‘Being Human’ didn’t go out in grand fashion with its final episode, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be sorely missed….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The pressure to close a television show on a strong note isn’t necessarily a new concept, but it seems the ante is raised with each popular title that boasts it’s last episode as a ‘series finale’. It’s the cap on the entire program, the last remaining images and thoughts a fan will walk away with when the series finally wraps and no more new episodes remain. Some shows like ‘Lost’ and ‘The Sopranos’ had almost impossible expectations to live up to, and when their finales disappointed none of us should have been shocked, yet we all screamed and ranted in stentorian, outraged that these show runners behind the series deprived us of the ending we needed to really say goodbye for the last time.
Then there are shows like ‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘Smallville’ that build to a crescendo during the last season and present a finale that deserves nothing less than a standing ovation for knowing how to wrap everything up like a Christmas present with a big bow on top. Certainly there are shows in between this prism of examples from the very good to the down right awful, but the point is these were all great shows. Some ended magnificently and others not so much, but it doesn’t take away from the multiple seasons of excellent material that led to the ending. Sure, we’d all like to have that final moment filled with a smile or tears when a show closes, but it doesn’t always work that way and the rest of the material shouldn’t be damned just because one episode or one hour doesn’t live up to our expectations.
Thus is the case with ‘Being Human’, which came to an end on SyFy Monday night after four seasons. This show wasn’t even close to ‘Lost’ or ‘The Sopranos’ in terms of fan base, so even being mentioned in the same breath as those shows is probably a compliment for this little supernatural series that could, but ultimately my point in this entire diatribe is that the show — a grand exposition how science fiction and real life drama can co-exist while creating rich, vibrant characters that jump off the screen — ran for four seasons and captured my imagination every step of the way.
Until Monday night.
The series finale titled ‘There Goes the Neighborhood Part III’ was a shoddy, pieced together melee of a show trying to give ‘Being Human’ one last big story, a shocking moment, and then a happy ending. And it failed miserably. First, allow me to recap the actual plot of the final episode before closing my argument.
Bring Me Back to Life
The follow up from last week’s episode starts the final hour with Aidan distraught from killing his own son Kenny, and blaming it all on Josh. Just as he’s about to snap his best friend’s neck, Sally zaps all of them sans Aidan down to the basement before sealing the door with a spell to keep them safe momentarily. Sally decides there’s only one solution to this whole mess — she turns Aidan human again, but as witnessed in her earlier encounter that showed how Donna was brought back from the dead, life costs life. There must be a sacrifice made, and despite the fact that she’s already a ghost, apparently Sally counts so she zaps away into nothingness and Aidan is alive again with a heartbeat and everything!
With Sally gone, Ramona has no one left to play with so she lets out a giant scream and shatters all of the windows in the house, sending the housemates scattered outside while all agreeing that they don’t need to go back to his haunted hell hole.
Since Aidan is alive now and can actually taste food, Josh and Nora take him to a burger joint where he scarfs down some greasy goodness. Back at the house with construction workers already starting to rebuild the place, Ramona rears her ugly head and kills the man to taunt the roommates into coming back so she’s not lonely anymore.
I’m Not Dead Yet
The problem with bringing a 200-plus year old vampire back to life after he’s been technically dead for the last two centuries is that his insides are a rocky place where blood hasn’t pumped for quite some time. As it turns out, Sally’s idyllic plan to give Aidan life again is backfiring because his body is starting to shut down. Organ by organ, Aidan’s young looking exterior is falling apart on the inside and he only has days to live. He tries to turn back to a vampire again after briefly befriending another fanged folk, but in his fear of being bitten again he opts not to go that route. In a moment of sheer fear and panic, Aidan admits to Josh that he’s afraid to die. Definitely the saddest and realest moment in the ‘Being Human’ finale.
Josh is about to become a waiter again while Sally is nursing away, and the pair of them are ready to settle into parenthood when a newspaper article leaves them all a little shaken. A construction worker has been killed in their old house, and Aidan knows there’s only one thing he can do. Ramona has to be dealt with, and since he only has days to live, he’s the one to do it.
So Aidan goes back to the house of horrors, taunts Ramona before she tosses him around the place like a sock in a dryer before tossing him down the same set of stairs where Sally once died. Before he bleeds out, Aidan sparks up a lighter and tosses it on the ground — he’s covered the entire place in gasoline and the house and Ramona are both going up in flames. The demon spirit is gone and so is Aidan…or is he?
Josh and Nora show up to their crispy fried house and somehow the fire department lets them inside because that’s totally plausible. But it’s all for a good reason — ghost Aidan is inside waiting for them and just when they think he’s set to haunt their house for all of eternity a door appears for the former vampire turned live man turned old man turned burned up man. Aidan walks through and guess who is there waiting for him? Abraham Van Helsing! Okay, only kidding, Monster Squad reference, had to do it.
No, of course Sally is there waiting for him like a ghost Yoda ready to show him the path to mystical cloud world. And in the end, Josh and Nora fall asleep in a field and dream of a time when they are back together with Aidan and Sally, who are very much in love, and everyone gets visions that this is ‘Lost’ all over again. Thankfully, it’s just a dream, but when they awake Josh and Nora go chasing after their kids. Their names? Aidan and Sally of course. The end.
The song that closed the episode with Josh and Nora in the field was ‘I’m Not Falling Asleep’ by Andy Shauf
“Comfortable with the Silence” by Andy Shauf
“Close Your Eyes” by Big Deal
Listen, Being Human ended on a sour note for me. The final episode was so contrived to try and lead to this point where Aidan and Sally ended up together in the netherworld while Josh and Nora stayed alive to have kids named Aidan and Sally just pushed the boundaries of what a series finale is supposed to be. There’s nothing wrong with a happy ending, but the journey to get there has to at least start to make sense. The final few episodes with an angry Ramona haunting the house just felt empty and forced as if the writers ran out of villains and needed one more big bad to throw at the roommates before they left and toasted the place in ashes. Aidan being brought back to life, only to die again a few days later so he could be reunited with Sally? There aren’t enough rolls of the eyes to describe this set of circumstances. Josh and Nora ended happily ever after with kids, and that seemed like the most likely ending for those two and I can even handle the little boy and girl being named Aidan and Sally but after all the other sugar sweet finishes we just witnessed, this was us drowning in saccharin.
All that said — I did not enjoy the ‘Being Human’ finale, but that doesn’t mean I’m sad to see the show go, nor will I forgot how much fun this series was for four seasons. Over time I’ve grown to accept ‘The Sopranos’ finale for what it is for that particular show, the same as I did for ‘Lost’. Neither closed with as much force or power as ‘Breaking Bad’ but does that mean you cancel out everything done because of one single episode? Not in the least.
So when I look back in six months or a year when I realized SyFy has put the newest and likely not nearly as good series on Monday nights at 9pm, I’ll miss that Being Human isn’t there anymore. It was a fun, supernatural romp that made me laugh, made me jump and made me enthusiastic to tune into SyFy again that had nothing to do with flying sharks or dinosaurs morphed into crocodiles. Being Human was a supernatural show done right and it’s gone far too soon.
Great finale or not, I’ll miss it for years to come because at the heart of it all, Being Human was damn good television.