“There Goes the Neighborhood, Part 2”
Like last week, we open with another voiceover. As we see Sally , lifeless on the landing, blood pooling or walking around her house as her wake takes place, she talks to us about the “bigger questions.” For Sally, it’s “What am I know?” For vampire Aidan, it’s how to accept the “eternal nowhere between human and thing,” as we see a Revolutionary war era soldier meet something in that nowhere and we see him enter that place, too. For Josh, it’s “Do you accept what you are or refuse?” as we see an aftermath of a double mauling in the woods and then follow Josh as he transforms for the first time, not knowing why or what is happening to him. After Sally guides us through these glimpses at their past, we see a face that Aidan left for dead – Rebecca. With Bishop guiding her. It’s a really powerful opening and a choice that I really like (rather than just jumping into the same place from last week’s cliffhanger.
Speaking of that cliffhanger, after the titlecard we jump right back into it, where Aidan has pulled himself away from the… blood donor, groupie, whatever you want to call it. Breaking the blood frenzy, his super hearing picks up on his cell phone ringing and after checking his voicemail from Josh, shows off his super speed by zooming to the hospital and pulling Emily out of Josh’s wolf-room in the nick of time, sharing an unspoken “thank you” look with Josh. This episode is full of so many nice moments between two characters and the first is provided by Emily and Aidan. Aidan explains that Josh has a condition (which isn’t his place to go into detail on). Emily is just concerned about her brother (“does he have any friends?”). She assumes that his “condition” is madness, something that their mother went through (but “she’s ok now”). While the first episode left me with the assumption that Josh was the big brother, Emily seems very protective and big sisterly over him. Did her mother’s mental illness make this change happen? Are they twins? Can I just get a whole series about Josh and Emily?
The next morning at home, Sally apologizes for not being able to help the night before and Josh admits that he didn’t know what he expected her to do. After getting that out of the way, Sally jumps the conversation back to herself – namely her plan to have Danny come over so she can… well, she doesn’t really know, either, but if he can see her, she’d “crap rainbows,” a phrase which instantly entered my everyday lexicon, thankyouverymuchBeingHuman. Her plan which Aidan already put into place, so Josh better fall in line with. When Danny arrives to check out the plumbing, Aidan and Josh start giving him a total TMI version of 20 questions. I mean, good on Danny, but I don’t think I’d be as accommodating to two strangers wanting to know lots of stuff about my ex-fiance dying in our house. We discover how Sally died, though… tripped and fell down the stairs on her way to the bathroom one night. Gianpaolo Venuta, as Danny, does a nice job here. All I’m going to say is that it’ll be interesting to see what they do with that character and if they diverge from the UK series. I can see them going either way.
Back at the hospital, Josh and Aidan have awkward encounters with redheads. Nora, a temp nurse filling in for Rebecca (who was so annoying and forgettable that I neglected to mention her at all in last week’s recap), tries to flirt with Aidan by comparing him to Dean Cain and her to Shannon Doherty circa 90210 season three. Predictably, it goes over his head. She changes tactics and just asks him flat out to go for a drink, but Aidan (in what conversation he can get out in between hearing her pulse pound) lets her down by telling her that he’s no fun. Outside the hospital, Josh sees a familiar face at a makeshift memorial for Rebecca – Rebecca herself. He follows her into a dark shed (really, Josh? I’m not surprised you got attacked by a werewolf… your lack of genre savvy is showing) where Rebecca only just stops short of eating him. She doesn’t like the smell of dog. Josh puts two and two together and soon confronts Aidan for turning Rebecca into a vampire. Which is news to Aidan. Josh doesn’t buy it, though, and storms out after demanding to know what the point of trying to be normal is if Aidan’s just “going to kill all our friends.” Ouch.
Aidan confronts Bishop, saying that he just asked for a clean-up and Bishop (and his lackey… Marcus, I think?) explains that since Aidan so infrequently slips up, they couldn’t resist seeing what was so special about this one. Turns out that Rebecca makes quite a good vampire, something we get a hint of when Aidan finds her in the park. Only slightly resentful that Aidan “fell off the wagon and into my neck,” Rebecca really likes the high of feeding. She’s already planning her next moves, ready to kill her father and her sister’s kids. It’s really pretty frightening.
At home, Sally is trying to move things, trying to be something more solid when Danny arrives with a plumbing book. Sally reminisces while Danny putters around and tries to speak to him, but just causes the plumbing to go more haywire as Josh arrives home. Danny resolves to just send a plumber in and, as he leave, for a moment, there’s… something. Sally tries to hold onto this something, this moment where maybe Danny felt her, but Josh reminds her “You’re a monster and he’s not.” He’s just returned from seeing Emily in the park. After asking if she was okay, Emily again pleads with Josh that she just wants to help him before he walks away again.
That night, despite professing not to be fun, Aidan goes to the bar where Nora tries to strike up a conversation. Despite his better judgment (and the fact that her pulse is still pounding to him), he engages with her. In an inverse of the ending of last weeks episode, it’s Aidan who makes the call to Josh this time, insisting that he should really really come to the bar. Josh hears the unspoken meaning behind that and despite being pissed at Aidan, heads over there. Unfortunately, before he can make it there, Rebecca makes Nora/Aidan awkward time even more awkward. I love how much fun Sarah Allen is clearly having as Rebecca. Nora gets clued into the fact that she should really be anywhere but here and leaves. Aidan wants to help Rebecca, but Rebecca doesn’t want the kind of help he offers and sets her sights on taking home a random guy at the bar. Aidan steps in to save the guy and gets to show off vampire superpower #3: super stregnth. While he’s doing this, though, Rebecca manages to get out to the alley and kill Nora. Which is the sight that greets Josh when he arrives.
Aidan runs out and tries to save her, when Rebecca suggests saving her another way. Josh doesn’t immediately understand why Aidan won’t save her if he can, but it seems to sink in while they sit in the police station later that night. Josh is sure that this is it, they’ll be found out, they can’t hide, but Aidan explains “This happens all the time,” as we see Bishop starting the coverup flowing. As the episode ends, the roommates try to find closure. Sally floats down the stairs, reliving her death, laying in the spot where she died. Josh finds Emily as she’s checking her girlfriend out of the hospital and explains to her “You don’t want to know me – you can’t help me. Just leave me alone.” Aidan meets with Bishop who reminds him that he needs to answer the question of us or them. For Aidan, “it was never a question. Them.”
All in all, a solid conclusion to last week’s episode. We’re really starting to get into the crux of the show now, and you can see the season’s storylines (at least those that correspond to the UK series) being set up. In the first season, our three main characters have three very clear stories. Our ghost needs closure; she needs to know why she died and why she’s still here before she can move on. Our vampire needs repentance; he needs to atone for his past, to fix his mistakes and distance himself from the monster he was. And our werewolf needs forgiveness; he needs to forgive himself, to allow himself to live in the world again. The journey is perhaps hardest for Josh. He was a carer… studying to be a doctor, and now he finds himself a destroyer. He sees the world in black and white: There are people and there are monsters and all the good intentions in the world won’t make him not a monster. Through seeing Aidan’s struggle, however, the shades of gray start to present themselves for him. Clearly, Aidan is not the same kind of monster that Rebecca is… maybe he’s not even a monster at all. Maybe the same can be said for Josh, too.
The three roommies end the episode trying to find closure, but it’s a false closure. Real closure is going to be a long journey for all of them.