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Review #2410: Being Human (US) 1.10: “Dog Eat Dog”

Posted on the 22 March 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

It’s hard to believe that this first season of the American version of “Being Human” is almost over. Ironically, it should come to an end within a week or so of the British version ending its third series on BBC America. Surprisingly, this version of “Being Human” has become a must-watch show for me, largely because it has embraced the notion of breaking out into its own territory more and more as time goes on.

Review #2410: Being Human (US) 1.10: “Dog Eat Dog”

This episode may, in fact, owe a great deal to elements from the British version’s first series, but I honestly don’t remember these events taking place. Instead, this feels a lot more fresh, making sense within the context of this version of the premise. That it seems to take a page from the third series of the British version may be a matter of coincidence, or perhaps, just a consequence of working with the same starting point.

After all, let’s be honest: there’s only so much one can do with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts anymore. The concepts have seen enough iterations that certain persistent memes have entered the popular culture. What makes the difference now is characterization, and as previously noted, this version has managed to make all three main characters work. (And I personally feel that’s an improvement over the British original.)

The concept of the “Dutch”, the vampire Elders, and their particular method of testing and promoting their favored leaders has added something new to Aiden’s storyline that I wasn’t expecting. Bishop seemed to be the top of the food chain, so it’s very interesting to see his backstory and how his relationship with Aiden came to be so soured. There are some wonderful subtleties in their relationship in this episode, and it definitely helps to explain their complex interactions.

Josh’s ordeal is wrapped up in Aiden’s personal issues with his “family”, and the fallout from his staking of Bernie. In fact, the cracks in Aiden’s world really begin to show in this episode, and it’s been a long time coming. The pain and humiliation are clearly seen on Josh’s face, and the fact that he was forced to kill for the pleasure of the vampires, right in front of Aiden and Sally, is probably not going to help in the long run.

With so much happening with Aiden and Josh, Sally’s issues were set aside for a little while. Mostly, she was trying to figure things out for herself, and her conversation with Josh on the front stoop was brilliant in that regard. (Especially the little detail of Josh wearing the Bluetooth to keep up appearances!) With only a handful of episodes left to the first season, I’m curious to see if they even bother bringing Sally to the point where she has to chose between the door and her friends. It would be a bold choice to delay, or simply eliminate, that predictable moment.

The best thing about this episode is that it displays all these strengths right on the heels of a second season renewal. Knowing that the show has become a modest hit for Syfy gives me confidence that the already-strong writers’ room will be given more of a chance to breathe and find new directions.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 3/4

Final Rating: 9/10


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