Last night, Syfy's American reboot of Being Human came to an end. It wasn't hard to say goodbye, because the series left on its own terms. But we're still sad to watch these wonderful monsters go. Here's why.
I'll be completely honest — I had some problems with the final episode. Such is the case with most finales. Hardly anyone is satisfied when it comes to giving up the ghost of a beloved pack of characters.
Yes, I think Ramona was a bit of a cop out for a big bad, and the logic behind Josh allowing Aidan "one hour" to do whatever (kill himself) was folly. I don't care. Because inside this single episode were all the things that reminded me of why I fell in love with this show from the very beginning. Being Human went out the way it came in — all heart and charm. And those wonderful moments were there the whole time (swinging for the fences) with a wink, a comic beat, a character breakdown, or a clever bit of dialogue.
So I while I didn't much care for that actual plot of the final episode, I still found myself emotionally wrapped up in the little moments that made up this powerful little monster show.
Being Human connected with audiences unlike pretty much anything else currently on the Syfy channel. It was a breath of dramatic fresh air, that didn't just bring in the girl audiences because the boys were lookers. They may have helped, but it's pretty clear that the tone and electric chemistry of this cast was what really held the audience's attention for four seasons. It even managed to find its own path through the weeds of "BBC did it first" naysayers, which certainly isn't easy. And for those reasons, I will miss this drama-heavy, pop-culture-savvy addition to a channel that seems often lost in its own genre.
So what was it about this episode that reminded me of the best part of Being Human? Let's start at the very beginning. The finale opens with the showdown we've long dreaded: Aidan versus Josh. Thankfully, Aidan wasn't dealing with real emotions (as we dreaded) but projected vampire emotions, given to him by his now-dead son. Watching Aidan rage out was great, especially since it reminded me that Aidan truly was the biggest monster of the bunch. And yet, he's probably the one character who gets the most support from the fanbase. Why? Because he doesn't want to be a monster, but he's too big of a coward to stop.
And that's what's revealed in the climatic breakdown. Actor Sam Witwer is just going full fuck-it emotional overload here, and it's simply great. It's the end and the beginning for Aidan, literally. Sally sacrifices herself so Aidan will be set free from his vampire curse, and now he's terrified to die.
Why? Because vampires don't get to go to heaven. And that is fucking scary. It certainly is something to see the biggest monster of the group lose his shit about going to Hell, or being stuck in an eternity of nothingness. He's broken, he's beat, and he's lost his latest love. I'm not sure just how much I care for Sally and Aidan together — but I do know they love each other and they deserve happiness.
Aidan's character arc wasn't easy. He went from untrustworthy blood junkie to whiny vampire baby, until he finally grew his vampire balls back when looked Vampire Mother in the eye and said "close it." Right after being sentenced to an eternity of being buried alive. This year, we got to see the softer side of Aidan — we got to meet his wife and his girlfriend, both at the same time. But eventually, they were both swapped out for true love, with Sally. However not even the love of a good woman could pull Aidan out of his cowardice spiral — for that, he needed Josh.
And of COURSE Josh was there! Josh is always there for everyone, but especially Aidan. Theirs is a bromance that will be written on the stars for all eternity. Those two love each other — in fact I may go on record stating that this relationship may be my favorite platonic TV love affair, with the best damn banter on television. BEHOLD:
But what specifically can we say about Josh, the bumbling puppy man who has now turned into the leader of his own pack (WEREWOLF METAPHORS)? Over the last four seasons, Josh became a man. Perhaps it was witnessing the many beatings this pup-like character went through, but there was something satisfying about watching Josh transform from a bleeding heart into an stable adult. He has absolutely no reason to be mentally sound. Josh has killed a lot — a lot — of people, he's ripped hearts out of dead people's chests, dug up his dead friends, he was trapped in a heartbreaking reverse-werewolf period and also sometimes ate his own shit while in wolf form. That is not a character, that is the rap sheet of a very unstable person. Somehow Josh kept his humanity through it all.
If anything, Josh was the human anchor of the whole ship. Sally and Aidan could go off on a rampage, but not Josh. In fact, Josh would rather isolate himself for eternity than become a threat to the world. Thankfully, now, at the end of it all, Josh has embraced his happiness, and his friends, fully. And look how well it turned out for him and Nora.
He was a reminder to his loved ones not to lose their humanity, and they in turn gave him something worthy of being human for.
Side note: The mirroring throughout this finale was truly wonderful. Even the brutal Aidan death scene, tumbling onto Sally's original death spot, was sentimental in spite of its own gruesomeness. It made me sigh, it made me get a little teary eyed, and it made everyone think about the past. Really well done, everyone.
Finally, let's talk about Sally. The character I called the weakest link in the pilot episode ended it all as one of my favorites. I will never forget the zombie storyline that had Sally eating whole mice to stay alive. But the humor stopped when her skin started to fall off and it became apparent that Sally was going to have to leave her rotting hide for the spirit world once again.
This scene still sticks with me today — it could have been all sorts of hokey, but it worked. It really worked. Same for Meaghan Rath, this actress walked into some very stiff chemistry between Witwer and Josh Levison. But dammit if she didn't leave this series with her own brand of charm. Sally went from ridiculously selfish and meepish to a really special kind of character. She even made this season's victory lap through purgatory feel interesting. Sadly, we didn't get a lot of Sally last night, but we got a lot of good Sally this season, and I will miss this little monster.
At the end, Aidan gets turned human (dies) and gets his door, thanks to a little help from Josh. On the other side, he finds (no surprise) Sally waiting for him. They are finally together in real time (probably). Josh has a lovely family and his lovely wife Nora, and the whole series closes on top of itself like a lovely hallmark card. And that's OK, because I like these characters, and I want happiness for them. Not everyone has to turn into an angel and vanish into nothingness just for shock and awe — sometimes it's all right to be happy.
And on a final note, I'd like to say that the line about "What if Sally just came bursting through your chest?" "OH I would love that!" totally slayed me. But in a way that made me sad, because very few shows take so much delight in writing such fun dialogue for their characters. And that's what I'll miss most of all from Being Human.