Episode 301: “It’s A Shame About Ray”
The third season of Being Human begins with our three favorite roommates Josh, Aidan and Sally hanging out in their kitchen, engaging in the honest but playful banter that has endeared them to all who watch. Sally wonders whether a Jewish werewolf should be handling a crustacean; Aidan questions Josh’s knife skills; Josh gives Aidan crap about not being around during the big confrontation with Ray. So as I sat and watched this scene, I thought, “I love seeing them razz each other, but where is this going? It’s all sort of random.” Sally starts talking about how we all have to die, Aidan says we don’t, we don’t, we don’t…and oh! We switch to Aidan, starving and hallucinating in his coffin; Sally and Josh were just figments of his imagination who were encouraging him to keep on keeping on.
In limbo, Sally gathers Nick up from a pond, cuts Stevie down out of a tree, and runs with them to her brownstone, beating on the door, begging Josh and Aidan to answer. Turning back to Stevie and Nick, she realizes they’ve disappeared, back to the tree and pond respectively. Wash, rinse, repeat…ad infinitum.
During a flashback sequence, we learn what happened during that Mexican standoff in the woods with Nora, Josh and Ray: Nora shoots and injures Ray, encourages Josh to finish him off, and a slow-to-respond-out-of-guilt Josh finally beats Ray to death with a rock. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Ray’s death has cured Josh, but not Nora. Josh has also in the interim become an ER nurse, which has afforded him the unique opportunity to observe a blood plague killing vampires. With all this newfound time Nora and Josh apparently have from not sitting around the house and chatting, they’ve talked to many psychics, mediums and clairvoyants in their search for Aidan and Sally, with an implied few psychic duds along the way.
The latest psychic has agreed to meet Josh and Nora at their home, but when she arrives, we and she both realize that she’s been there before: to exorcise Sally. The woman refuses to enter the house, but after a little doe-eyed wheedling (who can resist?), she gives them the name and address of a woman who can help them. Josh and Nora meet the woman, Donna Gilchrist, at a soup kitchen. Ms. Gilchrist explains that what they need is blood magic, and the only path to bringing Sally back is two grand and the heart of someone they’ve murdered. Fortunately, our little J. Crew couple already has that niggling detail squared away.
In the woods, Nora and Josh dig up Ray’s body, and my reaction? “Nora, your shoes, though cute, are completely impractical for digging up a body. And you talk too much.” As she ceaselessly flaps her gums, Josh hovers over Ray’s body with a knife, preparing to remove Ray’s heart. With what initially appears to be anxiety, Josh hesitates and says he can’t do it. But in one of my now favorite I-love-Josh moments, he follows his protest with the qualification: “I can’t do this; I’ll never cut through the breast plate with this [knife],” and he pulls out a REALLY big knife. That’s my boy.
With heart in hand, Josh and Nora meet back up with Donna, who explains that the heart will be used in the incantation and as a salve…for Sally’s body. They’re not just going to be bringing back ghost Sally, they’re going for the whole enchilada. But that requires a trip to the cemetery to get Sally’s body. While they’re digging her up and talking about bringing her back, Nora wonders, “As what?” And you know what, Nora, that is an excellent question. Has anybody in recent years seen the morality play that is Pet Cemetery? I mean, good graves, people, we do not want Sally running people down with a scalpel! And was it just me, or was Sally’s burial dress something she never would have owned in a million years? That dress looked like a prairie dress I owned in junior high.
Donna massages Sally’s dug-up crusty corpse with Ray goo, then wraps it in bandages, waves some incense around the body, and says a few words in what I can only presume is Latin. Aren’t witch spells always incanted in Latin? Donna assures Josh that Sally won’t be human but will look perfectly human, but Sally also has to opt out of limbo and opt back into her body, to which Josh wonders why she’d want to come back at all.
From Sally’s perspective, the door of the brownstone opens, beckoning not just her, but also Stevie and Nick to leave limbo. After much arguing, all three go through the door, and in this world, Sally’s wrapped-up body finally inhales, much to Nora and Josh’s relief. A while later, Sally tries to speak, so they unwrap her, and she appears fully restored…youthful, vital. Despite her voice still being quite raspy, she communicates her fear about Stevie and Nick being with her. Nora, ever the optimist, wonders whether Stevie and Nick woke up in their own coffins. She’s a ray of sunshine, that Nora, especially when you consider that Stevie and Nick didn’t get the benefit of the Ray-goo spa treatment. If their corpses have become reanimated, that’s gonna be some serious Walking Dead stuff.
While Josh, Nora and Sally have been doing their thing, a decimated and hirsute Aidan has been “rescued.” Along came Mickey, that weasel-y guy living with Henry who owned the house that Suren (ok, technically Suren’s lawyer) bought. Mickey digs Aidan up, but, here’s the thing: how in the holy realm of possibility did Mickey know where Aidan was? Nearly all the vampires were dead, and Mickey is a low-level, blue-collar thug. He was not anyone that Mother or her people would have confided in. That, friends, is a huge mystery, and I’d like a bit of clarification.
In any case, ol’ Mickey transports Aidan to a basement that appears to have been decorated by Buffalo Bill. Seriously, at any moment, I expected Mickey to hose Aidan down, and yell at him: “It puts the lotion in the basket!” At least Mickey has the decency to explain why he’s kidnapped Aidan, a courtesy Bill never extended to his victims: Aidan’s blood is thought to carry a cure for the blood plague killing off all the vampires. In an interesting role reversal, Mickey keeps Aidan fairly bled dry and sells the blood for a tidy profit.
Atley of the intimidating Pennsylvania Dutch vampire faction shows up asking after the blood, but when he and Mickey can’t reach a mutually beneficial arrangement, Atley kills him. Good. Atley gathers up Aidan and all of his bottled blood, and hits the road. While driving, Atley explains that the vampire plague was caused by a human flu virus that proved fatal to the vampires who drank from the sick humans, but not to the humans themselves.
Aidan, who is now even weaker than when he was pulled out of the ground, has neither the strength nor inclination to fight Atley who also plans to use his blood for a cure. In a scene of Being Human comic genius, an imaginary Josh, Sally and Bishop each jockey to be the one to inspire Aidan to fight back. Bishop comes out the clear inspirational winner, with even Sally conceding she’d like to make out with Bishop. Aidan grabs the wheel, they scuffle, and Aidan becomes Atley’s aperitif. A chastened Bishop mouths, “Sorry!” at Aidan as Atley drains off most of what little blood is left. However, the joke’s on Atley, because shortly thereafter, he succumbs to the plague and crumbles in a poof of ash. Aidan and the van veer off the road into a telephone pole. Ejected from the van, Aidan struggles for breath out on the grass, and imaginary friends Josh and Sally inquire as to whether Aidan might be dying. Aidan ends the episode as he began it, assuring himself he will not die.
At the end, the episode provides an unexpected and somewhat unwelcome twist. Donna, the witch who has so successfully brought Sally back from the dead, wanders out into the woods with a bottle of what looks like red bubble bath. She pours it on the ground, and the rivulets run away from her; she follows. The liquid gathers in a single spot in the woods, pulls back, and reveals Ray’s corpse, to which Donna questions rhetorically: “What are we going to do with you?” Great, just when I thought we were done with that ball-scratching mutt.
All in all, a good start, but we had so much catching up to do with these characters, I feel we’ve barely scratched the surface. I need to know that Aidan is okay, I’m eager to see how things go with Sally, and with Ray, I am eager just to see him go. A girl can dream. See you humans next week!