wrestling with the idea of turning Bernie to “save” his “life.” When Aidan collapsed to the floor? Powerful stuff. And then, when he realized what Rebecca had done, the disappointment in his face was palpable. I was squirming as Rebecca insisted that Aidan quit his job in order to stay with her and tend to Bernie. But Aidan knew that wouldn’t work. He knew Bernie as a vampire would not work. The grim determination when he silently sneaked up on Bernie to stake him was simply shattering. However, the highlight of the episode was the pain and guilt that wracked Aidan afterward. He sat at the table, weeping. But when Josh appeared, Aidan instantly put up a brave façade as he stonewalled Josh – ironically contradicting the advice he had given Josh about being open and honest. And then, when Josh was gone, Aidan broke down again, even worse than before.

Put simply, the night’s theme was being haunted. In the opening teaser, Aidan suggested that humans haunt supernatural creatures, and in a way that was true – the memory of a living Bernie tormented Aidan. But the show was casting a wider net for “haunted.” Haunted by your past. Haunted by your death. Haunted by the mistakes you keep making over and over. Haunted by those you can’t let in to your heart, and haunted by those you have to shut out for their own good. And, especially, haunted by those who get in anyway.

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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